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Modern Archery
by Albert W. Havens.
From: The Californian, A Western Monthly Magazine
Vol. II, August 1880, No. 8. pp. 106-110
San Francisco, U.S.A.
Part 1 of 9

With the antiquity of archery this article has nothing to do. From very early days, it has been the means of supplying man's wants in the chase, of fighting his battles; and to-day it furnishes a pastime, innocent, healthful, and fascinating. The fascination of the long-bow is something seemingly indefinable—growing, gaining on its votaries with each repetition of its use. After the probationary period of sore fingers, tired muscles, so far untrained, and other preliminary steps necessary to the acquirement of the art, comes, with increasing skill, the love of it, ever growing until so firmly rooted as to almost defy removal. The many difficulties to be overcome by the ambitious devotee are but so many incentives, and the more they block the way, the greater the perseverance, the more determined the efforts, until a satisfactory degree of skill is acquired. The bow of today is different from the bow of our childhood days in nearly every respect. No boy would be a boy without bow and arrow, and the fact of being its manufacturer undoubtedly added greatly to its value in the owner's eyes. Anything bendable was utilized. An old barrel-stave, or shapely sapling dried in the oven, answered every purpose; and with such crude weapons, the small boy has from time immemorial performed many creditable feats in shooting. That all boys are in a certain sense arch ers hardly excuses the wonderful tales related by the aged citizen of to-day of his shooting in the dim ages of the past. The citizen aforesaid is a grave and respectable member of society renowned for his many virtues, and undoubtedly his word is as good as his bond. And yet of all the citizens of this class who appear on the archery range as interested spectators, but one is so far known who never killed a bird on the wing in boyhood days. The citizen invariably recounts his youthful exploits (as he remembers them), and if questioned as to killing game "or the move," as invariably answers affirmatively without the least hesitation. And the chances are he believes it.