In today’s modern world, hunting with a simple bow and arrow can be taken as very primitive and basic. The bow is considered one of the oldest hunting tools known to mankind. It has been used for many centuries by our ancestors and in some more primitive tribes of the Earth, it is still used to this day.
You may want to be better prepared in the desert, or simply show your skills to your friends, knowing how to bow can be invaluable. If you especially need tools to hunt, in case you get lost or just look for adventures, the knowledge of how to make a bow and arrow can literally save your life. Of course, you must be careful when using it, and we will give you advice on that too.
The initial steps in your home arch.
Before continuing with the actual elements of the arch (and the arrow), you should evaluate what type of piece of wood you will use. You need to find a branch that is slightly flexible. The best branch would be Oak, walnut, teak, black lobster. The branch must be dead and dry, but not cracked and completely unusable for our purposes. It should be about the height of a man, approximately 6 feet (1.8 meters).
As an alternative you can use bamboo, But it should not be too thick. Bamboo poles tend to be thick, so if you want to use bamboo, make sure it is thinner than normal, like a younger stem. They tend to be even more flexible than mature bamboo canes.
Your next step is to determine your flexibility and natural curve. To do this, place the piece of wood on the ground and press the left hand in the center of the branch. Meanwhile, pull one end of the branch with the right hand upwards, so that it begins to curve the branch. Do it carefully and pull lightly. You will not want to break the branch by pulling it too hard. Even the most flexible wood can break at some point.
Next, you have to estimate your hand on the arch. This may seem like an unnecessary step, but in reality it is crucial. If you are in an overheated situation or need to react quickly, you do not want to look for where to hold your bow to make the perfect short: it should be immediately apparent. That’s why you’ll have to put brands.
Determine the midpoint of the branch and measure three inches up and down the branch from that center point. In these two places (above and below the center), place marks (either cut small slits or mark with a felt tip marker, etc.). Make sure they are permanent and clearly visible.
Another important step in the configuration of your bow is to determine the hardest points of the piece of wood. Place one end on the ground and the other, hold with your hand on the top. Begin to bend the branch, hold the lower end with the leg and continue holding it with your hand as well. Determine which areas appear to be least flexible and shave the wood from them. Cut carefully and in small pieces. Do this preferably with a pocket knife. The purpose of this is to have a bow that is uniformly flexible.
From time to time, review your progress. You should not exaggerate this step, as it is very easy to ruin the entire piece of wood. It should end with an arc that has a similar diameter uniformly throughout the branch, and a similar curve and flexibility.
We still have to point out that you must keep the central area (for your grip) the hardest and keep it as thick as it was originally. Basically, shave the wood only in both and # 8216; the extremities that are above and below the grip area.
Also, keep in mind that wood should be shaved only in the softest areas of the branch, preferably the y # 8216; belly area. When shaving the wood, also keep in mind that only remove the bark, not the inner and softer area of the branch. Otherwise, it compromises the arc and can easily break. Even if the bark has to be shaved in the grip area, it must remain the thickest and strongest area, the least flexible.
Try to work in symmetry. Each member of the arch must be equally long and flexible; Each individual member should be able to retain a sufficient amount of tension and should make a smooth arch when curving it. Basically, what makes the arrow fly is the way in which the limbs bend when subjected to pressure, pulling the arrow back on the rope. Of course, the limbs should be too thin (hoping to be flexible), as they can break. Remember, the center of the arch should be thicker and stronger.
If you have sandpaper (and we strongly recommend that you use one), polish the entire arc. This will remove any hard surface areas that could hurt your hands while holding it. Preferably use different grains, and start with the rougher and gradually change to grain with a finer surface (the grains have a smaller number, for example, grain 12 is very rough, and you can start with it; grain 220 is a very fine and soft grain, use that for the last polishing touches).
The next step will prepare your bow for the rope. Cut two notches on each end of the arch. This is where you will tie the bowstrings. Be careful not to cut the wood too deep for the notches, or compromise the strength of the arch.
Next you have to choose the bowstring. Each bowstring has different properties, but in general, several options can be equally good. The rope must not be elastic. The strength of an arc comes from the elasticity of the limbs of wood, not the rope. When you are in the desert, you may have difficulty finding a suitable substitute for a rope, so the best option is to prepare yourself in advance. Otherwise, here are our suggestions: nylon rope, hemp cord, string, rawhide, finishing line, etc.
However, remember that nylon can be heavier and that the arrow may not have the strength to fly away. You definitely need a light and strong rope. The best of the market is polyester (Dacron B-50). Preferably, use several ropes and tie them together along their length. You are thickening the final bowstring in this way, using not only one string, but several.
The last step to prepare the bow is to tie the rope around it. Therefore, use the notches to tie around each end of the bow to some of the strings. Tie a knot at each end and then tie a loose part of the rope. What you want is to keep the bow and rope taut. This can be achieved by having less than the length of the rope untied, compared to the length of the arch.
Now test your bow. Stretch it several times. You can place the bow on a branch so you can pull the rope down to test its strength. Be careful, of course, not to throw too hard and break it. In general, the bow should be able to maintain the distance from your full-length arm to your jaw (when you are in the position of goalkeeper, ready to shoot).
You can also get useful information from this guide in 4-step video of master-bow-builder:
Steps to prepare and make the arrow.
