Introduction to Coyote Archery Targets
For bowhunters looking to sharpen their skills before coyote season opens, building your own DIY coyote archery target can be a great option. Coyote targets allow you to practice your shooting technique on a life-size target that simulates the anatomy of a coyote. This helps prepare you for that moment of truth when a coyote steps into range. While you can purchase coyote targets, making your own is an affordable and customizable alternative. In this article, we’ll walk through everything you need to know to build your own high-quality coyote archery target for practice.
Picking the Right Materials
The first step is gathering the right materials to construct the core of the target. The goal is finding items that will safely stop arrows without damaging your tips. Some of the best options include:
- Burlap bags – Fabric bags stuffed with additional material create a thick barrier to stop arrows.
- Rags – Old t-shirts, towels, sheets, and other cloths can be layered and compressed.
- Cardboard – Corrugated cardboard stacked 4-6 layers deep resists penetration.
- Foam – Rubber, upholstery foam, or foam sheeting creates a soft backstop.
- Straw – Agricultural straw bundled into bales makes an inexpensive filler.
Combining materials provides extra strength and durability. A cardboard or foam base covered by fabric or stuffed burlap bags offers a balance of stopping power and target longevity. Adjust the thickness and layering to suit the draw weight and arrow speed of your bow.
Shaping the Target
Once you’ve prepared the core filling, it’s time to shape it into a coyote silhouette. One simple method is using PVC pipe to form the outline. Measure and cut lengths of 3/4 inch PVC to match the body, head, and legs. Glue these into a frame expanding out at the chest and hindquarters. You can find reference dimensions for an average coyote online. Wrap the frame with chicken wire to contain the inner materials in the coyote shape.
An alternative is carving the shape directly out of a foam block. Use a serrated bread knife to slice away excess foam and form the body contours. Foam allows creating anatomical features like a recessed core chest cavity. Either method wrapped in burlap creates a durable coyote target.
To make your target look authentic, consider adding the following details:
- Fur – Glue or staple strips of brown fur, real or faux, along the back, chest, and hind legs.
- Eyes – Foam taxidermy eyes add realism when glued to the head.
- Teeth – Use wooden dowels or sculpt epoxy teeth to create a snarling expression.
- Nose – Mold a nose tip from clay or rubber and paint black.
- Ears – Bend wire into triangular ear shapes and cover with fur.
These finishing touches make your target look like a real coyote for better practice. Shape the ears forward to mimic an alert animal or pin them back to look aggressive.
Painting and Decorating
After assembly, paint your coyote target for a realistic look. Use flat brown spray paint as a base color. Dry brush black along the back, ears, nose, and paws to simulate dark accents. Add white, tan, and gray paints to create variation like mottled fur and fade the underside. Airbrush shadows and highlights to give form. Outline the mouth and eyes for emphasis.
To make the target last longer outdoors, apply a clear sealer over the painted exterior. Spray urethane or epoxy resin helps protect from weathering. Some options include camouflaging the body with natural vegetation or attaching burlap strips for a camo effect.
Want More Challenge?
Once you master shots on a standing coyote, make your target more challenging by adding motion. Suspending the target allows swinging it left and right or attach a pivot to swivel. Moving targets require leading shots and timing. For advanced practice, place two targets representing a pair of coyotes and practice acquiring and shooting each in succession.
Get Ready to Hunt
As coyote season approaches, a DIY coyote archery target is the perfect way to get dialed in. Custom fitting the target to match your arrows’ speed ensures effective and safe stopping power. The ability to reuse and repair the target makes it a worthy investment. Realistic details mimic coyote anatomy for accurate shot placement practice. So grab your bow and get ready to start flinging arrows at your homemade coyote target.
Benefits of Using Coyote Targets for Bowhunting Practice
For bowhunters looking to hone their shooting skills in preparation for coyote season, practice is essential. While traditional round targets can help, using a specialized coyote-shaped target offers unique advantages. The anatomical design and life-size proportions of a 3D coyote target provide a realistic experience to make you more effective in the field. Here’s a look at why using a coyote target is beneficial for bowhunting practice.
