If you have ever shot an arrow, you most likely know what I mean when I say that trying to get out an arrow that got stuck in a target is one of the worst things in life.
Your lower back might give out way before that arrow does.
In this is what my first experience with pulling an arrow from a 3D target was. The most disappointing 30 minutes of my archery experience ever.
So naturally, after that, I decided to do some research, and I wanted to see what most of the more experienced archers did in order to remove their arrows from the targets.
How to get an arrow out of a target? Using arrow lube is the best way to get an arrow out of a target. The arrow lube will form a protective layer around the arrow and prevent it from sticking to the target. In addition, using an arrow puller combined with a slight twist of the arrow will provide you with better grip and make pulling the arrow out of the target a lot easier.
Pulling the arrow from the target should not be something that we need to worry about when practicing or hunting. And most importantly, it should not be something that takes you 45 minutes.
Of course, there are a few more things to keep in mind, and we will get to that in a moment.
Best ways to pull an arrow from a target
After doing some asking around and digging around, I was able to find some time-proven and useful information which I will share with you.
All of these can work great and be a lifesaver.
So don’t worry, it is not all about muscles. You don’t necessarily need to have a stronger grip, hit the gym every day and eat lots of spinach.
Granted you may need some extra accessories, but the best thing is that they are all very cheap and inexpensive to obtain. While at the same time they can save you an arrow.
1. Use an Arrow Lube
An arrow lube like this one on Amazon is one of the best ways of preventing your arrows of getting stuck in the target.
However, be careful not to place too much of it on the arrow point. Place the arrow lube only on the first 3 to 4 inches; otherwise, you may compromise the arrow’s grip.
An arrow lube is not going to make the arrow get deeper into the target, but at the same time, it will reduce the friction between the arrow and the target butt.
2. Use an Arrow Puller
You can also use an arrow puller. Several years ago, the great majority of archers were using the Danny miller arrow pliers. And they used to be very expensive.
What I prefer to use is a cheap rubber arrow puller like this one on Amazon. It is going to provide you with a solid grip when you try to pull out the arrow from the target.
It works great in combination with an arrow lube as the extra padding offered by the arrow puller will protect your hands from the friction with the arrow.
3. Use a bar of Ivory soap
Some archers like to use a bar of Ivory soap. You can bring it with you and just rub the soap around the tip of the arrow before you shoot.
All you need to do with the soap is lube the first 2 to 3 inches of the arrow. Also, make sure you reapply the soap to the arrow every few shots.
And I am not talking about anything fancy or exotic, just a simple soap bar like this one on Amazon will work wonders.
You can use a fanny pack, or an empty roll-on deodorant container in order to store it in.
4. Use a slight twist
When trying to pull out the arrow from the target, try slightly twisting it. It is vital to have a good grip and some extra padding to protect your hands from blisters.
This is where the rubberized arrow pull comes in handy.
Be careful not to bend the arrow. Just try twisting it slightly, so much, so it breaks the connection to the target it has been created.
Also, be careful not to twist the arrow to much as carbon arrows can easily break, especially when dealing with 3D targets.
The type of target butt you use
There are several types of targets most archers use to shoot at. Some of these are admittedly a lot worse when it comes to getting an arrow out of them as you will see in a moment.
With certain target butts, the material may be very tight, or it can even melt to the shaft of the arrow.
Often hay can be used as a target. They are perfect for beginners as they are very cheap too.
They are easy to penetrate and get the arrow out of. One of their downsides is, of course, that they are not very durable and long-lasting.
Bag targets are one of the basic types of archery targets.
They often contain synthetic fiber which will stop your arrow with ease and offer easy arrow removal at the same time.
Usually, they are used with field points as anything else will get the outside covering damaged quite quickly.
Foam Block Targets
Foam block targets are one of the most popular ones, one of which is the Rinehart 18-1 foam target, for example, which is a superb practice target.
However, that doesn’t mean it cannot make it impossible for you to get that arrowhead out of it. This is especially true if you use a bow with a heavy draw weight which can send the arrow deep inside the target.
Cold targets are even worse as the foam can melt to the shaft of the arrow due to the friction which is generated when the arrow hits the foam.
Shooting at a 3D target can be a really fun experience. That is, of course until your arrow gets stuck in that little 3D turkey target and you have no way of getting it out of it.
Most archers usually use field points with 3D targets since if you use a broadhead, the chances are you will use it inside the foam core.
The Type of Arrow Point
Of course, the most straightforward way to get the arrow out is to put your foot on the target and pull the arrow out. But that doesn’t always happen, and frequently the arrow will not budge at all.
Field points are usually the go-to type of arrow points. They need to line up perfectly with the arrow’s shaft.
A common mistake that may lead to arrows getting stuck and being hard to remove is mismatching the size of the field point with the shaft and the inserts.
Using the right arrow points with the right target butts is very important as you can see, many of these do not really take a broadhead.
Broad points are a no-no when it comes to a bag target and foam targets.
Getting Screw-in Points out of a target
Screw-in points are another tricky thing. Usually, in that case, the lesser of the two evils is to unscrew the arrow and leave the point if nothing of the above-mentioned things worked.
But alas there is another thing that can be incredibly useful especially with screw-in points – an arrow point puller like this one on Amazon can provide you with a lot more leverage than you would normally have when trying to pull the shaft of the arrow.
A few words on safety when pulling arrows out of a target
Safety is always first. And pulling an arrow out while exerting a lot of force can be very dangerous, so take a quick look at these tips and tricks and make sure you stay safe.
This is especially important if you are shooting arrows with your kids!
- Make sure nobody is staying behind or near you while you are removing the arrow;
- Do not run towards the target;
- Always approach the targets by walking to the side of them; and
- While being near the target, make sure you pay extra attention to the arrows sticking out of the target butt.