For these steps the requirements for wood are slightly different. You need to find branches, which are as straight as possible. Any visible curve can potentially change the trajectory of the arrow when it is fired. The branch must still be alive, and also at least half the length of the arch. You should also consider the arrow according to the full potential of the arch when it is stretched. If the arrow is shorter than the distance from your jaw to your stretched arm, then this arrow is unusable.
Think what wood to use. We can advise you on green wood, but make sure it dries out over time. You can also dry it quickly by placing it over the fire. However, the best procedure to dry the arrow is to let it dry inside for several days. This is called and # 8216; seasoning. ‘ After that, it is safe to remove the bark.
Mullen and goldenrod are very useful plants for arrows. They are strong and straight and can be found in open areas and fields. Other good options are plum, dogwood and hazel.
Even if the arrow is visibly straight, you may need to straighten it further. Use fire for that. Although I do not burn the arrow. It should be only slightly exposed to strong heat, without damaging the structure of the wood. When it cools, keep it perfectly straight. Preferably put weight on it to flatten the arrow in its length.
You also have to carve the tip of the arrow with a knife. Make a sharp arrowhead. Place it over the fire for a short time, so that the tip hardens. Again, do not burn or darken the wood. Also, carve a notch at the end of the arrow, where it is in contact with the string. This way, when you place the arrow, you will find yourself comfortably with the rope and it will not move sideways.
An optional step is to make an arrowhead. You can use different objects, such as stone, glass, bone or metal for the arrowhead. Use the stone to chip the object of your arrowhead and make it sharp and pointed. Then, with a hammer or sharp stone, make a notch on the arrowhead. Place the arrow (piece of wood) in the notch and tie the arrowhead with a string or other thread or string.
Another optional step, which will not improve your hunting skills or results, but, nonetheless, part of the arrow, is to make fletchings. You can use almost anything light and thin. Generally feathers are the best option. You can carve the back of the arrow to slide the fletches, or simply glue them and tie them around a string or thread of fabrics.
As we said, they are not crucial to your hunting experience, but they can improve the precision and flight of the arrow through the air. They act like the rudders of small planes or ships, gliding slightly through the air. They can also slightly improve the speed of the arrow, but to a very small degree.
Another good use for feather fletching is that they help the arrow to rotate when it is fired. This definitely improves the accuracy. If you do not have pens on hand, you can use thick paper (even plastic). Cut three triangles (the shape should be like cutting a rectangle diagonally). The triangles should be spaced evenly at the tip of the rear end
Keep in mind, however, that knowing how to use and perfect fletching requires time and experience. If you just need to survive and hunt, then you do not need them.
Useful tips for using the bow and arrow.
Never keep the bow and arrow too close to your face when aiming and shooting. It is very easy to hurt yourself if you do not have experience. Another useful tip when hunting is to use rope or rope when fishing. This way you will not lose the fish that you shot and you will attract it to you. Also, do not shoot unnecessarily and without an arrow (this is called a dry fire). This shortens the life of the arcs over time and can damage it much faster.
Keep in mind that the arch has a lifetime duration of no more than several months. Over time the wood dries out and is more susceptible to breakage. Get used to making a new bow and arrows every 3 to 5 months. This is the reason why it is also good to get used to carrying a rope or rope every time you go camping or hiking. In case you need to bow urgently you will have the cable. This is the only piece of the arch that is difficult to make from scratch in the desert.
Also, keep in mind that hunting with bow and arrow is very difficult and it takes time and practice to get used to the tools and handle them properly.
You should also be careful with the four main reasons for arch breakage and damage:
- Too much wood carving in a particular place. This can easily compromise the strength and durability of the arch, and can be turned towards the weak point, which causes the arch to break.
- Natural imperfections and defects in wood. This is not something that is responsible, but you should be aware of it when choosing and designing the bow in the early stages.
- Bad preparation of the bow., such as sanding, polishing, etc. If you do not polish your bow, it can last much less. The burnishing gives the bow additional strength and protection.
- Tying the ropes. This stage can ruin your work until now, if you do not do it correctly.
To solve some of the above problems, you will have to go through the previous stages many times until you perfect your bow. You may have to shake many times, until you are sure that the ends of the arches bend and flex uniformly and steadily. This is crucial if you want to extend the life of your bows.
Another tip for the health of your bow is to unscrew it when you are not using it. This relieves the tension in the wood and gives it time to return to its initial shape. The longer the bow stays with the string, the more it will naturally bend to that position and, as a result, it will have less triggering power. Remember that the arrow will fly faster if the wood exerts more pressure on the rope.
Also, do not give your bow to inexperienced people. There are very easy ways to damage a bow simply by not knowing how to handle one. If you do not want yours to be ruined, save it for you. Of course, if you bow, but then do not use it, give it to someone else who can enjoy it, instead of keeping it closed and letting it accumulate dust.
One warning: do not use the bow on humans, pets, etc. If it is to hunt in the forest (and is legally allowed according to laws and seasons), then use it. Otherwise, it can be and is a lethal weapon and should not be taken lightly. Do not give it to children who do not know how to handle it. They can hurt someone else, and especially themselves.
Therefore, take care of your bow and arrows, use it carefully and only in extreme cases (in a survival situation), and practice a lot to improve over time.
WEAPONS AND ARMS