How to Build Moving 3D Archery Targets

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Archery is an ancient sport that started as a way to hunt and gather meat. The sport has evolved into a competition sport using 3-D targets—a target that is formed in the shape of a specific animal such as deer, elk or turkey. Three-D archery tournaments are popular among hunters using them to prepare for the hunting season. During a 3-D shoot, the shooter must estimate the range and then place an arrow in the bull's-eye of a stationary target. In a hunting situation, however, the target is rarely standing still. Adding movement to the 3-D target is a great way to simulate the action of game.

Step 1

Cut the 4-by-4-foot lumber into four pieces—two measuring 6 feet and two measuring 3 feet. Build two T-posts by screwing a three foot section to the top of each six foot section. Dig two holes 20 yards apart about 2 feet deep and insert a post into each hole. The posts will serve as the foundation for the pulley system that will move the target. Attach a pulley to each T-post by screwing it into the bottom of the 3-foot top section.

Step 2

Cut the nylon rope into three sections, one measuring 80 feet and two measuring 5 feet. The 80-foot section will run from pulley to pulley and pull the 3-D target from each T-post. Connect the carabiners to both ends of the 5-foot sections and wrap around the 3-D target by the legs. Attach the carabiners to the main rope to lift the target from the ground

Step 3

Hook the main rope into the pulley system and have two people—one on each side of the T-posts—pull the target back and forth using the pulleys.


  • Always be aware of where you are shooting.


  • Make sure there is a solid back stop behind the target. A raised dirt pile will be sufficient.
  • Build walls in front of the pullers for added safety.
  • Save money by shopping on Craig's List or eBay to find a used 3-D target.
  • Adjust lead while shooting the moving target based on the speed of the target, arrow speed and the distance to the target.


About the Author

Based in Nebraska, Jeremy Hoefs began writing fitness, nutrition, outdoor and hunting articles in 2006. His articles have been published in "Star City Sports," "Hunting Fitness Magazine" and RutWear field journals, as well as on the Western Whitetail website. Hoefs graduated with a Bachelor of Science in exercise science from Nebraska Wesleyan University.

Photo Credits

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