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Best Archery Targets

Updated August 2018
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

  • 14 Models Considered
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  • 1 Experts Interviewed
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    We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

    Why trust BestReviews?
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.

    Shopping guide for best archery targets

    Last Updated August 2018

    With the popularity of movies like The Hunger Games, there’s been a growing interest in archery. Once you get all the equipment, it’s an enjoyable and affordable way to spend time in the outdoors. If archery has become your new obsession, you’re probably on the lookout for a target of your own.

    An archery target gives you flexibility in where and when you practice. As you begin your search, keep in mind how, where, and when you want to use your target to be sure you find one that meets your needs and will last into the foreseeable future.

    At BestReviews, we’re here to help you find the best products on the market. Our shopping guide gives you an overview of the different types of archery targets available, as well as the features that might make all the difference to you.

    Target archery is an Olympic event. You can buy high-density foam targets on stands that are similar to those used in the Olympics.

    Types of archery targets

    Bag targets

    Bag targets are archery targets at their most basic. Synthetic fiber encased in a bag stops the arrow while enabling you to remove the arrow easily. These targets provide a large surface area for sighting and shooting from long distances. Many have grommets that enable you to hang the bag, and some are sturdy enough to be placed on the ground. If you’ll be moving your target often, try to find one with a carrying handle for easier portability.

    Bag targets work for all kinds of bows. However, you should stick to field points rather than broadheads because the latter do too much damage to the outer covering. Bag targets tend to soak up water and moisture, so they generally work better on an indoor range or in dry climates or summer months.

    Block targets (foam layer block targets)

    Block targets are a step up from bag targets. Composed of compressed layers of foam, these lightweight, portable targets have a handle for easy carrying, and arrows aren’t too hard to remove. In general, block targets are less expensive than bag targets. Foam holds up better outdoors, so these targets can be used year-round.

    On the downside, if you have a heavy draw weight on your bow, your arrows might get buried pretty deep, making them difficult or nearly impossible to remove.

    3D practice targets

    For the avid bowhunter, a 3D practice target is a must. These animal-shaped targets come in many shapes and sizes (bear, turkey, deer – even a T. rex). If you want to prepare for true-life hunting situations, a 3D practice target enables you to get used to the animal’s silhouette and improve your aim from different angles. Most of these targets have several overlay options, including ones that show the location of vital organs, so you know exactly where to aim. For competitive shooters, you can increase your scores by targeting these areas.

    The target regions have a foam core that can be replaced when it wears out. While you can use broadheads, you might lose them in the foam, so field points are usually a better way to go.

    DID YOU KNOW?

    The foam layers in block targets stop arrows with friction.

    Archery target features to consider

    Purpose

    Knowing what you want to shoot can help you narrow down your target choices. If you only shoot at targets, a bag or block target might be all you need. However, hunters and competitive archers might need several targets, including a block target and 3D practice targets in different shapes, to mimic different situations and for use in different weather conditions. If you want to set up a walking course, 3D targets offer a more realistic hunting experience. If you want a good general target for multiple uses, try a block target with several sides.

    Durability

    Once you know your purpose, the durability of the target is your next consideration. The repetitive nature of archery means that certain parts of the target will break down over time. Bag and block targets can both take thousands of arrows before needing to be replaced, and 3D targets have a replaceable core. Keep in mind that if you live in a wet climate, a bag target might wear down much more quickly than a block or 3D target.

    Size

    Target size will determine how far away from it you can stand when shooting. The smaller the target, the closer you’ll need to be to make sure you don’t lose your arrows. If you have a heavy draw weight and can shoot longer distances, you’ll need a larger target.

    You also want to balance size and portability. If your target will be staying in one spot, a large target is no problem. However, if you want to set up your target in different locations, something smaller and lighter will work better.

    Foam targets are more portable than bag targets – they’re lighter, easier to carry, and don’t have to be hung. Bag targets don’t always have to be hung, but they aren’t as sturdy as block targets when placed on the ground.

    Archery target prices

    Depending on type and quality, you can expect to pay from under $40 to $300 (and sometimes more) for an archery target.

    Inexpensive: For under $40, you can find block targets (adult and youth) and a few bag targets of varying widths and designs. Some of the block targets have bull’s-eyes on both the broad and narrow sides of the block for shooters of various levels.

    Mid-range: From $40 to $100, you can find bag and block targets with more intricate bull’s-eye designs. You’ll also see a few inexpensive 3D targets with removable foam cores. At this price, the shapes are more likely to be deer, boar, and bear.

    Expensive: Between $100 and $150 are larger 3D targets, more bag targets, and block targets with up to 18 faces. Some faces of these foam blocks have targets of different sizes to make the shots more difficult. The 3D targets in this range also include animals like muskrat, prairie dog, and rabbit.

    Premium: If you spend $150 or more, you can find large 3D targets, large foam blocks that are longer than average for distance shooting, and targets on stands with wheels.

    EXPERT TIP

    Archery targets need to be visible from a distance. That’s why many feature high-contrast colors like black and white, neon, and hunter orange.


    Tips

    • Use removable paper targets. If you want to track your groups, a paper target can be attached to a bag or block target. That way you can see your improvement as you practice.

    • Mix it up. Some foam block targets have different pictures and bull’s-eye designs on each face. When you start to get bored with one, you can turn the target for a different challenge. Some targets have games, while others have images of animals to hone your hunting skills.

    • Pick the most visible target for your location. Some archery targets have a bull’s-eye on the target face, while others only have a few white dots. Other targets have specialty designs like a baseball diamond for archery games.

    • Think about portability. If you like to leave civilization to practice archery, a good foam target is easier to throw in the back of your truck for the weekend.
    Archery targets come in sizes suitable for younger archers. These targets are smaller, with a shorter width to account for lower draw weights and shorter distances.

    FAQ

    Q. Can all archery targets take arrows from any kind of bow?

    A. No, the density and thickness of the material used in the target determine what kind of bow you should use. However, draw weight and distance from the target have more effect on the effectiveness of the target than the bow. If you have a high draw weight, you’ll need a thicker, tougher target to stop the arrows.

    Q. Can I shoot at foam blocks from an angle?

    A. Yes, you can shoot at foam blocks from an angle. However, because the layers of foam in these targets create friction, shooting at an angle will wear out the foam layers more quickly. There are foam blocks designed to be shot at from several different angles that can withstand this type of shooting better than others.

    Q. Do children need a youth archery target?

    A. Youth targets aren’t absolutely necessary for children. However, the same can’t be said the other way around. Adults, who have higher draw weights than children, are likely to get an arrow stuck or puncture all the way through a youth target. Higher draw weights need thicker, larger targets.

    The team that worked on this review
    • Bronwyn
      Bronwyn
      Editor
    • Devangana
      Devangana
      Web Producer
    • Eliza
      Eliza
      Production Manager
    • Kristin
      Kristin
      Writer
    • Linsay
      Linsay
      Editor
    • Melinda
      Melinda
      Web Producer
    • Stacey
      Stacey
      Writer