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Bowports for when the SHTF

By David James

SHTF Bowman

SHTF Bowman     I was curious recently as to what a ‘Prepper’ was. I’d no idea what SHTF meant. Now I do! A simple web search introduced me to a worldwide community of people who are have a strong sense of impending doom. Based upon recent man made and natural disasters such as the meltdown of the nuclear plant in Japan, hurricane Katrina in the U.S. and, the Indian Ocean Tsunami in southeast Asia combined with dire predictions from some of the world’s leading financial analysts, I’m beginning to believe that the community has a valid point! It seems to me though many preppers consider firearms to be their main means of procuring much needed protein in the event of national emergency. These same people might want to consider turning to the age old art of archery as a supplemental means for hunting game. I’m going to introduce you, briefly, to bows and bow sports.

The Different Type of Bows

You should first be aware that there are many different types of bows available to modern archers; the most common of which consist of the traditional American style Long Bow or Flat Bow, the Recurve Bow and, the Compound Bow. You should also be aware that there are numerous other less common types of bows such as the English Longbow, the Korean Traditional Recurve bow, the Asian Horse Bow, and the traditional Japanese Yumi but these are specialist, and a little out of scope here.

So, what is a longbow and what are its advantages and disadvantages? Well, first of all you

need to be aware that the American style Longbow differs from the English Longbow in that American style Longbow haves flat limbs whereas, the English Longbow has either round or D-shaped limbs. In addition, as the name implies, Longbows are generally much longer than recurve bows because they were originally designed for hunting. They are smoother to draw and shoot than a Recurve Bow of the same draw weight due to their greater mechanical advantage (more leverage). In addition, Longbows are generally more forgiving of minor mistakes in an archer’s form than Recurve Bows. They are often the best choice for beginning archers as well as hunters. Plus, they also pinch the archer’s fingers less than shorter recurve bows.

Recurve bows on the other hand were originally developed for use by mounted horseman as both hunting tools and weapons of war and modern Recurve Bows are generally much shorter than Longbows. However, by design, a Recurve bow imparts more energy to the arrow when fired due to the recurved design of the limbs. They curve away from the archer at the tips. This enables them to store more energy. But, at the same time, Recurve Bows are also less forgiving to shoot than Longbows and they require a higher degree of precision from the archer. Also, due to their shorter length.

Compound bows feature a radical departure from both Longbow and Recurve Bow technology in that they employ either cast or machined aluminum risers rather than wooden risers combined with limbs made entirely from fiberglass or a combination of fiberglass and carbon. They incorporate an eccentric “cam” on the end of each limb connected by a Dacron “cable” (they were originally made of metal cable) which causes them to act like pulleys. Due to their pulley-like action, a compound bow of a given draw weight is easier to draw and to hold at full draw than either a Longbow or a Recurve Bow of the same draw weight. Because the eccentric cams cause the draw weight to peak well before full draw is reached, they also have a certain degree of “let off” which commonly results in a 65 to 80 percent reduction in draw weight at full draw which, in turn, makes it far easier for the archer to hold the bow at full draw for extended periods of time. That’s ideal when hunting. But, they are also significantly heavier than either Longbows or Recurve Bows and, they are also produce far more recoil and noise.

Survival bows are a modern invention. The limbs are normally flat (like a flatbow or american longbow) and they don’t normally re-curve. A survival bow is designed to disassemble into a small package that fits inside a day-pack or bug-out bag. Designed to be quick to assemble, light, sturdy and the ideal choice for a prepper or survivalist. There are a few different models on the market today, if you think one of these bows would be ideal for your cache, then take a look at this article on the best survival bows which has a good set of data, mini reviews, comparisons and a buyer’s guide.

The Different Types of Archery

The three most common types of archery and, the ones most useful to a survival prepper, are Target Archery, Field Archery and, 3D Archery. Most archers start out practicing Target Archery because it’s very well suited for teaching new archers the basics of proper form and aiming technique. Target Archery is the most basic type of archery and it involves shooting at a flat, stationary, target at a known distance and a consistent elevation on an indoor or outdoor open range. The main advantage to this type of archery is the known distance to the target as well as the consistent elevation and ample ambient light. This enables you to learn where to hold the tip of your arrow when shooting instinctively and to concentrate on maintaining the position of your sight pin when shooting with sights.

