The only way to become a better archer is to practice, and the best way to practice is to make sure you have a quality archery target with which you can train. You could buy a premade target, or you could even learn how to make an archer target of your own. Regardless of whether you are going to buy or build your own, you will have to consider many of the same types of factors. This is true whether you are using a compound bow or a recurve bow.
Important Factors When Buying of Building an Archery Target
One of the first things you will want to consider will be the size of the target. Larger targets will typically be a better option for those who are shooting at longer distances, of course. This will ensure that they can still be seen clearly. However, the size will also affect the weight of the target. If you are looking for something lightweight, you will likely want to build a smaller target. Consider how and where you will be shooting.
You also have to think about how you are going to be setting up the target. Naturally, you will want to choose to build an option that will be easy to maneuver and to set up. Again, you likely want to think lightweight when you are building your targets unless you are going to have stationary targets in your practice area that you never remove except when you are replacing them.
Speaking of replacements, how often will you need to replace the target with a new one? You should always strive to create targets that are going to be long-lasting and durable. Ideally, it will be able to take hundreds and even thousands of shots without needing to be replaced. There are many commercial targets for sale that are capable of this, so you will undoubtedly want to make sure that your homemade option can keep up.
Arrow removal is also important, and it is something that many people do not consider when they are buying or building their first archery targets. Because you will be shooting a lot of arrows into the target, it is essential to make sure that you can remove those arrows easily. This will speed up your practice, and it will help to reduce frustration. No one likes taking several minutes to attempt to fish a single arrow out of target. Always make sure that the target is soft, so you will not be damaging your arrows when you are practicing.
Why Homemade Archery Targets?
Why should you bother making archery targets when there are commercial options that are readily available? There are a few reasons for this. For starters, they tend to be a much cheaper option. They will often be made from materials that are readily available and that you may already have laying around the house.
Also, when you make your targets, you will be able to personalize them to your needs. They can be the size and style that you need, which can be easier than attempting to rely on commercial options. Homemade archery targets will typically be made from recycled materials, as well, which means they will be easy to dispose of when they are no longer useable.
Tips for Making Simple and Effective Archery Targets
While you have a few options when it comes to making archery targets, you will find that the simplest will have a box frame and that is stuffed with a soft material, such as foam or old rags that have been cut into strips. Whatever type of material you decide to use, the most important factor is that it is nice and soft.
When it comes to the box frame, the size will depend on your needs and how far away you will be when you are firing arrows at it. The average size tends to have a front surface that is at least 18 inches. The actual size that you choose can vary. You might want to create the box frame from wood, but you could simply use a cardboard box with filling that is then taped up to keep it all together. It really can be as simple as that.
If you are going to be making a wooden frame, you will want to have some mesh, such as chicken wire or a screen attached to the back to keep everything inside. Fill with the soft cloth or foam for the stuffing, and then add canvas over the front of the frame, stretching it tight and stapling it to the wood frame. When you choose one of these wood frames, you can reuse the frame and replace the stuffing and the canvas cover, as needed.
You could choose an even simpler option. Get some canvas bags of varying sizes, fill them up with soft material, tie off the top, and then place them in the field to be used as targets.
On the front of the target, regardless of which type you end up choosing, you can draw or paint targets of various types. Consider having targets of varying sizes across several targets placed out in the field to provide more of a challenge when you are training.
Making vs. Buying an Archery Target
Those who have the time and who want to put in the effort can learn how to make an archery target on their own as described above. However, that might not always be the best option for everyone. In some cases, you might find that buying a premade target will be a better choice.
Consider your capabilities and whether you will be able to complete a DIY archery target will work, or you need one that pre-made. If you are going to opt for a pre-made archery target, make sure that you look at the features and the options that are available and be sure that you choose one from a quality brand.