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Powered by a bow made of carbon fibre and space-age metals, the arrow speeds to the butt at 200 ft per second. Some arrows have more penetrating power than a rifle bullet. The bowman tweaks his sights by two thousandths of an inch which will make a quarter inch difference when the arrow hits the butt 30 metres away.

Modern archery is a precision sport but not a cheap one. An Olympic competitor will have to front up with two kits each costing $5000; a dozen top-line arrows will set you back $950.

The more adventurous swap the butts for live deer and pig. Bow hunting is popular in New Zealand but requires exceptional stamina and patience. The bow hunter has to get about 30 metres from the easily spooked quarry and stalking a beast can take hours.

Jack Perkins tries his skill at the Randwick Archery club in the Hutt valley and discovers that archery has come a long way since the days of Robin Hood and Agincourt.

Archery Butts