The use of the correct technique in removing arrows from the target butt is very important as it prevents damage to arrows such a bending, and damage to the target face, as well as reducing fatigue to the archer caused by struggling when attempting to remove arrows. The technique is quick and simple, requiring little effort on the part of the archer. The technique incorporates the use of the archer’s weight and natural levers.

Place one hand flat against the target with the shaft between the thumb and index finger, this helps to support the target butt when withdrawing the arrow the arrow shaft. Now grip the arrow shaft with the other hand as close as possible to the entry point into the target. To assist with gripping the arrow an arrow puller may be used.

Now withdraw the arrow with a slight twisting motion along the line of entry into the target butt, remembering to support the target with one hand.

Some butts are very tight or butt material may have melted onto the shaft, it may be necessary to lean the body against the butt for added support and use both hands gripping the arrow shaft at the point of entry to remove the arrow. In this case the archer rests their forearm against the butt and uses their elbow as a lever to exert additional force onto the arrow. It may even be necessary for two archers to work together to remove arrows.

The important point is to remember to support the target butt to ensure it does not pull forward when withdrawing arrows. 

Never hold the arrow along the shaft or at the fletched end of the arrow; this may cause the arrow to bend, but most importantly, you will not be able to exert enough force to easily remove the arrows from the target butt.


Removing arrows is where the majority of injuries happen in archery.

1.     Never run towards the target.

2.     When approaching the target, walk to the side of the target to avoid any arrows in the ground or the arrows protruding from the target.

3.     When scoring beware of arrows protruding from the target butt.

4.    Ensure no one is standing in line with the arrows when they are being withdrawn from the target butt.




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