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Field Tested: GlenDel Half Scale Elk

A warrior for backyard target practice or the 3-D course.

Field Tested: GlenDel Half Scale Elk

$379.99 | GlenDel 3-D Archery Targets | 800-282-4868 |

I’ve never had grand visons of hunting muskoxen in Greenland, Marco Polo sheep in Asia or brown bears in Alaska. In fact, my only bucket-list hunt is the one I will be going on this fall, an archery adventure for elk.

Although I’ve bowhunted more than 30 years, I’ve never had the time or resources to make it happen. But this year a dream will finally come true as I travel to Canada to pursue wapiti in northwestern Alberta.

Knowing this may be one of the few times — perhaps the only time — I go for elk in my life, I plan to be as prepared as possible, and that all starts on the practice range, shooting from various distances, angles and elevations so I have the confidence to make any shot that might arise. Thus, I wanted a practice target to represent the "target" I’ll hopefully be drawing on come September.

Enter GlenDel’s new Half Scale Elk, an anatomically accurate, 3-D archery target designed to replicate a 6-by-6 bull, but at half the size of the real deal. In essence, the target is scaled down from the average-sized, real-life bull to the dimensions of a 300-pounder. It’s 55 inches long from nose to tail and measures 36 inches tall to its shoulders and 55 inches tall to the top of the antlers.

I’ll start by saying I thought this target would be heavier than it actually is due to its size, but it weighs only 23 pounds, making it relatively easy to move and install. As for assembling the target, that’s a process that literally takes only minutes, with the head, legs and antlers sliding quickly and easily into place on the foam body. A pair of 16-inch metal stakes are included, providing plenty of support to anchor the elk to the ground.

Now, on to what every bowhunter really cares about — how well the target stands up to assault from your arrows. Well, the 12x12x12-inch replaceable vitals core — showing heart, lungs and liver — is made of extremely durable, self-healing foam designed to withstand hundreds of shots. Plus, it offers four-sided shooting, allowing you to further prolong the core’s life.

GlenDel says the “PolyFusion” technology used in the body core and vitals area takes open layers of foam and fuses them to the target’s inner wall to increase durability and expand overall target life. The open-layer foam design uses friction to easily stop shots, slowing the arrow as it slides between the layers. As with most of today’s 3-D targets, extracting arrows from this target is fairly easy, with only a minimal tug usually needed to get the job done.

The GlenDel Half Scale Elk is built to handle fieldpoint and broadhead shots from arrows flying up to 400 fps (rating is for standard-diameter arrows), and the four sides of the foam core offer different “views” of the vitals for practicing broadside, quartering away and 20-yard treestand shots.

If you want to rotate the vitals core to take advantage of the different sides/target faces, or you need to replace the core after you’ve beaten it up pretty badly, the process is quick and easy. Simply remove the two wooden dowels on either side of the core, lift off the “backstrap” foam on top of the core and pull the block out. It’s that simple.

As much as I’m looking forward to my elk hunt this fall, I can honestly say there’s an added level of anticipation while I’m practicing on a target that replicates the real deal. Somehow, it makes me feel like I’m one step closer to making my dream hunt a reality.

Now, how will I react when I hear a giant bull bugling its head off only 30 or 40 yards away? We’ll that’s an entirely different situation, and only time will tell. But my hope is that practicing on the GlenDel elk target all summer will help me be well-prepared for the moment of truth.

No matter the outcome of my hunt, I’m confident in saying the GlenDel Half Scale Elk 3-D Target will be a welcome addition to your practice routine, whether you’re preparing for your own dream hunt or you simply want a new target for the backyard or 3-D course! — Associate Editor Mark Demko


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