Hello and welcome to my new blog, dedicated to all things traditional archery with particular homage being paid to my all time favorite type of bow – the longbow!
Why the longbow?
That’s a complicated question and if you ask 10 different archers I guarantee they’re going to give you varying answers. For me, it is a combination of several simple principles but it all started with a comic book character.
Yep…a comic book character.
I began shooting in May of 2009 at the age of 27. With the exception of a brief excursion into the realm of the compound as a kid, I had never seriously shot a bow or considered archery as a hobby.
One particularly dreary Saturday in April changed all of that and ultimately my life as I knew it. I remember the moment vividly. My wife Jessica and I were sitting on the couch and watching a movie. We’d both seen it several times so I decided to get a little reading done. I was pretty bored so a graphic novel seemed like the way to go.
I’ve been a dedicated comic book reader since I was eleven and always have them laying around the house. As fate would have it, this particular one was a Green Arrow comic called “The Longbow Hunters”. For those of you who do not know about Green Arrow, check out his origin (albeit brief) here.
In a nutshell, he is a DC Comics superhero that fights crime with a bow and arrow. While his origin varies per writer he is essentially a millionaire who received lessons from Howard Hill as a child and was deemed (by Hill) to be a natural archer. He eventually squanders his talent for years in favor of liquor and women but it resurfaces again when he is stranded on an island and must count on a homemade bow and arrows for survival.
This is all referenced in “The Longbow Hunters” story as Oliver Queen (aka Green Arrow) is experiencing a mid-life crisis and is trying to get back to his roots by returning to the longbow.
This is all significant because I had not heard of Howard Hill at this point and it sparked my interest. I immediately put down the comic and started Google-ing the famous archer. Obviously the information I found was mind-blowing. The guy was an absolute rock star with a bow in his hand.
I was immediately intrigued and purchased a bow of my own a week later.
Unfortunately for me, I was talked into starting out with a recurved bow, as it was a “much easier bow to learn on”. I spent the following months learning on that bow but knew it was only a matter of time before I would progress to a longbow.
Two major events occurred that pushed me towards this path:
1) Bill Cooper, my friend and mentor shot one (more on him later).
2) I started bowhunting in October and my bulky recurve never felt right while stalking and still-hunting in the woods.
Knowing that the transition from recurve to longbow is challenging, especially for a beginner, I promised myself I wouldn’t make the change until after hunting season. As luck would have it, I stumbled across a Christmas sale at www.bamabows.com and broke that promise in mid-December.
I hunted with that bow a week later and killed my first deer. You can read about that story here.
I haven’t been able to put it down since. I sold my recurve, purchased a second Bama and haven’t looked back. I’ve hunted deer, rabbits, squirrels, and partridge with that bow, and have recently begun bowfishing as well.
There is always an adventure on the horizon with a longbow in hand and I am looking forward to sharing mine with you. I can only hope that this blog can influence you to have a few of your own. I am also hoping that those of you who are new to archery – or to the longbow – will learn from my experiences and particularly from my mistakes. I have made A LOT!
I’d like to thank you ahead of time for reading my blog and cannot wait to hear your comments.