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Showing posts with label Archery. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Archery. Show all posts

Archery Equipment Checklist

Q


"Is there a checklist of items I should get when looking for archery equipment [to buy]? I am looking to shoot recurve."

- Joe B.

A

Samick Sage is a very popular beginner recurve.
Hey Joe!

Sure, here you go:

  • A recurve bow in a poundage you can pull and hold steady for long periods. Avoid any bow you cannot pull and keep steady. When sold a new bow typically comes with a bowstring. See a list of popular recurve bow brands and models, there are plenty to choose from.
  • A Bowstringer - to string your bow properly, without the risk of damaging it).
  • An archery glove or tab (to protect your fingers properly). The most common style is a 3-finger glove, such as the one made by the American company Neet.
  • Arrow Rest - there are many styles of arrow rests, choose one you like that is within your budget. Generally the better quality arrow rests effect the accuracy of your dramatically, so if you are going to invest in something better, spending it on the arrow rest is a good idea.
  • Nock Bead - a tiny brass bead that goes on your bowstring that is used to prevent Stringwalking by accident.
  • Arrowheads - 125 grain field points are the most commonly used. Heavier field points are for shooting at close targets, light field points and for shooting further distances.
  • Arrows that are spined correctly for your bow's poundage. This is actually extremely important. You want the right arrows that suit your bow, both for accuracy reasons and for safety reasons (shooting cheap weak spined arrows on a very powerful bow can cause the arrow to shatter midshot and you can end up with pieces of arrow in your bow arm or hand - see photo below). See 3 Frequently Asked Questions about Archery Equipment for more details.
Just one reason why you need arrows that are spined correctly for your bow.

Optional, but Not a Necessity. See Optional Archery Equipment for more details.
  • Armguard or Bracer - arguably a necessity for some people, but not everyone needs one.
  • A spare bowstring. (In case the first one breaks.)
  • Spare Parts for Arrows - spare nocks, spare fletching, fletching glue, spare arrowheads, spare inserts. This is in case you ever need to repair arrows.
  • A quiver of some kind - possibly a back quiver, side quiver, hip quiver, ground quiver - or you can just make your own.
  • Dampeners - puffy balls that make your bowstring quieter.
  • Archery Backpack - to carry your gear in.
  • Bow Sock - for storing a longbow or one-piece recurve in.
  • 3D Targets - for shooting at fake rabbits and such.
  • Portable Archery Targets - for when you don't have anything else to shoot at.
  • Stabilizer - a gadget to help prevent people from canting the bow.
  • Decorative Limbs Skins - purely for decoration.
  • Wrist Strap - so you don't accidentally drop your bow.
  • Bow Racks / Bow Stands - for storing your bow when you are not shooting it.
  • Strange Arrowheads - Whistling arrowheads, Tibetan howling arrowheads, blunt arrowheads, glass arrowheads, flint, obsidian - there are quite a variety available.

Analyzing Compound Bow Arrow Clusters

Yesterday (Easter Sunday) I did some personal practice with one of my compound bows.

It was rather windy (mostly wind coming from the south, but with occasional strong gust from the south). So lets see how I fared and analyze the results.

Disclaimer - This post is NOT sponsored by Tim Horton's. I just like using their coffee lids as targets.

#1. A Good Beginning.

First up is a near perfect shot. A good start for the day. This Tim Horton's coffee lid was doomed from the beginning.

This particular shot was so good I decided to just stop there and relax the rest of the round. It was highly unlikely that I was going to beat it - or worse, I could end up Robin Hooding the arrow (hitting it in the nock and splitting it), thus ruining my arrow. I have Robin Hooded so many arrows with my compound bow I now only shoot 3 or less arrows per round in an effort to reduce the chances of hitting my own arrows.


#2. A Gust from the South.

Below you can see what happens when the wind starts gusting from the south. Now what you might not understand is that the arrows themselves were not effected by the wind very much - it was actually the wind blowing me around that was the biggest annoyance. When the wind is blowing the archer around it makes it difficult to maintain your aim, your balance and hold steady.

You can tell from the angle of the arrows that some of them were effected more by the wind, by they are still in a tight cluster on the target - largely due to me being patient and timing my shots when there is less wind / more stability.

In theory if I wanted even more stability I could just wait until the gusting stops completely, but that would be missing the point of practicing during windy conditions. Practicing during the wind allows you to work on how well you adjust your and get used to it - and what skills you learn in the process to improve your accuracy.

Having flags at the archery range also help. Gives you a better idea of what the wind conditions are and their precise direction.

There isn't much left of the Tim Horton's lid at this point, so I am aiming for the upper left corner of the lid.


#3. Less Wind equals Tighter Cluster.

I held it together and timed my shots better during this particular round. You can see it is a nice tight cluster, and I am still aiming for the left side of the lid since there is so little left of it. The top right arrow ripped a chunk out of the lid.


#4. Not Much Left of the Target.

In this shot I hit the white golf tee so it pushed it into the target butt and the Tim Horton's lid ended up dangling from the arrow. There was so little left of the lid it was clearly time to pack up and leave.

Plus it started spitting a bit so I was content to pack up my gear and take a walk up the hill towards the Tim Horton's. (Where I later met my wife and we went to visit my mother-in-law for Easter Sunday dinner.)

How to Oil a Wooden Longbow or Flatbow - FAQ

On a rainy day (like today) it is a good habit to remember to oil any wood bows that you used outside.

Now in my case, I ended up shooting inside my garage today because it is just plain pouring today - and spitting even at the best of times.

Today I wanted to shoot one of my antique longbows - a wooden flatbow made by "Archery Craft Toronto", circa 1960s. But just walking from my home to the garage gets the bow a little wet from walking in the rain.

Fortunately I routinely oil my wooden bows each time I use them and they get wet. This is a good habit to get into, so if you know if your bow got wet you should remember to wipe it down afterwards and give it a quick oiling.

What Type of Oil should you use?

Well, for starters, don't use WD40 or any oil meant for machinery. That is just plain wrong.

Oils used for protecting wood are usually made from mineral / plant oils or animal grease.

You do not have to use Tung Oil. This is just for example.
I used both linseed oil and mineral oil. However there is a broad range of oils out there that are available. For example I know that Mike Meusel, the Toronto Bowyer, prefers to use tung oil. Some people prefer teak oil or gunstock oil, although it often depends on what they have handy / within their price range.

Traditionalists often prefer animal grease - such as deer grease, bear grease, or other kinds of animal fat. I even know one person who uses bacon grease.

What kind of oil doesn't matter so much as you might think. Some oils last longer, some provide a thicker protective layer, some sinks into the pores of the wood better, there are pros and cons.
  • Mineral oil is cheap. Does a decent job.
  • Boiled linseed oil does a good job. Takes awhile to dry.
  • Tung oil is more expensive. Dries faster.
Generally speaking it is considered a good idea to use multiple different kinds of oil, that way you get multiple layers of oil which protect the surface of the wooden bow.

Some archers might prefer to use type of more expensive / better quality oil that provides a good protection and a nice shine. Others might simply use whatever they have available. Others might prefer to use a mix of both plant oils and animal grease. Some archers even have their own "special recipe" that they like to use.

