Economical DIY Archery Target


I’ve always been a DIY (do-it-yourself) kind of guy, and I am somewhat of a hoarder when it comes to stuff.  When I come across “stuff” that nobody seems to want or see value in, I tend to keep it, just in case.  I always seem to find some nook or cranny in my garage to store it until the opportunity to employ it into action presents itself.

Such was the case here about 12 years ago.  I was touring a manufacturing line at work.  I was there to observe technicians as they assembled the products that I (and team) designed.  As I was doing this I noticed a couple people unpacking some sheetmetal computer chassis’ near the warehouse.  They were tossing all of these really nice double-thick dimensional (14″x30″) pieces of corrugated cardboard into a huge recycle bin.  This was a huge distraction for me as my mind started racing for a use for all that pristine cardboard.

Within minutes, I had designed an archery target in my head.  I walked over to inquire about getting some of the stout sheets of cardboard.  They said, “no problem – have at it.”  I hauled a pile out to my truck.

Later that evening at home I started surveying my stash of resources.

The cedar 4″x4″ post I used for the base support was a discarded remnant found in a field, of all places.  The castors were left-over samples from a design project.  The 2″x12″ used for the base and top compression plate was left-over from another house project.

All I needed was the all-thread rods, nuts, and washers which were purchased for about $10.

The result is a target that has stopped thousands of arrows* and is easy to roll out of the way when not in use.  Every year or so I give the nuts a couple turns to compress the cardboard a bit.  And I have yet to swap out the upper layers.

*It’s common knowledge but cardboard targets are not intended for broadhead use.

About the Author

Tom Ryle

Tom Ryle

Tom Ryle's passion for bowhunting has fueled adventures spanning the United States, Canada, and South Africa. He is an official measurer for the Pope and Young Club, NMLRA, NW Big Game Inc., and Oregon Shed Hunters.