Best type of hay bails for arrows?


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  1. #1

    Best type of hay bails for arrows?

    I once saw an article on the web that compared the type of hay (wheat, alfalfa, etc) for use as backstops. Some were easier on the arrows. Some lasted longer, etc. I cannot find that anymore. Does anyone know what type of hay is best? Thanks.

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  3. #2
    You want a good hay bail? There was a post on another forum of the hay bail that I'm looking for. I've never seen this kind before but it looks well built. Here's the link:
    Click here to see the hay bail

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  5. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Hudson, FL
    Check out Pacific Bow

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  7. #4
    you need to check out The BLOCK by Field Logic. E-mail address is

  8. #5
    I want a large (8x8 feet) backstop for long distance, and I want it cheap. I don't want a $350 50 inch FITA target or anything else that is small and expensive.

    This means hay where for $60 I can get a huge backstop.

  9. #6
    I don't want a $350 50 inch FITA target or anything else that is small and expensive
    If you can't hit a 1.25 meter diameter target butt, I might suggest that you're too far away...

    Hay bales alone will not stop most target arrows, unless tightly compressed.

  10. #7
    There are many reason to want a large backstop. They range from the mis-adjusted sight to the visiting guest at my home.

    The last time I handed my bow to an expert shot he missed by 3 feet to the left at 18 meters. This was because at the time I had my sighting set up to have the "string" be on the left of the sight rather than on the right as is far more common (and as I do now).

    I stand by my desire to have a $100 backstop which is much larger than a professional $350 one. I do not need to move it or put it away so anything related to that aspect does not matter to me.

    Anyway -- I guess no one saw the article I was asking about.

  11. #8
    Originally posted by >--gt-->
    Hay bales alone will not stop most target arrows, unless tightly compressed.
    I know. I am trying to find the type of hay that works.

  12. #9
    Accidents can certainly happen and it is prudent to have something to stop arrows if what lies beyond your target might be a problem.

    I suppose if stopping errant arrows is your real concern, you might be better served by an arrow curtain. JVD in the Netherlands and Bjorn in Sweden among other produce netting, which, in TWO or more layers, will stop most arrows shot with target points (not broadheads).

    Such netting might be available through Lancaster.

    Alternatively, you might look into a piece of retired Kevlar or Spectra spinnaker. I had one of these from an America's Cup yacht that worked quite well, when folded into thirds.

    I still think hay bales won't solve your issue to your long-term satisfaction unless compressed so much that they become unmanageable.

  13. #10
    Ah. So I build a frame and have a curtain with a 1.2 meter target in front of it. Good idea. I can look for a used sail.

  14. #11
    Penetration is not the only concern to have.......Alfalfa bales can tear up and act as a nasty abrazive to carbon arrows. If you get one, make sure that you use the net wrap side of them, because if you shoot into the end, they will slip right between the wrapped layers of the bale and bury itself.
    If you go with big or medium squares, they will most likely be packed more tightly than a round bale because of the baler's method of baling. Either side would work on those, but the end would be best. I think the best material would be wheat straw, and oats would be the same. Sudan MIGHT work........I don't know much about it, but I'm guessing it would all shatter quickly with arrow grouping, and stuff. And yes, I'm a farmboy! LOL

  15. #12
    Why don't you build a Square wood box about 3 feet tall, byu 3 feet wide and 2 foot deep. Put a piece of taught carpet on the back of it with the soft side on the inside. ON the front, cover it with chicken wire and fill it from the top with rags and old pices of shredded clothing. Once it's full enough, Cover the front of it with anothe piece of carpet and make sure you get it on nice and tight. Cover the top with a piece of wood and it will alst forever. This is what we use at our club and they last and last and last. Repair is dirt cheap and easy. If you need a descriptive pic, I'll try to get you one this week. You might want to ask Pinkfletch, he might have one on his computer he can e-mail you.

  16. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Central California
    Concrete blocks do an excellent job of stopping those errant arrows, besides if you cannot hit the target from whatever the distance you deserve the cost of an arrow.

    But you only need a target face big enough for 122cm target, bite the bullet and buy a whitetail, just like what you will shoot at a tourney, and unless you are shooting 500 arrows per day, they will last a long time. Even then, just replace the center and shoot away.

    If you still insist on hay...good luck, I use plain old straw...5 bucks a bale and it stops arrows at less than 3 feet from a 70 pound compound, allthough a bit tough on the vanes sometimes, they dont blow all the way through.

