Need to know how to make hunting arrows? There are three basic types of arrows—wood, synthetics, and aluminum. When we think of making our own arrows we think of natives and primitive hunting tools. So we will concentrate on wood.
When making your own hunting arrows you can either buy materials or go totally traditional and find, cut, season, and straighten your own shafting. Here, we will show you how to make hunting arrows using store bought materials.
- Materials need to make your own hunting arrows:
- Arrow shafting
- Fine toothed saw
- Large pencil sharpener
- Fletching material
- Fletching and nock waterproof cement
- Sand Paper
- Plastic nocks
- Cresting paints
- Fine Paint Brush
The method for making your own hunting arrows goes as follows:
- Buy arrow shafts. Find a reputable dealer and buy shafts which are correctly spined to your bow weight. Spining is important as it determines the amount of flex of the shaft and if it will fly true. Port Orford Cedar is the most popular wood arrow shafting wood.
- Add nocks. There are two ways to add nocks to an arrow, cut the nock or use plastic nocks. We will use plastic nocks. What you have to do is make one end of an arrow shaft into a cone shape which slips into the nock. You want to make it just right so that the nock snaps into place, so go slow. One old trick our father taught us when we learned archery is that on some diameter shafts an old pencil sharpener will work for this. If not, use sand paper and sand the end into a cone shape. Install nock using nock cement. We like bright colored nocks to help see the arrow fly in low light.
- Cut shafts to your draw length. Have someone help you measure your draw on your bow when at full draw. You should measure from the string out past the riser of the bow several inches. Exact length is a matter of preference you will find. Use the fine toothed saw to cut the shafts to length. Fine toothed saws splinter the ends of a cut less.
- Add fletching. Select three feathers, either natural or man made feathers. If you are using a recurve or longbow and shooting off the shelf you do NOT want to use plastic vanes. They do not flex enough to shoot accurately off the shelf. Two of the feathers should be one color and the third a separate color. This feather is called the cock feather and is used to position the arrow correctly on the string. The cock feather is glued into place at a 90 degree angle from the nock. Meaning when correctly placed and the arrow nocked on the string the cock feather should be laying flat in the same direction as the bow arm, away from the riser. The other two feathers are then glued 120 degrees from the next. The feathers should make a rough triangle with the cock feather pointing out and the other two towards the riser. We like bright feathers in yellows and oranges to help see the arrow in low light.
- Add broadhead. The broadhead is the hunting tip as opposed to the field point practice tip. Make a cone shape on the end of the arrow much in the same manner as the nock end. Work slow and make a good fit. Use the nock cement to glue it into place. They used to make a hot melt cement which works perfectly for this if you can find it. The important thing with the broadhead is that it must be straight on the arrow, if not it will not fly true.
- Crest the arrow. Use the fine paint bush and the crest paint to individualize your arrows. Make a series of lines near the nock end which is your "signature". They can also, if you used bright colors, help you see the arrow as it flies to your target.
You are now the proud owner of handmade hunting arrows, enjoy them and use them with pride.