What Is Archery
Archery has been around for many years. Some researchers say that people began practising it as long as 15,000 years ago. Archery is the use of a bow to shoot arrows. In the past, archery was used for hunting and warfare, but today it has become a popular sport.
The first bow and arrow ever created was probably used for hunting, and it was not until later on that archery was used in combat. Thousands of years ago, archery was practised in every country, except for Australia.
During the middle ages, archery was the lowliest form of warfare. Archers were usually the lowest paid soldiers due to the cheapness of making a bow and arrow. Many archers belonged to the peasant class because the higher classes viewed the bow and arrow as being insufficient, or to use only for entertainment. However, this low view of archery was turned around when the Vikings used archery as their main weapon which gained them large success. By the time of the 100 year war, the English had learned how to use archers to their advantage, rather that using swords men, who could not fight from a distance. By this time, archery was not for the lower class, and archers were recruited as children and trained meticulously until and throughout adulthood. Every boy that was recruited was given a bow that was as high as he was, and expected to learn on it. During battle, archers would typically shoot two arrows, one from a higher route and one from a lower route. This would hit the enemy at two different angles, which made it difficult for the enemy to defend themselves.
Soon after this, the cross bow became popular for use in battles. It took very little time to learn how to shoot a cross bow, and it had the same distance and power as a bow and arrow. The only drawback to using crossbows was that they took a long time to load and reload.
Once firearms were invented, the arrow became less and less popular until it became obsolete. The first guns were not as accurate and did not have as much range as a bow and arrow, but were used because the bullets could shoot through armour. As time progressed, guns became better than bows in every way. Today, the bow and arrow is no longer used for general warfare, but is commonly used in the various disciplines of Archery as a sport:
Target Archery is the most commonly practised form of archery worldwide and is practised within most Australian Archery clubs. Target tournaments are conducted regularly and held both indoors and outdoors. Shooting distances vary from 18 metres (Indoor) and to 90 metres (Outdoor), with target sizes being 40 or 60 centimetres for indoors and 80 or 122 centimetres for outdoors.
Field Archery involves shooting at targets of varying (and often unmarked) distance, often in woodland and rough terrain. A field course is made up of either 24 or 48 targets depending on the round being shot. The archer is required to shoot either three or four arrows at each target. Distances range from 10 to 60 metres and target face sizes vary from 20 to 80 centimetres.
Clout Archery is another popular discipline in Australia due to its fun aspect. Clout archery is derived from medieval warfare where archers would lob arrows onto the advancing army. A target measuring 15 metres in diameter is marked on the ground, with a triangular marker placed at its centre. The archer’s task is to lob arrows into this ground target from distances up to 180 metres depending upon gender and equipment.
There is an active Bow Hunting scene in Australia. Australia is home to a large number of introduced species, which are a threat to native species. Governments and land holders view hunters as partners in controlling these introduced species. While both Victoria and New South Wales place licensing requirements on would-be bow hunters, the sport is in fact self-regulated through the Australian Bow Hunters Association.