Archery Range

DIY Archery Range – How to Build a Backyard Archery Range (Complete Guide)

It is fun to participate in archery. Spending time shooting is both soothing and a terrific way to spend time outside. It can be a very gregarious or a very lonesome activity, but it is enjoyable.

There are few feelings more fulfilling than hitting the bull’s-eye with arrows. On the other hand, there are few more aggravating than trying to shoot a bow and repeatedly missing. Isn’t it great if you could practice at home?

Archery is a sport that requires virtually daily practice to master. You could schedule a trip to an archery range every day. Of course, this assumes that an archery range is close and that getting there isn’t too difficult.

If you didn’t have to go to a range every day, you could easily double or even quadruple the amount of time you spent practicing archery. In this article, we’ll show you how to make an archery range in your backyard.

Rules and Regulations For Backyard Archery Range

The first step in constructing an archery range is to check your local legislation to ensure legality.

You won’t be able to build a range of backyard archery is prohibited in your area. You’ll have to look for alternative ways to practice shooting.

Some jurisdictions will need an ordinance officer to evaluate your backyard range before issuing a permit if it is judged safe.

In several counties, archery practice is prohibited within city limits. It is best to contact your lawyer or any authority for legal advice if you want to build an archery range in your backyard.

Consider Safety First

Your county or city may only allow you to practice archery in your backyard if you get permission.

In some circumstances, an ordinance officer will need to evaluate your range and the area where you will be shooting for safety before issuing a permit.

To pass this inspection, make your backyard range as safe as possible. A solid and sturdy backstop is essential for a safe range and passing any mandatory inspections.

An archery range backstop is a region behind your target where any arrows that miss your target can be securely caught. As a backstop, many archers lay hay bales behind their target.

Below are some safety tips to consider when building your backyard archery range:

  1. Examine Your Tools
  2. Adopt proper archery attire and equipment.
  3. Aim the bow only in a safe direction.
  4. Even if there is no arrow, never point the bow at someone.
  5. Only knock an arrow when you’re ready to shoot.
  6. Keep the arrow pointing to the ground when knocking it.
  7. Be aware of what’s in front of and behind your target.
  8. Only shoot at a target with a safe backstop.
  9. Only shoot from a high vantage point (Down at A Target)
  10. Only fire if the range is empty (Live Range)
  11. Never Dry Fire Your Bow
  12. Never Draw Your Bow Until You Are Ready to Shoot.
  13. If you hear ‘Stop’ or ‘Hold,’ immediately undraw your bow and unlock your arrow.
  14. You should only fire when instructed to do so.

Space Requirements for Archery Range Backstop

Archery Range

On the shooting line, each archer will want at least 80cm of space. The standard target faces used indoors are 40cm and 60cm in diameter.

Any arrows that barely miss the target face should land in the target butt, which should be larger than the target face.

Measuring Your Range for Archery Backstop

When determining your effective shooting range, keep in mind that this, too, differs from person to person. Some people practice more than others or have more natural talent.

Don’t give in to peer pressure if your hunting mates brag about bow-shooting deer from 50 yards out. When you’re the one doing the shot, you must decide on your degree of confidence and how far is too far.

It makes no difference what your friends’ skills or opinions are. Your effective range is determined by some elements that can fluctuate depending on the situation.

How much you practice and whether your instinct tells you to shoot or pass at the key moment are the two elements that ultimately determine how far you can morally shoot.

Your equipment plays a vital role in deciding your ethical shooting range. In the hands of skilled archers, a decent bow can accurately launch arrows a long distance.

Half Range Practice

Don’t despair if your land isn’t large enough to provide you with the necessary distance for practice. You can imitate long-range shooting by halving the range and utilizing a target face half the size of your actual target.

Shooting a full-size target from a long distance will give you the same sight picture as shooting a small target. Even if you aren’t shooting at maximum range, you will profit from the additional shooting practice.

Range For Hunters

It’s a little more challenging to determine the shooting distance if you’re a hunter. Examine your stand’s location and calculate the longest shot you’ll likely take. Yes, there is a twofold increase in range.

If you have a shot at a huge buck at your stand’s maximum range, you want it to feel comfortable, not like you’re pushing yourself to the edge.

The general function is to store energy in limbs and transmit it to an arrow when the string is released.

The bow is short-range hunting equipment, even though contemporary bows can shoot arrows up to 400 yards at velocities surpassing 200 miles per hour.

The maximum distance is 30 to 40 yards, depending on the circumstances. It’s common for an arrow to pass fully through an animal at that range. Most shots are taken at 15 yards to ensure precision.

Range Orientations

If you want to maximize your shooting distance, the direction of your range will be determined by the layout of your property.

In an ideal world, your range would be set up with the south side facing north and the north side facing south. To compensate for the lack of distance, you might utilize smaller targets, just as competition archers.

Daily practice on tiny targets at a half distance is recommended, followed by increasing distances every few weeks.

Targets and Firing Lanes

Laying up the range is simple if you’re alone, archer. Set your target at the far end of the range, draw your firing line, and get ready to fire. It can be more challenging to shoot with numerous archers of varying skill levels.

