Stay sharp, all year round.
By Trent Jonas
Bowhunting seasons, especially for big game, tend to be short. So, it’s important to keep your archery skills sharp between seasons. It’s not always convenient to head out to a range, so it makes a lot of sense to keep a target or two at home to hone your skills when you have a few extra minutes. Here are a half-dozen high-quality targets that you can practice on at home.
The Yellow Jacket YJ-450 Plus archery target from Morrell is a bag target, a cube target, or four different targets—all in one easy to store package. The freestanding Yellow Jacket is approved for compound bows, airbows, and crossbows, as well as recurve bows, and is capable of stopping arrows traveling at speeds in excess of 450 feet per second. The nucleus center and internal frame system technology make for extreme durability, so the Yellow Jacket has a longer life than many similar targets.
At 48 inches tall, the Feradyne Shooter Buck target is smaller than a real buck, but mimics the anatomy perfectly, so you have to be even more accurate on the target than you are in the field. This makes the Shooter Buck ideal for sharpening your deer hunting prowess. Replaceable inserts are available for the critical target core, so you don’t have to buy a whole new target once you’ve riddled one with arrows (unless, even after that many shots, your aim is still off). Even better, the Shooter Buck is as popular as it is because it is one of the most affordable 3D buck targets on the market.
Rinehart advertises its 18-1 (“18 tp 1”) Target alone of the longest-lasting archery targets on the market. The company is so confident in the 18-1’s durability, in fact, that it guarantees the target for a full year. The source of this confidence is the “self-healing” foam from which the target is constructed. The 18-1 has a lot more going for it than durability, however. It’s lightweight, with a built-in handle, and (as the name implies) offers 18 highly-visible target zones in different shapes and sizes, so you’re sure to be challenged anytime you pull out the bow for some practice.
The Field Logic GlenDel Full Rut Buck 3-D Target is another popular 3D entry that offers bowhunters a good simulation of a deer to get them ready for the season. The target stands 37 inches at the should and designed to emulate the shape of a 300-pound (live weight) whitetail buck. The insert is cube that measures 14 inches on each side. It can be rotated within the target, so you can use all four sides, which means the target will last longer. The offset shooting zones also contribute to a longer target life.
The 20x20 Blob Target (you guess it, 20 inches square) is another bag-style target with a long (1 year) guarantee based on its durability. Blob targets are not particularly fancy, rather their primary selling point is longevity. The target is cube shaped, and each of the six sides can be used to hone your skills. At around 70 pounds, the 20x20 Blob is not going to blow away in the wind, either.
Broad Force targets are designed for ease of use, durability and affordability. The Mega measures 20 inches wide and high and 14 inches deep and comes with a built-in rope handle. Broad Force uses a lightweight polyurethane polymer, so the Mega weighs in at only 20 pounds—but it can handle arrows traveling at speeds up to 400 feet per second. The target’s self-healing technology offers years of durability for a lot of offseason archery practice.