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Showing posts with label Exercise Questions. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Exercise Questions. Show all posts

Bow String Brace Height

Q

"What is the best brace height for my bow?" 


A

It depends on the type of bow and the manufacturer. You should check the manufacturer's guidelines for the best brace height. If you cannot find the manufacturer's guidelines for the ideal brace height then you may need to experiment a bit.

Once you have the manufacturer's recommended distance then you just measure the distance between the lowest point in the handle to the bowstring. If it is too low you need to tighten the string by twisting it about 5 to 10. If the bow string is too high then you need to untwist it 5 or 10 times and check again. Keep repeating this process until you reach the optimal distance.

I personally use the "rule of thumb" method for recurve bows, and slightly less than that for longbows and flatbows. I am less worried about being exactly precise because I know the optimal brace height is really often a range within 1 to 2 inches of the rule of thumb method.

The important things to keep in mind are the physics involved...

The Physics of Brace Height

Too Long Bow String = Too Low Brace Height = Bow string de-accelerates, causing slower arrows, more arrow vibration, more bow vibration, sluggish accuracy.

Perfect String Length = Optimum Brace Height = Bow string accelerates fully, causing nice fast arrows, reduced vibrations, optimal accuracy.

Too Short Bow String = Too High Brace Height = Bow string doesn't accelerate fully, causing slower arrows, vibrations are still reduced, accuracy is down because arrow speed is slower.

Optimal > Too High > Too Low.

Thus it is better to be slightly too high than slightly too low, but ideally you want to get as close to the Optimal Brace Height as you can.

So if you cannot find the manufacturer's recommended brace height then it is better to try the "rule of thumb method" and experiment a bit.

If your bow string is hitting you in the wrist during shots then your brace height is definitely too low.

What is the rule of thumb method?

Holding the bow sideways with the string away from you place your hand on the lowest point on the bow's handle in the "thumbs up" position towards the bowstring. If your thumb is touching the bow string then the brace height is too low and is likely to hit you in the wrist.

You then unstring the bow, twist the bow string 10 times to make it tighter, and restring the bow.

You check the brace height again using the rule of thumb method and if it is still touching your thumb then you repeat the process.

Because people have different sizes of hands the optimal brace height may be roughly 1 or 2 inches above your thumb.

Notes

With longbows and flatbows expect the optimal brace height to be slightly lower than what is normal for recurves, so closer to your thumb or even touching your thumb.

If a bow string is brand new expect it to stretch a bit during the first hour of being used. You may need to stop and adjust the bow string's brace height 30 to 45 minutes a second time.

Hay Bale Archery Backstop

Q


"How far in to a round bale would one of my arrows go when [shot] from the same kind of distance as we do in class?"

- Michelle H.

 

A

Hey Michelle!

It will vary upon the poundage of the bow, the weight of the arrow, how much damage the hay bale has previously suffered, etc. Some shots might only go in a few inches, others more so. If it has been shot repeatedly in the same location you will discover it goes a lot deeper.

I think you mentioned previously that you were planning on using the hay bales as a backstop, behind a target made of cardboard, plastic or foam? The hay bales should make a decent backstop, but you will probably still want to swap them out once per year as they will get rained on and start to smell/etc.

Some people even build a roof for their archery target so the hay doesn't get rained on as much.
 
Another thing to look into is a traditional straw archery target, like the kind used during the middle ages. They're inexpensive but last a long time because they're woven together like a rug.

Sincerely,
Charles Moffat
CardioTrek.ca
 



 

What is Reverse Dieting? How do you do it to Maintain Weight?

Q

"What is reverse dieting?"

"How do you use reverse dieting to maintain weight?"


A


Reverse Dieting
is all about weight maintenance.

The goal with Reverse Dieting is to reach a person's ideal weight and then maintain that weight. Often people will go on a diet, reach their desired weight, and then a few months or years later they regain the weight and feel bad about having regained the weight because they didn't know how to maintain their desired weight.

Reverse Dieting also assumes that a person is maintaining the same level of fitness during the time period, and thus the primary focus is on what they are eating.

There are a number of ways to do Reverse Dieting...

#1. Trial and Error

In this version you eat what you think you should be eating and focus on healthy foods while avoiding sugary foods and high carbs, but you check your weight daily to see if your weight has gone up or down and then keep track of your weight fluctuations to see whether you should be eating more or less.

Gained two pounds in the last week? Eat less. Lost two pounds in the opposite direction? Eat slightly more.

#2. Calorie Tracking

Another popular (and highly successful) way of doing Reverse Dieting is to track your calorie intake and over time determine how many calories you need per day (and/or per week) in order to maintain your ideal weight.

#3. Health Food Days and High Carb Days

This method is about trying to achieve a balance by simply determining which days you can eat healthy foods and which days you allow yourself to enjoy more carbs. I recommend starting with 6 healthy food days and 1 high carb day. Then check your weight every Monday for 3 weeks.

If your weight is still dropping raise the high carb days to 2 and the healthy food days go down to 5. Do that for 3 weeks and track your weight fluctuations every Monday. If it is still dropping then you need to be eating more, which could mean you should be eating more in general or you should add another high carbs day, raising the number to 3 high carbs days per week.

#4. Do all three at once! Or combinations of 2.

#5. Come up with your own system.

 

Is there a Right or Wrong way to do Reverse Dieting?

The trick to Reverse Dieting is that there is no Right or Wrong system. There is only the system of diet that works FOR YOU.

Tracking high carb days, tracking your weight and some trial and error is to be expected if you want to succeed at finding your ideal diet in order to maintain a specific weight. You have to determine what amount of food you need personally in order to achieve your ideal weight, and you don't fit into a cookie cutter mould of expectations, so you need to expect some trial and error with whatever method you end up using.

Plus you can expect life to throw you some curve balls, like whenever you get sick, when you get injured, and whenever you cannot exercise enough because it is winter or raining a lot outside. So whatever system you choose to use you need to add some flexibility within the system so you can adjust it to fit your personal needs at the time.

Eg. Going on vacation? Expect to be exercising more while on vacation, but also eating more. Even so you might find yourself coming back from vacation having lost or gained a few pounds.

Life is a balancing act. Roll with it.

3 Frequently Asked Archery Questions

Archery Questions

1. What poundage should I start with? I know that some bows are harder to pull back than others, which should I start with the easy ones or the hard ones?

2. Where can I get archery equipment?

3. Can I make my own bow?  I have seen some videos on YouTube and I would like to try it out.


Answers

1. You should start with a lower poundage.

If you're an adult I usually recommend people starting with either 20 to 25 lbs, depending upon their physical strength. You want to start with something easier so you can practice proper archery form - which is an ENDURANCE activity - and not being physically exhausted after only doing a few shots.

People who start with 30 lbs or more often do so out of ego (or lack of knowledge), but their form suffers from it because they are frequently shooting too quickly before they have adjusted their form properly. This develops into a bad habit of sloppy form and equates to sloppy accuracy.

