Bags, Blocks, Cubes & Mats

Designed to better than a stuffed bag or a poured molded mat, the design of American Whitetail’s (888-233-1976; www.archerytargets.com)HybriMat X5 ($699) promises easy arrow removal, replaceable cores/screens and 100,000 shot screen options. Capable of handling even the highest arrow or bolt speeds, the laminated foam over compression on this 54×54-inch target was built to handle lots of abuse.

The HybriMat Archery in the Schools practice target ($260) is good for 100,000-plus shots, allows easy two-finger arrow removal and includes a built-in, easy-change 80 cm practice target. At 34x34x14 inches, the HybriMat is lightweight and portable. No stand is required, and the handle is built in.

For bowhunting practice, the six-sided 21x21x21-inch CompCube hybrid field-point target ($80) features a whitetail, turkey, deer vital area and set of spots, all printed in high definition. The four models available all come with a three-year guarantee. Allowing for faster arrows with increased kinetic energy, the Bowhunter CompCube stops arrows to 430 fps. This cube has a foam shell with inner ballistic core and molded-in handle. The Olympic CompCube (also $80) has four FITA-style faces: 40 cm, 60 cm, 80 cm and 122 cm.

American Whitetail’s BlackJack Hybrid field-point target ($80) offers an alternative to bag targets. It’s freestanding with a built-in handle strap, and it stops arrows to 420 fps. The BlackJack weighs 18 pounds and measures 20x20x20 inches with four shootable sides.

An alternative field-point target for two-sided shooting is the Hybrid F/P ($60). It measures 19x19x12 inches and comes with an integrated carrying strap. Look for an array of dots on one side and bold deer-vital graphics on the reverse. And if a field mat is a future purchase, look for multi-density layered jacketed foam targets such as the new, 8-inch thick, 54-inch diameter AR-154XF competition mat ($430).

MorrellThe Super Mag Classic ($70) from Morrell Manufacturing (479-632-5929; www.morrelltargets.com)is for field-point shooting. The 23x12x25-inch target has an internal frame and multi-layered density design with an integrated rope handle on top. Morrell says it has “54 layers of arrow stopping power” and yet offers easy arrow removal. The waterproof 27-pound bag has two shootable sides, one with spots and one with a bold schematic of deer vitals.

The 20x23x22-inch Patriot Combo Target ($125) from Morrell is red, white and blue on four sides and black and white on opposite ends. The 25-pound block is dense enough to stop field points or broadheads from any bow and still allow arrow removal without damage. The E-Z Tote handle on a top-side edge and its weatherproof build mean the Patriot offers six-sided long life for months and months of practice.

Morrell’s 15-pound Youth Archery Arcade Shooting Gallery – available April 1 – is 28x28x10 inches – not, Morrell says, designed for commercial or school shooting. This is a fun target meant for bows to 30 pounds: it’s lightweight, inexpensive and portable. Both sides are printed with a gallery of creatures – snakes, deer, turkey and more – all in different postures. Also check out the 28x28x12-inch Game Series for adult and youth bows.

Hips (830-899-2999; www.hipstargets.com)builds its X2 Series block targets with high-density foam for complete six-sided shooting – 33-percent more shooting surface than four-sided targets. Hips fuses foam vertically and then wire cuts the blocks for clean, distinctive edges. The lightweight X2 brand handles any shaft and any speed and invites shooters to pound away with field points or broadheads, fixed or expandable. The X2 Mulie (18x16x16 inches, $116), for example, handles arrows from bows to 75 pounds and is decorated with a variety of dots and images.

From Hips, the 4×4 Range Target provides excellent stopping power for everyday use. Recommended for field points, it will also stop broadheads. The Range Target is available in two sizes: 48x48x16 or 24x48x16 inches.

The portable ShotBlocker Black Ops ($120) from Delta-McKenzie (801-539-1400; www.dmtargets.com)presents bowhunters with an outer foam shooting area designed to be easy to pull arrows from and an inner shooting area with layered ShotBlocker construction: 20x18x10 inches. The inner layering is built for durability and long hours of practice with broadheads – fixed or expandable – or field points. The 20x18x10-inch ShotBlocker Black Ops features built-in handles on both sides for easy carry. The core is replaceable ($37).

In the bag category, the Econo Bag target ($25) contrasts orange and black with bull’s-eyes for field-point practice. It’s an economical 23×23-inch choice with durable synthetic filler. Delta recommends it for arrows to 250 fps.

The 25-pound Doghouse FP ($100) from Bulldog Targets (204-800-3170; www.bulldogtargets.com)is capable of stopping arrows from even the hardest-hitting bows, yet it also offers easy arrow removal. This self-standing target measures 24x24x9½ inches and includes an easy-grip carry handle.

Reduce. Re-use. Recycle. Big Green Targets (888-390-5548; www.biggreentargets.com)builds heat-bonded layered-foam targets from recycled materials. Big Green’s Broadhead Targets ($110) allow two-sided shooting, weigh 28 pounds and measure 20x20x18 inches. According to Big Green, a “proprietary method of heat bonding recycled scrap foam enables our targets to take shot after shot without slivering and coming apart.”

