3-Day Bow Building Class
Join me in the shop for three days and learn to craft a powerful, smooth shooting whitewood selfbow with basic hand tools. You’ll leave the course with a one-piece longbow suitable for both small and large game; built from start to finish by you. Together, we'll construct one of the tried-and-true hunting technologies of the ancients, and one that remains effective and widespread today.
Whitewoods (used to describe hardwoods that have thick sapwood and very light color) have been used to make bows for thousands of years. They grow abundantly in almost every environment and can make fast, durable weapons when well-executed. They generally require less work than bows made of osage orange because there's no need to "chase a ring", and their tension strength makes them more forgiving of a new bowyer's errors. Quality bow woods can often be found growing right in your backyard!
Osage orange is one of the most highly sought-after bow woods in the world, but it grows in limited areas of the central and southern United States. It's often twisted, wiggly, and full of knots, cracks, and other obstacles. When you buy it, it's expensive; and when you cut it yourself, you go through a lot of osage before you find one as straight and trouble-free as the everyday white wood tree.
It's my belief that in order to introduce as many people as possible to the art of bow-making (with their local and readily available hardwoods), we need to set aside the coveted osage tree. It's time to shed light on the high-performance bows that can be made from the oaks, hickories, elms, maples, hackberry and more.
In this course, we'll cover :
-Bow stave processing
-Longbow design and layout
-Roughing out your bow blank
-Heat treating wood
-Tillering a bow
-Bow string making
-Bow and arrow aftercare
-The fundamentals of instinctive shooting
Most of your time will be spent in the shop with tools in hand, but there's also a short walk through the property where you'll learn the basics of tree identification, reading bark, processing bow staves, and seasoning wood.
Each bow will be crafted to your personal draw length and desired draw weight. You’ll be challenged to navigate the character (imperfections) in the wood and learn tricks of the trade under the watchful eye of a master bowyer. Take years of trial and error off the learning curve with focused individual instruction. Small group sizes leave plenty of time open for one-on-one guidance and questions/answers.
The final afternoon will be spent learning the fundamentals of longbow marksmanship with your new bow. If you're already an experienced archer, you'll be set free to shoot in your preferred style. If you're a first-time archer or someone looking to explore a new method, we'll skip the complicated nuances of the modern shot cycle and cover a simple, intuitive shooting technique.
This course isn't meant to be a step-by-step walkthrough. It's my goal to help you understand the process and teach you the skills needed to make your own bows for life. Nothing quite compares to the feeling of a hand-crafted bow sending arrows downrange with authority, and I look forward to sharing that with you.
(all-inclusive, no tax)
Class is from 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM CST over three days.
(Friday, Saturday, and Sunday)
I like a relaxed shop environment but come prepared to work hard! It takes some physical exertion to turn a quartered log into a bow. You can expect to be standing on concrete for hours at a time and plenty of pulling/pushing with hand tools. Your bow wouldn't be as awesome if you didn't sweat for it, right?!
Must be age 19 or older to attend the class alone (sorry, Nebraska's rules).
Anyone under 19 must be accompanied by a parent. The parent does not need to buy an extra spot unless they also plan to build a bow, but will need to remain onsite while their son/daughter works regardless. Not recommended for anyone under age 15 due to the labor-intensive nature of the course.
You'll want to bring a pair of closed toe shoes to wear in the shop, and some shirts/pants you don't mind getting dirty.
~Materials and tools provided.
~Big, delicious lunches provided.
(Breakfast/Dinner not provided)
~Electrolyte mix provided.
~Shop has heat in winter.
~Shop has AC in summer.
~On-site shower available.
~On-site power is available.
~Free tent/car camping.
(No generators please)
~On-site fire pit.
~20 minutes from Omaha Eppley Airfield (OMA).
