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Author Topic: Need Backstop Advice  (Read 699 times)

Offline cuzsis

  • 2009 Prize Winner
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Need Backstop Advice
« on: August 07, 2015, 12:45:18 AM »
Hi Everyone,

Well, we finally did it! Got our own house, with our own land, right next to the national forest! I still can't quite believe it! Thought I'd have to be a retiree before that happened. Looking forward to planting some imperial clover a bit further up the mountain for the elk and deer around here. But we got to get everything pulled together around here first. Place needs a bit of work. :)

 In the  meantime, I'm trying to set up an archery range to start practicing. Season is coming up quicker than I thought! Last year, I tried hay bales, but that didn't work out so well. Since I'm in western WA we tend to get a lot of rain, and the hay bales turned moldy and impossible to move pretty quick. Not something I wanted to be shooting at and pulling arrows out of.  :P

 I have some hillsides that I can put stuff against, but as we are literally on a mountain, they are chock full of brush and rocks. Not a great backstop if I want to reuse arrows.

 Does anyone have any suggestions for a good backstop material that can handle long soaking rains without getting mildewy or moldy?  %^$^

(Bonus if it can stand up to rifles, but not expecting that.)

 

Offline yari

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Re: Need Backstop Advice
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2015, 09:25:44 PM »
first, congrats!!!!!. how much land?

first, I don't think you can double dip. for rifle, I would just dig a cave like pit in the mountain. take out as many rocks as possible. I think it's heavy clay out there so it should hold up to the rain for the most part. you might need to clean out once and awhile

as for an arrow. I would by a block if you have and money left after the house. there are also some burlap style targets that work pretty well for less than 1/2 the price. check cabelas for you options. if you want to do it yourself, go to a coop or farm store and buy feed sacks and stuff a bunch in one bag. I haven't done this w/ carbon arrows, but it worked great w/ aluminum arrows at 300 ft/sec

good luck
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Offline MichiganLouie

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Re: Need Backstop Advice
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2015, 10:18:32 PM »
I would buy only two feed sacks, and stuff them full of the plastic grocery bags you get at the store.  You will need a lot of them, so you better start saving them, but you can pack them pretty tight, and they'll be pretty effective in stopping arrows.
Don't ask the Lord to guide your steps, unless you're willing to move your feet.
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Started reloading my own ammo to save money 35 yrs ago.  Should start saving money anytime now.

Offline yari

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Re: Need Backstop Advice
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2015, 09:55:43 AM »
I would buy only two feed sacks, and stuff them full of the plastic grocery bags you get at the store.  You will need a lot of them, so you better start saving them, but you can pack them pretty tight, and they'll be pretty effective in stopping arrows.

plastic bags? I never thought about that. will that stop the faster carbon arrows?
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Offline Madgomer

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Re: Need Backstop Advice
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2015, 09:21:43 PM »
The other guys have given some good suggestions - one other thing to consider based on your Western WA location though:  If you can find a big chunk of "lost" Styrofoam laying on a river bank or beach, or perhaps find someone replacing an old waterlogged Styrofoam dock float, that would make a good archery backstop.  I grew up along the Mississippi river, and we could always find a big chunk of it out there - when that stuff gets waterlogged it's really heavy, but it will stand up to a lot of shots if you get one of those chunks that is a foot or more thick. 
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the great outdoors - get out there
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Offline MichiganLouie

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Re: Need Backstop Advice
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2015, 10:38:49 PM »

plastic bags? I never thought about that. will that stop the faster carbon arrows?

I don't know about carbon arrows, but the plastic bags work just fine with aluminum arrows.  My old bow shoots arrows at around 275 (I think)  fps and my arrows would only go in about 5", shot from 25yds.  I double lunged a doe, using the same arrows at 25 yds.
Don't ask the Lord to guide your steps, unless you're willing to move your feet.
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Started reloading my own ammo to save money 35 yrs ago.  Should start saving money anytime now.

Offline Madgomer

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Re: Need Backstop Advice
« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2015, 09:19:01 PM »
I used an old burlap sack packed tightly full of other old burlap sacks - it stops both aluminum & carbon arrows easily in the 280 fps range.  Also packed one tightly with the guts of an old bag target that had what looked like synthetic pillow stuffing in it, and supplemented that with some plastic shopping bags too - it didn't do too bad, but actually the burlap target seemed to hold up longer (I didn't leave it outside though, the burlap may not have weathered very well).
One of God's greatest gifts to us is
the great outdoors - get out there
and enjoy it!

Offline cuzsis

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Re: Need Backstop Advice
« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2015, 09:32:35 PM »
I would buy only two feed sacks, and stuff them full of the plastic grocery bags you get at the store.  You will need a lot of them, so you better start saving them, but you can pack them pretty tight, and they'll be pretty effective in stopping arrows.

Thanks everyone! The grocery sack/burlap idea sounds pretty good! I think I'll try spraying the burlap down with some water proof spray to see if that helps it hold. I'm not expecting years, but getting at least 1 year out of it would be nice!

For Louie: We have 5 acres, most of it goes "up" in a hurry along the mountainside, but we might have a bit a plateau further up. Our neighbor does, but I haven't had a chance to get out there yet. The top and east side are bordered by national forest, west is our neighbor, and south is the road and another neighbor...eventually. Somewhere. It's pretty backwoods up here!  ;D We have pretty much everything up here. Deer, elk, bear, cougar...you name it! The deer are already making a go of the blackberries, I'll have to get some this weekend if we want cobbler.

Ironically enough, we do save grocery bags! Use them primarily for trash or smelly stuff we need to double bag (no trash service this far up the mountain, so we have to make a dump run couple times a month to keep bears from getting overly friendly with the area.) Shouldn't be too hard to get the rest of it.

The feed store isn't too far from here, but I haven't seen much in the way of burlap there. I'll ask!

Thanks everyone!  ##$%#115

Offline MichiganLouie

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Re: Need Backstop Advice
« Reply #8 on: August 14, 2015, 06:30:11 AM »
Cuzsis, the feed bags I use are the woven plastic kind, not burlap.
Don't ask the Lord to guide your steps, unless you're willing to move your feet.
NRA Life Member.
Started reloading my own ammo to save money 35 yrs ago.  Should start saving money anytime now.

 

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