Bowyer/Author/Illustrator: Dave Mead
I have been a craftsman and artist since childhood. Bow making began as a young child,
and 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 fast growing family, I wanted to do it as spiritually respectful as possible.
Since I have been a woodworker/builder 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. Each bow is made as if it would be my own personal hunting weapon. I spend a
great amount of time on them and they are all tested in the field before put up for sale. 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 40lb) that could do the job of a 60+ pound bow...and do it better!
To see my bows in action, go to Mead Longbows YouTube Channel and Subscribe! You can
also email email@example.com with your interest/questions.
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 were hand made for:
Nicholas Tomihama, BackyardBowyer -
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, so 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. You can find all of that here on his website.
Hendrie Javier - My friend, Hendrie Javier over at Kashtuk Bowcraft makes some awesome longbows, arrows and muzzleloaders. You need to check out his beautiful work, kashtukbowcraft.com. If you want to see the review he did on the bow I made him, click here.
Creek Stewart - Survival expert, creator of Apocabox and host of “Fat Guys in The Woods” as seen on TV! To learn more about CR///EK and his Apocabox, go to willowhavenoutdoor.com or myapocabox.com You can see the bows I made for him displayed in his awesome lodge.
Tony Kinton - An amazing author, public speaker and seasoned hunter. To see his work, go to 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 displayed in magazine article.
Hank Gevedon - Master craftsman and blacksmith. The man behind Reptile Toolworks. To see an awesome line of handmade tools and knives, go to Reptile Toolworks on Facebook or visit kyrivertradingco.com
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! http://www.blackhillsraptorcenter.org
Larry Burton - Master flint knapper and bowyer and owner of Bear Wallow Farm in Nancy, KY. If you're coming through this part of Kentucky, be sure to check out their awesome Autumn Fest mid September through October - packed full of family fun on the farm!
Kashtuk Bowcraft shooting one of my horsebows (new design)
In The News
Nov/Dec 2016 Issue of The Backwoodsman Magazine
Mead Longbow's article pages 68-70 written by Mike Tucker
Mead Longbows Live on Louisville, KY's WDRB TV (new design)
Mead Longbows featured on Wide Open Spaces written by Alex Burton
Mead Longbows featured product review in Primitive Archer Magazine
"The bow I bought from you is awesome!"
"Love the bow. It's the easiest one to shoot ever and has that amazing speed."
(James attended one of my private bow building workshops.)
"I just finished my bow and took the first few shots. Feeling good and stable and fast! Thanks Dave you da man!"
"I just wanted to give a huge thanks to Dave Mead for the incredible target bow I bought. It's quick as a whip and so much more fun than my 50# hickory longbow. The quick shipment before me moved to my new duty station was greatly appreciated."
"I had an unexpected gift of a free afternoon, so I unpacked and attacked the kit Dav-o sent out. To say the finish work on the parts kit was lacking would be an understatement. But don't get me wrong, it is JUST cosmetics! (You want pretty, then pay a pretty price, this kit is a smoking steal!) I screwed around cleaning up tool marks and refining details until I finally HAD to start following the YouTube instructions. I photo/video documented the process and further used up time, and still was shooting the first arrows in just over 3 1/2 hours.
I chose to make it a solid bow and not a take-down and dithered around changing some of the mating surfaces between limb and riser. I did NOT modify the limbs, riser, angles, or any critical.design feature. I am a bowyer with 15 years experience and several hundred self-bows worth of experience. What I did were refinements and unless you have serious experience, just assemble what you get. David's kits, if they are like mine, will be fine AS IS. My 26 inch draw was just fine and she vomited arrows with some serious heat! Makes me wanna go find my chronograph and see just what speeds I am getting. No doubt this would push a single blade broadhead through the boiler room of any and all North American game. I would not hesitate to carry this for anything from squirrels to elk."
"I recently built one of the DIY kits from Mead Longbows. This style of bow has interested me for a long time, but back when I was shooting often they were always expensive and I was more interested in learning to make bows. So when I saw Dave's DIY kit I knew I needed to make one. He does a great job with his video instructions, and it is a really unique bow. I love that he utilizes bamboo so well for the limbs, and having it be a folding takedown is nifty when packing for trips. The version I have is one of the original ones, which he has replaced with a newer geometry that is more efficient, as well as a longbow like version."
