How to Build Moving 3D Archery Targets

Written by jeremy hoefs
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Archery is an ancient sport that started as a way to hunt and gather meat. The sport has evolved into a competition sport using 3-D targets---a target that is formed in the shape of a specific animal such as deer, elk or turkey. Three-D archery tournaments are popular among hunters using them to prepare for the hunting season. During a 3-D shoot, the shooter must estimate the range and then place an arrow in the bull's-eye of a stationary target. In a hunting situation, however, the target is rarely standing still. Adding movement to the 3-D target is a great way to simulate the action of game.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • 18 feet of 4-by-4-foot lumber
  • Screws
  • 2 pulleys
  • 90 feet of 1/2 inch nylon rope
  • 4 carabiners
  • Deer 3-D target

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  1. 1

    Cut the 4-by-4-foot lumber into four pieces---two measuring 6 feet and two measuring 3 feet. Build two T-posts by screwing a three foot section to the top of each six foot section. Dig two holes 20 yards apart about 2 feet deep and insert a post into each hole. The posts will serve as the foundation for the pulley system that will move the target. Attach a pulley to each T-post by screwing it into the bottom of the 3-foot top section.

  2. 2

    Cut the nylon rope into three sections, one measuring 80 feet and two measuring 5 feet. The 80-foot section will run from pulley to pulley and pull the 3-D target from each T-post. Connect the carabiners to both ends of the 5-foot sections and wrap around the 3-D target by the legs. Attach the carabiners to the main rope to lift the target from the ground

  3. 3

    Hook the main rope into the pulley system and have two people---one on each side of the T-posts---pull the target back and forth using the pulleys.

Tips and warnings

  • Make sure there is a solid backstop behind the target. A raised dirt pile will be sufficient.
  • Build walls in front of the pullers for added safety.
  • Save money by shopping on Craig's List or eBay to find a used 3-D target.
  • Adjust lead while shooting the moving target based on the speed of the target, arrow speed and the distance to the target.
  • Always be aware of where you are shooting.

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