Bushcraft Survival: How to Make a Bow and Arrow

Could you hunt without any weapons?

Sure you could, but it sure would be a lot more difficult to actually get something to put on the dinner table. It is not too farfetched to assume that all of your preps could get lost, stolen or destroyed in a true disaster, including your weapons for hunting. Using guns would be effective, but the sound of the gun would alert others to your presence, while successfully driving away any prey you might have harvested. You also would have to be stingy with your ammo.

This is why you need to learn how to make a bow and arrow.


The old-fashioned way of hunting that has been used by our ancestors is effective, quiet and has a renewable supply of arrows. You can make your own bow and arrow if you left your cross-bow behind. It may not pack as much oomph or be quite as cool looking, but it will get the job done.

This is how to make a bow and arrow out of a piece of wood, which actually needs to be a sapling. You could substitute the sapling with 2-inch PVC pipe if you happen to have some available. PVC is not as strong as a branch, but it will work.

Constructing the Bow

1. Choose a sapling or branch that is relatively straight. The piece of wood should be free of knots, side branches and twists. You can cut off side branches, but if there are a lot, it will interfere with the function of the bow. This piece is the stave. A length of about 5-feet is ideal.

2. Stand the branch on end and identify the middle of the stave, which will be referred to as the belly. Mark the area. Use a knife to carefully whittle away the belly area. You want the side facing you to be slightly thinner then the rest of the stave. Do not make it so thin that it will snap in half. Gently bend the stave to give it a slight curve.

3. Cut a notch on to each tip of your stave. This is where your cordage will be placed to keep it from slipping. It should be notched at a 45 degree angle, facing you when holding the bow.

4. For cordage, you can use paracord or construct cordage from milkweed or other mateal that is strong enough when weaved. You want the cordage to be strong and not super stretchy. String the bow so that there is about 5 inches of space between the cordage and the stave.

Constructing the Arrows

The arrows are one of the easiest and most important parts of your setup.

05-Nonfiction-Stories-How-to-Make-a-Bow-and-Arrow1. Choose straight branches from a nice pliable wood like willow, maple or dogwood.

2. Scrape any bark from the wood with a knife. Cut the branch to a length that allows the arrow to accommodate the draw length of your bow with about 1 to inches past the stave.

3. Create a knock on one end. You don’t want to make it so deep that it weakens the wood. It just needs to be deep enough to hold the string from your bow. Make the other end into a sharp point.

4. The arrow needs to be as straight as possible. If the wood is slightly bent, heat it over a fire and gently bend it back to make it straight.

5. Add a few bird feathers, leaves or even pine tree fronds to the end closest to the knock where the string will go. Use string, like fishing line or even thread to wrap the feathers around the arrow. This will help the airflow as the arrow flies through the air and into your target.

While this is a very primitive weapon, it will be effective with a little practice. You will soon get the hang of how to use the bow to take down large game. If you have ever wondered about how to make a bow and arrow in a survival situation, you now have the knowledge. However, don’t assume that by reading something you can do it. Get out there and practice making a bow and arrow so you are not learning as you go in a true survival situation.

Reference: http://www.natureskills.com/survival/survival-bow-making/

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