Survival Guru

Wednesday, August 17, 2011 1

Q: How can I learn to make bows?

How can I make a bow and arrows for hunting with materials from the wilderness?

By: Question from: The Editors, Santa Fe, New Mexico
Wooden bow
Wooden bow Photo: erix!/Flickr

Free Newsletters

Dispatch This week's featured articles, reviews, and videos. Sent twice weekly.
News From the Field The most important breaking news from around the Web. Sent daily.
Outside GOOur hottest adventure-travel tips and trips. Sent occasionally.
Outside Partners Outside-approved deals and special offers from select partners. Sent occasionally.

Subscribe
to Outside
Save Over
70%

Magazine Cover

iPad Outside+ App Access Now Included!

News

Apr 24, 2014

A:

Primitive archery is exciting. For years, I made my own wooden bows, hand-fletched arrows, and arrowheads for use in hunting, but it takes time to acquire the know-how.  I’d recommend taking a class with an experienced bowyer or going to one of the many primitive archery rendezvous around the country. The monthly magazine Primitive Archer is a good way to locate someone in your area.

Another great resource is the The Traditional Bowyer’s Bible. This four-volume set of books was a tremendous help to me when I was starting to make bows. I learned from these books how to make bows using 1”x2” pieces of lumber from Home Depot, instead of seasoned lumber I had to collect afield. Figuring out how to make bows from this readily-available material make the learning process much easier.

I would start by getting a copy of volume one of The Traditional Bowyer’s Bible and reading through the "Bows From Boards" section. After that, pick up some lumber to practice on while seeking out someone in your region to fine-tune your skills. Be aware that this form of woodworking can become addictive once you deliver an arrow from your first handmade bow.

More at Outside

Next in Adventure (9 of 101)

Can I use a cell phone to call for help in the wilderness?

Read More »
Current Issue Outside Magazine

Subscribe and get a great deal! Two free Buyer's Guides plus a free GoLite Sport Bottle. Monthly delivery of Outside—your ultimate resource for today's active lifestyle. All that and big savings!

Free Newsletters

Dispatch This week's featured articles, reviews, and videos. Sent twice weekly.
News From the Field The most important breaking news from around the Web. Sent daily.
Gear of the Day The latest products, reviews, and editors' picks. Coming soon.
Outside Partners Outside-approved deals and special offers from select partners. Sent occasionally.

Ask a Question

Our gear experts await your outdoor-gear-related questions. Go ahead, ask them anything.

* We might edit your question for length or clarity. If it's not about gear, we'll just ignore it.