June 24, 2021
Whether it’s shooting the arrows and broadheads that will accompany you afield, wearing your camo clothing or learning to make shots from odd angles and awkward positions, anything you can do to simulate the “real thing” on the practice range is going to help you when you are playing for keeps.
Another area where I try to apply the “practice like you hunt” mentality is my choice of target. Sure, a block of foam is handy and will certainly get the job done, but there’s something to be said for a realistic, 3-D target that looks like the game you’ll be hunting. Not only does it make for more realistic practice, but it makes practice more fun — and fun, after all, is the reason we do this stuff.
Finding a realistic target isn’t a problem if you’re chasing deer or turkeys. After all, there are lots of life-sized options available, and just about every serious bowhunter owns several backyard bird or buck targets over the course of a lifetime. But what about when it comes to larger game? If you’ve ever looked at the cost of a life-sized elk or moose target, you know the figures can get pretty hefty. Speaking of hefty, trying to move targets that big and set them up is often a two-person job. There’s no denying the cool factor, but you aren’t exactly going to throw one into the truck and take it to hunting camp.
Thankfully, Rinehart Targets have us covered with a lineup of third-scale big-game targets, including the new-for-2021 1⁄3 Scale Woodland Moose. Measuring just 31 inches long, 36 inches tall to the top of the antlers and weighing only 16.5 pounds, the Woodland Moose gives archers the option to put a realistic moose target in the backyard without the cost and hassle associated with a life-sized version. As an added bonus, the folks at Rinehart say that — due to the scaled-down target size — practicing at 20 yards simulates the same sight picture as taking aim on a real moose from 60 yards away.
The moose represents the third installment in Rinehart’s 1⁄3 Scale Woodland Series. The company’s introduction of the 1⁄3 Scale Woodland Elk in 2019 was met with great fanfare, prompting Rinehart to follow up with the 1⁄3 Scale Woodland Caribou in 2020 and the 1⁄3 Scale Woodland Moose this year. All three targets feature realistic sculpting and custom paint schemes. They also feature solid FX Woodland Foam bodies and replaceable vital inserts made from Rinehart’s top-of-the-line, self-healing Signature Series foam. Both materials offer great durability against the elements and are capable of stopping both fieldpoints and broadheads.
I was excited about the 1⁄3 Scale Woodland Elk back in 2019, and I practiced on it religiously in the months leading up to a successful elk hunt in Montana. Now in its third season, I continue to shoot that elk target — with the original insert — to this day. So, the opportunity to add some additional variety to my backyard range with the new 1⁄3 Scale Woodland Moose was a no-brainer. In addition to the realism, convenient size and excellent target life, I’ve also found arrow removal very manageable. Arrows are a bit harder to remove from the FX Foam than the Signature Series Foam in the insert, but that’s just a little more incentive to make a good shot with every arrow.
I’ve never hunted moose, but it’s definitely on my list. Lately, I’ve been thinking it’s time to start planning and make that dream a reality. Thanks to Rinehart, I know I’ll be prepared to enjoy the same success I had on the elk in Montana. — Editor Christian Berg