Beginning Archery, by Olaf the Grey

Hello and welcome to the first installment of what I shall call the "Archer's Eye." It is my hope to have important archery facts, data, and history here for your Enjoyment in every issue of the Alder Leaf. If not every issue, I'll aim for every other issue. This month, with Pennsic drawing nigh, I would like to address in very Basic terms, "Range Safety and Equipment Inspection."


  1. While on the range, the appointed marshal is the ultimate judge of all matters regarding the shoot.
  2. At any time, anyone noting an unsafe condition, i.e. "persons wandering into the target area or forward of the line (if not noticed by the marshal) can and must call "HOLD" in a loud, clear voice to stop the shoot until the reason for the delay is cleared up.
  3. Always listen for commands from the marshal.
  4. Never assume nobody can be hurt by your arrow. You hold in your hand a lethal weapon that can KILL out to 200 yards! (Source: Queen's Royal Archery Competitions, England.)
  5. Always face the target area when an arrow is loaded into your bow, "even if not drawn." Never turn around on the line with an arrow in your bow.
  6. Only shoot when directed except in open practice, and cease shooting when directed.
  7. And lastly, treat your bow as you would a loaded firearm and use common sense and you will do all right.


During normal use and even in storage, equipment can and does wear. At Pennsic, equipment inspections are a big priority! Some simple things you can do to assure you are ready to shoot are:

  1. Clean your gear after every use.
  2. Wipe your body oils/moisture off the bow and arrow shafts with a dry, soft cloth. This will prevent a buildup of salts and corrosive chemicals from our bodies.
  3. Wipe your equipment down with a soft cloth and nonoily furniture polish. This will prevent the fine wood parts from drying out and splitting or cracking.
  4. Always store your bow in a dry place and rotate the position it is stored in. Even the crankshaft of your car will warp if stored on one side for an extended time, and it is solid steel!
  5. Never store your equipment in your car for an extended time! The heat will warp the wood.
  6. Always use a good bees' wax or bow wax on your string. This will keep the string supple and help prevent fraying and breakage.
  7. Inspect the bow limbs for cracks, splits, and laminate separation. This is done by running your hands over the limbs and feeling for anything out of place, and by visually inspecting each part.
  8. And lastly...Have fun!!!!!

Until next time May your Aim be true and your Shaft fly straight!