What is more important is that you are at least oiling the bow to protect it from water damage.

Should I clean the bow before oiling it?

Does it look like it needs to be cleaned? Yes? Then the answer it yes, you should probably clean it.

Before oiling you may decide you want to first clean your bow, possibly using rubbing alcohol or fine grit sandpaper. Sandpaper should be something you want to avoid using unless the bow is in really bad shape and needs some heavy duty cleaning. I have purchased some antique longbows and recurves in the past which were "absolutely disgusting" and needed to be thoroughly cleaned because they were covered in guck and stains, and that is a good time to get out the sandpaper. Otherwise rubbing alcohol works very well.

There may be other cleaning products out there that are safe to use on bows, but those are the only two things I use.

How do you apply the Oil to your bow?

I recommend using paper towels and pouring a small amount of oil on to the paper towel (a lint free cotton cloth also works well) and then proceed to rub the wooden areas of your bow with the oil in a manner similar to using sand paper on wood.

After everything is well oiled wipe it clean with a second paper towel and then store in the open air. (Do not stick it back inside a bow sock or case right away.)

If you are using multiple different kinds of oil, I recommend starting with the cheapest oil first and repeat this process with each oil, using the most expensive oil last. So for example I would use the mineral oil first, and then the linseed oil. (The order you use might depend on personal preference however.)

How often should you oil your wooden bow?

Honestly, once it has a good layer of oil on there, it should be fine - as long as it doesn't get soaked in water for long periods of time. For paranoid archers like myself however, I routinely oil any bow that gets remotely wet. I would rather be paranoid about it than to later discover I had forgotten to oil one of my wooden bows and it became damaged as a result of negligence.

Should I use wax finish or expensive wood finishes?

Not a necessity, but some people may decide to do so for the sake of appearance. Some traditionalists might use a beeswax paste to apply a more waxy finish to the bow, but that is mostly for the sake of appearance. For the purposes of protecting the wood waxes are unnecessary. I personally don't use waxy finishes on any of my bows, but I might decide to use them in future on my homemade flatbows in the future just to give them a waxier look, especially if I am planning to sell them.

For the purpose of selling a bow, it makes sense to wax a bow before showing it to a potential buyer, in the same way someone selling their car should probably use car wax before showing it to someone who is thinking of purchasing. Generally speaking, the shinier something is the more people are willing to spend on it.

To learn more about archery sign up for archery lessons in Toronto.

Spring is here early, time to get outside and do Archery

March 1st 2017

This year global warming seems to be in Toronto's favour. I just checked the forecast for the next two weeks and there is only one snowy day (March 3rd) coming up for the city of Toronto. There is supposed to be a little bit of rain next week, but the average temperature will be getting very warm in a hurry.

Historical averages are also handy for predicting how warm the weather will be, but with global warming we can expect it to be warmer than average.

In the photo below you see a homemade moving target I made two years ago for Easter weekend (April 2015). See the amount of snow on the ground? Very little. But that was April during a very long winter we had back in 2015.


In contrast if you go outside today, March 1st, and there is no snow at all. None. We are clearly having a very short and mild winter this year.

On Friday, March 3rd the forecast is calling for 5 mm of snow. Just a tiny bit. Probably will melt by Saturday.

And judging by Toronto's extended forecast for the rest of March, that will probably be all the snow we get in March. (I am starting to really love global warming...)

So how can we take advantage of this lovely weather?

Start booking Archery Lessons right now. Because if you wait too long all the warm weather days will be booked up for the rest of the year.

What do Competitive Archers eat before a Competition?

What Fuels Archery Professionals?

Guest Post by Robert Gate - February 2017.

When preparing for a tournament each archery professional has a different way to train and to prepare for the contest. This extends to the meal they eat before the match to prepare their bodies for the strain ahead. Each member of Team USA champion has a different way to use nutrition to feed their body and to calm their mind, and the following gives insight into the food groups and dining choices these archery athletes choose and why they choose them.

Notes
  • To gain extra energy many athletes will consume sugar, salt and electrolytes moments before a competition. This isn't limited to archery, but is found across many sports.
  • With archery what they eat can be tricky, as they don't want to consume anything that might make them jittery (like caffeine), which could spoil a shot by ruining their ability to remain calm and focused.
  • Archers also want to stay well hydrated. Dehydration (and over-hydration) can cause an archer to lose focus, become forgetful, and consequently ruin shots.

Photo: World Archery
Sarah Lance
  • Breakfast: fruit, bowl of cereal or bagel
  • Snacks: Crackers and carrots
  • Drinks: Gatorade or water
Sarah Lance prefers to maintain a similar diet on a shooting day as she does on a normal average day. Making large changes in her diet alters her ability to be able to control her movement and to steady her aim. Most often she chooses the healthy option of fruit for breakfast, or sometimes the more filling option of cereal or a bagel. She likes to snack throughout the day to maintain her strength and stamina and to keep hydrated she drinks water, Gatorade and sips some soda.

Photo: World Archery
Braden Gellenthien
  • Breakfast: Salad
  • Lunch: Steak or grilled chicken
  • Snacks: Almonds, dried fruit, and Clif Bars
Braden Gellenthien likes to prepare for a tournament a week in advance. This includes making healthier food choices that will give his body the edge that it needs. During this period, he prepares all of his meals at home and grills his meat instead of frying it. This way his body is adjusted to his healthier life choices when the time comes for the archery contest. He makes sure all his nutrition is covered by including meats, fruits, and greens in his daily diet. The snacks are also natural, healthy and allow his body to feel light and agile.

Photo: World Archery
Erika Jones
  • Snacks: Subway, Pringles, and Oreos
Erika Jones prefers to take a more casual approach to meals at a tournament and eats what she wishes. This can be a healthy option or give in to her cravings and bring a snack higher in sugar and salt content.

Photo: World Archery
Lee Ford-Faherty
  • Snacks: Veggies and Carbs
  • Drinks: Powerade Zero
Lee Ford-Faherty bases her diet on the components that will give her the most energy. This includes a diet high in carbohydrates and protein which as an athlete she needs. She believes that it is possible to eat healthily wherever you are for the same cost as it would purchase a nutritionally deficient meal. She makes sure she gives her body the fuel it needs to perform and to give it the right balance of nutrients to maintain her endurance. She also gives her body a lot of fluid because it is quickly lost when standing in the heat of the sun. For this, she drinks Powerade Zero, which as well as hydrating her replaces vital electrolytes.

Photo: World Archery
Crystal Gauvin
  • Drink: Water
Crystal Gauvin’s main focus is to drink a lot of water to keep herself hydrated over long periods of standing. Nuun tablets can be placed in the water to replace electrolytes sweated out while shooting and also provides a sweeter taste to the drink. It is healthier than other sports drink options and still provides the hydration and energy that an athlete needs. She brings her cool water to a tournament to ensure she has a constant supply and as much as she feels she needs.

