About GTA and Fletcher the Arrow Maker

Why do we do this?

I have been shooting the bow & arrow since I was about 4 years old.  The real ‘kick’ came with my Boy Scout Archery Merit Badge in 1964.  I earned it from Len Disbrow, who was ‘Mr. Archery’ of Montana.  His home was a veritable archery museum, and he put a lot into me since I showed higher than normal interest in the ‘crafts’ of archery beyond just the shooting.  Since then, I have been making arrows and strings for sale to individuals, but also am dedicated to support youth programs such as Boy Scout and Cub Scout summer camps, and other youth and church camps.

Archery for me turned from hobby to ‘obsession’ in about 1985 when the volume of strings and arrows for a broader range of camp archery support began to increase.  In 1990 I was approached by some members of my ‘Mountain Man’ club and asked how hard it would be to make ‘primitive’ bows and arrows for use at a Rendezvous.  I had been making ‘semi-primitive’ arrows for presentation awards for the Boys Scout Order of the Arrow and the Cub Scout Arrow of Light, so the jump to a real shooting arrow was not that tough.  My first dozen given to the club resulted in orders for about 10 dozen more.

Since then, the primitive archery events are catching on like wildfire at most Rendezvous in the Pacific Northwest. You will find my arrows being used by many of these archers, and very often by the top place shooters.

(Rendezvous history http://fortbridgerrendezvous.net/?page_id=2 , Schedule http://wamuzzleloaders.org/RENDEZVOUS%20SCHEDULE.htm )

Of course to shoot primitive arrows, you need primitive bows.  It turned out that the availability of reasonably priced all wood bows was very limited and in 2000, I began making a reasonable price entry level bow. I have added other models, wood types and accessories since then.

In 2002, I was approached by a friend at Rendezvous who shoots my bow and arrows.  He said he also like to do the SCA events (Medieval archery competition http://www.sca.org/links/about.html ), and could I make him some ‘Olde English’ arrows.  I had already done a trial based on some photos I had seen of the ‘Mary Rose’ type arrow http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Rose – complete with bodkin made in England.  I showed him that and made him a dozen.  He showed them off at several events and that has led to many dozens more.