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What Kind Of Targets Are Used In Archery?

In the world of archery, targets play a crucial role in honing your aim and accuracy. From traditional bullseye targets to the more innovative 3D targets, there is a wide range of options available to suit every archer’s preference and skill level. Whether you are a beginner looking to improve your technique or a seasoned pro aiming for the perfect shot, understanding the different types of targets used in archery will not only enhance your performance but also add a delightful challenge to the sport.

What Kind Of Targets Are Used In Archery?


In the world of archery, a wide variety of targets are used to enhance and improve shooting skills. From traditional targets to modern options, each type offers its own unique benefits. Whether you’re a seasoned archer or just starting out, it’s important to understand the different types of targets available to you. In this comprehensive article, we’ll explore the various targets used in archery, providing you with all the information you need to make an informed choice.

Traditional Targets

Straw Targets

Straw targets have a long history in archery and are still widely used today. These targets are made from tightly bound straw bales compressed together to form a dense and durable surface. Straw targets provide a satisfying “thunk” when struck by arrows, offering a realistic shooting experience. They are also known for their ability to stop arrows quickly, preventing them from passing through. Straw targets can be easily assembled and disassembled, making them convenient for practice sessions or outdoor events.

Hay Targets

Similar to straw targets, hay targets offer a cost-effective and readily available option. Made from loose hay packed together, these targets provide a softer surface compared to straw. Hay targets are especially suitable for beginners or those who prefer a more forgiving target. However, they may not be as durable as straw targets and may need to be replaced more frequently.

Foam Targets

Block Targets

Foam block targets are a popular choice among archers due to their versatility and durability. These targets are made from high-density foam and typically feature multiple sides with different target designs. Block targets are known for their ability to stop arrows effectively and are suitable for use with both field points and broadheads. They are available in various sizes and can be used for both indoor and outdoor shooting.

3D Targets

For a more realistic shooting experience, 3D targets are an excellent option. These targets are designed to resemble animals and are made from self-healing foam. 3D targets offer archers the opportunity to practice their aim on different animal shapes and sizes, simulating hunting scenarios. They come in a range of species, from deer and elk to birds and predators. 3D targets are ideal for outdoor shooting and can also be used for competition or recreational archery.

Bag Targets

Filled-Bag Targets

Bag targets are another popular choice among archers due to their portability and ease of use. These targets consist of a heavy-duty bag filled with synthetic fillings or rags. When struck by arrows, bag targets provide a satisfying thud and are known for their ability to stop arrows quickly. They are ideal for practicing precision and accuracy, as well as for honing your shooting techniques. Bag targets are suitable for both field points and broadheads and can be easily transported to different shooting locations.

Layered-Foam Targets

Layered-foam targets are designed to withstand the repeated impact of arrows. Made from multiple layers of foam, these targets offer exceptional stopping power and durability. They are perfect for archers who prefer shooting with broadheads or high-powered bows. Layered-foam targets often feature multiple target faces, allowing for extended use before needing replacement. They are suitable for indoor and outdoor shooting and provide a visually appealing target surface.

What Kind Of Targets Are Used In Archery?

Paper Targets

Reinforced Paper Targets

Paper targets are widely used in archery for their affordability and ease of use. These targets are printed with various target designs and often come in different sizes. Reinforced paper targets are specially coated to enhance durability and prevent tearing upon arrow impact. They provide a clear and defined aiming point, making them ideal for honing precision and sight adjustment. Paper targets are lightweight and easily replaced, making them a popular choice for both recreational and competitive archery.

Multi-Ring Targets

Multi-ring targets are a variation of paper targets that offer multiple scoring zones. These targets consist of concentric rings, each assigned a different point value. Multi-ring targets are commonly used in archery competitions, as they allow for precise scoring and measurement of shot accuracy. They provide a challenge for archers to hit the center bullseye and improve their consistency. Multi-ring targets are available in different sizes and are suitable for both indoor and outdoor shooting.