Photo: Sarah Bernstein
Ariel Gibilaro
  • Breakfast: Bagel with cream cheese or egg
  • Snacks: Chewy Bars and Crackers
  • Drink: Water
Ariel Gibilaro finds it difficult to keep to her usual eating routine when attending a tournament due to the traveling and the extended training involved. Long days at the tournament means most of her meals are snack sized and easy to carry. Chewy Bars and crackers can easily be carried with her and quickly eaten when she has a spare moment. One meal she tries to take regularly is her breakfast, which is a bagel spread with cream cheese or served with eggs for protein. To keep hydrated, she chooses water as the healthiest and most natural option.

Photo: archery.tv
Christie Colin
  • Dinner: Restaurant food
Christie Colin believes she deserves to have some fun after a hard day at a tournament. She likes to take her friends to The Olive Garden and restaurants and binge on carbohydrates.

Mackenzie Brown
Photo: Mackenzie Brown
  • Snacks: Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches
  • Dinner: Italian
Mackenzie Brown brings pre-prepared snacks to tournaments with her, so she doesn’t have to worry while busy with the competition. These snacks on an international trip remind her of home and include the traditional American peanut butter and jelly sandwich. She treats herself before a ranking match to dinner at an Italian restaurant with pasta as the main course.

Photo: Dean Alberga
Reo Wilde
  • Dinner: McDonalds
Some less professional and unconventional athletes prefer a quick and easy alternative. Reo Wilde prefers to grab fast food before the tournament and he always relies on McDonalds to be there, wherever he is in the world.



Robert Gate is the founder of Archerytopic.com. He was enthusiastic about hunting from the first shot, from then he decided to become a pro hunter. If you find something helpful in his blog, he would be proud to hear from you.

How to Date a Traditional Bear Bow

In the world of archery, "Bear Archery" is a brand manufacturer from the USA which was started by Fred Bear. The company has been around for decades - since 1939.

And as such there are quite a few antique / vintage Bear bows kicking around. I have one in my collection, a Bear Grizzly Static, from 1949.

The problem with these old antique bows is that collectors sometimes have difficulty dating them. Thus you end up with websites like:

Bear Bow Models, Older Models sorted by Year

You know, as a way to try and differentiate and figure out how to date a particular bow. Find the particular model from the list of bows, and then check the following to narrow down what year a Bear bow was made:
  • The Serial Number
  • The Coin Medallion
  • The Patent Mark
  • The Decal stamped on the bow.
  • Whether there are wood laminations or not.
  • Does it say "Bear Archery" or "Bear Products"
  • The location, eg. Grayling, Michigan or Gainesville, Florida
There is another way to do it too, but it involves going through old Bear Archery Catalogs - assuming you can find them - and trying to find your bow using old colour / greyscale photographs that have dulled with age. This method isn't particularly recommended because:

#1. You probably won't even see your bow model in the catalog, as it pretty random what was in a catalog from a particular year.
#2. Even if you did manage to find the catalog from roughly the same year, you could still be guessing as to whether the year is a match or not.

There is another way to date old Bear bows too. If you are willing to spend approx. $39 to add it to your collection...

Jorge Coppen with Arnold Schwarzenegger, 1979
Jorge Coppen, a federal wildlife biologist for 25+ years, lifelong bow hunter, Bear Archery enthusiast, and author, has written a book  on the topic:

"Bear Archery Traditional Bows: A Chronological History"

$38.95 on Indigo.

The book is essentially an informative, illustrated guide book and handy to people who like to collect Bear Archery bows (I only have two myself, I prefer to collect antique bows from many different companies, not just one company).

Here is what the publisher has to say about the book:

" To the Bear Archery traditional bow enthusiast and to the archery community at large, this book "Bear Archery Traditional Bows: A Chronological History (1949–2015)" represents a singular compilation of the chronological history of Bear Archery traditional bow production through the Bear Archery Company’s full timeline. This illustrated reference manual not only preserves the history and heritage of Bear Archery traditional bow production since 1949, it serves as a helpful reference to any and all archers interested in collecting and dating their vintage Bear Archery traditional bows. Each chapter covers a detailed chronology of factory production specifications for each specific bow model or group of related models. It includes photos of bow models for almost every year. The best part is this: at the end of each chapter, there is a table that allows readers to search out the characteristics of their bow by year, AMO length, riser material, medallion, limb glass colors, overlay colors, limb tip colors and where applicable, the two-digit serial number prefix. "

Yada yada. Basically the book is for people who are "Bear Archery Collectors" - the same type of person who would get a portrait of Fred Bear tattooed on themselves.

Photo on the Right: No offense to Fred Bear, but that is a damn ugly tattoo.

Who gets that tattooed on their back? Seriously. Only the true Bear Archery fanatic would do that.

And while I do like Bear bows and consider myself a fan of their bows (and antique bows in general), I don't see myself shelling out $39 for a book when there is a website (the one mentioned further above) which does a very good job of dating the bows. I guess I am just not a super fan.

Five Styles of Arrow Rests

Investing in a good arrow rest is one of the best things you can do, equipment wise, to improve the accuracy of your bow. Today we are look at five common styles of arrow rests, their pros and cons, and give you a look at why having a good quality arrow rest can go a long way towards improving accuracy.

#1. The Cheap Plastic Arrow Rest

You get what you pay for with this arrow rest. Do not expect any great accuracy and it will eventually wear down and need to be replaced.

The proper way to install it is horizontally. However some people don't know this and install it vertically... Which results in lots more inaccuracy as the arrow fletching ends up rubbing against the arrow rest way more.

There is also a particular style of cheap plastic arrow rest that is meant for either left-handed or right-handed bows, and you are supposed to rip off the section of the arrow rest you are not using - see image below. Again, people don't know that they are supposed to cut off / rip off that section, and thus suffer from unnecessary inaccuracy simply because they don't know any better.


#2. The Wire Arrow Rest aka Flipper

There are many different designs of arrow rests like this (see the image on the right and the two images below) - and in theory people could make their own using nothing more than a paper clip and tape, and it would work practically the same way.

The principle is simple. The arrow rests on top of a tiny bit of wire and it flips out of the way as the arrow passed by, causing comparatively little contact with the arrow - and thus improving accuracy.

Compared to a plastic arrow rest, a wire arrow rest lasts a lot longer. It will eventually wear down however. The wire will become bent, the plastic on the side of the arrow rest can wear down, and so forth.



#3. The Spring Weighted Arrow Rest

NAP and similar companies make a variety of spring-loaded arrow rests wherein the archer can adjust the spring to the weight of the arrow. When used the force of the arrow passing by brushes the arrow rest out of the way, creating very little friction.

For best results the archer should try to adjust the spring so it matches the weight of the arrows perfectly - and then always use the same weight of arrows when shooting with that bow.

This style of arrow rest is commonly used on compound bows, but it can also be used on recurve bows that are compatible.

#4. The Hair Arrow Rest, Traditional Fur or Whisker Biscuit

Traditional archers tend to favour a very traditional way of doing things - in this case an arrow rest that resembles fur. The arrow rests upon the fur, brushes over gently and the fur barely touches it.

Whether an archer uses faux fur, felt, hair, carpet or similar materials, the principle is the same - a furry carpet that brushes gently against the arrow, thus minimizing contact and increasing accuracy. (Personal Note - Years ago I made a similar arrow rest using sheepskin - it was very furry and I had to trim it down quite a bit. It looks like the bow has a moustache.)

