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The Assassin's Trail - Archery Fantasy Book

Hello Archery Fans!

Some of my archery students know that I also write fiction and non-fiction. eg. I sometimes publish articles in Archery Focus Magazine.

Regarding my fiction work back in April I published a paperback of one of my older books, The Assassin's Trail.

The Assassin's Trail paperback is available on for $10.43.

Or if you prefer the ebook version, you can get The Assassin's Trail ebook for $2.99.

Plot Snippet:
Five years after undergoing the Test of Manhood, young Wrathgar is tasked with bringing back the head of the murderer Muddenklaw who sought vengeance against his own people and murdered innocents. But Muddenklaw has escaped from the Snowfell Mountains and fled south past the dreaded Ogre Swamp to the more civilized lands to the south, becoming a murderer-for-hire. Will Wrathgar be able to find the murderer, and bring about justice for those who were killed? Or will Muddenklaw escape into a world of assassins who hide in the shadows waiting to strike? Who will win in the showdown between the barbarian ranger and the assassin?

So is there archery in the book? Of course there is. Lots of it, plus also tracking, woodsman skills, flintknapping, murder, mayhem, magic and more! I am currently editing Book Two of the series, wherein Wrathgar and a team of other characters are faced with even deadlier dangers fighting the priests and followers of a dark god of murder. I am hoping to have Book Two available before Christmas 2019.

Happy Reading and Happy Shooting!

Charles Moffat

Archery Biathlon Scoring


How does scoring work in an archery biathlon?


In the regular biathlon (skiing with rifles) the Biathletes ski as fast as they can, then they must quickly calm down to shoot a target the size of a loonie 50 meters (55 yards) away from a prone position and shoot a second target the size of a Tim Horton's coffee cup lid from a standing position. Each time they miss they have to ski a penalty loop that is 150 meters long, which costs them a lot of valuable time.

Thus it is definitely a race. The first one across the finishing line wins.

So technically there is no scoring. You either get across the finishing line first or your don't.

There are also a number of challenges the biathletes face: How much wax they have on their skis, whether the snow is soft or hard or muddy, wind, rain, snow, fog. It is a true challenge and every competition will be uniquely different due to the snow and weather conditions.

The Archery Biathlon is very similar. They still have the challenge of skiing in adverse conditions and then calming down to shoot, but shooting a bow is much more challenging as they have to be very calm to get more accuracy.

So what are the differences?

#1. Archers don't shoot from a prone position, although they could in theory shoot from a kneeling position.
#2. They shoot three arrows instead of two bullets.
#3. They must hit a 20 cm wide target that is 20 meters away. It doesn't matter where they hit on the target (center or edge), so long as it is a confirmed hit.

So for every arrow that misses they still have to do the penalty loop, which is normally* 150 meters.

* The exact rules of archery biathlons can sometimes vary upon who is hosting them. The hosts make the rules.

Note - During the summer archers could still do something similar if they wanted to. "Run Archery" is a similar sport, but archers could also in theory use roller-blades or other methods of transportation to create their own sport. eg. Equestrian archers could use the above rules to compete on horseback.

Fun Fact

The Norse god Ullr is quite literally the god of the archery biathlon.

Trust the Norse to actually have a god for this sport, which back then was also a matter of hunting, survival and warfare.

Fast Flight Bowstrings vs Vintage Bows


"I have a question if you have a second.

That [vintage Black Hawk Scorpion] bow I sent pics of. My buddy Forrest made me a string for free but its ff [fast flight]. Will that hurt it?

- Parker S."

The bow in question, a Black Hawk Scorpion:


Hey Parker!

Risky. I wouldn't use fast flight on any of my vintage bows.

It was good you asked before trying it. Would be a real shame to see a Black Hawk ruined.

So weird thing... you know how bowstrings are usually 14 or 16 strands, right? So if people really want their bow to shoot faster they can also just make a bowstring that is 10 or 12 strands instead. The weight reduction on the bow string is what makes fast flight string faster, but other strings can do the same thing, you just have to use less of it. It does lower the life expectancy of the bowstring because it is then less durable, but if speed is what the person wants then it doesn't matter.
The downside of fast flight string is that it tends to damage bows by cutting into the wood / fibreglass. A friend of mine once experimented with making a bowstring made out of fishing line, which turned out to be a very idea. Even worse than FF judging by the amount of damage it did.

Parker: Ok thank you. I think he just wasn't thinking about it when he made it. What should I use? B50?


Also if you ever get into making your own bowstrings, expect the first 5 to be horrible but usable. By the time you make #10 you will be probably be happy with their quality. It is a fast learning curve.

Parker: Ok thank you very much.

Funny Archery Shirt

Okay so maybe it isn't "Haha Funny!", but I still enjoyed it. Archery humour sometimes has a pretty low bar for what we consider to be funny.

And if you don't get the joke, it is because archery is really difficult.

On a scale of difficulty I had a science teacher who explained how different kinds of science is considered more difficult.

1 - Chemistry. Pretty easy.
2 - Physics and Engineering. Twice as hard.
3 - Rocket Science and Orbital Mechanics. Four times harder, because you have to balance the weight of the rocket with the weight of the fuel, the thrust the fuel actually produces, the orbital velocity, the reentry velocity and angle... it gets super complicated in a hurry.
4 - Quantum Physics. Imagine trying to hit an electron traveling at the speed of light with a photon that is also traveling at the speed of light, while on a planet that is rotating at 460 meters per second and orbiting the sun at 30 km per second... and trying to determine where an electron will be at any given moment... theoretically. Yeah, have fun with that.
5 - Archery. Basically impossible to get perfect 100% of the time. There are too many unknown factors that you cannot account for all of them.

Yep, archery is hard.

This is why it is so challenging, but also so very fulfilling. You are constantly chasing perfection, but the realization that you will never achieve perfection. Sure, you get a bullseye once in awhile, more often if you take archery lessons and practice often, but the enjoyment of hitting the target is spliced with the enjoyment in the knowledge that you are getting better. Becoming a better archer, and hopefully closer to that perfection you seek.

Ideally you might even become a better person too, which is a nice bonus. Humbled by the beauty of the universe.

The Traditional Bowyers Bible - Volume I

On a side topic related to archery, for those people who are thinking of making their own bow or their own arrows, I recommend reading the following book:

The Traditional Bowyers Bible - Volume I

The good news is that book isn't that hard to find. You can get it at Basically Bows (Gary's shop at 940 Queen Street East), or you can purchase it on Amazon.

Or you download an epub version of it online for free.

If you are really serious about making your own bows and arrows I can also recommend a local bowyer who teaches bowmaking. I took a course with him years ago before I got married and it was invaluable.

Or alternatively, if books are more your thing, there are also Volumes II, III and IV of the Traditional Bowyer's Bible to check out.

I purchased all 4 books years ago from Gary's shop and they have been a valuable resource both for own bowmaking and also as a source of research for my fiction writing (which features archery frequently).

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