A note on bows:
Originally Posted by HungryStudent
To further sidetrack the conversation: VERY high on my list of outdoor activities to try is bow hunting (or just target shooting). It seems like such an elegant sport, and the necessity of really getting up close to your quarry represents (to me) one of the best parts of hunting. For a long time Zen and the Art of Archery has been one of my favorite books, and I'm still occasionally surprised to remember that I've never really done any archery. One more expensive hobby to put on the books...
Bowhunting (or target shooting) need not be especially expensive if you do not wish it to be. You can purchase an excellent recurve laminate bow, weight around 40# draw, for a quite reasonable price. For target shooting, arrows can be inexpensive. One of the best possible targets for practicing is a few hay bales and some sort of shape --- such as a target bullseye --- drawn in fat marker on a few sheets of newspaper, tacked to the bales. Nothing else is necessary, though you will probably soon want some sort of arm-guard for your off-hand arm and a fingertip-glove for your drawing hand.
Zen-style archery is quite a different thing. The bow is different, the draw is different, and the anchor is different. This is part of what allows the deep meditative thing about which you've read. You really can't do this with a standard Western bow: just holding a nocked arrow at anchor will cause slowly increasing tension and pain. Don't be a tough guy: fire when ready. Zen archery takes ludicrous skill on the draw and aim, but because of the leverage the anchor is close to a rest. The release is also very difficult. So you can meditate until ready. Save that for the club --- and you should look around for one, because lord knows those bows are not cheap.
Bowhunting with a heavy compound bow, suitable for taking heavier game like deer, can be quite expensive and elaborate. Once you get the hang of the bow jumping slightly on release, however, it's much the same in procedure as using a recurve bow. One of the few times I drew a bow like this, I shot six arrows, and after the first two got the jump more or less down and potted a reasonable grouping at very long range --- 70 yards, I think it was. The guy told me afterward that it was something like a 120# draw, which is so heavy that in anything but a compound you'd have to be Odysseus to draw the stupid thing. If you're planning to nab small game at relatively close range, you haven't the slightest need for a bow like this, nor in fact do you want one, because as somebody already mentioned the arrow will drive straight through and out the other side.
Check it out: bows are fun, and your little kids cannot kill themselves any more easily with one than they can with your vacuum cleaner --- since they can't draw the thing, they can only use it as a bludgeon. Arrows with razor heads of any kind generally have removable heads, so you keep those the same way you keep knives, and the arrows themselves are just slightly expensive sticks.