The Whisker Biscuit Arrow Rest (shown below) follows the same principle, but is usually used for compound bows. The arrow brushes against plastic whisker that surround and entrap the arrow. Some archers trip the whiskers back where the vane fletching rubs against the whiskers in order to minimize it further.


#5. The Drop Away Arrow Rest

This last type of arrow rest drops down out of the way midshot, in theory allowing the arrow to pass by with zero contact with the arrow rest. It is spring loaded to make the process very fast. It is tuned and attached (usually) to a compound bow cable. When the shot is released, the cable moves, triggering the arrow rest to drop away. This creates an extremely accurate shot, but the arrow rest needs to be tuned properly to achieve this desired result.

Archery Proverbs

While similar to quotes, proverbs are old sayings that cannot be applied to any one person. They are often cultural in their origin, and while likely started with one unknown person, they have since become a saying used by many people.

Proverbs often have a deeper meaning for those wise enough to think about what the deeper meaning might be. Typically a proverb is a metaphor, comparing one thing to another. Sometimes the proverb is also meant to be funny, but not always.

An example of a funny proverb is:

"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana."
- English Proverb

The implied pun is fruit flies. It is corny, and you would think that this proverb is pretty much useless - unless you consider that old things tend to go bad, sour, rot, etc - and that time goes faster than you think. Thus a wise person should respect time and take a moment to use things before they go bad and remember to throw them out before they reach the point where they start to have bad consequences (such as old bananas attracting fruit flies).

The primary goal of a proverb is to impart some speck of wisdom. However small.

Lets take for example the Sudanese Proverb: "Let rats shoot arrows at each other." The implied wisdom here is that untrustworthy people (rats) will end up killing each other. The implied wisdom is that a person should: 1) Not associate themselves with untrustworthy rats. 2) They should not be rats themselves.

Many of the proverbs on this page are cultural proverbs that are not necessarily about archery, but using archery as a metaphor to talk about something else.

Below are some examples of Archery Proverbs that are actually about Archery:

"Aim small, miss small."

"When in doubt, aim lower."

"It never hurts to be closer to the target."

"Don't rub your fletching the wrong way."

Some proverbs are also found across multiple cultures but with different wordings. So you may spot a number of proverbs below which are identical or very similar to proverbs to other cultures. This is often because the two cultures were close to each other geographically or perhaps have a historical connection.

For example:

"A man without money is a bow without an arrow."
- Romanian Proverb

"A man without money is like a bow without arrows."
- Indian Proverb

Now you might think India is pretty far from Romania, but if you know your history then you should also know that Romani Gypsies are originally from India. Thus the Romanian Proverb likely has its origin in India and traveled there with wandering gypsies.

Other times it is pretty clear that similarities in proverbs is due to a shared language.

"The archer that shoots badly has a lie ready."
- Spanish Proverb

"The bowman who is a bad marksman has a lie ready."
- Mexican Proverb

And of course sometimes there are proverbs that don't have a known particular culture.

"A wise woman knows her husband like an archer knows their target."
- Traditional Proverb

Note - The list of archery proverbs below are in no way comprehensive or complete. There are doubtlessly more. If you know of any I am missing, please add them in the comments.

Listed Alphabetically, by Culture

"Words are like arrows throw them only when you know where they will fall."
- African Proverb

"A cutting word is worse than a bowstring, a cut may heal, but the cut of the tongue does not."
- African Proverb

"A hunter with one arrow doesn't shoot with a careless aim."
- African Proverb

"The arrow that missed the head of its target will never hit the tail."
- African Proverb

"The last partridge will take the most arrows."
- African Proverb

"A bow too much bent will break."
- Albanian Proverb

"Faster than an arrow."
- Arab Proverb

"I taught him archery everyday, and when he got good at it he throw an arrow at me."
- Arab Proverb

"The ropeman got mixed with the archer."
- Arab Proverb

"When you shoot an arrow of truth, dip its point in honey."
- Arab Proverb

"Four things come not back -- the spoken word, the sped arrow, the past life, and the neglected opportunity."
- Arab Proverb

"The eagle was killed by an arrow made from its own feathers."
- Armenian Proverb

"If you shoot your arrows at stones, you will damage them."
- Austrian Proverb

"A trick is not an arrow."
- Bajan Proverb

"A son as cunning as his father knows the arrows like father."
- Bajan Proverb

"There is no bow without its meat."
- Bajan Proverb

"For a jest one should not take the arrow out of the quiver."
- Bajan Proverb

"The place to use the club and the above arrow are not the same."
- Bajan Proverb

"Don't use up your arrows before you go to battle."
- Burmese Proverb

"If one archer guards a narrow pass, ten thousand cannot get through."
- Chinese Proverb

"It is easy to dodge the arrow of an enemy, but difficult to avoid the spear of a friend."
- Chinese Proverb

"Deer-hunter, waste not your arrow on the hare."
- Chinese Proverb

"Kill two vultures with one arrow."
- Chinese Proverb

"Mistaking the reflection of a bow in a cup for a snake."
- Chinese Proverb

"Draw the bow but don't shoot - it is a bigger threat to be intimidated than to be hit."
- Chinese Proverb

"A bow long bent at length waxeth weak."
- Danish Proverb

"The bow may be bent until it breaks."
- Danish Proverb

"Don't overstrain your bow -- it may break."
- Dutch Proverb

"Strain not your bow beyond its bent, lest it break."
- Dutch Proverb

"Good hunters track narrowly."
- Dutch Proverb

"The bow must not be always bent."
- Dutch Proverb

"It is too late to cry "Hold hard!" when the arrow has left the bow."
- Dutch Proverb

"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana."
- English Proverb

"An arrow shot upright falls on the shooter's head."
- English Proverb

"The air of a window is as the stroke of a cross-bow."
- English Proverb

"A good archer is not known by his arrows, but his aim."
- English Proverb

"If you sow arrows, you will reap sorrows."
- Filipino Proverb

"Not every sort of wood is fit to make an arrow."
- French Proverb

"Unstringing the bow does not cure the wound."
- French Proverb

"If you have no arrows in your quiver, go not with archers."
- German Proverb

"You will break the bow if you keep it always bent."
- Greek Proverb

"He who wants to shoot at a crow, will not pluck his bow."
- Hungarian Proverb

"A man who shoots his arrows as he makes them does not realize when he has shot a whole sheaf."
- Igbo Proverb

"A man without money is like a bow without arrows."
- Indian Proverb

"Why would a man without a bow look for arrows?"
- Indian Proverb

"It is always good to have two strings to your bow."
- Italian Proverb

"Unbending the bow does not heal the wound."
- Italian Proverb

"A bow that is bent too far will break."
- Italian Proverb

"Have two strings to your bow."
- Italian Proverb

"Time flies like an arrow."
- Japanese Proverb

"A wild goose may be worth a hundred pieces of gold, but you first have to spend three pieces of gold to buy an arrow."
- Japanese Proverb

