Written By Daniel Rika
Published Jan. 10, 2020

If you are a bowhunter or simply enjoy target shooting, you will eventually need an archery target. The best outdoor archery targets come in a variety of types and styles. They are designed to work with a particular type of bow, arrow, and broadhead or tip.

It can be difficult to select the right target for your particular purpose. Plus, you need to consider several variables, such as price, durability, and portability. To make the process easier, we have highlighted some of the best archery targets in our buying guide below.

The Best Archery Target

This two-sided block target is available in three sizes: 18, 20, and 22 inches. It features an open-layer design to stop arrows with friction instead of force, which allows you to easily remove them. It also stops broadheads and field tips and stops them without tearing up the block. The high-contrast, white-on-black color makes the target very visible in both short and long distances. It is also very lightweight and portable.

However, it is easier to get the bolt or arrow out once the plastic cools, and you may have to twist or push it to get it free. Also, it may be necessary to remove the broadhead tips on the exit side and grip strongly to remove the arrow shaft.

Key Features
  • 18, 20, or 22 inches
  • Two-sided
  • White-on-black color
  • Made in America
Specification
  • Brand Block Targets
  • Model Block Classic
  • Weight 16 pounds
PROS

Lightweight and portable

Arrows don’t tear up the block

Very visible

CONS

May have to wait until plastic cools to remove arrow

May need to twist arrow to get it free

Removing broadhead tips can be challenging

This archery target is known for its simple two-finger arrow removal. The arrow easily penetrates the plastic sheathing and is easy to remove. It can withstand thousands of shots from compound bows, and the cover is replaceable. The target is very durable, sturdy, and comes with a tote bag for portability. It’s freestanding and highly visible. Also, the coloring and variation on the bag’s surface gives the shooter a variety of points to try and hit.

One issue is, over time, the target may become too soft and start to sag. It can be frustrating to hit the center of any of the bullseyes and see the arrow sag, making a follow-up shot impossible. However, you can turn the target around to expose a good side, and it will take another few hundred impacts.

Key Features
  • Designed for high-speed compound bow
  • Field point only
  • Handle and grommets included
  • Made in America
Specification
  • Brand Morrell
  • Model 1003671
  • Weight 27.4 pounds
PROS

Two-finger arrow removal

Highly visible

Cover is replaceable

CONS

May get too soft 

Arrow may sag, making follow-up shots challenging

The SpyderWeb target is filled with compressed polyester fill, which makes arrow removal easy. There is no need for an arrow puller or arrow lube. It’s compatible with all arrow sizes shot from compound bows, crossbows, and airbows. The target is heavy and sturdy and can withstand the elements. Overall, it’s very well-constructed, and it’s easy to remove bolts.

One drawback is it’s not very portable due to its weight. You also need to make sure to screw in your tips flush each time. If they are even a little bit loose they will “hang” in the target and require significant effort to remove. Also, the target is a little on the pricey side compared to some competitor targets.

Key Features
  • 18 by 18 by 14 inches
  • No speed limit
  • Weatherproof
  • SPYLAR-true self-healing
Specification
  • Brand SpyderWeb Targets
  • Model 181814
  • Weight 34 pounds
PROS

Compatible with all arrow sizes

Heavy and sturdy

Withstands the elements

CONS

Not very portable

If your tips are loose, they will hang in the target and be hard to remove

Expensive

This traditional hand-woven target is a top pick among bow and arrow lovers due to its design. It’s more environmentally friendly than some of its rivals and causes less damage to the arrows. It includes a lanyard to hang it from a tree or rope. It’s also lightweight and easy to carry. The target is sturdy, tight, brightly colored, and well-constructed. The five-layer target is designed to withstand a 30-40 pound draw weight.

Since the target is handmade, sizes may vary slightly. Also, if you use a bladed hunting arrow, the service life of the target will be reduced. In addition, debris may appear during operation, but this is normal for the type of target that it is. Finally, the arrow puller that comes with the target may emit a strong odor.