"The bow kit was awesome and I plan on getting to a point where I'm able to make a bow from a stave. It shoots great!
I'm thrilled with the bow. Thank you so much for the quality product and personal service."
"Dave, this bow is awesome! It's so accurate, sturdy, light weight, and looks amazing."
"Thanks to Dave for all his help and support. I'm very happy with the end results.really enjoyed this project!"
"This thing is awesome! Also I have shown this bow and your handmade arrows to many people the response is awesome good stuff my friend!"
"I live near Berea, Ky and every year I look forward to attending some of the Berea Learnshops. I am an elementary school visual arts teacher, and the Berea classes remind me of the thrill I want to give my students by creating something new, a great rejuvenating jolt right before I start a new school year. This year I spied a class on Turkish Horsebow making, and another on making primitive arrows- how cool! I could tie this into our phys. Ed. Unit on archery, and with our fifth grade social studies about Native America-you know, collaborating with other classes and strengthening learning, teacher brownie points! And.... let's face it, this looked like fun! I knew I was in good hands with Dave Mead from the moment I arrived. After 24 years of teaching you can't help but notice how classes are presented and organized to you, and he did a great job. Our first task after an introduction on bows and bow making was to get to work sanding the carefully shaped pieces in the end of the bows. He had correctly assessed the time limitations to give us the most steps in making that could fit in the class time allowed. He had prepared with well thought out 'kits' to assemble each bow, while still keeping the steps challenging and engaging. We started in on several hours of hard, careful work. He demonstrated and explained well, he helped patiently, he did not rush or allow any feelings of frustration or worry about going too slow to creep in, he kept us all engaged in a light patter that effortlessly returned to the the task at hand as needed. My teacher brain observed that, with all our differences in skill and ability to pay attention, it would have been easy for the 3 hour session to devolve into 'herding cats', but he kept us all on task pleasantly and easily, and we all successfully made really nice, very functional bows AND had time for some archery instruction, at which he is also a master. The next day I returned confident that I would have an equally pleasant, informative and successful session to make arrows, and I was not disappointed.Dave Mead teaches with careful, well thought out intention, maintains a very positive learning culture, and as you talk with him, you realize he has a great depth of knowledge in his subject, he has made different kinds of bows for years, he looked to history and local, inexpensive materials to synthesize a very functional, affordable replica of the legendary Turkish horse bows that can actually break down into smaller parts for transport! He actively competes and is a master archer, and teaches that skill as well. I would with great confidence recommend anyone, child or adult, who is interested in archery to learn both making and using bows from him. I intend to continue learning from him and to move into actual horseback archery over time."
"I was delighted when I opened the package and held my very first horse bow. It is just as bowyer Dave Mead advertises it to be and more. It is unbelievably light , maneuverable and stable. The cast is amazing at 43 # and 26 inches draw. The 500 grain bamboo arrow that came with the bow... with broadhead... flies like a dart at all distances and delivers plenty of punch. That arrow consistently flies 200 plus yards. I'm using a non-mechanical release of the type "backyard bowyer " shows on You Tube and it works like a charm, providing more draw power and an extremely solid anchor, unlike my old - man's hands. Finishing my bow has been great fun . I'll finish my remaining hunting years with this great little bow.
My bow will be in the Arkansas woods with me for all of February. I'll send photos of everything the bow kills ASAP. Dave is extremely knowledgeable, friendly and promptly responds to questions. My next goal is to get my hands on one of Dave's sinew - backed horse bows . Dave sinews his bows for performance and not just extension strength.
Thanks, Dave , for making your horse bows affordable. Never thought I could afford one before Mead Longbows came along. Do yourself a favor... buy Dave's bow. You won't regret it."
"Picked up the bow today, it looks beautiful! I am greatly impressed with your workmanship, and also all that goes into all of the information and care in the longevity of these bows long after they leave your control. A light and deadly little bow, smooth draw with no stack, snappy release and drives those arrows deep into a round bale of hay. Thank you for your excellent work!"
Backyard Bowyer, Nicholas Tomihama's Unboxing and First Impressions (new design)
Mr. and Mrs. Eliot Productions reviews my horsebow (new design)
Survive 2 Thrive - Promo Video for their January, 20th 2018
Primitive Bow Class in Delaware, OH
Sigma 3 Survival School -
1 Day Mead Longbows Bow Class