Movies such as Hunger Games proved to not only be entertaining, it was a bold reminder we need to start thinking about our daily must-haves for survival such as food and water. Also, what we might have to go through if those items do become scarce.
In the movie, one of main characters favorite pieces of equipment was a bow and arrow. If you are unfamiliar with archery equipment—or tackle as it is sometimes called—here is a quick overview of archery equipment.
Types of Bows
There are four different types of bows. First is the longbow, similar to the bows used by Native Americans. Today’s longbows are made from beautiful wood or fiberglass. A flexible stick and heavy string are all you need to have a longbow. In a survival situation, you can fashion a bow and arrow from a stick and string to hunt fish or game. A more sophisticated version of the longbow is the recurve bow. Recurve bows, also made from wood or fiberglass, are easily distinguished because each end of the bow curves out. These curves give the bow more stability and strength providing more energy to push the arrow toward the target. The bow evolution continued to the modern-day mechanical device known as the compound bow. Made of cast aluminum this popular bow has a few more parts such as cables and eccentrics. The moving parts work together to create more energy than a longbow or recurve and is thus a faster shooting bow. Finally, there are crossbows. Some folks may argue a crossbow fits in a firearm category because, like a gun, you must cock this bow before firing, plus it has a safety device, stock and trigger. However, most Game and Fish Departments classify it under archery and the business end is still an arrow and broadhead, so for the sake of this article, crossbows are counted as archery tackle.
Pick Your Favorite
Each type of bow has its faithful devotees and you can use each for hunting. Traditionalists often prefer the longbow or recurve bow, because everything needed for these two types of bows can be made by hand including the string, arrows and broadheads, not generally the case with compounds or crossbows.
Arrows are made from carbon, aluminum or wood or a combination of carbon and aluminum. You can shoot all three types of arrows from either a longbow or a recurve bow. However, it is inadvisable to shoot wooden arrows from a compound because of the amount of kinetic energy generated by the bow may shatter the arrow. Crossbows require special arrows that are shorter than the arrows used with a vertical bow. Arrow tips come in a variety of styles from blunt points, great for shooting dirt clumps, to field points that are designed for target shooting or small game such as rabbits. If you want to hunt big game, you will need broadheads that have razor-sharp blades.
9 Good Reasons
Many avid archers can give you more good reasons to pick up archery than you care to hear. Here are nine excellent reasons why you may want to look into purchasing archery equipment:
- Every member of the family can shoot a bow. Archery equipment comes in all sizes, even women and youth sizes.
- There are fewer government regulations for archery equipment when compared to firearms.
- You do not need a background check to purchase archery equipment.
- Unlike ammunition, you can fire an arrow countless times before you need to replace it.
- Archery has very little noise associated with the shot making it ideal for hunting.
- The cost of a bow and arrow can vary from relatively inexpensive to ridiculous depending upon your taste, but once you make the initial investment you will have minimal expenses down the road.
- Safety is a major plus. Without an arrow loaded on the string and the string pulled back there is much less chance for injury. Most injuries are to your fingers from sharp broadheads. However, as with any sport, serious accidents can happen and you still need to respect this equipment.
- Using archery equipment often extends your hunting season, which translates into more hunting opportunities.
- Do you have concern over future supplies of ammunition? The government is not yet regulating the sale or manufacturing of arrows as strictly as it is ammo.
Added bonuses of investing in archery equipment:
- Easy maintenance—keeping your string waxed and in good shape plus making sure your arrows and tips are sharp is the bulk of the maintenance.
- Easy to store—fewer things can rust on a bow and arrow compared to a firearm, so they can be stored in a variety of places.
Learning a few of the skills shown on Hunger Games such as how to use a bow and arrow can help you become more self-reliant and may even help you survive a few days in the wilderness. Give it a try, I bet you will like it.