Thursday, December 20, 2018

Fetching on an Arrow

There are a number of ways to keep an arrow straight in flight.

Deveation from arrow to arrow makes a difference is when  distance is increased.

The size of feathering plays a factor at distance.
Beyond that, form and proper relese are what control proper flight. It does not take much freather to keep the end of the arrow right, but more feather will compensate for poor relese and also slow the arrow.

Thin feathering will result in a fast arrow, and I am of the mind that the increase in speed, allows more air to travel across the scant fletching in a given time and thus still effectivly keeps the nock in the rear.
Shorter didsatance shots can use a heavy fletch, but drain too much energy from the arrow over 30 yards. When it comes to using real feathers, which can be derived from any species or feather, uniformity or circular balance and the feathers rigidity are important .... but not tooo important. The natural feather fold and is far more flexible than turkey; particularly in the stuffed quiver.

My sugestion is to air on the thin and long flech (say the bottom arrow for example, as opposed to a fletch like the middle. Though more fleching may be slower, when exausted/cold/sleepy/arms arrent warmed up - you may want a heaveir fether to compensate for a poor release.

Ultimatly, its the mind of the one casting the arrow that determines the lockation a tip will strike.

These all work well.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Hitting your focus. (Hitting a target with a stick and string - archery)

With traditional archery, or instinctive shooting, our focus must be only on where we want the tip of the arrow to be after the shot. For hunters, its difficult not to make consistent use of some form of concrete stimuli to guide our shots (its arguably necessary) ie, looking down the shaft, having a consistent anchor point, stimulus that needn't be listed when we consider a the compound bow...

But for the traditional archer this concrete stimuli is the result of practice, muscle memory, and the learned  amalgamation of sensory input and ..."instinct" (discipline and luck).

What makes any firearm use fun is to hit what we want; and this feels even better when we are some distance away and the firearm is only a bowed stick and string to propel another stick with some feathers attached.

When all we use however, is our focus on one mark - that's magic. Its not that we forget concrete stimuli - we practice!, we are holding the string, pulling it with our shoulder muscles, holding the bow, and we draw back to release; but its the instincts, our mind that says -"ok, now".  But we miss. To our selves (or out loud) we curse and adjust our interpretation of the concrete stimuli, and again... focus on that mark allowing our concious practice to move our hands. One finds that with time they still miss and curse, but the misses are collectively closer and closer to there focused target.

It becomes easy to fall into the trap and be overwhelmed with the concrete, losing our focus on the mark at the moment of release, our mind, giving in to the tempations of full focus on concrete stimuli. But we must not lose focus on the mark at our release. If concrete stimuli is what you are after, the compound bow is an effective but expensive and self reliance handicapping tool. To rely wholy on outside physical stimuli, is also to submit to the dependance on it (I don't know how to manufacture a modern compound bow from scratch on my own, which is usually the appeal for most traditional archers).

With archery we need the concrete, but we also need the magical fluid (with the compound archer - luck of having a mark come into your sight), the instinctual. That "thing" that puts the arrow with imperfect fletching and imperfect form at 40 yards, right where we want it.

So we pick up the stick and sting and shoot, and shoot,  and focus only on the target at our release and allow our mind on its own to organize the external stimuli until that next moment of - "now", and those ever accumulating bullseyes.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Tips for Buckskin

- use lye but dispose of responsibly (toilet)
- the mucus must be washed out with a base (lye) and after, !thoroughly! rinsed and rung before brain or soap/vegetable oil combination is soaked in. Twist (will also soften) and resoak the hide in water till clear.
- a slow buck with a weak base solution dunk is best (3 or more days)
- dunk with hair off to clean mucus with minimal lye use. Scrape hair off with a dull tool like a draw knife prior to dunk. You dont need to lye dunk to scrape hair. if properly done, the hair can slip and be plucked for other aplications without the root protein attached. The skin need to take a little rot.
- mix 3 parts soap to vegetable oil to substitute brain for initial softening or restoring softness to stiffening hide
- when wringing make the donut and twist SLOW. Slowly twisting will allow liquid to slowly drip out. The hide will eventually catch on itself and lock so it wont slip apart resulting in the donut needing to be refolded; this works on the slipperiest of hides only having to twist slower - initially.
- avoid stitching cuts and holes with sinew, even thread, when the hide is moist just prior to the drying manipulation. Sinew resists stretching and vegetable based thread is static. Use the hide, cut into thongs or thread for stitching. After the hide has been stretched and dried it will have reached a semblance of fabric for stitching with sinew if desired.
- comb out rough fuzz when dry with a light wood rasp.
- get dynamic when smoking. Move the sack around gently, exposing the folded tight spots to the smoke within. Push the odd sags in now and then.
- I used to do an 8 hour shoulder marathon to dry and soften a hide. Take a passive approach. 3 min on, hang it up, come bace in 15 min, repeat. No need to continuously be streching the hide as it goes from damp to dry

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Keeping Clean While Outdoors

On a calorie preservation diet or a cold day a good approach to getting rid of BO and cleaning out the cracks is to splash water on the body and use abrasive foliage, such as the bottom of a moss patch, to scrub and exfoliate the skin. When properly exfoliated, you'll still be covered with bits of debris, so slash some more water to rinse the grime and call it. Get the back and all the places. This method avoids a full body submergion.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Breaking bones for the marrow and stock.