What you want to do instead is to think of your bow(s) like dumbbells. You start off with the some lower weight dumbbells and build your endurance/strength, and then as you get stronger you start getting some heavier dumbbells.

You want to use that same philosophy with your bows. You start with an easier 20 or 25 lb bow and then progressively get stronger bows. So if you start with a 25 lb bow then your second bow might be 30 lbs, your 3rd bow might be 40 lbs, etc.

Also when buying a beginner bow I recommend getting a 3-piece bow where the limbs can be removed and swapped out. This way you can start with 25 lb limbs and when you want to go to a higher poundage then you just buy extra 30 lb limbs.

This then gives you the option of switching to harder or easier limbs when you go to the archery range as you might have 2 or 3 different sets of limbs to choose from.

"What limbs do I want to use today?"

2. There are archery specific stores you can go to, or you can try hunting/fishing stores that also sell archery equipment (although they might have a limited selection and only sell compound bows or crossbows).

ArcheryToronto.ca has a list of recommended stores in the GTA and southern Ontario which you can look into at http://www.archerytoronto.ca/Archery-Equipment-in-Toronto.html

With respect to specific brands and models I usually recommend the Samick Sage. It is an affordable bow, usually costing $150 to $180 CDN, it isn't bad to look at, and it offers everything that a beginner archer will want in their first bow.

3. Yes, tt is certainly possible to make your own bow, although I recommend using a simpler design when trying to make your first bow.

Eg. A flatbow made out of oak, ash or hickory may be the easiest thing to make and a good thing to try when making your first bow.

Think of it like a progression, a learning process. Make something simple for your first bow.

A normal flatbow is a very good way to start off.

A pyramid bow is a bit more complicated, but the handle looks more interesting.

And there are other more complicated bow designs that you can look into, but I recommend practicing making flatbows and pyramid bows first.

I also recommend getting a book:

"The Traditional Bowyer's Bible, Volume One"

Technically there are four volumes of this book series, but the first book is the most important book that anyone who wants to do bow making should definitely read. So if you read the first book, especially the section on bow design, and you make several bows and decide you want to learn more then you can look into buying books II, III and IV.

In my case I also went a step further than just buying the books. Years ago I also invested in getting bow making lessons from a local bowyer here in Toronto, which is certainly more expensive than just buying some books and doing it yourself, but for me I felt it was important to see what other bowyers were doing in their workshops so I could perhaps learn some tips and tricks to bow making that I wouldn't necessarily learn from a book or from a YouTube channel.

I also habitually watch woodworking episodes of "The Woodwright's Shop" from PBS, which isn't about bow making, but certainly informative in other ways. Many of those episodes are now available via YouTube.

There are lots of YouTube channels out there on making bows too. One of my favourites is Mick Grewcock from the UK. I find his videos very relaxing and enjoyable, and there is a lot of quality effort put into his videos.

Below I have included a video from Mick Grewcock's YouTube channel in which he makes an ash flatbow in a day.


Do you need a personal trainer to learn how to do the splits?

Q

 "Hi...are you still available to provide split training? I am seeking for a trainer to help me achieve the splits."

 - Kamal B.

 

A

 

Hello Kamal!

I presume your email is in response to my 2013 post titled "How to do the Splits".

However I am sorry to disappoint you, I am not available to do such training right now (due to COVID), but also you don't really need a personal trainer to train yourself how to do the splits. All you really need to do is to be doing the Three Exercises listed on that page daily.


1. Each Butterfly Stretch takes 5 to 10 seconds to do and you're supposed to do 10 of them. If you take a short break between each stretch you should be able to complete 10 of them in about 5 minutes.

2. Knees and Leg Stretches take 30 to 60 seconds each and you want to do 5 for each leg, so 10 total. You shouldn't really need a break between the stretches, but if you are taking short breaks then it will take about 5 to 15 minutes to do all 10 stretches. So on average about 10 minutes.

3. The Standing Leg Stretches take 10 seconds each and you want to do 10 for each leg, so 20 total. With short breaks you should be able to do 20 stretches in about 7 minutes.

The 4th activity of course is attempting to do the splits, but I don't recommend even trying this until week 3 or 4 of consistently doing the stretches.

Now if you've been doing some math you will have noticed it only takes about 22 minutes per day to do the stretches. Thus you don't really need a personal trainer to watch you do the stretches and my minimum pay rate is for 1 hour of my time, so you'd be paying for the full hour and you'd have to do some other kind of exercises for the other 38 minutes. I would be really bored watching the stretches however as you don't really need me (or any other trainer) to help you do these particular exercises.

Many people are able to successfully do the splits after 30 days of doing the stretches, but obviously "mileage may vary" with this depending upon the person's commitment to remembering to do the stretches every day and their personal level of fitness / flexibility before they started doing the stretches.

I wish you luck in your journey and hope you will make the stretches part of your daily routine so you can eventually reach your goal.

Sincerely,
Charles Moffat
CardioTrek.ca

Where to Buy Bows Online

Q

"Hey fellow archer! I saw your post and was wondering if you had any advice. I'm looking to get a new recurve but not sure where to buy them. Do you know any good online places or do you get them in person? 


I'm looking to replace my 60" recurve. I got two of mine from an antique store and one is still going but barely.  I ordered a horsebow for my wife but I really want something closer to what I saw in your post.  Not a huge fan of take downs.  Sorry, I don't know a lot of archers I can ask."

Jarin H.

A

I usually buy my bows in person from stores in Toronto, but I also buy vintage bows off eBay.

  • Basically Bows Archery
  • Canada Archery Online
Both of those locations accept online orders.

Buying vintage bows on eBay is trickier because you're taking a risk, but you can mitigate the risks by only looking at bows where they have 12 to 20 photos of the bow from every angle so you know if the bow has any damage.

I would NEVER buy an eBay bow if it has very few photos of it (or the photos are of low quality) and you cannot tell if the bow limbs are straight / undamaged.

I also sometimes buy archery equipment (but never bows) off of Amazon. The problem with Amazon is I don't exactly trust the third party sellers on Amazon, whereas with eBay I know that I am deliberately buying a vintage bow and that it is used, and it comes with the territory. Amazon in contrast doesn't sell used/vintage bows.

Other websites to consider:

  • 3riversarchery.com
  • lancasterarchery.com

I have browsed those websites many times, but never actually ordered from them. Given the choices I usually buy locally as much as possible. Due to COVID/Coronavirus I get that many people these days might prefer to order online, but it is important to note that both Basically Bows Archery and Canada Archery Online do accept online orders. (BBA basically ONLY accepts online orders and pickups currently. The owner Gary doesn't allow people to come in the store and browse any more.)

So it is still possible to shop locally and order online.

Happy Shooting!

Sincerely,
Charles Moffat
CardioTrek.ca

Below is a circa 1974 Shakespeare Sierra Model X18 which I recently shot on November 7th.

