For centuries, many nations and people have been using the stick bow and arrow for gathering food and fighting wars. There were many pioneers who rejuvenated the traditional archery market in the nineteenth century. These include, but certainly are not limited to: Saxton Pope, Art Young, Ishi, Howard Hill, Fred Bear, and Glen St. Charles. Many great men have helped to rekindle the desire to feel the history and romance of traditional archery.
Those that carry the torch, the “fire of traditional archery,” include many fine people and companies. 3Rivers Archery takes great pride in being among these leaders as we strive for “Traditional Archery Excellence.” As the “World’s Largest Traditional Archery Supplier” we are constantly searching for new traditional archery products as well as reproducing “old” favorites.
Since 1985, 3Rivers Archery has been the leader in this niche market. Starting from the back bedroom of a small home in Fort Wayne, Indiana, it has grown to a 10,000 sq. ft. warehouse in the rural town of Ashley, Indiana. Many companies have come and gone over the years, but 3Rivers Archery has endured and serviced not only the retail market, but a worldwide dealer network as well.
In 1985, 3Rivers Archery began in a back bedroom, expanded to the garage, then moved to the basement level of a retail complex, with no heat! From there, 3Rivers grew into a 1,400 sq. ft. retail store in downtown Fort Wayne, Indiana. A few years later, due to tremendous growth in the industry, we relocated into a 10,000 sq. ft. warehouse. Now we are conveniently located just off Interstate 69, and only 15 miles south of Interstate 80/90, it truly is easy to access. Tucked away in the Northeast corner of Indiana, it is ideally located between the states with the largest concentration of hunters, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.
In 1999, Dale and Sandie Karch purchased the business from founder Steve Ferree. Sandie and Dale Karch are a motivated Christian couple from Wisconsin and were no strangers to traditional archery. Having owned and operated Wisconsin’s largest traditional archery shop, DMJ Archery, the move to the world’s largest was a natural progression.
Having done business with 3Rivers Archery for several years as a dealer, they knew about the great team already in place. So instead of moving the company to Wisconsin, they moved their family to Indiana.
First and foremost on our list is family. We’re very proud of our three sons; Andy, Matt, and Johnny. We’re a family with old-fashioned values and a motto, “There’s nothing we can’t do through hard work and dedication.” This truly is a “hands-on” family business.
Even our dog came to work every day! Bulls Eye, who actually got his name before we went into the archery business, was the official greeter at 3Rivers. In August 2007, at age 17, Bulls Eye had to be put down. He was the best mascot, and family dog we could of ever asked for.
Over 250 Years Experience Under One Roof
Even though we specialize in mail order archery supplies, we offer “down home” service. Our knowledgeable staff has expertise in everything from self bow building to laminated bow building, snake skin backing, arrow making, and string making. With over 250 years archery experience between our staff, you name it and someone here has probably done it. Many of our customers like to call us and “pick our brains.” We give our expertise freely; all it costs you is the phone call (technical advice not available on the toll free #). As we move into the world of technology, you’ll be able to find more information, and answers to your questions on our Web site.
Vacation Hot Spot
Plan to stop by for a visit during your next vacation. While we specialize in mail order, we have remodeled our showroom, and encourage walk-in visitors on Saturdays from 9-2 EST. We encourage our patrons to browse and shop our warehouse, just like “Sam’s Club.” Our Trading Post has many closeout specials and “goodies.” Stop in to check out the bargains. You never know what treasures you’ll find. Remember, our warehouse is only open to the public on Saturdays 9-2 EST.
We have an indoor range available for bow tryout and, for the kids; we can give a little instruction. (OK, sometimes the big kids too). Although we are not nearly as big as Cabella’s, just like them, we have many regular customers who will travel for hours to come and visit our shop. We have stocked our warehouse with many World Class mounts and record book animals, so bring your family and browse some Saturday from 9-2 EST! The coffee is always on!
Our owner, Dale Karch, has been adding to his Pope & Young collection on display. Dale also has many of his African animals on display for your enjoyment.
Accomplishments and Goals
3Rivers Archery has grown to be the biggest because we’re the best. That’s not something we take lightly or get comfortable with. Our motto is, “Traditional Archery Excellence,” and we strive daily to further improve upon our service and products. In the past few years since new ownership, we have upgraded our computer hardware and software, our phone system, and our Web site. In the next few years, watch for us more on the radio and television, as well as your local shoots and shows. We look forward to getting out more to meet our customers face-to-face. We may be “big” now, but we started “small,” and we truly care about each and every customer.
If you like our service, please tell your friends. If you don’t, please tell us, because we do care!
Sandie’s expertise lies in the business side of this partnership. Having earned her Bachelor's degree in business, she spent 12 years as a business consultant, helping others develop and grow their businesses. She’s a goal setter, and go-getter, with big plans for 3Rivers Archery. Sandie enjoys working side-by-side with Dale, her partner in life, and in business.
Dale’s more than 20 years experience as a Tool and Die Maker certainly taught him an important lesson. There’s no such thing as “good enough,” you keep working until it’s done right. That’s a good attitude for a bowyer to have. His Tomahawk Bows, of which he is very proud, are built to his exacting standards. Quality and craftsmanship through and through. Every bow that Dale builds is built as though he was going to hunt with it himself. And he takes his hunting seriously! An avid hunter, he enjoys pursuing any and all kinds of big or small game with the bow and arrow. He’s even enjoyed some success in his adventures. Just ask him, he’d be happy to share a story or two.