Enhances Shot Placement Accuracy
Unlike basic bullseye targets, a coyote silhouette replicates vital anatomy for perfecting shot placement. The outline of the body, head, and organs let you rehearse proper aiming points. Targeting the vitals like the lungs and heart requires precision you can’t get on a circular target. Repeated practice shooting at a coyote target trains muscle memory for accurate arrow placement when you draw down on a live animal.
Improves Focus Under Pressure
A life-size 3D coyote induces a similar pressure to the real hunting situation. Having to concentrate on the proper anatomical shot location increases mental focus. The added realism of size, fur, and coloring help simulate an actual coyote encounter. Developing your concentration skills on a practice coyote target makes staying focused on a live coyote more instinctual.
Allows for Various Shooting Positions
Coyotes may approach from any angle, forcing you to shoot from uncomfortable or awkward positions. A 3D archery coyote gives you diversity for practice. Take shots from elevated treestands, leaning around cover, or while kneeling or sitting. Vary shooting angles and stances to become proficient in any circumstance. Field experience reduces anxiety when presented with a sudden off-angle shot at a live coyote.
Provides Changing Looks for Variety
Since not all coyotes look the same, you can add variations to your target for increased realism. Using mutiple targets with different fur textures, colors, and poses keeps practice interesting. Swapping out painted details like eyes, teeth, and noses also diversifies the visuals. Adjustable ears and tails give dynamic looks. The more your practice coyotes mimic natural diversity, the more lifelike practice becomes.
Allows Practice of Multiple Shots
A coyote may not immediately expire from the first arrow impact. Your target should allow practicing immediate follow up shots. Quality coyote targets made with replaceable core inserts can soak up multiple arrow impacts in the same vital area. This lets you rehearse precision shot sequences just as in a hunt setting. Preparedness to quickly nock and release subsequent arrows boosts success.
Builds Confidence and Reduces Anxiety
The excitement of having a coyote respond during a hunt can create adrenaline and anxiousness. Drawing on a live target already gets the heart pumping. Extensive practice on a detailed coyote 3D build confidence in your abilities. By rehearsing on targets that closely mimic a coyote’s anatomy and appearance, your skills become automatic. Familiarity and experience replace nervousness with self-assurance.
Allows Practicing Different Arrow Setups
You may use different arrows or broadhead types for coyotes than target practice. A durable coyote target stands up to field tips, fixed blades, and mechanical heads. Test how your various hunting arrows penetrate and group at long distances. Ensure your arrow flight remains accurate with broadheads before hunting season. Determine which arrow and broadhead combination group best at common coyote distances.
Saves Money Over Commercial Targets
Quality, life-size coyote targets sold online can cost over $100 each. Making your own only requires about $20 in materials. You can customize features to match local coyotes or particular problem animals on your hunting property. DIY targets also allow repairing and upgrading as needed. Invest a little time and effort and save big over retail coyote targets.
Allows Practicing Anytime
A backyard coyote target lets you hone shooting skills without heading to the range. Pick up your bow and fling a few practice arrows anytime, even after work or on weekends. Yard practice keeps muscles conditioned between hunting seasons. Having a practice target handy prevents your skills from becoming rusty before coyote season. Frequent shooting maintains accuracy and builds intuitive shooting reflexes.
Boosts Accuracy at Different Distances
Coyotes appear at varying distances in the field, from close 15 yard shots out to 60+ yards. Your target should allow you to rehearse shots at all realistic ranges. This provides feedback on how your arrows drop at longer distances for sight pin adjustments. Use life size targets to estimate yardages and practice ranging different set ups. Long-distance accuracy gives confidence to take ethical shots when coyotes appear.
Reliable coyote removal demands proficiency and confidence. Investing time in regular practice prepares you for that big moment drawing on a coyote. Using a customized 3D coyote target improves accuracy, focus, and realism for better hunting success.