SpyderWeb (269-982-8003; www.spyderwebtargets.com)prints multiple aiming points on its stand-up foam to make the target last longer. The ST 14XL Crossbow Target ($80) can be used for practice and discharge; one side is printed with SpyderWeb black spiders and the opposite with a red deer-vital schematic. It allows easy arrow removal and real self-healing stopping power. The 14x14x13 block comes with a cover and a handle. It weighs 20 pounds.

Field Logic (800-282-4868; www.blocktarget.com)builds both bag and block targets. Its Block Black comes in four sizes, from 16x16x12 to 22x22x16 ($90-$160). Four sizes of the Block are shootable with field points or broadheads, and each side is painted with black aiming points or big-game schematics.

Hurricane Bag Targets (800-282-4868; www.hurricanebagtargets.com)from Field Logic were introduced so hunters could shoot high-visibility aiming points. These targets feature dots on the front and a deer-vital schematic on the back. For longer target life, the vitals are positioned off-center so they don’t line up with aiming points on the target front. Many sizes and options are available, but the H-20 ($40; replacement bag $20) measures 20x20x10 inches and comes with an integral handle.

The field-point-only Discharge from Rinehart (608-757-8153; www.rinehart3d.com)is a take-anywhere bag target designed to be shot at camp, at home or even in the office. Lightweight and compact, it’s the ideal solution for staying sharp year-round.

Recently Rinehart’s Wave Targets were selected by the Easton Foundation for use in Easton’s four Archery Centers; Rinehart is also a Diamond Level sponsor of IBO shooting. Built in four sections with high-density foam, Wave Targets offer extreme durability plus –per Rinehart – the “surface flatness needed to eliminate target distortion.”

Animal Targets

MorrellThe life-sized Bionic Buck Classic ($280) from Morrell Manufacturing (479-632-5929; www.morrelltargets.com)simulates a 180 P&Y whitetail growing drop tines. With “reverse vital technology,” shooting the opposite side – by reversing the head and antlers, the butt plate, and the legs – doubles the realistic shooting practice possible. Designed for field point use only, this 40-pound foam buck is easy to configure or take apart. The 18x16x18-inch midsection ($220), with scoring zones impressed in the foam, is independently replaceable.

Morrell’s value-priced Half Back ($125) is a unique self-healing foam target that can be shot on four sides with field points or broadheads. One side is a realistic deer section with anatomically correct vitals. Other sides have a variety of painted dots, all of which extend the life of the target. The Half Back comes with a molded-in rope carrying handle and is 100-percent weatherproof.

The whitetail Booner Buck from Rinehart Targets (608-757-8153; www.rinehart3d.com)is sculpted to the size of a 10-point, 200-pound deer. Now there’s a 4×4 mule deer ($350) in the Rinehart herd, too. This 34-pound target measures 58x45x12 inches and is molded with scoring rings from long-lasting Woodland Foam. Booner Bucks come with a self-healing, replaceable core that handles fixed or expandable broadheads as well as field points shot from any bow. And Rinehart specializes in easy arrow removal, even from smaller targets like the realistically designed 3-D Tom Turkey.

Yo Buddy (601-947-6542; www.yobuddyarcherytargets.com)sells a series of compact, center-section, self-healing foam targets that sit squarely on the ground. No stakes are needed and neither, says Yo Buddy, are parts a hunter never shoots: antlers and legs. This reduces a target’s material and shipping cost substantially. Shoot all sides with field points or broadheads. Yo Buddy targets – like the 12-pound, 14.25x12x17-inch Lil Buddy Deer ($80; whitetail, mule deer or pink) – feature molded-in rope handles for portability.

GlenDel (800-282-4868; www.glendel.com)says it builds the “biggest and toughest 3-D targets in the universe.” Bucks can be shot with field points or broadheads, but what makes GlenDel targets attractive is the four-sided core that, with offset shooting zones, can be repositioned to offer 10-times more shooting surface. Check out the 5X Core Buck ($160), 7X Core Pre-Rut Buck with rotating head ($220) and 300-pound 10X Core Full-Rut Buck ($260). Replacement cores cost $65 to $85.

Field Logic (800-282-4868; www.fieldlogic.com)has cornered a big share of the 3-D market with GlenDel and the 3D Shooter Buck ($80), which features a 125-inch, 5×5 P&Y whitetail rack. The Shooter Buck stands 48 inches at the shoulder; the Big Shooter Buck ($100) is 51 inches. Ground stakes are included, and the insert is replaceable ($40).

Manufactured in Germany, Bearpaw Products imports its Longlife small-game targets through U.S. archery wholesalers such as Kustom King (877- 566-4269; www.kustomkingarchery.com)and Lancaster (855-922-7769; www.lancasterarchery.com). These lifelike 3-D foam targets have a durable outer shell for weather resistance. Bearpaw’s target line includes sitting and standing rats, meerkats, ducks and badgers. The Sitting Rat ($55) –which is actually leaning against a small stump – is 10×8 inches and includes stake holes in the bottom.

