Homemade Archery Targets
Archery targets can get expensive. That wouldn't be such a problem if they didn't wear out so quickly from the punishment that me and my buddies put them through. So I turned to making some archery targets to sling some arrows at.
Now don't get me wrong... I'm not going to debate the benefits of shooting at 3D targets. I agree that that the realism of shooting at life sized deer targets can give you the edge when the real shooting opportunities arise. But I get a little tired of replacing cores. So I keep my 3D archery target set aside for special occasions.
The one thing that I learned is that experimentation is a good thing when trying to build your own target. The results can vary, based on the speed you shoot at.
What worked for me was some burlap sacks and some spray foam insulation. I'm lucky enough to have a friend that is an insulation contractor, so it was easy for me to get my hands on the foam for free. After doubling up some burlap sacks, my buddy filled them with foam, and I just tied the sacks closed with some zip-ties. The burlap can then be painted with a target or vitals. I was able to have several of these made, and place them at different distances, which made a nice shooting range. Now if you don't have an insulation contractor for a friend like I do, you can always give one a call or catch one at a local building site.
Some other options you may want to try though are:
- Layers of carpet on a bail of hay.
Stops field points surprisingly well.
- Layers of cardboard, plastic grocery bags, and a rubbermaid container.
You can cut the center out of the lid, to expose your shooting surface.. Leave just a couple of inches around the edges. Then just start layering inside of the rubbermaid container. Place layers of carpet in the bottom, because nothing is getting through those. Then jam it full of plastic grocery bags, and top it off with a layer of carpet or cardboard. This top layer is what is exposed through the hole you cut, and is a replaceable layer that you can shoot at.
- Layers of insulation in a box.
Layers of R-19 compressed in a cardboard box can make a quick target that is easily replaceable.
- Layers of Cylotex wrapped in duct tape.
- Cylotex insulation is a compressed foam used for setting concrete forms. You can probably find this at the local hardware stores. Or, if any houses or being build near you, typically you will find a bunch that is discarded.
You have lots of options, and with a little creativity, you can easily come up with something of your own. I guarantee that if you spend a half hour in one of the big do-it-yourself hardware stores, you will easily come up with several ideas for homemade archery targets.
Let us know what you come up with. We'd love to hear from you. Feel free to leave a tip in the comments section below.