I highly recommend these 5 great reads by our own TAS members.
Before YouTube channels and cable TV shows with brash rock and roll added to make it seem important, archers used words. It seems many young archers over the past few years are at heart Missourians, "show me". I never loan out my books for two reasons, they would probably not get them back and they more than likely not get read, just get lost. On top of that my patience has been dwindling with newbies that don't listen very well either. I celebrate the young archer that reads and re-reads paperback re-prints of the archery classics, for those few, i will do everything I can.
The public was asked to remain at home on the Illinois side of the Mississippi River in the St. Louis metro area until the highway crews could remove snow covered ice from the roads. I reread The American Longbow by Stephen Graf. This roused memories of thoughts and phrases that I had particularly enjoyed during previous reads of this book. I have isolated and snatched those gems completely out of context in such a way that might insult or even anger the author. Just the same, they are as follows:
“…..shoot without the mental clutter so often associated with target form …. your shot will depend on muscle memory, not a mental checklist.”
“…..you can concentrate on your form, or you can concentrate on the target. You cannot concentrate on both at the same time.”
“…..build a mental construct of the trajectory of an arrow.”
“….learn to place the trajectory of the arrow in space so that it intersects the point we want to hit.”
“….begin to see the target as simply a point on the trajectory of the arrow …… visualize the arrow trajectory both before and after the target.”
“For the purpose of hunting …… the ability to know your arrow trajectory and to be able to make that trajectory intersect the deer, is a more reliable way to kill game.”
The above are 'taken out of context abridged excerpts' from the book The American Longbow by Stephen Graf.
Larry Dean hit dead on.Back then bow hunting was a exciting and challenging endeavour to be sure.Now it is often portrayed on hunting videos to be more like a ” Tactical search and kill mission” In other words,the end justifies the means.
Few of my fav’s
Small world. 😊
Orion I live in Austin, Texas and supposedly we have the largest urban ranch in the world here. The Robinson Ranch. We were befriended by some of their kin/heirs through our kids. My sons and I were invited one Fathers' Day Weekend to our Texas Coast where the Robinsons had a house in a gated community along the channel....while visiting with our friends, the husband was sharing stories about his grandfather....and one included fishing with this guy who was a big saltwater angler who had also bow hunted Africa....short story it was Bill Negley....my friend showed me the house that Mr. Negley used to own and I took a photo of it.....
I've owned every book mentioned so far except for the Stecher and Rondeau books. Given my age, I decided to liquidate my trad archery/bowhunting library last winter and have it down from about 150-75 books to about 25. I like many of those already mentioned, of course. Of those i have left, Archer in Africa by Bill Negley (rather rare and sort of a collector) is on the top of the list.
Love Skookum's books!! Howard Hill's "Hunting the Hard Way" was also thoroughly enjoyed!
Re-reading The Witchery of Archery, I came to the conclusion that many of us modern bowhunters are kind of a shiftless bunch, me included somedays. Short range target in the very convenient back yard, to a short walk from the vehicle to either a blind near a feeder or the first convenient spot to place the tree stand. Oh to have the private land where one only needs to walk 40 or 50 yards to sit to ambush a deer and can still look back at the pick-up. Before equipment and methods became tactical, archers had skill, ambition and a butt load of adventure. Modern archers are experts at sitting. For a sport to be a sport it has to have built in limitations, plus a considerable amount of personal in-put. Yet, archery history is filled with efforts to make it easy. Easy is not fun.
Amen to everything you wrote. Perfectly accurate. Well done!
My favorite three, I have an original print of Saxton Pope 'Hunting With the Bow and Arrow' and Louis Hochman 'The Complete Archery Book' along with Howard Hill 'Hunting the Hard Way'. Those tales of adventure and basic knowledge will never go out of date.
I’m a bit of a collector so have most of everything 😎... and spent way too much money over the years and dont regret nufink😊
but far away the best book written in ‘Trad’ archery imho , by a long country mile , is without a doubt ....
drum roll please .....
Fred Anderson’s ‘The Traditional Way’
special mention of the maybe lesser known books
Don Carson’s ‘Early Adventures with Howard Hill’ .... a truly wonderful book
Nick Nott’s ‘From the Den of the Old Bowhunter, Chester Stevenson
Shooting the Stickbow
I won't repeat the books by Fred Anderson but I will add this one.
Peter O Stecher's book was a pleasant surprise. Bios of famous archers and bowhunters
Another great read....
The only favorite I didn't see listed above in the comments would be Arcadia the stories not in the Witchery of Archery.
I really enjoyed that book. Gordon
I have a fairly good library, but my favorites are probably "Target archery" by Dr. Robert Elmer. Its not just about targert archery. Alot of great information. also, Hunting with the bow and arrow, Witchery of Archery, Chet Stevenson, by Nick Nott, Archery the Technical side. I've found you get more reliable information from the older writings.
In no particular order, the following are the archery books that I have read and then decided to keep in my library for possible future reference:
The Archer’s Bible by Fred Bear
Bow Hunter’s Digest by Chuck Adams
Bows & Arrows of the Native Americans by Jim Hamm
Life At Full Draw : The Chuck Adams Story by Gregg Gutschow
Instinctive Shooting II by G. Fred Asbell
Howard Hill’s Method of Shooting the Bow and Arrow by Jerry Hill
The American Longbow by Stephen Graf
The Witchery of Archery by Maurice Thompson
Become The Arrow by Byron Ferguson
Stalking & Still-Hunting: The Ground Hunter’s Bible by G. Fred Asbell
Shooting the Stickbow by Anthony Camera
Hugh Rich mentored me over a lot of phone calls in the early 1980's and I mean a lot of long phone calls. One day he told me to contact John Garrison in Costa Mesa Calif.. John was a archery book collector and probably had the largest collection of archery books in the US. So I did. John sent me a list and prices. When I saw those prices, I called Hugh. I said Hugh those books are expensive. Hugh said so, you want to learn about archery, buy some books, read those books so you can ask me better questions. So I ended up with a small library of archery books. I can't say I have a favorite, they are all good. If I had to pick out a few, I guess it would be Ye sylvan Archer, the American Bowmen Review, Archery Magazine, Ford on Archery, The Badminton library, Saracen Archery, the Long Bow, The Complete Book of Archery which Hugh said was mostly written in his shop, Archery the Technical Side by and Turkish Archery and the Composite Bow to mention a few. Like I already said, I really don't have a favorite, they are all good. Ira was in a much better location than I because he lived a short drive from Hugh Rich's house. I live in Savannah, GA. About the best I could do was a phone call, but I cherish every one of them to this day. I got to visit with Hugh one time when the company I worked for sent me to Long Beach in 1985 for some training. So some where I have some pictures of ira, Hugh Rich and myself. I am still looking for them.
Deno, My two are Wild Adventure and The Traditional Way.
I remember readIng Wild Adventure for the first time and thinking about roving and stalking animals with a backquiver full of arrows and a longbow.
Traditional Way was different then any other archery book. Instead of hunting stories it gave recognition to archers and bowhunters of past for their skills and accomplishments.
I never read the book but I thought I had Wild Adventure in my archery bookcase. Went on Ebay last night and by pure luck, picked up a first UK edition 1955 for $25. Anxious to finally read it. 😃
Fnally read Wild Adventure. I have to say Howard had talent as a writer and photographer as well. Just incredible descripions of his adventures.
I haven't read Bob's book either. Sure would be nice if he'd do another printing...