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.
- 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
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.