"A single arrow is easily broken; a quiver of ten is not."
- Japanese Proverb

"The pen wounds deeper than an arrow."
- Jewish Proverb

"Do not throw the arrow which will return against you."
- Kurdish Proverb

"Let but the hours of idleness cease, and the bow of Cupid will become broken and his torch extinguished."
- Latin Proverb

"Don't draw another's bow, don't ride another's horse, don't mind another's business."
- Latin Proverb

"A bow too much bent is broken."
- Latin Proverb

"One little arrow does not kill a serpent."
- Malawian Proverb

"The bowman who is a bad marksman has a lie ready."
- Mexican Proverb

"A man must make his own arrows."
- Native American Proverb

"There are many good moccasin tracks along the trail of a straight arrow.""
- Native American Proverb

"Thoughts are like arrows: once released, they strike their mark. guard them well or one day you may be your own victim."
- Native American Proverb

"A hunter who has only one arrow does not shoot with careless aim."
- Nigerian Proverb

"If a child shoots an arrow that reaches the top of a tall palm tree, then it must be that an elderly person carved the arrow for him."
- Nigerian Proverb

"Even as the archer loves the arrow that flies, so too he loves the bow that remains constant in his hands."
- Nigerian Proverb

"The archer knows his target."
- Nilotic Proverb

"A father without sons is like a bow without arrows."
- Nilotic Proverb

"The archer that speaks too much, goes home empty handed."
- Nilotic Proverb

"Harsh words hurt more than a poisonous arrow."
- Nilotic Proverb

"The bird will not fly into your arrow."
- Ovambo Proverb

"Draw not thy bow before thy arrow be fixed."
- Persian Proverb

"The arrow that has left the bow never returns."
- Persian Proverb

"An arrow can be pulled out of a wound, but a hurtful word stays forever in your heart."
- Persian Proverb

"You have many strings to your bow."
- Portuguese Proverb

"Like wood, like arrow."
- Romanian Proverb

"A bow long bent at last waxes weak."
- Romanian Proverb

"A man without money is a bow without an arrow."
- Romanian Proverb

"You can best shoot an eagle with an arrow made from its own feathers."
- Russian Proverb

"Many speaks of Robin Hood, that never shot in his Bow."
- Scottish Proverb

"I have a good bow, but it is in the Castle."
- Scottish Proverb

"It is the hunter who always beats the lions, because it is the hunter who always tells the stories."
- Senegalese Proverb

"A hunter has no mysterious notions about the forest."
- Shona Proverb

"Better to be shot with a crossbow than rejected by a window slammed shut."
- Sicilian Proverb

"Love kills with golden arrows."
- Spanish Proverb

"The bow that is always bent slackens or breaks."
- Spanish Proverb

"The archer that shoots badly has a lie ready."
- Spanish Proverb

"The pig's tail will never make a good arrow."
- Spanish Proverb

"Let rats shoot arrows at each other."
- Sudanese Proverb

"If an arrow goes into a forest it is not lost."
- Swahili Proverb

"Do not lend your bow or arrows to a man who seeks to do you ill."
- Traditional Proverb

"The enemy's cold heart summons the arrow to it."
- Traditional Proverb

"It is easy to dodge a spear that comes in front of you but hard to keep harms away from an arrow shot from behind."
- Traditional Proverb

"An archer cannot hit the bullseye if he doesnt know where the target is."
- Traditional Proverb

"One arrow does not bring down two birds. But one archer can."
- Turkish Proverb

"The forest provides food to the bowhunter after they are exhaustingly tired."
- Zimbabwean Proverb

Arrow Speed of Compound Bows Vs Recurves, Shooting Longer Distances

Compound bows shoot arrows at over 300 fps (feet per second), compared to recurves which do closer to 200 fps - which gives an archer a significant advantage when it comes to shooting longer distances.

Take for example the following bow: "The 2017 Mathews Halon 32". (I am not endorsing this bow, I am just using it as an example of a fast compound bow.)


The Mathews Halon 32 has a top IBO speed of 350 fps.

The Halon 32 is not alone in this category of high speed compound bows. Here is a brief list of manufacturers (all 2017 models currently available on the market) and their top IBO speeds:
  • APA Mamba M34TF - 355 fps
  • Bear Legend LS6 - 355 fps
  • Xpedition Xplorer SS - 355 fps
  • Bowtech Reign - 350 fps
  • Hoyt Pro Defiant - 350 fps
  • Darton Maverick II - 350 fps
  • Obsession  Turmoil - 350 fps
  • PSE Evolve - 346 fps
  • Bear Moment - 340 fps
  • Hoyt Double XL - 340 fps
  • Obsession Hemorrhage DE - 340 fps
  • PSE Bow Madness Epix - 340 fps
  • PSE Carbon Air 34 ECS - 336 fps
  • Prime Centergy - 333 fps
  • Hoyt Carbon Defiant - 331 fps
  • Bear Legend LS4 - 330 fps
  • Cabela's Fortitude - 330 fps
  • Martin Firecat - 330 fps
  • Prime One STXv2 - 325 fps
  • Bowtech Fanatic 3.0 - 320 fps
  • Mathews Avail - 320 fps
  • Mathews Stoke - 314 (youth bow)
  • Gearhead T15 Pro -  237 (micro hobby bow)
So immediately what you learn here is that even the smallest compound bows, like the Mathews Stoke youth bow and Gearhead micro bow, still shoot arrows at faster speeds than recurves. Compound Bows (and those people who are big fans of them) are essentially speed freaks.

You also learn that 300 fps is really more of a minimum. As you can see most of the normal adult compound bows are shooting between 320 to 350 fps.

So why does speed matter for shooting longer distances?

The short answer: Longer arcs equals more accuracy.

Arrows arc their way upwards and eventually downwards at longer distances. At short distances arrows arc up (which means the archer has to aim the arrow significantly below the target), at medium distances they begin to arc downwards (which means the archer has to start aiming higher, possibly just below or just above the target - depending on the distance), and at long distances arrows arc dramatically lower.

If the arc is really short (shot from a weak or possibly sluggish bow), the shots lose accuracy because of the slightest change in aim. In comparison a strong / fast bow will shoot arrows with a flatter trajectory, which allows an archer to more easily make aim corrections that rapidly increase their accuracy. They don't have to worry about the arc of the arrow so much, whereas someone shooting a weak / sluggish bow does.

Remember: The faster the arrow is going, the longer the arc is, the more accurate the arrow will be at longer distances due to the archer being able to more easily adjust their aim.

Is there any reasons why you would not want more speed?

Well, there are some pros and cons - depending on what you are shooting for.

The speed of the arrow is directly tied to the amount of kinetic energy being released from the bow (via the bowstring) and into the arrow, propelling it forward at incredible speed.
  • The heavier the arrow, the more kinetic energy it can initially store - and the more momentum and power it retains when it finally hits the target. This makes heavier arrows better for hunting purposes.
  • Lighter arrows, although they store less energy, go faster because they weigh less - but at the expense of hitting a target with less kinetic momentum. This makes lighter arrows better for competitive because they want more speed for the purposes of long distance accuracy.
Why would someone choose to use a recurve bow instead of a compound bow?

