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Archery

 



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Overview
The use of the bow can be traced back to the earliest civilizations, as witnessed in writings and drawings from all over the world. Drawings, biblical writings, and ancient cultures make references to this tool and weapon. The bow and arrow have shaped history, whether it be on the plains of the ancient Roman and Greek battlefields, the defeat of the French army at Crecy in 1346, or the expansion of the American West. And, the sport of archery is considered one of the oldest traditions. Today, archery is classified into two areas: target and field. Target archery requires archers to shoot a specific number of arrows at different distances, with set targets that have established values. Field archery includes an open-field target range where archers shoot different arrows at different targets or different distances around a course. This simulates the type of shooting experienced while hunting. Other field-archery sports include archery golf, roving, and bowhunting. The bow is a simple machine, a two-arm spring. The archer stores energy by bending the bow. This potential energy is transferred to the arrow in the form of kinetic energy when the arrow is released. Bows initially were made from one material, usually wood, and were called self-bows. These bows had difficulty handling the forces and stresses placed on them when they were drawn. The stresses would cause the bows to break. Early hunters developed the use of wood, horn, and sinew, glued together in layers to increase the bow's tensile strength. These bows were called composite, because they were made of two or more different materials. Today's bows are a combination of wood, fiberglass, lightweight metals, and high-technology materials. The evolution of the bow continues with the recurve design, the use of pulleys, and the latest in engineering research that makes the bow more efficient and easier to use. Arrows have undergone an evolution of their own. Early arrows were made of wood and were fletched primarily with the feathers of such birds as eagle, crow, goose, and turkey. Most of today's arrows are still made of wood, but some are made from aluminum, fiberglass, and graphite. They are often fletched with feathers, although some have more modern spinwings or plastic veins.

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