5 Different Types of Archery Targets for the Backyard

[Updated 1 February 2024] Archery has been a popular sport for centuries. The ancient Greeks and Romans used it as an efficient way to hunt their food, but it is also still very much a competitive sport in the modern era. One of the major problems with archery is that you need to find someone who will volunteer their property to be your target practice area. This can get expensive if you want to practice often! Luckily, there are many different types of targets for backyard use that allow you to hone your skills without having to worry about trespassing on another person’s land or paying them every time they let you come over! In this article, we’ll go over 5 different types we found that we highly recommend.

The most important part of archery practice is accuracy. This means you need a sturdy target that can handle the abuse without ruining your arrows. Heavy or slow-moving material will provide the most effective and longest-lasting target experience.

Archery targets are made of two major parts: the frame, which holds the material that will stop your arrow, and the backdrop, which is either wood, cardboard, or some other material.

Archery Targets for the Backyard Come in 5 Main Types

Important note: Some jurisdictions prohibit the discharge of a bow. Consult with local authorities to be sure it is legal in your backyard before practicing archery!

One of the best ways to practice your archery skills is by shooting at home. However, sometimes it’s necessary to shoot off-site due to private property or safety regulations. Always be sure that no one will be harmed if you fire an arrow into a target in an area that may not belong to you.

Paper Archery Targets

Although paper targets are by far the simplest of the options listed, you’ll need a backdrop to use them. Paper targets make great backdrops for shooting!

You can make a paper target or buy one online. The cost of the target depends on what backdrop you are using.

PaperArcheryTargetsYou’ll tear through one paper target per day of training, and sometimes more as the time spent practicing increases. They are readily available in large quantities at sporting goods stores and can be found on Amazon.

  • Made from paper material
  • Available in various sizes
  • It can be used for archery practice
  • Typically have a bullseye for aim
  • Disposable and easily replaceable
  • Affordable and cost-effective
  • Lightweight and easy to transport
  • Suitable for indoor and outdoor use
  • Easy to set up and replace
  • It can be used for various skill levels
  • Not very durable and can easily tear
  • It can be affected by weather conditions like wind and rain
  • Limited lifespan compared to other targets
  • Not suitable for high-powered or crossbow use
  • Poor stopping power compared to foam or other targets

Bag Archery Targets

Bag targets are designed to be shot at with field points. Often, this design is easy to remove your arrow from when you’re done shooting, if you use bags that have synthetic fiber filling for their content.

BagArcheryTargetsBag targets are designed to take plenty of abuse, making them a good choice for crossbow target practice. Bag targets have four different bull eye designs, which can make shooting more enjoyable and interesting.

The disadvantage of bag targets is that they can’t withstand too much moisture, so you have to carry them indoors and out with every practice session.

Another problem with outdoor ranges is they pose a target for inclement weather. When it rains, your target may end up deteriorating quickly without proper care.

Bag targets are better if hung indoors, and they will last longer with the right arrows. There are also weather-resistant bag target options available.

Check out this video for complete review.

  • Made of durable materials such as canvas, synthetic fibers, or rubber
  • Come in a different variety of shapes and sizes
  • Easy to transport and set up
  • Can handle repeated arrow strikes without losing their shape
  • Affordable option compared to other archery targets
  • Ideal for beginner archers due to their affordability and versatility
  • Both can be used for indoor and outdoor shooting
  • Lightweight and portable, making them easy to transport and store
  • Good stopping power can stop arrows effectively
  • They can withstand high-volume shooting sessions, making them an excellent option for group archery lessons or competitions
  • It may not provide as long-lasting a target as more expensive alternatives
  • Not suitable for high-speed crossbows or compound bows as arrows can pass through the target material
  • They may require frequent filling to maintain their shape and integrity over time
  • It can sometimes shift or move when an arrow strikes, affecting accuracy

Block Archery Targets

Block targets are usually made of multiple layers of foam. These layered blocks can then be placed on an archery target stand in order to create a block target.

A block target in your backyard is a classic way to get into archery with minimal investment. The foam used for block targets had come a long way since the 1990’s when they first entered the market, and an upgraded variety called self-healing foam will increase the lifespan of your target.

BlockArcheryTargetsBlock targets are an effective way to mount archery targets in the backyard because you will have fewer issues with the arrow getting stuck inside.

Due to self-healing foam, block targets are the best choice for durability and a long lifespan. Wooden targets allow you more flexibility for creativity but may not be as durable and can rot or decay over time.