Like Target Archery, Field Archery involves shooting at flat, stationary, targets but, is commonly practiced in the woods rather than open ranges where the targets are placed at unknown distances at varying elevations with intervening foliage and differing ambient light conditions. Although Field Archery is more difficult than Target Archery, it is also far better for simulating actual hunting conditions.

Last but not least is the sport of 3D archery. In this type of archery, the archer also shoots at targets placed at unknown distances and varying elevations along trails in the woods but, instead of shooting at flat targets, 3D archers instead shoot at life-sized, three dimensional, closed cell foam targets. These are molded and painted to appear very similar to the game animal they are meant to mimic. This type of archery is an even better choice for developing the skills needed by a bowhunter because 3D targets lack any sort of distinct aiming point and, they force the archer to know the animal’s anatomy and to choose a specific aiming point in order to hit the targets “vitals”.  3D archery is the final evolution for a bow hunter because it most closely mimics actual hunting conditions.

 

What Do I Need To Get Started?

Starting out is best accomplished with a good beginner recurve bow. You can shoot a recurve “bare bow” which means that the bow has neither an arrow rest nor sights and the arrow is shot “off of the shelf”.  Recurve Bows are often shot both with and without arrow rests and/or adjustable archery sights whereas, compound bows absolutely must be outfitted with an appropriate arrow rest. A good recurve is a bow you can use for all archery disciplines and a great choice to learn the sport and acquaint yourself with the basics.

In addition, you’d need a set of arrows which are available in one of three different types of materials: Wood, Aluminum, or Carbon. Each type has both advantages and disadvantages. Carbons are great for everything but the most expensive. You can get by with any sort of arrow, but good ones are an investment as you use them again and again. More carbon expensive arrows will be the most durable, last longer and fly further and faster. Aluminium may bend. Wood will break. Regardless of which type of arrows you choose, they will need to be the proper length for your draw. Too short and you risk shooting through your hand.

 

You will most likely want to use your fingers to draw and release the bow’s string with a recurve, so you will also need either an archer’s tab or an archer’s glove to protect and pad your fingers. A common cause of much pain for beginner archers is string slap, where the bowstring contacts your forearm on the way past. This is painful, another useful addition to a starter kit would be an arm guard.

You need to know what type of bow you prefer, what draw weight is appropriate for your intended purpose (hint lighter is better for a beginner). Your shooting handedness as some bows come in left or right handed variants. Your draw length to get the right arrows and the type of arrows and accessories you’d want. Some bows come as part of a handy beginner kit. This may seem a little daunting, but we’ve useful guides to finding out all the above information on our site and comparison tables of the best recurve bows and buyers guides.

Learning to shoot is simply a matter of learning proper shooting form and then training your body to perform the same actions over and over again consistently while also learning to properly gauge the distance to your target. This all comes with repeated practice.

I hope that you have enjoyed my introduction to bows and the different types of archery and you consider getting yourself a recurve to learn or maybe just a survival bow to add to your cache!

Check out David’s other articles at targetcrazy.com

 

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Best Bow Hunting Tips

In order to be a great bow hunter, you’ll have to go through years of training and experience. It’s just like playing a musical instrument; at first, you don’t know what you’re doing, but with a lot of practice and determination, you’ll find yourself playing sonatas. It’s just the same with archery and bow hunting, but sometimes, you can’t improve by yourself. Thus, I’ve put together this article on bow hunting tips for all beginner hunters. Enjoy!

Weigh between speed and accuracy

Sometimes, you have to choose between the two. And as a beginner bow hunter, you’re bound to have trouble accomplishing a shot with both. Personally, I recommend practicing accuracy first. You’ll need to be more experienced with hitting a target dead on that hitting it at a fast rate.

On the other hand, speed is something that comes naturally (at least for me). I’d say speed will come when accuracy is improved. In other words, once you start hitting those bulls-eyes dead on, your speed is bound to improve as your confidence increases as well. Vice versa, speed will help your accuracy, as faster arrows bound to fly straight at the target.