Cancellations & Rescheduling :
If you need to cancel or reschedule, please do so at least 30 days prior to the date of the class to avoid a $250 admin fee for refilling your spot last-minute. No exceptions. It's a big trip that's challenging for most to make on short notice, and late cancellations create difficulties for everyone involved. There's no fee for rescheduling on time, and cancellations made on time will receive a full refund.
Travel & Lodging :
You are responsible for travel expenses to and from the class. This includes any plane tickets, rental cars, fuel expenses, lodging (if not camping onsite), and food other than the provided lunches and snacks.
If you prefer to stay in a motel or hotel, the class location is only 10 minutes away from Bellevue, Nebraska and 15 minutes away from Omaha, Nebraska. There are many hotels, motels, restaurants and grocery stores inside 20 minutes drive. I can provide more information about local accommodations once you've booked a class.
Held in Plattsmouth, Nebraska.
Available 2022 Dates :
Three spots available in each class. Remaining openings are listed next to each date.
Sold out dates can open up if someone backs out. Feel free to submit a Contact Form for any date to get on the wait list.
April 22-24 (sold out)
May 20-22 (sold out)
July 15-17 (sold out)
Sep 23-25 (sold out)
Nov 11-13 (sold out)
Click here to book a spot! Once you receive an invoice, a $500 Good-Faith Deposit is required upfront to hold spot(s). Payment in-full guarantees your reservation. The refund policy is covered on the invoice.
Completed Class Bows:
Course Testimonials :
"My son and I attended Correy's first bow building class in 2021. It was an incredible experience - starting with just a hackberry stave, in three days Correy walked us through the entire process of building a fully functional hunting bow. With a small class, he was able to look over us each step of the way. He's a natural teacher, and given that we were all novices in this art, he took the time to explain each step in detail, watch over our progress, nudge us in the right direction, and of course fix our mistakes :). I recommend this class to anyone interested in bow making or just looking for a new experience."
"Building a bow to be able to hunt large game with has been a lifelong dream of mine. I'm a hunter, former Recon Marine and Scout Sniper, and have attended some of the best self-reliance schools in the world. The 3-Day course Correy put on was by far my favorite. His ability to work at each individual student's speed and tailor the timeline to keep us engaged, but at the same time not work us too hard, was impressive. He was patient with his instruction and explained all the details of building your own bow "from tree to stick bow" with zero power tools!
This was the best hands-on learning I've ever received. To make things better, the hospitality was rivaled by nothing I've experienced at this price point. We ate like royalty every day! I've left this course with a new skillset I can pass down to my son as well as an amazing experience that I consider one hell of a vacation. 10 out of 10. Five-star rating. I will be back for follow on courses for sure."
I think the Organic Archery bow building class was maybe the best money I've ever spent. I approached the class with an open mind and a concentrated effort to learn as much as I could about bow making, and at the end of the first day my head was overflowing!
Every question I had was thoroughly covered with explanation and/or example. From questions about bows, arrows and quivers, to safety equipment, hand tools and tool maintenance. The whole weekend was well planned and executed. While the atmosphere was fairly relaxed, we still managed to get a ton of work done each day.
Beyond the experience of building my own bow for the first time, the level of hospitality shown to three strangers simply cannot be described. The good food and the ongoing friendship so freely given will never be forgotten. Thanks again!"
"This particular class was above and beyond anything I expected. The camaraderie was incredible. I didn’t know anyone prior to arrival. I left with three great relationships and hell of a bow! I have so much pride in the bow that I came home with. You truly get to hand carve your own bow - no power tools! Correy provides assistance and expertise where needed, but you will do the majority of the work. He coaches you through each step and explain why you are doing it. Correy’s knowledge and experience with bow building is unmatched.
You can camp out on his property or get a hotel. I highly recommend camping. You get the full primitive experience. It was awesome to be able to unplug over the weekend. You will also eat some incredible food, and the local restaurants are great as well.