Key Features
  • Handmade
  • Covered with a silk-made target image
  • Comes in three, five, or seven layers
Specification
  • Brand KAINOKAI
  • Model N/A
  • Weight 9.5 pounds (five-layer target)
PROS

Lightweight and portable

Brightly colored and attractive design

Sturdy and well-constructed

CONS

Bladed hunting arrow will reduce its service life

Sizes may vary because it’s handmade

Arrow puller has a strong odor

This double-duty, free-standing bag includes five traditional bullseyes, nine ball bullseyes, a dartboard game, and deer vitals. The multiple target types on the sides of the cubes are very nice and keep you from getting bored from shooting at the same picture. It can be used with crossbows, compound bows, and airbows. It easily stops the arrows safely, and you can remove them with only two fingers. Its carrying handles make it portable.

However, the bag is a little bulky and heavy to transport. Also, while it may stop arrows from a 400-plus FPS crossbow, it can be difficult to extract the arrows without damage. Also, if your arrows have outserts or collars, they can get caught up in the mesh material that makes up some of the inside of the target.

Key Features
  • 450 FPS of stopping power
  • Replaceable cover
  • Field point only
  • East tote carrying handles
Specification
  • Brand Morrell
  • Model 450FPS
  • Weight 38.2 pounds
PROS

Multiple target types for variety

Easily stops arrows

Portable

CONS

Bulky and heavy

Hard to remove arrows from a 400-plus crossbow

Arrows with outserts or collars may get stuck

Longbow’s bullseye targets are made of heavy paper and conform to strict 40 cm and 80 cm archery standards. The color ring edges are printed to an exact 2 cm and 4 cm from ring edge to ring edge. The paper is heavy enough that you can use it for more than one session. They are easy to use and are visible from a distance, and the matte grey background makes them nice to look at, particularly in the bright sun.

The paper’s weight is just right: not too thick and not too thin. However, some packs may be shipped with damaged edges. Also, they may be a slightly different shade of yellow compared to other brands.

Key Features
  • 40 cm targets
  • Purchase in 8, 20, 50 or 200 packs
  • Printed to official standards
  • Printed on heavy-duty, seven-point archery paper
Specification
  • Brand Longbow Targets
  • Model N/A
  • Weight 12.8 ounces
PROS

Targets can be used more than once

Not too thick or too thin

Very visible

CONS

Edges may be damaged in shipping

Yellow coloring is slightly off

The Hurricane bag includes high-visibility aiming points and off-center deer vitals on the back. The vitals are positioned off-center so they don’t line up with the aiming points on the front, prolonging the bag’s life. It’s built with 1,000 P.S.I. tri-core technology and it has a heavy-duty handle for convenience. The holes close up pretty well after shooting, and the strong stitching holds up well over time.

We must point out that it may not be a good idea to use broadheads on this target, as the blades on the broadheads may cut up the outside of the bag to an excessive degree. Also, it may be hard to pull arrows from the target, and the material inside the target may come out when arrows are removed.

Key Features
  • Two-sided target
  • Available in 20, 25 or 28 inches
  • Heavy-duty handle
  • Made in America
Specification
  • Brand Hurricane by Field Logic
  • Model H-25
  • Weight 33 pounds (28-inch)
PROS

Highly visible aiming points

Holes close up nicely after shooting

Durable

CONS

May be hard to remove certain arrows

Broadheads can cut up the outside

Inside material can come out when arrows are removed

This target is 36 inches in diameter and is made with a 6-inch foam that is 100 percent self-healing. It’s waterproof, UV-resistant, easy to see, and fairly durable.  It is nice and large to catch most of the arrows that aren’t aimed precisely and is great for light use with low velocity children’s bows.

One problem with this target is that if you use a heavier bow, the entire arrow will shoot through it. Also, the arrows can be hard to pull out, and the cover may rip if you grab it too hard when you’re moving the target. It’s also very expensive.

Key Features
  • Foam target
  • Waterproof and UV-resistant
  • Reversible
  • 36 inches in diameter
Specification
  • Brand Bear Archery
  • Model A736
  • Weight 12 pounds
PROS

Self-healing

Easy to see

Great for light use

CONS

Not intended for heavier bows

Arrows may be difficult to remove

Very expensive

Best Archery Target Buying Guide & FAQ

Whether you’re an experienced bowhunter or are new to target shooting, one of the tools that will help you the most is an archery target. In the buying guide below, we’ve examined the specifics that make a good target. We include the various types of targets available, as well as the top features to consider when you’re shopping for one.

