Archery targets are found in archery ranges and target archery competitions. You can also find these in archery stores or online shops.
Some are factory-made, which can be pricier. Some targets are also made from improvised options, such as cardboard or hay bale.
Some manufactured archery targets cost more than improvised counterparts due to their durability to withstand repeated hits from arrows. Some contain self-healing foam and quality wood that resists any damage from their force.
Expensive targets have materials arranged in different and time-consuming manufacturing. If you practice archery regularly, a cheaper target is not for you because it is not long-lasting. You need a better quality target that can last for years, even with repeated use.
The advantage of investing in an expensive target is that you never have to worry about breaking it. Thus, you will avoid frustration in needing to purchase another one.
However, if you don’t see the need to buy a manufactured archery target, you have DIY options, which we’re going to discuss in later sections.
Targets need to be big enough as well, especially if you are starting out as an archer. You need bigger targets if you’re firing at them at longer distances. A quality target will preserve the quality of your arrow because pulling arrows out is more convenient.
Different types of archery targets
Here are the common types of targets you can use, depending on your preference.
- Traditional Bulls-Eye Targets – This target is the most identifiable type of target in archery. It has circular rings of black, blue, red, and yellow. The rings are a great way to measure accuracy and see your progress in shooting your bow. You can find it here at Amazon .
- 3D Targets – They look like types of game such as turkey, deer, or coyote. They seem fancy, but it trains bowhunters to aim at vital organs to get a clean shot. Therefore, you are also practicing your accuracy to be a responsible hunter. Here are some of the coolest ones here .
- Bag Targets – They are another option due to their transportability. You can drag it on your garage or backyard, and they are also durable. If you want a challenge, a bag target is an alternative with its smaller target .
- Block or Cub Targets – Shooting at block targets is good for hunters who shoot their arrows from tree stands or unfamiliar terrain. These dice-shaped targets provide you with different angles to shoot .
- Which archery target is right for you?
- What are the benefits of archery targets?
- What can you use as an archery target?
- What are the advantages of a DIY archery target?
- What do the different rings on the target mean in archery?
- How do you take care of your archery target?
- Why do you have to take care of your archery target?
- Why is your archery target breaking?
Which archery target is right for you?
Archery targets come in different shapes and sizes. The type of target you need depends on how often you shoot, the bow and arrow you use, and your ideal draw weight.
You can choose the traditional bull’s eye because you want target practice. Or you can select 3D targets or block targets to understand hitting angles for your next bow hunt.
Bag targets have a thick shell of cotton or plastic scraps. However, the arrows of beginner and youth archers don’t always penetrate the bag due to their hard surface.
Solid foam targets can take a handful of arrows daily because the plastic foam is highly dense. They can tolerate the weather, making it great for outdoor shooting.
What are the benefits of archery targets?
Whether you are practicing target archery or bowhunting, you will need to use an archery target. Here are the benefits of investing in an archery target:
- Use an archery target to improve your aim. After all, you want to hit bull’s eyes or harvest your big game. You will achieve those if you start practicing using a target.
- Utilize an archery target to test if your bow and arrows are working well. Shoot at the target to make sure everything is well to avoid failing in your hunt or competitions.
- Work on your accuracy and confidence through shooting at your target. Your archery skills will improve, and your self-esteem builds up when you get more bull’s eyes.
Targets are also usable when you have some fun competition with your family and friends in your backyard.
Another benefit of archery targets is that you can shoot at them to check if they’re still strong enough. You can weigh in on what’s best for you – either a store-bought or do-it-yourself target.
What can you use as an archery target?
If you’re on a tight budget, you have options to make or build a do-it-yourself archery target.
Alternatives for an archery target are commonly made of wood, but you can choose varieties of metal, cardboard, and PVC pipe. You need a backstop too, which you can make out of straw, hay, cardboard, or foam.
Before you take out your materials, take note that the fundamental parts of an archery target are the frame and backstop.
The frame provides the shape and balance of the target. On the other hand, the backstop is the material that will catch the arrow after its release.
Backstops are often spongy materials that absorb the power of the fired arrow to slow down its momentum.
When you don’t have a backstop, you will take more time to recover your arrows than the actual shooting.
You may also need to paint your target. Or you can print a target face you can find online. Then, you can put it on the target and start target practice.
The size of your archery target depends on your needs and uses.
A standard recurve-bow target for competitions is around four feet with 10 rings that are 4.7 inches wide each.
A competition compound bow target is about 2.6 feet in diameter, and it has 10 rings that are 3.15 inches wide each.
Whether or not you want your target to be portable, the weight is another consideration. Be mindful of the materials you use on your target and how they will affect the heaviness of the target.
Use blunt arrows for hay bales because they won’t shift and go through the target that much, unlike broadheads and bullet point arrows.
