The extreme range of such a weapon, with a light arrow, is about three hundred and sixty yards. Our own best flight with the wind and on falling ground, is three hundred yards. A heavy hunting arrow can be carried about two hundred yards. These shafts we make of three-eighth inch birch dowels, twenty-eight inches long, feathered with turkey feathers and tipped with tempered steel heads. These heads have a blade three inches long, one and a quarter wide, and about one thirty-second of an inch thick. They are set in a shaft of steel tubing, flattened and beveled, riveted and soldered. The weight of such a head is half an ounce. This type of head we use on big game, and it is most effective, doing more damage often than a bullet.
Besides this we use a small barbed head for rabbits and other small game. Blunt tips made with a round-headed screw and wire binding at the end of the arrow shaft are good for practice shots or for birds. This latter arrow can be driven a foot or more through an inch pine board, at a range from ten to fifty yards, but it has not power to penetrate thick skinned, large animals. It can, however, break bones or smash in a skull. Its action is like that of a bullet.
The striking force of a bow is a little less than twenty-five foot pounds. This we estimated by comparing the penetration of falling weights on a paraffin block and the depth of a blunt arrow stroke. Yet this insignificant foot poundage is changed into a wonderful weapon when a cutting head is added.
On one occasion a black bear robbed our camp, where we discovered him as we returned from a hunt. To teach him a lesson, yet do no harm, I shot him at sixty yards in the shoulder with a blunt arrow. He gave a grunt and a bound, the arrow rattling to the ground as he disappeared. Had that been a broad-head, it would have gone in up to the feather or passed through him, but as a blunt, it was only a wholesome admonition, which he heeded with alacrity.