I shall answer this with a question:

Why would someone choose to use a bow instead of a rifle?

Obviously they have their reasons. Each person might have a slightly different reason.

Thus it really comes down to Personal Preference. People can still get pretty impressive accuracy with a traditional bow - even at long distances.
  • Some people find compound bows to be boring.
  • Some people find compound bows to be ugly.
  • Some people like the challenge of shooting something more traditional.
  • Some people like the tradition and history of shooting recurve bows, longbows, horsebows, etc.
  • Some people find wooden bows are more visually appealing.
  • Some people like making their own bows and thus shooting a "self-bow".
  • Some people are drawn to a particular style of archery, such as horseback archery.
Do arrows slow down significantly before they hit a target?

Not by much. It is a common myth that arrows slow down significantly while flying through the air and before hitting the target. Such myths are due to a common misunderstanding about the physics of speed, air resistance, wind, and gravity.

Air resistance and wind has comparatively little effect on the arrow. The big thing is gravity, and that only pulls the arrow downwards. It does not stop forward momentum.

Also an arrow doesn't come to a full stop until AFTER it hits a target. Until it does so, it is still going at a significant speed.

While an arrow is arcing up it still has plenty of forward momentum. That momentum is effectively separate from the power of gravity pulling it downwards. If there was nothing in the way (targets, ground, etc) it would just keep going forward until it lost all of its forward momentum.

There is really only one exception to this:

If you shot an arrow almost straight up it would eventually slow down its vertical climb due to gravity and then start falling - and then pick up speed due to gravity. Thus it did eventually slow down to a speed of almost zero at the top of its zenith, it is always still in motion because it immediately begins its downward ascent and picking up speed again. In theory an arrow could go up, reach its zenith, and then come back down and hit the ground at a speed that was greater than what it was originally shot at - this is because gravity would cause the arrow to accelerate on its downward ascent.

Think of an army of bowmen shooting arrows at an enemy on a distant hill. They aim at the sky, and shoot all their arrows at once in a single volley. The arrows go up, reach their zenith and come back down. They still lots of forward momentum - and they could actually end up going faster due to gravity causing the arrows to accelerate during the downwards arc. Thus when they hit the enemy those arrows are still flying at very impressive and deadly speeds.

And just to able to reach that distance the arrows need to be traveling at a good speed to begin with, which implies that they should be shot from fast / powerful bows.

At the Toronto Archery Range we have a variety of targets people can shoot at ranging from approx. 20 yards to 75 yards (60 feet to 225 feet respectively).

  • An arrow shot at a speed of 200 fps reaches the 20 yard target in a mere 0.3 of a second.
  • An arrow shot at a speed of 200 fps reaches the 75 yard target in 1.125 seconds.
In theory arrows lose a bit of its speed before they reach 20 yards, and a bit more before reaching 75 yard target, but the distance is still for both is still so short that it is barely worth mentioning. Even at 75 yards, the arrow is probably still doing at least 190 fps at the moment it hits.

For comparison purposes:
  • A compound bow shooting an arrow at a speed of 350 fps reaches the 20 yard target in 0.1714 of a second.
  • A compound bow shooting an arrow at a speed of 350 fps reaches the 75 yard target in 0.6429 of a second.
And again, the arrows do technically slow down a bit by the time they reach those distances - but the difference is negligible. Guaranteed the arrow is still doing at least 345 fps by the time it reaches 75 yards.

At extreme distances (250 meters or more) you might start notice a larger decline in arrow speed, but the forward arc will still continue until it hits something that gets in its path. A high speed arrow would have to be shot extremely far away (with no obstacles in its way) for it to completely run out of its forward momentum.

How does Newton's Three Laws of Motions apply to Archery?

Newton's First Law of Motion: An object remains at rest/at a constant velocity unless it experiences an unbalanced force.

You may have heard this one before. An object in motion (in this case an arrow) remains in motion until acted upon by an equal or greater force. Thus the arrow keeps its forward motion until it hits an object capable of halting its forward momentum. Air resistance really accounts for a tiny fraction of slowing down an arrow's speed.

When a person pulls back a bow they are storing kinetic energy in the limbs of the bow. When they release the bow, some of that kinetic energy is transferred via the bowstring into the arrow, which propels it forward. Once the arrow is in the air, it meets resistance from air resistance, its trajectory can be modified by wind conditions, and gravity will pull it downwards. However the arrow doesn't stop until it meets resistance sufficient to stop it completely - such as puncturing a target. (eg. See the arrows below sticking out the back of a target.)


Newton's Second Law of Motion: F=ma. Force (measured in Newtons) equals the mass multiplied by acceleration.

The archer applies force when pulling back the bow. That energy is then released as the bowstring goes forward, which accelerates forward past its original brace height. The arrow doesn't leave the bowstring until the bowstring rebounds back to its normal brace height. Once it leaves the bow, the arrows ceases acceleration and has a speed - which remains at a constant until acted upon by Newton's First Law of Motion.

The bigger the arrow (in terms of weight/mass) the larger the force it stores during the initial release. Heavier arrows hit harder. Lighter arrows go faster because they were able to accelerate faster during the initial release of the bowstring, but consequently also store less energy.

Newton's Third Law of Motion: For every action force, there's an opposite and equal reaction force.

When the bowstring is pulled back that is the action, the reaction is the arrow springing forward from spring force of the bow limbs. Some of the energy released also goes into the bow's limbs and causes vibrations - which can effect the accuracy of the shot. This is why some archers shoot to use things like dampeners (which also reduce the sound of the bowstring), limb savers (which reduce vibration in the limbs), and stabilizers (which reduces vibration in the riser, while simultaneously making the bow bottom heavy so it is less likely to be canted left or right by the archer).

Want to learn more about archery?

Sign up for archery lessons in Toronto with Cardio Trek.

Lovely Winter Weather for Archery / Antique Bows

On Saturday I was very tempted to go do some archery, as the weather was warm (10 degrees or so) and a bit foggy. Unfortunately I had chores to do around the home so that was not to be despite the beautiful warm weather on Saturday.

I also have two *new* bows with brand new bowstrings that I want to try out sometime soon.

The two bows are:

A 1949 Bear Grizzly Static (Grayling)

A 1960s Archery Craft Toronto 64" Longbow

(Photos forthcoming.)

I purchased them both back in 2016 but had to wait to get custom made bowstrings for the two bows before I can use them. I strung them up two nights ago to exercise the limbs a little bit.

This is the thing about antique bows. When you buy an antique bow you should not be full drawing them right away. Instead you want to exercise them because they may not have been drawn in a very long time. Exercising them improves their life expectancy.

To exercise a bow you string the bow (preferably using a bowstringer) and then lightly pull on it a few inches. You repeat this process many times and then leave the bow strung for an hour or two.

Then you unstring the bow and leave it alone.

A day later or a few days later, you repeat the process. This time you *might* decide to draw it a bit further, always being cautious to never pull it to full draw.

Only after the bow has been exercised multiple times do you begin full drawing - and this assumes you have a normal draw length. If you any weird noises (pings or clicking sounds) this is a bad sign and you should immediately stop. A loud cracking noise would be really bad.

