5 months ago
These arrows were heavy and slow, but gave me a good lesson in elevation and distance yesterday. I had tried big leaf maple sucker arrow shafts once before, but that was near the beginning of my archery experiments; before I learned the value of drying the shafts with heat.
@forge_to_field recently reminded me that they could be an option so I cut a few and picked the closest matching pair to make a couple of arrows. I have been focusing a lot on making lighter arrows lately and think I may have gone a bit too far in that direction with my last few batches, so I opted to play around with some heavier ones this time.
I chose thick shafts, made larger wooden points, and didn’t skimp on the bark for the skirts. There was a noticeable drop off in speed, but I think some of this was also due to the fact that I swapped out my tarred bankline bow string before heading out. I figured I’d rather change it than have it break, but unfortunately, being made of nylon, the new string stretched a lot. I didn’t notice until it was time to unstring the bow, but the stretch had raised the brace height by almost an inch, so I think these would have had more speed without that handicap.
Still these heavier arrows made good teaching aids. They really showed me how much of a variable weight and speed can be when gauging elevation. They flew great and windage wasn’t much of an issue, but with the flu flu skirts and weight, they slowed down a lot at distance, so getting that elevation dialed in was really interesting.
I will be trying these maple shoots again, but with a thinner diameter. They are almost as easy to find as salmonberry stalks, but much more likely to be relatively straight to begin with; so if skinnier ones will hold up, these might be a great option.
Hitting my camera stick was eye opening too. It’s not the first time I’ve done this; in fact it’s probably the sixth. However, this time I noticed myself glance at it just as I released the shot. Since I’m not actually aiming these arrows, this was kind of a eureka moment this time; and a reminder to keep focused on the target until the arrow stops.