bow & arrow.

Back when I went to community college in Tennessee, I took archery as one of my P.E. classes, and found that I really enjoyed it. Ever since then, I had plans to get a bow of my own and shoot it regularly, but we didn’t have the space in Tennessee, and other priorities got in the way after we moved to New Hampshire.

Last year I finally bought a decent bow and ancillary equipment, and started flinging arrows again. It’s a recurve bow with no added equipment–no sights, fancy arrow rest, or bow-mounted quiver. I like the low-tech aspect of it, and it’s more of a challenge to get good with what’s essentially just a length of springy wood and a string.

I often take it out when I’m waiting for the school bus, and shoot at the orange bag at various distances. I try to empty the twelve-arrow quiver three or four times before the bus drops the kids off at the bottom of our driveway. It’s interesting just how precisely you can shoot an arrow off a fairly simple bow with a little bit of practice. And archery is one of the sports where you can see rapid improvement with frequent practice. I’ll notice when I haven’t shot a bow for a few weeks–the arrows tend to go a little wider than usual–but get back to it for a day or three, and you can pop that bag eleven out of twelve times at 30 yards and feel like some bad-ass middle-aged Robin Hood again.


First session after a month and a half without any practice. Half an hour later, they were all reliably in the bag again.

5 thoughts on “bow & arrow.

  1. If you have not already done so, you should read up on Byron Ferguson’s method for aiming a recurve without sights. I have not thought about my recurve in too long. Thanks for the reminder.

  2. Archery has been on my todo list for a while. Since we just moved to a location with some space and a park with archery targets just up the road, I might finally get to it.

    Any tips for starting out? Or is it like firearms and you just have to work through the learning and gear curves to find what works for you?

    Compound bows never really did anything for me and that’s all archery shops seem to have these days, at least around my area.

  3. I shoot a handmade longbow…..
    That’s a pretty high tech rig you got there …….

    Then again, there are guys that will point out that my longbow is made from two different woods (Hickory and Osage Orange ( aka Hedge Apple/Bois d’Arc/Bodark), and has an arrow shelf …. making mine a “composite longobw” and high tech compared to their simple stick and string …..

    I like archery because I can make it as simple or complicated as I want to …… and can go rabbit hunting in the backyard.

  4. Lots of options out there, and if you look around there are lots of traditional archery clubs in most areas.

    I’ve shot recurves and flat bows for years, but I do tend to cheat and use a compound for most of my hunting

  5. I still use my grandfathers old 59 bear Kodiak from time to time,to blow off steam,feel connected,and keep my chops up.I’ve always used it for target practice,not hunting..Funny thing is,,,When i see my hands holding it,they look more like i remembered his,the target gets a bit blurry,i smile,lift my elbow,exhale, and Fly.