If you’ve ever shot multiple arrows into a target, then you are no stranger to the fatigue that comes with arrow pulling. Some targets can make removing arrows very difficult, no matter your bow poundage or what arrows you are shooting.
Luckily, there are a few things you can do to more easily (and safely) remove arrows from your target and start arrow pulling like a pro!
Arrow Pulling Safety
The most important thing to remember when pulling any arrows out of the target is safety. For example, when you remove an arrow, nobody should be standing behind it. This includes yourself! The last thing you want to do is injure yourself or a friend when removing arrows. Instead, stand to the side of the arrow and take a second to look behind you to ensure that the coast is clear.
Likewise, it is essential to stand clear when others are pulling their arrows out as well. It’s generally a good idea to be aware of your surroundings while out on the archery range.
You should NEVER run with arrows in your hands or up to your arrows in the target. In fact, it is never a good idea to run at an archery range at all. Archery is a fun and safe sport but safety should be the most important thing to remember.
Arrow Pulling Made Simple
So how do you actually pull an arrow out of a target that refuses to come loose? There are different tools and tactics that you can use to assist you in the process.
Using your hands is the go-to for most people. But for arrows that are stuck or those that don’t want to wear out their hand strength, an arrow puller can be a great option. Arrow pullers are simple devices that are used to assist in the process of removing an arrow from a target.
Arrow pullers work by providing more surface area on the arrow, allowing you to more easily pull them out. They come in all shapes and sizes. The majority of them are very inexpensive and small in size, making them a great addition to have in your arsenal. A few great options include:
1. K’Netix Molded Rubber Arrow Puller
The K’Netix rubber arrow puller is one of the most popular arrow pullers out there. It has molded finger grooves to give your hand a more comfortable grip. A clip allows you to keep it attached to a bow case, belt loop, or backpack for easy access.
2. Ten Point Bednar Perfect Arrow Puller
The Ten Point Bednar Perfect arrow puller is designed to work like a pair of pliers to help assist in removing your arrows. It comes with interchangeable grippers for different arrow shaft diameters. This model works exceptionally well when arrows are deeply buried and a traditional arrow puller can’t grip them.
3. Double D’s Magnum Grip Arrow Puller
One of the more expensive and high-end arrow pullers out there, the Magnum Grip arrow puller operates with a simple design. It utilizes aircraft-grade aluminum to provide maxim grip and leverage to remove even the most stuck arrows.
A straightforward way of removing a stubborn arrow is to get a friend to help you out. With two or three hands on the arrow, you get much more surface area to grip. With the help of another person, you can count to 3 and both pull straight back. Of course, this method only works if you have another person that you are shooting with.
If you continue having problems with arrows becoming stuck in a target, you can try using some arrow lube. This is a synthetic lube that you cover the arrow with before you shoot. This thin layer of lube allows the arrow to be more easily pulled from targets. It is especially useful with 3D foam targets, although it works for any type of target. One of the most popular arrow lubes is Scorpion Venom Arrow Release Fluid.
A quick and easy trick to try and get the arrow out is to give it a twist. This can be a quick and easy way to break the grip that the target has on the arrow without resorting to the arrow puller or lubricant. By simply twisting the arrow before and while you pull, it can help to break the grip on the arrow and release it from the target. While this doesn’t always work, it is worth a shot to at least try!
Arrows Stuck in Wood
Many targets have stands or support made of wood. A poor shot could result in one of your arrows getting stuck in this wood, becoming next to impossible to get out. Luckily, a few different techniques can potentially get it out without scrapping the arrow entirely.
The first and most simple trick is to wiggle the arrow around from side to side. This creates some space between the wood and the arrow, allowing you to slowly pull it backward. Use caution, however, and do not put too much pressure on the arrow as you could bend or break it during the process.
If this doesn’t work, you can attempt to dig out the arrow from the wood. Using a knife or a chisel, slowly and carefully remove small bits of wood from around the tip of the arrow. After some work, try wiggling the arrow again to see if it made a difference. Continue this process until you can get the arrow completely out of the wood.
If this still doesn’t work and all else fails, you can attempt to unscrew the arrow from the tip. You will lose the tip but at least keep the arrow.
Arrow Pulling Best Practices
In order to avoid damaging arrows and to keep from getting too tired, there are a few best practices that you can follow. These will ensure you get your arrows out of the target in one piece and can continue to enjoy shooting!
Pull Arrows Straight Out
When it comes to pulling out arrows of targets, this is the biggest thing to keep in mind. Pull your arrows straight out. Do not bend them or pull at an angle, as this can bend, break, or otherwise damage your arrow and prevent you from using it any further.
Mind Your Grip
Along the lines of arrows bending, be mindful of your grip on the arrow. When using aluminum arrows, you can more easily bend the arrow if you are gripping too aggressively. Grip firm enough to remove the arrow, but don’t overdo it.
Mind your Fletching
A part of the arrow that often gets damaged is the fletching. Avoid shooting worn-out targets where arrows are able to penetrate too deeply. If the arrow goes in too deep, it can reach the fletching and damage it. If you are shooting feathers for fletchings, it is often better to pull the arrow straight through the back. This helps to better preserve them unless you need to score the hit.
Pulling arrows from a target can be one of the least enjoyable experiences of archery. But, if you know what you are doing, you can easily remove arrows and avoid damaging them. This will keep you shooting for longer periods of time and allow you to enjoy your time on the archery range!