We also include some tips to get your started and answer some common questions about archery targets. It’s important to make sure that you make an informed buying decision so you get the best product for the best price.

Why Do You Need An Archery Target

Archery is a great sport and hobby because it does so many positive things involving your mind and body. When you’re shooting an archery target, you are forced to focus and tune out distractions. This can cross over into high-pressure situations you may experience in other areas of your life. Target shooting also boosts your hand-eye coordination and upper-body strength.

When you use an archery target, you’re also making sure your equipment is functioning properly. This is essential if you’re getting ready for hunting season. The last thing you want is for your bow to malfunction when you have a clear shot of a deer or other animal.

Also, the more you practice, the more confident you will be with your shot. Whether you’re a bowhunter or competitor, using an archery target will improve your skills and self-esteem, so you will be ready to take that shot when the moment arises.

Benefits

  • A target can help you improve your aim.
  • You can ensure your equipment is functioning properly.
  • You can boost your hand-eye coordination.
  • A target can help you improve your upper-body strength.
  • You can build confidence.

Types of Archery Targets

There are many different types of archery targets, and they all serve a different purpose. The best archery target for beginners may not be the best one for a more experienced archer. That’s why you need to determine what type of archer you are before you purchase a particular archery target.

  • Bullseye

When most people think of archery targets, the first thing that comes to mind is the traditional ones that feature a giant bullseye right in the middle. A typical bullseye target is round and features traditional colors: white, black, blue, red, and yellow. They also tend to be on the larger side, which some archers prefer.

Some people are drawn to these types of targets because of the nostalgia factor. They are a lot of fun and are very useful. However, they aren’t always as durable or portable as some other types of targets.

  • 3D

Archery 3D targets are designed in the shape of an animal. You can get them in a variety of sizes, and popular ones include bucks and hogs, but you can also get targets shaped like woodchucks, raccoons, skunks, turkeys, and even make-believe goblins. The best 3D archery targets are a lot of fun and are typically used by 3D archers and hunters.

3D targets are acceptable for target shooting, but they’re not designed for this function. There are other types of targets that are much more suitable for target shooting. 3D targets can also be costly, depending on their size.

  • Bags

One of the most common types of targets for those who use a compound bow is a bag. Bag targets are particularly good for beginners because they feature a large surface area, which makes them easier to hit. One downside is the circles may be smaller on a bag than a traditional target. This can make them harder to hit from a longer distance if you’re new to the sport.

Bag targets are usually portable, and you can carry them in your vehicle or easily store them in your garage when they’re not in use. They are very durable and can withstand hundreds of shots. They are usually weatherproof and can withstand the elements.

  • Cubes

Cube targets are shaped like cubes. Some brands feature targets on several of the sides. This enables the archer to shoot at the target from a variety of angles and heights. Many hunters use this type of target for practice. They are constructed of foam, which makes them very light and portable.

One drawback is that they tend to lose their shape, and if you focus on one side, it may get pushed in a few inches. Another issue is that broadheads or arrows from bows with high draw weight may get stuck in the cube. This, ultimately, may affect the target’s lifespan.

What to Look for When Buying an Archery Target

As we just mentioned, there are a variety of different types of archery targets available. These targets also have different features. It’s up to you to determine which features are the most important. However, some features are critical in ensuring that your target lasts a long time and doesn’t prematurely fail.

  • Self-Healing Material

If you want a target to last a long time, check to see that it is made with a self-healing material. The best archery target material tends to be foam, rubber, or rubber foam. After you shoot an arrow into the target and pull it out, the material shrinks and collapses together. It then appears as thought you never shot an arrow at the target.

A self-healing feature prolongs the lifespan of the target, even if you use recurve or compound bows, which can do a lot of damage. However, over time and if you shoot the same spot repeatedly, the target will eventually stop healing itself.