Choosing the Right Materials for Your DIY Coyote Target
A key step in creating your own DIY coyote archery target is selecting the right materials for the core. This inner construction needs to safely stop arrows shot after shot without damaging broadheads. Choosing materials that hold up to repeated impacts saves money and frustration. Consider these factors when picking components for the interior filling:
The target must have enough density and thickness to prevent pass-through shots. Fast compound bows launching lightweight carbon arrows require robust materials. Consider the kinetic energy your hunting setup generates to estimate stopping requirements. Test potential materials with field tips to ensure adequate deceleration without penetration.
Look for materials resilient to compression and deformation over time. As arrows strike, the interior should maintain its form rather than compressing or shifting. Sturdy construction prevents soft spots or misshaping that degrades performance. Durable interiors have longer usable target life.
Frictional resistance helps safely dissipate arrow kinetic energy. Materials like fabric burlap have natural friction to slowly decelerate an arrow rather than an abrupt stop. Adequate friction also keeps arrows from bouncing off or recoiling from the target.
Keeping costs down allows constructing larger targets or frequently replacing interiors as needed. Recycled, homemade, or commonly available materials are ideal for saving money. Stuffing free scrap fabric and cardboard has little expense besides time invested.
Look for waterproof, non-absorbent materials if placing your target outside. Moisture accumulation can accelerate decomposition and encourage mold growth. Use synthetic fabrics over natural fibers when possible. Avoid paper products as fillers.
Even rugged materials eventually need replacing as arrows take their toll. Choose fillers that are easily added or replaced as needed. Avoid permanent adhesives and construction so worn sections can be accessed and repaired.
Ensure your target materials won’t rapidly degrade arrow components with extended use. Some hard surfaces prematurely wear down field tips and fletching. Fine sawdust or sand can dull broadhead blades. Inspect arrows periodically for any concerning wear.
Taking advantage of readily available materials cuts costs and labor. Look for filler components easily sourced for free or purchased locally. Scrap textiles, used packaging, waste fiber, and surplus building supplies make convenient target fillers.
Natural fibers like cotton and wool compress over repeated impacts, eventually allowing pass-throughs. Incorporate rigid materials like cardboard and foam to maintain shape and density.
Bulky target materials become very heavy, making large targets unwieldy to move and position. Lighter fillers like fabric scraps are easier to work with for large dimensional targets like full coyote forms.
Neutral colored fillers without busy patterns improve visibility of arrow holes for scoring accuracy. Solid burlap or foam let you clearly see each hit location and placement.
Prioritizing these key factors when selecting core materials will result in a higher functioning target. Test any promising materials first before committing them to a full target build. Invest time in choosing quality fillers and your homemade coyote target will pay dividends in consistent performance.
Essential Design Tips for Coyote Archery Targets
Want your DIY coyote target to perform like the high-end retail versions? Follow these crucial design considerations and construction techniques for professional-grade results:
Use average coyote measurements to create a full-scale model for realistic practice. Typical dimensions are 30-38 inches long from nose to tail base, 16-20 inches tall at the shoulder, and 14-16 inches wide through the haunches. Replicating actual coyote proportions better prepares you for hunting encounters.
Durable Core Materials
The target interior needs to withstand repeated arrow strikes without failing. Use dense, frictionous materials like rubber mats, denim layers, stacked foam or stiff carpet. Dual-density foam with a rigid polymer rear maximizes stopping power. Seal joints with glue or caulk to prevent shifting.
Removable Core Insert
Allow core removal to replace worn sections without remaking the entire target. Use hook and loop tape to secure loose fillers like fabric for easy access. Build a two-piece shell to insert rigid foam blocks. Slotted cores are another option to simplify swapping out layers.
Tapered Body Shape
Mold the chest cavity thicker than the rear hips and legs to better resist arrow penetration. Vary density front to back by layering materials, using angled foam, or inserting barriers. Reinforce the vital compartment while allowing pass-throughs on less important areas.
Add shaped foam or carved zones to define the head, legs, chest and shoulder mass. Visually indicate the vital organs for proper shot placement practice. Use contrasting colors to highlight scoring areas.
Durable Exterior Layer
Prevent moisture damage and secure inner materials with a rugged outer layer. Marine vinyl, thick woven fabric like burlap, or pond liner create a protective barrier. Spray flexible coating over carpets and foam for added durability.
