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Archery my introduction

Wed 08 September 2010 archery /

Archery to me was always people with lots of expensive bows with expensive equipment shooting at a target at the end of a long field. Not once as a kid can I ever remember making a bow. I never tried it at all. I think mainly because of no interest in the sport. However as sports and hobbies go I tend to see or read something that takes my fancy and I go at it 100% of my energy.. Anyhow, I got interested in making your own bows and arrows I read quite a bit and also found links to traditional archery, I happened to mention this to my farther Terry Quantrill, and he told me that my uncle made his own bows and arrows and next time I visit the UK I should make an appointment. Anyhow cut a long story short the next family visit back to the UK I arranged to meet up. We met up at the club Keith goes to and I got an introduction to shooting a stick!! First thing i realised was that its quite hard to draw a traditional bow not as easy as i thought it was going to be, but I carried on and keith showed me the basics of holding the bow and pointing your arm at the target and shooting the session lasted about 1.5 hours and we finished off walking around as Keith shot a few arrows at the targets on the course of the club. Had a long chat after then we arranged a visit to Keiths workshop. Keith showed me the basics of building a bow and arrow making and a quick intro to string making. After a few cups of tea chocolate biscuits and a few book recommendations we left and returned to the Netherlands. I did a lot of searching for information on the internet regarding building and reading lots of books and I happened to catch an advertisement for a dutch book on bow building which I bought and found out that the guy selling the book houdtkorts Jan Van de Veen, the website at the time was advertising bowbuilding weekend. After reading through I wasn’t to sure if it was beginners as it was quite expensive and planned at the same time as my farther in laws birthday party it was a hard choice to make. However I went and watched. I had a go myself and building a flat bow. I cut this out of a green tree that me and my next door neighbour cleaved with wooden pegs and axe the night before. The bow was built in half a day and then I Anyhow I met there two guys Hauke Gipp from asgaard archery and Ian Blackwell a welsh boywer, both were busy with building but we shared a few whiskies and both me and the next door neighbor decided to buy a longbow each. The bows were made by Ian Blackwell and we were given the chance to try them out so this was the second time I had ever shot a bow. Well the bow needed ‘bits and pieces’, so purchases were made at asgaard archery and I was invited to take part in a 3d Archery competition here in the polder in Kuinre Bos. Unfortunately on the day the family was sick so I had to cancel at the last minute but I got asked to the lierop 3d shoot. In between the competitions I managed to contact the club that organised the kuinre forest shoot So I went a few times to the indoor course at the lemersterland club where I met up with a number of competition shooters, of course I go to the club now to practise as much as possible.. Beides the other members find it funny me turning up every week with a different bow ;) Anyhow long story short I met up again with Hauke and Ian in lierop and spent the weekend drinking shooting and talking about archery and bow building. here is me at lierop missing the target yet again!! the weekend was a scream from start to finish I learned a lot about the sport I had a good time with the people that went and I got invited to the Den Helder shoot.. Had a great laugh and met up with hauke and Ian again.. Then I found out there was another bowbuilding weekend on so I signed up for it it was beng held at the same place and was being done by ian. Unfortunalty it got cancelled at the last minute. I happend to cal lIan up to ask why and he told me that he knew nothing about the cancellation and that he still had wood and tools bought for the weekend. My wife suggested I ask the father in law to use his farm, he agreed it was arranged and agreed and the bowbuilding went ahead almost as planed. A good group of people turned up and I built and finished off a laminated longbow with the help of Ian. We practiced a little bit of long distance shooting on a field as the bow I built was 75lb @28 and a bit more at 32” I ended up straining my shoulder a little bit, Ian gave me lots of advice on how to pull hevier bows this helped alot but of course if you dont hink and do you end up forgetting the right way anyhow the weekend gave me a sore shoulder but a fantastic bow. The weekend got a number of family members interested my father in law built his own bow my collegue built his own I bought heleen a bow for a present and an aunt of heleen also bought a bow. So the family is now all kitted out. I also found out that my uncle helped with archery in the robin hood movie starring russell crow here far right.. After this weekend it was discussed that it would be good to go to Kent to the fraternity of St George shoot I mean I had the bow for it now and the teqnique so the ferry was booked. I travelled with Ian and met Hauke and his wife there. I met a number of good people and had a really good time i’ll be going next year to.. After returning I managed to break my bow it started off one sunday on the field out side the father in laws I shot a few arrows over a tree at short range for practice then we went to the long distance field!! I shot 2 arrows then the third the bow shattered in my hand at full draw ;) ouch!! So back to the workshop I built myself another 2 bows a self bow from hickory and a laminated bow from hickory hardhout!.. The hiclory bow turned out rather well only i ended up with a fairly stiff bottom the top nice and bendy.. The bows a little sluggish but shoots ok. the laminated bow cracked on the glue line after final tillering and wasted three days work ;) In between all of this I have been learning and making, and I continue to do so into the future. I hope that i will note here stuff i learn and put to practice mainly for me to review but also a personal resource available to others that want to learn by doing……. Next shoot is terschelling ……

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