Dale admits he’s a die-hard bow hunter who has pursued; moose, elk, bear, whitetail, mule deer, caribou, small game, and African game. With more than 30 years hunting experience, he’s also had his share of misses.
Dale is very proud to have served on the Board of Wisconsin Traditional Archers (WTA) for five years, serving as president for two terms. He is a Certified Bow Hunter Safety Instructor, and a member of the Pope & Young Club. He is also currently serving on Compton Board of Directors as Treasurer.
As a Tool & Die Maker for 20 plus years, he has been making his own tools of the trade since day one. It was only natural for Dale to start making his own hunting equipment. Thus came Tomahawk Bows. After three years of full-time bow building, Dale purchased 3Rivers Archery, and moved his family from Wisconsin to Ashley, Indiana. This is where he continues to live a dream come true, thanks to God and family.
The Rest of the Management Team
3Rivers Tech & Fulfillment Team
In the late 80’s, Dale Karch purchased his first custom bow. Being a Tool and Die Maker by trade, he critiqued the bow’s quality and craftsmanship. He knew that with his skills, he could produce a bow of better quality. So Dale, and his good friend Greg, built their first form and heat box. The rest is history.
Using his first Tomahawk Bow, a 53# recurve, Dale shot a Pope & Young black bear in Wisconsin the following year. From there, friends and family started requesting bows and his new hobby took off and quickly grew to be a small business.
Since their home had no basement, Dale built his bows in a utility porch, on top of the washer and dryer. Being frustrated from having to move the bows every time she did laundry, Sandie relented to taking a second mortgage to build Dale a garage/shop.
After much sweat (we started in August) with the help of many, many good friends, Dale’s “toy shop” was done. We built a 28’ x 48’ building on our 10 acre property in Princeton, Wisconsin. The bow business took off from there. However, our bow customers also kept asking for additional supplies like strings, armguards, cases, etc. Dale got a dealers application from 3Rivers Archery and started to purchase some of these supplies. Since he traveled most weekends to various shoots and shows to display his bows, he kept his supplies in big rubber tubs. If someone asked for something, he’d take it out and sell it to them.
Sandie, being a business consultant said, "hey, you’ve got a couple of thousand dollars of inventory in those tubs. Why don’t you put it out on display for people to see?” Before, you know it, we had one half our building as workshop for bow building and the other half became a retail store. Before long, DMJ Archery was Wisconsin’s Largest Traditional Archery Store.
**Trivia Note: DMJ Archery, LLC was the name of our first business. It stood for Dad, Mom, Matt, and Johnny. This has always been a family adventure.**
Before long, Dale quit his day-time job as a Tool and Die Maker, and started building Tomahawk Bows full time. Like many bow makers, Dale thought, "if he could just get his bows into the 3Rivers catalog...” Well, after bugging Todd Smith, the Manager at that time, Todd finally said, “look the company’s for sale, if you want your bows in the catalog, why don’t you buy the company?” The rest is history.
While Dale still designs Tomahawk Bows, and oversees quality control, he currently has little time to build bows. Great Plains is now building Tomahawk Bows, using our designs and forms. Bill Foreman and his team are expert bow builders and produce a quality bow to our specs. Tomahawk Bows are known for being stable, smooth shooting bows. They are quality through and through, plus beautiful! If you haven’t tried one yet, you don’t know what you’re missing.
They're a "Legend in the making..."
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PO Box 517
Ashley IN 46705-0517
888.329.9872 Toll Free Fax
Hours of Operation 2015
Closed for the following holidays
Memorial Day - May 25
Independence Day - July 3-4
Labor Day - September 7
Thanksgiving - November 26
Christmas - December 24-25
New Years Eve - We close at 5:00 p.m. EST December 31, 2015
New Years - January 1
Please Note: Our warehouse is open to the public every Saturday from 9:00AM-2:00PM but closed for browsing the rest of the week.
On Monday-Friday, orders may still be picked up at our warehouse or you can even stop in and fill out an order form, and we'll gladly pull your order for you. You'll still be able to try out new bows on our indoor range Saturday. The only difference is Monday-Friday you won't be able to shop the warehouse or try out bows.
We think you'll enjoy our Saturday hours, stop in and see us soon!
Hours of Operation
Order 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year!
Call our toll free express order line, 866.732.8783 (866.RECURVE)
9 – 8
9 – 8
9 – 8
9 – 8
9 – 5
9 - 2
or shop online at 3RiversArchery.com
Archery Wholesale-Our Dealer Network
If you're a shop owner and you've been looking for traditional archery supplies at wholesale prices look no further. You've come to the right place. We are the largest traditional/primitive archery distributor and we'd like to help you grow your business.
Traditional archery is HOT! By adding traditional archery supplies to your store, you'll be cashing in on an entire new market. A market that is hungry for their products. Our dealer network is growing daily and is now world-wide! Check out our web-site to get a feel for our product offerings.
Fax, mail, or e-mail us a copy of your re-sale/retail license and we'll send you a FREE dealer package. The dealer package includes our regular catalog along with a wholesale price sheet and dealer application.
Fill out the dealer application and return it to us and you're ready to roll.
Download a printable PDF of our dealer application.
Download a printable PDF of form ST-105.
You can even order on-line right here at 3RiversArchery.com. It's that easy.
If you're looking for great customer service, fast shipping, and quality archery products at wholesale prices you've found it all here at 3Rivers Archery.
Here's our contact information:
PO Box 517
Ashley IN 46705
888.329.9872 Toll Free Fax