For beginners, it’s important to master both. But not necessarily at the same time. When you’re out hunting, however, accuracy is more important, but speed weighs in a good amount, as well.

Pick a bow and stick with it

When it comes to archery and bow hunting, mastering your weapon is the best way towards experience. Choosing the right bow is a little bit of trial and error, so I don’t blame you for switching between bows. However, keep this in mind: the right bow will just feel right in your hands, and you’ll know when you have it. Under this, we consider weight of the bow, style, design, length, and these factors relative to your own dimensions and preferences.

If you do, however, find a bow that you can stick with, I highly suggest that you do so. Mastering your weapon will make your bow more of an invaluable friend than a hunting tool, and shooting an arrow will feel like a second instinct.

Generally, the more you master your bow and practice with it, I’d say that your accuracy and precision will improve as well. This is especially important if your target is to go bow hunting soon.

Work tirelessly on your form

The better the form, the higher the accuracy, speed, and precision of your shots. Find and practice the right form, with the proper stance, torso position, and grip relative to the target.

On this matter, I recommend asking an experienced bow hunter or bow hunting expert to assess your form. Ask for an evaluation afterward, which you can use to point out the things you need to do right/better. It also helps to watch Youtube videos wherein you can see bow hunters demonstrating a proper form.

Tip: practice in front of a mirror and compare your stance, torso position, and grip to a standard.

Practice in different settings

Actual bow hunting entails practice shooting in different situations and settings. For instance, you need to know how to keep your bow straight on a windy day, as much as you need to know how to shoot in low light.

It’s best if you practice when the weather is not that good, maybe a little windy. That way, you get to practice your aim in the wind. Another example is practicing near sunset, which will allow you to train with your bow sight in low light settings.

The trick here is to set yourself in a little diversity. After all, you never know what you’re going to expect in the wilderness.

Study, study, study

Reading goes a long way. When you’re a beginner bow hunter, it immensely helps if you read on your niche. Deer hunting tips, bow sight usage, accuracy and precision tips—all of these stored in your mind can help you apply them on the field and in practice.

Also, I emphasize the importance on reading about survival tips. These are the bits of information that you need stored at the back of your head at all times, especially in risky hunting situations and seasons.

Invest in high-quality equipment

When I was a beginner hunter, I wore all the wrong things and hated myself while freezing on the field. So, take it from me and choose the right equipment and clothing to take with you on your hunting trips.

My major recommendation is to splurge a bit—on your first pair of hunting boots or hunting knife, for example, because these are practical investments. When you choose the right products, you will get the quality that you paid for.

Choosing the right equipment also goes for hunting backpacks, kits, knives, clothes, and other gear that you take on a hunting trip. As a beginner, you tend to be not used to the wilderness and discomfort can come creeping up on you unexpectedly. So, choosing the right type of equipment can get you a long way.

Practice being stealthy

When you’re a bow hunter, you have the advantage of silence unlike gun users. When hunting skittish animals like deer, most especially, it helps a great deal if you know how to carry yourself, stalk, and shoot the target in a stealthy mode altogether.

For beginners, it may be a little hard controlling your footsteps and movement in order to make the noise as minimal as possible. It’s also a bit challenging to master the way on how to carry yourself and stalk your prey effectively. However, this skill can be learned just like any other.

The key is to practice in the field. You may not succeed on the first tries, but experience is the best teacher when it comes to stealth. Just make sure to take note of your mistakes and think of ways on how you can improve them afterward.

Under stealth, you also need to learn how to be unseen. This includes masking your scent against the sensitive noses of deer and bears, as well as wearing the right color of clothing. On this matter, you can read up on tips on how to do that and apply it the next time you go buck or bear hunting.

