Do Hay Bales Make Good Archery Targets?

Archery is a great sport, but you need something to aim at as you practice. As you search out the best archery target that you can easily arrange, hay bales probably come to mind. You have probably seen hay being shot at by archers for many years, so the question becomes whether or not they actually make good targets.

As the oldest known type of target used by archers, hay bales do make great targets. Hay bales are big and cheap. These are two key ingredients when it comes to putting up a target. They are also helpful for beginners and young people because they are so easy to set up and dismantle.


Having a good target when practicing archery is essential. While modern technology has made it possible to use many types of targets for this purpose, hay bales remain one of the most effective. Since they are also so affordable, it is an easy selection for most. Continue reading to learn more about using hay bales as an archery target.

Why are Hay Bales so Useful for Archery Target Practice?

Hay bales have been used in archery since the sport was first developed. Centuries ago, hay was readily available just about everywhere. It was easy to put together and could quickly be formed to create targets that everyone could practice with. While they are not beautiful, they are highly effective.

While archery today is used largely for sport or hunting, it started out as actual warfare. It was critical that entire armies were trained to shoot arrows at targets quite a distance away. At the same time, it was virtually impossible to get state of the art equipment with which to practice. Today, such equipment is expensive. This makes hay bales ideal for target practice.

It is also worth mentioning that hay bales are incredibly simple to put together. You just roll together a bunch of hay, stick a target on it, and place it at a suitable distance away from where you are shooting. If properly anchored, the wind will not move the target. They can also last for quite a while, saving a lot of time and money in the process. Actually, why are archery targets so expensive?

What are Different Types of Materials Available for Target Practice?

There are actually quite a few different types of archery targets that you can make effective use of, but there are specific requirements that you should be looking for. The material should be inexpensive, and it should be easy to gather. In addition, an arrow must be able to penetrate the material easily.

Much of the decision determining target practice material revolves around your other equipment. The most important piece is your arrow. If you are just getting started with this hobby, you probably have not invested a lot of money in your arrows. As a consequence, you will need to stick to materials that are softer in nature and easy for the arrow to penetrate.

Some of the more commonly available materials that virtually any arrow on the market today can easily pierce include:

READ: What are the best materials for DIY archery targets?

Because these materials are so readily accessible and they work well for archers, you will find them at just about any archery club. If it is good enough for the club, then it should be good enough for the average archer to use at their own home or practice field. Here is how to set up your own indoor archery range.

If you are a bit short on cash or just want to make your own targets. Then you should read about how to make your own foam archery target.

Remember a backstop for your targets

It is very important to keep everyone safe when you practice shooting your bow. So a backstop is very important. The backstop’s function is to stop stray arrows and arrows that go all the way through the target.

Keep in mind that the stronger the bow the thicker the target and backstop you need. A 60 pounds bow needs a very thick backstop and target or else it will probably go straight through it.

Best Material For Archery Backstop

Why is Target Practice in Archery Important?

Target practice is how you get better at archery. It is how you develop the type of muscle familiarity that you need to become consistent when shooting an arrow. No matter if you are a beginner or advanced archer, you will find that target practice becomes an essential part of your routine. Especially if you want to be good and maybe try to be an Olympic archer.

Setting up a target does not have to be time-consuming, nor does it have to cost you a lot of money. This is why so many archers have turned to the simple hay bale to accomplish this. The key is to spend less time setting up your target so that you can spend more time actually shooting. After all, that is why you enjoy this sport so much.

Final thoughts

No matter where you are in the country, you can probably find a place that will provide you with some hay bales. Since these make great archery targets, you will now be able to enjoy the hobby that you love from virtually anywhere. This is also a great way to perfect your aim and prepare to beat all of your competition.

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