What target is best for me?

So you might have got a bow for Christmas and are wondering if you can get a target to do some practice. What works and what doesn’t? How much will they cost? How long do they last?  Well all the answers to  these questions are dependent on what you are shooting or wanting to accomplish. Archery targets come in all shapes and sizes. As with everything there are merits and flaws for all but I’m going to try and summarise my thoughts and offer some factors to consider if you are thinking of investing in one for yourself or club.
I’m going to look at 3 types of targets
  • Bag bosses
  • Layered foam bosses
  • 3D targets
Mybo bag target

Mybo bag target

Bag bosses

These comprise of a bag made from a plastic weave similar to builders rubble bags and are packed with pieces of foam, fabric and plastic wrapping. They are normally the cheapest option and come in a couple of different sizes. I’ve had a couple of different ones of these over the years.
I’ve found they are good for low to medium poundage bows. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend them for compound or crossbow archers as the arrows would quickly wear them out.
This brings me to the downside which is the bag material itself can get shot out as you shoot the centre. The bag material can be replaced or patched as I’ve known a few clubs to use old builders rubble sacks for coverings. I wrote a review of the Mybo bag boss a while back.
Being a boss you can pin different faces in them as required and this does help with spreading the wear and tare.
Overall they work pretty well for light usage and we’ve bought a couple for the club to use at have a go events and occasional use.

Layered foam bosses

Target Boss

Layered foam bosses are very common on most field courses and consist of layers of thin foam with a wood frames on two of  the long  sides that are then bound together. Mine have been out for a couple of years and still work well.
While more expensive than bag bosses they do work for heavier poundage bows.  Normal sizes are 90 x 90 cm or 130cm x 130cm.
The advantage of these is you can pin any target face on them, so this makes them versatile .
Things to consider are
  • The wooden frames rotting over time as the wood is not always pressure treated. We’ve used fence preserver on ours to help them last longer and disguising or camouflaging the frames so they are less obvious.
  • Try to avoid setting shots so arrows enter at an angle to the layers as this promotes the foam being torn or damaged more quickly.
  • Over time the banding can slacken so you may need to re-tighten or replace the banding.
  • The boss can get the heart shot out, with foam sheets tearing over time. A solution to this is to dismantle the target and move the torn sheets to the side and less damaged ones inward then rebind them.
  • Make sure the wood frame is on the side of the boss and not top & bottom. You don’t want an arrow to glance off the wood and fly high.
Its a common practice to repair these bosses and sometimes you’ll find you might be repairing 2 or 3 of them at a time. The end result being two usable bosses and the damaged sheets being used to stuff bag bosses.

3D targets

3D target set up for shoot off

3D target set up for shoot off

3D targets look great and can prove very useful if you are training for hunting or maybe a specific tournament. The downside is they can be expensive with a decent 3D deer costing a few hundred pounds. They are also pretty limited as unlike foam or bag bosses you can’t pin a different target face up and shoot that.
They can be repaired when they get shot out and there are some good YouTube videos covering this. Greg at 3D archery YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4HdCXofIA4jsWi1q9AdBUA) has run a series on repairing a variety of 3ds.
I feel that some of the smaller 3ds are not worth the money as they will get shot out quickly or are so hard lighter poundage bows struggle to penetrate.
A quick Google search will show there are several manufacturers of 3Ds,  Gamut (https://3dtargets.co.uk/), Rinehart (https://www.rinehart3d.com/), Delta McKenzie (https://dmtargets.com/) are just a few. All of them are now offering a variety from raccoons to grizzly bears.
Rinehart targets whilst expensive do provide the option of replacement centres which are sold separately. Not all manufacturers do this so.
Personally for my home range I have a couple of layered foam bosses which work well for practice and coaching. I’ve also got a couple of bag bosses but they need to be repaired.
Anyway I hope this has proved to be helpful. If you have any comments or feel I’ve missed something then let me know.
Thanks for reading
Hot-melt glue softening over gas ring

Top Tip when using Hot-Melt glue stick

I thought I would share a quick tip I’ve learnt from using Bohning Ferr-L-Tite Hot Melt Glue Stick.

Hot-Melt comes in a stick of approximately 3 inch / 75mm in length. You heat it up and as it melts you apply it to the arrows pile / point and then insert the point into or onto the shaft depending on the style of point, before the glue sets. It is pretty popular with many archers as due to the low melting point of the glue it is easy to warm it up and remove pile if required.

The problem is as you use the glue stick it gradually gets shorter and shorter, making it harder to hold over the flame. You normally end up holding the stub with a pair of pliers and run the risk of covering them in glue. To overcome this I can came up with a simple trick  of using a long wood screw that I screwed into one end of the glue stick stub to use this as a handle.

Hot-melt glue stub with a long wood screw attached

Hot-melt glue stub with a long wood screw attached

These kept my fingers away from the flame, allowing me to hold the glue securely, as opposed to having to use a pair of pliers. It is a simple tip and I’ve found it works well.

Hot-melt glue softening over gas ring

Hot-melt glue softening over gas ring

One other thing is make sure you don’t melt glue over your cooker as chances are if you do you’ll be in trouble.

I hope you find this of use and thanks for reading.

NFAS national championships information

Just a quick note for those heading to the NFAS National championships that the organisers have made a couple of announcements, it is worth being aware of.

Camping/admin location can be found using this postcode OX7 3HN for Cornbury Park (51°51’39.6″N 1°31’18.6″W)

Registration is an early starts for all attending

Saturday registration opens  8:00 am and closes at  9:00 am, sharp. Earlier on Sunday starting at 7:00 am to 8:00 am again be there and registered or no shooting

Parking / driving on site  – The organisers have warned about parking and driving on site as no vehicles are to be driven on the recently laid landing strip by order of the estate. Vehicles for camping and car parking must use the dedicated matted entrance and egress, and observe the signs; failure to do so will result in us being asked to vacate the event so please observe this restriction.

Good luck all and thanks for reading.