Reinforced Leg Assembly
Secure legs firmly to avoid wobbling and detachment from arrow strikes. Use wrapped PVC pipes or wooden dowels embedded into foam to make sturdy, rigid leg anchors. Point legs slightly inward for stability.
Weather and UV Resistance
For long-term outdoor use, protect materials from sun damage and moisture degradation. Use marine or pressure treated plywood for frames. Seal foam and fabric layers with polyurethane or epoxy resin. Choose UV-resistant exterior fabrics.
Flat Rear Surface
Minimize arrow skip-outs by making the target back flat rather than rounded. Use plywood, layered cardboard or rigid sheet foam. Avoid curvature that allows glancing arrow deflection.
Ensure your target is safe if placed where accidental misses could impact people or property. Use wrapped containment frames, heavy durable bases, or hang and suspend designs away from hazards.
Paint, fur accents and sculpted features like eyes and ears make your target look like a genuine coyote. Dress it up to boost enjoyment and motivation for regular practice to hone your shooting abilities.
For indoor practice with limited space, reduce the proportions while keeping anatomical zones in the same locations. Use replaceable vitals inserts to extend usable lifespan.
Keeping these ideal design factors in mind will help craft a superior coyote archery target for enhancing your shooting skills and bowhunting effectiveness.
Step-by-Step Instructions for Building Your Target
Constructing your own custom 3D coyote archery target is a rewarding DIY project for bowhunters. Follow these step-by-step instructions to build a highly functional target for improving your shooting skills:
1. Cut out coyote silhouette pieces
Use 1/2 inch plywood to cut pieces for the target body – front chest, rear hips, side panels, and head support. Trace coyote shaped templates onto wood and cut with a jigsaw. Sand edges smooth.
2. Assemble the exterior frame
Screw plywood pieces together into a hollow coyote frame using corner blocks for strength. Attach a plywood backboard spaced 1-2 inches from rear to catch pass-through arrows.
3. Build the core layers
Cut foam sheets or stiff carpet into chest and hip pieces fitting into the frame cavities. Stack layers alternating the grain direction for density. Wrap tightly in burlap and secure with glue or staples.
4. Insert core into body
Slide wrapped foam blocks into place inside the chest and hip areas of the target frame. Use additional material to wedge tightly and prevent shifting during use.
5. Add leg supports
For free-standing legs, insert lengths of PVC or dowels into the target base edges. Angle rearward into the foam core for stability. Wrap legs in burlap to match body.
6. Attach exterior skin
Wrap entire target in burlap, canvas or other rugged fabric and staple securely to the back plywood board. Leave leg ends exposed for anchoring stakes if needed.
7. Seal and paint target
Apply waterproofing sealant like urethane or epoxy over the exterior fabric skin. Once dry, use flat exterior paint to camouflage the target in appropriate hunting colors.
8. Add coyote details
Glue or staple faux fur, foam ears and tail to give your target authentic coyote visual features. Airbrush or paint facial details like eyes, nose, teeth and gums.
9. Complete safety additions
Add a wooden frame base to raise off the ground or install hanging hardware like chains and pulleys for positioning overhead safely. Ensure the backstop area is clear.
10. Position target securely
Place frame on level ground or suspend from structure at desired shooting distance. Angle target slightly away to prevent excessive arrow glancing. Stake down legs or weigh base if needed.
11. Start practicing!
Now insert your removable core blocks to provide a safe backstop. Step back to intended shooting distance and start flinging arrows! Focus on proper form and concentrate on anatomical target zones for improved accuracy.
Following these step-by-step instructions will allow you to construct your own durable, professional-quality coyote practice target. Just be ready to put in some time building and tuning the target to your specific needs. The effort pays off with a customized archery target that sharpens your skills for more effective and ethical hunting.
Tips for Attaching Coyote Silhouette Faces
An easy way to transform your homemade target into a realistic coyote is adding facial details. Crafting and attaching an anatomical coyote face provides a recognizable visual focus for proper aiming. Consider these methods for adding a detailed muzzle to your archery target:
Carved Foam Face
Shape the nose, mouth and brow ridges directly from foam using a serrated blade or rasp. Cut into the foam core before wrapping the exterior skin. Define eyes, jowls and ears by gouging deeper channels. Paint and finish facial details.
