Re: [SCA-Archery] Bow and Stable Hunting was Re: Stringwalking
- This points out many things which we in the SCA ignore when
considering archery. First, many years ago, as archery in the SCA
was developing, the archer model was the English Hundred Years' Wars
warrior archer. The espoused goal was to simulate the military
archer and resulted in such things as the "one man, one bow" rule
from Pennsic. Effective for its purpose and valid in its original
application but it became ingrained and fossilized with people
maintaining it without regard for its intent. Gradually, we gained
archers who didn't see themselves as warriors and so the metaphor of
the hunt arose. But this too, was flawed from modern
influence. Influenced by modern sport hunting and the modern
manifestations of the noble outlaw ala Robin Hood, we viewed the
hunter a solitary figure taking single animals to feed his family or
small group. This post points out that hunting was an organized
economic activity carried out with industrial thoroughness. Again,
we got rules whose original purpose and intent have been forgotten
and are simply followed because "its always been that way".
I will once again point out that England at the time of Princess
Elizabeth was still a medieval country. And yet the sport of target
shooting was widely practiced by the very upper class gentles we
claim to be representing. This very aspect of archery is the most
closely allied to the form of archery we practice but is virtually
ignored and even decried by most in the SCA. In this a slow and
steady discipline was followed which closely mimics our shooting.
Toxophilus mirrors many of the shooting practices we follow
today. That and Gervase Markham's slightly out of period "Art of
Archerie" are the only commonly available works we have. I would
advise perusing modern archery texts and note the differences, the
elements included and ignored between them, and consider the wide
variation of what makes it into print. Consider well what may have
never made its way into print and consider looking also at the
numerous descriptions of what may be referred to as "stringwalking"
by different people. This could also affect what may be recorded. I
believe Thompson's "Witchery of Archery" published in the 1870's
(well out of period but still in the self longbow era) mentions
stringwalking though I don't have a copy handy to refer to. I would
seriously question a blanket prohibition based on the concept of
being "out of period" and will not prevent the technique on any range
I have authority over. (Of course, if some superior officer orders
me to, I will yield to their wishes but not without a serious discussion)
We need to seriously consider what it is our sport is recreating and
how it does so. Se also need to remember what it is we are doing in
the SCA. We are NOT a living history organization nor are we
re-enactors. We are a social and recreational society made up of
people who happen to think learning is fun and recreation (as in play).
A few humble thoughts,
At 04:01 PM 12/28/2005, you wrote:
>I find many people tend to think of hunting in medieval period--
>only in terms of the lone poacher hunting the deer in the King's
>Forest. But we need to remember that hunting was a major sport
>of the wealthy and priviledged.
>In Period, hunting was often a driven hunt. For archers in
>England, the bow and stable method of hunting was fairly
>common and specific deer parks were set up. The 'stable'
>would drive the herd toward the archers who would be spread
>out over what was likely the deer's only escape. In some cases,
>during the night gates were used to actually close off peripheral
>paths for the hunt the next day. Skill was still necessary as you
>had to not only make the kill but avoid killing the other archers
>strung out along the line. There might be additional challenges
>if the season didn't allow certain animals (or age or genders) to
>be shot. Although, ideally, the stable did their best to separate
>the herd accordingly.
>Whereas Par Force des Chiens hunting was to hunt down the
>single most magnificant beast in the forest, bow and stable was
>designed to fill up the larder. Hundreds of deer might be killed in
>a large bow and stable hunt.
>Attitudes are important and we have to remember that our
>current attitudes to hunting are shaped by our modern
>experiences. Both bow and stable and Par Force hunting would
>be considered cruel (and, often, illegal) in western society.
>There will always be differences of opinions (Many in France did
>not think highly of England's deer parks) but we should try to
>understand the medieval attitude as best we can knowing that it
>will always be biased by our modern life.
>--- In SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com, "Scott B. Jaqua"
> > If you are hunting and you must needs take a shot at a "deer
> > past", then you have already failed as a hunter (unless it is
> > hunt, which is hardly sport in the any case and requires no
> > Njall
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- If I were a dog I know my preference ... but I guess thats why I'm not a
dog...OMG eating bon bons off a women breast, the vision in my head is... for lack
of a better term.... titillating! :)
In a message dated 1/23/06 2:20:05 PM, capt_cain@... writes:
> Dogs are natural[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
> hunters, so, let them hunt! They are not meant to be sitting on a
> couch or a large woman's breast eating bon-bons all day =). It is
> not in their nature.