Choosing A 3D Target

By Tracy BreenJuly 15, 2013

LAST UPDATED: May 1st, 2015

It’s that time of year when everyone starts thinking about bowhunting. The pace is picking up at the local pro shop. Bows are flying off the shelves and bowhunters everywhere are starting to shoot daily in preparation for fall colors. Now is when we start to prepare.  One way we prepare is by letting a few arrows fly. However, when letting a few arrows fly, it is important to try to simulate real hunting conditions as much as possible.  One way to do that is by shooting at a 3D target. We all shoot at block style targets because they are easy to move around, affordable and long-lasting. The problem is aiming at a dot and aiming at a deer are two different things. Enter the 3D target.


A good 3D target will provide the right type of practice for many seasons.
Target Options
If you are in the market for a 3D target, there are several options. If you are on a budget, you can pick up a cheap target from a box store for about $100. The downside is pulling arrows out of the cheap targets is difficult and the targets don’t hold up very long. Increase the longevity of the target by keeping it under a tarp when it’s not in use and get an arrow puller for pulling the arrows out…problem solved. If you are willing to spend a little money, the Glendel Buck is hard to beat. Rinehart also makes top notch targets that come with self-healing foam which makes them a great option as well. If you want to buy several 3D targets at once and set up a realistic course, find a pro shooter who has an old set. Many pro shooters get discounts on 3D targets and only keep them a little while before upgrading. Buying the old set can save you some serious coin.
Setting The Stage
When setting up your targets don’t just set them in the backyard; put them in the woods if possible and shoot from a variety of positions including from a treestand or ground blind. Put the decoy in some thick brush with only the vitals exposed. Doing all of this makes the practice realistic and hones your skills for fall. Below are a few 3D decoy options worth looking into.

Yo Buddy Targets ( makes unique targets that are a cross between a 3D target and a block style target. Their targets are a portable 3D vital area that stands on its own and doesn’t include the head or back end like most 3D targets. This year they have an elk target ($270) that is 22.25 inches x 26.25 inches x 13.5 inches.  It can easily be moved unlike most elk targets and the vital area is the actual size of the vitals on a real elk.  

The Yo Buddy Elk is an affordable/portable way to prepare for your next elk adventure.

Sometimes 3D targets can empty the wallet. That is not the case with the Big Shooter Buck ($130) from Field Logic ( This big buck target stands 33 inches tall and has a vital area that is up to 25% larger than other 3D deer targets. The target comes with an easy to replace foam core and two metal stakes for staking the decoy to the ground. This weather-resistant foam target stops all broadheads and field tips dead in their tracks. The Big Shooter Buck simulates a 125-inch buck which will add excitement and realism to anyone’s practice sessions.


Filed Logic gives bowhunters something “big” to shoot at with its trophy class antlers.
Hunting with a crossbow is gaining popularity across the United States.  Delta Targets  ( is offering a crossbow 3D target for crossbow hunters called the CrossBuck ($130). This 3D target resembles a whitetail buck and can stop blazing fast arrows from today’s lightning fast crossbows. The CrossBuck comes with a large vital area and an EZ flex core so bolts can easily be removed. The EZ flex core can quickly be changed out after being shot up.


Now crossbow shooters have thier own target thanks to Delta’s CrossBuck.
If you are stuck on shooting a block style target, check out the Magnum Pro target from Big Green Targets ($99). This foam target comes with a Master Target deer target glued to the front of the target so when you aim, you are aiming at the vitals of a deer not a dot. This target provides realistic practice without the expense of a 3D target, plus the face is waterproof UV resistant and tear resistant. Learn more at


You can take aim at dots or vitals on the Big Green Magnum Pro.


Now is the time to prepare for that all important shotl. Start by choosing the right 3D target for the job.

Tracy Breen
Tracy Breen is a full-time outdoor writer and marketing consultant in the outdoor industry. Over the past twenty years, he has been able to hunt and fish all over North America. Tracy was born with cerebral palsy and often writes and speaks about overcoming physical obstacles, chasing dreams and living life to the fullest. Tracy writes for a wide array of publications including Outdoor Life, New Pioneer, North American Whitetail, Buckmasters, Petersen’s Bowhunting and Bowhunting World to name a few. Tracy resides in Michigan with his wife, Angie and their two boys Thane and Hendrik.
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