Selecting the best archery target for your needs
An archery target buying guide
The sport of archery has been popular for thousands of years, as a form of both competition and hobby. Whether you are a seasoned pro or a beginner to the sport, it is critical that you are using the proper bow and arrows needed, along with the correct target. The target is one of the most important aspects, because this is what you will use to help improve your technique. After all, the main point of archery is to hit as close as possible to your target every time. In order for you to determine the best archery target to fit your needs, a number of factors like material, size and the type of arrows that you are using must be considered.
>> What is your skill level?
Anytime you are looking for the best archery target to fit your needs, it is essential to first think about your skill level. In order to become successful at archery, your shooting technique needs to be as accurate as possible. For beginners, this means that you will need to look at archery targets that are larger in size. For beginners that are looking for a starting target, consider looking at archery target dimensions of at least 36 inches. These targets are multicolored, which allows them to be much easier to shoot at when compared with those of a single color.
If you already have some level of experience when it comes to shooting targets, you are able to be much more selective when it comes to making your choice. You'll likely want to pick out targets that are the same size that you are used to shooting at or possibly a little smaller in order to continue to build your skills.
>> What type of archery do you shoot?
It's important when you buy archery targets to also consider the type of archery that you shoot. For instance, if you are a bow hunter, 3D archery sets are likely your best option. These unique archery targets come in a variety of sizes that look like deer and other wildlife. These can be placed in forests and other wooded areas for practice.
If you are into competition, buy archery targets that are designed for FITA. FITA, which is now known as the World Archery Federation, has its own set of rules that determines how the target is designed. FITA archery target sizes often vary, but their single defining characteristic is that they consist of multicolored circles for scoring purposes. For those who are interested in field archery, you might enjoy shooting targets at unmarked distances on various types of terrain. The best archery target for field archery must be easily transportable and lightweight. Lightweight types of archery targets often are made up of layered foam and are weatherproof against a number of different conditions.
>> What types of arrows do you use?
The types of arrows that you use play a key role in determining the best archery target for your needs. After all, some targets are not designed to handle certain arrows. For this reason, you often see many shooters noticing their targets wearing down much more quickly than they would have liked. If you commonly shoot field points, both compression range and open layer targets will work well. Each of these types of foam consists of different layers of foam that are designed for maximum stopping power against field points.
If you shoot broadhead arrows with your bows, avoid certain types of foam like open layer. Because broadheads have an easier time slicing through certain material, you will want to buy archery targets with bonded laminated foam. If you are looking for an archery target design that works well with tiny arrows, consider hybrid targets. While these types of archery targets do contain foam, compression is used to prevent the arrows from going all the way through the target.
>> Consider types of archery targets
There are many different types of archery targets depending on your shooting preferences. As mentioned earlier, FITA targets are the most common for competitive purposes. If you are looking for another type of competitive scoring, consider Vegas targets. These feature three different circles that all have a yellow bull's eye surrounded by blue and red rings. Vegas targets are shot from 18 meters away for 10 rounds. Each round has you shoot one arrow at each target, for a total of 30 arrows shot when all is said and done. Another common competitive archery target design features five-spots. This five-spot design is meant to be shot from 20 yards away and consists of a white bull's eye and two outer blue rings. A total of 60 arrows are shot at this target in competitions, with each target being shot at 12 times. For non-competitive purposes, you will often see unique archery targets consisting of multiple sized bull's eyes to help train accuracy.
>> Consider archery target material
The best archery target for your needs has to be made up of foam that is able to withstand many shots from your bow for years to come. Polyethylene is considered to be one of the strongest foams out there that is resistant against the force of broadheads. Because it has a cross-linked chemical makeup, it not only prevents arrows from going completely through the target but it also is very resistant to moisture. Unique archery targets made up of open-cell foam, as mentioned earlier, work well for field point arrows. Its chemical makeup consists of cells that are all interconnected with each other, which makes it very flexible. If you are planning on using many different types of arrows, the best archery target for you will consist of a hybrid design, which offers additional compression within the foam material.
>> Consider archery target design
After thinking about factors like your skill level and arrows that you use comes the enjoyment of picking out an archery target design. Foam layer blocks are a popular choice if you are planning on practicing your shots in many different areas. They are light, easy to transport and feature a variety of targets. For instance, if you want to practice your short range accuracy, simply spin the block in another direction to get a different size target. Foam layer blocks often consist of woven polyester to help slow down the force of the arrow. Be sure to choose blocks with laminated foam if you are shooting broadheads.
While bag targets are less common, they are popular with those using archery sights and sharper arrows. Bag targets are filled with ballistic material that is designed to stop the arrow, while allowing it to be easily removed. The outside of these bags is made up of polypropylene, which is a strong thermoplastic. As mentioned earlier, 3D archery targets are commonly used in conjunction with hunting supplies like crossbows. Made up of welded foam layers, designs consist of "hit zones" on the animal's body for hunting practice.