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Home > Part 5
The Art of Archery
Part 5 of 5

The arrow, as has been said, should be drawn to the steel pile. The length of the arrow should be such that when it is full drawn this will be the case. For the man and woman of average arm length, 28 inches and 25 inches, respectively, are right. Rarely does one require longer arrows, but many shortarmed persons take 27 and 24 inches, respectively.

The "game" is simple. For men there is the York Round—six dozen arrows at 100 yards, four dozen at 80 yards and two dozen at 60 yards; and the American Round, distinctive to this country, consisting of 90 arrows, equally at 60, 50, and 40 yards. For women the National Round—four dozen arrows at 60 yards and two dozen at 50—corresponds to the York, while their short range is the Columbia Round, 72 arrows divided at 50, 40, and 30 yards. The English do not recognize the short ranges, and in this country there is a lively dispute between the advocates of long and short range shooting. From personal experience the writer, who has been accredited with having made very rapid progress to the first rank, would recommend the beginner to shoot at 50 yards, if a man, and 40 yards if a woman, until fair facility in handling the implements has been attained; then stick to the long range. This is on the theory that, having become able to hit the target at the long range, the short ranges follow as a matter of course.

The values of the colors on the target are as follows: Gold, 9; red, 7; blue, 5; black, 3; white, 1. If all six arrows at an "end" hit the target, one on each color, that "end" would be scored thus: 6-25, meaning six hits, 25 points. An arrow on the dividing line between two colors counts for the higher. If an arrow rebounds, or passes entirely through the target, under American rules it counts 5. To compute a score simply add up the "ends." A beginner should get a blank book and from the start keep his record. It will afford him much satisfaction some day.

Yew makes the best bow, and is the only one which most archers of above mediocre skill will have. But good yew is hard to get and expensive. Lancewood is a good second, but also is scarce, but we can get an abundance of what is termed "lemon wood," or washaba, from the West Indies, and very good bows are made from it; the cost is $4 to $6 each. We have in the Cascade Mountains of Oregon a yew that is a close second to the superb Spanish and Italian yew which the English use, but will not export ordinarily, and for the last fifteen years our best archers have depended on this.

Inasmuch as the makers of archery tackle in this country are few, it is necessary to mention their names. Oregon yew bows are made by Captain F. S. Barnes, of Forest Grove, Ore., a true sportsman, who is as keen scented for a good yew log in the mountains as a hunter stalking deer. A good "clean" log, without disqualifying knots, is hard to find. It takes six years to season it properly and even then, after, to all outward appearances, the wood is perfect, the sticks may be found so defective that few or no bows may be made. Considering all this, Captain Barnes' price, $25, is low. He supplies cheaper grades also, and a full line of tackle.

Five or six years ago James Duff, an experienced bow and arrow maker of Edinburgh and London, came over here and now has his shop at 130 Zabriskie street, Jersey City, N. J. He makes or supplies all tackle and gives full directions for its use. Standard tackle, both native and imported, can be secured from the best sporting goods dealers in the large cities. There never has been any difficulty in getting good English arrows, but many of our archers of highest skill, who want something extra fine, have their arrows made by Professor A. G. Whitman, of Melrose, Mass., who started the work as a labor of love.

[Those who wish to learn more of the organization side of Archery should communicate with Mr. Burton Payne Gray, President of the National Archery Association, Tremont Building, Boston, Mass. Books recommended are: Spalding's Archery Guide, revised by Dr. E. B. Weston; Col. Walrond's "Archery for Beginners," London; Horace Cox N. Y.; G. P. Putnam's Sons; Badminton Library Book on Archery; Horace A. Ford's "Theory and Practice of Archery," not to forget the "Toxophilus" of Roger Ascham, Queen Elizabeth's instructor in Archery.]

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