For many people taking their first steps into archery and hunting, buying a target is a hefty cost. Most of the high-end models cost upwards of $100. This is especially true if you find a larger target the whole family can use.
Instead of investing in extra equipment apart from your crossbow, it is possible to create homemade targets. The only items you will have to buy are things you may not already have at home.
Below are two easy-to-follow guides to learn how to build an archery target.
This method is recommended for impromptu practice. It is not recommended that you keep this target outdoors, as it is prone to weathering.
Additionally, it may also not be the ideal process for crossbows with high rates of fire. With that being said, it’s the least expensive, perfect for children and teens, and is easy to put together.
As with any process, you first need to gather the right materials. As mentioned, you likely already have most of the items needed at home. However, if not, they are easy to source from your local hardware store or department store.
What you will need for the cardboard box target is:
The second step to learning how to build an archery target is to fill your box. Using the filling that you have chosen, make sure that you pack the box to its brim. If the material is plush, push down on the fill in order to fit more.
Remember, when the lid of the box is closed, the material will push down even further. Once you have fully packed the box, you can then use the duct tape to seal the lid.
Further, it’s recommended that you also seal the edges of the box as well. This helps to add to its overall durability but also prevents excessive moisture buildup.
You will now want to take the tarp and wrap it around the outside of the box. Using the duct tape, you can wrap the tarp tighter so that it doesn’t shift. As you will be drawing targets on the outside of the tarp, it doesn’t matter how much tape is used.
The final step of the process is to paint your target. If you want the circles to be perfect, you can use a household item, such as a bowl, to trace circles. You can also use a math compass to do so.
Once the targets have been traced, use the paint to color in the different rings of your targets. Allow ample time for the paint to try before using your target for the first time.
You should now have a homemade target created. You can use your archery equipment to test the target accordingly. If you find that there isn’t enough stopping power, consider adding heavier fill. You may also want to consider anchoring the box for added durability.
This method is recommended for individuals seeking a higher quality target. It will understandably cost slightly more but will last a far longer time. With the use of items designed to withstand a higher level of impact, it may be a more preferable method.
For the wooden archery target, there are high-quality materials you will need to purchase. You will need to source:
Now that you have all of the materials, you will need to use your saw and wood to cut four three-inch pieces of wood. If you have to weatherproof the wood, it’s recommended that you do so 24 hours in advance.
Once the wood has been cut, use your wood screws and drill to attach the sides together. 3.5” screws should be more than sufficient. Additionally, make sure that you use as many screws as possible to keep the frame together.
The fill hole should be large enough for you to fit your entire hand inside of the box. This will be used for adding and removing stuffing as necessary. It’s also recommended that the hole is placed at the top of the target.
At this point, you should have a fully constructed square. You can now use the nylon window screen and a staple gun to add the screen to the box. This will be used to keep your fill inside of the target. You’ll want to make sure that the screen is held taught while stapled for the best durability.
Using the fill that you have chosen, begin to pack your target. You’ll want to make sure that you get as much material inside as possible. You can use a sledgehammer or another long tool to compress the fill as you add more.
Using the ground cloth or weed barrier and a staple gun, staple the material to the front of the box. Make sure there are approximately two inches of excess material from the edge of the box.
Similar to the wood screws, use as many staples as possible. Repeat this process for the back of the box as well, creating a uniform seal.
This is dependent on personal preference, as you don’t have to follow through with this step. Using excess paint that you have around the house, you can paint additional targets. This can be useful for improving your precision as well as scoring points for at-home tournaments.
By using either of these two methods, you can construct your own targets at home. Though they won’t be as durable as professionally manufactured targets, they’re ideal for beginners. With a few simple items you likely have in your shed or garage, you can learn how to build an archery target.
Jen loves the outdoors and enjoys exploring a wide-range of activities. A mother of 3 whose seen far too many friends suffer from cancer, she believes Pink Crossbow reflects a sport for LIFE. It's a reminder that archery belongs to everyone regardless of age, size, or gender...and real enthusiasts aren't afraid to wear pink!