Multiple layers of carpet remnants can work well, and should be cheap. I use plywood, because it's what I have for free, but it's a pain to get the arrows out sometime.Due to future construction in the vacant lot behind my house I will need to use a little better backstop than my back fence. I was thinking about getting a large piece of 3 or 4 inch thick polyfoam in a 4ft x 4ft or 5ft x 5ft like they use for arrow targets but have determined that due to cost of those sheets this may be prohibitive. Local supplier said I would be looking at $150 - $200 for such a sheet of polyfoam. The factory maid netting is also in the $200 and up price range.
No problem leaving my target out but not want to leave larger item hanging on back fence - the House Boss frowns on such thinks.
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Some have talked about carpet stacks and others have said moving blankets. What other methods are you using for a safe backstop???