Shooting in your backyard can be very practical and fun, but you need to make sure its legal in your state and your range is secure first. I will give you a few tips to make it safe and tell you where it’s legal and not.
Can I practice archery in my backyard? Yes and no, many states allow practising in your backyard if the circumstances is safe and there is no danger to other people. Make sure to check you county rules closely before starting to practise.
In Sacramento, the rules are as following: You can not shoot or discharge a firearm or bow in public park or any place not designated for it. But the rule can be different from where you live. But this does not mean the same applies to you, we will explain in detail where you can find it and what to do to make your backyard safe in this article below.
How to find out if its legal to shoot in my backyard
To find out if you are allowed to shoot in your backyard or not, you need to check the laws of your designated county. You can by checking their public laws, you can do this online. To make it simpler for you I have made a list of countries and their websites, I tried to find the paragraph or the chat-Now page for every website, but all of them didn’t have one. Instead of searching through their own laws I think It will be easier for you to just give them a quick call. Links to state laws will be at the bottom of the page.
If you don’t find the information about shooting in your backyard in the links at the bottom of this page, call your local police station or a cop. Make sure you secure and make a plan on how you are going to do things before you contact them. Some of the police stations want to come and look at your range before approving it.
What to do if its not legal?
Making a range inside your house is something that can be done. Not everybody has the space for this, but if you do, its a possibility. No, you don’t want to replace the living room for this, but if you have a large basement, a range could be an option.
Option number two is to go to a range or a club. You probably know this, but its worth to mention. It’s a great and social thing to do. You can meet a lot of enthusiastic archery people there, that enjoy the same thing you do and can even learn you a trick or two.
When I first started out I joined an archery club and was the best decision of my carrier. Because I was not so good at this point and the help that I was given about my form and shooting was just excellent.
If you have a Garage that is the correct size for shooting, a range can also be made there. Maybe you can build out a longer part on the garage, an inside-range where you can practice all day long without having to worry.
Why is it illegal?
The reason archery is illegal is the danger of hurting other people. I know many of my readers would not be likely to do so, but there have been accidents. Because archers have not made the right decisions regarding safety. I am will explain the importance of a proper backstop in the next headline. Please make one before you start or buy one if that is needed.
A lot of people will also get frightened when walking by a man or women shooting with a bow on their property. I have never had any issues with either complaints or frightened people where I live, but I have heard some stories.
Tips to make your backyard range safe
Make sure to have a great backstop behind your target. A backstop is the most crucial part to make your backyard practices fun and safe. You don’t want to destroy the fence, furniture and most importantly not harm anyone. Yes, you are a great shooter, but an arrow can accidentally be fired. When it does you don’t want that arrow to go anywhere you don’t have control over.
When building or setting up your backstop, make sure it is in a safe area too. You don t want to place it against the neighbour’s house, frequently walked areas and places where there are usually people. Placing it against your garage or house can be a good idea.
A few simple ways you can make a DIY backstop is to stack a few hay cubes on top off each other. This can be an affordable, but yet a great backstop. If they are not thick enough, you can place some wood or compressed foam in addition to the hay for support.
Always check your gear
Always check if there is anything abnormal about your bow setup or equipment. Make a simple checklist in your head to go over before you start to practice in your backyard. There have been accidents where a shot has been fired off and killed his neighbor. This is the worst case scenario, that is why it’s important to take security very seriously.
To make your gear last longer and also make it more safe. Make sure to maintain it properly. We will write a full article guide on this soon. Where you can read up on all the things you need to do.
Contact the Neighbor
When you take the choice to start shooting in your backyard, ask the neighbor if this is okay for them. Atleast if you are shooting towards their house(Which you should not do). A lot of people can feel insecure walking by your house if you are practicing archery. It should not be a problem, but it is always nice to ask.
Here are the links, if you do not find the law quickly or don`t get any assistance on the webpage, I would advise you to call your local police and ask if they have a clue. Many of them probobly do not know, but they will at least forward you to someone who do. And If its not legal I have heard they usually tell you places where its legal and ranges you can go to, which is awesome.
Can you shoot a bow in the city? No, and yes, the rules for shooting in the city depends on where you live. Make sure to check the rules for your designated state, county and postcode before you start shooting.
Can I shoot a crossbow in my backyard UK? No, you can not. In the UK you can only shoot on private land. This means farms/fields, crossbow clubs or gardens. You always need to ask for permission if you are not the owner of the private land.
Andy Ryan is an archery enthusiast who has been practising hunting and target shooting as long as he can remember. He is known for his accurate groupings and humming laughter. His texts are packed with experiences and knowledge about the archery sport that few obtain.