Your First Shoot

by: Dave & Riley Lewis

Great! You have decided to take part in one of the monthly shoots at BHU and questions abound:

  • What do I bring?

  • How long will it take?

  • Who do I contact?

  • How much does it cost?

After reading this, go and look at the Shoot Rules to make sure you see the full set of rules for a shoot.

It’s the monthly (or thereabouts) 3D Shoot at BHU in the Cupertino Hills. It’s a breakfast party, test of skill, social gathering, way to hone hunting skills, learning experience, test of endurance, swap meet, a BBQ lunch and a great hike in the woods. 

One of the best experiences at BHU can be participating in the Open 3D shoots that the Club sponsors on a regular basis. These "themed" shoots are a great way to move beyond the practice range and start shooting some more challenging targets that mimic some real world shots. 

How Does a "Shoot" Work?

Each shoot covers 28 (or more) targets placed around the canyon course. Each archer gets two arrows per target. Scoring is announced at the beginning of the shoot by the organizer and there may be "special targets" included that have special conditions. You are also often allowed to purchase "mulligans" that give you a "do over" for a target. 

Archers shoot from different "stakes" depending on the type of bow they are using and their age. The stakes are color coded and the distances are unmarked. 

Rangefinders are not allowed and if we catch any compound shooter using one in competition we will break all your arrows and give you a group paddling.


Scoring is: 

  • On targets with three scoring rings, you score 10 points for a bullseye (innermost two rings), 8 points for the third ring and 5 points for anywhere else on the target.
  • Smaller targets with only two rings score 10 for a bullseye (innermost ring), 8 points for the second ring and 5 points for anywhere else on the target. An arrow that "bounces back" towards the shooter (i.e., not skipping off the target away from the shooter) gets to be reshot. The scores are kept on a scorecard and tallied at the end of the course.
  • Arrows that are on the line, touching a scoring ring, score the higher value for the inner ring it touches. For example, if the arrow is in the "8" ring, but the shaft is touching the "10" ring, the shot scores 10.


Archers are encouraged to go out in groups of 3–4 people and you are required to shoot with a group at all tournaments. This helps to keep the groups moving and allows for a scorekeeper and a "caller" who work together to score for the group. It is helpful to have at least one experienced member in each group.

How do I Participate in a Shoot?

  • Check the BHU website for upcoming shoots.

  • Arrive at the range before the start time (usually 9:00 a.m.).

  • A lot of folks like to show up early to shoot on the practice butts, have breakfast, and shoot the breeze.

  • Register for the shoot & purchase a lunch ticket (if you plan on staying to eat).

  • Fees vary by shoot and are posted by the organizer.

  • Lunch is usually $6 for a plate lunch.

  • Buy a "mulligan" or two, if available, for $1 each. A mulligan is a "do-over" on any given target You are usually limited to two (2) for any given shoot.

  • "Special" targets may also be offered with an additional scoring opportunity and fees. Be sure to ask about these!

  • Find a group to shoot with. If you don’t know anyone at the shoot, feel free to look for one of the BHU Board Members, ask the Range Master, or ask the registrar.

  • Don’t be too shy—we really want you to have a good time.

  • Give your scorecard to your group’s scorer and you are ready to go at 9:30 a.m.

  • Please note that once the shoot begins, the practice range is closed.

  • Shoot two arrows at each target and feel free to check your scorer’s addition.

  • Be sure to stay hydrated—this is especially important during late Spring and Summer shoots when the temperature can get above 100 degrees.

  • Make your way back to the main site, have lunch and watch the scores come in.

What Should I Bring?

  • Your Bow.

  • Six (6) or more arrows. Even though you can only shoot two (2) arrows into any single target you may have bounce backs, or a lost/broken shaft.

  • Shooting Glove.

  • Wrist Guard.

  • Quiver.

  • Bug Spray. There are a lot of small flies in the late Spring and Summer.

  • Sunscreen since much of the trail is in the sun most of the day.

  • Hydration system (a CamelBak is a great tool in the summer) or water bottles.

  • Snacks.

  • Knife.

  • Cash to pay for registration & lunch.

What should I leave home?

  • Pets.

  • Whiny, easily bored children.

  • Whiny, easily bored adults.

  • Alcohol.

  • Broadheads.

  • Crossbows.

What Should I Watch Out For?

  • Poison Oak.

  • Bees.

  • Wasps.

  • Rattlesnakes.

  • Blackberry brambles.

  • Predators—we have seen cougars, coyotes, bobcats all of which will leave groups alone.

  • Deer—the deer here are very unfriendly so do not approach them.

  • Sunstroke and Heat Exhaustion.

How Long will the Course Take?
For a group of four (4) people, plan on at least 2.5 hours for the 28 targets


So, bring your gear and come shoot with us!


Got additional questions, email us at​

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