*Archery Equipment for the Survivalist*
By: Stoney
27 March 2005

Many times Iíve seen questions and comments about the bow and arrow as a survival weapon. Right up front I will tell you that archery is a very time consuming and expensive hobby. If you are to hit what youíre aiming at with any consistency you will spend hours practicing. My expertise comes mostly with compound bows.

Iíve been hunting with a bow for 17 years and have owned several different brands of bows; ultimately I have come to prefer PSE over most others. Quality bows are made by many manufacturers and like firearms most have advantages and disadvantages. PSE has been in the archery business for a long time and is still among the top choice of pros. I shoot a PSE Carrera with a pendulum sight for tree stand hunting. I shoot carbon shafts and Grim Reaper broadheads. The pendulum sight compensates the angle encountered when hunting from a tree stand without the shooter having to hold high or low. Most pendulum sights have a pin to accommodate shooting from the ground.

When you go shopping for a new bow I highly recommend using the service of an archery pro shop especially if you are new to archery. Using a pro shop will insure that your bow is set up correctly for you and that your arrows are made to your exact draw length. Donít give in to the temptation to grab a bow at Wal-Mart and a half dozen arrows out of the bulk rack and expect to be a good shooter. The money you saved will be spent at a pro shop later to when you take your bow to the specialist and say "I canít hit a %$^& thing with this." Bow setup and basic sight in is included with the purchase of a bow from a pro shop. As heard here so many times in the Rubicon "Buy once, cry once." Now if youíre an experienced shooter and have the necessary set-up equipment buy from Wal-Mart and set up your own, but for most of us our archery pro shop guy is among one of our best friends.

So how much should you expect to spend on a bow? Iíd say a conservative estimate for a top quality bow, 1 dozen arrows, 6 broadheads, sights, quiver, and a case youíre looking around $500 to $800. The expense of shooting a bow is what prevents it from being a great survival weapon in my opinion. The particular arrow/broadhead combination I shoot for deer hunting is $17.50 per arrow. Arrows are $90/dozen shafts the broadheads are $30 /3. Good thing I love my hobby.

I hunt deer, turkey, and occasionally coyotes with my bow. Unlike a bullet those $17.50 arrows are reusable provided they donít get broken and that you can find them. When you have your arrows made at the pro shop choose your vanes colors wisely because they can help you find that expensive arrow. Another thing you should remember when shooting arrows is that your prey generally will not fall where its shot so make sure your tracking skills are up to the task. An arrow from a compound bow has about the same kinetic energy of a .22 LR as far as knock down power but does its damage through massive blood loss in a short amount of time. Cutting diameters are anywhere from 7/8" to 1 ĺ". This is another consideration when contemplating the bow as a defensive weapon, its rate of fire is slow, range is limited, and it may not immediately neutralize your threat.

For a survival weapon your mileage may vary but for taking a deer in a hostile AO to fill your freezer, my thumbs are up. The best thing about the bow is its silence. Just remember archery is not something you can take lightly you absolutely must practice with it. If any Rubie wants to talk archery with me or needs suggestions on equipment please ask.

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