Archery Practice Targets

Into the world of archery, some questions come in the mind of beginners. One of them is what is an archery practice target? At first sight, the answer to that question seems simple: Anything I can shoot at to practice with my bow! The answer is indeed as simple as that but there is more about it. To really understand the different types of archery targets, there are a few elements you should know.


Purpose of an archery target.

Other than practicing on them, targets are used for filed archery, target archery, 3d archery, traditional archery and for bowhunting. There is also clout archery but they use flags as targets not actual traditional or modern targets. Every discipline can be recreational or competitive. Either way, they will use the same target while one is more for increasing their precision and the other more to score better than his opponent. If you are curious about all the terms used in the different disciplines among the archery world, the Web nowadays offers you many sources to find the best information.

The most known archery target is the 10 ring one. The famous concentric colored ring target which you probably saw once in your life. This target is used in many competition and works with an easy score system. Target archery is known for using this kind of target and archers have to place themselves at specific distances. Indoor distances typically range from 18m to 25 m, and outdoor distances are typically between 30 m to 90 m.


Archery Practice Targets


No matter which discipline you choose, archery targets are necessary. Either you picked bow hunting or you are trying to reach the Olympics you will have to get into practice to improve your precision. An archery target becomes then handy.

There are two main categories of targets:  The DIY archery targets and the Modern archery targets that you can buy.


The DIY archery Targets.

Yes, it is possible to build your own target to practice your shooting with any bows if you do it properly. Who doesn't remember the famous shots of Robin Hood on straw targets or old hay bales! Those targets were pretty much homemade. Therefore, it doesn't have to be complicated to be efficient. 

Archery Practice Targets


To build your own archery target, you need to keep in mind those elements.

  1. Make sure that the material you will use will be strong enough to stop the arrow. It should not be possible to get through it easily.
  2. Your target must be hard enough to stop your arrows but absorbing enough to not damage or break your arrows. (lairs of foam is suggested)
  3. You have to think about a backstop target or netting in case of missed shots so you don't loose arrows or injure anybody.
  4. Use field points to practice on DIY archery targets to increase the durability. Broadheads will damage the structure quickly.


Modern archery targets.

Among the archery targets for sale, there are four mains sub-categories. The foam archery targets, the crossbow targets, the archery bag targets and the 3D archery targets (competitive and practice targets). Each of these targets is more or less associated with their own discipline in archery. For example, an Olympic shooter would more likely use bag targets, foam layer blocks or even the classic round straw target to practice his form and shots while a hunter would use a 3D target to recreate the feel of hunting while practicing.

Let's see one by one the different sub-categories among modern archery targets so you can have a better idea of what you could pick according to your bow setup.

Foam archery targets.

Archery Practice Targets

Bulldogs Targets: Doghouse FP

Layered foam targets come in many sizes from small to large archery targets. They often represent some of the most economical and durable targets on the market. Layer targets are equally as comfortable stopping a broadhead, as they are stopping a field point. On the other hand, using field point will increase the durability of your target. 

Layered foam target are usually tough enough to stop any bow made. Whether you are shooting a bow at 80lbs or 350fps or a youth bow at 10 or 15lbs those targets should stop the arrow dead in its tracks using friction to stop its momentum instead of force. The Doghouse FP from Bulldogs Targets is one of them.

Arrow removal is technically not a problem with those targets depending on the quality of the target. However, it is harder than a bag target. Be aware that angle shooting implies to move your target so the layers are arranged vertically to avoid arrows going in-between lairs of foam. 

If properly taken care of, these targets should be good enough for many seasons.

The archery Bag Targets.

Archery Practice Targets

Field Logic Hurricane Archery Bag Target H25 

The most basic of the modern archery target it is most likely to use indoor for many reasons. One of the reasons is because it needs to be kept in a dry place. Outdoor conditions are susceptible to reduce the lifespan of the target. Newer versions are more weather-resistant. The bag target is made for those who want to practice with field points. Those targets can endure repetitive shots from all bows. Bag Targets are not meant for broadheads. If you do use broadheads on those targets you might bury them forever inside the target.

