How to Choose the Right Archery Target – Bow Types and More

how to choose the right archery target

Not All Archery Targets Are Created Equal! It’s important to recognize the different types, their pros and cons, and know how to determine which might be best for your use. This article will help guide you on how to choose the right archery target.

Bag Targets

how to choose the right archery target for your use

Bag targets are one of those most common types of targets. They’re available in several different sizes including smaller ones that are intended for use with crossbows. They allow for fairly easy arrow removal and ones I’ve used do a fairly decent job at stop an arrow from going all the way through. There have been a few times when an arrow tip has gone through the back of the bag and stuck into the backstop.

Foam Layer Block Targets

These targets are typically built from foam layers. You’ll usually find these priced a bit higher than bag targets.

Draw Weight and Feet Per Second (FPS)

If at any time you think you might possibly use a cross bow, be sure to get a bag than can handle that can handle the faster Feet Per Second (FPS) crossbows typically have. Compound bows can also be setup with fairly significant draw weight which subsequently increases your arrow speed or FPS.

My dad came over with one of his archery targets and I wanted to fine-tune a crossbow I recently purchased, so I took a couple shots.  From 30 yards out I didn’t realize how far the first cross bolt penetrated into the target.  I checked after the second shot, this foam archery target clearly wasn’t meant for higher FPS a typical crossbow can produce.  It took awhile to get the cross bolts back out!  Be sure to double-check what a target is designed for before buying or using one someone brings over!

how to choose the right archery target
It took a while to pull these cross bolts out!

Tips for Arrow Removal

You always want to pull straight back with an arrow. If you try pulling at an angle there’s a good chance you’ll bend or break your arrow in the process.

I haven’t personally tried this one, but when I was at an archery range I had someone offer up this tip. He bought a bingo marker, emptied it, and filled it with automotive tire shine. Using the marker tip, he would apply a thin layer of tire shine onto his arrows. This allowed them to be pulled out of a target much easier. I’m not convinced I want to handle oily arrows, but this guy was extremely accurate (much better than I), so he certainly knew a thing or two.


Depending on the type of bow or bows you shoot with should factor into your buying decision. Portability of the bag may also be important to you. I have a fairly heavy bag target I don’t want to carry several hundred feet. Instead of hauling it from the garage down to the backyard, I bought a container. This storage container keeps it stored it out of the elements and I leave it near the archery backstop.

I hope this article gave you some insight on how to choose the right archery target for your needs. Stay tuned as we’ll be adding some more archery related content over the next several weeks.