Bird hunting often is associated with a shotgun. Because while shooting a bird flying away from you takes a lot of skill and a bit of luck, firing dozens of pellets certainly increases the odds.
Archers take aim with a weapon that fires one projectile, making bird hunting with a bow different and difficult. A typical arrow has three feathers, vanes or fletchings that stabilize it during flight. When shot properly, these arrows can fly hundreds of yards. That's ideal for hunting big game such as deer and elk. But for small game, the preferred arrow is one designed to fly accurately for short distances. That's where Flu Flu arrows come in.
Flu Flu arrows are designed a variety of ways. At outdoor stores in Colorado Springs, arrows with six large fletchings are sold. The larger fletchings create more drag and provide a maximum distance of about 50 yards, perfect for hunting birds.
Jim Disbro has been shooting bows since the 1950s and initially tried Flu Flu arrows at a charity event in 1997.
"We had Styrofoam discs, and the idea was to hit them while they were in the air," he said. "Regular arrows fly forever, and Flu Flus will only shoot a short distance."
Disbro, 71, then began shooting at small game with Flu Flu arrows and has hunted "rabbits, squirrel, birds, quail and pheasant."
Disbro's friend, Ben Wilmore, also has hunted with Flu Flu arrows. Wilmore, 65, notes that the arrows are "very accurate up to about 20 yards, and then you start to lose accuracy."
For those interested in shooting small game with a bow, Wilmore offers one tip.
"Practice, that's the main thing," he said. "And when I shoot Flu Flus, I shoot a 145 (weight in grains) blunt tip because I want a lot of impact and kinetic energy. You want a lot of knock down power, not penetration.
"For small game and birds, when you hit them, it's generally all over."