Conclusion:

We all start somewhere, and in bow hunting, it takes more than just a little bit of practice to master your weapon and shred in the field. This article is meant to open you up to the basics of bow hunting, which are useful if you want to learn fast in this area. To conclude, I give you this quick rundown of our tips to remember:

  • Practice both your accuracy and your speed, with accuracy as your priority. Speed will follow soon after
  • Stick with one weapon if it feels right, then master it
  • Work on your form tirelessly
  • Practice shooting in different situations and settings (e.g. low light, windy, high up on a tree stand)
  • Study on the field of bow hunting to find all the best tips and basic information you need to know
  • Invest in high-quality weapons and equipment
  • Acquire and practice the skill of stealth
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Why You Should Own A Bow And Arrow

I didn’t think I would be a big fan of the bow and arrow, but once I started using the recurve bow and the compound bow I fell in love with it.  I always get such an adrenaline rush when I am out in the woods or practicing in the backyard.
There are a ton of different bows to choose from. I only own the two but they also have the long bow and cross bow. All four of these bows are fun to shoot and extremely effective with a little practice.
Here are a couple reasons why you should own a bow.  Not just any bow but a simple survival take-down bow.

1. Easily Transported

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The recurve bow can be taken down into three pieces: the middle grip section and the two limbs (top and bottom).  The recurve bow had a couple lug screws and voila that can be twisted off.  Once you have it taken apart, it can be stored in your pack. The best part is how light it weighs.

2. Within Financial Means

The recurve bow should only cost you a couple hundred dollars and if you take care of it, it should last a lifetime.  The arrows are costless and once you start practicing more; you should be able track your arrows after you shoot them and reuse them.  There are ways to make your own arrows using wooden dowels or plant shafts.

3. Talented

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A lot of the new arrows are carbon fiber which are lightweight and have a tip that can be screwed-in to the arrow. There are a variety of different arrowheads that vary from practice tips, hook tips and line for fishing, broad head razor tips, and stunner tips.

4. Paperless and zero laws

Guns and bullet you need to follow laws and fill out a ton of paperwork.  With the bow and arrow you don’t need to mess with all the permits and paperwork.  Keep in mind a bow and arrow can be extremely deadly so always be responsible when handling one.

5. Too Loud?

The bow and arrow is one of the most silent weapon you can own.  You never know when this will come in handy. When you are hunting you don’t want a loud weapon that is going to scare everything away.img-6

6. Mutlitasker

The best part of having a bow and arrow is being able to use it for other sources.  The most important item of the bow and arrow is the string.  The bow strings can range from four to six feet in length and it’s strength is remarkable.  You can use the bow string for trotline fishing, traps, or shelther building.

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The second most important items are the arrows. You can use the arrows for spearing fish, small animals, or even wild pigs.  The only thing you need to change is how long the shaft needs to be for each animal. A longer shaft and larger spear will need to be used for wild pigs, fishing, and/or self defense.

The only negative feedback about the bow and arrow is that you can’t just go out thinking it’s a piece of cake to shoot a bow.  It requires a lot of practice to be efficient.  So quick being lazy and go practice in the backyard.

I always love challenging myself and this was a great way to practice and show off my skills to all the boys! Remember the more practice you put into your bow the more targets you will hit. Once you start hitting targets, remember its not the bow that’s amazing; it’s you that has all the skills! If you really want to challenge yourself, go out and make your own bow and arrows. Plan, prepare, and practice.

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15,000 Year Old Technology can Save Your Life – Bow and Arrow

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Bow and Arrow have been the weapon of choice for the better part of 15,000 years until the invention of modern firearms.  There are many reasons bow and arrow should be part of your survival plan.  Here’s a list of reasons you should not only incorporate one in your bug out supplies, but also practice using this tried and true ancient but very effective technology.

Portability:

Bow and Arrows are portable and light.  Take down bows are best suited for travel with out taking up much room.  “Take-down” simply means that the bow comes apart in three pieces: the middle grip section and the two limbs. It is simple to take down – just the twist of a couple lug screws. The fact that it comes apart makes it very portable. You can stash the bow in your pack or Bug Out Bag. It’s perfect for a Bug Out Vehicle or BOL (Bug Out Location) cache as well. And importantly it is very light weight so packing a bow in if on foot is easily accomplished.

There are many types of bows, but they all use the same method of launching a projectile faster than otherwise possible with human strength alone.

