Eleven Red Stag 3D
Reviewed By Steve , 6 February 2013Home > Archery Kit > Eleven Red Stag 3D
What a magnificent specimen. There is no doubt that shooting a whopping great target is a whole heap of fun. Especially when you are presented with one that looks so realistic, even from afar it's plain to see that this is no ordinary foam target. I recall walking on the Hebrides many years ago and coming almost face to face with one of these, it was in October during the rut. I remember holding my breath and my heart thumping away as it looked straight at me with the breath steaming from it's nose and mouth as it snorted it's unhappiness at my presence not 40 yards away - this fellow is no less impressive.
The first thing to do is to admire these stats. The weight of this 2 part monster is 45kg, that's just a tad shy of 100lb's- holy macaroni, I have friends that don't weight that much. In fact it is the heaviest target that Eleven produce. The dimensions are 170cm x 155cm x 40cm (66" x 61" x 15") once you add on the antlers you are looking at a beast over 7 feet tall, The antlers are a paid for extra that retail at around the £40 mark - which may sound a lot but a quick trawl on the web will find you looking at £150 plus for a set from Scotland.
All of this of course means that putting this particular 3D together will require a little help. Some folk might moan that it is just a 2 part target whereas there are plenty of smaller targets that come in up to 5 pieces, I actually prefer just having 2 sections. The reason is that our targets are used several times a week and taken apart and put back together again at various locations. I find that the more joints a target has the more likely it is that one or more will be broken, get worn out or just stop fitting together as sweetly as it did when new.
Eleven use a different joint assembly system to most other manufacturers and it is one of the reasons I love them. As you can see instead of a sliding joint or twist n lock, this big target, in common with other Eleven large targets fits together by use of a hexagonal plug and socket. The Hex plug is so huge it won't be broken off and the socket itself has a thick wall, there is nothing to damage and the joint will not rotate or wear out.
As I mentioned, this isn't a target you will be putting up by yourself. However it's hugeness is precisely why you would want it so we can't really blame it for being big.
The massive insert that is the kill area is made from the Eleven proprietary EP foam, a fabulously hard wearing and dense foam compound that really soaks up punishment from any and all arrows regardless of bow size or draw weight. The rest of the creature is made from what Eleven call standard foam, now this stuff is still denser than the stuff you will find advertised as premium by other manufacturers. I did say that it comes in 2 parts but the kill area is replaceable so strictly speaking there are 3 parts although you won't be replacing the inner any time soon.
I tend to look at targets first from the perspective of the person that has to pay for it, seeing as that's my job. The things that draw me to this one are the lack of bits to break. There are ears and I guess that at some point these will be broken off, mind you, the fact that it comes with a cracking rack means you won't be looking for its ear. Other than that it is a solid piece of work and even careless handling shouldn't cause this behemoth too much damage.
Next I look for longevity. As a purchaser I get upset when I see a target facing to either the left or right, what happens is that naturally folk want to shoot it so that it is facing them. So even though the target is sideways the face is orientated toward the shooter, this in turn means that the target will suffer uneven wear, and when eventually you are forced to use it the other way round it just doesn't feel right to be shooting a target that is looking the wrong way.
So I get very happy when I see a target looking straight ahead, it means I can alternate which way it faces with no penalty and consequently the target will last longer, at the end of the day I would rather it were my choice which way it looks and if I want to I can face it away from the archer. This target scores big with regard to this because it isn't a target I want to be replacing on a regular basis. This one has been with us for a while with almost no appreciable wear. As you can see it towers over "normal" Deer.
As an archer I love this target it looks superb and the detail is good. Because the joint is so positive it stays looking like a 1 piece target without sagging or the offset you sometimes see with large specimen targets. OK, I know it is a red stag and the foam is actually red all the way through so it won't start to look odd as it wears, but.... and it is a very small but in the grand scheme of things, as far as the paint job goes it could probably do with a bit more colour. So this is something you will have to do yourself if it bothers you. I suspect a little spray can time with this target will have it looking life-like in no time.
As to the cost, well it retails at almost £800. Considering the sheer volume of foam in it that isn't excessive at all and any price would have to be measured in terms of life-span. At 6' 2" our archer is still smaller than the Stag.
|Features & Design|
Standard foam for the bulk of the target and EP for the replaceable centre. Just 2 main parts means fewer bits to come loose/wear out or get damaged but at 45kg you will need to phone a friend when it comes to putting up and taking down. The excellent hexagonal joint keeps the 2 halves together and in line with no weakening and subsequent sagging or misalignment.
|Superb quality foam will soak up almost limitless punishment and if you are really good the only bit that you will need to replace... eventually... will be the vitals. |
|Value for Money|
|I have paid almost as much for far less in terms of volume, performance and sheer bulk - great target that will always deliver the wow factor. |
|A wonderful target that always brings a smile to the shooter, the impressive rack, although an extra really adds to the overall dramatic appearance of this gargantuan Stag.|