Filed Logic targets like the H28, H25 shown above and the H20 are built with tri-core technology for outstanding performance. Field logic archery targets provide the stopping power that very few bag targets possess. With improved graphics with high visibility aiming points that are easy to see, even at long ranges and a long-lasting core, the field logic targets stands tough season after season. A lower price for bag targets that has a comparable stopping power of the foam targets. Those bags meet the needs of the budget conscious hunter and target archer.

Bag targets offer the easiest arrow removal of all targets if using field points. So if you hate spending energy to remove arrows, bag targets are your best choice. But this easiness comes with a price. The bag targets are heavy due to their synthetic fiber fill.

Technically every archer has owned or practiced on one of these. 

The Crossbow targets.

Archery Practice Targets

Morrell Yellow Jacket Crossbow Target 

The Morrell yellow jacket target is a field point crossbow target designed to stop bows shooting up to 350 FPS. Offers easy arrow removal and multi-layered density design for increased target life. It is built tough with an internal frame system and 100 percent weatherproof cover. The dimensions of the target is: 20"x20"x16" and weight: 32 lbs.

Archery Practice Targets

Block Black Crossbow Target 20 

Either you choose a block crossbow target or a crossbow target bag, crossbow targets are built with a specially designed high-density core to stop the excessive speed of a crossbow bolt. They usually have features target faces specifically designed for the crossbow shooter at any range. Be careful about the specifics of the target, some of them are only for field points while some supports broadheads.

The Black Block Crossbow target offers everything previously mentioned. It is a really well-built crossbow target with a dimension of  20”x20”x12” and a high contrast design. Most importantly it is easy bolts removal.

Morrell targets, Block targets and Rinehart targets are among the different brands for the best crossbow targets on the market.

The 3d archery targets.

Archery Practice Targets

       Delta McKenzie Backyard 3D Intruder Deer 

Lifelike 3D target with replaceable vital made from self-healing foam. Height: 40", Length: 43", Depth: 10". Backyard 3D target with good detail and easy assembly. Possibly the best archery 3D target for the money.

Archery Practice TargetsRinehart Booner Buck Target 

Utilizing Rineharts FX foam technology, the Booner Buck sets a new standard for both realism and durability. The insert is constructed of 100 percent Rinehart Signature Series high-density foam. Simulated weight: 200 lbs. Height: 58”, Length: 45”.

Delta Mckenzie and Rinehart offer probably the best archery deer targets on the market for hunters or 3D competitions. Here again one is more about increasing his precision for hunting while the other tries to out mark his opponent by having a better score sheet. 

3D archery targets come in virtually every animal species to provide for a fun experience and become the best tool to refine your skills as a hunter or a 3d competitor.

3D competition targets have their own scoring methods. There are two main systems which are the IBO and the ASA specification scoring system. If 3D competition is something you would be interested in, have a look at IBO rules or ASA rules. 

Regardless of the scoring method you choose, the judgment of your target's rating rings is extremely important. After an increased use of the target, the lines might begin to disappear. Fortunately, in most cases, you do not have to replace your entire target to bring the scoring area back to life. Most targets on the market are available with replaceable cores.

3D practice targets could be bare or have an overlay of the actual animal's anatomy showing than their vitals. These targets feature a layer target core so you can practice with broadheads. Therefore, the main aspect you are going to look for in a 3D practice target is the replaceable core or midsection. This option is a wonderful asset since technically only the vital area should wear out so you won't have to change the entire target.

Most targets on the market are available with both replaceable midsections and cores. These targets are recommended because they expand your options for replacement when they need it. For hunters, 3d targets become a fine asset to practice from a tree stand for example and get ready for next season. By setting their target in a realistic setting, the hunter will have a better feel of the real thing when hunting season open.


3D target tip!

Due to the density of its material to stop the arrow because they cannot be as thick as layer targets, be aware that 3d targets plastic surface might melt on the arrow due to a great deal of friction when the arrow hits the target. This melting might cause you trouble when you will remove the arrow from your target. The solution suggested by many would be to lubricate your arrows before shooting them.


Target Maintenance.

The system is pretty simple when the target core wears out, you replace it either you have a bag target or a 3D target. Dealers have replacement kits for every type of targets. There is no real other maintenance to do on a target. Mother Nature is probably the principal enemy of the durability of your target!

Thank you for reading us! Do not hesitate to ask us if you have any questions or leave a comment below.


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