Published August 17th, 2022 - Written by FeraDyne Staff
For most of the country this summer has been a hot one, with some uneven moisture mixed in. Between the unusual weather patterns and extreme heat, testing gear often times tends to take a back burner to summer fun. That being said, it’s August now with hunting seasons is fast approaching and it’s time to get all our gear dialed.
One area we should all be laser focused right in the waning days of August is on our shooting. As we count down the days until an animal is in front of us presenting us a shot opportunity it’s time to do our best to be the most ethical bowhunter’s possible. Summer shooting sessions can be on of the most critical components to a successful season and having the right targets for these sessions make them not only more successful, but also more enjoyable.
When ramping up for the season one of the best things an archer can have is a quality bag target. A bag with multiple aiming points where a shooter can spread out their shooting is key. This allows you to tune and dial your equipment in and just hammer arrows into the target repeatedly without the fear of your target falling apart and having to many arrows stacked and having ruined vanes and shafts.
These types of targets come in a variety of colors and have varying aiming points, from dots, to diamonds and even 2D animal pictures. It will behoove you to see what targets work best with your eyes and looking at the target at a distance to see how well you see the aiming points instead of just mindlessly grabbing whatever off the shelf. Most bags will stop arrows from about any set up, but before purchasing always ensures that the bag is robust enough for the velocity your bow or crossbow is sending projectiles down range.
Another style target that every archer should have or at least have access to is a target capable of stopping broadheads. To truly go into the woods a confident shooter you have to shoot your broadheads. Having the right target that allows you to do so is paramount and a target that won’t shred after one shooting session is a must.
Broadhead targets today come in many different shapes, sizes and colors. Like bag targets they also have a variety of different aiming points and each individual might like something different. One great thing about some broadhead targets is the ability to shoot multiple different sides of the target with different targets and aiming points on each. Most of today’s targets are pretty easy on arrows and broadheads, but always make sure after shooting your broadheads that blades are either replaced or sharpened before you head afield.
3Ds for the Win
The last two styles of targets are pivotal to have in a shooters arsenal, but if a shooter really wants to take their hunt preparation to the next level a quality 3D target is just the ticket. Having a lifelike target to shoot leading up to the season can go a long ways toward putting the finishing touches on your shooting leading up to the season. At a distance not being able to see a defined shooting dot or ring a shooter is forced to make good shots without a specific aiming point, just like one would in a real-life hunting situation.
Many shooters often say they don’t have a 3D target because they are too expensive and yes some can be very expensive. However, there are some great targets out there that are more budget friendly and much more in the price range of the average shooter.
If looking further to save a little more money there are other options as well in some more “do all” type targets. These targets are the types that are a 3D style target for example, but have midsections made to be shot with broadheads and field tips alike. Although these sometimes don’t look quite as realistic as a true 3D target they are still a great option.
Keep it fun, but challenging
Shooting arrow after arrow in the backyard can be very beneficial and is actual crucial when it comes to fine tuning and dialing your equipment. After you and your bow is tuned and in form though, its time to add some challenges to your sessions. Spend some time shooting with your rangefinder but there is also value in shooting some unmarked ranges without a rangefinder so you are forced to guess yardage and shoot.
Another great idea is to not only shoot at a broadside target. Shoot at your 3D target as if you have a buck quartered away and you have to slip the arrow in exactly the right spot. This exercise is one many people don’t do nearly enough even though its often the scenario they are presented with while hunting.
Do you hunt the mountains or from a treestand a lot? If so, set up a stand and practice from it or haul your target to a hilly area and practice shooting up and downhill angles. Lastly, practice shooting not only from a standing position, but also sitting, kneeling or any other circumstance you might encounter on a hunt.
Having the right gear and practice regimen can pay off ten fold when it comes to the moment of truth. Keep your summer shooting sessions challenging and fun while you prepare for your fall adventures and success just might be yours.
Check out this great review of Block’s Infinity target from Western Whitetail: https://www.westernwhitetail.com/the-block-infinity-22-target-portable-stopping-power/