  17. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    "The Gunshine State" USA
    RS, I built an 8x4 cabinet, put a large rag box inside, when I open the doors I have 12 feet across and 8 feet high up to my ceiling. Use a shooting cage to further make it safe..........if you like I can post a picture.......send me a pm if you

    Never argue with an idiot, he'll just drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.

    I've never seen a problem that politicians could not make worse

  18. #15
    Wow, is that indoors? Sounds nice. I can get 18 yards (not meters) from my living room through my kitchen to the top of the washing machine.

  19. #16
    You could try the hay bail setup first....see if it will hold up to your ammount of shooting.(possibly rotate bails to the edges where arrows are less likely to go)

    If that isn't enough, then invest in a better butt to shoot into and leave the hay behind it for the extra security

  20. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Arlington, MA USA
    try excelsior. I don't know how much it costs these days, but many ranges had it way back when.

    It is a wood product, lasts longer than hay, and when things get loose you soak the bail and it swells up and gets tight again.

  21. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Wausau, W!
    A large pile of sand works as does sod piled in several layes and backed with soil. I have used sod for years and it gives one a flat surface to place a target on. When it gets shot out a bit ,just face it off with a shovel or put a new layer of sod in front. If your have a few rocks in the sod it can be shook to get the rocks out. This is the biggest problem,but I have found plenty of rock free sod. This type of target just keeps getting better with the addition of new layers of sod. I also find it to be the best broadhead target I have ever used. The sod I use is not the type one buys at K-Mart but sod one digs themselves and will have more soil attached to the grass. When you pile the sod slant it so it is high in front and use at least 2 layers with the front layer tied into the back layer. This is important to prevent the sod from tipping over. Use chunks as large as you can handle by yourself. Usually about 2' by 1 to 1 1/2'.


  22. #19
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    upstate ny

    Thumbs up excelsior bales

    excelsior bales work real good! they last for years if properly covered and taken care of. you used to be able to find them from casket makers,they used it to fill in the sides of the caskets around the bodies.

  23. #20

    straw bales

    I personally prefer straw because of the cost. I also went to the local grain elevator and got some 2' wide strips of worn conveyor belt to use as backstops, wont damage the arrows and were FREE.

  24. #21
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Douglas, Massachusetts
    As far as I can tell, there ain't no such thing as a hay bale that will stop my arrows. Real tightly compressed straw seems to be the best but it still won't do it on its own.

    I don't know where to get those excelsior bales around here.

    I wanted a big backstop for the same reason that you do -- I ended up with a stack of 6 straw bales with a piece of 1/2" plywood on the back. I put foam target faces on the front of the hay bales. When the foam target faces are new they do most of the stopping; but as the foam tagets wear the arrows will penetrate through the foam and straw and hit the plywood. Usually there isn't enough energy left to penetrate the plywood, but sometimes I have to go around the back and push them out with a hammer.

  25. #22
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Pacific Northwest

    How long do you want them to last?

    Please go to the manufactures message board.
    go down to the thread Pacific Bow Butts.

    All of your questions will be answered, if not ask it, please.

    I think you should look into this system., as well. It will STOP your arrows 300+ fps carbons. average penetration 8 - 9 inches.

    I've been doing this since 97. Thousands of satisfied archers.

  26. #23
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    "The Gunshine State" USA
    Originally posted by rsilvers
    Wow, is that indoors? Sounds nice. I can get 18 yards (not meters) from my living room through my kitchen to the top of the washing machine.
    Yea, like my wife would ever agree to that, garage ok, but not inside. No, actually I have about a 12' overhang on the back of my house screened around the pool. From one end to the other, under the overhang is a little over 20 yards. I shoot from one end to the cabinet on the far end, works out to exactly 20 yards, perfect for 18 meters, though my elbow sometimes punches the screen behind me. With the house on one side, ceiling overhead, blocked on the end with the cabinet and two batter boards on the open side blocks all openings. Roll-up blinds on part of way blocks the wind ...somewhat. I also have, but do not use much, two vertical poles in front of me to form a sort of shooting cage that will stop any swings of the bow left or right by hitting the stabilizer...................H ad a couple of e-mails to post pictures.........will do in a day or two, no laughting at my carpenter
    Attached Images Attached Images  

    Never argue with an idiot, he'll just drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.

    I've never seen a problem that politicians could not make worse

  27. #24
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Merrimack, NH
    Just go to your local Blue Seal Feeds or A/G supplies store and get some compressed straw bails. Hay will deteriorate with the weather. If it doesn't work, it only cost you a few bucks a bail.

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