I got the vintage recurve bow for xmas in 2018, but it sat on the shelf for almost 2 years because I kept delaying getting a new bowstring for it. I finally got a new fleming twist bowstring and a new arrow rest (from CAO) for it recently and took it to the range to do some shooting. Despite being a vintage bow it shoots beautifully, and it looks like it is practically brand new.



 

 

Xmas 2018



Where to buy Archery Winter Gloves

Q

"I shoot down to a temp of just above zero but my hands get cold. Do you know of any cold weather gloves I could try?"

- Mark M. 

A

Hey Mark!

There are archery winter gloves you can look into. I got a set years ago from England, from a company called Merlin Archery Centre:




 
Then I showed them to Gary at Basically Bows, and he ended up finding a supplier who makes the same gloves with a different company logo on them. You can see the gloves on his website at https://basically-bows1.webnode.com/accessories/, but you will need to make an appointment and go to his physical shop if you want to purchase. He does apparently do online orders too, so you could just order over the phone or via email.

Historically, before I got the archery winter gloves from Merlin, I would just cut three fingers off a cheap pair of gloves from the Dollarama and then shoot like that.


GOT AN ARCHERY QUESTION???

JUST EMAIL cardiotrek@gmail.com AND I SHALL ANSWER IT FOR YOU.

HAPPY SHOOTING! 

 

 



FAQ: Why can't I just do archery in my backyard?

Q

Frequently Asked Question:

"Why can't I just do archery in my backyard?"


A

In theory you can, but it is a problem of how safely can you do it.

If you own a farm, a cabin in the woods, or a similar large property nobody is going to complain about you shooting on your own property in a safe and reasonable manner.

If you own a property in a town or city you need to be taking precautions to make certain what you are doing is still being done in a safe manner. Eg. Higher fences, using some kind of a backstop, shooting on a downward angle so the arrow is certain to be hitting the ground or the backstop, etc.

Now we could imagine if you don't do these things what might happen, but instead I am going to tell the story of an incident which was told to me via word-of-mouth by another archer.

It involves a 12-year-old boy shooting a youth compound bow (depending upon the poundage youth compound bows can still be used for hunting and are still deadly) in his parents' lane way near the garage beside their suburban home. The father meanwhile was cleaning the backyard and while the son normally shot in the backyard in a safe manner due to the backyard being busy the father gave his son permission to shoot in the lane way, but he wasn't supervising what his son was actually doing.

What happened next is a bit predictable.

The child began shooting in an increasingly reckless manner. He started shooting from further away, walking into the street and shooting across the street and into the lane way. He also started shooting higher and eventually nearly straight up to see where the arrow would land. One of the neighbours complained, asking the child to please shoot in a safer manner.

The father still wasn't paying attention and was unaware his son was shooting so recklessly. He was also unaware of the exchange with the neighbour.

The son ignored the neighbour and continued to shoot in this dangerous manner. Eventually one of his arrows came down and hit a passing motorist's car in the front windshield, giving the driver quite the fright and causing hundreds of dollars in damages.

The driver, under the impression that the child had shot at his car deliberately, immediately called the police.

Police arrived to find the driver in a shouting match with the father, with the driver wanting to be paid for the damages to his car and threatening to sue, plus accusing the son of attempted murder.

The neighbour stepped in and gave a statement to the police, confirming that it had been accidental, but that the son had been behaving in a reckless manner by shooting arrows straight up, etc.

Police then arrested the father (not the son) for Reckless Endangerment with a Firearm, and fined him $4000. They also confiscated the compound bow and arrows as evidence and took photographs of the crime scene/damages.

The father tried to initially plead ignorance of the law, claiming he didn't know it was illegal, but ignorance of the law is not a defense. If someone accidentally kills someone due to negligence or by behaving recklessly they are still considered to be guilty in the eyes of the law even if they claim that they didn't know that being negligent or reckless was illegal. Why? Because it is common sense that if you're doing something dangerous that someone could get hurt. He later pleaded guilty, served one month in prison, paid the $4000 fine, and was forced to pay for the damages to the driver's car.

The son received a weapons ban, prohibiting him from owning any kind of firearms. It is unknown when or whether the weapons ban would expire*.

* I looked it up. In Ontario a weapons ban is 10 years for a first offense. For life if it is a second offense.

The father was lucky he didn't get sued and his son was lucky not to be charged with something worse.

Assuming that the son doesn't get into additional trouble in the future, he would be allowed to own weapons when he reaches the age of 22.

Now this is admittedly an extreme example of why people need to be careful. Shooting in the backyard is certainly safer than shooting in the front yard, and any children shooting should definitely be supervised.

After hearing this story I tried looking it up to see if it was the media, but it was not. Instead I found similar stories, usually involving people getting injured or killed. Which I kind of understand why those stories would get more media attention. "If it bleeds it leads" and so forth. A damaged car doesn't seem that newsworthy in comparison.

And certainly this doesn't happen very often because most people have common sense, but it does happen and there are reasons why Reckless Endangerment with a Firearm carries a prison sentence and a fine, and likewise there are reasons why bows and crossbows are considered to be firearms in the eyes of the law.

So yes, it is entirely possible to do archery in your backyard. But you need to do so with a degree of caution because bows are legally considered to be firearms.

I know of multiple people who do archery in their backyards or on their private property. Most archers have built their own mini archery range in such circumstances, not just for safety reasons, but also because they don't want to damage or lose arrows.

You're not limited to your backyard either. Some people build a private range in their garage, in their basement, or even in their attic like the photo on the above right. Owning a large property is certainly ideal, but for those who don't having a small space in their attic or similar location is what works for them.

I have also heard of people renting a tractor trailer or a storage unit and building a private archery range inside such a space.

Sincerely,
Charles Moffat
CardioTrek.ca

Pain in Middle Finger after Archery Lesson

 Q

"Hi Charles, 

After the lesson today I noticed the last joint (closest to the tip) of my middle finger is quite sore. I noticed the same thing the last time I shot with my new glove, bow, etc. Is this normal for a new glove or is it an indication of something wrong, either with my form or the glove? 

Regards,
-Brian H."

 

A

Hey Brian!

That happens sometimes when the glove is either not protecting the fingers enough or the person is not used to pulling a higher poundage.

In your case however I did notice that you sometimes pulled the bowstring unevenly, wherein your middle finger was usually about half an inch further across the bowstring and the bowstring was then on the joint itself (as opposed to halfway on the fingertips). You were only doing it with your middle finger (and you didn't always do it so at the time I wasn't too worried about it because I felt you would eventually stop doing it) and you are not experiencing pain in any other fingers, correct? In the future I recommend making an effort to only use half your fingertips and see if that solves the problem.

You may recall me saying "Half your fingertips is twice as accurate." In this case however it could also be "Half your fingertips is twice as accurate, but also less painful." Half your fingertips also reduces the chances of plucking the bowstring during the release. Definitely something to build into a positive habit.

See you at the range!

Sincerely,
Charles Moffat
CardioTrek.ca

 

 

Are women more associated with archery?