Target Faces

Print-on plastic target faces from NiceTargets (800-435-2621; www.nicetargets.com)take more than 500 shots before heading to the recycling bin. NiceTargets come in a variety of sizes – large (28×40 inches) to small (about 11×14 inches) – on perforated 100-count rolls and are packed in reusable, wall-mount dispenser boxes. The cost is about 80 cents for a mid-sized animal and 50 cents for a small-game target. NiceTargets are lightly imprinted with kill zones.

Birchwood Casey (800-746-6862; www.birchwoodcasey.com) otherwise known for firearms targets – prints Eze-Scorer Animal Targets ($5, two-pack). These are a cost-effective way to get realistic practice while sighting-in. Eze-Scorer Targets are available in high-quality photo versions of whitetail or mule deer bucks and a bull elk. The non-adhesive, heavyweight paper targets measure 23×35 inches, and each has vitals outlined. (For fun, two-season hunters should check out Birchwood Casey’s Darkotic splattering targets. Each hit explodes in a white or neon green halo around the bullet hole!)

Maple Leaf Press (616-846-8844; www.mapleleafpress.com)offers dozens of styles, colors and sizes of NFAA, FITA, animal and novelty target faces. Some animal targets come with highly visible scoring zones, and others have zones marked only upon close inspection, making for more realistic practice.

Spot-Hogg (888-302-7768; www.spot-hogg.com)offes an inexpensive line of African Safari paper targets that includes 28 species and is printed with vivid orange aiming dots. The true-to-life images (most, unfortunately, quartering-in) had NFAA standard scoring rings “in line with NFAA sizes for specified distances” (2-88 yards) on 36×40-inch paper. The targets are weather resistant but not UV-coated.

Target Accessories

This just in from BIGshot Archery (888-651-0029; www.bigshottargets.com) the first-ever Personal Video Range field-point system ($1,000 base price). It’s ideal for “man [or, to be fair, woman] caves, clubs, outfitters and instructors,” says BIGshot. The Hunt Simulator allows very close-range shooting with video linked from a hunter’s trail cam or computer. BIGshot offers other fun targets as well – zombies, for instance…and who doesn’t like killing zombies? This setup is great for staying in shape all year, and BIGshot promises lots of extras to come that will make it even more fun.

Saunders Archery (800-228-1408; www.sausa.com)has a reputation for promoting archery fun. Its traditional claim to fame was the Spartana grass-woven target used as backstops for FITA events. Now, the yellow and black SACO 2 Action Target 2-Paddle Unit ($140) is a flip-paddle target that promotes friendly competition. It’s durable and economical, and it can even be used with slingshots. The big brother SACO Action Target offers six shootable paddles, three to a side.

Shoot. Shoot again. Put your bow down…wait! The Archery Stand-By ($60) from Apple Archery (800-745-8190; www.applearchery.com)is a safe, secure place to set a bow while retrieving practice arrows from outdoor targets. Fill the base with sand to keep it from tipping over. The Stand-By has three vertical adjustments to accommodate any vertical bow and a built-in tube for arrows. There are even pockets in the base for keys, loose change or a beverage.

Known for quality trap throwers, Laporte America (800-335-8727; www.laporteamerica.com)also manufactures an archery game. The Phoenix trap system offers adjustable trajectories and lightweight, foam targets that can be used for hundreds of throws. Perfect for clubs and shooting ranges, the Phoenix boasts a price tag of $6,000-$8,000 depending upon trap capacity.

It isn’t exactly a target, but it isn’t exactly not a target, either. The Paper Tune-It system from .30-06 Outdoors (614-409-9300; www.30-06outdoors.com)makes bow tuning easier. For $12, .30-06 offers a step-by-step guide for tuning today’s complex bows and arrows. The system includes a tuner frame and 10 sheets of stiff “How To” tuning paper, complete with diagrams and instructions for arrow-rest and nocking-point adjustments. Additional tuning paper is sold in packs of 20.

GC Archery (910-323-5311; www.gcarchery.com)develops target faces that simulate a hunting experience with high-definition, interchangeable image rolls of game animals in their natural habitats. Now the company will produce an image roll from a hunter’s own camera, allowing practice on big game the hunter might actually see during a hunt; the Hit-List personal image roll becomes a 48×32-inch target ($229). GC also produces weather- and UV-resistant single-image targets with corner grommets, used in conjunction with the company’s backstops.

UV- and water-resistant, Archery Target Tarps from Glenrock (303-761-8453; www.archerytargetcover.com)protect a target from fading, drying and cracking. Made from polyurethane-coated 10.6-ounce polyester, the Tarp features integral tie loops that allow it to fit standing 3-D and block targets in multiple sizes. The Tarp comes in green and camo; price depends on size and color.