By: Dale Karch and Todd Smith
At 3Rivers Archery we know bows. We know quivers, arrows, broadheads, points, bow and arrow making tools, outdoor gear, and much, much more. But there are other products we sell that may not initially spring to mind when considering archery gear. We’re talking about books and DVDs.
3Rivers Archery sells a wide selection of books and DVDs covering just about every archery and bowhunting topic you can think of… and quite a few you probably didn’t consider! Shooting instruction, bowhunting, flint knapping, bow building, how-to, primitive… the archery industry is filled with books and DVDs as diverse as the archers who buy them!
For the scope of this article we are limiting our discussion to two main categories of books and DVDs: “entertainment” and “how-to.” These two categories are very broad and cover most of the top selling titles we recommend.
There are bowhunters out there who virtually live to hunt. The most important thing for them in life is the experience of being out in the woods bowhunting. They want to immerse themselves in the experience every chance they get.
This is especially true in America. Americans are used to being entertained. We especially enjoy movies that inspire and excite us. It’s no wonder then that the most popular movies for bowhunters are those with intense bowhunting encounters, and lots of them. When we’re stuck at home we still want to experience the hunt, so we turn to bowhunting books and movies. While reading those books or watching the movies, we escape the confines of home and work. We experience the thrill of the chase and the essence of the hunt, including the shot, and then share the satisfaction of an animal down after “giving it our all.” It’s no wonder we crave the next new book or video!
There are also the students of traditional archery. They’ll enjoy a good hunting movie as much as the next guy, but they are not driven so much by the harvest. They are more interested in the gear, the history, and the experience of hunting with traditional bows and arrows that they made themselves. They want to know every detail of every facet of this thing we call “hunting with the traditional bow and arrow.” They love to make their own gear and are happy to pay for sources of this kind of knowledge. They want to know everything. If it’s traditional archery, they want to know how to do it. They want to read about it, watch it on TV, and do it themselves.
What are the books and video titles that appeal to the traditional bowhunter? The selection is tremendous these days. Among our most popular entertainment films are: the Traditional Harvests series from Fred Eichler, the Masters of the Barebow Series from Traditional Vision Quest, and our own 3Rivers Traditional Adventure Series.
DVDs such as the Masters of the Barebow series and 3Rivers Adventure Series have a lot to offer the modern bowhunter.
In addition to these newer, modern day films there are also many vintage videos available. All bowhunters enjoy watching old bowhunting footage from days gone by. For instance many titles come in the Fred Bear Collection which features many of the famous hunts of one of the world’s most legendary bowhunter.
Thanks to DVD technology, bowhunting enthusiasts can
re-live these classic Fred Bear hunts.
Speaking of legends, don’t forget the legendary Howard Hill and his bowhunting classics, The Last Wilderness, Hunting and Fishing with the Bow & Arrow, and Tembo. They are as exciting to watch now as they were “back in the day.” There are many more excellent titles out there. Suffice to say, you should have no problem finding plenty of first-rate entertainment titles to keep your blood pumping and your spirit soaring.
The legendary Howard Hill lives on in these exciting DVDs.
What about books for the bowhunter, books that recount hunts of old, or teach traditional hunting techniques? Again, there are more titles than we could possibly list, but we’ll mention some of the most popular. This time we’ll start with the classics. The first that comes to mind is a treasure of vintage traditional archery history and Alaskan bowhunts found in the book, Bows on the Little Delta by Glenn St Charles. Also at the top of the list are these excellent works: Art LaHa Northwood’s Legend by Dorothy Uthe, Fred Bear’s Field Notes by Fred Bear, and. Then, a few titles of more modern works: Come November by Gene Wensel, Longbow: A Hunting Life by Jay Campbell, and Stalking & Still-Hunting: The Ground Hunter’s Bible by G. Fred Asbell. All of these titles appeal to traditional bowhunters and, more often than not, wind up in their personal libraries.
From Glenn St. Charles and Saxton Pope to Gene Wensel and G. Fred Asbell,
today’s archer has many choices in bowhunting books.
