You’re ready to get out and hunt, but it’s not the right season, or you can’t get the time off work. Don’t worry because you can put in time with your bow by finding the best 3D archery target for you.
It seems simple enough you need an archery target that is durable and will represent the real game. How to make that happen when realistically you’re going to put a dozen or more bolts or arrows through this thing?
These are the products we are reviewing in this article:
Last update on 2020-02-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
It’s actually a pretty simple formula. It doesn’t matter if you’re using a crossbow, compound bow or traditional recurve because your 3d archery target will need to hit a few marks of its own .
When buying a 3D archery target, you need:
- Visible vital section or organs
- Replaceable cores
- Portable targets or an easy to carry design
- Layered foam – in some capacity
- 1 Visible Organ or “Vital” Section
- 2 Replacement Sections
- 3 Portability and Adjustability
- 4 Layered Foam
- 5 The Top 4 Best 3D Archery Targets
- 6 GlenDel Buck 3D Archery Target with Replaceable Insert Core
- 7 GlenDel Buck 3D Archery Target with Replaceable Insert Core
- 8 GlenDel Full-Rut Buck 3D Archery Target with Replaceable Insert Core
- 9 GlenDel Full-Rut Buck 3D Archery Target Replaceable Insert Core
Visible Organ or “Vital” Section
Although some 3D targets are very realistic with a print that matches the fur patterns, the most preferred targets have the vital organ areas marked clearly.
Having a visible organ or “vital” section will help any hunter know where to get the cleanest shot. On top of standard target practice, many hunters use these targets to develop their skills for greater impact further.
These sections are known to help hunters or archers improve both their overall skill and their accuracy. The practical design is suitable for recreating realistic hunting environments, practicing for tournaments or beginners.
For archers that play in tournaments, having visible organs is a must. It’s your only way to track your performance when it comes to hitting important regions at varying distances. With these, you can completely recreate a tournament environment measuring out specific distances and engaging with tournament grade targets.
If you’re working with any 3D foam target that has a vital core or visible organ section, which you probably should be, you’ll need to consider the replacement section. It’s no use spending hundreds of dollars on single-use targets.
Archery can already become an expensive sport or hobby very quickly. With replacement sections, you’ll want something that can hold up to years of use with sections that you can find easily.
Before you purchase a foam target, check online, or in your local hunting store for a matching replacement. The replacement cores should have rotating sides so you can get four times the use out of them.
Having the option of replacement sections also makes the target an overall better investment. If you can get many years of use out of a target and only occasionally replace a core every other year, then it’s worth it.
Portability and Adjustability
Unless you live in a rural area where you can set up your target somewhat permanently, you’ll want portable targets. Some people fill targets with sand which makes them even more of a struggle to tote around. Foam targets usually don’t weigh too much, but it is definitely an aspect to consider.
Some hunters prefer to opt for less realistically sized game targets that are easy to hook an arm around. Imagine if a deer didn’t stand much higher than a toddler. Other archers prefer blocks for target practice as they can easily package them up and carry them.
There’s also the element of adjustment. Although some targets are just generally small, many options can adjust to the full height of the animal’s real counterpart. Ideally, you’ll want something that is both portable and easy to adjust.
With adjustability, there’s also the element of anchoring. If it’s a choice between stakes effectively holding the target in place, or the target standing at its full height, choose the stability of the target.
There is a clear benefit of layered foam. It prevents arrow friction. That means less strain on your tips. But there is a clear drawback of layered foam as well. In addition to your standard aim at practice, you need to plan for how your arrow will hit the foam. Essentially with layered foam, you need to guide the arrow right between the layers – for beginners that is not a reasonable expectation . If you are a beginner or don’t feel comfortable with foam targets yet, hold off on layered foam.
There is an alternative method of layered foam that has shown great success within the hunting and tournament communities. Instead of layering the foam to stack up ontop of eachother, the foam layers are in a vertical format. The result is that there are a few internal layers of foam that compress on impact, making it easier to remove the arrow. It also reduces the amount of damage taken off the shot. Some replacement cores even have a wall inside that stops the arrows. An interior wall ensures that a rotatable target core insert stays good through all four sides rather than just two.
The Top 4 Best 3D Archery Targets
Right off the bat, you have the replaceable insert core. GlenDel is a well-known name in hunting and archery communities, which is one of the many, many, reasons that it’s on this list.
The GlenDel Buck 3D Archery Target with a replaceable core stands at about 34-inches at the shoulders and 150-inches at the top of the antlers. For hunters that aren’t used to working with foam targets, this target stands about the size of a mature, 200-pound buck. The insertable core has a long life, withstanding a thousand shots. This target is also easy to set up. The pieces all assemble, making it easy to get to the core, easy to carry around in parts, and easy to snap together if you need to troubleshoot anything. For many archers that are recreating a hunting environment for sport or tournament purposes, easy assembly and transportation are a must.
Finally, the best thing about the GlenDel Buck 3D archery target is the Polyfusion technology. There are layers of foam that ultimately fit an inner wall. That means that you can use a variety of arrows and still have a reasonably easy time removing them. It also means that you’ll get a lot more life out of this target.