Correy went out of his way to make our experience the best it could be. I attended a summer class with extremely hot temperatures, and he had created a makeshift out door air conditioning unit! The thoughtfulness and attention to detail was very much appreciated! If you are wondering if you should take the class, you should! It’s worth every penny! Grab some buddies, your spouse, or show up by yourself and take the class. You will have an incredible bow by the end of the weekend, and an experience you'll never forget!"
"What an amazing workshop! We learned all the basics as well as some pro tips when it comes to building. You should come prepared to work hard because it was a physically demanding process. It was fun to see the stave of wood we had in the beginning turn into this beautiful piece of art. Shooting on the third day was the most amazing experience knowing I made this majestic bow.
Overall, it was a very fulfilling and satisfying course. Correy was a master of the bow. He provided us with plenty of useful knowledge that will be hard to attain elsewhere. He did a perfect job splitting his attention between the three of us and he pitched in and helped when we needed it. I honestly think this is the best place, and Correy the best person to learn from. Finally, the food at lunch was delicious every day and Correy had such a welcoming energy into his space, life and home. I recommend this class to anyone interested in building a bow.
PS - If you take the class in the future, say hi to Bruce for me. I'll miss that little fella :)"
"The opportunity to build a bow with one of the greats in the trade is a rare and treasured experience. This bow building class is just that! I had previously attempted a few selfbow builds based on YouTube videos. I can tell you, this class is an absolute gamechanger! Under Correy’s attentive eye, you're able to evade the many pitfalls that often plague novice bowyers, putting you years ahead of where you'd be figuring it out yourself. Correy shares his knowledge and experience with you, while patiently teaching at your level and having fun conversations along the way.
There were only two of us in the class and hanging out working on bows, swapping stories, and chowing down on some of the best dadgum provided lunch I’ve had made this a truly memorable experience. The skills you learn in this class alone are worth the price, not to mention the fact that you also head home with an properly crafted longbow. Taking the wood from stave to bow yourself brings a level of connection to the final product that you wouldn’t have just purchasing a bow.
This experience is honestly priceless! I would do it again in a heartbeat to further refine my skills. Any level of previous experience, from greenhorn to seasoned expert would benefit from this class. 5-stars!"
"Organic Archery" pretty much sums it up! Taking a natural 6' long section of a tree trunk and turning it into a beautiful hand-crafted longbow is a process and experience not to be missed. The gorgeous hackberry bow I now have resulted from three days of Correy's knowledge and his innate ability to share it; a meaningful reflection of the camaraderie, learning and fun that I'll never forget.
Looking back now, it makes me think of the Native Americans enjoying the same process. Selecting a tree, transforming it into a weapon and an art piece, braiding a string and shooting countless arrows the way we did over the weekend. It was so satisfying to step away from work and the daily grind to focus on the process of a bow coming together.
Bucket list item checked, and I'm still stuffed from all the delicious home cooking! Thank you for everything!"
"The 3-day bow building workshop was an incredible experience! The process of taking a seasoned 6-foot piece of hardwood and turning it into a functional weapon with only hand tools is both physically demanding and incredibly satisfying. Correy's level of knowledge and experience combined with the way he shares/teaches that information makes for an informative, fun and satisfying experience. Not to mention the awesome bow I got to take home!
The hospitality, food, and camaraderie can't be beat. 10/10 would take this class again and any other courses offered. Well worth the price!"
"Correy is a true craftsman and a gentle warrior. His work ethic, attention to detail and humble spirit reflects in every bow he creates. I had the privilege to build a bow with him and to be completely honest, I cannot wait to bring a group with me next time and build another one. I crafted a Hackberry Longbow with a 55# pull and a 24" draw.
This workshop was a gift from my wife and the resulting bow is one of my most cherished possessions. If you have the luxury of time, I recommend building a bow in one of these classes. If you have some extra money and a desire for a quality bow, invest in one from Correy. You'll be grateful every time you pick it up. Spending time with Correy and the class was the highlight of my summer.
Thank you for everything brother. Be well!"