Rolling Targets!

Instinctive Archery is a fun and challenging art form. It is easy to learn, but takes more time and practice to become proficient than sight shooting or point of reference shooting does. It has many advantages over each of these other styles of shooting, and some disadvantages as well; no shooting style is perfect.

Andrew Robertson with bow at full draw to shoot the rolling target being thrown. Photo courtesy of Lexington Alexander.

To break up archery target drills, fun instinctive games can be added in. Spicing things up keeps archery entertaining, lively, and challenging without becoming dull. If your range allows, you can get a few archers together and shoot moving targets! That's what I said, moving targets. For the beginning level instinctive archer, this is very challenging and difficult, but it is loads of fun. Intermediate archers are more likely to hit the target, but all levels of archers seem to enjoy the shooting process.

Buying and Making Rolling Targets

High density foam balls were used in the photo above. I personally prefer to use high density foam balls, like the the Champion Sports Coated High Density Foam Soccerball which is available on Amazon with free Super Saver Shipping. The Tuffcoat Foam Soccer Ball is a few dollars less expensive, but does not include free shipping, making it slightly more expensive.

Rolling targets can also be made out of cardboard. This is a bit of a labor intensive process and, if you do not monetize your time, it is less expensive than the foam balls. The cardboard targets sometimes last longer than the foam balls, but they do not roll as well and are prone to wobbling and falling down. Additionally, the cardboard targets cannot be rolled from behind the archers; they can only be rolled from side to side, putting the roller at a slightly greater risk.

Cardboard targets are made by cutting out several identically sized circles from corrugated cardboard and gluing them together. After assembled, the target should be at least two inches thick, although three inches is better. If desired, a Maple Leaf Press Inc 40 cm target can be cut round and glued on.

A Note on Arrows

Modern Arrow Heads

Bludgeon Head, Field Point, and Broadhead

Broadheads can be used, but the archer risks damage to the broadhead tips. Field points are much better and should not be damaged when shooting at dirt and grass. However, field points have a tendency to allow the arrow to "snake" under the grass and become virtually invisible, making them VERY difficult to find. In my opinion, the best tip to use for rolling target archery is a blunt or bludgeon head. These will make bigger holes in the targets, necessitating replacement more often, but arrows will be much easier to find.

Be careful when retrieving arrows shot at ground targets. Because they can be snaking under the grass or lying wait camouflaged in grass or dirt, they can be easy to step on. Archers tend to get sad or angry when their arrows are broken; if you accidentally step on someone else's arrow and break it, the honorable thing to do is to offer to pay for it. As mentioned, bludgeon heads reduce the likelihood of an arrow snaking, but archers can also make it a point to shoot no more than three arrows per round of rolling targets  thereby minimizing the risk of lost or trodden arrows.

Get In On the Fun!

Rolling Target practice, fun and exciting!

On Sundays from 3pm to 4pm (sometimes later!) I offer rolling target practice at the Woodley Park Archery Range in Van Nuys, CA. Archers have to have their own equipment. Field points and bludgeon tips are fine, but broadheads and Judo points will not be allowed. Come out and see the fun! Days and times may change; feel free to contact me for day and time confirmation. I do not charge for this, but I do accept donations to help cover the cost of the targets!