Molded Material Face
For a permanent, rugged face, cast one using fiberglass, epoxy putty or plaster. Make a clay sculpture of the muzzle details first to use as a mold. Flexible silicone molds allow casting multiple replacements. Insert dowels in the back to pin the finished face to the target.
Paper Mâché Face
Form the nose and mouth shape by wadding newspaper and masking tape over a carved foam or wood base. Add layers of mâché to build up detail ridges. When dry, paint with acrylics and seal with polyurethane for outdoor use.
Sew cloth muzzle pieces together in a 3D shape using wire or dowels as a frame for the snout. Stitch segments of faux fur, leather and synthetic fabrics into a realistic coyote face. Glue or staple this fabric muzzle to the target.
Cut and join wood pieces with dowels to form details like the upper and lower jaw, brow and muzzle using hardware screws. Chisel recesses and ridges before painting and attaching the carved wooden mask to the target.
For replaceable faces, attach forms using hook and loop strips. Cut fur fabric into sections to make detachable muzzle, ears and brow pieces. Swap out details to vary expressions.
Use cabinet hinges to articulate the lower jaw so it can open slightly. Link hinges using bicycle chain and add a handle behind the target to control the swiveling lower jaw.
Glow Paint Eyes
Coat plastic sphere shapes with glow in the dark paint to create unsettling eyes for night hunting practice. Use LEDs for programmable light-up eyes.
Glue loose strips of mop head or unraveled rope along the muzzle cheeks to simulate the shaggy jowls of a coyote. Match fur color and texture.
Taking time to properly construct and attach an anatomical coyote head makes the target more lifelike. Use creative materials to craft durable muzzle features that enhance your focus on accurate shot placement.
Practicing on a realistic coyote face builds skills for recognizing facial fur patterns and features when hunting live animals. Add replaceable muzzle pieces to vary expressions and increase challenge.
Improving Target Stability with Proper Support
A top-heavy 3D target can easily topple over from arrow strikes if not properly supported. But unstable targets deteriorate accuracy and become frustrating. Use these methods to keep your DIY coyote standing upright:
Attach a plywood base plate to the bottom of the target filled with bricks, sandbags or other dense weight. Make it large enough to resist tipping from off-center arrow hits. Peg holes allow staking it down.
Screw sturdy wooden or metal cleats onto the base of each plywood leg to grip into the ground. Use angled cleats that dig in when force is applied from arrow impacts above.
Drive metal or wooden stakes through v-notches on the target legs into the ground. Use heavy stakes that will not easily work loose in the dirt when hit by missed arrows.
Add lateral wooden blocks or metal bars that extend outwards from the base of each leg. The wider footprint creates greater stability, like outrigger pontoons on a boat.
Bolt a large section of plywood to a heavy object like a tractor wheel rim or concrete step. Set the coyote target onto the stable mounting base, which can be moved together.
Secure turnbuckles, eyebolts, or screw hooks into the ground and attach guy wires from the target frame for multi-directional support.
Partially fill the target base with sand or pea gravel to lower the center of gravity. Avoid overfilling which can make moving the target overly difficult.
Hang the target from above using pulleys, cables, or chains so it cannot tip over. This also allows swinging the target to simulate moving game.
Shooting Bench Integration
Incorporate weighted support benches on each side of the target to prevent toppling. Aligns target, seat, and shooting window together as a complete station.
Mount the target on a wheeled, adjustable tripod so it can be tilted upright for shooting then folded compactly for storage or transport.
A steady target results in better accuracy and fewer misfires into unintended directions. Take measures to properly brace and anchor your coyote target for maximum stability during practice sessions.
Maximizing Durability with Multi-Layered Fill
The interior filling of your DIY coyote target takes the brunt of repeated arrow strikes. Using a variety of layered materials maximizes durability and extends target life.
Start with a rigid backing layer like plywood, lumber scraps, thick cardboard or hard foam. This prevents pass-throughs and provides support.