 Q

"Can I ask you an archery question for research/my thesis?

Okay so I’m writing a thesis about gender and gender presentations in warrior women. I argue that gender is a construct and that objects should not be gendered when they are tools in one’s art of being a warrior, but my professor countered that bows and archery are more associated with women than men (not meant to offend anyone just looking for answers) is that true? Where does that come from? 

To me, when I think of archers I think of famous ones like Green Arrow, Robin Hood, and Legolas...Are there other archers in literature that you can think of that identify as a woman besides Susan Pevensie that would dominate the symbol of archers?"

- J. E. T.

A

Gender is indeed a construct, much in the same way that identity is a social construct. Or Zodiac signs is a superstitious construct.

With respect to archery it is predominantly a male sport. For example, with respect to my local archery range, men make up over 80% of the archery range's users, and that the "regulars" are even more male dominated, making up at least 90% of the frequent users.

Archery is a sport requiring strength and endurance. Far too often non-archers are expecting the sport to be easy, and they are not at all prepared for how difficult or strength intensive this sport is.

Part of this misconception is the fault of mass media, Hollywood, and the types of body types depicted in films, television and literature. People see these depictions in a variety of media and then perpetuate the false idea that archers are a specific body type. Eg. Skinny Legolas.

There are a variety of films during the past 30 years wherein skinny female characters are depicted as archers. This depiction is a double edged sword: It creates the stereotype that skinny women are ideally suited for archery, promotes archery to women, but also pushes the idea that women are unsuited to hand-to-hand melee.

While I appreciate and applaud that Hollywood is pushing the idea of more women in archery, it is coming at the expense of saying women are unsuitable for using axes, lances, swords or a variety of other medieval era weaponry, while simultaneously pushing the idea that archery is not a sport of strength and endurance.

This all comes back to depictions of body types in my opinion. Eg. Try to think of a film that depicts a female archer as not being skinny. I cannot name one. Hollywood depicts female archers as being ballerina skinny (and usually Caucasian, Asian, or giant blue alien, but that is another topic entirely).

In reality archers are all kinds of body types, but there is one commonality with respect to experienced archers - They are all strong and have built up their back muscles so that they can pull higher poundage bows. Some archers started being reasonably strong, and then became stronger as they built up their rhomboids, deltoids and other muscles used for archery. Some were weaker, but built up the muscle groups over time. Even older archers are often surprisingly robust and strong for their age.

Thus even if an archer started as being skinny or overweight, after 20 years of doing the sport regularly they're going to have a more robust stature because they've built up the muscle groups.

This strength factor doesn't mean that women cannot excel at archery however. While women are certainly a minority, I have met plenty of women who excel at archery.

Eg. Back in March (a week before COVID shut everything down) I had the pleasure of teaching a dancer in her 40s who has what I would describe as having an Amazonian body type. Certainly more in the direction of an athlete, which was an asset and she did very well during her first lesson. You can see a video of her on my Cardio Trek YouTube channel. Her lessons are supposed to resume this Autumn.
 

So does having more of a Tom Boy / Amazonian / athletic physique help when doing archery? Absolutely it helps. It is a sport of strength and endurance after all. However that doesn't mean it is only body type that can excel at archery. An archer who is overweight can excel just as easily if they build up the needed muscle groups, and likewise a skinny will become stronger over time.

With respect to archers of literature like Green Arrow, Robin Hood and Legolas there is definitely one missing:

Hercules.

Now you might think "Wait, Hercules did archery?"

Indeed he did. He was supposedly extremely good at archery, owing to his demigod strength.

Here's another: Odysseus / Ulysses.

Ulysses returned after 20 years of fighting Trojans & being lost at sea to find his kingdom in turmoil and suitors trying to marry his wife and take his kingdom. But his wife was very smart. She said she would only marry a man who could string her husband's bow. All the suitors tried and failed. They weren't strong enough. Then Ulysses, now an old man in disguise, asked to try. He strung his bow easily and killed all the suitors. There is a lovely clip of this scene on YouTube wherein actor Kirk Douglas plays Ulysses in the scene from the 1954 film.
 

So what is Greek female equivalent of Hercules or Ulysses?

Atalanta, and to some extent the Amazons.

Atalanta was abandoned on a mountain and raised by bears. Away from the social constructs of her fellow Greeks. The Greek myth makers clearly understood that femininity is a social construct and apparently believed that the only way a woman could grow to maturity without such constructs was to be raised in the wild by animals.

The Amazons it is now believed was one part myth and one part based on the Scythians (or the forebears of the Scythians), who were a nomadic group of hunters from Asia Minor wherein men and women both hunted, often from horseback, and they perfected the Scythian bow, which is a very complex recurve-decurve-recurve shape. As such they were phenomenal archers. It is small surprise that the Greeks mythologized such encounters with any warrior-women they encountered from Scythia as they were doubtlessly deadly with the bow.

Obviously I could keep going. I could probably write a nonfiction book on this subject.

So yes, in conclusion the idea that archery is strongly associated with women (and a skinny body type) is a stereotype perpetuated by the media. Largely due to Hollywood and anyone influenced by that false narrative. Archery is still very much a male dominated sport, it is a sport requiring strength and not agility (despite what Dungeons and Dragons would have people believe).

I would also assert that gender identity is not a factor in archery. People can identify as whatever gender they want to, it will make zero difference when you hand them a high poundage bow and ask them to pull it.

Anyone wishing to disagree can come to my local archery range and I will hand them a 50 lb Browning Wasp recurve bow, at which point we shall see if their perceptions of archery being "easy" or not requiring strength is remotely accurate. If they can't pull it I will give them a "much easier" 24 lb Ragim Matrix recurve bow. And if they still cannot pull that I will swap out the limbs for 18 lbs.

I have been teaching archery for almost 12 years now. Beginners are continually surprised at how physically exhausting the sport is. It is the reason why my lessons are 90 minutes long. Two hours is too long. People get tired and start making more mistakes close to the 90 minute mark.

There is a reason why I have blog posts on my website pertaining to weight training exercises specifically aimed at archers, so they can build more muscle in the needed areas of their body faster.

It truly is a sport of strength and endurance. Anyone who has fallen for the Hollywood fantasy that it is not... They're just perpetuating the false narrative.

My apologies if this is a bit of a rant. Archery is a lifestyle for me. I have been practicing the sport for over 31 years. Teaching for almost 12 years. My wife shoots. My 3-year-old son shoots. I write both fiction and nonfiction about archery. I am very passionate about promoting the virtues of the sport and it annoys me that there are so many false perceptions of it.

I recommend including my entire email in your appendices for your professor to peruse. If they have any questions or follow up they can address it to cardiotrek@gmail.com.

Have a good weekend!

Sincerely,
Charles Moffat
CardioTrek.ca

What kind of bow should I get my wife?

Q

"Hello! My wife weighs 115 lbs and isn't very big. What kind of bow should I get her for getting into archery?

Matt M."

A

Hey Matt!

