Le livre de la chasse was written by Gaston Phoebus, count of Foix, between 1387 and 1388. It discusses archery briefly, closely following Modus. George Agar Hansard offered a translation in his The book of archery.
"The sportsman's bow should be of yew, and measure twenty palms (five feet) from one notch to the other, and, when braced, have a hand's breadth between string and wood. The string must ever be of silk. The bow should be weak, because an archer over-bowed cannot take aim freely and with address; besides, such a bow may be held half-drawn a long time without fatigue, whilst the hunter stands in wait for the deer.
"The wood of a well-formed arrow measures eight handsful in length from the end of the nock to the barbs of the head, which will be exactly four fingers broad, from the point of one barb to the point of the other. It must be duly proportioned in every part, well filed and sharpened, and five fingers in length.
"When a deer is discovered approaching the archers, as soon as they hear the hounds are slipped, they ought to set their arrows on their bows, bringing the two arms into such a position as to be prepared to shoot. For, should the animal espy the men in motion whilst nocking their shafts, he will assuredly escape in another direction. Thus, a keen sportsman is ever cautiously on the alert, ready to let his arrow fly without the slightest motion, except that of drawing with the arms."
He then goes on to describe the different modes of shooting at game in every possible position, somewhat after the fashion of the text; and gives a remarkable reason why an archer should point his shaft in a rather slanting direction when the aim is at the stag's broadside, in preference to straight forwards. He says,-- "There is peril to him who shoots directly at the side, independently of great uncertainty of killing when the arrow does prove fatal, it sometimes passes through and through the beast, and may thus wound a companion on the opposite side. Such an accident I did myself see once happen to Messire Godfrey de Harcourt, who was pierced through one of his arms."L’Art d’archerie was printed around 1515. In 1901 Henri Gallice published the text of a manuscript of the work in his possession that he believed dated somewhat earlier, to the end of the 15th century. Henry Walrond published an English translation in 1903.
Walrond''s translation contains several errors. What Walrond translates as "target shooting" is some variant of "au chapperon" in the original French, and shot at ranges of 300 or even 400 paces (about 240 or 330 yards). It is better translated as clout shooting in English. "Arrows are likewise made hollow, like balista arrows" should be "Arrows are likewise made hollow, like crossbow bolts".
He explains waxed arrows, trait cyre in the original, as where the feathers are "fastened with waxed silk". This probably an oversimplification.
Our best candidates for waxed arrows are the many arrows recovered from the Mary Rose, sunk in 1545. At the shaftment, where the fletchings would be attached, archaeologists have identified traces of wax, tallow, copper, and the imprints of thread that they believe to be silk.
I think that that a plausible reconstruction is that the fletchings were first tacked down with hot wax and then secured more permanently with thread wound first about the trimmed spine of the feather, spiral wound for the rest of the untrimmed fletching, and then wound about the trimmed spine at the rear of of the fletching.
A final application of hot wax and tallow to the shaftment would have further secured the thread and ensured that the thread was not disturbed as it slid down the bow. Copper acetate would have discouraged vermin from eating the tallow.
Walrond translates tacles in the original as sheaf arrows, but it seems more likely that he is simply using takel, a Middle English word for arrows as well as archery equipment more generally.
L’Art d’archerie gives us insight into European archery at least a generation before Ascham, and it shows how the author thought three different sorts of sports archery, butts, clout and flight, had different optimal gear, which were in turn distinguished from what was best for war. And the earlier texts show that optimal hunting gear differed from all of these.
Interestingly, the author of L’Art d’archerie claims the the English found glued fletchings truer than waxed. Perhaps eagerness to base all reconstructions of longbow arrows entirely on the Mary Rose is misplaced.