The most basic setup is to place your target or targets at the far end of the range and create multiple firing lines.

The benefit of this approach is that one target and one backstop are required. It has the disadvantage of having everyone shoot each round from the same distance.

Set up a single firing line if you want to allow all archers to shoot at varying distances. Place targets at appropriate distances with a backstop in front of each.

The beauty of this setup is that everyone can shoot at the same time, regardless of distance. The disadvantage is that you’ll need many targets and backstops.

Firing Lanes

You’ll want to mark the firing lines after you’ve measured and aligned your range. You can either dig holes and place stakes at each range or use a brick to mark the distances.

Make a hole the size of a brick and place your marker in it. Make the brick’s top flush with the ground. There’s no need to consume weeds!

DIY Archery Backstop

DIY Archery Backstop

A backstop is a piece of material used to catch projectiles behind archery targets. Backstops are often made of a thick, spongy material that absorbs the stress from the arrow.

The arrow will break when you shoot it at a solid object like a wall, fence, or other solid object. Backstops provide a place for the arrow to rest if it misses the target.

To avoid having to go about collecting stray bullets that miss their mark, make sure your backstop is broader and taller than your target.

A backstop will assist you in avoiding losing arrows in the woods or backyard if you need to improve your precision or are practicing with a newbie.

Flexible Backstops

Backstops that are adaptable

Heavy yet flexible, backstops are the finest for stopping arrows without destroying them. You can buy netting that is specifically designed to block arrows.

An old carpet is another possibility. The rug will also deflect arrows, and it is frequently available for free.

Rugs have the disadvantage of being unsightly and even moldy when wet. To stop arrows from powerful bows, you may require numerous layers of rugs; however, I avoid using mats.

Rubber horse stall mats are maybe the ideal combination of durability and pricing for a backstop. These mats are waterproof and virtually unbreakable, and they are inexpensive.

A rubber stall mat hung as a backstop will safely catch all your arrows without hurting them.

Hanging a Flexible Backstop

You’ll have to hang up whatever flexible backstop you choose. When flexible barriers are suspended in space and allowed to flex, they perform optimally.

Attaching your barrier to the privacy fence is not a good idea. When arrows strike the backstop, it will stretch and give, allowing the arrow to stop.

The arrows will pierce through if you stretch your backstop so tight that it can’t move. Make sure you’re using robust lumber and bracing it properly.

The weight of the carpet and stall mats and the wind put a strain on the frame. In harsh weather, a fragile backstop structure won’t endure long.

Also, be sure that your backstop reaches the ground. Arrows will try to slide beneath your barrier by going low. At most ranges, an arrow is considerably more likely to miss low than high.

Round Bales

The round bale of hay is a popular backstop in rural settings. These bales stand at the height of 5 12 feet and weigh between 750 and 1000 pounds.

They’re great backstops if you have the space and know how to handle the bale. You might be able to arrange for delivery and placement of the hay at the end of your shooting range if you buy the bale from a neighbor.

If not, you’ll have to think outside the box when it comes to unloading and positioning the bale.

One thing to keep in mind about hay bales: the hay fibers have a pattern, and the positioning of the bale affects how well arrows are stopped. Round bales are made from a 3-inch-thick sheet of hay twisted into a tight spiral.

When shooting at square bales, the end of the bale is ideally suited for stopping an arrow. If you must shoot from the side, use rope or wire to do it. The hay layers are the worst way to block an arrow if you aim from a side without twine or wire.

Rag Backstops

A rag backstop is a low-cost option for constructing a backstop. A-frame similar to that used for net or rubber mat backstops is required. Both sides of the frame are covered in net wire instead of hanging fabric.

The gap between the wires is crammed with rags and old garments. This thick layer of cloth will deflect arrows and keep your community secure.

My Backstop

I used plywood and a rubber mat to construct my backstop on top of an existing fence.

You could check online articles and websites on the internet for various excellent ideas and ways to create your very own archery backstop, or you could buy a backstop online or from your local shop.

DIY Archery Range Target

Position your target in front of your backstop once it’s in place. You’ll need a target face and a target back if you’re shooting competition archery.

If you’re shooting at half distance, the face should either be the same as the one you’ll use in competition or a half-sized face.

To shoot at, you can either buy target bags or construct your own.

Target Backing

Once your arrows hit the target, the back will catch them. In addition to being effective backstops, hay bales are commonly used as target backs.

For most bows, one or two hay bales will stop arrows and endure for a season or more. By loosely covering your hay bales with a piece of AstroTurf, you may extend their life and ensure arrow stops.

You have numerous possibilities if you want to make your target back. Obtain carpet samples or a large piece of discarded carpet that has been chopped into squares.

Stack the squares till they reach the desired height, then bind them all together with ratchet straps. Stacking cardboard or foam flooring squares can be used to create a similar target back.

Whatever method you use, make sure the layers are well packed and secured with a ratchet strap. The layers block your arrows because of the compression from the straps.

