You can’t just shoot your arrows at just anything. A proper archery target is designed to stop arrows in an efficient manner while allowing ample time to slow down to reduce damage.
There are all sorts of different archery targets out there designed for different applications of practice. To best optimize and enjoy your archery practice, a proper target, or several targets, is a necessary component. Now let’s take a look at just what is out there on the market in terms of archery targets. With this knowledge, you should have a good idea of what the best archery target for yourself will be.
Types of Targets
Not all targets are created equal. There is a wide range of targets out there due to the wide range of services they provide to archers. Some are several feet across and designed to withstand tens of thousands of shots, this also makes them cumbersome and unable to move. Other targets are small and portable with a more limited lifespan. Others are intended to mimic animal targets in 3-dimensions, optimizing real-life performance.
These targets are basically as the title suggests. These are generally woven plastic bags filled with foam or other material to stop arrows. They are sometimes freestanding but perform best when used with an accompanying target stand that they hang from. These are great budget targets for entry-level archers.
- Lower Cost
- Lightweight and Portable
- Large surface area limits accidental target misses
- Not recommended for broadhead use
- Limited durability and longevity
- May require
useof hanging target stand
Some of the more common targets you may see archers utilizing is foam block targets. These come in many shapes and sizes but are essentially large cubes of foam. Most are available between 18-24 inch square surfaces. The foam can be either solid or stacked in layers. It is all designed to provide optimal stopping power for both field points and broadheads. They are lightweight, portable, and have several sides to shoot at making them a very versatile target.
- Compact and Lightweight
- Available in large varieties of shapes, sizes, colors, etc.
- Broadheads and field points alike can be used on most
- Affordable for most archers
- Generally a small target surface on most
- Lack realism of 3D animal targets
These types of targets are designed for hunters. When it comes down to practicing for
- Replicate real-life shots in hunting scenarios
- Allows you to develop knowledge of proper shot placement
- Constructed from durable high-density foam
- Can be repaired with replacement mid-sections
- Available in all sorts of different animal styles.
- Higher cost
- Smaller target area may lead to accidental target misses
What about Crossbows?
There are many companies that
With these higher density targets, another thing to take into consideration is ease of arrow removal. You will quickly become frustrated at a target that makes you re-enact “the sword and the stone” during every practice session.
Types of Material
How Long Should a Target Last?
Archery targets are designed to withstand 1,000s of shots. A quality archery target should last at least a year with daily shooting, and longer with
However, this is with field points. If you practice with broadheads on your target often, that will limit the target lifespan.
You will likely see that the middle of your target becomes worn quicker than others. This is why many targets are designed with multiple sides. Many also have multiple target dots on a single side. To extend the lifespan of your archery targets, try to distribute your shots all around the target through its life. Continually shooting at the same dot on the same side will limit the life of the target.
Target Protection and Maintenance
While your targets lifespan is inherently limited, there are other things you can do it maintain and extend the lifespan. As discussed above, one of the biggest things you can do is distribute your shots equally across the target surfaces. However, this is not the case for something like a 3D target.
For 3D targets, there is really only one general area you should be aiming at, the vitals of the midsection. Target manufacturers know this and you can purchase replacement mid-sections for your 3D target. Alternatively, crafty people will use spray foam to replace
The outdoors is hard on most materials, including your target. Leaving your target outside to endure the toils of Mother Nature is a sure way to limit the lifespan of your target. An easy way to extend the lifespan is to have a cover or a safe place to store your target sheltered away from the elements. While a block target is easy to store in the shed, larger 3D targets become a little more cumbersome. In that case, a tarp or other sort of covering might be easier.
In my experience, 3D targets don’t bode
The Yellow Jacket Supreme is a big and versatile bag target. The best archery target is designed compound bows and can withstand thousands of shots. This bag target recommends use with only field points but is a durable target and easy on the wallet. The top of the target features handles and grommets. These can be used to either carry the target around or be used to hang the target from a stand. Though this target is designed to be freestanding target.
The Yellow Jacket target is larger than other targets, though this provides more surface area for shooting. The internal self healing foam and external weave ensure easy arrow removal. Overall in this archery target review, I would highly recommend this field tip target for those who want a big yard target on a budget. It is easily large and tough enough to stop thousands of arrows to come.