Her weight isn't the biggest concern, her height and strength are bigger factors. I am guessing she is petite?

Start her on a low poundage bow, like a 15 to 20 lb recurve. I recommend a 3 piece recurve where she can get more powerful limbs later so she can build more muscle as she progresses.

If she is short you should also consider a youth bow. Some of my adult archery students who are closer to 5 feet tall need to use a youth bow, so if your wife is 5'2" or shorter this is an option, otherwise she may have clearance issues with the bowstring rubbing against her side.

If you have any questions just email me at cardiotrek@gmail.com

Good luck and happy shooting!

Sincerely,
Charles Moffat
 
 
Follow Up

"Thank you very much. This has been a big help. She is 5'3" so I am probably gonna go with a 3 piece so I can get her stronger limbs when she improves.

I was thinking the Samick Sage for her, but I'm worried the riser might be to big for her hands any other good starters you can recommend?"

A


Also the lowest poundage for the Sage is 25.

Perhaps the Samick Little Fox?

https://www.lancasterarchery.com/samick-little-fox-48-takedown-bow.html

Maybe get 20 lbs and she can later get 25 lb limbs. By the time she is ready for 30 lbs or more you can look at more expensive bows.

Cartel has a slightly bigger 54" bow that would also suit her, also available in 20 lbs.

https://www.lancasterarchery.com/cartel-triple-54-takedown-recurve-bow-58177.html
 
Or the Galaxy Bullseye 54, if she prefers wood.

Due to her height try to find something in the 48 to 58 inches range. The bigger the bow the more likely she will have clearance issues. 60 to 66 inches might be too big and have clearance issues with the bowstring.


Reply

"Thank you very much again. Very helpful."

Lesson Plan for Compound Archery

The lesson plan for Compound Archery differs dramatically compared to that of traditional recurve, Olympic recurve and other archery styles. This is because Compound Bows are so fundamentally different in their structure and design that it necessitates teaching it in a different way.

There are some things which are similar or the same when compared to the other lessons, but much of what a compound shooter learns will be focused on issues and aspects that are unique to compound bows. 


Lesson One

  • Safety Lecture
  • Eye Dominance Test, Optional (Honestly, this should have been done in the store before you purchased your bow. It would be an issue if the store failed to do this and sold you the wrong bow.)
  • Lecture on Proper Form
  • Tuning the Sights at 20 Yards

Lesson Two

  • Fine Tuning Sights at 20 Yards
  • Stabilizers and Form
  • Arrowhead Lecture
  • Tuning Sights at 30 Yards

Lesson Three

  • Warm Up at 20 Yards
  • Fine Tuning Sights at 30 Yards
  • Arrow Spine Lecture
  • Tuning Sights at 50 Yards

Lesson Four

  • Warm Up at 20 Yards
  • Variant Distances / Field Archery (Useful skill for hunting as the prey is rarely exactly at 20 yards.)

Lesson Five & Beyond

Varies upon the needs of the archer. Might include topics like shooting at moving targets, shooting long distances, shooting while sitting or kneeling, etc.

Sometimes archery lessons may include other topics like equipment maintenance, installing new equipment, answering the student's questions, issues related to bowhunting, etc.

Lessons can vary from student to student and are often modified to meet the needs of students.


The Bear Cruzer Vs the Diamond Infinite Edge, Two Excellent Beginner Compounds

What Should You Buy If You're New To Compounds???

Let's say you're new to archery (or new to compound shooting) and you don't know what you should buy.

The answer is that you want to buy a good beginner compound, something that is:

  • Reasonably priced.
  • Good value for money.
  • Offers you a range of draw weights / draw distances.
  • Easy to change the weight/draw settings without a bow press.

The answer is that there are two compound bows on the market which fulfill these requirements:

  • The Bear Cruzer (and variants of it)
  • The Diamond Infinite Edge (and variants of it)

Both of these bows from competing manufacturers offer everything a beginner compound shooter is looking for, and if they take good care of it then it will serve them well. There is only one downside, each of these bows top out at approx. 310 fps for arrow speed. Which is still plenty fast, but you're not going to breaking any speed records compared to more expensive compounds offering fps speeds of 330 to 380.

In contrast most traditional recurves top out at about 200 fps, and people still hunt with them. So having a fast compound is not a necessity.

It is more important that you learn how to shoot properly and accurately, and buying the wrong bow which doesn't suit the user would be a step in the wrong direction.

Got an archery question about compound bows? Just ask! Email cardiotrek@gmail.com.

See Also

Should you cancel your gym membership during COVID?

Q

 "Should I cancel my gym membership during the Coronavirus Pandemic?"

 

A

Honestly, if you're not able to use your gym membership right now because all of the gyms in the city are shutdown, then absolutely you should consider canceling your gym membership.

I don't know when the lockdown is going to be over, and who knows when you will be working again / making money, so you might as well cancel your gym membership and find a different way to exercise that doesn't involve being around people.

The same thing goes with if you currently have a personal trainer (like myself). Right now is a good time to cancel (or indefinitely reschedule) those sessions with your personal trainer and ask about a refund.

I have already started issuing refunds to my archery students who signed up for archery lessons in April and May, or rescheduling them until "later". Hopefully when the pandemic has dwindled I can teach archery again, but in the meantime due to the lockdown that isn't going to be happening.

Let's consider the math...

If this lockdown goes on for months you could be out hundreds of dollars.

Back in 2008 I had a gym membership that was costing me $75 + HST per month. If you are paying a similar rate at your local gym and the lockdown goes on for 6 months that is going to cost you...

$75 x 6 + 13% HST = $508.50.

It could last less, it could last longer. We have no idea when this Coronavirus Pandemic is going to end.

And even if the pandemic was ending in September, and we had a confirmed date on when it would end, would you really want to be paying gym fees for April, May, June, July and August for a gym you cannot use (or are afraid to use) during the pandemic.

What happens when we eventually get a vaccine?

1. Not everyone is going to take the vaccine. Eg. Anti-vaxxers.

2. They need to test the vaccine properly, a process which normally takes 2 years. So it isn't going to be tested and ready by September or October anyway. Not this year. It might take until 2021 or 2022 to have a vaccine that works.

3. Even when they do make the vaccine the production of the vaccine might be quite slow. In the film "Contagion" (which was a very realistic film) it took months just to make and distribute the vaccine.

4. Assuming you get the vaccine early, are the gyms going to open up at the same time? Doubtful. Their staff might not yet have the vaccine. They need to make certain all their staff have been vaccinated. I foresee employers requiring all their employees to bring in a doctor's note confirming that they've been vaccinated.

So what should you do in the meantime?

1. Go for walks. Do some outdoor photography. Take the dog or kids with you.

2. Find a sport or exercise activity you can do indoors. Eg. Put on some music and dance. Dancing costs you basically nothing so it ends up being very frugal. Yoga? Body weight exercises? Lots of options.