- Replaceable core
- Easy setup
- Nearly all punishment goes into the core rather than the target
- Easy removal of all arrow tips aside from broad tips
- Replaceable core sinks about 1/4-inch
Another product from GlenDel and it’s no surprise as to why. This is one of the replaceable cores for their buck targets. The GlenDel Buck 3D archery target core is 11”x11”x11” with four functioning sides.
What makes this core stand out from many GlenDel alternatives is that it can hold up to all broadhead and field tip options. You can use your complete hunting setup and not have to worry about destroying a target in the process. GlenDel prides itself on using a design that limits complete pass through to retain the life of the target. The shooting region is generally well sized and realistic for the vital region and distances. A lot of people do have problems getting to the replacement core, but it’s important to note that most of GlenDel’s bucks disassemble completely.
The complete core design uses different vital organs on the sides and has different suggested shooting distances for tournament shooters that means a good deal. You can set your distance and take your mark. Shoot from 20-feet or 20-yards, either will help you build your accuracy and skill as an archer.
- Holds up through 4 sides of use
- Polyfusion layered foam technology extends life
- Suitable for broadhead and field tips
- Set distances
- Is not a universal fit for all GlenDel Bucks
A full-rut buck with everything that you would want from a sturdy 3D target. Mostly for hunters who want to shoot for a while in the backyard between trips. The GlenDel Full-Rut Buck is very lifelike and the largest on the market. There’s no mistaking this buck for anything other than the real deal.
As the largest on the market, this full-rut buck stands at 37-inches at the shoulders and 62-inches at the ears. Then there are the antlers that mount on top of it. Additionally, there’s no drop in quality for the size of this buck. It uses the same high-quality polyfusion technology with internal foam layers.
The internal foam layers also have an internal wall to stop broadhead and field tip arrows from driving too deeply into the target. The technology also assists with pulling the arrows out. Unlike other GlenDel buck options, it can handle your heavy-duty equipment. Bring out your compound bows, and broadheads for backyard shooting!
The core measures at 14”x14”x14” and is also made out of the same foam as the body. Fortunately, the core is completely replaceable, and it should take nearly all the damage to your target practice.
- Weather resistant
- Polyfusion layered foam
- 14”x14”x14” organ section
- Maybe too large for some preferences
Right away you might notice that the GlenDel Full-Rut Buck 3D Archery Target Insert Core is a little different than the other insert options. At this size, 14″x14″x14, you’ll have a hard time finding another option that also has the vital positioning. It’s also one of the few suitable for crossbows. In fact it’s probably the best crossbow target that represent real game.
You can shoot at both 20-feet and 20-yards however this target may be slightly too large for tournament practice at these ranges. Additionally, there is some back and forth with the arrow removal. Although the technology is in place to make even broadhead tips easy to remove the general consensus is that unless you have experience removing broadheads from foam you might want to stick to practice tips.
The concern with the broadheads is not that they shred the foam; in fact, the foam stays intact through hundreds of shots with heavy-duty tips. The concern is that the arrows get stuck and simply might become difficult to pull out. Finally, the insert is very easy to get to. This is the insert for the GlenDel Full Buck option that stands as the largest foam target available on the market. Instead of having to disassemble the buck completely, a section of it’s back coming off to slide the insert into place easily.
- Weather resistant
- Good for hunting practice
- Four sides of use
- Should last through thousands of practice shots
- It may be difficult to withdraw arrows, depending on the archer
The Winner is… Without a doubt, the best option from this list is the full-size GlenDel Full-Rut Buck 3D Archery Target with Replaceable Insert Core. This completely life-like foam target uses layered foam and sturdy materials to withstand your heavy-duty equipment. It can survive thousands of shots from a beginner with practice tips and a few hundred shots of a beginner using broad or field tips. The replaceable insert, materials, and its ability to breakdown for portability make it an all-around great choice.
What makes many people choose the GlenDel Full-Rut Buck over the many other large sized options available is that the entire body is made from foam. Say goodbye to the hard plastic molded targets! Not to mention that you could easily use this target for many years to come with the replaceable core.
This option from GlenDel is probably the best archery target available right now, it’s suitable for beginners, experts and everything in between.
This target is the largest on the market, and for many people, it stands year-round in the backyard. As it’s completely weather resistant, it is a great option for a one-time setup. Always consider where you want to set up your target before you decide which is best for you!
- LIFE-LIKE FULL-RUT BUCK - The largest 3D deer target you can buy! Shoulder height: 37", total height: 62", rack size: 150" B&C antlers
- EASY ARROW REMOVAL - Polyfusion Technology fuses the internal layers to the inner target wall resulting in uniform layer compression and ease of arrow removal
- LONG TARGET LIFE - 4-Sided Replaceable Insert Core measures 14" x 14" x 14" and will extend the life of the targetl (For additional Core Inserts Order: Glendel #G75100)
- 5 TIMES THE INSERT SHOOTING SURFACE - 1,000 shots of practice. More than comparable 3-D deer targets
- IMPENETRABLE - Stops ALL Broadhead and Field Tip Arrows - MADE IN THE USA
Last update on 2020-02-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API