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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm really wondering how our ancestors survived with only primitive equipment to gather food. We have so much to figure out with our modern equipment that it gives me a headache just thinking about it. I read the posts all the time about deep technical stuff, like Sid and some of the others post, and finally give up, because I can't understand half of it.

I've been shooting a long time, and in the old days about any old bow and arrows would do. Now, Lordy, so much to figure out? I bought a new bow from a friend of mine that is a bowyer, who told me that the bow is a 62" but it isn't because he measures different than most folks. He gave me a string I didn't like, as it had silencers on it, and it is a heavy string anyway. Measured it, and off to the shop to find a used string in my stash. So, I dug into my tool box and got the proper length, and strand count. He likes his bows at 9" brace, as he has a long draw, but I like mine around 8 to 8 1/2, as I have a short draw. So I set the brace at 8". Took it out and noticed that my nocks are too tight. Well, gonna shoot it anyway. Arrows all over the place, and that thing sounded like a gun going off. Looked everything over, yep, everything in it's place. Raised the brace height to 8 1/2. Arrows grouping well, and getting quieter. So now have to get a new string. I know what works from prior experience, so I have to wait for it to come in to further the tuning. Now to the arrows. I shoot carbons, and again from lots of experience, I have the right ones, with regard to spine, length, point weight, fletch type, and nock . I know the bow is centershot, so that helped in figuring out the spine.

Now last night, I was experimenting with my anchor. I shoot split with a corner of the mouth anchor. I found that if I drew to anchor, paused a second then let go, I was hitting the spot. If I tried to draw and hold with my thumb under my jawbone, I had a solid anchor all right but if I held that way for several seconds, I seemed to build tension, and the arrows would kick left. I thought hmmm, maybe those arrows were of the wrong spine? So I called my buddy the squirrel and he told me what I was doing wrong. Tonight, I took his advice and I'm back to hitting again.

The purpose of all this humorous grumbling, is to say that there is way too much stuff to figure out before one can even think about shooting well. And as you all know, I haven't even scratched the surface of the rest of the things that come into play when setting up a new rig from scratch. I wonder how someone completely new to the sport can even begin to get started. I was there once, about 1962. It's been a long learning curve, since most of my archery life I drifted over to compounds and forgot a lot about what I already knew long ago. Anyway, I have to thank Bob Littlefield AKA Graysquirrel for his patience, and advice on how to figure it all out. It is fun, but so much to learn at my advanced age! I hope I live long enough to sort it all out! LOL!
 

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Patience grasshopper (from the series kung fu and I know you remember that cause it was a western)
 

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For them archery was not a "game", it was a major part of their way of life.

They didn't let a head full of technical "stuff" get in the way of learning.
They had a very different persecutive on time and work-effort than we do.
The old military archers spent a lifetime developing the physique and the physical skills. and archers who depended on their bows for survival developed the hunting and stalking skills that feeding and clothing their families required.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Now Rusty, you are further complicating the matter. Stringwalking takes a bit of effort, and I still haven't figured out just what a crawl is. Creeping I understand, but not a crawl. LOL!

BTW, I like the way Tom thinks!
 

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Well I see it this way. They weren't always successful (hence them not being over weight). They also realized that if they hit the animal just about anywhere it would die eventually if not pushed.

They also weren't trying to stack arrows one on top of the other and didn't see the need for a robin hood either.

Hunting for food they probably learned patience and really knew everything about their prey.

No instant gratification back then either.

I can kill stuff without being overly accurate too. I know I can get within 30 yards of most of my game and thats plenty close enough to be hunting accurate.

Now if you want to compete at a high level...you have to refine, but to hunt I say that you can do that without being SPOT ON.

now I can here the come backs now too..."well you should hit your spot everytime" yeah that's all fine and dandy but your splitting straws when it come to hunting.

You need to know your limits and get good at those limits.

If I do a 3D course I shoot hunting shots.....am I going to win a buckle...nope but I would eat anyway (burgers at the burger stand are always there).

I have hit animals (not on purpose) in the 5 area and I have recovered them ...if your smart about it. I prefer the 8 but I don't see a need for a 10 or 10X EVERYTIME for a hunter...just doesn't help your score much ;)

Jer
 

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I remember my first bow well.
It was brown and it had a white string.
I shot arrows I bought from the local general store with money I made mowing lawns.
I drew by pinching the nock between my thumb an curled over index finger.
It took me 3 days to shoot my first rabbit an that's how it went for the next 3 years.
Then I joined an archery club and was told "every thing" I was doing was wrong.
Last week I finally got my new bow with American ILF metal riser, the Italian Olympic limbs,the limbsavers,the string silencers,the FF string,the elevated rest,the berger button,the carbon arrows with the brass inserts,bar dyed feathers an plastic nocks......
Yep,I finally got it all tuned up to work like the guys in my old club said it should,and I now know what I'm doing so can tell the young bucks their all doing it wrong.
Yet oddly enough the rabbits were in a lot more danger when I had no idea 8^)

John.
 

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Well, they were probably smarter on average than we are. Then only the fit survived to breeding age; now most anybody can.

They understood tillering by hand and eye, no numbers. Even in artistic images and in primitive cultures today, the classic arcs and shapes are generally very fine and beautiful.

