Under the guidance of a certified instructor, youth will learn the safe and responsible handling of archery equipment, and more specifically proper and safe archery shooting techniques. Youth will gain knowledge and respect for good sportsmanship, responsibility, and ethics involved in shooting sports. Archery is for all 4-H members ages 8-18.

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Exploring 4-H

Exploring 4-H Shooting Sports - Archery
Spark Activity: 
Take Aim

 Just as you have a dominant hand, you also have a dominant eye. Learning to aim and shoot using your dominant eye at a young age is important to becoming a good shooter. Usually, your dominate eye is the same as your dominant hand, but not always!

To determine your dominant eye:

  • Form a triangle opening with your thumbs and forefingers.
  • Stretch your arms out in front of you.
  • Focus on a distant object looking through the triangular opening while keeping both eyes open.

Now there are two ways to test which eye you have is dominant: '

  1. With both eyes open, bring the triangular opening slowly back toward your face keeping sight of the object at all times. The opening to keep sight of the object will fade, or come back, to your dominant eye.
  2. With your arms outstretched, both eyes open, and the triangular opening in place…close one eye at a time. Your weak eye will see the back of your hand, your dominant eye will still be focused on your chosen object!
4-H Project Levels and Goals
  • Learn expectations of shooter safety 
  • Understand first shot fundamentals 
  • Determine your eye dominance 
  • Learn proper form
  • Demonstrate expectations of shooter safety 
  • Shoots lots of arrows at every practice 
  • Practice accuracy on a target 
  • Improve form 
  • Improve skill level and accuracy
  • Teach newer members expectations of shooter safety 
  • Advance skill level and accuracy Improve consistency and accuracy for targets 
  • Record target scores 
  • Role model for beginners
Put Your Project Into Action

Show Your Skills

  • Poster of the parts of a bow and the arrow
  • Poster or scrapbook of pictures of your shooting sports events related to archery
  • Interview a family member or a skilled person about their experiences with a bow and arrow

Service and Leadership

  • Volunteer to serve for local wildlife, sportsman’s club or various firearm safety organizations
  • Participate in fundraising activities to help promote conservation and wildlife
  • Give a talk or demonstration on a shooting sports project
  • Serve as a role model to younger members about the importance of safety around archery equipment when participating in instructional classes and shoots. (certified instructors are only allowed teach lessons however)

Technology Connection

  • Look for Archery ranges that have indoor video archery targets - something the whole family can enjoy

Connecting with a Mentor

  • Archery shop located near you - they will know potential mentors
  • Local high school shooting sports instructor
  • Local IDNR volunteer hunter safety instructor


  • Illinois 4-H Shooting Sports Events
  • National 4-H Shooting Sports Events

Project Manuals & Exhibit Requirements

  • 4-H Shooting Sports Archery

Purchase manuals on the Shop Illinois 4-H Store

View exhibit requirements and scoresheets on the Illinois State Fair page.

boy drawing bow
  •  Archery Range Manager
  • Archery Instructor
  • Hunting Guide
  • Hunting Supply Sales
  • Taxidermist
  • Outdoor Writer
Start a Conversation

Start a Conversation

  • Can you name four different types of bows?
  • Longbow; Recurve; Compound; and Crossbow Does an arrow stay perfectly straight at all times when shot from a bow, or does it flex?
  • What kind of materials can arrows be made from? Name at least four.

Curt Sinclair, Extension Specialist

Tresa Morris, 4-H Shooting Sports Discipline Leader and Coordinator

4-H Spark Sheets are a collaborative effort of 4-H staff, volunteers, alumni and teens from across Illinois. A big thanks to the many contributors and reviewers!