Episode 106 S3-25
Archery & Hunters vs. Vegans
The Walls of Freedom Ch 25
In The Walls of Freedom adventure, Erika heads out into the woodlands with Master Sergeant Bennet. He is committed to getting her mind and spirit running again. Here to talk with us about archery basics is Blake Alma, host of the Outdoor Experience on the Hunt channel. Blake also shares his views on hunters vs. vegans.
The bow is a simple device designed to harvest game and it is also an Olympic sport. There are three basic parts to a bow. The stick (or limbs) that bend when the draw string is pulled. The other essential part is an arrow. The arrow can have different types of tips on it. A broad head is a bladed device used for killing and a field tip is a blunter device used for practice. The main components that keeps the arrow flying on a straight path is called the fletchings. These are traditionally made of feathers but now-a-days plastic has fulfilled the role.
There are different types of bows available. A compound bow is a bow that has a series of cams or gears to make it easier to hold back the draw string for long periods of time. The long bow is a traditional bow used heavily by the British. It is the "robin hood" bow. A recurve bow is similar to the long bow except the limbs turn back on themselves at the end to provide more tension when it is pulled. A crossbow is another type of bow. I call it the "cheater" bow because it is shot basically like a rifle. It harbors a lot of draw weight and usually must be pulled with the assistance of a tool designed to pull it.
Bows have different draw weights. The draw weight is the amount of pounds of pressure required to pull the draw string of the bow back. Compound bows are very versatile and can range from 10 to 75 lbs. You need at least a forty five pound draw weight to kill a deer. Cross bows can range up to one hundred and fifty pounds of draw weight.
If you are just starting into archery, you should start with a long bow. They are relatively inexpensive and once you have skill with this type of bow upgrading to a compound will be an easy task.
Bows take a lot of practice. They must be sighted in properly. This is called "zeroing a site." Your sites will require constant attention to make sure it remains accurate. Compound bows are like any other modern gadget and are constantly being upgraded to feature new bells and whistles. Some shooters, like Blake and myself, favor a older model over the new gadgets of modern bows.
Jr. Long bows are great for kids. My five year old son shoots a Bear Archery Goblin. You can usually find bows like this at a really affordable price. They are light weight and very easy to draw. Adults can even use this bow and get a lot out of it but be careful because if you pull it too far you may snap the limbs. Instead of using the site try looking down the arrow to get started.
Bows are preferred over guns in a long term survival situation for a few reasons. You can reuse arrows. You can part out old arrows to make new ones. A long bow doesn't rust. A compound bow might have long term issues in a survival situation due to the cams at the ends of the limbs. They are failure spots that would be affected by dirt and wear. You can't just pick up a bow and expect to hunt and survive with it. Shooting a bow take a lot of practice to do it efficiently.
The fletchings on the arrow are another fail point but you can make new ones. Bird feathers are the preferred material if you can't harvest plastic ones off of old arrows. Take the bird feather and cut it down the middle. Then lash it to the arrow with a thin, strong twine. Thick leaves may be an alternate option but they will age quickly and then turn to powder.
Hunting animals with a bow will be tricky in a survival situation. You probably won't have access to a modern tree blind or ground blind so you will have to utilize nature. Stationary hunting is preferred over stalking with a bow. Find a clump of vegetation you can use as a blind and hide behind that. You will probably not smell very good after weeks in the woods so go swimming, rub on a pine tree, find a way to eliminate your stink. Use "the path of least resistance," this is an area that the deer use regularly. Deer frequently have food plots or areas that grow food they want to eat. They also typically have an area they like to bed down for the night. They will travel the same trails to go back and forth from these areas daily as long as no threats present themselves along the way. In a survival situation you can bait the animal (some states it is legal to bait and others it is not, make sure you know before you do this in today's society). Alternatively to baiting, research what the deer love to eat. Deer like acorns and fruit trees and that may be a great area to lay in wait.
If you want to go buy a compound bow, most of them come in packages that contain all the bells and whistles you need to quietly and accurately hunt a deer. The arrows that your bow will require need to be the right length and weight for your bow to shoot efficiently. When you purchase broad heads you need to make sure that they are the same weight as the field tips you have been practicing with, otherwise your bow will no longer be accurate.
Blake and I digress into a myriad of other topics at this point. Tune into the podcast or the video for all the juicy details.
The Changing Earth Series
Blake Alma is an award-winning writer, TV & radio host, and published author. He is also the founder/editor at The Art of an Outdoorsman and editor-in-chief at Survivalist Daily. He hosts and produces The Outdoorsman's Art Radio Show and The Outdoor Experience on Hunt Channel. Blake loves and pursues the outdoors and its Creator with all that he has. Some of Blake's favorite outdoor activities include survival, trapping, hunting, fishing, and camping.