The greater challenge has generally been finding and matching materials to make good arrows that fly and hit like their mates. Ultimately this must also be done by hand and eye. The proof of an arrow is in the shooting.

And of course, they learned how to hunt, from childhood, taught by masters of the art. The master hunter was often the most revered member of the group. He got the best girls, too. - lbg
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I think John and Jer are catching on. I laugh because I'm no world class shooter, never will be, nor do I want to be. I kill what I want and eat it. Sometimes it's a hamburger though if I do miss!
 

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John,

Hobbies are about entertainment and the use of the fabulous new invention, leisure time. Along with the primary objective, in this case shooting the bow, comes secondary pleasures. Many folks like to tinker and tune. Some folks like to make beautiful arrows, or leather work. Understanding the physics of archery is no different. I am a scientist and actually enjoy doing "kitchen science". With no more kids around with junior high school science projects, I have turned my attention to archery. Archery is not my first foray into science as a hobby. You might think I am obsessed after reading the following list.

In graduate school I converted a program to calculate the energy of induced dipoles in proteins to pick the winners of football games. I later revised the program and had some decent success with it. In 2003 it picked 8 our of 9 underdogs and 14 out of 15 toss up games correctly.

As a basketball coach I developed a set of metrics to measure the contribution of individual players to team performance. This supplemented individual performance stats.

I developed a model to identify the key factors that impact scoring in laser tag. Actually, used the model to significantly increase my scores while playing with my sons, who were competitive laser tag players.

Repeat after me: Science Rocks !!!!!
 

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They took whatever they could, every time they had a chance, drying and smoking and salting to make it last through times when there was next to nothing to be found. "Starving times" were just a way of life, as well.
 

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Interesting post. As far as the first sentence "I'm really wondering how our ancestors survived with only primitive equipment to gather food." pick up a copy of Hunting with the Bow and Arrow by Saxton Pope and a copy of Ishi in Two Worlds by Theodora Kroeber. Pope described his first-hand archery experiences with Ishi and Kroeber reconstructed the information gleaned from Ishi decades after his death. Both detailed descriptions of hunting with simple archery equipment. Ishi's hunting technology, including decoys, lures, tracking, calling, scent control and stalking, was quite advanced. His spiritualism and ritualism played a role in the mental aspect of archery. Although his archery tackle was simple, it was certainly not primitive. It made use of available materials and was designed for his hunting style.

As far as paras 2, 3 and 4; archery is a lifelong endeavor. I started late in life and often wonder if I have enough time left to truly master archery. It is the pursuit of the unattainable that keeps me interested. No person will ever shoot perfectly and that is why we keep trying.

After a lot of experimenting, I found a set up that works for me. Now that I have settled on the gear, I make an effort to shoot every day, even if it is only 5 arrows. Single string archery requires daily practice. I see a gradual improvement through daily shooting of the same gear.

Thanks for the post
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Hey Hank, I have a good buddy that made a career out of geophysical science. His I.Q. is off the scale. When he talks to me, he might was well be speaking Latin. He is a brilliant man, and very much enjoyed his work. Made a LOT of money at it too. BTW, he is a computer genius too. It amazes me that folks have that kind of knowledge, and drive to pursue such things to a higher level than most of us. He can tell you in great detail all about the Yellowstone caldera for example. How, and when it was formed, and what he expects for the future. Very spooky if you think about it.

Coming from a simple blue collar background with a moderate I.Q. level, it's interesting to me, to read about other folks that are much smarter than me in certain fields. However, we must have our scientists AND the guys to carry off the trash to the landfill. Everybody has a purpose.

Blinky, keep in mind that I'm being silly. I've studied the subject of early hunter/gatherers quite a bit. I've traveled a good bit, and visited prehistoric ruins in several states. When you HAVE to gather food to survive, you get pretty good at it. For us, it's just for fun. Many moons ago, I was VERY good at hunting before the wife and kids came along. I killed a LOT of all kinds of game. I've had live elk at my feet, deer close enough to reach out and touch, and so on. If you want it bad enough, you can do it.

I was really born too late. A mountain man would have been my profession. BTW, I studied them too, as well as native americans from the 1800's. Now, my interests have changed a bit.

I do love to tinker when I'm in the mood. In the early days, I shot Olympic style archery, competing, and teaching at the University level. Also bow hunted quite a bit. I could have collaborated with Tony Camera on his book "Shooting the Stickbow." I knew all that stuff, but today, I'm just too fat and lazy to get really serious about it. Of course I'm no Rod Jenkins either, and don't want to be. I do love reading about everyone's experiences with their bows trying to figure things out, and how to reach the next level. Man, I wish I could go to England and spend some time with Phil. I would be in heaven! LOL!

I spend most of my time puttering around in the backyard, and a few trips to the woods after a deer or a hog. I've seen and done it all, so now I just sit back and read about all of you folks exploits. Very entertaining reading.

Thanks to all of you for the interesting insights and comments.
 

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John,

My point is just that some of us like to dive into the science of how bows work because we enjoy it. We live in a era where we have leisure time and can do things for pleasure rather than just survival, that is, until the zombie apocalypse occurs. We are surviving quite differently than folks in the past that ate when they had food, and conserved energy when they did not.
 
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