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Re: [SCA-Archery] Bow and Stable Hunting was Re: Stringwalking

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  • Carolus von Eulenhorst
    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
    Message 1 of 50 , Dec 28, 2005
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      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,
      Carolus


      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.
      >
      >James Wolfden
      >
      >
      >
      >--- In SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com, "Scott B. Jaqua"
      ><hagerson@p...> wrote:
      > >
      >
      >
      > > If you are hunting and you must needs take a shot at a "deer
      >whipping
      > > past", then you have already failed as a hunter (unless it is
      >driven
      > > hunt, which is hardly sport in the any case and requires no
      >skill).
      > >
      >
      > > Njall
      > >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
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    • blkknighti@aol.com
      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
      Message 50 of 50 , Jan 23, 2006
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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! :)
        R
        In a message dated 1/23/06 2:20:05 PM, capt_cain@... writes:


        > Dogs are natural
        > 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.
        >



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