I feel more confident about exercising the Bear Grizzly Static as the limbs are made with an aluminum core.

The Archery Craft Toronto bow I purchased from a woman in Montreal, so to me that was a case of bringing an antique longbow made in Toronto back to Toronto where it belongs. I am less worried about shooting that bow and more interested in it as a collector's item and museum piece (it is my long term goal to someday open an archery museum).

If you have a really long draw length of 29 inches or more, then you probably should not be purchasing the really old antiques. Bows from the 1970s or 1980s you would probably be okay with, especially if they are compounds or fibreglass recurves, but for people with longer draw lengths you need to be extra careful overdrawing an antique.

I have a few antiques that even now I never full draw them. eg, I have 1942 Ben Pearon lemonwood longbow which still shoots well, but I only pull it to roughly 26 or 27 inches when using it. It may be lemonwood (a very good tropical bow wood), but because it is 75 years old I am super cautious with it.

I also have several antique bows that are meant for children - which are basically decorative and not used at all. Maybe someday I will let younger family members use them. Or maybe they will simply decorate my walls, or likewise a presumptive archery museum.

Buying antique bows there is always a risk you might break the bow. It hasn't happened to me yet, but I did have one bow make weird noises two years ago. It was a 1952 Roy Rogers longbow meant for kids. I drew it back and clearly was drawing it too far when I heard a sharp click sound from the bow limb. That is a bow that is evidently meant to have a short draw length and should never be drawn by anyone who is taller than the bow.

Having been making my own bows for almost 28 years now I should also say you do some of the same things during the tillering process of making a bow. If you hear a click or ping sound when tillering, you need to stop and examine the bow limbs for any signs of cracks or chips in the wood. Last winter I did a bowmaking class here in Toronto and a topic that came up during the class of what to do if a bow makes such a sound during the tillering process.

There was a number of solutions, but the most obvious one was: Don't shoot that bow because it could break. The alternatives were time consuming and didn't guarantee the bow would be safe to shoot. It would be less time consuming and safer just to start from scratch and make a whole new bow.

Question: Do you teach Winter Archery Lessons?

Q

"Hello!

Do you teach archery lessons during the winter? How much for 3 lessons? Are the lessons outdoors?

- D.S."

A

Hey D.S.

Yes, yes I do teach Winter Archery Lessons. Three lessons are $170 for 3 lessons (for 1 person). And yes, they are outdoors, although I limit myself to only teaching on days that are:

  • -5° C or warmer.
  • Not snowing or raining.
  • Not incredibly windy.

I recommend also reading my Archery Lessons Syllabus so you have a better idea of what each of the lessons will be focusing on. While Winter Lessons do have a stronger focus on skills that are useful during the winter, the overall scope of the lessons remains the same as the normal lessons.

If you have additional questions feel free to ask. Have a great day!

Sincerely,
Charles Moffat
CardioTrek.ca


About Winter Archery Lessons

2016-2017 Winter Archery Lesson Rates

Weekday Morning / Afternoon Rates (Start Time: 10 AM to 2 PM)

1 Student
$60 for 90 minutes; 3 Lessons - $170; 5 Lessons - $270; 10 Lessons - $520.

Weekend Rates (Start Time
: 10 AM to 2 PM)

1 Student
$90 for 90 mins; 3 Lessons - $255; 5 Lessons - $405; 10 Lessons - $780.


Notes

All equipment is provided during archery lessons. Winter Archery Gloves are also provided in a variety of sizes. Buying your own equipment is not mandatory, but it is optional.

I also teach Archery Biathlon (combination of cross country skiing and archery), so if a person is interested in learning that they just have to ask. I do not provide the skis or poles however, so that is something you would need to purchase or already own if you are interested in doing Archery Biathlon.

Snowshoes are handy if the snow is really deep. Again, not mandatory.

Wearing temperature appropriate clothing is mandatory. I also strongly recommend bringing a thermos filled with a hot drink.

See Also

Winter Archery Practice, Part One

Winter Archery Practice, Part Two

Toronto Archery Lessons Syllabus

Q


Hi There


I’m interested in [archery] lessons, is there a syllabus?

- Daniel C. 

A

Hello Daniel!
Lesson 1
  • Safety Lecture
  • Eye Test
  • Aiming Lecture
  • Proper Form Lecture
  • Field Archery Practice
Lesson 2
  • Target Archery Practice
  • Arrowhead Lecture
  • Focus of lesson is on building quality form and good habits.
Lesson 3
  • Long Distance Field Archery Practice
  • Arrow Spine Lecture
  • Focus of lesson is to be using consistent back strength, which is key to long distance accuracy.
Lesson 4
  • Precision Target Archery Practice / Aiming Exercise
  • Bowstring Waxing Demo
  • Focus of lesson is to get rid of remaining bad habits that hinder accuracy.
Lessons 5 to 10
Topics Vary, tailored to the student needs/desires, but may include:
  • Adjusting for Wind Conditions
  • Long Distance Shooting
  • Long Distance Field Archery
  • Gap Shooting
  • Shooting at Moving Targets
  • Shooting while in Motion
  • Additional Precision Archery Practice
  • Instinctive Archery
  • Aiming Exercises
  • Flight Archery
  • Night Shooting
Lessons 5 to 10 also typically include a short lecture and/or demo on topics dealing with equipment maintenance, technical skills, etc.

If you have additional questions please feel free to ask.

Sincerely,
Charles Moffat
CardioTrek.ca


Winter Archery Practice, Part Two


Winter archery is one of those sports which can be exceptionally rewarding and great exercise, but so few people even dare to go outside during the winter and try it.

I have written a fair bit on the topic over the years, including a Guide to Winter Archery for ArcheryToronto.ca a few years ago. More recently I have even been tempted to write a book on the topic, elaborating on an aspect of archery that few archers do and apparently don't know what they are missing.

See my previous post on this topic: Winter Archery Practice, Part One

Winter archery ends up having a very "survival-esque" feel to it. You are out there, embracing the cold and the wind, and you are learning to shoot despite the adverse conditions. Not everyone is into that, in the same way that not everyone is into going cross country skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, snowboarding, ice fishing, or various other winter activities. But if the mentioning of those activities bring back fond memories for you, now you begin to comprehend my love of winter archery.

Contrary to popular belief, I do teach archery lessons during the winter. But I also pick and choose which days I go outside to practice. Which brings me to the following...

Five Tips for Winter Archery

#1. Check the forecast and schedule a time.

I set a goal every week during the winter of going outside at least once to practice archery. I look at the forecast, compare with my schedule, and then try to pick a day that isn't a blizzard, the weather looks sunny or mostly sunny, and thus I mitigate the worst weather conditions. It also means I am making an active effort to schedule my archery practice, as many people will often say they want to do something, but if they don't actually schedule it then they will forget to do it.

#2. Prepare for the Day.

This covers everything from having the right clothes to wear, bringing a thermos of hot chocolate, coffee or tea with you, and even more basic things like knowing all your equipment is packed up / in good condition to go shooting. If you forget to buy the necessities / repair equipment, and have them ready to go then the day of shoot might come and you will decide to skip it because "Oh, I forgot to re-fletch those arrows. I might as well not go." Preparing for something also implies that you should double-check you have everything, in which case I recommend making a list and confirming you have everything well ahead of time.

