Welcome to the second installment of THLord Deryk Archer’s column on making archery targets.
One of the issues beginning archers face is acquiring appropriate butts, which are the backing behind most targets. A professional-style Saunders mat can cost over $100 dollars, and may not be easily available lately as the factory has stopped making them. But there are less expensive alternatives!
This time I want to show you how to make a cheap archery butt. You will need:
- 2 large cardboard boxes
- 2 smaller cardboard boxes
- Flat-screen TV boxes are ideal. You can get one “dumpster diving” at stores like WalMart or Taget; often they are happy to let you take their cardboard since it’s less trash for them. Look for ones that have hard Styrofoam inside, as that will help fill the target with additional padding.
- A plastic political sign leftover after election day, or additional cardboard
- Packing tape or duct tape
Open one of the large boxes, then cut the second large box into panels sized to fit inside the first large box and slide them inside the first box.
You can clean up your streets by gathering plastic “Vote for Tom” signs left over after election day. Cut the sign to size and slide it inside the first box alongside the sheet cut from the second box.
Next, cut the other small box in half and put the two pieces in sideways, making a “T” matrix or lattice. This will brace the sheets of cardboard and plastic you put in front of them.
Break up the foam from the TV boxes and use it as filler in the cavities formed by the small TV box.
Tape the box closed, add a target face, and you’re ready to go.
This makes a cheap archery butt for the beginner who doesn’t have a lot of cash. In addition, if you are doing a walking range, the box is light-weight and easy to carry compared to a traditional straw mat.
You can tie your butt to the ground or hang it from a tree.
After this butt is shredded by arrows, you can reuse its cardboard and styrofoam as filler for your next target.
I would love to hear from other archers, so please feel free to contact me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/joseph.bartlow. Til next time, shoot safe, shoot often.
All photos not otherwise marked are by THL Deryk.