Archery as a Prepper Skill?

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When I was 4 or 5 years old my dad gave me a plastic bow and arrow set. It was one of those cheap, $5 toy bows with the plastic arrows and suction cup tips. From the moment I let one of those toy arrows fly I was hooked. From then on archery was a permanent part of my life. Today we’re going to tackle some of the commonly held misconceptions about archery and its use in disaster scenarios and several of the debates going around in the preparedness community about archery and its effectiveness as a disaster skill.

 

Recurve vs. Compound

One of the most debated subjects about archery (as it pertains to prepping) is between compound bows and recurve or traditional bows. For those unaware of what these terms mean, check out this article from Wikipedia. The main debate here is that many people believe that a compound bow doesn’t have a place in a disaster scenario because it has a lot of complex moving parts and requires routine maintenance, which may not be available after disaster strikes. On the other side of the debate, many preppers feel that a recurve bow simply doesn’t have the power to be used in a defensive situation, doesn’t have the range of a compound bow, and takes significantly more practice to become accurate.

 

Concerns about compound bows

Compound bows do require significantly more maintenance than a recurve will. The pulley system of a compound bow is a fine tuned machine that withstands constant pressure and force due to the high draw weight of most compound bows. That being said, we are preppers. Our goals are to remove ourselves from systems of support. If you’re relying on an archery technician to maintain your bow, then you’re relying on yet another system of support. This is fine when you’re not dealing with a disaster scenario, but there may come a day when you can’t go down to the local archery shop and have your bow tuned up or restrung. There’s no reason why we can’t learn how to perform these maintenance tasks ourselves and stockpile all the tools and materials we need to keep our bows running perfectly for years.

 

jana_whitetailConcerns about recurve bows

Recurve bows do take significantly longer to learn to be accurate. There’s no sighting system like on a compound, and the shooter has to rely more on instinctual shooting and a lot of habitual practice to really become proficient with them. However, these bows are less inexpensive to shoot, maintain and with a few tools and the right wood you can even make a great recurve bow yourself. Yes, recurve bows do have a lighter draw weight than most compound bows and are a little more of a hassle when hunting from a tree stand, but they are still more than capable of taking down large game animals and hunting with a recurve is a great way to learn game stalking skills and hunting from ground level.

In the end, I personally feel this debate is a moot point. I mean think of it this way, is there ONE firearm that will perform ALL the functions that firearms are supposed to perform? No. There are rifles, handguns, shotguns, carbines… it’s simply picking the right tool for the job. Bows are the same way. If I’m doing small game hunting on foot then I’m going to want a recurve bow that I can shoot instinctively and quickly. If I’m looking to get up in a tree stand and put some meat in the freezer, I’m going to want my compound.

 

Can bows be used as defensive tools?

One of the more lively debates that I’ve seen recently is that archery isn’t a viable skill to learn because they are ineffective defensive tools. This is ridiculous. Yes, firearms have taken the place of the bow and arrow in modern defensive tools because they are much more efficient.  However, apparently some people forget that the bow and arrow was THE ranged weapon of choice for thousands of years. It does a pretty good job of putting holes in things, just a like a firearm does. Firearms run on ammunition that is finite, have more movable parts than bows do and can easily jam. Don’t get me wrong, I love my guns, but if I’m trying to conserve ammunition, or even worse, I’ve ran out of ammunition; a bow is the next best thing. There are also several places all around the world where you simply can’t have a firearm. If I were in an area like this, a bow would be my ranged weapon of choice.

 

Bows are better than guns because you can make a bow, a string and arrows

This one gets thrown around a lot in these debates. I’ve even seen many a Walking Dead fans claiming that a crossbow is actually the best weapon because “It’s just like a gun and you can make your own arrows really easy.” OK, let’s try to put this in perspective. Yes, you absolutely can make your own arrows for a bow and even a crossbow if you have the right materials and tools to do so. However, throwing some feathers on a stick and calling it an arrow isn’t going to cut it. Arrows are just as precise as bullets. They both require specific measurements, and have to be made a certain way in order to be used safely. Hundreds of years ago, apprentices would train for years before they could make arrows that were judged worthy enough to fire. Before buying that takedown bow and assuming you’ll be able to fashion arrows for it when the time comes, you may want to do a little research first because it’s not nearly as easy as you might think.

 

Bows are better than guns / guns are better than bows

Most debates about archery vs. firearms really just boil down to people believing that one is better than the other. The truth is that a gun can do things a bow cant and a bow can do things a gun cant. I mean, is a hammer better than a screwdriver? Is a mouse better than a keyboard? My suggestion would be to not limit yourself to a bow (whether it’s a recurve or a compound) or a gun, get the best of both worlds, so that you’ll have the right tool for the job when you need it the most.

Read the original article on Ready 4 it All

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Northern Raider
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Northern Raider

We have overcome the issue of wear n tear or failure of compound bows after TSHTF by simply bulk buying some basic compound bows so if one breaks we can simply take another from the stores. That way we get the benefits of the compound IE very compact size , suitable for use from minivans, usable indoors etc, but dont have to worry very much if one fails because we have a good few more set aside at home. We still have take down bows for general purpose shooting / hunting and the nice short compact budget compounds do the… Read more »

Northern Raider
Guest
Northern Raider

Guys if you cannot see the enemy and you cannot hear their shots you is in biiiiig trouble, look at these photos of properly cammed up hunters most using compound bows to get an idea of what sheeple and bandits would probably face after TSHTF.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2523058/Camouflage-suits-make-wearers-impossible-see.html

Pat Henry
Guest

I already have some camo with the Realtree patterns, but this newer version is definitely on my Christmas list!

northern raider
Guest
northern raider

Good pattern isnt it, no use over here in Europe the foliage is too different, but I’m sure an European version will come out soooner than later, til then I’m still more than content with my British army DPM pattern gear.

AZDevilDog
Guest
AZDevilDog

Another good article Pat. Both firearms and bows have their place and times. It’s never a bad idea to cover your bases. I started bow hunting years ago while in highschool. I started with an old recurve my uncle gave me. I gradualy moved up to compounds and then into shooting 3-D targets competitively. I had alot of fun with it. I was even shooting during my years in the Marine Corps.

Jamie
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Jamie

I was just having this discussion with my husband and debating whether compound or recurve was better. I guess you helped clear a few things up and sided more with him 😉 I guess I’ll keep the bow he got me for my b-day! I just need to practice with it now!

Ben
Guest

Uh let’s not be silly… I love bows and I love archery, but guns are unquestionably better than bows. What can a bow do better than a gun?

Wild Bill

Kill silently.