3. Buy a treadmill, a home weightlifting gym or something similar. You don't have to get something expensive. Start small, say $25 to $40 per month on exercise equipment, and you will still be spending way less on exercise equipment for your home than you would be paying for a gym membership.

4. Go bicycling. Spring is here already and Summer will be here soon enough. Either fix up your old bicycle or buy a new bicycle. Totally worth it. You could even bring your camera with you and do photography as you cycle around Toronto (or whatever city you are in).

5. Swimming, specifically in lakes or rivers, but if you know of a place with a pool where you feel safe and COVID free go ahead.

6. Go for long hikes. Again, take your dog, kids and/or camera with you.

7. Take up jogging.

Seriously there is a long list of activities you can do instead of going to the gym. Going to the gym was never mandatory. You should never have to feel obligated to exercise just because you are paying money to a gym, you should feel MOTIVATED to exercise because you've found something that you love doing which just happens to be exercise.

That is why I teach archery, boxing, swimming and ice skating. Mostly archery these days. I love those activities. They're highly enjoyable and I feel very motivated to go out to the archery range, the ice rink or the swimming pool to do such activities because they're FUN.

Eg. Until the COVID shutdown started I was a regular at my local indoor pool and my toddler son (he's 2 years old) was learning how to swim. I was taking him there twice per week to do 1 hour of swim time so he can learn how to swim and enjoy the water.

And when he is older I will get him a bicycle and we will be out there cycling together so that he learns how, but also because he will enjoy the feeling of freedom that comes with having a bicycle.

And if you're trapped indoors because of COVID during the next few months then having the freedom to hop on your bicycle and just go places, that feeling of freedom could be very therapeutic.



7+ Frequently Asked Archery Questions

Where can I do archery? Is it safe and legal to do it in my backyard?  Is there a designated place to do archery in my city?

In Toronto the best place to do archery is at the Toronto Archery Range, located in E. T. Seton Park (near the Ontario Science Centre).

Visit archerytoronto.ca/Toronto-Archery-Range.html to see maps and parking info.
The legality of doing archery in your backyard depends upon how safe you are doing it. If a neighbour complains about your lack of safety precautions and police investigate they could charge you with reckless endangerment with a firearm. Since Toronto has a public archery range however it is generally accepted that you should really be practicing archery at the archery range.

What is the cost of equipment?  Do I have to shell out big bucks or can I do it on a budget?

Either. Nobody is forcing you to spend a lot of money. A typical beginners budget for equipment is about $350 CDN to buy bow, arrows, arrowheads, arrowrest, shooting glove or tab, bowstringer, etc. Alternatively you could just make your own equipment if you are skilled at woodworking and want to try your hand at bowmaking / fletching arrows.

What kind of equipment do I need to start out?  Should I just get a bow and some arrows or is there anything else I need?

Yes. You will want:


  • Arrowheads
  • Arrowrest
  • Shooting glove or tab
  • Bowstringer
  • A bag or box for carrying your equipment to and from the archery range.
  • Various optional items like a quiver, arm guard/bracer, arrow nock bead, paper targets, portable targets, 3D targets, and a variety of other accessories.

Do I need archery lessons?  Can I just go and shoot or do I need to be instructed on technique, safety, best practices, etc...?

No, you absolutely do not need lessons, but it is definitely helpful to have archery lessons and you should definitely pay attention and abide by all the safety bylaws as they are for your own protection and to protect others.

What types of bows are there?  I have seen some complicated contraptions and more Robin Hood looking bows, but what is the difference and which should I choose?

The most common styles of bows are:

  • Recurve Bows
  • Longbows / Flatbows
  • Horsebows / Shortbows
  • Olympic Recurve Bows
  • Compound Bows

Recurve Bows are the easiest to learn how to use. Longbows/Flatbows and Horsebows/Shortbows are stylistically similar, but have a more difficult learning curve. Olympic Recurves are more specialized and use gadgets to help the archery increase archery. Compound Bows are typically decked out with every gadget you can find. The biggest difference between the styles is how much the individual archer wants to embrace specific traditions or whether they prefer to use gadgets to get extra accuracy.


How long will it take me to be good?  Is it a long process or will I pick it up quickly?

It varies significantly upon a number of factors.


  • Whether or not you get archery lessons.
  • How many archery lessons you get.
  • Whether or not you buy/read any archery books or read websites about improving your archery form.
  • How good is your posture.
  • How often your practice.
  • What your definition of "good" is.

It takes years to get really good at archery. It isn't something that happens overnight. Getting archery lessons / reading a good book on the subject really speeds up the process.

What types of arrows are there?  What do you call the feathers at the end?  What is the best arrow I can buy?

There are many types of arrows, usually made from wood, bamboo, carbon fibre, aluminum or fibreglass. The feathers are called fletching. The "best arrow" depends on what you are using it for. An expensive arrow doesn't necessarily mean it is better at a specific task. Eg. A lightweight arrow would be better for long distance (flight archery), but a heavier arrow can often be better for hunting purposes. So it really depends.

Historically "footed shaft" arrows were considered to be the best of both worlds because they were heavier on the front and lighter on the back, which improved accuracy.

More Frequently Asked Archery Questions

Shorter Bows Vs Longer Bows

Q

Two Very Similar Questions

"I have a question. I'm 19 and started off when I was 2 years old shooting traditional. As I got older I started shooting compound. I have a bear kodiak super magnum and I am really wanting to be able to harvest my first deer with traditional equipment this year but my shooting is all over the place. Earlier I went in the garage and got out a bear grizzly the my dad doesn't use anymore. Now the grizzly is significantly longer than the kodiak magnum. I started shooting it and was shooting way better than with the magnum. Could the size difference of the bow be the reason I was shooting worse/better?

Dylan G."


"[A] question that I have is in regards to the length of bows in general. What would be the biggest difference I would feel if I used a 62" bow compared to the 66" bow that we have been using. Would it still work well with the 28" draw length or would I just be overdrawing the bow all the time?

Thanks again for all of your help,

Eric K."


A

The short answer:

Longer bows are more forgiving. You can make a mistake and often still hit the target.
Shorter bows are unforgiving. You make a mistake and miss completely.

The long answer... it is complicated. It comes down to the physics and the design of the bow, the canting of the bow, the angle of the bowstring to tip of the bow, lateral physics, whether the bow is more bottom heavy and other factors. But yes, generally speaking, longer bows are usually more forgiving than shorter bows.

This is also true of compound bows too, which are measured from axle to axle.

Axle-to-Axle, or more commonly called by the acronym ATA, is the distance measured between each axle of a compound bow. Each cam operates on an axle and taking the length between those two axles is going to be your ATA measurement. There are compound bows with a long ATA, short ATA and some with a middle of the road ATA.

The longer ATA compound bows are always more forgiving of mistakes. However many hunters favour shorter ATA compound bows because they want a bow that weighs less, allows them to maneuver easier around branches when shooting from a tree stand, etc.

With competitive compound shooters however they don't need to worry about weight and maneuvrability. They just want as much accuracy as they can get. Thus competitive compounds are often quite long from axle to axle.


