Bowhunting: For Food and Survival
There is definitely an enigmatic mystique and awe when it comes to archery. Most people know what archery is, but few truly appreciate it. The amount of skill, dedication and practice that it takes to become a good archer is definitely underrated. Many people, when they try to shoot an arrow from a bow for the very first time, may have a prior assumption to simply pull back on the string and let fly… it simply is not quite as easy as that.
One of the most remarkable things about the bow is its versatility. Whist archery in itself is a sport and can be simultaneously likened to an art form, it also has practical uses. Archers are ingrained into our history, from battles that have changed the landscape of the world to a tool for survival in the modern age.
Its elegance is undisputed – using it for more practical use, however, is not as prevalent in the public consciousness. As we are living in an age where convenience is abundant and our needs are met instantly, there may be times where the humble bow and arrow can be used and perhaps even necessary for more than just a sport.
Clearly, the bow requires an amount of natural aptitude and skill to be used effectively, which is really what makes the bow such a beautiful instrument. Most of its effectiveness does not come from the machine itself but rather from the user, which give it a distinctly personal feel. Practicing archery with the right tools is also necessary – releasing the bowstring is often one of the trickier tasks when it comes to bow mastery. If you want to increase your technique, particularly for hunting, then you can look for a range of bow release mechanisms.
Being in a survival situation is a circumstance that most people are simply not prepared for – despite the subtle complexity that a bow offers, it is still at its core a simple device. Using the power of potential energy to move a projectile through the air, it is possible to even construct a makeshift bow using common wood such as oak, hickory or maple.
The most difficult part Is acquiring the raw material to create a bowstring, however common items such as rawhide, twine or sinew would probably do the trick.
Being able to use a bow has a multitude of uses, but merely possessing the material that makes a bow also can be useful in any kind of wilderness survival type condition. The bowstring itself can be used for starting a fire – used as a bow drill. Snares or traps can be used to build a makeshift shelter.
But perhaps, say you already have a bow with you, If you do find yourself in circumstances where you need to survive, the most obvious use for a bow is to hunt for food.
Hunting is already popular with archers. It allows a precision that is not available on other conventional weapons. Clearly, hunting is more efficient with a bow – as you can use it as a clean projectile weapon, the kill is a lot purer than that of a gun or another method to hunt prey. Bow hunting tends to not destroy tissue as it penetrates the body of an animal as much as other kinds of killing techniques, allowing a preservation of the kill.
Accuracy is the pinnacle of the archer – without this, whatever bow you may have on you, recurve, compound or other – it does not matter. In a wilderness situation, you will have limited supplies and you don’t want to be wasting your arrows with missed shots. For this reason, if you have a lifestyle of being in the wilderness, your main tool will be your bow – so practicing as much as you can, whilst you are able to be paramount in using the bow effectively.
Similarly, your accuracy will determine how productive each shot will be – aim to kill, a missed shot is a missed opportunity and wild animals don’t tend to stay around when they are interrupted or agitated.
However, despite this minor drawback it is also possible to make your own arrows, or projectiles from your surrounding environment, it is a skill once learned you can apply. Although it may not be exactly easy, you have to admit that crafting a weapon such as a bow is definitely a lot easier than any other weapon you can think of.
Jennifer is the founder of BuckWithBow, a great blog that focuses on helping you learn how to hunt deer with a bow. As an experienced bow hunter, she will guide you through the Do’s and Don’ts of the bowhunting world and transform you into a better hunter. Whether you are an experienced bow hunter or an absolute beginner, you will find BuckWithBow a gem!