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Primitive Skills: How to Make a Bowstring From Sinew

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Shawn Woods already showed us how to quickly craft a primitive bow. Now he instructs on how to fashion a primitive sinew bowstring for it. It’s rabbit hunting time!

Dovetailing with Shawn Woods’ earlier primitive bow making video, Woods now instructs on making a sinew bowstring with which to string the bow.

Of course Shawn has produced other videos on making bowstrings, including making a bowstring from cannabis and one from flax plants. So the basic technique is similar.

The real difference comes in the preparation of the material, as he demonstrates here.

Sinew is a remarkable product. The things that you can do with it are truly amazing. It has been called nature’s duct tape with good reason.

You can bind things with it, craft it into cordage and bowstrings, use it to sew together materials like leather, and so on. You generally use it when it is wet or damp, and when it dries it shrinks a little bit and hardens into a super strong material.

Perhaps the part of using sinew that requires the most “skill” or patience is teasing it apart into smaller strands, wetting them and waiting for them to become pliable enough to use. But that’s really more a matter of simply taking your time and not being in too big a hurry to finish the project.

The bowstring that Woods has fashioned here is quite strong and durable, and it is well worth the effort to harvest sinew from a deer, elk or moose for this or many other projects you might consider. Once dry the stuff lasts forever and can be stored indefinitely.

Like what you see here? You can read more great articles by David Smith at his facebook page, Stumpjack Outdoors.

NEXT: How to Butcher a Deer Using Stone Age Tools

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Primitive Skills: How to Make a Bowstring From Sinew