Archery is an old sport that’s centuries old and uses arrows and an archery bow has quite an interesting history. In generations past, archery was critical for survival, yet almost died out in the current world. How could this sport, which is really quite popular, go in one extreme to one other?
Well before man had gunpowder to power bullets and other weapons, a simple bow and arrow were all that separated early man from other beasts of the times. Since man was slow and defenseless as compared to other animals, he developed weapons. First came the spear, but he soon identified steps to make arrows that have been propelled with a simple stick with a line linked with both ends – a bow.
This simple weapon helped ensure man’s survival, as even the fastest animal was no match for the speed of an arrow – propelled by an archery bow. Because the centuries passed, archery equipment was needed less and less, mainly due to the proliferation of modern inventions like the gun. When the final of the American Indians were added to reservations in the early 1900s, archery almost died in the U.S. as there is no real practical use because of this ancient technology.
The resurgence of archery, and archery bow and arrow, began in 1900, as archery was added as a competitive sport to the Olympics, where it’s remained to this day archery extreme. No further necessary for survival, many people around the world began to develop the sport of archery, dedicated to skill development and competition, as opposed to hunting and basic survival.
Technological developments like the compound bow, which multiplied the force of a bow by using pulleys and a much stiffer bow material and arrows manufactured from metals vs. stone propelled archery to a higher plane of importance. While these improvements to the basic principles of archery occurred hundreds of years ago, their basic designs have carried over largely intact over the centuries.
New man-made materials such as for example fiberglass, plastics, and graphite construction have contributed to huge improvements in performance as compared to archery bows of years ago. And, the resurgence of bowhunting as a serious sport, as opposed to employing a gun, has given new meaning to the “art” of hunting, as bowhunters can’t depend on the awesome power of a gun to bring down their prey. Th sport in hunting is back!