A weapon that developed hundreds of years ago as a tool of war, the longbow, is no longer needed for defense, and is more often used for sport and for hunting today. Different from a crossbow because the user pulls back and holds the string with his fingers, shooting a longbow accurately takes practice and experience. For archers in Vermont, there are opportunities to train, practice and socialize with others who use the longbow.
Training and Practice
For those in Vermont looking to hone or develop longbow skills, there are a number of facilities that help train hopeful archers. One such place is the Archery School at Equinox Golf Resort & Spa (equinoxresort.com). Located in Manchester Village, resort guests take introductory and field archery classes, and even participate in an archery tournament. There are also a number of shooting ranges in Vermont for those that simply want to practice, including ranges in St. Johnsbury, Morrisville, and Franklin.
Many archers looking to put longbow training to the test are interested in hunting. In Vermont, there is only a certain season within which archers are legally allowed to hunt. Though the exact dates vary according to year, the season typically starts and ends within the month of October, with another week in December. The state of Vermont also requires longbow archers wishing to hunt game and deer to have an archery and hunting license in order to do so.
There are also a few archery groups and clubs within Vermont that welcome longbow archers wishing to socialize with others who appreciate the sport. The Green Mountain Traditional Bowhunters (centralvermont.com/gmtb) is one such group. Sharing information and stories online, the group also gets together periodically for longbow practice, events and hunting. There are also competitive groups across the state, including some in Washington, Randolph and Barre.
Longbow archers in the state who are looking for gear also have many options. One of the best options is Pelkey's Archery Inc. (pelkeysarchery.com), which is a pro archery shop in St. Albans that is devoted to archery. Offering longbows for all ages and skill levels, Pelkey's even has training classes, leagues and an indoor shooting range.
- History Magazine: The Longbow
- The Beckoning: The Crossbow vs. The Longbow in the Medieval Period
- Equinox Resort & Spa: Archery School
- Vermont Fish and Wildlife: 2011 Vermont Guide to Hunting, Fishing, and Trapping Laws
- Green Mountain Traditional Bowhunters, VT Archery Club
- Pelkey's Archery Inc. New and Used Archery Equipment
- Kim Steele/Photodisc/Getty Images