Home Forums Campfire Forum Moving target plans

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    • Chad Sivertsen
      Post count: 84

      Do any of you have plans or experience with moving targets? Please share your ideas.

      For aerial targets I used an inexpensive Trius Trap, removed the stock mounts and mounted it vertically to a 4×4. Small pizza cardboards make good discs, I put 3-4 together, wrap duct tape around the outside edge. Works good, still tweaking the setup but I’m happy with the results.

      I am interested in a running deer setup. I have a big fir tree at the top of a hill on my place to use as the upper end. It is about 90 yards or so across an open field down to another tree and it drops quite a bit. Shooting distance could be out to 100 yards or more. If I can afford the length of cable necessary I will give it a try. It would be possible to get off several shots. Anybody have any plans that might work? With that length a motorized return would be nice.

      That length might require too much tension because of cable and target weight to be practical….but it sounds like fun. Comments?

    • SteveMcD
      Post count: 870

      Sounds.. cool. But, how many people would you expect could hit a moving deer at 90 yards with a traditional bow and arrow? Most people can’t hit a running deer with a shotgun at that range. That is from my experience, my gun club has a similar set up at our gun range for our September Annual Turkey Shoot. A hundred or more sooters sign up to hit an 8 inch bulls eye in te boiler room at 75 yards with shotgun slugs. Maybe one or two shooters actually ever hit the target at all. A rope or cable and pulley system though sounds like a great idea. I’d make the actual shot distance 15 to 20 yards though.

    • Jesse Minish
      Post count: 115

      Sounds fun! If you get it going I will come test it out for ya:D. I see you are between Hope and Paradise are you on the Montana side of the line?

    • William Warren
      Post count: 1384

      Jesse Minish wrote: Sounds fun! If you get it going I will come test it out for ya:D. I see you are between Hope and Paradise are you on the Montana side of the line?

      When you get it set up we must have Pics!

      For a running rabbit target what about those electric motor setups they use to get the Jack Russell terriers to run around the obstacle courses. It seems to be a string and pulley system with a rag tied to it. Just release a blunt each time the “rabbit” makes its revolution

    • Mark Turton
      Post count: 759

      Hi Chad, sounds like fun, do you know anyone with a winch on their truck?

      I don’t know that my bow will shoots that far.

      How about using a bike, take off the rear tyre chock it up and use fishing line add a guide to keep the line on the wheel all you need then is a volunteer to pedal, might work.

      Good luck and make sure you get some pictures, Mark.

    • Chad Sivertsen
      Post count: 84

      Well crap, this darn software just timed out and I lost my entire reply. I will try again.

      I’ve been thinking about this project for a while but am just now getting down to the details and changing plans already.

      The run distance is too far, at least for the first attempt at building this thing. I am going to shorten the run to 30-50 yards and move it in to the woods where I have plenty of big trees to choose from. That will offer the additional fun of shooting through and around trees.

      The 100 yards shooting distance was just a comment to show the amount of space available. 200 yards is possible but not likely we would shoot a moving target at much more than 60 or so. I routinely shoot targets at long distances, it is fun and good practice for the short shots.

      I like the bike idea and will give it a try. A few years ago at the PBS Odd Year in Idaho they had a conveyor of some sort set up with a line of gophers? that popped up. I can’t remember the details but anything that moves either back and forth or around a repetitive path could be used. I’ve shot flying geese and carp that used a simple pulley and cable that worked well.

      Thanks for the comments.

      Jesse, I’m between T.Falls and Trout Crick. You should consider the Libby Trad shoot in May.

    • David Petersen
      Post count: 2749

      Chad, old man — great to see you here. Be sure to check out our bowbuilding and Ashby forums as well. As I recall you know Milt Beens here in Durango; Wildcat Canyon Archery. 970/247-2894. Give him a call. He has a first rate 3d range set up in very convoluted terrain that includes a moving deer/elk target. Much as you describe. Rather than cable he uses heavy rope stretched as tight as possible, then hangs a pulley from that and a well-stuffed burlap bag target from that. The run top to bottom is only a few dozen yards but it moves slowly enough that a quick feller like you could likely get off two shots. If I recall correctly, there’s a smaller “drag line” attached to the pully so that you can pull it back to the top to save walking down every time. That’s the only such I’ve seen, and it worked dandy. For longer shots of course you need someone to release the target then duck behind a really big tree! 😆 dave

    • Chad Sivertsen
      Post count: 84

      Dave, good to be here. I’m just getting started here but do plan to review all the forums.

      Sounds like Milt can offer some insight, I will give him a call. Interesting he uses rope, that would help slow the target some due to the friction of rope compared to cable. I do plan to use a stuffed burlap bag.

      I have 15 burlap targets that I will place around the property, the aerial disc thrower and a couple of moving targets. Should make for a fun summer, I can go play in the woods for hours.


    • Mark Turton
      Post count: 759

      Chad, 200 yds, I don’t go that far on vacation:D

      I’m a great fan of foam soccer balls they bounce around unpredictably following the natural contours of the ground not unlike rabbits, you could add a string of these to your set up, just a thought.

    • Bloodless
      Post count: 103

      “Chad, 200 yds, I don’t go that far on vacation.” Good one, Mark! :D:lol:8):wink: Give us humor, or give us … boredom, stress and high blood pressure.

      Foam soccer balls? So the arrow sticks in ’em? My first great shot with a bow, as a young kid, was hitting a soccer ball that an adult kicked out in front of me with a dare … and then as ever since with “real” balls, the arrow bounced back and almost skewered me! Guess I should use broadheads! 🙄

    • MontanaFord
      Post count: 450


      My uncle used a cable run like you would use for a dog to run his moving target on. It works well. It is a stuffed burlap sack hung on pulleys from the cable. The cable is run at an angle somewhat following the contour of a hillside. We did find that we had to add some weight…4-5 bricks wired to the bottom of the downhill end of the bag…to speed up its progress down the cable. It probably runs for about 40 yards, total distance.


    • aeronut
      Post count: 258

      I have been thinking of setting up a moving target with this system.



    • stalkin4elk
      Post count: 63

      Have a kid drive a radio controlled car with a balloon attatched.The kid will have just as much fun as you. Heck, you’ll probably want to trade between the driver controlls and the bow.It does not have to be engineering 400!

    • texasota
      Post count: 47

      100-200 yards with a long bow??? you pay me enough I’ll just run back and forth. i’ll even pick up your arrows for ya!:P:P:P

    • Chad Sivertsen
      Post count: 84

      I’ve made some progress with this project and will post some pictures soon. I have a working running deer and disc thrower.

      Any ideas for targets that pop up suddenly?

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