Part 4 of 4
This contest usually follows the target shooting in tournaments. A center for the target is made of white paper 4 ft. in diameter. This is laid upon the ground, and circles are made around it with powdered lime or flour to make a target anywhere from 24 ft. to 48 ft. in diameter.
The white center is used because it can be seen easily. A few arrows are shot by each contestant to get the proper elevation after which each one shoots 5 ends or 30 arrows. The distance from the center may be from 100 yds. to 180 yds., depending upon the bows used. It is usually taken as 180 yds. for men, 130 yds. for women, and 100 yds. for juniors. The count is the same as on a regulation target.
We now come to the part of archery which every man and boy is anxious to try. Wonderful wild-game shooting has been done by men like Arthur Young, Saxton Pope, Steward Edward White, and others. Every kind of game in North America has been brought down with arrows, while lions, tigers, panthers, etc., have been bagged in Africa.
Such hunting, however, is reserved for the very few. Almost every year, there are a few men enthusiasts who go deer hunting with bows and arrows and several deer are brought down each season. The boys, however, can have a lot of fun during the hunting season, shooting rabbits, squirrels, pheasant, partridge, quail, plover, snipe, and even wild ducks. With ducks, unless one is a pretty good shot, a miss usually means a lost arrow.
Our advice to boys and even men, when shooting small game, is to use blunt arrows. A rabbit will run away with an ordinary target or hunting arrow through him, and while you may eventually get him, chances of getting him are better if he has been hit with a blunt arrow. Then, too, if the archer misses, the chances of finding the arrow are better if the blunt arrows are used. The same holds true when hunting squirrels, as there will be no need to climb trees and dig out pointed arrows.
Naturally, blunt arrows do not fly so far as do the ordinary arrows, but in hunting with the bow and arrow, one must do as the Indians did, stalk the game quietly or lie in wait for it.
Blunt arrows also are safer. One of the writers, as a boy, was playing "Indian" with his companions. They were armed with bows and blunt arrows. One of the boys, shooting over a pile of brush, hit the writer's younger brother squarely on the chin. What would have happened had that arrow been anything but a blunt one? With all archery practice and sport, it must always be kept in mind that the bow and arrow is a very dangerous weapon, and that it should be handled with the greatest of care.
Be sure no one is within range and don't ever shoot over or through brush or trees which might hide persons or animals. An arrow flying through the air has much force behind it. and it must at all times be looked upon as a very dangerous missile.
Care of Archery Tackle
Now, just a few words about the care of archery tackle.
After shooting, unstring the bow and wipe it and the arrows with an oiled rag or with wax. This forms a protecting film over the wood and varnish, and adds to the life of the bow and the arrows. Wax the string.
Store the bow and arrows in a moderately dry, cool place when not in use.
Hang up the bow. This will tend to keep it from bending out of shape.
The arrows should be laid away where nothing will be placed on them, otherwise they may become distorted and rendered useless.
Do not let inexperienced people string and pull your bow. A bow over which you have labored long and strenuously is easily ruined.
Check the string from time to time. If the whipping at eye or center shows signs of fraying, replace it.
The archer will be amply repaid by the better performance of his archery tackle if he gives it just a bit of extra care.