The same goes with Olympic recurve archers.

When it comes to Olympic recurves they are usually 66, 68 or 70 inches long. The extra bit of length gives the bow a bit more accuracy and Olympic archers want all the accuracy they can get. Thus it would be rare to see an Olympic recurve which is 64 inches or less. Most manufacturers that make such bows don't even make limbs and riser combos that go that short.


WHAT MAKES A GREAT ARCHER?

Now you may have also heard previously that when it comes to feats of accuracy and skill the three best archers of the last century all shot longbows: Awa Kenzo, Howard Hill, Byron Ferguson - sometimes listed in that order.

And that is true. They all shot longbows.

Awa Kenzo shot a Japanese yumi longbow. Yumi longbows are typically 7 to 9 feet long.

Howard Hill shot a traditional English longbow which had a modified handle he designed himself.

Byron Ferguson is still alive and shoots a "radical reflex-deflex longbow". Rather a complicated longbow design, but there it is.

So why did they shoot a longer bow even though these archers were already great at what they do?

Because even great archers still make mistakes. And when you know mistakes still happen you want to get the extra consistency that a longer bow affords you.

So what made these three longbow men so great?

Well, Awa Kenzo was known for his trick shooting. He could shoot a bullseye in the dark and then repeat the shot with such accuracy that he Robin Hooded the first arrow.

Howard Hill was renown for his hunting skills. One of my favourite stories about him is shooting an eagle at 150 yards, roughly twice the distance that Olympic archers shoot at (70 meters).

And Byron Ferguson does a combination of both trick shooting and long distance shooting. He can shoot a tiny moving target, like an aspirin in the air at 30 feet.

So then you might wonder, wait, so if Olympic recurves are so great, why aren't there any really famous Olympic archers?

Because they come and go. The average length of a competitive archer's career is less than 10 years. Even the most successful Olympic archers only ever compete in 1 or 2 Olympic Games and spend most of their time competing in local competitions, and there is very little money in it.

Plus the Koreans keep winning 75% of all the big competitions.

This comes down to money. In Korea Olympic archers often get big sponsors like Hyundai and Samsung supporting their careers. There is far more money in the sport in South Korea.

In contrast guess how much a Canadian Olympic archer earns in a year from sponsors?

Usually zero.

So eventually as Olympic archers get older they need to stop competing in order to pay for bills. They get married, have a few kids, the usual deal.

Even great archers like Awa Kenzo, Howard Hill, and Byron Ferguson had/have their sources of income. Awa Kenzo taught archery and martial arts, opening his own dojo. Howard Hill was in a lot of films between the 1930s and 1960s, promoting archery via film. Byron Ferguson writes books about archery.

So what made them great wasn't just their skill, but also their ability to keep doing archery because they made it part of their livelihood. Teaching, promoting, writing.

Olympic archers after they retire from competitions rarely go into archery as a business. A tiny few will end up coaching, while most of them will get an university degree or a college diploma and pursue a different passion.

Can you name an Olympic archer who was active during the 1980s or 1990s who is still famous, still competing and shooting amazingly today?

Nope. Neither can I.

Below is two photos of three Olympic archers shooting inside the Eaton's Centre while it was being built in May 1976. The photographs were taken by reporter/photographer Tibor Kelly. The archers in the photo are Wayne Pullen, Ron Lippert and Sheila Brown.


I had never heard of any of those three archers until a few months ago. And oddly enough, despite all their medals and accolades, these photographs might be the most historically important thing they ever did as archers. No doubt they contributed personally to the sport, encouraging others, teaching a bit, being supportive. Tiny ripples of influence in the river of history.

The three of them collectively probably had boxes of medals and trophies. So many they didn't know what to do with. But once an archer's competitive archery career is over, then what?
 
Some might shoot recreationally.
 
A rare few might get into bowhunting.
 
A tiny few might get into coaching, if they have the necessary skills to teach it properly.
 
Extremely few will write a How To Book, as that implies they first got into coaching and also had the necessary skills required to write a book about it.

So what makes a great archer?

In my opinion it is more than merely competing for 10 years (or less) of your life. Great archers shoot for decades and they leave a lasting contribution to the sport.

Awa Kenzo didn't just found an archery school. He founded a whole branch of Japanese archery, breaking from the ritualized kyudo to focus more on zen and Buddhist principles, a branch of Japanese archery that is still practiced today as his disciples passed on his teachings.

Howard Hill performed some amazing feats of archery. But in North America he also caused an archery fad that lasted from the late 1930s to early 1970s. An archery fad that lasted decades and effected the sport on the global level. (In contrast The Hunger Games fad only lasted a few years.) If it wasn't for Howard Hill there wouldn't even by "Olympic archery". They brought the sport back to the Olympics in 1972 after a 52 year hiatus.

And Byron Ferguson continues to teach, write and amaze. His contributions to the sport are not yet tallied.

For example lets talk about E. T. Seton.

E. T. Seton was an author of children's books. Yes, he did archery, but he wasn't particularly great at it. But he did manage to leave a lasting impression on Toronto's Archery community by donating in his will the land that became E. T. Seton Park and now contains the Toronto Archery Range.

Thus his biggest contribution to archery was land. A place for archers to practice.

Was E. T. Seton a great archer? Probably not. But we could say that he was a good person and a good archer. Certainly a generous archer.

Pin Float Vs Reticular Drift

Q

Hey Charles!

I was speaking to a fellow compound shooter and I mentioned how hard it is to aim sometimes when the sight pin keeps moving around. He referred to this as "Pin Float".

Is Pin Float different from Reticular Drift or are they basically the same thing?

Regards,
Jeffrey H.

A

Hey Jeffrey!

Basically the same thing.

Reticular Drift is a term largely used by military snipers to describe when they are aiming through a scope and the crosshairs keep moving about while they are trying to perfect their aim.

In archery we also use the term Reticular Drift, but when we do we are talking about aiming off the arrowhead and likewise attempted to perfect our aim while the arrowhead is moving about.

Pin Float is a bit more specific to compound shooting, as compound sights usually have 3 or more pins to choose from (with the pins usually set by the archer to 20 yards, 30 yards, 40 yards, etc). When shooting at 20 yards they would use the 20 yard pin. While aiming if the pin is moving around, making it difficult to aim, it is called Pin Float.


So how does an archer prevent Reticular Drift or Pin Float?

The short answer, you don't. It never truly goes away.

Reticular Drift is caused by the archer being in motion. The archer is breathing. Their muscles are contracting in order to maintain their draw length. The more the archer is moving the worse the Reticular Drift will be. eg. If the archer is shaking in some manner the Reticular Drift will be really bad.

However there are ways to minimize its effects.

One, use proper archery form. This will reduce shaking.

Two, learn how to breathe into the belly (as opposed to the chest) so that the shoulders are not moving up and down when you breathe.

Three, build stronger back and shoulder muscles so that they are more relaxed when put under pressure.






