Can I Build An Archery Range in My Backyard

Can I Build An Archery Range In My Backyard

Imagine your own DIY archery range.

You get to practice archery right in the comfort of your home, whenever you want and however you – but wait…

What are some important things to consider when building an archery range?

Before you get ahead of yourself with daydreaming about your archery range, you should focus on safety, whether or not it’s legal to build a DIY archery range, and how not to upset your neighbors. There’s that, and a lot more, to consider.

So, with that in mind, let’s take a more in-depth look at what’s required of you if you want to build your own archery range.

You’ll be having target practice at home in no time.

Know Your County Laws

Man Shooting A Deer Target

To know if you’re allowed to practice archery in your backyard, you have to check your county’s laws on the matter.

While some states allow shooting in your backyard as long as it’s safe and other people are not put in danger, there are other states that prohibit it completely.

The best way to check if you’re allowed to shoot arrows in your backyard is to contact your local authority offices.

They will be the best ones to tell you if, when, and what you’re allowed to shoot.

If having an archery range in your backyard is illegal where you live, you might be able to work around this issue by setting up an indoor range.

Provided you have the space for it, a room such as a basement could easily become a private indoor range.

On the other hand, a spacious garage could also be transformed into an archery spot.

Check-In With Your Neighbors

It’s always a good idea to chat with your neighbors about your plan to have your own archery range.

Not only could this result in them coming over to have fun with archery too, but it will make them aware of what’s going on so that they don’t wander into your yard and potentially risk getting themselves injured.

In addition, they’ll need to be informed of any noise that will be produced by your range.

By checking that they’re okay with you having your own archery range at home, you’ll prevent future misunderstandings or arguments.

Snoop Around The Neighborhood

Archery Range In Backyard

It’s not just your property and that of your neighbors that you want to consider in order to be safe.

You should take a walk around your ‘hood to pay more attention to any structures, pets, and people that are in close proximity to you.

You never know when a stray arrow might launch into the air and hurt someone beyond your property’s fence.

Remember: whatever happens on your property is your responsibility. You don’t want to get into trouble because of something that happens which could’ve been avoided.

Make Enough Space

You can’t really have fun shooting arrows in a tiny space.

It can work, but it’s not ideal for the long run.

In addition, if you want to practice target shooting, it’s essential to be able to shoot your target from further distances, such as by having targets set up in your yard at 10, 15, 20, and possibly even further distances.

Ideally, you should have a minimum of 15 to 20 yards of space in your backyard, which is the equivalent of approximately 14 and 19 meters.

Erect A Fence 

If you’re going to set up your own archery range at home, it’s essential to fence it in.

A thick wooden fence or wall can be a good idea, not just to make sure that your range is private but also to block arrows that could end up hurting passersby.

Build A Backstop

DIY Archery Range

The best way to protect your property from errant arrows is to build a backstop behind your targets.

While having a fence or wall can obviously help to prevent stray arrows from hurting someone outside of your property, it’s not enough.

A backstop that is placed behind your target is essential to keep your archery range as safe as possible.

A backstop will reduce the risk of harming pets, vehicles, and structures on or beyond your property.

How To Make Your Own Backstop

Get some bales of hay and stack them on top of each other so that they’re at least five feet wide and five feet length, but you can make them bigger if you like.

If you have some plywood instead, this could also be used. It’s a good alternative to hay because it will be more durable.

If you don’t want to make your own archery backstop, you can buy one. These are called arrow stopping mats or netting.

How they work is that they are tied up between trees in order to catch arrows that don’t hit the target. You can expect to pay up to $200 for a quality product.

While that might sound too expensive, just think of how much costlier it would be to fix what’s been damaged by an arrow!

Simulate A Hunt

Backyard Bow Hunt

There’s no reason why you should have a level archery range in your backyard.

You can make the range more fun by having targets set at different elevations. This is especially important if you’re a hunter and want to simulate a hunt at home.

An idea is to use your porch as elevation from where to shoot at your target, for instance, or even shoot from the trees.

However, the higher up you go, the more you need to ensure that an arrow that’s misfired won’t be able to get launched into the sky and possibly hurt someone.

Always make sure you obey common-sense rules, such as by not aiming your arrow up into the sky when you’re in a tree, and rather focusing it directly onto your target in the ground.

It also goes without saying that you should never hang targets too high in your property because it makes it really difficult to have a backstop behind them at that height. It’s not worth the risk.

Set Up Some Targets

While you might think Styrofoam or paper targets will work, just think of how damaged they’ll get after one round of target practice.

Having to replace them can become frustrating, so choose something with greater longevity.

A good tip is to use rag bags. These are sacks similar to Army sandbags and they’re extremely durable.

Once you purchase them, you can fill them up with soft materials you have lying around the house, such as foam or old clothes, and then you just seal the bags up with the Velcro they have at their opening.

These bags will ensure much more fun when practicing your shots.

Build A Bow Stand

PVC Arrow Stand

If you’re shooting arrows with your friends, it’s uncomfortable for them to have to rest their arrows on the ground during breaks.

This can also risk their equipment getting damaged. You can easily make your own bow stand for your DIY outdoor archery range.

As Realtree reports, all this requires is sinking a post into the ground and screwing bow hangars into it.

Make sure the post can be removed as needed, like when you want to mow your lawn.

Related Questions

Where can I find 3D animal targets to shoot in my backyard?

These 3D targets can be found online at Amazon, and there are different types depending on your budget.

You can buy a 3D animal target for between $20 and $300.

What are the strongest arrows for target practice?

Choose arrows with field or bullet points.

These have been designed for use in target shooting because they can be shot into foam, hay, or bag targets.

This makes them safe and durable for regular use.


The idea of having your very own DIY archery range in your backyard is an exciting prospect, but it does require you to do some important things beforehand.

These include checking your county laws to find out if having a DIY archery range in your yard is legal while also making provisions for equipment such as backstops to ensure greater safety in your range.

Once you follow the rules set out in this guide, you’ll be well on your way to having your own archery range.

Best of all, you really don’t have to spend a large sum of money or put in a lot of effort to enjoy target practice in the comfort of your home. Enjoy!

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