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Home > Books > Arab Archery > XXIX. On the management of the arrow when shooting against the wind, et cetera, and on trying not to shoot it when a break is found after it has been fully drawn
XXIX. On the management of the arrow when shooting against the wind, et cetera, and on trying not to shoot it when a break is found after it has been fully drawn

IF THE arrowhead is heavy and the feathers light, lower the nock and raise the head. It will then travel straight. If, on the other hand, its feathers are heavy and the arrowhead light, raise the nock and lower the head. It will then travel straight. If one of the feathers is heavy and the others light, hold the arrow in such a position as will have the heavy feather down and the light ones up. It will then travel straight. If, on the other hand, one of the feathers is light and the others are heavy, hold the arrow in such a position as will have the light feather up and the heavy ones down. It will then travel straight.

If the male feather (dhakar)[30] should drop off but the side feathers remain, you may shoot therewith and the arrow will travel straight because the loss of the male feather will do no harm. If, however, one of the side feathers should be lost, do not shoot; because an arrow in that condition will never travel straight.

If the arrow has no feathers at all and its head is light, there is no use in shooting; but, if its head is heavy, take a small piece of compactly woven rag, split it into three dangling parts still held together at one end, form a small hole in this intact portion, fit it around the arrow in place of the feathers, tie it firmly with a piece of twine, and shoot. The arrow will travel straight.

Wind invariably spoils and obstructs good shooting; consequently, avoid shooting in the wind. If you happen to be shooting when the wind starts to blow, stop until it subsides.

If you are shooting for a wager or trophy and your adversary insists upon continuing, you may, if the wind is blowing with you from behind, lean on your left leg because it offers a slower arrow; but beware of leaning on your right leg because it raises the flight of the arrow, causing it to be carried by the wind and go astray. Then hold your right hand firm, lower your left hand a little, and press with the thenar eminence against the grip. If, however, the wind is blowing from above, lean on your right leg, hold your left hand firm, lower your right hand a little, and press with your hypothenar eminence against the grip. This completely reverses the other performance.

If the wind blows from your right, turn your bow a little to the outside [the left], and aim at the lower edge of the target. If it blows from your left, do the reverse, namely, turn your bow a little to the inside [the right], and aim at the upper edge of the target.

If the wind blows from in front of you, raise your left hand a little since the wind will counteract the velocity of the arrow and its force will slow down the flight, with the result that the cast will be lessened.

When a person nocks an arrow in order to shoot down an enemy, and upon completing a full draw discovers in it a crack or break, he cannot very well use that arrow; for if he shoots it anyway it will be ineffective and the enemy will not only despise him but will lose no time in shooting him. If, on the other hand, he discards the broken arrow by letting it down, the enemy will shoot him before he can adjust another. He should therefore do his best to get rid of the arrow by folding his left index finger over it to hold it firmly, while the right hand draws the string further until it is clear of the nock. By this the enemy is led to believe that the arrow has been shot and is flying toward him, and, consequently becomes involved in an attempt to either dodge it or deflect it with his shield. While he is so busied, the archer quickly picks out another arrow, nocks it, and shoots. Or, if he so wishes, he may draw the string clear of the nock, shove the arrow to the ground with his chin, quickly take another, nock, and shoot it.

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