- Large Target Surface
- Budget-minded target
- Easy Arrow Removal
- Can be used in conjunction with hanging target stand
- Not recommended for broadheads
For an affordable and versatile archery target, the Supreme 3 by Yellow Jacket is a safe bet. It comes in at a little larger size than some other targets, which makes it a great yard target. However, it still remains portable and easy to transport around. Though not recommended for broadheads, this target will withstand thousands of field points. If you are tight on a budget and looking for a bag target, be sure to check this one out.
Morrell is a popular brand that produces both commercial and consumer style archery targets. The Outdoor Range Bag target is marketed as a commercial
Being a bag target, it is not recommended for broadheads, so just stick to field points. Though being a commercial style target, you know it will stand up to ridiculous amounts of shots. You can even purchase a new cover for it when it wears out. The internal foam should have a longer lifespan. This bag target also features grommets for hanging your target. Though at 50 pounds, be sure you have a sturdy stand.
This target is definitely not the most portable in our archery target review lineup. Though if you are looking for a big target to stay put in the yard, I would be hard pressed to find a better one than this. I personally like big targets for my yard just to reduce
- Great for a permanent yard target
- Designed for heavy commercial use
- Easy arrow removal
- Crossbow bolt compatible
- Ability to purchase
- Not very portable
- Not Brodhead compatible
I’ll tell you this; my normal everyday yard target is a big one. Big targets cut down on lost and damaged arrows that are inevitable in daily practice. Though this isn’t a nice compact and portable target, you can find another to suit that need. When looking for a permanent affixture to your home archery range, here is your ticket. The Outdoor Range Bag can be found at archery ranges across the country. Why not in your backyard?
This box bag target by Morrell is a crossover target between a black style and bag style target. Though at
- 4 Unique Shooting Surfaces
- Rated for crossbows
- Portable and lightweight
- Not rated for broadheads
- Thicker than other bag targets
- Lightweight and Portable
- Best Value Archery Target
- Suitable for field points, broadheads, and expandables
- 4-sided shooting
- Layered foam makes for easy pulling
Smallersize may lead to accidental misses
- Layered foam targets are easily damaged by broadheads.
One of the more popular targets on the market due to
One of the tried and true archery targets through the years is this target by BLOCK. The classic 2-sided archery target measures 18″ x 18″ x 13.5″ and has open layer stacked foam design to stops arrows with friction rather than using force. One of the old names in archery target, BLOCK targets continues to stand the test of time. The simple yet effective high contrast white-on-black aiming points provide easy focus and target acquisition. It is available in 3 sizes if you prefer larger than the portable 18” target size. All the different sizes come featured with a grab handle for easy transport. This is not self-sealing but very tightly packed foam. Field
- Affordable quality
- Reputable Archery Target Brand
- Compact and available in 3 sizes
- Easy arrow pulling
- 2 sided shooting surface with multiple aiming points
- Layered foam easily damaged by broadheads
- Less shooting surface than other targets
Overall in this archery target review lineup, this is a top contender. For the price, durability, ease of pulling the arrows out and portability it offers archers great value. BLOCK continues to produce top quality targets. This classic design by the company continues to offer archers excellent compromise in price vs. quality.
The Vault target is the newest development in archery targets from this reputable company. BLOCK targets really took over the market with the open layered foam design years back. A designed now used in nearly all block style targets.
- Newly Improved Rugged Design
- Open Layer Foam Core
- Durable Outer Protective Layer
- 4-sided shooting
- High Contrast Black and White
- Portable and available in 4 sizes
- Slightly more expensive than other block style targets
The newest addition to the BLOCK line targets offers great new innovations. You will appreciate the
Slightly different than other targets on the market is this 18-sided target by Rinehart. Similar to a rifle or handgun target you can throw out on the range and shoot however it sits, is this target for archery. Simply throw the target out onto the range to an unspecified distance and test
- Fun and easy to use target
- Portability and convenience
- Solid self-healing foam
- Rated for broadheads and crossbows
- May be difficult to remove arrows from
Rinehart 18 – 1 Broadhead Target, “a target that shows you its best side, every time!” For a fun addition to your target collection, check this one out. It is truly a great option for throwing in the vehicle and taking camping or wherever you go. It is a highly durable target and will withstand years of wear and tear.
Hunters are always looking to improve their ability with their bows before the next season and making the shot that counts. This 3D target will help archers hone their shot placement and accuracy on deer. It features durable construction and realistic design that can be easily used by beginners as well as experienced archers.
The durable construction can withstand repeated hits with field tips, and it is also designed to withstand most weather conditions. The true to life size buck measures 36 inches at the shoulders. This is a realistic depiction of a typical adult whitetail buck and will allow you to truly hone your point of aim.
