Layered foam boss



I've been given an old layered foam boss.

It is made up of many pieces of foam with a wooden frame which sits on the top and a matching one on the bottom. It then has a large ratchet strap which goes round to compress it all down. It also has a small ratchet strap which goes the other way to help stop it falling apart.

Is this OK? Anything I should do to improve it?

So far I took it apart and shuffled the foam around to put the more damaged pieces at the top and the bottom and the best pieces in the middle.

I've shot a couple of ends at it with my bow (70" 28lbs Recurve) and it seems OK. The arrows go quite far in but don't come out of the other side. (Shooting at about 20 yards).

At the moment I have used the excess from the small ratchet strap to tie it up to the gate hinge so it can't fall forwards.

Also from a safety point of view - what can I do to improve safety. I have placed it in one of 2 places I decided were possibilities. It is currently down the side of the house.

The path down the side of the house is approx 4 foot wide. At the front of the house there is a gate, so I have placed it behind the gate tied to the upper hinge so it can't fall over. (when I have finished I bungee a tarpaulin around it and swing it round to the side out of the way). I can then shoot from the garden, over the patio, past the conservatory, down the side of the house and into the target.

To the left there is the garden, then conservatory , then the brick wall of the house.
To the right there is a 5 foot high wooden fence along the whole length.

Beyond the fence to the right are playing fields.
Beyond the target there is the gate which has gaps in it, then behind that is a few foot of path then the end of the hedge, the hedge is about 5 foot wide and as it is the end it then goes back about 30m. So if an arrow did go into the end of the hedge it would have about 30m of hedge to travel through.

For now I have been putting an old bedsheet over the gate.
I have placed the foam target on the floor which would normally be fairly low but the path has steps in it from the garden so the path is higher than where I am shooting .

So far I haven't missed the boss (I can't remember ever missing the boss at 20 yards)

But the things I have identified are:

Public access to the playing fields to the right (I have good sight over the fields so just stop if anyone is nearby - they aren't that busy)
Missing high or just missing the boss - the sheet & gate would hopefully slow/stop the arrow with the hedge as backup further on. Missing ridiculously high might be an issue but shouldn't really happen.
Somebody approaching the gate from the other side (can't see due to the sheet) - The path dog legs round, I put the 3 wheelie bins in the way with a no entry sign on (and they make noise to move so I would hear them move)
Large metal ratchet on top of the boss - the large metal ratchet for tightening is right above the boss - I don't think it would do the arrow much good if it hit it, anything easy I can make to cover this which would protect a stray arrow?
Conservatory to the left - If a really wild shot went left (shouldn't ever happen) what would happen if an arrow hit the double glazing?

I plan for my daughter to also shoot at this boss, but she will only do it from closer - next to the conservatory just by the steps - which makes it about 10 yards or so.

The alternative place I could put it is in the garage and shoot into the garage. My issue with this is the amount of stuff in my garage at the moment! Also the driveway slopes up, so we would have to kind of shoot down. The garage is flat and would give about 5m from the boss to the door, then the next 5m or so of drive is a gentle slope up away from the door, then the next 5m or so is a steeper slope. So we could shoot about 10m at an OK level but to shoot 15m would mean having the target low down and shooting down to it.

Any advice or recommendations would be appreciated - Thanks.

Del the Cat

Well-known member
I'd put arrow stop net to catch any that go over the boss.
If it can happen it will happen, you don't really have anything solid behind the boss.
My preference would be down into the garage... so much safer. Mind I shoot field so shooting down isn't a problem.


Thanks, does the stop net work better than just a sheet. I used it today and had the tarpaulin over the gate first, then the old sheet over that.

Also how high would you go with the net?

ben tarrow

Well-known member
Hi nbuuifx

As Del has already indicated, sheets, hedges, backstop netting (in some cases), fences, even garden walls dont necessarily stop arrows (the little blighters nip over the top.

At archery at the weekend, one of the newbies clipped the top of their boss at 20 yards. We collected the arrow from between the legs of the 60 yard target.

Do you have the opportunity to shoot towards your house (stand at the end of the garden and shoot back towards yoour house) ?
House walls are generally big enough to stop arrows and if you do miss, its only your windows you put through and your loved ones you injure or worse.

Negligence, like charity, begins at home



Well-known member
I don't think a sheet or tarp will stop anything.
An arrow stop net is a heavy construction and pretty good if hanging loose, but it won't stop a bodkin point from a warbow. Dunno about skinny arrows from compounds.... (spits on floor).
I think my net is about 6' x 4' I have it with a few inches of slack on the floor to stop go-unders.
See pics at foot of this post:-
Bowyer's Diary: Twisted Beltane Hazel
No, a net won't stop an arrow from a compound unless it's a really low power bow. On the shoot towards your house point - my neighbours looked quite concerned the first time I got the shooting kit out until they saw me put the target under my kitchen window. It's a revelation how tolerant people are when they think they may witness you destroy your own property or put your own windows through instead of theirs - in fact they became quite encouraging, now saying things like "oh i haven't seen you playing with your bow lately".


The only way I can shoot towards the house in any way is to shoot into the garage.

I have a carpet from our campervan which is about the same size as the gate, I'm going to use this for the moment. It is quite heavy duty carpet and also has insulation underneath it. Fingers crossed that will stop any stray arrows.


Well-known member
Sounds like a plan. I doubt a 28lb bow will punch through a reasonable carpet as long as it's left to hang.


Well-known member
AIUK Saviour
Sounds like a plan. I doubt a 28lb bow will punch through a reasonable carpet as long as it's left to hang.
Anything to stop bouncers. Many years back, while shooting in a scout hut we had a bouncer off the back wall paneling and came back catching someone on the knee and drawing blood. Not serious but too quick to move out of the way.
And on overshoots, a couple of years back we spent hours looking for a recurve arrow that had gone under the 100 yd target. Found it 50yds behind the target 12 feet up a tree. Be safe :)


Well-known member
If I miss I know it's not coming back, intact. Fellow members derive great amusement from presenting you with bits of named arrow they've come across in various woods. Oldest yet is a banana shaped XX75 Autumn Hunter. Why is it never the useful bits that get returned? Also, why do they always ask if it's yours - if it's got Andy W**** written on it, probably.