Bowyer/Author/Illustrator: Dave Mead
I have been a craftsman and artist since childhood. Bow making began as a young child and with my martial arts background archery was a big part of my life. My Native American roots have always kept me close to nature. I have always felt a tight relationship with the forest and everything it has to offer. When I decided to hunt to provide food for my quickly growing family, I wanted to do it as spiritually respectful as possible. Since I have been a woodworker and mechanically trained for many years, I decided to try my hand at bow making; now as an adult with the knowledge of wood and with nature at my disposal. My first attempt was a success and I was hooked! I felt an immediate connection with my roots and what I was meant to do. I was so entranced with bow making, I made nearly 30 of them in the first month alone! Using locally harvested river cane and bamboo, I made my own arrows and arrowheads from stone and steel. I find it very rewarding to be able to use all that nature provides.
I like a challenge and learning as I go where others have not. I developed my bamboo bows through years of trial and error and experimentation. I quickly realized I had fixated on a bow's overall performance and efficiency. With a mechanics mind set, I always like to know how things work and approach things from a very analytical perspective. Even as a child, I was always taking things apart and experimenting with them to see how they functioned. The journey to the perfect bow began. I designed it based around what I wanted in a bow. Maybe it will work for you too...
I make high performance, unique primitive bows at an affordable price. They are highly efficient, fast, powerful, and comfortable to shoot. Stable, accurate, and smooth to draw. Very compact with no stack, finger pinch, or hand shock. I build each and every bow as if it were my own personal hunting weapon. I spend a great amount of time on them and they are all tested in the field by myself before shipped out. I will make available any bow I can reproduce in multiples and feel has great efficiency. Part of the challenge to myself was to build a lightweight bow (around 40lbs) that could do the job of a 60+ pound bow...and do it better! Although they may appear very similar, they are all individual creations made from nature's living materials. Unlike a bow made from modern materials, every primitive bow is unique, has a soul and a story to share...are you ready to listen?
I practice a form of archery that I like to refer to as natural archery. It is very reminiscent of some of history's greatest archers, hunters, and warriors. Also, very similar to how our ancestors would have shot a bow and arrow. This style is of more use to a hunter or combat soldier. I never learned "modern style" archery and have no desire or need to. I grew up shooting a stick and string and honed in on my human natural ability to hit what I wanted much like when I was a pitcher in baseball, or throwing a football, boomerang, slingshot, knife, tomahawk, casting a line 30 yds away right into the sweet spot where the fish are hiding or even when I used to use my bullwhip to snatch items from my brother's grasp. The point is, there were no sights, no long extended "aiming", there was no aiming. You just simply do it. Modern conveniences are slowly taking away your ability to be a human. Might want to relearn before you are totally dependent on the latest and greatest gadgets. I designed my bows based around what I wanted in a bow and how I shoot/use one. The type of archery I practice, and the type of bow I make are connected.
I want to make you a bow that will last the rest of your life. I personally hand pick/harvest/prepare your materials and craft each and every bow to order. I am one man, even though I do this full-time due to the uniqueness of my bow and high demand, I cannot keep stock of them. I begin and complete each bow as if it were to be my own. This process cannot be rushed. You will find that any individual bowyer who produces a bow in demand will require a good amount of time. The bow does not leave me until I am completely satisfied. Please remember my bows are not made from a lumber yard board, or mass produced for costume props. My bows are a hybrid style of composite. They require adequate time to cure, be properly shot in and trained before I can hand them off to their new owner. Please also keep in mind there are other orders before yours. Trust that you commissioned the right person to create you a unique, lifetime tool made from nature. If you can respect my craft and give me the time needed, I promise to deliver the best quality bow I can make, and do my best to maintain fair prices...that is guaranteed. A bamboo bow is very different and is not to be thought of as a self bow or a wooden bow. They have no laminations and are not made/pressed in a form. My hands and tools touch every inch, my sweat and sometimes blood goes into every bow. Time frame depends on wait list of current order volume, pre-scheduled workshops, etc. If you want a unique high performance tool, then you have come to the right place. As soon as you place your order, you will be added to the wait list and your spot will be locked in. I appreciate the support and patience.
To learn more about me and my experience, connect with me on LinkedIn.
I have illustrated and co-authored several survival guides. I have also worked with survival expert Creek Stewart with Willow Haven Outdoor on his Apocabox. My original hinging bamboo horse bow design was featured in April 2016 issue of Primitive Archer Magazine.
To see some of my bows in action, visit my YouTube Channel - Mead Longbows.
Some of my hand crafted bows have been hand made for:
Nicholas Tomihama, Backyard Bowyer -
Nick is an avid archer and bowyer - a leader in the archery world. Pretty much a master craftsman of whatever he lays his hands on. He is a great teacher as well. If you are interested in learning more about archery or tool making, I strongly suggest visiting his YouTube Channel and checking out some of his well put together books.
Hendrie Javier -
Hendrie Javier owner at Kashtuk Bowcraft makes some awesome longbows, arrows and muzzleloaders. You need to check out his beautiful work. If you want to see the review he did on the bow I made him, click here.
Creek Stewart -
Tony Kinton -
An amazing author, public speaker and seasoned hunter. To see his work, visit tonykinton.com and primitivearcher.com. To follow Tony and other expert hunters on some amazing hunts visit Sofala Safaris on Facebook - the first step to your African hunting and touring experience. The bow I made for him is shown in the April 2016 Primitive Archer magazine.
Hank Gevedon -
John Halverson -
Master bowyer and co-founder of non-profit organization Black Hills Raptor Center where they provide conservation education featuring live birds of prey. Go check them out and make a donation!
Joel Graves -
Survival and bushcraft professional. Featured on Discovery Channel's Buschcraft Build-Off TV show. Joel is the co-owner of American Survival Company - bushcraft and tactical survival. He is also a Mead Longbows's authorized instructor.
Justin Graves -
Survival and bushcraft professional. Featured on Discovery Channel's Buschcraft Build-Off TV show. Justin is also a Mead Longbows's authorized instructor.
Matt Tate -
Survival and bushcraft professional. Featured on Discovery Channel's Buschcraft Build-Off TV show. Owner of Integrated Survival Systems in Lowell, Arkansas and co-owner of American Survival Company - bushcraft and tactical survival.
Larry Burton -
Master flint knapper and bowyer. Innovator, inventor and entrepreneur. Founder of Bear Wallow Farm Nancy KY
Nick Di Francesco (BlackWater Bushcraft) -
Steve Smith -
Survival and bushcraft professional. He teaches with Creek Stewart at Escape The Woods. Steve is also a Mead Longbows' authorized instructor and founder of Survive To Thrive.
Zack, AKA Shawnee Woodsman -
Free spirited, wilderness dweller. A primitive woodsman from the Shawnee National Forest of Southern Illinois in USA. Practicing the ancient cultures that once walked these same lands in hopes to better connect with nature. Check out his social media for incredible footage of the great outdoors. Check out his Instagram Channel and his YouTube Channel.