I grew up hunting and fishing in Colorado with the instruction and guidance of my Dad and role model Bill, who taught me woodsmanship as well as the importance of being an ethical hunter and fisherman. As a kid I would go afield and shoot my old, all fiberglass bow at anything I would deem worthy as a target, but most of the serious hunting was reserved for rifles. My mom Vikki would happily prepare any game we were fortunate enough to bring home, and was encouraging in all our outdoor pursuits.
In the mid 80s Mom and Dad bought me my first compound bow, a Browning Hunter, and I worked at trying to figure out how to set it up and actually shoot it proficiently. Finally in 1994, with the help of my Uncle and mentor Dan, and with the encouragement and patience of my incredible wife Shelly, I made the switch to bowhunting exclusively and never looked back...
Ten years later, after many exciting and successful seasons of small and big game hunting adventures with the compound it was time for a new, old, challenge. The lure of traditional tackle had been looming in my mind for many years. I longed to get back to the feeling of being afield with simple stick and string, and actually pursuing big game this time!
So in 2005 I bought my first longbow, a Gharing "Cornplanter" reflex/deflex longbow from Bob Taylor in Castle Rock and once again never looked back...
I had renewed my passion for bowhunting, I couldn't get enough! I hunted the next several seasons with "Cornplanter" and bought my Daughter, who wanted to go "Trad like Dad", a Martin recurve. Some seasons ended with kills and others with misses but all were successful. Like many traditional archers I had the urge to make my own tackle and in 2012 my good friend and co-worker Chad Beall bought me a "kit for the first time bowyer". It was a 64" R/D longbow and that season I took it to Kansas and killed a whitetail buck. I was hooked! I built several more bows on that form and Chad on his. We then decided to build a more extreme R/D model and Chad built that original form which we later revised to add more reflex. This resulted in a smooth drawing hard hitting quiet bow with minimal hand shock. I later built a new refined form from this version. Chad's company is called Tree Frog Woodworking and in keeping with the frog theme I named the bows Poison Dart.
In 2014 after building dozens more bows, and refining the Poison Dart design, and with encouragement from the Clums at Rocky Mountain Specialty Gear I decided to fully commit myself to building bows full time. I feel very fortunate to be in the position I am with the support of my family and friends.
I hope that I can help you renew your passion for shooting and bowhunting by building you a functional art piece that will serve you for decades to come!