Cardboard Targets

Layered-Cardboard Targets

Layered-cardboard targets are an affordable and eco-friendly option for archers. These targets are made from stacked layers of corrugated cardboard, providing excellent stopping power. They are often available in different sizes and offer a visually appealing target face. Layered-cardboard targets are suitable for both field points and broadheads, making them versatile for different shooting preferences.

Corrugated-Cardboard Targets

Corrugated-cardboard targets share similarities with layered-cardboard targets but are made from a single layer of corrugated material. These targets are lightweight, compact, and easily carried to outdoor shooting locations. Corrugated-cardboard targets are often used for recreational shooting, providing a cost-effective option for archers of all skill levels.

What Kind Of Targets Are Used In Archery?

Steel Targets


Steel targets, particularly gongs, are favored for their durability and audible feedback. Gongs are flat, circular targets made from hardened steel. When struck by arrows, they produce a distinct metallic sound, providing instant feedback on shot accuracy. Gongs are commonly used in long-range shooting and are suitable for high-powered bows and broadheads. They are known for their longevity and are an excellent option for archers looking for a long-lasting target.


Spinner targets offer an interactive and dynamic shooting experience. These targets consist of multiple steel plates mounted on a rotating mechanism. When hit, the plates spin, providing visual and audible confirmation of a successful shot. Spinner targets are popular for recreational shooting and can be used with both field points and broadheads. They provide a fun and engaging challenge for archers, as they require quick and accurate shooting to keep the plates spinning.

Fabric Targets

Velvet Targets

Velvet targets are a specialized option favored by traditional archers. These targets feature a layer of soft velvet fabric that is highly visible and offers a satisfying arrow penetration experience. Velvet targets are often used for instinctive shooting, as they require archers to rely on their muscle memory and intuition. They are suitable for shooting with field points and are commonly used for traditional archery competitions.

Canvas Targets

Canvas targets are a versatile and long-lasting option for archers. These targets are made from durable canvas material, featuring clear target designs for precise aiming. Canvas targets offer good arrow-stopping capabilities and are suitable for both indoor and outdoor shooting. They are often used for recreational shooting, as well as for improving shooting techniques and accuracy.

What Kind Of Targets Are Used In Archery?

Clay Targets

Fired Clay Targets

Clay targets are commonly associated with shotgun shooting sports but can also be used in archery. Fired clay targets, commonly known as clay pigeons, are small, fragile targets made from hardened clay. They are primarily used for aerial shooting, requiring archers to shoot at them as they are launched into the air. Clay targets provide a challenging and dynamic shooting experience, testing both accuracy and timing. They are biodegradable and offer a unique alternative for archers seeking a different kind of target.

Biodegradable Clay Targets

For environmentally conscious archers, biodegradable clay targets are an excellent choice. These targets are made from natural materials that break down over time, minimizing environmental impact. Biodegradable clay targets offer the same challenging shooting experience as traditional clay targets while being more sustainable. They are suitable for aerial shooting and provide a guilt-free option for archers who prioritize eco-friendly practices.


In conclusion, the world of archery offers a wide range of targets to suit every skill level and shooting preference. From traditional options like straw and hay targets to modern choices like foam, paper, and steel targets, each type provides its own unique benefits. Whether you’re looking for durability, realism, portability, or affordability, there is a target available for you. Remember to choose a target that aligns with your specific archery goals and always prioritize safety and responsible shooting practices. Happy shooting!

What Kind Of Targets Are Used In Archery?

Archery guy

Hi, I'm RJ, the author behind Archery Advantage. Welcome to our comprehensive guide to mastering the art and sport of archery. My mission is to provide valuable resources for archers of all levels, from beginners to experts. With beginner tutorials, bow comparisons, and advanced technique training, we've got you covered. Explore our collection of how-to guides, tips for perfecting your aim and stance, and insights into choosing the best arrows and bows. Join our passionate community to learn about archery safety, bowhunting essentials, and the latest industry trends. Embrace the lifestyle, hone your skills, and gain a true competitive edge with Archery Advantage.