The History of Archery

Archery is a pastime that possesses a rich and interesting history. Moreover, it is a pastime that is still quite alive today and despite the fact that people rely on it less to survive, archery remains a popular sport among avid sportsmen. Let's take a look at the history of archery and how it has evolved over time and has become a favorite sport among hunters and archery enthusiasts. Archery, of course, is a sport in which the participant uses arrows and a bow to shoot at a target. Possessing a rich history that is well over 8500 years old, the use of the bow and arrow has evolved from one of need to one of enjoyment. Bows and arrows were first used for hunting endeavors and were later adopted for warfare purposes.

The primary cultures that adopted the bow and arrow as a standard weapon in their vast armies were the Greeks, the Native Americans, the Chinese, and the Macedonians. Armies of archers were trained in combat to masterfully aim and fire their arrows at their enemies with alarming skill and precision and for many years the bow and arrow continued to be used as a weapon for both battle and hunting by a variety of cultures. Later, during medieval times, although the bow and arrow were still used during battle, they began to fall out of favor when swords were created. Swords were sturdier weapons, so armies consisted of both swordsmen and archers, but the archers were not revered as much as those men who wielded swords. Even later, the crossbow was developed, allowing for more aim and control and the crossbow was added to the list of weapons used in battle.

Finally, once guns were invented, the bow and arrow faded from use in warfare entirely, succumbing to the better power offered by musket rifles and the like. Today, bows and arrows are still used for hunting by those who prefer them and some individuals engage in bow and arrow competitions. The hunting that bow and arrow hunters engage in is regulated by the government and can only be done during certain times of the year. These times are referred to as "bow season" and only certain game can be killed with a bow and arrow. To become a good hunter with a bow and arrow, one must master their aiming skills and one also must possess a firm understanding of the kill zones on an animal.

The reason is twofold; first the hunter will ensure that the animal they are hunting won't travel too far once it has been hit and the second reason for understanding the kill zones is that if a hunter hits the animal in the wrong area, the animal can survive the shot and suffer for a long period of time. Thus, to successfully kill their prey, a bow hunter must become a master archer and there are many classes offered that help train hunters to become the skilled archers they need to be. .

By: Michael Russell


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