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I first learned how to build this target back in college in the UP of Michigan. After paying for all the necessities of college (beer, rent/utilities, food, beer, books, tuition, and beer :darkbeer:) there was not much left over for other things. One particular fall I was planning to hunt Black Bear I needed a good cheap target for practice. One of my friends told me about making a target out of an old top mattress, two burlap bags, and about 10' of 25# fishing line.

Back then we would always go to any feed store to get a couple burlap bags, but most of these feed stores are gone today. A great place to get a couple of burlap bags today is your local coffee shop that does their own roasting. They have plenty of bags lying around. An old mattress is usually pretty easy to find just about anywhere. If you find a King mattress top somewhere you will probably be able to make two of these targets out of one mattress.

These directions are for a 3' round diameter target. Cut the seams of both burlap bags and lay them out flat, one on top of the other. Using the fishing line sew a 39" circle (not 36”, but 39”) and leave about 12" unsewn (for the moment) at the top of the bag to enable you to get the mattress pad circles in the bag. Turn the bag inside out so you now have a decent looking burlap circle.

Cut 36" circles out of the padding on the mattress top. I like a bag that is about 8" thick so cut as many padding circles so when you stack them on top of each other you end up with about 8" of padding, not to heavy & plenty of stopping power). Roll these circles up and insert them into the opening of the burlap bag and unroll them. Continue to do this until you can't get any more into the bag. The last couple will be challenging to unroll, but the more pad circles you can get in the bag the better. Sew up the rest of the bag.

I like to paint dots, circles, and boxes of different colors on both sides of the bags to enable me to shoot different spots on the bag to get more use out of it. You will be very surprised how tough this target will be and how well it stops arrows. Great project to do with the kids also!
 

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Made a similar target to take to the ranch--only used the white feed sacks since as you mentioned, can't hardly find burlap anymore. I'd drive down country lanes until I found a trash heap--old stuffed chair, couch, mattress, etc. I'd slash it open, drag out the cotton batting and stuff it into the bag, and keep stuffing until I couldn't get anymore in it. Sew up the top, paint a couple of spots on it, and good to go. If you start getting pass throughs, then you need more stuffing, or just stomp on it to redistribute the batting and shoot some more. The bag will eventually wear out, but just get another one and slip over the target.
 
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