High Friction Layer
Add fuzzy, textured materials like thick denim, burlap sacks, fleece or rubber mat scraps. The friction rapidly slows arrows.
Softer natural fibers like cotton, wool and felt absorb kinetic energy. Avoid slippery synthetics like polyester that allow pass-throughs.
Insert rigid sheets like furniture-grade plywood, laminate samples or thin MDF to prevent compression of fibers.
Wrap the entire fill bundle in a “skin” of heavy vinyl, thick canvas drop cloth or woven synthetic to maintain shape.
Optional soft foam at the arrow entry area cushions tips on entry. Use upholstery foam or polyethylene sheets for a pillow effect.
Stagger seams and layer transitions so not aligned. This prevents shots slipping between cracks into lower density zones.
Use more absorbent, lighter fill towards the rear half and denser, thicker materials up front. Reinforce the vital chest cavity.
Tightly compress alternating stiff and soft layers using ratchet straps for maximum density and stability.
Seal natural fiber layers with urethane or silicone sprays to prevent moisture damage and mildew over time.
Taking time to engineer a multi-density, multi-layered interior fill results in greater longevity from extended heavy use. Rotate replaceable blocks to spread out wear and impact damage.
Important Safety Precautions When Using DIY Targets
While building your own archery target can save money, extra care should be taken to ensure safe use. Follow these important precautions with any homemade target:
Secure Stable Base
Prevent tip-over and unintended movement by properly weighting the base or anchoring to a static object. Incorporate wide outrigger feet if needed.
Clear Backstop Area
Ensure adequate space behind and around target so missed arrows cannot strike people, animals or objects. Mark off a safe perimeter.
Design target with materials that fully stop arrows to prevent dangerous pass-throughs. Test first before full assembly.
Angle Slightly Away
Avoid flat target faces perpendicular to shooting direction. Angle slightly off-axis so arrows glance off rather than straight back.
Position target off ground level with height adjustable to match arrow trajectory at different distances. Eliminates low skip-offs.
Check Arrow Stopping
Inspect after initial use and periodically for signs of decreased stopping power or arrow penetration. Replace fill materials if required.
Design target material layers to prevent unpredictable ricochets. Use securely wrapped containment shells and offset dense layers.
Monitor for Breakdown
Replace exterior skin if it develops tears or holes that expose the interior fill. Repair structural issues immediately.
Warn Others of Use
Post visible signage on surrounding fences or trees indicating an archery target is in use ahead for safety awareness.
Use Safety Netting
Wrap loose perimeter netting around target area to further contain stray arrows and prevent accidental strikes behind.
Only Single Shooter
Do not allow multiple simultaneous shooters on one target. Only single archer use ensures ability to verify downrange is clear.
Prevent unintended use by trespassers by situating target away from property borders or paths. Store locked up when not in use.
While DIY targets provide affordable practice, ensure you build and use them with safety as a top priority through intelligent design and diligent monitoring.
Proper Arrow Removal to Avoid Damaging Your Target
Care must be taken when removing arrows from DIY coyote targets to prevent excessive wear or ragged holes enlarging over time. Use these techniques to safely draw out arrows without taking chunks of fill material along with them:
Wait Until All Arrows Shot
Never remove arrows until you’ve completed shooting your practice volley. Pulling shafts out mid-session leaves temporary voids that can redirect following shots.
Slowly approach the target in case arrows were not fully stopped, checking the exit side for any protruding points before circling around front.
Grasp Shaft Base
Hold arrow as close to target surface as possible, at the nock or fletching. Grasping higher up the shaft can tear fill as it is extracted.
Draw Directly Out
Pull arrow straight back along original flight path to minimize disruption of materials sealing around shaft.
Gently rotate arrow clockwise and counter-clockwise while withdrawing to break suction seal of material around point and fletching.
Draw arrow out gradually, pausing during extraction to allow fill to release rather than tearing out chunks that enlarge hole size.
Compress Entry Wound
After removing arrow, compress and smooth fill material around entry side to close up penetration channel through target.
Plug Large Holes
Fill any enlarged holes with spare scraps of fabric or foam off-cuts to prevent them from growing larger with subsequent shots.