  • Made of dense foam material
  • Available in various sizes and shapes
  • Offers multiple target faces for extended target life
  • Portable and lightweight
  • Whether you’re shooting inside or outside, this product is perfect for your needs
  • Durable and long-lasting
  • Can stop both field tips and broadheads
  • Suitable for both beginners and experienced archers
  • Easy to replace worn or damaged target faces
  • Affordable compared to other archery targets
  • It may not stop the fastest or heaviest arrows
  • The foam material may break down over time with exposure to the elements
  • It may not hold up well to repeated shots from high-powered crossbows
  • It may require regular maintenance to ensure maximum lifespan

3D Archery Targets

The variety of targets add a layer of fun and allows for much more realistic practice, especially when honing your hunting skills.

3D targets, unlike block targets, have a replaceable core that helps prolong their lifespan. However, it is not advisable to use broadhead arrows on 3D targets because they might get stuck in the core and make them difficult to remove.

3DArcheryTargetsAside from the traditional deer silhouette, 3D archery targets come in the shape of wide-ranging animals, including lions and gazelle.

To prepare for the wilds, transform your backyard into an archery range. Build a standoff the ground if you want to practice shots from tree stands and set up 3D targets at varying angles for all sorts of situations.

Check out this video for complete review.

  • Three-dimensional shapes and designs mimicking real-life animals or targets
  • Made of durable and weather-resistant materials like foam or rubber
  • Often come in various sizes and difficulty levels
  • Often used for hunting practice, tournament shooting, and recreational archery
  • Provide a more realistic and challenging shooting experience
  • Durable and long-lasting
  • Versatile and can be used for various shooting activities
  • It improves accuracy and aims as archers must shoot at different angles and positions
  • It can be more expensive compared to traditional flat targets
  • It can be heavy and difficult to move
  • More effective for tuning bows than flat targets, as arrows can bounce off the irregular surface

DIY Archery Targets

If you’re tight on money or have a particular idea of what type of target you’d like to use, try making one yourself. Paper targets, bag targets, and block targets can all be made with the right supplies. People were making haybales into archery targets for decades before they became more popular than ever.

DIYArcheryTargetsHomemade archery targets can be great if enough time and money are spent making them. If poorly made, they will quickly fall apart, and you’ll either have to make another or go out in the store to get a new one.

  • Customizable– You can make the target according to your preferences and needs.
  • Cost-effective– DIY marks are often cheaper than store-bought targets.
  • Durable– Using proper materials, a DIY target can be made to withstand a lot of arrows.
  • Portable– DIY targets can be made smaller and lighter, making them easier to move around.
  • Affordable- As mentioned earlier, DIY targets can save money compared to buying a pre-made target.
  • Customization- You can adjust the size, shape, and material to suit your preferences.
  • Fun Project- Making your archery target can be fun and creative.
  • Improved accuracy- By using your custom target, you can better improve your aim and accuracy.
  • Time-consuming- Making a target from scratch takes time, patience, and effort.
  • Requires skills- To make a target, you need basic DIY skills, including cutting, measuring, and stitching.
  • Materials- You may have to invest in foam, fabric, and other supplies, which can add to the overall cost.
  • Safety- Improperly made targets can be dangerous, so following proper instructions and guidelines is essential.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)

Can I leave my target outside?

Due to the weather condition, we don’t recommend leaving targets outside in the elements where they could deteriorate and fade.

How can I determine if I’m using the correct target for my Traditional-Compound Bow/ Crossbow?

All targets have feet per second or poundage pull a grade. Shoot away if your target falls within that range. Although some targets are only made for crossbows, you may shoot them with a compound or recurve bow setup.

What is the best material for an archery target for the backyard?

The most common and durable materials for archery targets include foam and straw. Foam targets are great for long-term use and easy arrow removal, while straw targets are more environmentally friendly and cost-effective.

How large should an archery target be for backyard use?

It depends on your skill level and the distance you will shoot from, but most backyard archery targets are 18-24 inches in diameter.

How deep should an archery target be to stop arrows effectively?

A depth of at least 12 inches is recommended to stop arrows effectively and prevent them from bouncing back.

What is the best way to set up an archery target in the backyard?

It is best to set the target on a flat surface and secure it to prevent movement. It is also essential to ensure the target is positioned safely from any surrounding obstacles and people.

How often should I replace my backyard archery target?

This will depend on how frequently the target is used and the type of arrows being shot at it, but most targets will need to be replaced after several hundred shots. Regular inspections and maintenance can prolong the life of your target.

Final Thoughts

Your backyard is a perfect place to practice as it prepares you for the next hunting season, a competition, or just some good-hearted family fun.

With the right target, you can achieve any of these goals.

We hope you’ve enjoyed reading about some of the best archery targets. Which of these would be your favorite? Let us know in the comments below!



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