In my case "preparing for winter archery" during the Winter of 2015/2016 also meant growing a beard so it would keep my face warm while shooting.

Last Winter I grew a beard to keep my face warm.
Behind me is a friend I invited out to the range.
#3. Bring a Friend with you.

Archery is always more fun with a friend to talk to, regardless of the season. They might be already into archery, or they might be more of a spectator.

Just make sure that if you do bring a friend that they are not one of those who get cold easily, wear inappropriate/inadequate clothing when outdoors, and/or are whiners. Nothing is worse than doing a winter activity outdoors and you brought your whiny friend who hates being cold but apparently doesn't know how to prepare for cold weather. Instead bring the friend you know LOVES being outside in the winter, knows how to dress warmly, and embraces adventure and conversation. (If you are like me, you can think of a couple people already that fit that description. Or if you live in Toronto, send me an email and we can hang out sometime. I will invite a couple friends and we can make it a group event.)

Every year the Toronto Archery Club sometimes has several winter archery meetups too, usually one in early December, another in mid January, a third on Valentines, and a fourth on St Patrick's Day. That way you can also meet new people and enjoy the sport as a larger group.

#4. Know your Limits.

Knowing what distances you can accurately shoot at is handy. It is very easy to lose arrows in the snow if you are shooting at distances you know you are less than accurate at. You should also set a time limit for how long you are going to be outside. 90 minutes or 2 hours for example might be a good idea.

#5. Take Breaks.

With a winter activity like ice fishing all you really do is sit around and talk, maybe read and hope that the fish bite the hook. With winter archery you will eventually get cold and/or tired, as the cold will sap your endurance and strength. To remedy this you should take regular breaks to "warm your innards" with a hot drink, or possibly even visiting the indoors for a few minutes before later returning back outside. For example, one thing you should do before you even go outside is to take a bathroom break. A full bladder means your body is expending energy keeping all that liquid warm, but an empty bladder means you have more energy keeping YOU warm. Thus if you feel the need to go at some point, go take a bathroom break and you will discover you will be warmer afterwards because you will no longer be wasting energy keeping excess liquid warm. Taking regular breaks will also improve your endurance and strength levels, so that you are shooting better and don't start making mistakes due to fatigue.

Want more tips? Leave a comment below and I shall write more on the topic of Winter Archery.

Happy Shooting!

Examining some rabbit tracks in the snow.

Training Muscles for Bowhunting

Q


"Hi Charles,

I enjoyed the lesson.

I would like to see you for more lessons but I need a week or so before I can commit to any further dates.

I’d also like to get your opinion on purchasing a bow. It would be great to have to teach me on my own."

Warmly,
Rachel P.

A

Hey Rachel!

Well, since I know you want to get into bowhunting I am going to make a rather specific recommendation:

Get two sets of limbs when you buy your bow

One set 25 lbs, the other set 35 lbs. The purpose here is so you can practice with the 25 lbs and build your accuracy and form, and then whenever you want to build strength you can switch to the 35 lb limbs.

Ontario Laws wise, you need a minimum 39.7 lbs (18 kg) at 28 inches for deer and 48.5 lbs (22 kg) at 28 inches for elk, moose or black bear.

However there is a problem. You have a shorter draw distance, closer to 26 inches. This means you will likely need 45 lbs or 55 lbs respectively for hunting those types of game, to make up the difference for your shorter draw.

You will be able to pull that poundage eventually and hold it, but like weightlifting you want to follow a gradual process. The bow you were shooting yesterday was 18 lbs at 28 inches draw. So 25 lbs vs 18 lbs will still be a step up from what you were doing yesterday, and 35 lbs is for the days when you want to building muscle faster. The problem with many beginner archers / would-be hunters is that they often try to go straight to the higher poundage bow, without going through the whole gradual process of building up strength. Think of it like dumbbells. People don't go straight to the 40 lb dumbbells and use them constantly, they get bored and tired too quickly while doing that. You want to practice with 20 lbs, 30 lbs and build up to 40 lbs so you are using proper form. (It is amazing how often amateur weightlifters cannot do a simple bicep curl properly, often sticking their elbows out on an angle and lifting partially with their shoulders.)

Some people prefer to do an even more gradual process. 25 lbs, 30 lbs, 35 lbs, 40 lbs, etc. However in my experience the 5 lb difference is barely noticeable. An extra 10 lbs is more of a shock in power and that builds muscle faster. Alternating between two or three poundages gives the muscles a chance to relax while still shocking them regularly.

Note - You might decide you are not ready to commit to having two sets of limbs yet, in which case just get the 25 lb limbs for now. You can always go back later and get more powerful limbs when you feel you are ready to make that step.

Building Accuracy First

With archery it is also really important to be building accuracy first before attempting to build muscle. Accuracy matters most of all and that requires good form. The problem with higher poundages it is becomes more difficult for people to maintain good form and people will often botch a shot because they cannot hold it steady.

Once an archer has developed good accuracy then they can switch to higher poundages and go through the gradual process of building strength, shocking the muscles repeatedly, switching back and forth between poundages regularly. It is also beneficial to have a 2nd set of limbs for "off days" when the archer is feeling tired, hungry, distracted, distressed and just wants a more relaxing shoot.

What To Get

The Samick Sage is the bow I typically recommend. Ask for 25 lb and 35 lb limbs. Make sure it is a RH model.

If you want to look at other brands / models, check out http://www.cardiotrek.ca/2016/09/recurve-bows-brands-and-models.html

You will also want the following:

Archery shooting glove - Make sure you get the correct size that fits your hand.
Arrows x 12 - Make sure you get arrows that have screw in arrowheads. Do not get the glue in arrowheads (they break too easily).
Arrowheads x 12 - 125 grains each.
Arrowrest - Either a traditional Bear faux fur rest or a more modern arrowrest, eg. Flipper. Ask them to install it for you.
Bowstring Wax
Bowstringer
Nock Bead - Ask them to install it for you on the bowstring. If not, I can show you how it is done.

The store I recommend most is Tent City because they have the best prices and good selection (and if they do not have it then they can order it). Expect to be spending about $350 if you are shopping at Tent City. It will be closer to $400 / $450 at other locations.

TENT CITY
Address: 1600 Steeles W, Concord, ON L4K 4M2
Phone: (905) 660-6885
Hours:
Sunday Closed
Monday 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Tuesday 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Wednesday 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Thursday 10:00 am – 9:00 pm
Friday 10:00 am – 9:00 pm
Saturday 10:00 am – 5:00 pm

Hours of other locations are listed on http://www.archerytoronto.ca/Archery-Equipment-in-Toronto.html

If you have any questions feel free to ask. Have a good weekend!

Sincerely,
Charles Moffat
CardioTrek.ca
Looking to sign up for archery lessons, boxing lessons, swimming lessons, ice skating lessons or personal training sessions? Start by emailing cardiotrek@gmail.com and lets talk fitness!

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