SOMEWHAT OFF TOPIC

In video games archers are often depicted as being super steady with the bow and there is no Reticular Drift at all.

However there is one video game I do want to applaud, because the realism in the archery depicted in the game is amazing. "Kingdom Come Deliverance" has the most realistic archery I have ever seen in a video game.

The hero (Henry) starts off in the game being horrible at archery. When Henry is first shooting he is horrible at it and the Reticular Drift is so bad it is very difficult to aim. However as the player gets better at aiming their Archery skill goes up ranks from 0 to 20, and their Strength ability and other scores likewise goes up. The Strength ability/etc is necessary in order to be able to use more powerful bows in the game properly.

Now I have heard people complaining about the game and whining about the archery system being so difficult... but frankly these people have been coddled by games like Skyrim where the character automatically is perfectly steady with their aim. They don't get that archery is supposed to be difficult. But, once the player has gotten Henry's Archery skill up and his Strength score likewise up, Archery is arguably the best combat skill in the game because it allows the player to kill enemies from distances (often while staying hidden), whereas the other combat skills require getting within melee range - in which case the swordplay system is likewise hard at the beginning to simulate Henry sucking at it.

Does the Reticular Drift in the game make it harder? Yes, at the beginning. And it never truly goes away either, it just decreases significantly as Henry gets stronger and better at archery. But that is the whole point. The game is based on reality as much as possible. Even the castles/locations are real places in Bohemia where tourists can visit. So for example the archery range in the image below next to the castle walls? You can visit the location and go there. There is no archery range there (at least not any more), but you can visit the castle.

Disclaimer - Nobody paid me to write this. I am just a fan of the game. I prefer realism in my books and my games.


Backyard Archery Legality Issues

Frequently Asked Questions

#1. Where can I do archery?

#2. Is it safe and legal to do it in my backyard or similar locations?

#3. Is there a designated place to do archery in my city?

#4. Where else can someone go to do archery?

#5. Is it possible to get permission to shoot inside certain buildings?


Answers


 #1. The short answer: Anywhere that is safe and legal to do so.

The long answer is more complicated as it varies on your location and local laws.

In Toronto it is illegal to do archery in a public park, unless you have a permit or if it is a designated area that is purposely for archery. This is governed by Toronto Bylaw 608-4.

608-4. Firearms and offensive weapons.
  • A. While in a park, no person shall be in possession of or use a firearm, air gun, cross bow, bow and arrow, axe, paint guns or offensive weapon of any kind unless authorized by permit.
  • B. Despite Subsection A, bows and arrows may be used in designated areas in accordance with posted conditions.

So with respect to public parks a person can do archery if they either (A) get a permit or (B) only do archery in the designated locations (eg. The Toronto Archery Range located at E. T. Seton Park).

Now we should also note it is also possible to do archery on private property. Such locations are typically private archery ranges located at universities, indoor archery ranges, archery tag locations, etc.


#2. Yes and No. It depends.

Depending on the city you live in it is usually legal to do archery in your backyard, garage, basement, or other indoor facilities. What really matters here is two factors:

  1. Whether your city has banned any kind of outdoor shooting, release or throwing of items considered to be weapons. Some cities have outright banned the "release" or firing of such weapons. eg. Toronto has banned it in public parks, but there is no general ban.
  2. Whether you have taken steps to ensure the safety of your neighbours, passersby, etc. If the archer is recklessly shooting in a place with no safety precautions, then that is illegal regardless because it is Reckless Endangerment with a Firearm.

Imagine for example if someone was doing archery in their front yard and people walking by on the sidewalk are in danger of being injured (and possibly killed). Well then that constitutes Reckless Endangerment with a Firearm, which carries a penalty of a $4,000 fine and possible prison time.

So the backyard, garage, basement, etc is definitely safer, but in the case of a backyard the archer should also be taking steps to ensure that it is even more safe. eg. High fences would be ideal, shooting on a downward angle at a target placed on the ground, and exercising clear safety rules.

The safest alternative obviously is to only be shooting indoors in a garage, basement or similar location. eg. I know of several people who have convinced their employers to let them shoot in their warehouse during their lunch break, using stacks of old cardboard boxes in the warehouse as targets - cardboard doomed to recycled anyway.

That doesn't mean however that it isn't possible or legal to shoot in a backyard however. The person doing so simply needs to take various safety measures so that if they are ever asked by police about their backyard archery practice that they can prove that they are doing it in a safe manner that is not endangering anyone.

So for example a neighbour could phone the police and complain, and when police investigate and interview you then you would be able to show that you are using high fences, arrow netting, shooting on a downward angle towards a target on the ground and similar precautions. The police would then determine that there is no point in arresting you as you've proven that you've taken the necessary safety precautions and that you are not shooting recklessly over any fences and into the properties of your neighbours.

#3. In Toronto, Yes.

In Toronto we are fortunate to have the Toronto Archery Range, a free public archery range that is open 24/7 all year long. It is, to my knowledge, the only free public archery range in North America. (Burnaby has a similar public archery range, but it isn't free to use.)

You can learn more about the Toronto Archery Range by visiting:
http://www.archerytoronto.ca/Toronto-Archery-Range.html

Are there any other "designated areas" in Toronto where you can do archery outdoors? No, but there are a few indoor archery ranges that are privately run by universities and archery tag locations.

Very few cities have their own outdoor archery range. eg. Montreal has one, which I believe is privately owned. (If you know whether this is true or false please correct me in the comments.)

If you know of other cities or towns that have their own public archery range please post it in the comments.

#4. Outside the city limits.

If you leave the city limits of Toronto there are a variety of places where a person can do archery. Private archery ranges are at the top of the list, but a person could potentially also rent a small chunk of land from a farmer and build a small private archery range for use by themselves and their friends.

If you have family who owns farmland or a cabin up north or similar property you could ask your family if its okay to visit and shoot on their property. eg. I keep a recurve bow and assorted equipment at my parents' farm just for this express purpose, this way I don't have to bring archery equipment with me when I visit, it is already there.

#5. Yes, it definitely is possible.

Although it is difficult to obtain, some locations will sometimes allow archers to shoot on their premises. Especially if it is for a publicity stunt.

The photos below are of Canadian archery champions Wayne Pullen, Ron Lippert and Sheila Brown shooting inside the Eaton Centre in downtown Toronto prior to the 860 foot long shopping mall being opened. The photos were taken by Globe and Mail photographer Tibor Kelly in May 1976. (It is from the cover of the May 17th 1976 issue.)

In order to be able to shoot in the Eaton Centre the three champions had to don hard hats in case anything fell on them. We assume the construction crew was on lunch break at the time they took the photos, and the three champion archers and the Globe and Mail photographer certainly had the permission of the Eaton Corporation. These aren't the kinds of photographs you could get without obtaining permission first.

The photographs are from newspaper clippings saved by Sheila Brown. We can all thank her for having the foresight to save a copy of this historical moment in Toronto archery history.


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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