Now that you’ve made your own crossbow, it’s time for crossbow target shooting practice. Whatever you do, resist the temptation of taking your crossbow hunting without testing it. There are a lot of logical reasons for you to test it. The most obvious is you have to test the accuracy first. If the bolts are going in every direction except to the straight center, then something’s wrong with your crossbow and you need to tweak it a little. Practicing will also give you a chance to test several homemade bolts so you can see which one works best.
Now, you can make things easier by buying targets like this popular 3-D buck target:
However, one look at it and you’ll know that it’s very expensive. Sadly, you’re not mistaken. If you have the money to burn, then go ahead and buy it. It’s a good way to practice since you can practice shooting lethal shots at the buck’s internal organs.
However, you may not be able to fully maximize that target especially if you’re just starting. Besides, there’s nothing better than crossbow target shooting using homemade targets. Making them is much cheaper compared to buying them especially since you can make them using stuff around the house.
But first of all, you just can’t use anything that’s lying around the house. For example, you can’t use anything that is hard like metal that is an inch thick. You would either destroy your bolts or harm yourself with the ricochet. On that note, don’t practice inside small rooms like your bedroom. If you miss your target, the bolt will hit your wall. Depending on the power of your crossbow, it can either destroy your wall, your bolts, or your hole-free skin.
Also, don’t use anything that is too thin or too soft. The bolts will hit them with such force that it will go deep. It would be hard to remove the bolts and removing them forcefully can damage them. While a dart board may look like a logical choice for target practice, this can easily happen:
Here are some common materials that you can use:
- Bales of hay
- Burlap feed sacks
Now, there are a lot of other things that you can use. But a lot of crossbowmen swear by these three. They’re just perfect and they will stop bolts and you won’t have any problems removing the bolts.
Bale of hay
If you live on a farm, then you’re good to go. But it’s important to note that you should use a round bale instead of a square one. Round bales are packed tightly and they can stop bolts better. If you use a square bale, bolts from powerful crossbows will go right through it.
Did you recently move or had a huge delivery? If you happen to have a lot of cardboard boxes around, you can make a crossbow target out of them. Fold them and stack them like in the picture. Compress them tightly using a strong ratchet strap.
Burlap feed sacks
You probably have a few of these stored in your home. They’re perfect for crossbow target shooting because they’re very strong. Just fill it up tightly with rags or plastic bags, tie the opening with a string and you have your own target.
Now all you need to do is go to a clear space and start shooting! Make sure that the space is clear and there’s something behind your target that will stop the bolts if in case you miss. You can draw or print out paper targets and attach them to your homemade targets to better test your accuracy. These homemade targets will last a long time and with continuous practice, you’ll be a marksman way before you have to change them!