Marc's Bows & Arrows
Welcome, my name is Marc St Louis and my craft is the bowyers art. My dad was an archer/bow hunter who made his own archery equipment for hunting and target shooting. He also taught archery at the military base where he worked. My brothers and I were therefore introduced to archery at a very young age. As a consequence, hunting with a stick and string has always been of keen interest to me. As a boy growing up in Northern Ontario, where I still reside, I was quite often out with bow and arrow hunting birds and small game. Later on as I grew up I started making bows and arrows for hunting large game. This is where it has brought me.
My passion is making bows and the bows I make are all made using natural materials just like they were hundreds of years ago. If you come to my site looking for bows of fiberglass or carbon fiber then you have come to the wrong place. I am not a manufacturer of bows but an artisan. The bows I make are custom made to suit the individual and unique onto themselves. I have been making my own bows and arrows for hunting for more than 40 years and according to many I am quite good at it. I have and still write articles about making bows and have shared my knowledge with many through internet message boards, emails and magazine articles. I have a column in the Primitive Archer Magazine called "Ask PA" where I answer technical questions from people on the making of wood bows. I have also taught many in groups or one on one on how to make bows. Many years ago I experimented with and perfected a method of tempering wood with dry heat that revolutionized wood bows. This has become so popular that it is now commonplace to see bows that have been heat-treated to increase their performance and my process is being used even by well known bowyers. I wrote a chapter in the world famous Traditional Bowyers Bible series volume 4 on this process.
On to my bows.
Here is a look at some of the bows I have made over the last few years. Some of these are profile views of certain bows at full draw to show how a properly tillered bow of different styles should look like and others are pictures of braced bows or bows at rest. I have added a brief description of these bows to give viewers a better idea of what they are looking at. Above you will find navigation buttons that take you to other areas of my website that deal with specific types of bows and their construction and other things dealing with archery at its most basic form. You will find a brief description of what these pages deal with at the top of the page. Many of the bows in these pictures have been sold or were custom made for people but I do still have a few in stock.
Below is a bow I made for a gentleman in South Carolina. This is a selfbow made of heat-treated Elm and is a deflexed static recurve. It's draw weight is 50# at a 29" draw length. It is very fast and is a smooth shooting bow.
Below is a custom made Bamboo backed Rosewood bow I made several years ago for a guy in Wyoming. This style of bow is commonly called an RD (Reflex Deflex) bow and they are high performing and easy handling bows.
This next bow is an English Warbow style made of Yew and was made for a fellow in Minnesota. This bow was made from a high quality piece of Pacific Yew and pulls just under 100# at a 32" draw length. It is tipped with Buffalo horn nocks.
Next in line is a short deflex recurve Elm bow I made for an article I wrote for the Primitive Archer Magazine. This bow is the product of an idea I had several years ago on how to make improvements to flight bows I had made in the past. This bow proved itself by attaining arrow speeds of more than 240 fps with very light flight arrows. The draw weight of this bow was 43# and the arrow used in testing weighed in at 220 grains.
This next bow was a special order from a fellow in England. He requested a Yew Warbow, with provided dimensions, of a bow found on the Mary Rose, a bow that would have been used in the middle ages. I used top grade Yew for this bow and the end result was a bow with a draw weight of 150# at a draw length of 32" with an overall bow-length of 83". You can see from the picture that I was unable to pull this bow very far free hand due to its extremely high draw weight.
This bow that you see here is a composite bow I made for a guy in CA. This bow is a deflex recurve made from Pacific Yew backed with White Ash. The guy it was made for has a long draw but wanted a short bow for hunting in a tree stand hence my decision to use Yew. The bows pulled 70# at a 31" draw length. As you can see from the second picture he was able to take a very large pig with this bow and a stone tipped arrow.
Hi performance recurves have always been my main interest. Many years ago I made a number of highly reflexed sinew backed recurves using a variety of local hardwood species. These bows were a lot of work to make but the end result was phenomenal performance out of a wood bow. Here are a few pictures of some of these bows
Then came the days of heat-treating. For many years my primary interest had been in the making of high performance sinew backed bows and making a sinew backed recurve was/is a lot of work. Then I came upon the information that heat was commonly used in the old days to rejuvenate wood bows, this is when wood was basically the only material being used for bows. There was also the common knowledge that fire was used to harden wood. I pondered this information and decided at one point to do some tests. These tests lead to the birth of heat-treating and the discovery that a properly heat-treated recurved and reflexed bow was fully the equal in performance to a sinew backed recurve but a lot less work to make. Below is a picture of the first bow I ever heat-treated, and the first heat-treated bow in modern history. The process took off from there and has become one of the most popular method of increasing performance in self-bows. The process gained such popularity that some even tried to claim the process for themselves.