I recently went through a long list of traps over the past week or so, one of which used a longbow for a Bow Trap, but I did not show you how to craft long bows for survival in the wilderness. An invaluable skill is knowing how to make a bow and arrow to get food or set traps. I did touch on this in my past post about making survival weapons, but I want to go just a little further on this.
I am going to give you the basics of making a survival bow, but I will also mix in some knowledge known by professional bowmakers to make better bows. Even if the information is there to be utilized, you must understand that most field expedient bows will be a use and toss weapon.
What I mean is that most professional bows are built for perfect spring and balance and are designed to last. Field bows typically are made from a large branch, Ash is agreat wood for it, and just shaved to shape. They will eventually lose their spring and will need to be replaced.
The more work you place into your bow the longer it will last, but also the more crucial time you will be spending not hunting, trapping, getting water, building shelter, etc.
Below is a Photo showing the basics of a bow.
1. Find a large solid branch that looks like it will be springy once fashioned into bow, Ash is great.
2. Shave down smaller side of the bow to guage how thin you will shave it.
3. Shave down the larger end to match.
4. For accuracy, it is good to shave down a handle so that your arrow can go straight when it goes around it.
5. Notch out the ends so the string can be tied as show in the photo.
6. Find good strong string. Having bowstring on you is probably best, but if you have paracord, it could suffice. Place string on the bow.
7. Get your arrows and try the bow. Get used to it before you hunt with it, and make final adjustments to shape while practicing.
Now, a little nugget I learned is that for a better bow you want to get to the piece of wood that is where the surface wood meets the heart of the wood. You want to get your wood like so…
As for the wood grain, if possible you want the length of the back to follow the grain of the wood almost perfectly. Let me show you a cross sectional view from the tip of the bow.
As I write tips for your adventures and hear about cool gear, I will let you know all about it!