Recently, someone posted a question on Facebook, I think it was Julie at Archery Talk, an informal survey asking which target did archers prefer, the bag type or the block. If there was a final tally I never read it. I shoot both, and both fall to pieces.
Since October 2013 I’ve purchased two block style and three bag style targets. They’ve ranged in price from $39.00 to $89 for a total of approximately $245.00 without tax. That is about $22 per month spent on blocks and bags, not including the paper targets that are pinned to them. The painted marks on bags and blocks don’t wear well and don’t match up to any target I’ll shoot in competition.
Archery paper targets run 75¢ to $1.00 where I buy them. They typically last one day often times less. Pistol and rifle targets aren’t any cheaper and often don’t last as long, but they are easy to find. A problem with them is they have only one center shot per sheet. That may be fine for bullets but isn’t great for arrows.
Shooting at one center using multiple arrows will destroy arrows. They get banged together, holes are punched into fletching, nocks get cracked, and Robin Hoods waste two arrows.
Arrows can be expensive. I hate breaking them, worse I hate losing them, and they eventually end up with fatigue or stress fractures. Shooting on a block, which still seemed to have some life, a center shot cut through the paper and didn’t slow down until it was in the forested area behind the target. That block has now been retired.
Retirement means all six sides of the block are shot to pieces. I rotate bags and blocks, move the pinned paper targets around, shoot the corners as well as the center. That recently retired block was purchased in mid-July, it lasted about eight weeks. On an average new bags and blocks have a life expectancy of eight to nine weeks despite my efforts to salvage them.
Actually, the life span is very misleading. From November to February I shot indoors almost exclusively. So, the targets from October had rest from their depreciation during those months.
Tomorrow I’ll head out to buy a new target. It won’t last very long. The cash I pulled out of the ATM today will go even faster. Maybe, one day, I’ll get a target sponsor. Or, perhaps, a target manufacturer will send be their bags or blocks as part of a focus group to study the endurance of their products. If I could find one that would last sixteen weeks – that would be an improvement.