Retired postal worker Elmer Ledgerwood made handcrafted bows and arrows all his life as a hobby. Now as he relaxes into retirement, Elmer discovered that he finally has enough time to open a workshop to teach others. According to KAUT-TV, the avid hunter opened up shop just next to his Oklahoma home with a supply of wood, bamboo and river canes. Here Elmer teaches the next generation of bow makers what goes into making a primitive bow.
“You can pick out ten different trees and only one will make a bow,” said Elmer. Things are certainly different now for the bow maker since he started learning the craft. With decades of experience and some time-proven equipment in his workshop, Elmer knows what works and what doesn’t. Each and every bow he makes is prized as a work of art and Elmer occasionally takes them out hunting.
“Every one of them is a little bit different but yet each is the same,” Elmer says. “It’s my heart throb. I probably like to make them better than I like to hunt, and I like to hunt.”
The challenge is also greater with primitive bows.
“I hardly ever shoot over ten or fifteen steps,” Elmer explained. The added thrill is part what keeps the master bow maker hunting.
Currently the workshop is kept crowded with students that watch Elmer attentively as he teaches how to construct quality bows from a variety of wood and bamboo materials. A small range set up with log panels sits next door and is perfect for trying out the workshop’s newest production.
Watch KUAT-TV’s interview with him below: