March 21, 2013

Touch of Nature hosts bow class April 19-21

by Joaquin Norman

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Master bowyer and arrowsmith Bob Linksvayer will share his expertise in archery and primitive life ways skills during a three-day bow class at Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Touch of Nature Environmental Center.

The class is from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., April 19-21, at the Upper 40 cabin location. This event is open to anyone over the age of 18, but limited to the first eight students to sign up.  Workshop registration $385, and students will receive a detailed list of supplies they need and plans for a bow bench once they register.  The package includes lunch and free on-site camping, with overnight lodging also available.

Participants will learn from beginning to end how to construct a primitive eastern woodland- style bow built on the basis of their body measurements.

“This is great for students and anyone who participates because at the end of the three-day class they will know how to construct a primitive bow, from harvesting the wood in the forest to constructing the actual bow and talking about arrows. The bows participants will be a workable hunting bow,” Scott Ferguson, Touch of Nature program coordinator, said.

This is the first time Touch of Nature has offered this program, but organizers hope to make it a recurring annual or semester event.

Linksvayer built his first bow at the age of 13 and has been building all-wood bows and arrows from natural materials for more than 50 years.  He founded the Primitive Archers of Illinois, a primitive archery club, where he and other members share primitive life skills.

During the weekend, Linksvayer will bring to life his knowledge and sharply honed skills in primitive archery, along with his proficiency in crafting and using stone tools. His presentations and demonstrations will focus on self-bows, arrows, strings and other related equipment built from natural materials.

For more information or to register, contact Ferguson at 618/453-1121, ext. 220, or by email at, or visit