So many options… So little targets… (I tried).

Choosing the best archery target can be a difficult task, and I hope we can help you decipher what works best for you of all of the different types of targets out there. Our team has done our fair share of research into the topic and want to bring you up to speed on the types of targets, price ranges, and what you’ll have to know to make the right decision when purchasing your next target.

Different Types Of Archery Targets

There are a variety of materials that exist within the different types of archery targets. They are typically made of: plastic, straw, or foam. The best target for you will vary tremendously dependent upon several factors including but not limited to the distance you are shooting from, the type of bow you are using, the types of arrows you use, and the type of archery you want to practice.

Bag Targets

Bag targets are one of the most common target-types, and traditionally are cheaper than other targets on the market. They can be an okay choice for traveling, and are generally filled with a synthetic fiber to stop arrows from penetrating the entire bag.

This fiber also allows for the simplest arrow removal simple removal of all the target types. Something to note when using bags, be sure to ONLY use field point arrows on bag targets. Any broadhead arrows will get stuck in, and destroy the bag, rendering it useless in a very short amount of time.

Foam Targets

Foam block targets are a very popular option, and have taken the place of classic straw targets over the past several years in the majority of hunting markets.

Weather is also a factor to consider when purchasing a foam target — similar to bag targets, they can collect moisture, first becoming heavy, and second, degrading the target’s durability dramatically. We don’t recommend the use of water-logged targets for several reasons, safety being the first.

Some foam targets are made to withstand the use of broadhead arrows, although this can greatly reduce the lifespan of the target. We recommend small to medium-sized foam targets for hunters who frequently need to travel to set up a range at a campsite, public land, or otherwise.

3D Foam Targets

We didn’t feel the need to cover these because they are made of the same or very similar material as foam block targets; but something about shooting a target that looks like a deer or a wild boar is more fun than shooting a block of foam.

Popular Types of Archery Targets

Plastic Targets

Plastic targets are probably your best bet if you’re worried about your kids hurting themselves with real arrows. Used with suction-cup tipped arrows, these targets are weatherpoof (for the most part), lightweight, and easily transportable. They are definitely not the best target-type for real-world target practice, primarily because you are unable to utilize your hunting arrows on a plastic target.

Homemade Targets

Homemade targets can be a cheaper option, but it will take as long as it takes for you to make the darn thing until you are using it. I don’t know about you, but when I start a DIY project, it can be months before I finish. Homemade targets can be made made of many things including straw, rope, and even old clothes/rags.

Pros: They can be pretty darn close to free if you have the materials lying around and the experience to whip one up quickly. They’re also a great way to get rid of old clothes & kitchen rags that you don’t have the heart to throw in the garbage (more on building a DIY target later).

Cons: If you don’t have DIY/general construction experience or the proper materials, this will prolong the amount of time until you are shooting again, maybe by a lot. There have also been stories of homemade targets gone wrong — using the wrong arrowheads, bow, or simply the lack of durability that exists in some homemade targets makes them ripe for accidents to happen.

Archery Target Price Points

The price will vary greatly dependent upon the size and lifespan you are looking to get out of your target.

A general price point for a high-quality normal sized foam target (between 18” & 24”) should run you right around $100. Any more than that, and you’re either paying for a brand name or some really (probably uneccessarily) high quality foam. Foam targets can be as low as $30, and these can be good targets to use on a trip when you’re gonna need to share with others and don’t want to spend too much.

Bag targets can be a bit cheaper, but they are similar in cost. It truly depends on what type of shooting you are going to be doing. There are even some bag targets that are advertised to be weather-proof. Keep your eyes peeled for these if you will be shooting in the rain/snow or otherwise wet conditions.

Key Decisions & Considerations

After understanding the types of targets and what they are best for, making these decisions will probably be the best way to narrow your search for archery targets to absolutely meet your needs. A few considerations might include if you will be competing, will you be traveling (and how far?) with your target, and what the target is made of.

Are you competing?

The best workout is practice, right?

If you are competing or ever plan on competing, I highly recommend getting targets that are the exact same, or at least emulate, the targets you will be shooting in competition. If you were on the fence between two targets, buy the one that you know you’re going to shoot. Accuracy practice is great, but being comfortable shooting a target will ease your nerves and will take one more variable out of the mental equation that is competition.

Will you be traveling with your archery target?

This might sound like a simple consideration, but if you need to travel and it don’t fit in the car/truck, probably shouldn’t buy it!

Pay attention to descrition, details, and specifications (especially when buying online); if the height, width, and depth of the target aren’t listed, inquire before you purchase.

What is the archery target made of?

Knowing what the target is made of might help with cleanup, tell you more about how long it will last, and indicate whether of not it’s able to get wet.

Another consideration might be to ask yourself how often you want to buy replacement targets. If you know you’re gonna beat it up and buddies/amateurs will be shooting, probably shouldn’t waste your money on a high quality target. If you’re going to need the target to hold up and will be shooting it exclusively by yourself, it’s usually worth spending the extra cash to get something nice that will hold up.

What To Avoid When Looking For An Archery Target

Obviously, if you will be traveling, there is nothing worse than trying to lug something heavy around. Pay attention to height, width, and weight for mobile targets. There are also various considerations around the types of arrows you want to be shooting.

If you want to use the arrows you will be using in the field, be sure to choose a target that can accommodate broad-tips or whatever tip you may want to be able to use. We do not get paid for saying this, but statistically more injuries occur when using homemade targets, so PLEASE be sure to take extra care if/when making a target yourself.

My Final Thoughts

1. PLEASE be sure that you’re target is in good condition when shooting & take all measures possible to keep yourself and those around you safe

2. If you’re competing, delete a variable and buy the targets you know you’ll be shooting (if at all possible)

3. 3D targets are great for hunting and more realistic target practice

4. As always, if you can find products that are made in the USA, we support them!