  • Thickness

The thicker a target is, the better it will perform, and the longer it will last. Everyone wants the best archery target for the money, and one way to ensure you achieve this is by purchasing a product that is going to last for a long time. Look for targets that have multiple layers, that are very thick, and that are made of high-quality materials.

Also, make sure the target is durable because shooting it isn’t the only way it can fall apart. If you leave the target outside in inclement weather, it will eventually degrade. The stronger and thicker it is, the better.

  • Easy Arrow Removal

The best target for archery is one that fosters easy arrow retrieval. It’s much easier to remove arrows from some targets compared to others. The last thing you want is to purchase an archery bag target or other type of target and have problems removing the arrows. A stuck arrow is frustrating to remove, and it can damage the target itself.

Foam targets tend to be the biggest offenders. It can take a lot of time removing the arrows, and you really don’t want to spend half of your practice time trying to extract broadhead arrows from the target faces.

  • Size and Portability

This is a personal preference and is also based on your skills and experience. You need to buy a target that matches your accuracy. For example, if you struggle hitting small targets, then you should buy bigger ones. This may involve some trial and error as you determine what size target works best for your skillset.

Another thing to keep in mind is whether you need or want to transport the target. If you plan on taking it out of the garage every time you use it, then it should be portable and relatively lightweight. Also, look to see if it comes with carrying handles.

  • Arrow Compatibility

Not all archery targets are made for all types of arrows. If you’re looking for the best archery target for broadheads, for example, make sure the target can withstand the impact. Otherwise, you can waste a lot of money because arrows can get damaged on the target’s material.

In addition, if you purchase a target with just one large bullseye, you will end up grouping all your arrows together. This can cause them to split or break. To avoid this, choose a target with multiple bullseyes. That way, you can aim for different ones and avoid grouping all the arrows in one spot.

Tips for Buying and Using an Archery Target

Once you have your bow and arrows, you are ready to start shooting (almost). There are several things you need to keep in mind before you aim for the bullseye. First, you need to make sure that it is legal to use a bow outside in the area in which you are practicing. You also need to build a backstop that will stop all the arrows that miss the target.

After you select a target that is compatible with the type of bow you are using, you need to determine what your ability is. This will determine how far away the target needs to be placed. We know you’re raring to go, but it’s important to follow a few precautions to ensure your safety and that of everyone around you.

  • Make sure that your city or town allows you to discharge arrows outside; otherwise, you may need to go to an indoor shooting range or create a space inside your garage or basement.
  • Build a backstop so it can catch all the arrows that miss the target. A backstop keeps arrows from damaging property, people, and pets.
  • The type of archery target you use is dependent on the type of bow you’re using. You will use a different target for a traditional bow versus a compound bow, for example.
  • The best way to improve your aim and accuracy is through practice. The more you practice, the better you will get.
  • If you’re a beginner, start at a shorter distance, and then gradually add 5 yards of distance at a time to improve your shot.
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Best Archery Target FAQ:

Archery is a lot of fun, but you should do a little bit of research before you jump into it because you want to make sure that you are safe and that you don’t waste your money on products that don’t serve your purpose. We answer some commonly asked questions about archery targets below.

Q: Can’t I just make my own archery target with material I have at home?

Yes. However, while you can use clothing, hay, or foam to make a homemade archery target, it likely won’t have a long lifespan and may damage your arrows.

Q: How long do archery targets last?

That depends on a variety of factors, including the quality of the target. Many brands claim to withstand hundreds, if not thousands, of shots. Also, targets that are less exposed to the elements may last longer than those that sit outside for prolonged periods of time.

Q: What is inside an archery bag target?

Bag targets are usually filled with synthetic fiber that is designed to stop the arrow yet allow it to be easily removed.

Our Top Pick

Our pick for the best archery target is the Block Classic Archery Target. Block Targets is one of the most popular brands in the industry and for good reason. The two-sided target comes in three different sizes and is designed for easy arrow removal. The target is also very visible and reasonably priced.

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Sources:

  1. Archery Drills to Help You Stay on Target – Prime Archery
  2. Why 3D Archery Will Make You a Better Bowhunter – QDMA

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