It’s always a good idea to practice your target shooting before you head out on a bow hunting trip. Practicing with a target helps assist the hunter with marking the point they intend to hit in order to develop accuracy. It also offers a safe place for the arrow to land so that it remains intact.
Whether you’re brand new to bow hunting or are thinking about upgrading your target, you should weigh all of the options to make an informed purchase. There are a number of targets on the market, including foam, block, bag, paper, plastic, and 3D targets. For the most realistic practice, a 3D target may be the best choice for you. Here’s why.
What is the Best Kind of Target?
While there are pros and cons for every type of archery target, nothing simulates the real experience of hunting quite like a 3D target. 3D targets are available in multiple species to simulate the hunting experience as closely as possible. In many situations, a 3D target is the best choice for shooting practice because the hunter can practice hitting specific vital areas.
Most 3D targets are made out of a kind of self-healing foam to minimize damage to the target. When you’re shopping for a 3D target, think about the type of tip that you’ll be using. Broadhead shooters may want to make a higher initial investment for a target with extra layering and consequently, more resistance. The best 3D targets can be left outside and used year after year. Ideally you should purchase the highest quality 3D target that you can afford. It should be highly durable so that it doesn’t get damaged easily and can be used over and over again for years of hunting.
Tip: If you’re having trouble finding the 3D targets that you want that are also within your budget, think about buying a used target or set of targets from an experienced archer. Many pro shooters only keep their sets for one or two seasons before upgrading, which means that you can get a discount on high quality gear that’s still in great shape.
Practice Hunting a New Kind of Game
Are you planning a hunting trip for an animal that you haven’t hunted before? A 3D target is a great way to get some practice before the trip so that you’ll be able to make the most of it. Talk to the outfitter for your trip about the shooting conditions to prepare for both the conditions as well as the game you’re hunting. For example, if you’ll be hunting deer in a hilly area, it would make sense to practice shooting at an angle. Instead of setting up your targets in your backyard or an abandoned field, do your best to replicate the shooting situation. For example, select a wooded setting where you can position the targets in thick brush with only the vital areas exposed.