Today's High-Tech Archery Isn't Much Like the Hunger Games Version

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For a mere $1,000 you could have way hotter bow-and-arrows than the District 12 miner's daughter could ever dream of.

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Lionsgate/Wired.com

With this weekend's smashing debut of the movie Hunger Games, Katniss Everdeen's power with a bow and arrow has made toxophilites (archery-lovers) of us all.

Rebecca Black is in on the trend. Late last week, she tweeted, "Trying out archery. this has been, well, let's just say Katniss would be dissappointed. 😳

As is Google Offers:

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But before you get too excited, you should know that modern archery is not much like the Hunger Games variety. Katniss' scrappiness is part of her appeal. A poor miner's daughter from District 12, Katniss stashes her simple bow and arrows in a hollow log. In the arena, she gets an upgrade: a weapon made of silver.

Well, that's nothing compared with a top-of-the-line bow, which can run you a bit over $1,000. Such high-end bows come equipped with features that make the arrow's release nearly silent, the draw easier and more efficient ergonomically, and the bow more powerful and accurate. They do not look like Katniss' simple, curved bow. They are complicated, heavily engineered contraptions. (Of course, low-tech "recurve" bows are still available and are in wide use. Such bows are more similar to the style Katniss used.)*

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Reuters

Arrows too are little small works of tech-art, made of materials such as carbon, aluminum, and fiber-glass, and weighted toward the tip to ensure a straight path, even if it leaves the bow at an angle. Lighted nocks (the part that attaches to the bow) are available for those who have trouble finding their arrows.

And this is just the bows and the arrows. Modern archers also benefit from the availability of many high-end accessories, in particular, sights and scopes that can help them aim with incredible precision. All in all, the archery market may be worth more than half a billion dollars, according to a (sadly dated) report from the Archery Trade Association.

Of course, Katniss had no "SURE-LOC Black Eagle 42mm Target Scope" or fancy quiver. And if she had the best gear, her victories might have lost their charm. But you are not Katniss and our world is not Panem. If you want to win the local archery shootout, you should learn to love the tech. We hear there is a "PSE DOMINATOR PRO ME" with your name on it.



*Added for clarification, 2:15 pm.

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Rebecca J. Rosen is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where she oversees the Business Channel. She was previously an associate editor at The Wilson Quarterly.

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