Common types of bow include

  • Recurve bow: a bow with the tips curving away from the archer. The curves straighten out as the bow is drawn and the return of the tip to its curved state after release of the arrow adds extra velocity to the arrow.
  • Reflex bow: a bow whose entire limbs curve away from the archer when unstrung. The curves are opposite to the direction in which the bow flexes while drawn.
  • Self bow: a bow made from one piece of wood.
  • Longbow: a self bow with limbs rounded in cross-section, about the same height as the archer so as to allow a full draw, usually over 5 feet (1.5 metres) long. The traditional European longbow was usually made of yewwood, but other woods are also used.
  • Flatbow: the limbs are approximately rectangular in cross-section. This was traditional in many Native American societies and was found to be the most efficient shape for bow limbs by American engineers in the 20th century.
  • Composite bow: a bow made of more than one material.
  • Takedown bow: a bow that can be demounted for transportation, usually consisting of 3 parts: 2 limbs and a Riser.
  • Compound: a bow with mechanical aids to help with drawing the bowstring. Usually, these aids are pulleys at the tips of the limbs.

Arrows:

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An arrow usually consists of a shaft with an arrowhead attached to the front end, with fletchings and a nock at the other. Modern arrows are usually made from carbon fibre, aluminum, fiberglass, and wood shafts. Carbon shafts have the advantage that they do not bend or warp, but they can often be too light weight to shoot from some bows and are expensive. Aluminum shafts are less expensive than carbon shafts, but they can bend and warp from use. Wood shafts are the least expensive option but often will not be identical in weight and size to each other and break more often than the other types of shafts.

Source Wikipedia

Affordable

A good pretty good bow should only cost you a couple hundred bucks and if you take care of it, you can expect it to last your lifetime. Not only is the bow itself affordable, but the ammunition (arrows) are cost effective too. Once you hone your shooting skills, you should be able to retrieve your arrows after shooting and reuse them over and over again. With a little practice, you can also easily make your own arrows using wooden dowels or even natural-found wood and plant shafts.

Versatility

Modern technology of arrows have come a long way. Carbon fiber arrows are ultra lightweight and have a tip that accepts different screw-in arrow tips for hunting everything with small game stunner tips, broad-head razor large game tips, standard practice tips, hook tips and line for bow fishing and even batman style grappling hooks. You can hunt anything from squirrel to deer using a bow with various arrow tips. A large selection of arrow tips can be easily stored and doesn’t take up much room.  Of course there is always flint knapping so that if there was ever a need to make my own arrow points.  With practice you can do it.

Paperwork

Legal limitations and laws are much more lax on the bow and arrow than they are with guns and bullets. You don’t have to mess with paperwork and permits, even though, in the right hands the bow and arrow is equally deadly. The less you have to deal with this stuff the better.

Silent and Deadly

The bow and arrow is a very quiet weapon. You never know when you might need the convenience of a weapon that is nearly completely silent as well as deadly.

Many Uses

Bows and parts of bows can have multiple uses.  The first and most obvious multi-use piece is the bow string. Bow strings range in length from 4 feet to 6 feet and are incredibly strong. You could use a bow string in a variety of ways:

  • Bow drill for fire
  • To build a snare for trapping
  • Emergency Cordage for shelter or tiedown
  • A sling or tourniquet
  • Trotline fishing

If you are packing a bow then you are probably packing a few arrows as well. Arrows can be used as spears and gigs for small game and fish. They can also be lashed to a longer shaft and used as a larger spear for big game such as wild pig. This larger spear can be used in self defense as well. Imagine a spear with three arrows lashed to the end and each of the arrows with a razor broad-head on the tip – you can’t even buy a spear that effective.

Some Negatives

Bow and arrow require skill to use.  It’s not like a point and shoot weapon.  So if you do invest in a bow for packing or survival purposes, so yourself a favor and practice.  There are some guides for bow hunting in our library  to help out with techniques.  It is also a weapon that carries a certain amount of respect. Ninety-nine percent of being able to effectively use the weapon is the skill itself – not the equipment. The skill will always be with you.

Plan, Prepare, Protect yourself and your family.

We would love to hear any ideas you have on the multi-uses a bow and arrow would provide.

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