When the Civil War ended, Confederate soldiers had their weapons confiscated. As combatants for the South, brothers Will and Maurice Thompson returned their demolished home without a way to hunt. They turned to the bow and arrow, and it was lucky for archery enthusiasts everywhere that they did. The brothers were writers, who published their adventures in magazines and later books. Maurice’s The Witchery of Archery is credited with reviving interest in the sport of bowhunting at a time when the rifle was considered a superior weapon.
Their story is just one of those told in in a collection of short vignettes by Peter Stecher. Legends in Archery: Adventures with Bow and Arrow explores the pioneers of modern-day western bowhunting. In addition to the Thompson brothers, he covers Howard Hill, Fred Bear, and many others while focusing on their bowhunting achievements. There are plenty of photos with their kills. There is also some discussion centered on the idea that big game couldn’t be taken with a bow and arrow.
While Stecher’s ramblings occasionally interrupt the biographical notes of the hunters in his book, overall, he provides and entertaining read. Because the author is Austrian, he also includes a couple of Austrian archers near the end. If you want a quick orientation to the fathers of the return to western traditional archery, Stecher provides a great place to start.
Legends in Archery is available at Lincoln City Archery and through this affiliate link on Amazon. At Lincoln City Archery, we provide archers the opportunity to increase their knowledge of traditional archery and practice their skills at our indoor archery range in Lincoln City, Oregon. Like traditional archery, reading books takes focus and concentration. Plus, it’s a great way to pass the time when you can’t make it to the range. Happy shooting, happy reading, and let’s get on target. (We use affiliate links in this article to earn a small commission on your purchase while costing you nothing. Thank you.)