You have a bunch of whole bones, you like making bone broths, cooking, and rendering all the marrow - crack them open. With a stone hammer you wont have to saw them with a machine, by hand , or smack them with a steel hammer. The broken bones release the liquid marrow quickly for skimming and preservation with minimal exposure to heat.

Get a hefty stone, preferably rectangular, with one flat face (or the hammer will shoot off in odd directions when striking), round some edges (to mitigate abrasion on the thongs), and wrap with a raw hide thong securely to a wood handle.

The handle does not necessarily need a hole; it helped me originally (used to thread through). I now do a complex tight wrap, like the one pictured, to the wood handle with a top wich is flat or slighly forward slanting and wide; one which is sharply fatter than the held handel section.

A long strip of game skin wrapped wet will dry tight and rigid. Have a look at the picture for weave ideas.

I use a big, strong rock with a flat top for the anvil.

The wood dowels simply prevent the anvil from sinking into the ground while striking.

Also, I am not responsible for broken fingers; but, this isn't as big an issue as one may think; I suspicion its a species ingrained dna thing.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

A Canopy for Shelter. Staying dry and warm in the bush at night.

Crawl under a old growth spruce for shelter in winter and rainy conditions when in the bush; the canopy will act as roof and the old needles will keep you off the energy vampire of the soil.

For many this may be difficult to imagine as our experience with spruce trees is whith relatively young or small specimens. However, the tall old growth trees found more commonly in the less human inhabited locations provide enough top foliage to keep the ground beneath suitable as a overnight shelter.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Splitting Sinews

When making cordage I use sinew – its strong and easy to work with. But good cordage from sinew starts with a propper butchering and the jerky made from the sinew dominant sections of the legs.

When dried and ready to split for backing bows or braiding a string (certain tendon section being better than otheres for different applications), I put the tendon in my mouth and chew gently to break up the fibers. Wet the meaty bits with saliva to more easily remover them; gently biting the strip and sliding it through your front teeth and out of your mouth will clean the strands and ready them for use of storage through simple dehydration.

Yet another approach is to reconstitute the dried strands over night in a vessel to be used the next day. When fully reconstituted, thea meat will be far easer to remove with your teeth, the sinew more easitly split and using wet or moist is also the optimal approach for the glue application moment of backing bows or braiding time when cord making.

Split the raw sinew portions and tendons into manageable strands; this also makes removing meat and fibers that aren’t useful in cords or bow backs easer to pull off with your teeth. Cut away tangles, bunches and knots at the tips and cook those for a geliton broth and add nutritious flavour to slow cook soups. For backing avoid strips that are clumpy; for cord making avoid strips that are too thin and short. Once the tendons have been sufficiently moistened from gentle mastication and saliva, you can use an awl or bone awl to help divide the fibers.

The long blackstrap sinew and huge, well harvested leg sinews are good, but I started with using whatever I had which meant short poorly harvested bits from sloppy or hasty made jerky. However, check out my cord making article for how to make cordage and use the shorter sinew strips in a braided effective cord.

To safely remover backstrap sinew cut out the backstrap starting at the neck base and moving to the hip bone along the spine. Put the cut, sinew down, on the cutting surface and carful segment the whole cut two  or three times, or however many needed, to the sinew without cutting it. Pull away the meat with your hand carefully; alternatively, simply slice sideways, making long strips of meat for jerky without cutting the sinew. When wet, remove  extra meat by scrapeing with an edge. Dehydrate the sinew strap with whatever little meat is still on; outdoors, this can be done on a branch hanging or if indoors, hanging wherever it is clean of dust and breezy with dry air circulation.

Leg sinew is harvested whole, with an awl, removing the lower meatless leg tendon and upper muscle section as one. The blade comes in minimally to make minor cuts where the sinews join at the tops and bottoms, sides of one another, and where they attach directly to the bones. The awl does most of the rest.

Avoid hammering dry tendon with stones to separate them as this damages the integrity of the strands. I also haven’t used the nail brush to spilt the sinew – one less tool to depend on and carry and, in my experience, unnecessary.