Hunting is a really great way to get outdoors and enjoy nature in the most primitive of ways. What could be better than just you, your bow and arrows and the woods? The fresh air you breathe in, the sounds of the wild and the twigs cracking underfoot as you track an animal, the end prize and the feeling of satisfaction when you get it.
Target archery is also extremely popular, especially in both America and Europe. This is where the archer uses a bow and arrow to shoot at a stationary object and it can be from a whole range of distances. When this is done in the woods, it is referred to as field archery.
Any type of bow can be used, including a compound, recurve, barebow, longbow or crossbow. Crossbows have become incredibly popular in recent years, thanks in part to their appearance in popular culture. They have also won over many keen archers due to their speed and power.
Essential read: Beginner guide to bow hunting
Competitive target archery has rules and etiquettes which must be followed, including if a target falls or blows over, the shot may not count. In this situation, a solid, sturdy target is imperative.
A target can also be used by hunters, looking to hone their skills and perfect their aim. They can use any sort of target for this, as the principle is still the same. However to get a better sense of what you are shooting it, the best one for hunters is a 3D game target.
Below are some of the best archery targets for different reasons and they all have their own benefits.
The Best Archery Target Comparison Table
To help you save time, we have put together a comparison table of all the archery targets that we discuss below:
The Best 3D Archery Targets
These types of targets are usually shaped like the animal you want to hunt and the 3D shape allows you to really get a sense of the angles needed. Some have the vital organs marked out, known as the kill zone, to help you perfect that vital (and ethical) kill shot. They can be more cumbersome than other types of targets, so bear this in mind.
Essential read: The best 3D targets in the market
Rinehart Woodland Buck
You can’t decide on a 3D target, without first considering one of Rinehart offerings. They have an incredible range, including deer, elk, bears, boars and more. They even have some fun targets to get the kids interested, such as an alligator or even a stegosaurus!
The Woodland Buck is one of the best 3D targets in the market right now, due to the excellent reputation of the manufacturer and the incredible durability of the product. It is made from self-healing foam and features a removable vitals section, so that when you eventually wear it out you can easily replace it.
You can shoot any type of arrow at it, from almost any bow or crossbow, for it will withstand impacts of up to 350fps. Perfect for today’s high performance models.
GlenDel Full-Rut Buck
This simulates a 300lb live weight deer, so you can be sure of a realistic experience of hunting larger game. The best feature on this target is the 4 sided core, which offers you 10 times more shooting surface than any other target. Once you have killed all 4 sides, then you can buy a new insert and start all over again.
Made with Polyfusion technology, the layers are fused into place and hold their position well. This leads to a much more durable product, as well as easy arrow retrieval.
It stands at 67” tall and 37” at the shoulder, giving you a really big target to hone those skills.
Field Logic Big Buck Shooter
This is a lovely realistic looking 3D deer target, perfect for taking into the woods with you for a more authentic experience. The closed-cell compression core is bigger than that in many other models, so it is easier to replace when the time comes.
It is not quite true to life when it comes to size but it still offers a great target to shoot at, whatever angle you’re going for. It stands at 33” shoulder height and features removable legs, making it perfect for fitting in the boot of a car or truck.
Rinehart Tom Turkey
Another great product from Rinehart is the Tom turkey 3D target. It measures 30” from the tip of the beak to the tip of the tail and gives you something realistic to practice with. Made from top quality self-healing foam, it comes with vitals and scoring rings.
It is weatherproof and the design is so realistic, even other turkeys may be fooled! Therefore you could even use this target as a decoy when in the field. You can shoot high speed arrows and bolts and it will still stand tall. Arrow retrieval is easy and you won’t need to use any lubricants. It will withstand hits from aluminum, carbon or wood arrows.
The Best 3D Broadhead Targets
The best archery targets for using with broadheads are sturdy and self-healing, for broadheads are designed to do a lot of damage. It’s no good shooting at something which either falls over or apart. They will hold the arrow well, so you may need to use a tool to retrieve them.
Essential read:The best foam archery target
Rinehart 18-1 Broadhead Target
This is the best archery target for anyone wanting to really work on their angles, for it has 18 sides to choose from. You can stand at any distance, from any angle, and still have a target to aim for. It is manufactured from the legendary Rinehart self-healing foam, meaning it keeps it shape and gives you greater durability.
It features an easy to carry handle and is lightweight, so you can either practice in your own back yard or venture out into the woods. It is designed to withstand multiple impacts from hard, fast arrows and is perfect for the hunter practicing with broadheads.
Rinehart Rhino Block XL Target
This 3D box shaped target is manufactured from self-healing foam and features two broadhead sides, as well as four field point sides, to give greater choice. It is incredibly durable and the rope handle makes it easy to transport.
There are holes included, allowing you to hoist it up into the air for a different shooting experience. Arrow retrieval is easy and the target self-heals in seconds, meaning you can shoot again and again without needing to wait.
