“Here we have a weapon of beauty and romance. He who shoots with a bow, puts his life’s energy into it. The force behind the flying shaft must be placed there by the archer. At the moment of greatest strain, he must draw every sinew to the utmost; his hand must be steady; his nerves under absolute control; his eye keen and clear. In the hunt he pits his well trained skill against the instinctive cunning of his quarry. By the most adroit cleverness, he must approach within striking distance, and when he speeds his low whispering shaft and strikes his game, he has won by strength of arm and nerve. It is a noble sport.” -- Dr. Saxton Pope (1923)
Humans have always been hunters. And the bow has been around practically as long as mankind has. Save the discovery of fire and the development of speech, and mankind has not had a trustier or more important partner in its prospering development. The bow has fed and nourished generation after generation for almost all of the past 50,000 years. Add to that the romantic folklore of Robin Hood and the bow’s legendary history in warfare (from the Turks and Egyptians to Genghis Khan’s Mongols and the Chinese to the Normans and the Royal English). Don’t forget the connections to our Native American predecessors. That’s quite a history that was practically cast aside by the mid 1800s, but was rediscovered in the early part of the 20th Century and has steadily grown in popularity ever since.
Today, bowhunting is considered a specialized form of hunting. Ultimately, it is equipment that defines the endeavor known as “bowhunting”—a bow and an arrow. However, the essence of hunting with the bow and arrow includes so much more than just a choice of hunting weapon.
|The values and spirit of bowhunting revolves around such principles as: