Many in the survival community think of hunting as part of their survival plan. While chances are that the available game will be pretty well hunted out, rather quickly, we shouldn’t ignore that possibility. The farther you get from any population center, the more game will exist and no matter what, there will always be more small game to hunt, than big game.
While hunting today means using firearms, that may not be what we want to do in a post-disaster situation. Not only do firearms require ammunition, they make a lot of noise. If you’re managing to bag dinner, the last thing you need is for everyone else to hear it.
The bow is widely considered to be the best alternative to firearms. Not only is it something that anyone can learn to shoot, a variety of crude bows can be made from available materials, either materials that we find in nature or materials we find in the garage. But the best reason that can be given in support for the bow is that it has been in use for literally thousands of years and is still considered to be an effective weapon. There aren’t too many other weapons that can claim that distinction.
One of the other advantages of the bow is that its ammo can be reused. When the ammo supply starts running short, you can even make your own. That’s something that’s hard to match with firearms.
Chipping or “knapping” arrowheads is an amazing skill that’s worth learning. However, we don’t need to limit our thinking to just flint arrowheads. There’s a reason why those were replaced by metal arrowheads years ago and that’s because it takes a lot of time to knapp arrowheads.
Fortunately, simple metalworking, like making arrowheads is relatively easy and doesn’t require a lot of tools. A few hand tools, along with something hard and flat to use as an anvil is sufficient to shape arrowheads for your homemade arrows. You will need:
- Tin snips
- Needle-nose pliers
- And of course, something to use as an anvil, like a flat rock, granite countertop of thick piece of metal plate
- As an addition, a small torch, like the kind used for plumbing repairs, would be useful, although it isn’t required.
Arrowheads can theoretically be made from any metal; but the easiest to work with is eating utensils and pennies. Since copper is relatively soft, copper wire can be melted down into ingots and used as well. So can aluminum, if you have a lot of aluminum cans lying around.
But even without melting anything down, pennies and flatware will work. You can hammer them flat and cut the basic shape out with tin snips. Then the edges can be sharpened by hammering and then filing them to get a razor edge. Such an arrowhead can be set into a slot in the end of the arrow shaft and bound in place with thread, twine or leather laces.