About
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Shooting the Stickbow, 2nd Edition is a new book on classical archery, written in four sections.

Section one contains information for the new archer on what to look for in buying a first bow, arrows and necessary accessories followed by detailed instructions on how to set up the equipment for efficient and safe use. The following chapter describes in detail, a proven method of establishing the foundation the new shooter will need to become a proficient archer. A chapter is devoted to common errors, their causes and how to correct them. The section concludes with three chapters on tuning the equipment for optimal performance. The first tuning chapter presents the physical techniques to tune a bow. The next chapters explain the Physics behind bow tuning and arrow dynamics The last chapter delves into Olympic style tuning.

Section two departs from the techniques of shooting and explores the design and construction theories of "stickbows" beginning with a simple 2x4 piece of lumber and gradually morphing it into a full blown target bow and finally a compound bow with cables and pulleys. Various design features are examined and their functions are explained. The next chapters look at arrow design and the materials used in their construction. The pros and cons of each material are explained. A chapter is devoted to arrow building and decorating. This section concludes with a chapter on bowstrings. As with previous sections, the materials and construction methods are clearly shown and the reader is taught to build two types of bowstrings.

Section three is the heart of Shooting the Stickbow. For the first time, an explanation of the various aiming methods is presented in clear and precise terms. Each method blends into the next or more advanced methods, giving the archer several avenues, to not only find the best method or methods, for him, but to extend his shooting range and ability. Following the aiming chapter, the reader is given a practical understanding of back tension and breathing during the shot sequence. Exercises are given to enhance the archer’s understanding and performance of these processes. The next two chapters provide an in-depth analysis of both the physical and mental aspects of the game. This section concludes with a brief overview on teaching and coaching.

Section four is a historical perspective on the "Golden Age of Archery", the 1960's and 70's. There is a review of the major production bows (and arrows) of the era, as well as a section on buying and restoring vintage bows. The last chapter is devoted to Earl Hoyt Jr. Earl, who more than any other bowyer / manufacturer, set the standard for the modern recurve bow. A time-line of Hoyt Archery is included from 1938 to present.

Appendices include math, measurements and standards for archers and an arrow and bowstring reference guide.


A brief introduction to Shooting the Stickbow

Archery - the use, or rather the skill, of shooting the bow and arrow is as old as recorded history. Its historical accounts have filled hundreds, if not thousands, of volumes throughout the ages with documented findings, conjecture and folklore. The use of the bow and arrow as a means of putting food on the table or waging war has its roots in nearly all cultures and civilizations. Truly, the history of archery is the history of mankind.

This book is designed to teach the fundamentals of archery, shooting the bow and arrow, and to give the reader a better understanding of the actual processes involved. It assumes nothing but that the would-be archer has reasonable physical capacity, mental keenness, and the desire to learn to shoot a stickbow and shoot one to the best of his ability.

We will first create a solid foundation emphasizing correct shooting form and a basic understanding of the equipment we will be using, as well as its configuration and tuning. Then we will build on that foundation to allow the new archer to refine his shooting form and tune his equipment so he may go on to whatever aspect of archery he finds most intriguing or challenging. That aspect may be target or Olympic style target archery, bowhunting, or just walking through the forest with bow in hand, shooting at leaves or tree stumps, and being able to hit them. It is my hope that after reading this book, the archer will be able to pass on what he has learned to others and help keep the spirit of archery alive.