Check arrow tips after each removal for any fill material stuck that could damage the target when shot again. Clean off points.
Rotate Target Face
Periodically move target to expose fresh material to high-impact areas to avoid excessive damage to one section.
Let Target Rest
Allow compressed fill to fully rebound and air pockets to seal before resuming shooting after arrow removal.
With care and patience during arrow pulling, you can maintain a crisp target surface that cleanly accepts many repeated hits before requiring refurbishment.
Storing and Maintaining Your Coyote Archery Target
Properly caring for your DIY coyote target between practice sessions will keep it looking its best and maximizes its usable lifespan. Consider these storage and maintenance tips:
Dry Thoroughly Before Storing
If left outside, allow target to fully air dry before placing into storage to prevent moisture damage or mildew buildup.
Brush Off Debris
Use a stiff nylon brush to remove dirt, leaves, grass and other debris stuck to target exterior between uses to keep it clean.
Repair enlarged arrow holes using spare fabric and fill pieces. Secure patches with hot glue for temporary fixes.
Reattach Loose Sections
If pieces like ears or fur accents detach with use, firmly re-glue or stitch back into place to restore lifelike profile.
Always detach broadheads before storing target to prevent dulling or loss of edge sharpness over time from material contact.
Back off ratchet straps or interior compression between uses so fill layers can rebound and air pockets reform.
Use Target Wraps
Wrap entire target in plastic sheeting or tarp to create an outer weather barrier when stored outdoors.
Elevate Off Ground
Place target up on raised planks or a pallet to prevent moisture wicking up into materials from wet grass or soil.
Storing target in a shed, garage, or basement eliminates weathering damage between practice sessions.
Inspect For Wear
Check cover fabric for tear enlargement that could expose internal fill. Repair breeches immediately.
Renew protective paint, stain, or urethane layers that have worn off to maintain weather resistance.
Check Anchor Points
Ensure legs, stakes, or hanging components remain firmly attached and secured so fill layers don’t shift.
With consistent inspection and care between uses, a DIY coyote target will provide reliable performance for many seasons of archery practice before total rebuild.
Extending Target Life by Rotating Shooting Spots
Repeatedly striking the same areas of your DIY coyote target will quickly cause deterioration. But you can dramatically extend target lifespan by periodically rotating or shifting the shooting side.
Mark Shooting Zones
Use tape or paint to define individual target areas on the target face. This allows systematic rotation between defined boxes.
Rotate Entire Target
Pivot or spin the entire target to move fresh material into the frontal impact zone. Distributes wear for longer field life.
Alter Shooting Distance
Vary shooting distance which shifts arrow impact points higher or lower on target face due to trajectory.
Change arrow strike points by tilting target left, right, up or down. Angling forces shots to different zones.
Shift Target Horizontally
Slide target left or right to move fresh material into the shooting lane while preserving target angle.
Raise or Lower Height
Alter height of legs or hanging mount which moves strikes up or down without adjusting shooting distance.
Use Shooting Lanes
Set up multiple shooting stations aimed at the target from different sides to vary entry points.
Build target so front and rear halves separable to flip sides to equalize weathering effects.
Move Core Internally
If using loose fill, reshape and redistribute to bring less abused material towards the front.
Cover High Wear Areas
Use fabric flaps or removable covers to shield damaged zones and expose fresh material beneath.
Rearrange Face Features
If using separate detachable ears, eyes, etc. periodically move to new locations.
A little creativity and effort distributing arrow strikes will keep your home-built target lasting extra seasons before requiring extensive repairs.
Troubleshooting Common Issues with DIY Coyote Targets
Even well-built homemade coyote targets can develop problems with extensive use. But quick diagnosis and repair will have your target working again in no time. Here are some common troubleshooting and solution tips:
If arrows fully penetrate the target, add extra layers of dense rubber, cardboard or hardwood. Check that layers are tightly compressed without gaps. Replace exterior containment skin if Sagging or loose.
Insufficient Arrow Stopping
For arrows that penetrate too deeply, use denser fill materials like rubber mats or particle board. Increase layer density and thickness, especially around core chest cavity. Tighten compression straps.