The replaceable core is sure to stand up to hundreds of shots. Replacements are relatively inexpensive when you wear the core out in a few years. The sturdy metal pipe securely holds the target in the ground, and you will love how easy it is to remove field tips from the center. Constructed and designed to take a beating during practice, this 3D buck target will get you ready for this year’s hunting season at a budget 3D Target price
- Affordable 3D Target
- Replaceable Core
- Lifelike Dimensions
- Core Replacement Area small compared to other models
For around $100, this 3D target by Shooter is not going to break the bank. If
The practice that a 3D archery target offers is invaluable to ensuring optimal chances at harvesting your animal with a bow and arrow. This 3D target by Field Logic emulates the size of a typical pre-rut and offers archers a large shooting surface to hone their skills. On top of that, a replacement core ensures years of use. Field Logic understands archers. They understand that maybe you won’t always be able to protect your target or shelter it from the storms. So they have engineered their 3D targets to better withstand the harsh rigors that targets experience outdoors. This is a target you could rely on for years to come. Also lending to its durability and longevity is the replacement core. This core on this target is much larger than other targets available. This means that you have a larger area to practice upon and be able to later replace the damaged foam. Additionally, the block style core allows the user to rotate the core, further extending life before replacement. The target breaks down into more pieces than other models for increased portability.
- Large shooting surface
- Large replaceable core
- Core can rotate
- Break down into several pieces
- Weather-Resistant Design
- Not a budget option
This pre-rut style buck by Field Logic is on the upper end of performance for 3D Archery Targets. Most users will truly appreciate the larger than average replaceable core. This will do wonders in extending the life of your investment. On top of that, the core even features detailed drawings of the vitals to assist in learning proper shot placement. If you are looking for the best 3D archery target out there, this one by Field Logic should be on your list.
So what if you don’t want to deal with the bulk of a 3D archery target? How does one still practice for shots on animals without one? Cue the Lil Buddy archery deer target. This freestanding target is essentially a
For a cheaper and more portable option, this target fits the bill. It offers detailed etchings on the target surface to outline major organs and more importantly, bones. It is one of the more anatomically accurate targets available on the market. This is absolutely important to
The self-healing foam will take thousands of shots on all 4 sides of the target. The target was meant to be free standing so there should be no need to reinforce for shooting. The foam was designed to withstand shots from both field tips and broadheads. This will allow you to fully tune in your hunting broadheads.
- Portable (~8 pounds)
- Realistic Deer Anatomy Drawings
- Budget Option
- Doesn’t offer full 3D Target Realism
All in all, I find this to be a great option for archers of all types. I like the realistic appeal of a 3D target but they are bulky and expensive. Truly, the Lil Buddy target should be all the people need to practice proper shot placement. By condensing the 3D target down, it offers the best of both worlds. For a great option under $100, the Lil Buddy target will give archers the ability to practice shots on a life-like target and learn the anatomy of a deer.
What about DIY Targets?
Many people on a tight budget are hesitant to fork over the money for a target. These types of people have devised all sorts of cheap DIY targets that can work in a pinch. Though realize that they will never perform as well as a manufactured archery target. The nice thing is you have more freedom to customize the target image.
Some people have filled burlap or canvas bags with soft foam or other material. This is essentially a homemade bag target emulating ones that are produced commercially.
Compressed carpet or cardboard is another option that requires a fair bit of work to make. Like targets at the archery range, people make durable large targets with stacked cardboard or carpet. This big blog is then compressed with straps of some sort and arrows are shot to travel between the different layers.
Hay bales are probably the quickest and easiest DIY target for most. Simply set up one or two bales of hay and slap a target on it. The hay will eventually degrade and has a limited lifespan but it sure does work in a pinch. You can even paint your own 2D animal figure targets on cardboard or carpet to stick onto the bales. A poor
People have come up with all sorts of other DIY targets out there. Though for most archers, the practicality of a commercially produced target is your best bet.
I’m sure you are aware by now, but there is not true “Do-it-all” target. The best archery target is different for different people and applications. There are different targets for different needs and to be a proficient archer, you need to practice all sorts of scenarios. Most serious archers have a selection of targets at their disposal. If hunting is your end game, you have got to practice shot placement on 3D target style vitals.
What targets you end up with will be dictated by your needs. Determine just the type of archery practice you will be doing and where you will be doing it. This will help you determine the size and type of target you need. With your archery target, be sure to practice different shooting scenarios like these. Keep up the practice and keep putting those targets to work stopping your arrows!