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The use of the bow and arrow is recorded as early as 3000 B.C.

  • The Egyptians used bows shorter than a man’s height, with arrows two feet long or more.
  • Early bows were “C” shaped. When shooting these bows, the archer would pull the string with a ring held around the thumb. The early longbow was 5–6 feet in length and was usually made of yew. The legend of Robin Hood romanticized the longbow.
  • Native American Indians were America’s first bowhunters. European settlers brought their skills to America and contributed to the development of bows and arrows in the U.S.
  • The first archery club in America, known as the United Bowmen of Philadelphia, was formed in 1828.
  • In 1879, the newly founded National Archery Association (NAA) held the first U.S.–sponsored tournament.
  • Bowhunting did not really take off until the 1950s and 1960s as hunters learned more about this sport and about newer bows that were being developed.
  • Like other methods of hunting, the bowhunter first must acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to be a safe and responsible hunter.
Pictograph of primitive bowhunters