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Primitive Technology – Making Bow and Arrows

Could you make a primitive bow and arrows with nothing more than your own two hands?

Here it is done with stone tools and resourcefulness.

This man has made the most basic of tools with nothing more than stone and wood, and has done very well with them. Here he fashions a primitive bow and arrows from what the forest gives him, and by golly it works!

First, he selects a smallish sapling from the forest, and cuts it down with his stone axe. Then he begins the process of splitting and shaping the bow with various stone chisels. He tapers the ends and chisels out an area for the grip. The bow, he says, is 55 inches in length.

He also estimated the bow to be at or above 35 pounds in draw weight, certainly enough to kill a deer sized animal if that was his intention.

The arrows he made green, and included bush turkey feather fletching. He indicates that the feathers were salvaged from those he found on the ground and that no turkeys were harmed to make them. The turkey feather fletchings were affixed with a tree resin glue and tied with a bark fiber string. He made six arrows with fire hardened tips.

He also made a crude back quiver with which to hold the arrows, by folding a piece of tree bark and tieing it together into a tube.

He fashioned the bow string from cordage made from the inner bark of a fibrous tree. He made backup strings for the bow as the string broke three times during shooting and he spliced it back together. At approximately 10 meters he had better than 50% accuracy, shooting 200-300 times, at a semi-rotten log. The arrows had enough penetration to where they were difficult to remove from the log.

He followed the pattern for making the bow from the SAS Survival Handbook by John Lofty Wiseman. Although where Wiseman carved his bow from the entire tree as stave, this man first split the tree and shaped the bow from the split stave, which he felt added to the strength of the bow.

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Primitive Technology – Making Bow and Arrows