Is Archery a Good Skill for Good for Preppers?

archery

The English longbow in use

The other night I was watching an old movie on television and they were showing archery with the English longbow.  Now I am a history buff, and have read extensively about the use of the longbow during the hundred year war between England and France. This got me to thinking about the use of archery in prepping.

Now I am not a good archer and will never be, because it takes considerable training and strength and I am too old..  During the 14th and 15th centuries, English archers were expected to shoot ten “aimed” shots per minute during battle. A skilled archer would be capable of around twenty shots. As the typical archer was provided with 60-72 arrows, this permitted three to six minutes of continuous fire.  The range of their bow was estimated to be in the area of 300 yards, although accurate shots are probably much shorter.

Now I am not suggesting that you get rid of your firearms and replace them with bows and arrows.  But I think that this is a very effective backup skill to develop.  A recurve bow, which is the type I would suggest you get, is pretty close to silent. It is capable of taking small to large game effectively and silently.

There are basically two types of bows, recurve, and compound. They both have pros and cons.

archery

The compound bow

  1. Compound bows are easier to shoot and have good sighting systems. However they are more complicated and require more maintenance. You probably could not repair one yourself. The compound bow is definitely the winner when it comes to power and accuracy. The longer strings allow the archer to pull back farther to generate more power. They also make the bow easier to hold because it doesn’t take as much strength to hold the arrow back, which helps improve stability.  They are more expensive than a recurve bow
  2. archery

    the recurve bow

    Recurve bows take more skill to use. The English longbow was a recurve bow. There’s no sighting system like on a compound, and the shooter has to rely more on instinctive shooting and a lot of practice to really become accurate. But it has been proven that you can hunt very effectively with one. The recurve bow is less expensive to shoot, maintain and with a few tools and the right wood you can even make a recurve bow yourself. You can also get a takedown bow in a recurve, which may be a good choice for preppers

Personally I would encourage you to learn to shoot a recurve bow.  They have a long history and were only replaced by firearms when they had more penetration and it became easier to train people in their use.  I think that studying archery for prepping is good especially for the young.  Get a good bow and start training your children.

Howard

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6 Responses to Is Archery a Good Skill for Good for Preppers?

  1. Ed Harris says:

    Archery is a wonderful sport and useful skill, but one which requires some investment in equipment and continuous practice to maintain skill. While bows and arrows can be hand-made, expertly doing so is skill intensive and time consuming.

    An alternative which is easily within the means of most preppers is the “catapult” or slingshot. Howard has a useful article in the archive which describes the basics here:

    http://preparednessadvice.com/?s=slingshot#.Vvak3NIrLcs

  2. raffiki says:

    You left out cross bows. It should also be noted that wooden arrows can not be shoot in a compound or cross bow. They’ll explode.

    • Alabamanative says:

      I have shot wooden arrows in compounds and recurves with great results. I make my own arrows and they have never exploded.

      • raffiki says:

        Good to know. I have never personally tried it put I had heard that because compound and crossbows are much more powerful that wooden arrows would explode.

  3. So MN Prepper says:

    I would encourage learning any other skill such as archery. I do not think that hunting, with any weapon, is going to be a reliable means of getting food for any but the immediate time frame after an extreme crises.
    During the depression, wild game levels plummeted. Now with a much higher population to feed, and much less wildlife habitat available, there just simply will not be game in any but the most remote place. I am a hunter. i know the effort it takes to be successful. but then if the woods are full of inept hunters, enough will still be successful if for no reason other than numbers.
    I do like the recurve bow thinking though, as there is a chance of making arrows to replace broken / lost ones. those carbon fibre ect shafts will not be replaceable. The relative silence as opposed to a firearm can certainly have its worth.

  4. TMM says:

    If you are wondering just how in the heck someone could fire “10-20 aimed shots per minutes”… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BEG-ly9tQGk

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