I decided I need a new carpet on my bow (I shoot off the shelf) and for some time I've been thinking I should really put on some silencers.
Well, this evening I finally got off my butt and did it.
We had a road-kill squirrel pelt in the garage that Jess had been meaning to tan. A little while ago she finally declared it wasn't worth it and she probably wouldn't tan it. It's got a bit shorter fur than the rabbit, so we decided that it might make a good carpet. For this use, we also figured rawhide would work just as well, maybe better.
After scraping off the old glue and carpet with a pocket knife, I glued a bit of the squirrel pelt onto the the shelf using barge cement. Then I trimmed it down flush with the shelf with a pair of scissors.
Now for the silencers. A little while ago we ate a roadkill rabbit. When we did this we of course saved the pelt. Along with the primary pelt a few bits and pieces came off as little tufts. We set these aside then, thinking maybe they'd make decent silencers. These are also rawhide, but we'd salted it as we didn't have time to clean it on the spot. We put on a lot of salt, so the hide was actually a touch fragile. I tore one piece a bit so I had two strips maybe a half inch long with big tufts coming off them.
I wrapped them around the string, and then them on using a bit of linen twine. The twine is tied with a half-knot, then wrapped to the backside, halfknot, back to the front and a reefers knot.
We'll see how they work next time I go shoot! I didn't add a spacer under the carpet, I figured I'd give it a try straight first. I figure the old carpet probably caught somewhat randomly throwing off my shot, I'm excited to see if my aim improves. The silencers should just help take away the "twang" after each shot.
Well, I lost some fuzz off one silencer, apparently I missed the tiny bit of actual rawhide the fuzz was attached to when I tied it on... not a problem.
Otherwise, I *love* the way it shoots now. The silencers did reduce the "buzz" in the string and bow after release, it makes it easier to feel everything else. The squirrel skin seems to have worked extremely well, at least compared to the cruddy carpet I've been shooting off of. After I got to the range I took a few shots dialing in my technique since I hadn't shot in a while. I quickly realized my brace-height was wrong and tweaked that. From then on it was like the bow was telling me what I did wrong. When I shot way left it was my balance, every time, when I missed badly and my arrow didn't hit the target straight it was my release. I realized that I've had such bad whip in the past that I'm used to aiming left-right differently at 10m and 20m... Youch, that was quite a realization.
In any case, this should really helped my shooting. There's something funny in my release that I need to work on... especially up close my arrows always hit crooked, except very occasionally when everything works and it flies perfectly straight. I just need to figure out what that is.