The bow and arrow is a ranged weapon system consisting of an elastic launching device (bow) and long-shafted projectiles (arrows). Archery is the art, practice or skill of using bows to shoot arrows. A person who shoots arrows with a bow is called a bowman or an archer. Someone who makes bows is known as a bowyer, one who makes arrows is a fletcher, and one who manufactures metal arrowheads is an arrowsmith. The use of bow and arrows by humans for hunting practices predates recorded history and was common to most prehistoric cultures. They were important weapons of war across most civilizations throughout ancient history until the early modern period, where they were rendered increasingly obsolete by the development of the more powerful and accurate firearms, and were eventually dropped from warfare. Today, bows and arrows are used primarily for recreational hunting and sporting purposes.
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