March 22, 2016
By Tony J. Peterson
When I daydream, I go big. It's that way for bucket-list hunts as well as a truly huge backyard target range. My current house doesn't allow it, but someday I'll live somewhere that I can set up several archery targets at various ranges. I'll probably set up a treestand to shoot from and since I'm not bound to reality yet, a ground blind to shoot from as well.
I don't know too many bowhunters who wouldn't like a similar setup in their backyard so that they could hone their skills all year long. I've already alluded to the fact that space is an issue with this dream, but so is funding. Good archery targets are not all that cheap most of the time, so picking up a dozen is not a realistic option for most of us.
That doesn't mean that all of the good bowhunting backstops out there will break the bank, however. There are some killer options out there that will cost less than $100. And at these prices, you can afford to pick up one here, one there, and slowly build up a good collection of targets with which to pepper your backyard or deer camp.
Following are six targets worthy of your budget-conscious consideration.
3D Shooters 3-Target Value Pack | Retail $99
Most 3D targets carry serious price tags, but not these. In fact, this 3 Target Value Pack might be the best deal in the target market. It contains a muskrat, prairie dog, and rabbit targets that are anchored to the ground via eight-inch stakes. They look like they are perfect for youth shooters - and they are - but these targets are also tough enough to handle arrows fired from bows set at up 70 pounds of draw weight. And honestly, if you want to become a really good bow shot, there is no better way to do it than to sit back and take aim at a small target. If you can lay accurate arrows on these targets, you'll have no problem perforating the lungs of real, live animals during the season.
American Whitetail, Inc. Torrent | Retail $80
In 2015 American Whitetail released their HybriMAT NoWear targets, a line that caught on quickly with diehard archers. For 2016, they've expanded the lineup to include the new Torrent, which is designed to handle impacts from thousands and thousands of arrows thanks to its BallistiCORE center. Measuring 18 x 18 x 12 inches, the Torrent is truly portable and provides one-hand arrow removal for all arrows shot from vertical bows. Better yet? This target retails for only $80, making it an ideal choice for anyone who likes to have a high-quality traveling target with them at all times.
Cabela's Barricade XD Archery Target | Retail $80
Welded-core technology eliminates pass throughs on this made-in-the-USA target, while still providing for ease in arrow removal. To ensure years of life, the Barricade provides four sides of shooting and can handle field points and broadheads. This target tips the scales at only 10 pounds and is designed with a webbed handle for ease-in-portability. Perhaps the biggest selling point behind this target is that it's yours for a cool $80, which means you won't even have to burn up all of your Club Card points to get it.
Delta McKenzie Wedgie | Retail $55
Here is the one and only time in life where it is okay to give yourself a Wedgie. Seriously, give yourself one. They are only $55 and are rated for high-speed vertical bows. The folks naming this target not only had a sense of humor, but also chose the moniker given its unique shape, which allows it to stay upright while shooting on all types of surfaces. The field-tip approved Wedgie also happens to feature black-and-white target facing, which is ideal for anyone looking to stretch out their practice sessions and drop some long-distance bombs.
Hips Archery Targets Pro Series 12-Pack | Retail $70
There are an awful lot of targets advertising four sides of shooting, but if you were to inquire about six-sided shooting surfaces you'd likely hear crickets. And then you'd hear Hips targets pipe up, because their targets - like the new 12-Pack - offer true six-sided shooting. This greatly increases the overall shooting surface, and also happens to greatly increase target life. The 12-Pack measures 12 x 12 x 13 inches and weighs only four pounds, meaning it's truly portable. It also only costs $70, which is impressive for a target that is designed to stop arrows launched from the highest-speed bows on the market.
Morrell Targets Youth Deluxe GX Target | Retail $110
Alright, I snuck one in that breaks the $100 rule by about $10. The reason is that I really like Morrell Targets, and I really like it when people get youngsters involved in archery. This target, the Youth Deluxe GX Target, is perfect for the task of recruiting youth with its easy arrow removal and full 80cm target face. This target also happens to be 100-percent weatherproof and designed for bows with draw weights of up to 40 pounds (field points only). At 42 pounds, it's a great set-up-and-leave-it target. If not this target, take a look at the Supreme II Field Point Target in the lead photo of this article. It's a $70, 100-percent weatherproof, field-point target that is designed with 54 layers of arrow stopping power.