Day at the Archery Range


Preparing for our next book, Outdoors Preparation, we went to the 3D Archery Range, where we not only practiced with our classic recurve bow on regular paper targets, but also shot actual life-size, heavy foam statues of potential game animals, from squirrel to wild boar, weasel, skunk and even a beaver.

Bows and arrows are a technology that has been around for many millennia and require nothing more than a flexible wood and string with a straight shaft with fins and a hard, pointy head to be effective. They are extremely quiet, making them perfect for many survival activities, from hunting game for food, to self-defense, and even throwing a rope with a grappling hook to a far off gripping point. In short, the bow is a great survival tool!

At the range we met the owner Janet, who was an awesome person all around – not only an experienced archer, but also a traveler and explorer like us, so we had an amazing time there with her!

Click the image below to watch the Day At The Archery Range video








A few pointers that will make you shoot like a pro:

  1. Carrying the bow: we need to carry the bow disassembled, so it takes minimal space in our backpack, and also it’s important not to have the string drawn tightly when the bow is not in use, since it puts strain on the arms and may weaken them over time.

  2. Stances and release techniques: we need to stand perpendicular to the target, and hold the bow horizontal to the ground so we can easily place the arrow. When pulling the string, use both arms so the tension divides between them, making it easier. Fix your aim according to your hits – usually you’ll need to aim more to the lower left (if you are right-handed). When hunting game, it’s important to aim for headshots for two reasons – first, to dispatch the animals quickly so they don’t suffer, and second, not to spoil the meat, since a hit to the belly area might rupture the stomach or intestine and spoil the meat.

  3. Moving in the wild: a good hunting bow is large, so you’ll have to be aware of the arms not hitting anything when moving around – you can turn the bow so you can pass through thick vegetation. If needed, place the bow around your left shoulder, securing the raiser in place with your left hand. Walking with an arrow in the shaft, you can secure it to the riser using your left-hand index finger.

  4. Stealth bow techniques: since the bow is very much like a one-string guitar, it makes some noise when releasing the arrow, which may disclose your location or make your target flee. To make the bow as quiet as possible, attach a fur ball to each side of the string, approximately 10 inches from the ends. This stealth technique will muffle most of the sound coming from the string. For a rush job, you can use a small zip-tie to attach the fur balls, but if you want to make it more permanent, you can sew it or glue it.

To Sum Up:

Knowing how to use a bow for self-defense and food gathering is very important in the wild, since using a loud firearm will scare off all the animals within at least 5 miles, and may attract the attention of unwanted parties, disclosing your location.

The day at the 3D Archery range was wonderful and we fully recommend going out and practicing this skill now, when you have the time and ability to do so at your leisure. What I love about bows is that they are simple to use and can be practiced from a very young age, which makes this a perfect family activity! We will have a full breakdown of using bows and arrows, accompanied by instructional videos, in our next book and we’ll let you know once it’s ready.

Now it’s your turn:

What is your prefered bow, and how do you make sure to hit the mark every time?
Tell us about your favorite time using a bow, or if you haven’t tried it yet, what is stopping you?

Please leave a comment below – I love getting your feedback and I read each and every single comment!


What’s Next:

In the wake of a local or global catastrophe, a period of WROL will ensue, during which groups of people will gather to form communities, some wholesome and noble, but others – not so much. Next week we’ll talk about what communities will form in a WROL scenario, and surprisingly most of them won’t be criminal gangs, even though it’s the first thing that comes to mind!

I can’t wait to share all of this with you.

So, until then – Stay Safe!

Your friend always,

Roy Shepard

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