Denai´na birch bows and shooting techniques
|1. Denai´na bow in action.|
|2. The bow and arrow set before adding the cable. The arrow is a copy of a Denai'na arrow in the Furuhjelm collection.|
Most Denai´na bows in museum collections do not have any string follow so that means that I must be doing something wrong. Also the quality of the living birch tree might have a role in the performance of the bow.
|3. The bows in the Museum of Culture in Helsinki.|
I have used Finnish birch (Petula pendula) for my bows. The Denai´na used, or prefered to use "Black Birch" which essentially is Alaskan birch (Betula neoalaskana). Possibly the Alaskan Birch has better bow qualities than the Finnish birch.Compression-failure is a real problem in these bows and heavy birch bows are more likely to fail in this way. This is one reason for the excessive wrapping on Dena'ina cable bows which cover most of the bow limbs.
|4. Real braided sinew and fake sinew.|
|5. Compare the two - the upper Denai'na bow has fake sinew, the lower Katmai bow has real sinew.|
|6.Athapascan draw, the arrow should be laying on the middle finger.|
The arrow also reacts to this type of shooting technique by being prone to excessive "jumping", that is the arrow spine has to be flexible enough to enable this type of shooting technique. I have to explore this issue further before making more assumptions on this matter. My goal is to get the bows up to 50 - 55 pound draw weight which would be a realistic weight for larger game animals such as caribou.
Photo credits 1,2,4,5,6. Marcus Lepola. 3. Martti Kujansuu