Lanham Traditionals
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210 Maplewood Drive
Columbia, MO 65203
Phone: (573) 424-0994

Home  Bowyer Bio Bow Info F.A.Q's How to Order Facebook Page Contact Us Photos

Bowyer Biography

My family has always been hunters, but mostly with guns. I became enamored with the bow and arrow after watching the Ashland Missouri Bow Club give a demonstration to my Cub Scout troop.  Next there was a college student, Tim Houser, who lived up the street from me.  Tim shot target archery in the field behind our houses. He took the time to teach several of us how to shoot properly.  Back then, I had to beg to use my father’s solid wood longbow.  

After the 6th grade, my parents moved to the edge of city limits in a new and still being built subdivision with two large lakes. Soon I became a “feral child” spending all my time outdoors with my brother and friends fishing and frogging on the lakes, hunting rabbits and squirrels in the woods below the lakes’ dams. Occasionally we would catch a glimpse of a deer but they were few and far between.  Back then, we hunted with those old, solid fiberglass bows.

Paper route money soon supplied me with my first real bow, a Ben Pearson Colt, bought at J. C. Penney for $29.00!  I attempted “serious deer hunting” in junior high school by sitting on a stump at the edge of a corn field with two arrows dressed in white shorts, white tennis shoes, and pink polo shirt…I wonder if that had anything to do with the lack of success?!?  There were so few deer back then, it became an “event” when you actually saw one.  You called all your hunting buddies and talked about it for a week.

I have always been one of those guys who likes making his own stuff. In the 7th grade, I was even run out of my Mother’s kitchen for burning the feather fletching on my first set of home-made arrows.  In 1974, for my first out of state hunt, I went to Canada to hunt moose with a 60 lb. Bingham kit bow that I had finished myself.  It was 1976 before I took my first bow kill, a black bear taken with a 68 lb. Bingham takedown bow on an Ontario spring hunt.  Later that year came a big muley doe in Colorado.  My first Missouri whitetail was a big doe in 1977.  Since then I have been blessed to hunt black bear on Prince of Wales Island, Alaska; caribou in northern Quebec; moose and bear in Canada; antelope, elk and deer out west; hogs and javies in south Texas. In 2009, I scored my 100th bow kill on big game by taking my largest whitetail deer to date.  It happened on the first day of bow season which also happened to be my birthday---what a day that was!

After years of hunting with “off the rack” bows, I ordered a custom recurve in 1989 from Jim Brackenbury.  After taking a cow elk, black bear and two whitetail bucks with this bow, I decided to try building my own takedown bow.  I got in contact with Jim Brackenbury and Wes Wallace.  They were extremely helpful and supportive of my attempts at bow making and sold me the necessary hardware.  At the same time, I had the good fortune to meet Jerry Pierce at the United Bowhunter’s of Missouri’s annual function.  He also encouraged me to give it a try.  He loaned me the video on bow making that he and Pat Cebuhar had made and even sold me my first set of materials.

The first bow was extremely heavy and I nearly broke my back trying to string it—literally, ruptured a disc in my low back that had me laid up for months.  With that lesson learned, my next attempt came out much better, a 52 lb. bow.  After completing 4 ½ bows, I decided to get serious and fine tune my skills and knowledge. In 1991, I enrolled in Mike Fedora’s bow making school.  (If you have old issues of Traditional Bowhunter 1992-1995 you will find my ads in them).

Unfortunately two rear-end car accidents in 1994 and 1996 had serious consequences for me in terms of the use of my arms and I had to give up doing custom work. It has taken me a long time to get back to being able to build bows again. This time I am no longer doing custom work to instead concentrate on building a line-up of “purpose built bows”.  This allows me to work when I can. Hopefully you will find something you like on the site. If you do, it is finished and ready to ship.  If you desire a custom bow, I suggest you contact my friend Wes Wallace at Wes Wallace Bows.  Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or would like to place an order over the phone.

Good hunting,

Rick Lanham

Rick Lanham

I believe in giving credit where credit is due.  I am most thankful for the advice, support and guidance of the guys/gentlemen/bow makers/archers mentioned above.  

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