Archery is at least as old as the oldest of civilizations in our history. In fact, evidence of the use of bows and arrows can found going back to 9,000 BC. Today, archery is mostly a matter of going out after game animals, which is why it’s nice to know something about archery hunting equipment and supplies.
As a sport, archery hunting is as popular as it ever was. In fact, hunting for most game animals – at least in the United States and most of North America – can be divided into two seasons; the one that allows use of a gun, and the other that allows only use of bows and arrows.
Archery hunting itself is a wildly varied form of sport. And there’s practically no limit to the types of game animals that can be hunted with any one of several different bow variants, including crossbows, longbows and compound bows, to name just a few weapons types. A particularly interesting type of archery hunting is using a bow and arrow to go after fish. It’s a certainty that this variation of fishing is a historically recent phenomenon.
In its most basic forms, archery hunting requires only a few things. First of all, an archer will need some form of bow and arrow. Which sort of bow is used can be a matter of personal preference or can be dependent upon the size and type of the animal being hunted. Compound bows, which use a system of pulleys to allow an archer to pull much more bow draw weight than would normally be the case with a longbow, are popular hunting weapons these days. They’re also easier to aim.
Some tradition-minded archers prefer the classic longbow, though, whose design hasn’t changed much since the 13th century, when it made its first appearance on the battlefield. Though it didn’t feature use of the longbow, the tide of the battle of Hastings, in 1066, was turned when King Harold II was shot through the eye by an archer wielding a short bow of about 4 feet in length. This can give you an idea of the effectiveness of the bow throughout history, both as a weapon of war and as a hunter’s favored tool for much of our past.
Hunting using a bow and an arrow also required that the right kind of arrow be used, given the kind of animal to be brought down. Arrows can come in a variety of shaft lengths and thicknesses, along with specific kinds of arrowheads, or tips. Take care to select arrows with care and an eye toward quality and straightness of the shaft.
An archer on the hunt will also require at least a general purpose quiver or arrow holder, generally, for his supply of bolts or arrows. Target archery doesn’t normally make use of these devices, but it’s a poor hunter indeed who goes very far afield without a supply of arrows readily at hand.
Lastly, general purpose protective equipment such as gloves or even a six or twelve-inch armguard might be needed, depending on the draw weight of a bow and its string. The string can deliver a fearsome snap to the inside of the forearm if not pulled and shot properly. All these items taken together can supply most of the archery hunting equipment any sportsman will need for a successful hunt.
Whitetail Bow hunting
In many areas in the Midwest region of the United States, there are a legion of sportsmen and hunters whose passions are wrapped up in Whitetail bow hunting for food and sport. A Whitetail deer isn’t your typical “Bambi” deer, either. Those animals have been anthropomorphized into something that’s almost human. Actually, what it is, is a wily, resourceful and far more capable deer than people would ever believe. In fact, novice hunters – even expert hunters, for that matter – can go years before successfully bringing down one of these animals.
In America, the Whitetail deer can be found in all but five states. It has a reddish-brown summer coat and a grey-brown coat in the fall and winter. It’s distinguished by the characteristic white underside to its tail, which it raises when it becomes frightened or alarmed and trying to flee. Bucks (males) usually weight between 120 and 300 pounds, with does (females) coming in around 165 pounds in a range from 90 all the way up to 230 in some extreme cases.
There are normally two permissible forms of hunting the deer; gun or bow. Both forms are separated into their own separate seasons. Hunters continually argue about which sport is harder, or even the more pure of the two. What’s certain is that a bow hunter must usually close to within 5 to 30 yards of the animal to fire off an arrow with enough velocity and aim to bring it down.
At one point in the history of the United States, overhunting by commercial entities had reduced the deer population in the whole of the nation down to about 300,000. This figure was clearly an indicator of great peril for the species. However, with stringent oversight by natural resources departments and with the cooperation of not only hunters but also ecologists and other supporters of the environment, the deer has staged a comeback. Today, it’s reliably estimated that the Whitetail numbers over 30 million.
A Whitetail bow hunter gains experience through careful study and application of bow techniques. There are a few recommended practices for hunting the deer with a bow. A good bow hunter will always try for the heart/lung draw and pull, while the animal stands at a quarter-side view away from the hunter. For reference, this shot is aimed at the area behind the animal’s shoulder blades, about midway down its body.
The two greatest enemies of the bow hunter are always noise and especially scent. The Whitetail’s sense of smell is very highly developed, and just using some sort of commercial “cover scent,” may not always work. Rather, the hunter needs to remove as much scent as possible. Experts recommend thoroughly bathing with a non-scent type of soap before going out into the woods to hunt. Remember, too, to always avoid anything that may give off a strong odor that lodges in clothing or boots.
As far as noise, the smart hunter tries to eliminate anything that makes it, as the best shots normally occur between 5 and 30 yards. In that circumstance, one can see why it’d be vital to be as quiet as possible.
The last thing to keep in mind is also the simplest: Practice and yet more practice at hunting is what turns those who are new to Whitetail bow hunting for food and sport into top sportsmen eventually.