You just bought your very first complete crossbow, ready to shoot out of the box. What you might not have done is buy any crossbow targets! New archers can sometimes forget that the target is just as important as the bow! If you don’t already have a makeshift archery target, you’ll find that it’s easy to prepare homemade crossbow targets yourself!
One very important thing to remember with crossbows is the increased kinetic energy compared to recurve and compound bows. You must use the materials correctly and feel it will confidently stop a crossbow bolt.
4 Steps To Prepare Homemade Crossbow Targets
1. Find Cardboard:
Cardboard boxes are the best container to use for archery targets. It’s framed so we can easily put dense filling in it, the material can take a lot of arrow shots before needing to be replaced, and we often have a few lying around the house.
Many skilled craftsman often use plywood for the frame, but for the purpose of a quick and easy homemade crossbow target, we will use a large box around 2 feet (60cm) in length. Also, cardboard is a lot more forgiving on your arrow heads!
2. Use Recycling For Filling:
You can be creative with what you put into the box for filling, but the easiest things to obtain are newspaper, packaging foam, and cloth. Now you have another reason to recycle! Remember, the kinetic force of modern crossbow bolts often exceed vertical bows so make sure to pack the filling tightly. This will prevent bolts escaping from the other side.
For stronger filling material that won’t break your arrows, consider purchasing high-density foam and rubber mats.
3. Tape It Secure:
Now that you have the box filled to the brim with recycled goods, secure it with duct tape! You don’t want them to break apart like a piñata only after a few practice sessions. Wrap the tape along the edges and once over the center for further durability.
4. Add Paper Targets:
At this point you can decide whether to add a paper archery target or draw your own. There are many different kinds of archery targets to choose from, so be creative! It’s easier to calibrate your crossbow scope when using the traditional 10-ring archery target.
Congratulations on making your very own DIY homemade crossbow target!
5. (Optional) String/Stand:
Some of you may consider placing the homemade crossbow targets on a stand to perch it higher. Take note of the stand material and avoid hitting it with any bolts as it could damage the broadhead tips. Another option would be tying a sturdy string to the archery target and have it hanging.
- Always use extreme caution when handling live crossbows.
- Always follow all the rules of any archery range.
- Always use an archery backstop.
- Make sure to keep the archery field clear of people and pets.
- Use protective eye-wear when practicing.
- Make sure you know safe & proper crossbow handling!
Conclusion To: Easily Prepare Homemade Crossbow Targets
As you can see, it’s not difficult to make your very own DIY archery target! When I get a brand new crossbow and it comes ready-to-shoot out of the box, I can’t wait to calibrate the sights immediately to make it perfect. But the proper crossbow targets might still be in shipping!
Check out these popular archery targets with self-healing foam! While you wait or save up for professional grade archery targets, homemade crossbow targets can be a cost-effective way to practice with your crossbow in the meantime!
If you are still looking for the perfect crossbow, check out our article Best Crossbows Under 500 Dollars!