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Never Give up
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Better you then me. Just for a little idea, I have probably 30 recurve bows that I bought for less then 10 dollars each at garage sales years ago and most of them within a month period of time. I use to train people that's why I needed so many.
 

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951 Posts
If you use this i hope you have good insurance, pvc does not have the rigidness and flexibility to store energy like a real bow does, and paracord is not bow string material, this is an extremely bad idea, someone will get hurt...
 

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There is a video out there of a guy using wood rod inserted into the pvc to give it more spring . He got the thing up to almost 60 pounds. However the arrow speed was not that impressive. Better to just buy a good practical recurve bow. Way too much time spent playing with expedient bows. Just get the real thing. One other option is to learn how Indians made sinew bows. They had to be good or they starved. Two years ago I put a challenge out there to anyone. Kill something with a field expedient bow. ANYTHING edible. Bird, squirrel, rabbit, Deer. No one did it. I still cant find a single video of anyone taking a deer with a quickly built field expedient bow. The rules were simple, you take a knife and some cordage into the woods. You have a couple days to build a bow and make a kill or you start starving. The real hard truth is over 90% of anyone who tries this will fail. Much depends on where you live because this dictates the materials you have at hand. Building the bow is the least of your worries. It is the arrows that are very difficult to build. Straight accurate and sharp enough to penetrate. As a hunter(archery) I can tell you it is hard enough to take deer with real modern archery equipment. Add in arrows that don't fly straight and it becomes epic failure. It is nothing but a romantic dream to be able to run out into the woods and survive using an expedient bow. All of you should be working on other skills to make sure you can feed yourselves. Get a good take down re curve and keep it close. Several good carbon fiber arrows. They will take you much further then a pvc or expedient wood bow and carved arrows.
 

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Dumpster Diver
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2,665 Posts
well, if I fell from a low flying airplane and landed in one piece in a spruce forest , or my chute got blown off course .. and I had nothing at all,, I think I would first make a spear,,, then a some cordage for a snare,, set the snare and go try to spear fish,

and eventually, some rainy evening., after dinner , sit by the fire and work on an expedient bow,,

never shot a critter with them , but we did make them as kids and they would , some of them launch a homemade shaft at about 1/2 the speed and power of our cheap Kids 20 or 25# Ben Pearson glass bows,, accuracy was paper plate at 8-10 yards.--Not good enuff for a Bouncing Bunny Bustin out of Brushy Bushes

other than as a leisure time activity after the shelter, fire and a few days vittles were obtained,, tho,, making the bow would be on the back burner..maybe a good project when snowed in,,

just too time and energy consuming vs foraging,, I think the kill ratio would be poor,, not due lack of power,, but due lack of accuracy,

but the BIG waste of time and especially energy comes in when you spent 1/2 day stalking close enough for a shot and the bow fails,, or its noise spooks the game,, or you simply miss..

Bush Made Bow i em aach oh... falls in the category of Betterin Nuthin,, but a spear imho.. would be about as good,prolly better and take nearly no time-- neither would a deadfall to bop a Bunny like Peter Cotton Tail Hoppin down the Bunny Trail..
 

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Now you are thinking, a fish spear is doable. A fish trap or small game trap is doable. What many fail to realize is you don't have all week to get it right. In a survival situation you need water, shelter and then some form of calories. I and several others I know well tried the live off the land thing. It was not fun, it was not productive and we failed. Michigan is not a great state for expedient bow materials. Places in the south are much better where you have Osage orange wood, cane for arrows etc. I spent 6 hours in the Manistee national forest just trying to find a good sapling for a bow. It ended up about 30 pounds. I made a rest with para cord and strung it. I was able to shoot 2117 aluminum arrows fairly accurate out to 20 yards but not with any power. I never did find a worth while piece of wood to make an arrow out of. I tried some small green stuff growing along a creek but they were so bad as far as accuracy went i just tossed them and used the one arrow I brought with me. Even with my experience as a deer hunter(45 killed with various bows) I was not able to hit anything I could call food. I did hit a dried up Mushroom at 5 feet. My point as always in these posts is to get you newbies to stop thinking like romantic young men on some magical quest. The American Indians are a great source of good solid bow making practices. They started their young men early building and failing until the young buck made his first kill. They worked long hours on their bows and arrows . They were the first survivalists in America in my book. So today we have other materials such as P.V.C. being tried as arrow launchers. P.V.C. will work to make a bow. It will shoot an arrow. The question is, would you bet your life on it? How about your children? grand children? Not me. A good provider uses the very best he has to keep his family fed and safe. Of the many deer I have taken with several different bows two were taken using an old three piece Bear take down bow. 45 pound draw and had fiberglass limbs. Both of the deer I killed with it were hit perfect and both had just enough penetration to get both lungs but barely. They were not pass through shots and I got lucky I didn't lose the second one. I learned right there that I needed more power and better tools. I went to the compound Bear White tail II 65 pound. I took over 40 with that bow with most every one a pass through shot. better blood trails etc. Now at 56 my eyes dont do what they used to so I have to shoot with a scope. I am shooting a crossbow now. It is a deadly weapon. Out to 30 yards as accurate as any rifle I have. Today there are countless great bows out there/ Lighter , faster, more accurate then ever. No reason to waste time trying to build expedient stuff unless you plan on building a primitive long bow or recurve using proven methods. But to each his own. Good luck.
 
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