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Testing a horsebow
By Rean Steenkamp
I am not a horsebow archer and not much of a horseman either, but I do appreciate the design and beautiful lines of the horsebows that were designed to shoot from a horse's back.
It was with great enthusiasm that I recently received a finely crafted horsebow made by Pierre de Wet from Cupido Bows to test. The bow is made in the style of the Turkish horsebows from ash, Cecato Petro from Brazil and action bamboo. The grip and siyah are ash wood and the limbs have been made of three layers of action bamboo, while the dark line running through the grip is the Brazilian wood. The bow has a draw weight of 48 pounds at 28 inches. For those who do not know, "siyahs" are the non-bending tips at the end of the limbs.
The bow is designed to shoot the arrow from your hand and it does not have an arrow rest at all. This, of course also means you can shoot the bow with your right or your left hand.
In good time, I will make two small arrow shelves with leather, thus one on the left and the right, so I can still shoot the bow with both hands. I will also fit the bow with a leather grip.
I find the bow to shoot smoothly with little to no hand shock. Even though I shoot from my hand, I still shoot good grouping at close and longer distances.
Pierre builds these bows in draw weights ranging from 20 to 55 pounds. The bow is build to withstand knocks and bumps such as would happen when falling from a horse – which I would often do.
Although this bow is specifically designed for the horsebow archer, I think I will certainly take mine on a hunting trip this hunting season.
< Rean at full draw.
< The grouping at 25 yards.
> The grouping at 15 yards.
About the Author
Rean Steenkamp, editor and owner of Africa’s Bowhunter magazine, is an enthusiastic traditional archer and bowhunter. He started hunting with a longbow in 1997 and has since bagged many African plains game with traditional bows, compound and black powder rifles. He also dabbled in bow building and published a bowhunting book titled “Let loose the arrow!”
Rean started his career in journalism in 1984 at a newspaper in Pretoria, South Africa. He interrupted his career at the end of 1991 when he joined the 37th weather team expedition to Gough Island, where he worked for 14 months as the communicator. The team consisted of only seven people living in isolation on the seven by 16 km island. Rean started the Africa’s Bowhunter magazine in 2000 while working as editor for the Game and Hunt magazine.