5 Best Material For Archery Targets: 2024 Guide

Finding the best archery targets these days depends on lots of factors including the 

  • Durability 
  • Type of the target
  • Thickness
  • Ease of use
  • Size of the target
  • Compatibility of arrow 

As we know, archery enthusiasts and committed hunters are highly focused on choosing the best material for archery targets. They require archery targets that are sturdy and may last for a longer time frame or can be reusable. At the same time, the archery target should be simple to use, and there shouldn’t be any struggle while retrieving the arrows.


Primary Terminology

The term bale is the target and material it is composed of. It involves cloth rags, straw, hay, foam scraps, layers of high-density plastic foam. Many archers also form compressed hay bales for archery or compressing carpets, cardboard, newspaper, or old cloth.

The term face is the target made up of paper and is attached to the bale. These types of archery targets come in various sizes, including 40-, 60-, 80- and 122-centimeter diameters. So all you need is to have a bale large enough to fit the face of the chosen target.

Useful Tip: The beginners should practice with a big bale with a large target face to make sure that they don’t ruin or lose the arrows that skip the mark.


Identification Of Your Requirements

Your archery equipment and objectives are the determinants of the target you require. It depends on the factors such as:

  • Will you practice shooting daily, weekly, or monthly?
  • Will you shoot outdoors or indoors?
  • Are you shooting compound bows or recurves?
  • Are you drawing 50 pounds or 15? 

The answers to these questions will allow you to choose the right archery targets. Let us evaluate your options.

Hay bales for archery are composed of herbaceous plants that were chopped, dried and tied together. They are ideal for beginners because of their affordability and bigger size. Arrows can also penetrate them easily.


Best Material For Archery Targets

The archers have to shoot all sorts of targets such as block targets, block targets, little targets, big targets, 3-D targets etc. Therefore, the archery market has various types of archery targets that come in various styles and sizes.

Therefore, you have to find the suitable one for you. Below are some of the points that may help you find the right type of archery targets.


Hay Bales Target

Hay bales for target practice do get destroyed outdoors or may get munched by animals; therefore, you will require to replace them more often.

However, you can easily buy hay bales for archery from the markets that cater to farmers and gardeners. These include Lowe’s, Walmart, Tractor Supply Co., Mills Fleet Farm and The Home Depot. You may consult their website to inquire about hay bales for target practice.


  • Affordable
  • Easily Available


  • Require often replacement
  • Can get deteriorate outdoors quickly

Bag Targets Option

The bag targets include woven polypropylene, which is a thick shell filled with plastic-foam scraps or cotton. They are inexpensive, mid-sized, and easy-to-find targets ideal for novice compound archers. In addition, due to easy portability, they can be moved inside quickly to avoid sunny or rainy weather degrading the material.

Recurved archers and youth may find that the arrows can’t penetrate the tough, pliable surface of the bag. The beginners may struggle to hit smaller targets with these.

You must mount or hang the bag targets from the ground to avoid downward shooting at them. You are required to secure these bags in a good manner so that they don’t fall back or tip forward onto the arrows.


  • Inexpensive and Portable
  • Mid-Sized
  • Easy Availability


  • Arrows don’t penetrate easily due to tough, pliable surface
  • It needs to be mounted or hung above the ground

Layered Foam Block Targets

As the name shows, layered foam targets are composed of plastic-foam layers. They are ideal for archers who practice shooting daily. They don’t shed residue than bag targets and hold up quite well unless you train with broadheads.

However, you must not leave these archery targets outdoors and avoid shooting at the same spot each day because such action can weaken the target and minimize its lifespan.


  • Don’t shed residue
  • It Holds up well daily trainers


  • These targets can’t be left outside
  • Shooting at the same spot each day can weaken the target

Solid Foam Block Targets

Solid foam targets are great as they can handle daily shooting repetitively done by advanced archers because they are composed of high-density plastic foam. In addition, they possess a long-term life span and can bear various weather conditions that make them suitable for outdoor usage.

Many modular foam targets include replaceable sections. These can easily renew their lifespan after various shooting sessions are done. Although these targets are expensive, their high-end designs make them last sustainably.


  • High-Quality Targets
  • Can handle daily shooting 
  • Long lifespan
  • Suitable for outdoors
  • Includes replaceable sections


  • Expensive

3-D Targets

3-D targets are considered the best for bowhunting training. These are life-sized animal targets that allow the bowhunters to gain the required experience and perspective by shooting at the spots not marked by the bull’s eye. In addition, you can easily position them to enhance the various hunting scenarios.

A 3-D target allows you to analyze your placement of shots to make sure that shots are clean and ethical from multiple angles. These targets can prove to be expensive. But many people can easily handle broadheads. They also include replaceable inserts designed for their vital sections.

Make sure you set up a backstop for the occasional missed behind your 3-D target. For this purpose, a big piece of plywood or particleboard is enough.


  • Life-sized targets
  • It allows you to analyze your shots
  • Offers various replaceable inserts for vital sections
  • Can be easily positioned as required


  • Expensive

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