I have an old 3-D archery target I’ve been poking holes in for years. For the first few years of its life, it lived in a shed out behind my garage. When I moved to a new house, it got its own corner of the garage. But as the years went by and that old target started getting more and more holes in it, I stopped being so concerned about storing it back in the garage after I’d practiced shooting at it.
Up until a few years ago, I still put it away for the winter, and I didn’t bring it out again until the spring storms had mostly passed by. But for the last couple of years, it has been left out there in the elements all year long. It turns out that’s not very good for foam targets.
It’s still roughly antelope-shaped, but it no longer has any paint left on it, and the weather has eaten away the lines that designate the vital areas. But worse than that, the foam it’s made of has basically turned to stone. I don’t know if getting wet, then baking in the sun repeatedly caused some sort of chemical reaction in the foam, but it seems like it has. It used to be somewhat soft, but now when you stick an arrow in it, it’s nearly impossible to get that arrow back out.
And even though it seems like it has turned to granite, it’s surprisingly brittle. I had an errant shot hit it in the nose a few days ago, and instead of stopping the arrow, the nose of my antelope target just exploded.
So I finally broke down and got a new 3-D target. After shelling out the money for it at the register, I remembered why I stored my first one inside for so long. Those things are expensive. I’m actually a little reluctant to poke holes in this new one, for as much money I spent on it. And it now has a special spot in my garage.