After retiring, one of the things on my bucket list was to try archery hunting or at least, target shooting. The Minnesota DNR had recently changed the law to allow hunters 60 years and older to use a crossbow during archery season. I opted for a crossbow instead of a vertical bow since I knew my rotator cuff wasn't going to pull that bow string for years to come.
My CAMX Chaos 325 was delivered with a half dozen field point arrows. Some research regarding archery targets indicated that many shooters use one type of target for field point shooting and another style for broadhead practice. To say there is a plethora of archery targets available would be the understatement of the year. I spent several nights reading forum postings and reviewing Google searches trying to narrow down the choice of targets. I needed something that would stop an arrow from my crossbow moving at 325 FPS.
Having purchased products from Cabela's over the years, I looked through their inventory of archery targets to see what was available. I found one that indicated it was suitable for both field point and broadhead arrows. Hey, just what I was looking for....a dual purpose target. I ordered it immediately and patiently waited for it to arrive at the house. (The down fall of moving to the homestead in Northern Minnesota was no longer having the Cabela's store just 5 miles away from where I used to live in Phoenix.)
This is the Cabela's Barricade High-Performance target. It is rated for arrows, 400 FPS or less. It presents a reasonably sized target measuring 18"H x 18"W x 14"D. Cabela's states it is "Constructed using Welded Core Technology, an advancement that dramatically extends target life, eliminates pass-through shots and makes arrow removal quick and easy." The target, weighs in at under 20 pounds, includes a carry handle which makes it easy to move while shooting at difference distances. There is a bit of target movement when I hit it with an arrow but not enough that I needed to reposition the target after a shot. If this were a problem, a couple of small wooden stakes could easily be put into the ground to prevent target movement.
Once the target arrived, I shot a field point arrow into the target from 20 yds. I then spent more time than I should have trying to figure out how to extract the arrow. I'll start by saying I didn't shoot the field point arrow into the "side" of the target which is what Cabela's recommends. Now this assumes that a 6 sided object has a "side". I'm guessing that I shot it into either the front or back (they aren't marked). Some responses to my question on a crossbow forum indicated the intense friction created while the arrow quickly stops bonds the arrow shaft to the target material. I literally could not twist, turn, or pull the arrow out of the target. I finally received a comment that said to drive the arrow further into the target (I used a small piece of wood). This caused the bond between the arrow shaft and target to break and then I was able to pull the arrow from the target, albeit it took two hands to do so. I decided that I wasn't going to be doing much practicing if it was this much work to remove the arrow. There had to be a friendlier target solution.
I stopped by the local L&M Fleet Supply store a few days later and decided to try the Hurricane crossbow target after checking the specs while in the store (smart phones are handy for something). It is designed specifically for field point arrows. This type of target is commonly referred to as a "bag" target. It is very tightly packed with scrap/recycled cloth material. It provides for a larger sized target measuring 21"H x 21"W x 12"D. The arrows from my CAMX crossbow penetrate the target about 8 to 10 inches at the distances I commonly practice at, mostly 20 and 30 yds.
One side of the Hurricane target provides the shooter with multiple high visibility aiming points. This allows a person to shoot at a different point each time thus reducing the change of hitting an arrow already in the target. Quality carbon wrapped arrows, those that are spine indexed and .001" straight, are an investment and shooting a single arrow at an aiming point helps to keep those $$ in your pocket.
The flip side of the Hurricane target is the deer's vital area. It provides the user with a shot at the heart and lungs, showing approximate location within the deer. After shooting the tiny aiming points on the other side and switching over to this side to shoot at the heart, I found this to be very helpful and a good confidence builder. As was said in "The Patriot" movie, "aim small, miss small".
Hurricane doesn't provide a specific velocity rating for this target on their web site. It merely states it is intended for crossbows. My CAMX crossbow put about 8 to 10 inches of the arrow into the target. Arrow extraction was an order of magnitude better than Cabela's Barricade HP target. I could remove the arrow with very little effort and with one hand.
More of Crossbow Targets
4x4 Off-Road Homestead Firearms RC Flying