Bow hunting is a sport that requires a lot of practice and patience. The hunter is required to be smarter than the game animal he seeks to take because the effective range of archery equipment is limited to less than 40 yards for the very best shots and less than 30 yards for most hunters. Compared to the effective range of guns, which can take a big animal down at 100+ yards, bow hunting is all about skill.
The equipment used in bow hunting has changed a lot over the past few years. Archery has been practiced since the cave men learned to hunt for meat to feed their families. The first bows were short, made from limbs and strung with sinews or intestines from animals. Arrows were simply sharpened sticks with the tips hardened in fire. Later, men added sharpened flint arrow heads and feathers to the back of the arrow to stabilize the flight. When metals started being smelted, arrow heads were fashioned from copper, then bronze, then iron, and finally steel.
Bows have evolved from short limbs and saplings bent and strung to powerful longbows as were used in medieval Europe. These longbows had an effective range of up to 300 yards. In Egypt, the first composite bows were made in 2500 BC. These bows were made of wood and tipped with ox horns. Many different models of composite bows have been designed and made through the years since designed to give more direct control over the strength of arm required to pull and fire the bow.
The vast majority of advances in bow hunting equipment have taken place in the last 100 years. In 1936, James Easton began experimenting with making arrow out of aluminum. It was determined that shafts made of aluminum were much straighter than wooden shafts and could be fired more accurately. In 1946, Easton created the XX75 aluminum shaft which is still in use by bow hunters today.
The compound bow was invented in the 1950s. The immediate advantage is that pulling the bow to its recommended draw length causes a release in the tension on the arm holding the arrow so that the arrow can be held and aimed more accurately when getting ready to fire.
In the 1970s, Easton introduced carbon shafts to the world of bow hunting equipment. The goal was to provide an arrow that cannot be bent. Carbon arrows are not as straight as aluminum, but they are either straight or broken, there is no room in between. Aluminum arrows can be bent, but they will not fly true if used in a bent condition. Today, it is possible to purchase composite shafts made of an aluminum core with carbon around them. These are more durable than the straight aluminum, but can be bent.
Bow hunting equipment has come a long way in the last few years. The fact remains that the sport of bow hunting requires a great deal of skill and practice as well as an advanced knowledge of the outdoors in order to be successful.
Bow Hunting Arrow
In the history of the bow, which evidence shows going back to probably at least 9,000 BC, there has never been a more useful accessory than the arrows that it was designed to use as a projectile. After all, a bow without an arrow is probably nothing more than something that could be used to club an enemy over the head with, and not much else.
In point of actual fact, it’s truly the arrow that gives a bow, or a longbow, or any of a hundred different variations of the crossbow – ranging all the way up to the giant ballista siege engine of war – its deadly effectiveness. Knowing what makes for a good projectile can make appreciating bow hunting arrow uses and types all that more satisfying.
A good question to ask about a bow hunting arrow is what exactly makes for a good one? We know that the finest archers throughout history demanded that the arrow’s shaft be straight. That much goes without saying. So, let’s take a minute to examine the arrow and what it can, and can’t, do in the hands of a good archer who’s equipped with a nice bow of whatever type he or she prefers.
Bow hunting arrows, first of all, can be completely different things than the target arrows you might see being used by Olympic-class archers engaging in a shooting competition. Depending on the animal being hunted – especially when it comes to something large like a deer or an elk and the like – the arrowhead can be a multi-edged lethal weapon all on its own, or it can be a single tip, or point, suitable for small game like rabbits and such.
Something to keep in mind is that an arrow shaft needs to be as stiff as necessary, given pull, or draw, weight and how long the length of the shaft is. It’s a simple matter of physics that an arrow shaft will be more springy or flexible the longer it is, when compared to the same arrow of shorter length but the same thickness. Arrows generally are classed by weight, with so-called “featherweights” being substantially lighter than their more solid and thick brethren. Remember that the proper shaft for the correct bow is a must.
If you want to make sure you’re using the right type of arrow for the bow you own, follow the advice of most archery experts, who advise that you multiply 6 grams of arrow shaft weight for each pound of your bow’s draw weight. If you have a 40-pound draw weight bow, then your arrow should be approximately 240 grams in weight. This helps to ensure that the arrow will be finely weighted and fully effective while also helping to prevent damage to the bow itself.
As far as arrowheads, or “points,” it’s important that their weight be proportional, also, to the stiffness of the arrow shaft. Remember, there are different arrow weights for a reason. If you’re pursuing deer, chances are you’ll only be shooting out to 20 yards to make an effective kill. Medium-weight arrows fill that requirement nicely.
You should consider an arrow to be an integral part of the bow, and that both together make up the weapon system that a bow and arrow set is. Pick your arrows out with that in mind, because a poorly-chosen arrow will only lead to frustration and an eventual desire to quit the sport of bow hunting.
Bow hunting, The Art of the Stalk
Bows and Arrows have long been used to take wild game. In fact, bow hunting can be traced all the way back to the days of cavemen. The very earliest bows were made of tree limbs with a string of sinew tied to each end and arrows were simply straight sticks with a sharpened point. Feathers were added to stabilize the flight of the arrow and make it more accurate.
Over the intervening years, bow hunting has gone from a required means of bringing food to the family to a sport enjoyed by a relatively small number of sportsmen who still believe that having some skills in the outdoors is more valuable than being able to kill from 300 yards. Even so, there have been many advances in the technology and the materials used by bow hunters, most in just the last century.
It wasn’t until 1936 that Wisconsin became the first state to see the need and create a separate bow hunting season for archers. Bows and arrows used in those early years were very similar to the ones that had been used throughout history and prehistory.
Since that time, every state in the union has added a bow season that allows hunters to take anything from small game to a grizzly bear by bow hunting. Large game hunting with a bow is often a very dangerous undertaking, especially if the person is not experienced enough and familiar enough with his equipment to assure a kill shot when he fires. A wounded bear can turn and take out a hunter in a very short time if given the opportunity. Even whitetail deer, the most commonly hunted animals by bow hunting methods, can be deadly if not shot properly to make a clean kill.
Bow hunting has a very limited effective range for taking a shot and hoping for a kill. Usually, the hunter must be able to stalk to within 30 yards of the quarry. Most animals have sharp hearing and smell if not very sharp eyesight, making it difficult to get that close to the intended prey. For this reason, bow hunting requires much more skill and intelligence than hunting with fire harm because of the difference in effective range and speed of the projectile.
Most archers prefer bow hunting because it requires them to pit their skill against that of the animal they are hunting in a contest where the animal has all the advantages. Instincts, sharper senses, and better knowledge of the terrain put the animal several steps ahead of the hunter.
Some people also use bows and arrows to fish. Bow fishing is a very difficult task because of the way that water bends light and makes thing below the surface appear to be in a position slightly offset from where they actually are. Bow fishing can be a very interesting task and very rewarding to the successful sportsman. It, like hunting with a bow and arrows takes a great deal of practice to become proficient and requires a lot of intelligence.