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In a survival situation, or even just when you are camping or exercising your outdoor skills, a bow is a great tool to have. Building a quality set takes time and skill, but you can knock out a fast or “quickie” bow and arrow set in just an hour or two, with minimal skill. Here’s how:

First, cut a few straight arrow shafts, about as big around as your pinky finger. Dogwood and wild rose shoots work great, but any straight shoot will work. Next, cut a straight sapling or branch about three-quarters inch in diameter (depending on how heavy or strong you want your bow to be). Good species are serviceberry, hickory, osage orange (hedge), and hackberry, although many species will work.

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Now peel your bow, and cut string notches about an inch from each end. Tie loops in a section of paracord to form a bowstring. Next, peel your arrow shafts, whittle the thicker end to a point, and carve a string nock in the smaller ends (tie some paracord around the shaft just below the nock as you carve it, to prevent splitting). Lastly, using the small inner strands from paracord, tie feathers to the arrow just ahead of the nock. That’s it! You are now armed to hunt squirrels, fish, and other small game, or just have fun plinking around camp.