Part 4 of 4
HOW TO SHOOT.
Place your targets on their stands ten feet farther apart than the length of the range to be shot, and facing each other. Place a mark, as a standing-point from which to shoot, ten feet from the face of each target. Now carefully brace your bow as heretofore directed. Put the arrow-nock on the string, at the place marked for it, with the cock-feather out to the left. This is done with your right hand, whilst your left tightly grasps the handle of the bow, holding it nearly horizontal. Now with the nock thus on the string, hook the first, second, and third fingers under the string, taking the arrow between the first and second. Turn the bow to the left with the left hand until it stands nearly vertically in front of you, your left arm extended towards the gold of the target. Draw with your right, and push firmly with your left hand until your arrow's head rests on the lowest joint of your left forefinger. Your right hand will now touch your right ear. Look straight and hard at the centre of the target's gold, but do not even glance at your arrow. Blindly direct your arrow by your sense of feeling. Let go the string.
There is no such thing as "taking aim" with an arrow. He is a bungling archer who attempts it, Shoot from the first by your sense of direction and elevation. It will surprise you at first to see how far you will miss, but soon you will begin to close in with your arrows towards the gold.
When at the full draw, the bow should not be held more than a second. Feel for the gold quickly, and let go the string smoothly and smartly. The quicker shot you are, the better for you; but be careful not to make a little "snatch and jerk" when you loose the string.
The position, in shooting, should be graceful, easy, and firm. To this end, advance the left foot a half-pace, the toe turned towards the target, the knee of the left leg slightly bent. Fix the right foot nearly at right angles with the left, the right leg straight. Look directly over the left shoulder at the target. This position is called "putting the body into the bow," and will lead to powerful shooting.
MANUAL OF ARMS.
In parading or marching, the bow is carried unstrung, the string carefully looped with a strong green ribbon.
There are four positions of the bow besides those of bracing and shooting.
Shoulder arms.--The handle of the bow is placed on the right shoulder, the right hand grasping the lower limb of the bow near the nock, the upper limb elevated at an angle of forty-five degrees.
Order arms.--The lower horn of the bow rests on the ground by the outside of the right foot near the hollow, the weapon standing vertically between the right arm and the body, the right hand grasping it just below the handle, the upper limb resting in the hollow of the shoulder.
Carry arms.--The left hand grasps the handle of the weapon as in shooting and the bow is turned so that the lower limb is brought close up under the left arm, the upper limb pointing forward and downward, the left hand resting on the left hip.
Present arms.--The unstrung bow is held, as in shooting, directly before the archer, the left hand firmly grasping the handle.
To order arms from the shoulder.--Lower the right hand; at the same time passing the left hand across the body, and with it grasping the bow-handle. Now lower the bow smartly but gently to position, and return the left hand to its place at the side. To shoulder arms from the order.-Raise the bow vertically with the right hand until, by passing the left hand directly across the breast, it grasps the handle, then slip the right hand down and grasp the bow near the horn, and slip it quickly into position, at the same time returning the left hand to the side.
To carry arms from the shoulder.--Lower the bow with the right hand, carry the left hand across the breast and grasp the handle, turn the lower limb under the left arm, and bring the bow into position, the right hand remaining by the side.
To shoulder arms from the carry.--Turn the bow with the left hand so as to bring it vertically across the body to its place on the right shoulder; slip the right hand into position, and return the left hand smartly to the left side.
To carry arms from the present.--Lower the left hand to its position on the left hip, at the same time turning the lower limb of the bow close up tinder the left arm.
The marching commands and evolutions are those of the United States infantry.
There can be no military display finer than that of a well-drilled, uniformed, and equipped archery company. And at such short range as is needed in times of riots in our cities, no company would be more dreadfully effective. A well - trained archer will discharge thirty arrows in a minute, and every arrow is death.
The author takes pleasure in tendering his thanks to the publishers and proprietors of SCRIBNER'S MONTHLY, HARPER'S MAGAZINE, and APPLETONS' JOURNAL, for permitting him to use in this book the archery articles he had published in those magazines. To the wide circulation thus obtained for "Hunting with the Long-bow," in HARPER's for July, 1877, and to "Bow-shooting," in SCRIBNER'S for the same month, as well as to the sketches of his hunting adventures in Florida, published in APPLETONS' JOURNAL two or three years since, the author attributes the circumstances which have seemed to make this book a necessity