Informal Targets

If you aren’t a competitive archer, you have a wider selection of options. Commercial targets are available in a range of materials and may sustain hundreds of arrow impacts.

The majority of these already have aiming points drawn on the target. These targets are a little more expensive, but they will last for years against arrows and the elements.

If you’re a hunter, you’ll undoubtedly want to expand your range with a 3-D target. This will assist you in becoming accustomed to firing at a three-dimensional target.

It will assist you with arrow placement and ensure that you are prepared when a trophy buck presents itself.

Bigger Ranges

You can get creative with your range if you live in the country or own a large property. You can disperse 3-D targets over your property or set them at varying intervals.

Moving through the woods, shooting at unexpected angles, and even dealing with obstacles are all things you may practice.

If you reside in a wooded region, this works exceptionally well. Backstopping your arrows with trees and vegetation will make archery practice feel like actual hunting.

This also gives you valuable practice in targeting and placing your shots for the most outstanding results.

Add Other Equipment

You’re ready to shoot once your range is laid out, your backstop is in place, and your target is set up. Adding a few extra touches, on the other hand, will make your archery experience more delightful.

A bow stand right behind the firing line is one of the better additions. You can use a post with a few bow hooks, buy a pre-made portable bow stand, or make your own out of PVC pipe.

It’s also a good idea to construct or install arrow holders. PVC pipe can be used to build portable arrow holders, or pipes can be placed vertically to serve as firing line markers and arrow holders.

Having an arrow holder on hand makes shooting a lot easier. An arrow puller is a final piece of equipment that is quite useful.

Arrow pullers are available in various sizes and shapes, but they always perform the same function. With something large enough to fill your hand, you obtain a nice, tight grasp on the arrow.

You can apply a lot more force to the shaft this way than you can if you merely hold it. You’ll get an arrow lodged in a target sooner or later. It’s considerably easier to get them out with an arrow puller.

Hunters Make it Realistic

You’ll want to make your hunting practice more realistic if you’re a hunter. It’s excellent to fire from normal ranges, but you should also shoot from various distances.

It’s almost impossible that your shot at a trophy deer will occur at exactly 30 yards. Practice at a variety of ranges so you’ll be ready for anything.

Make sure you have at least one 3-D target if you’re serious about bowhunting. Outside of comic comics, real game animals don’t come with bull’s-eyes and target rings.

Practice on some realistic targets. Also, make sure you shoot from a variety of perspectives. When it comes to a great deer, you don’t want to take chances with arrow placement.

DIY Indoor Archery Range

Even if you have a backyard archery range, there will be times when you cannot shoot, particularly during the winter months.

It’s possible that your schedule prevents you from returning home during daytime hours or that the weather is too chilly or damp. Whatever the reason, there are instances when shooting indoors is preferable.

Although it isn’t quite the same as shooting outdoors, even five minutes of indoor practice every day can make a huge difference.

When it comes to practicing indoor archery, you have a few options. One possibility is to construct an indoor shooting range.

To set up an inside range, build a backing that is similar to an outside backing. To catch and hold the arrow, use a good target, carpet, or cardboard. Set up a five-yard firing line in front of the target.

When you’re indoors, safety is even more important; make sure everyone knows what you’re doing to avoid accidents. Shoot at the target inside for ten or fifteen minutes each day. Keep your focus on your form.

DIY Outdoor Archery Range

Setting up an outdoor archery range is not an easy task as it requires a lot of tools and equipment.

It would be best if you had a perfect backstop to prevent arrows from flying off target, and you also need to consider other things such as the wind direction, draw angle, arrow length, bow strength, etc.

You could get the tools for building your DIY outdoor range online or in any local archery shop, or you can go to articles on the internet and watch youtube videos to learn to build one yourself.

String Bow

Practicing with a string bow is another fantastic technique to keep your form crisp when shooting inside.

A string bow isn’t a high-end archery weapon. It’s just a means for you to work on your form. String bows are made up of a loop of string knotted at the exact length of your draw.

Below is a step by step guide to building your string bow:

  1. Loop a long piece of elastic string around your bow hand and let it run where you grip the bow. Paracord comes particularly handy in this situation.
  2. Hold your bow hand (with the string) in front of you as though you were holding your bow up. With your draw hand, follow the thread until your index finger reaches the anchor point on your face.
  3. Pull the rope snuggly but not too firmly, pinching it in place.
  4. Tie a knot at the spot where your fingers are pinching the string.
  5. At this point, your loop should be the exact length of your sketch. By testing the string, you can ensure that it is the correct length.

Work through your draw movements while gripping the string as if it were your bow to practice with the string bow. It’s as simple as that.

Every day, spend five minutes practicing with your string bow. This drill will help you maintain your shooting form and prepare for range time.


Archery is a fantastic method to release tension while also getting some exercise. It’s a difficult pastime that demands practically daily practice to keep sharp.

Shooting every day is the best way to improve archery, and the ideal way to shoot every day is to have an archery range in your backyard.

Setting up an archery range can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be. You may set up an archery range to help you shoot better, whether it’s a basic hay bale at 10 yards, a backstop with markings stretching to 100 yards or more.

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