Using Your Wooden Longbow
If this is your first time shooting a wooden bow, you should know a few things. If this is not your first time, please read this to refresh your memory.
This bow must be strung with the supplied BOW STRINGER. Your bow stringer was made for this bow alone and should not be used with any other bow. Neither should any other bow stringer be used with this bow. Any other way of stringing this bow is not approved and will VOID YOUR WARRANTEE.
To apply the bow stringer (linen backed side UP and facing from you, bare wood DOWN facing away from you):
PLEASE NOTE: Stringing the bow backwards will void the warrantee.
Step 1) Attach one loop of the bow string to the upper nock of the upper limb.
Step 2) Attach the other loop of the bow stringer to the lower limb below the bow string.
Step 3) Place foot on the bow stringer, directly underneath the bow handle.
Step 4) Turn your face to the side.
Step 5) Pull up on the bow handle with one hand and slide the bow string into the nock with the other. Turn your face to the opposite direction, as much as possible, during this operation.
>> You must check and make sure that the string is securely placed in BOTH nocks before shooting.
>> This stringer can ONLY be used with THIS bow.
Never pull a wooden bow beyond its stated draw length, which is written on the belly of the bow below the handle. For example, 20# @ 24”, would indicate that the bow pulls 20 pounds at 24 inches, measured from the back of the bow. (The side opposite the pound/draw numbers is the back of the bow). If the bow is over-drawn, it may break. In other words, DO NOT pull the string back beyond the written inches...EVER!
Wooden bows are sensitive to changes in temperature and humidity. After stringing a bow, it is a good idea to pull it a few times half way, before pulling to full draw, especially as the bow is subject to a drastic change in temperature.
You should always use a wooden feathered arrow which is at least as long as the stated draw length of the bow. On most wooden bows, the first knuckle of your left hand (if right handed) is the arrow rest. It is a good idea to frequently check your arrows for cracks or loose feathers to avoid injury to your hand. When shooting off the hand, a glove is recommended to reduce the effects of shooting a bow without an arrow shelf.
To shoot your bow, start out at no more than 5 yards from the target (to get the "feel" of it). Grip the handle of the bow with your left hand, if right handed, so that it is even with the top of the wrapping on the handle. Nock an arrow ABOVE of the nocking point. Let the arrow rest on the first knuckle of your hand or, on the handle wrap itself, if it is thick enough. Grip the string with the first three fingers, placing one finger above the arrow and two below. Slowly, draw the arrow back while concentrating on the target and release. Some archers use an anchor point such as the corner of the mouth or the extended thumb touching the ear or cheek bone. Experiment with and without an anchor point and see which works best for you.
It is important that draw and release be done as quickly as possible, in one smooth motion. Holding the bow at full draw for more than a second or two will greatly diminish arrow speed and cause the bow to “follow the string.” This is called "string follow" and refers to when the limbs of the bow take a set in the direction that the bow is repeatedly bent in. Some string follow is to be expected, but it can and should be kept to a minimum with proper care, prolonging the life of the bow.
Care and Maintenance of the bow is very important. The string should be checked frequently for wear, especially at the nocks and nocking point.
Remember, this is not a toy, and can cause harm if not handled properly. Even a light draw weight bow can cause severe injury, and should be accorded the same respect as a firearm. Be careful and enjoy this ancient style of archery.