Getting into archery can be a very enjoyable and rewarding experience. Whether you choose to hunt for live animals or shoot at an inanimate target, there are a few things to consider. What equipment you use will depend on the type of archery you want to do and you will need to check state regulations if you are hunting game.
Once you have completed the somewhat daunting task of choosing your bow and arrows, you now need something to shoot at. You may decide to shoot on a range, in which case there are certain types of targets available. If you’re up for hunting game, then you’re going to need to practice first. This means you will still need an artificial target to aim at.
Why You Should Use a Straw Archery Target
You can use a 3D foam target, or even a basic paper one. Both of these have their positives and negatives. Foam targets are usually self-healing and will not damage your arrows. They can come in the shape of certain game, to make practice more realistic. Paper targets are cheap but cannot be re-used and need to be attached to some sort of backing in order to be used.
Some targets are made out of straw, which is made from dried marsh grass or some other form of grass or grain stalks woven into ropes. These ropes are then used to wrap the target. Straw targets are typically used in competitive archery, which is very popular these days. Thanks to the US archery teams’ success at the Rio Olympics this year, more and more people are becoming interested in the sport.
They can have various faces but the most common target face used in competitive archery is the circular one with multiple concentric rings marked out. Each ring is spaced evenly apart and marked with different score zones. They typically have 1 to 10 marked out for competitive archery and the inner ring is known as either the X or 10 ring. You can buy a square shaped straw target, or you can buy a thicker circular straw block, and attach a paper face to it.
If you would rather make your own straw archery target, you can make a wooden frame and fill it with some compressed straw. You will need to buy the wood from a local hardware store and get the right tools for the job, so it may be worth speaking to an expert at an archery store.
If your DIY skills are not up to the task and you decide to buy a straw target, there are various ones to choose from. You will need a stand and target face to go with it.
Straw Archery Targets and Target Stands Review
A good choice is the Coast Athletic 36” Diameter Straw Archery Target. This is a good quality, durable target filled with compressed straw. The poly burlap lasts longer than any other type of cover material and it measures 36” in diameter and 5” in width. It weighs 20lbs and will not absorb and water, making it ideal for outdoor use.
You can choose to shoot directly at the straw target, or you can attach a target face to it. A good choice for this particular straw archery target cover is the Hawkeye Archery Slip-On Round Target Face. It has the traditional 10 concentric rings, in yellow, red, blue, black and white.
This fabric cover can easily be installed over a straw target and the vibrant colors make it easy to zero in on the middle. The drawstring feature ensures it fits snugly to your target, to give a better surface for your arrows to penetrate. It is more durable than paper covers but it is worth noting that this is not a self-healing material, so you will need to replace it after a while.
If you do not want to spend money on a new face regularly, you could paint the straw target with the same design as a traditional target face. Just make sure you use weather-proof paint and keep the rings evenly spaced.
Bear Tripod Archery Target Stand Review
Straw targets are most suitable for lower poundage bows and they hold the arrow tight upon impact. They will need to be fixed to something, typically a stand of some kind.
A tripod stand is typically made from wood or metal and has three legs. One that is particularly recommended is the Bear Archery Tripod Target Stand. It is a heavy-duty black powder coated tripod and is suitable for standard size targets.
It is lightweight and can be easily transported, so you can take this anywhere you like. Some archers prefer to practice at home, whereas others like to go out into the woods to get a more authentic archery experience. It is a very stable stand, able to withstand even the fastest arrow impacts. This is useful due to modern bows being quicker than ever before.
Hawkeye Monster Archery Target Stand Review
Another type of archery target stand is the Hawkeye Monster Archery Target Stand. It is adjustable to fit targets between 30” and 50” and is constructed from galvanized steel. It is mounted on 6” heavy duty wheels to allow for easy transportation and together with the target is light enough to roll around with no trouble.
Bear All-in-one archery kit for Beginner
An excellent package for this type of archery is the Bear Archery All-In-One Archery Cart. Bear Archery was founded over 5 years ago by Fred Bear, an avid marksman and craftsman himself. This set is an excellent choice for beginners, looking to practice their shooting skills and get to grips with their first bow.
This comes with 3 foam targets and 3 36” 10 ring target faces, which you can attach to the 3 tripod target stands. The set also includes 3 Titan bows, 3 Firebird bows, 6 armguards, 6 pairs of shooting gloves and 3 ground quivers. The cart is made from rugged steel tubing, with an all-weather resistant Zinc plated hardware.
What better way to get started in target archery, than to buy a complete set? You will be set to go with this one and as you hone your shooting skills, you can then try other types of targets and arrows to see which you prefer.
If you do decide to go ahead with a straw target and stand, you will not be disappointed. You will get hours of practice from them and you will be an accurate marksman in no time.