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I will be moving to a mostly urban environment next year for graduate school. I'll be living in a studio apartment and will have no yard to put my archery target on, as I have now. Atlanta is a big city, so I'm sure there are archery ranges but none close enough if I want to shoot a little everyday. Is it legal to find a road, pull over to the side, maybe walk a few yards into the woods where I can get some privacy and shoot at my target there?
 

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A couple of things to keep in mind are:

1 - in a "mostly urban area" public land tends to be uncommon. So you should make sure that the wooded area on the side of the road truly is public, if not you should find the owner and ask for permission.

2 - look up city by-laws. Where I am, even though there are no provincial laws or federal restrictions (I'm from Canada) on shooting a bow safely, the city by-laws state that it is illegal to shoot a firearm or bow for reasons other than hunting without a special permit (basically a shooting range)

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Check local laws. A lot of cities and towns have ordnance against shooting inside city limits even on your own property. Do a search for a club or archery shop that has ranges. You said your going to college check and see what they have.
 

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Call George at the Archery Learning Center in Snellville. He will give you the facts you need.
 

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I know when I lived in Nashville, I went to a park (that used to have an archery range in it, but it had sense shut down) and was told I had to quit shooting. I had set up at the base of a very big hill with nothing around so I had a very good backstop, used a target faces as opposed to a animal target (so as not to upset anyone). I was told by the park ranger I could not shoot there that it was unsafe.
Golfers where in a field (in the park) next to where I was shooting and hit the Rangers truck while he was talking to me. I had to tell him "all my arrows are in the target, now who is unsafe".
 

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One concern would/should be that "public" is in fact public- how will you control who might be wandering around behind your target?
 

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As Dale noted, shooting on your own property in urban settings is often illegal due to municipal codes. They pay a lawyer to think up all the worst case scenario situations, which includes inadvertent damage to property, pets or humans by bullets, BB's or arrows. AT threads have reported folks who were using a new release or had a Dloop break, sending a misfired arrow on to adjoining property.....and embarrassment having to fess up to a neighbor. Having no intent to do harm does not negate the potential for something going wrong. Every archery range I have been to has an arrow stuck in the ceiling or evidence of really bad shots on the walls or 12' above the backstops.

Here in MI, shooting on public land is overseen by the DNR. I shot trad archery for 30 years and a favorite means of practice was shooting judo tipped arrows....often called stump shooting. Regardless of the type of point on your arrow, during hunting seasons a shooter had to have a legal tag to be on public ground with their bow. During off-season for turkey and deer, it was stipulated that a shooter had to have an annual small game license to carry their bow and shoot on public ground. Totally regardless that we had zero intent to shoot anything alive, those were the rules and we had to abide by them.....or potentially face a citation.
 

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I live just outside Atlanta. Yes, you can easily find an area to shoot your bow. Plus the urban hunting around Atlanta is pretty good. Check out the Governor's Gun & Archery store. They are in Kennesaw, Ga just up I-75 on Barrett Parkway. Very nice place for indoor shooting.
 
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