Just as a well-tuned bow keeps arrows flying true, only a well-tuned archer is able to maintain tight target groups. Admittedly, stacking arrows in a bag filled with rags or a mundane hay bale day in and day out can certainly push the boredom envelope. Switching from bags or bales to lifelike three-dimensional critter clones adds a level of realism and excitement to practice sessions. These imitations of woods-savvy animals will force you to consider shot placement when you encounter the real thing. All of which translates into not only more practice enjoyment, but more steaks in the freezer at season's end.
You won't need as much space as you might think. With just three targets, a few flags and some elbow grease, you can build a tricked-out backyard 3-D course offering 15 shots that vary in distance and delivery angle.
Most shots in the woods are from elevated stands. Your new backyard 3-D course is a great place to practice these.
1 When laying out your practice course, devise a shooting matrix. Your course size and shooting distances will be dictated by the amount of space available. A shooting distance of 50 yards is ideal for the farthest station.
Clear the shooting lanes by removing brush, overhanging branches, lawn furniture and anything else that might impede an arrow's flight. Be sure the area beyond your targets is clear of anything a stray arrow might harm.
2 Number the surveyor flags 1 through 5 with a waterproof marker.