We may have pacific yew bows in stock, please email for more info.
Most bows are custom made.
Each of our yew bows is meticulously crafted using, many times, the same
two hands from harvest to finish. Our bows have reached
a level of primitive elegance seldom found nowadays. Inspired
by bowyers from another time and place where a bow was the
hunters sacred tool to feed the family , and the warriors
optimistic partner in the darkness of battle.
Our bows are brought in the world as a rugged companion for its caretaker.
A bow forgiving in aim, and dependable at the end of a long
day of hard shooting that will smile proud in the moment
of need. Our bows are meant to be admired and caressed around
the campfire and pushed and shoved through the bush on a wet
day. The bow will take its place among the finest bows in any
tribe. Modern time saving techniques and tools have their
place in the world but not in the making of our bows.
Pacific Yew is the wood used for many of our bows. This is high elevation yew from the
ideal habitat in British Columbia, it is carefully chosen, harvested
and seasoned by the bowyer or purchased from local first nations. Yew has ancient roots in traditional
archery for thousands of years. It was the bow wood that
won wars in Europe in Medieval times, at the same time on
the other side of the planet yew was being made into bows
of all shapes and sizes mostly for hunting, sport and warfare.
The secret to the Yew bow’s strength and beauty is it’s natural laminate of heartwood
and sapwood. The heartwood is where the power comes from,
it’s ability to be compressed and return back to its original
shape is almost unmatched in any other wood. The sapwood
of the tree is superior under tension and protects the heartwood
from being able to break, but also adds beauty. This is why
some Native North American tribes believe this tree was
put on earth for the making of bows and referred to it as
the chief of the forest, being a small tree mostly almost
vine-like under towering Old Growth forests.
The simplicity of self-backed self bow, it’s natural
beauty, it’s feel in the hand and sense of satisfaction after
the arrow is loosed on the target is what makes it so desirable. In thousands of years of
development, the wooden bow saw only small changes being made
that would be tested for generations and improved one century
at a time. The wooden bow has proven it’s abilities the world
over and has shaped whole nations. It had cultural significance
to almost every human that has existed and still does for
a great many archers today. There is perhaps nothing more
satisfying to some archers than the plucking of wood bows.
Character Yew Bows
Western North American Native Style Flat bows.Our Flat bows are made with designs from various Native tribes of North America.
Many different uses of these bows as well as different climate
conditions helped develop many different bow styles coming in
all sorts of shapes and sizes.
Flat bows were not all flat
or short. The typical almost rectangular cross sections
made wood more efficient, the application of animal sinews
to the back of the bow made it more durable, strong and
tight, the reflexed tips added strength to the bow and allowed
it be smooth shooting. The bow could also be much shorter
now that it has been refined so much thus making the tool
easy to handle in real hunting and war situations with peoples
that did not line up and shoot from a distance.
The craftsmanship of these bows would have been something
unbelievable to us nowadays. Some of the First Nations peoples perhaps
had a deeper connectedness than most people the world over
with there bow as it was many times a sacred spiritual item.
Native people struck a very delicate balance with their
bows, making them as fast shooting and efficient as
possible with just heavy enough draw weight for it’s purpose as to be less a burden when carrying of long distances. Every
bow would have been different. All we can do is assume from
research some general designs of these bows and add our original
finishes and artworks inspired by them.
English Style Yew Longbows (D Shaped)
The English Longbows were bows designed so they could send heavy, long hardwood arrows with heavy
tips across a couple hundred yards and pierce armor. Yew was the most important wood for these bows.
The bows were typically as tall or taller than the archer, thin
in width, with a D shape cross section. The bow was very
thick. This design allowed the bow to have massive strength
and the extreme length of the bow made sure it was not bending
in one spot very much. The D Shape put the strength of the
bow along a very small amount of wood along the center of
the belly, thus making big heavy limbs light in a sense.
Bows back in the day would be so strong that it would take
years of training to pull one back and even then would be
a very tiring and painful experience. Even the most modern
bow would not do the damage of these bows, the draw weights
would be impossible for the recreational archer. The deformed bones of the remains of English archers examined prove this.
You can see why large numbers of archers training from age 4 and
pulling these monsters back would be the most effective
army around. The horse -mounted armor-covered knight with
a sharp sword could be taken down by a peasants arrow at
100 yards. The French Crossbow men would be loading
their bow while the English archer would have 3 heaver arrows
already in the air, and much more accurately.
The same bow of
course developed as a recreational item that could be shot
comfortably by even small children The tradition of English
longbow has been preserved so well that it is safe to
assume that we are historically accurate with these bows
when we want to be.
Woods – Pacific Yew harvested by the bowyer.
Nocks - Self nocks, options such as nocks of elk antler (fancy
or plain), horn, hemp cordage, hardwood
overlays, or bone overlays are available at additional charges.
Handle can be bare wood, leather or hemp
cordage or perhaps other. Most are leather.
Finish can be with a water based stain
in basic colors and natural with several coats of a clear
hemp seed oil that brings out the natural beauty of yew
without altering its character. Comes Waxed.