What are the advantages of a DIY archery target?
When your backyard is your practice area, it’s the perfect time to build a DIY target.
- Affordable – DIY archery targets are more cost-effective than commercially available targets. It costs around $30-$100 or even less if you use recycled materials from your basement or in a garage sale.
- Personalized – You have the freedom to choose specific shapes and sizes for your target, contrary to commercial ones, which are already ready-made.
- Disposable. Used or broken homemade archery targets are replaceable right away without a sweat. You can make a new one after you dispose of them away.
- Care for the environment. You won’t only save money. You’ll also help the environment by using recycled materials to build your targets such as scrap wood, extra foam, and used carpets.
A good DIY project also helps you learn how to build your stuff and allows you to be more active aside from archery itself.
Puzzle Mat Archery Target
Puzzle mats are found in nurseries and play spaces for kids, but you can use them as one of the best options for your archery target. They aren’t the most durable, but they’re easy to replace.
Another advantage is that you may either fire broadheads or bullet point arrows at them.
The only downside is the price because you may need other materials to assemble puzzle mat targets such as wood and screws. Check out the best mats here .
Carpet Archery Target
Carpets are one of the easiest varieties for your target. You can find them in textile shops and home improvement centers. So they aren’t hard to find.
The downside is their price as these may cost as much as $50-$100 for expensive carpets. If lucky, you can also find low-quality carpets when you can find old stalks from the local depot.
Carpet targets are suitable for bullet point arrows.
Compressed Straw Archery Target
Compressed straws are one of the most durable archery targets. You’ll enjoy many years of target practice due to their thick and condensed bands.
As sturdy as they are, the downside is their weight. These can weigh around 100 pounds heavy. That means you can’t carry it around that easy.
A good suggestion is that you put wheels under the stacks so you can drag them around. Use bullet point arrows when you start target practice.
Wood Box Archery Target
Although wood box targets are harder to make, they will last for years, like compressed straw targets. Maintenance is only to a minimum like replacing screws, staples, and plywood.
You can use plastic to wrap the target. But if you don’t have one, you can utilize old rags, clothes, or newspapers instead. Bullets point arrows are the best arrows for wood box targets.
Other types of archery targets
A cardboard target is cheap and recyclable. Sometimes it’s free if you know where to find a couple of stacks. But when the cost is low, so is the quality. Cardboard targets can only last a few arrows. You can find cardboards on Amazon .
The material isn’t ideal for broadheads because it damages the arrows when it gets stuck to the target. Instead, shoot bullet point arrows at it.
Hay is a mix of grass and plants pressed together, and you can use it to serve as the frame and backstop for your target. You can cover it with a plastic cover to avoid animals from attracting to it.
However, hay falls apart fast because it is loose and potential home to animals. Therefore, don’t store hay outside, especially during rain, if you wish to use it as a target.
What do the different rings on the target mean in archery?
Archery competition for recurve and compound bows uses the traditional five-color target face with ten scoring rings with corresponding points for each.
The yellow rings are worth 10 and nine points. Red rings score eighth and seven. Blue rings are worth six and five points. Black rings score four and three points. White rings score two points and one point. Missing the rings is zero points.
How do you take care of your archery target?
It doesn’t matter if you’ve bought or made your archery target. Taking care of it is as important as caring for your bow. Arrows hit it without any damage, but there will be a time when it becomes dirty or worn out.
Here’s a handy guide on how to take care of your targets:
- After target shooting, clean the target with a soft cloth damped with water. Avoid using chemicals and detergents.
- Store your target and cover it with plastic wrap. Or you can store it in a baggie to protect it from debris and dust.
- Use an oil-based sealant to protect it from weather changes and UV rays. Use a water-based variety to make it look new.
- Use a recurve or compound bow when shooting at an archery target. A crossbow will damage it right away because of its high-powered shots.
Regular maintenance is the key to a long-lasting target. Use a fresh coat of sealant or wax to make it fresh as new.
Why do you have to take care of your archery target?
Your archery target will come in handy to practice your shots and improve your accuracy. That means you need to take care of it like any archery equipment.
You won’t always go to shooting ranges to fire your bow, and sometimes you need a fun way to relax. You can simply grab your target and the rest of your archery stuff.
A well-cared target will help you practice even more before your competition or hunt. It also saves time and expense if you make it last longer.
Why is your archery target breaking?
Your target breaks down because of too much pressure or overuse. Experts suggest a lighter arrow and a smoother release to avoid too much energy absorbed on your target.
Your target may be breaking down because the materials used aren’t durable enough to withstand the force of the arrows, such as cardboard.
Check the correct distance designed for the archery target. Crossbow bolts are not ideal for shooting long distances because they cause more damage to the target. So the close they are to the target, the lesser power they put on it.