Two sides feature 3D deer vitals, with one of them having the organs outlined and there are a total of 40 high-visibility target zones to aim for on the other four sides.
The Best Crossbow Targets
Crossbow targets should be strong, durable and able to withstand impacts from fast, powerful arrows and bolts.
Morrell Double Duty 400 FPS Field Point Archery Bag Target
This vibrant bag target is designed to withstand impacts of up to 400fps, making it ideal for today’s high speed crossbows that really pack a punch. It features a nucleus center and an internal frame system for greater durability and is 100% weatherproof.
The E-Z tote handle makes it easy to carry and you won’t need a stand due to the shape. Arrow retrieval is easy and won’t damage the bag.
This is the best archery target for variety, as it features a dartboard game, a 9 Ball game, a Bull’s Eye and realistic vitals to aim at. This makes it suitable for hunters, target archers and kids alike.
Hurricane Crossbow Discharge Bag
This high visibility bag target measures 12” x 12” x 12” and has a strap handle to make it easy to carry. It features Hurricane’s proprietary tri-core technology, meaning this bag won’t let you down. The aiming points are clearly marked and there are two grommets, making it easy to hang this bag.
Bolt retrieval is easy and won’t damage the bag, meaning you can simply discharge your crossbow bolts into it after you’ve finished your hunt. This is more suited to lower speed crossbows, as arrows shot from a high speed one may go all the way through.
The Best Bag Targets
Bag targets are good for either placing against something on the ground or hanging up to give a different angle to practice. They aren’t the most exciting targets to look at but they serve their purpose well.
Morrell Super Duper Field Point Archery Bag Target
This fantastic bag target features an internal frame system, designed to give the target stability. It also has a multi-layered density design and is weatherproof, making it a very durable product. So you can leave this target outside in between uses and it won’t spoil.
This solid, well-made target stops arrows shot up to 350fps from crossbows and compound bows alike. Arrow retrieval is easy and won’t damage the bag. It has a handle to make it easier to transport around and weighs about 32lbs. You can buy a replacement cover, increasing its lifespan even more.
Morrell Supreme Range Field Point Archery Bag Target
Another fantastic offering from Morrell, this target is heavy duty and tough enough to withstand multiple high speed impacts. It features a nucleus center for incredible stopping power and the internal frame system gives great stability and durability.
It is 100% weatherproof and features the traditional circular target face, allowing you to shoot at different zones for points. It has 4 grommets, making it easy to hang up, and arrow retrieval is easy. There is a cover available for when it isn’t in use and is perfect for all the family to have fun practicing their aim.
The Best Circular Targets
Circular targets are perfect for anyone practicing competitive archery or looking to perfect their aim, for they can aim for the small bullseye in the middle. These are not always as durable as other types of targets, so a self-healing one may be best.
Bear Archery Foam Target
This lovely circular target from Bear Archery is constructed from 100% self-healing foam, so once you’ve retrieved your arrow the hole will close up. Arrow retrieval is easy and your arrows won’t be damaged in any way.
These targets are extremely durable, being waterproof and UV resistant, as well as being impervious to insects. The target is printed on both sides, giving you double the life span of a normal circular target. It is printed with the standard ten rings, so you can practice on perfecting your aim and keep score as you do.
Archery Vegas Targets by Longbow
For anyone wanting to practice with a traditional circular target, this range from Longbow targets is a great choice. There is either a 3 SPOT or 5 SPOT version to choose from and they adhere to the strict 40 and 80cm archery standards.
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Made from heavy paper, these are not as durable as self-healing targets, but they do offer something different and are incredibly easy to transport around with you. You will need to secure a paper target face to a backing or stand or some sort.
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.
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.
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.
The Best Targets for Beginners
Targets for beginners should be easy to use and ideally not too expensive, for you may want to progress to a new target for more highly-skilled archers at some point.
Drew Polystyrene Foam Archery Target
This is a great target for beginners and younger archers. There are various circular targets on the different sides of the block and they differ in size, giving you a choice of what to aim for. The larger target is ideal for beginners and as you increase your skill level, you can aim for the smaller ones.
It is particularly recommended for low poundage bows under 40lbs, which makes it perfect for children or archers with a smaller frame. It is extremely lightweight, making it easy to transport about, but you will need to lean it against something to keep it sturdy.
Make sure you don’t use broadheads or faster speed bows, or you will kill it!
Birchwood Casey 37485 Eze-Scorer Elk Paper Target
This is a lovely paper target because it features a photo of an elk, with the vitals marked. This gives you a more interesting choice of paper target but is a lot cheaper to use than a 3D deer target. This makes it ideal for those just starting out or for anyone who isn’t sure if they want to pursue it as a hobby yet.
It has been tested for quality and durability and made from the highest quality heavy paper. The vitals are not true to scale but they do provide you with something specific to aim at.
Whichever style of target you choose, you must be sure that is fit for purpose, durable and good quality. It may be a good idea to use more than one type, to practice different skills with different types of arrows.