If certain zones show excessive wear, rotate or reorient target to spread damage and expose undamaged fill portions. Redistribute and replace internal fill layers.
For arrow tips catching on entry, add a smooth fabric face layer. Check fill for protruding staples or material edges. File sharp edges off arrow points.
Re-secure loose containment skin with additional staples or stitching. Patch holes or rewrap entirely if skin is deteriorating. Use thicker cover material.
If target begins distorting out of shape, ensure internal support frame is intact. Check fill isn’t shifting or compressing unevenly. Tighten or reinforce outer skin.
If arrow tips show abnormal wear, avoid hard surfaces like bare wood or non-resilient foam. Ensure materials are compressed without gaps. Switch to softer fill if needed.
Reattach or replace loose fur strips with heavier duty adhesive or wider stitching channels. Use synthetic fur or hair which holds up better than natural.
Renew protective clear coatings annually as they deteriorate. Repaint using UV and water resistant exterior enamel paints for longevity.
For top heavy targets that lean to one side, widen the base or lower the gravity center with ballast weights. Check ground is level underneath.
Promptly diagnosing and addressing issues as they arise keeps your homemade target in top condition for many seasons of effective practice.
Customizing Your Target for Different Shooting Distances
Bowhunting requires accuracy at both short and long range shots on coyotes. Tailor your DIY target to improve performance for varying distances:
Adjust Target Height
Raise overall target height to match arrow arcing at longer distances. Lower height for flatter trajectories up close.
Use Replaceable Cores
Make core thickness adjustable by using separate blocks for chest and hips. Swap thinner cores for close shots.
Add Range Markers
Paint or attach markers at 5, 10, 20 yard increments to visually gauge distance while shooting.
Vary Target Size
Build smaller scaled-down targets to make longer distance more challenging when space limited.
Use pulleys, slides or pivots to quickly move target toward or away from shooting position.
Learn to compensate for angled shots by positioning target slightly offset left/right and up/down.
Add motorized elements to move target randomly or laterally across field of view when practicing on a long lead.
Use Shooting Lanes
Set up shooting stations at incremental distances. Walk lanes and shoot target progressively further back.
Try Elevated Shots
Practice angled down shots from treestands by elevating target and shooting from lifts or ladders.
Include Small Kill Zones
Paint tiny vital area bullseyes within chest cavity to improve accuracy on distant coyotes.
Verify Arrow Drop
Test field points from multiple distances to compare actual versus anticipated trajectory drop.
Set target at unknown random distances and practice estimating yardage before taking the shot.
With some innovative design features, your homemade target can help sharpen shooting abilities whether coyotes appear at 20 yards or 60 yards.
DIY Coyote Targets vs. Store-Bought Options
While purchasing a retail coyote archery target is convenient, constructing your own has some distinct advantages. Compare the pros and cons of DIY versus pre-made targets:
Homemade targets only require low-cost materials like plywood, insulation foam and fabric often sourced secondhand. Pre-built targets cost $100 or more.
DIY targets can be tailored to your specific arrows and draw weight. Manufactured targets are standardized one-size-fits-all.
Store-bought targets offer convenient faces, replaceable cores and sturdy bases. DIY options take more effort to incorporate.
Completed commercial targets are ready to shoot out of the box. Homemade requires material assembly, construction time and skills.
With care, DIY targets can last years. Manufactured targets also provide multi-year lifespan.
Large ready-made targets ship in bulky boxes. DIY versions only require storing materials between builds.
Both homemade and retail targets require exterior treatments for outdoor longevity.
Pre-made targets often feature branded fur pelts and molded features for added realism.
DIY targets allow controlling fill for arrow stopping power. Some commercial targets risk pass-throughs.
layered DIY fill grabs arrows for easy withdrawal. Manufactured cores can shred arrows.
Homemade targets allow replacing and upgrading components. Commercial targets are disposable when worn out.
For archers with workshop skills, DIY coyote targets deliver lots of customization for lower costs. But pre-made targets offer convenience for archers valuing their time.