Traditional archery involves many special skills. Arrow building, Flemish string making, bow building, target shooting, beating target panic, bowhunting, flint knapping and more. The thirst for knowledge burns in the hearts of all archers. They’re on a need to know basis, and they really need to know! There is an appearance of simplicity on the surface of traditional archery that belies the subtle depth and complexity available to those who want to venture more deeply. Shooting and hunting with the stick-and-string is simple yet there are many opportunities for making your own gear, delving into the history, or of branching into the primitive side of archery.
Many traditional archers are interested in making their own bows, bow strings, arrows, etc. Thousands of books and videos have been sold on the topic of “how to shoot traditional bows.” Our best selling videos on the topic are: Masters of the Barebow Series from Traditional Vision Quest, Tuning for Extreme Accuracy by Byron Ferguson, Instinctive Shooting by G. Fred Asbell, Become the Arrow by Byron Ferguson, and Dead-On Traditional by Scott Antczak. Traditional shooting books include popular titles such as: The Traditional Bowhunter’s Handbook by T.J. Conrads, Instinctive Shooting Volume Two by G. Fred Asbell, Shooting the Stickbow By Anthony Camera, and Become the Arrow by Byron Ferguson.
Byron Ferguson and TJ Conrads are among the experts contributing to traditional shooting DVDs and books.
What about target panic? Ever heard of it? A high percentage of traditional bow shooters battle target panic. The best target panic book is Instinctive Archery Insights by Dr Jay Kidwell.
All the help you need to battle target panic.
Bow building is huge in traditional archery and so is the selection of good books and videos on the topic. Among the best books are: The Traditional Bowyer’s Bible Series Volume 1, Volume 2, Volume 3 and Volume 4 by Jim Hamm and friends, and Hunting the Osage Bow by Dean Torges.
The Traditional Bowyer’s Bible series is a traditional archery treasure… a great read for the entire family.
What about DVDs for the budding bow builder? Our favorites are: Rattlestick: A Selfbow Tutorial by Gary S. Davis, Hunting the Bamboo Backed Bow by Dean Torges, and Making A Wood Bow by Mark Keller.
Gary S. Davis, Dean Torges and Mark Keller are among the master
craftsmen who have preserved their wisdom on bow building DVDs.
Even though arrow building is a huge portion of the traditional archer’s need, no comprehensive book is available on the subject. There are however excellent chapters in the
The Traditional Bowhunter’s Handbook by T.J. Conrads, and Instinctive Shooting Volume 1. There is excellent DVDs available on the topic. For standard arrow building try Crafting Traditional Wood Arrows by 3Rivers Archery, or Building the Footed Arrow by Gary and Connie Renfro. For primitive and medieval arrows checkout Native Arrows and Points by Thad Beckum, or Fletching Medieval Arrows by Master Fletcher Mick Manns. These DVDs takes you through the entire arrow building process from start to finish and is a “must-have” resource for those just getting started in arrow building.
No matter what type of arrow you are building, we offer a DVD that will help you with building it.
Flemish twist bow strings are another topic that is covered by two excellent DVDs. Crafting Traditional Flemish Strings by 3Rivers Archery features Byron Ferguson and Dale Karch and explains everything a new string builder needs to know to make his own Flemish strings. How to Build a Great Bowstring is narrated by pro string builder Chad Weaver and IBO champion Rod Jenkins, who use there nearly 50 years of string building experience with more than 10,000 built bow strings made to teach you how to build 2-bundle and 3-bulndle Flemish twist bow strings and an endless loop bow string.
Do-it-yourselfers can also benefit from these great bow string building DVDs.
Flint knapping is a primitive phenomenon. There are excellent books and DVDs available that describe it in detail. The best book is The Art of Flint Knapping by D.C. Waldorf, along with the Art of Flint Knapping Companion DVD. Checkout a few of our other favorite DVDs on Flint Knapping: Working Obsidian by D.C. Waldrof and Basic Flint Knapping Techniques narrated by W.J. Collins. These book and DVDs open a new world to many aspiring flint knappers.
Flintknapping has roots in prehistoric times, but it also has a modern following.
In this limited space we have only scratched the surface of the many books and DVDs available to today’s traditional archer. There are literally thousands of titles to choose from. That means there are thousands of ways to keep your archer’s spirit alive, even when you aren’t in the woods or on the range!
Dale Karch & Todd Smith
For more information contact:
PO Box 517
Ashley IN 46705