MDC Cape Nature Center to host bow-making workshop Sept. 30 – Oct. 2

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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. – Those interested in creating a primitive yet wildly popular and sometimes competitive tool known as the longbow will have the chance at Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) Making a Longbow at the Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center. The program will be offered from 6 – 8 p.m. on Sept. 30, and from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Oct. 1 and Oct. 2.

Registration is required and can be completed online here.

Participants will explore the history of archery in North America from raw material harvest to bow design and performance. Then, using only hand tools and patience, will craft handmade hickory longbow works of art.

“I enjoy teaching this course because it opens up a forest full of opportunity for bow-making,” said course instructor and MDC Outreach and Education Regional Supervisor A.J. Hendershott. “This class is a fantastic introduction for those who are curious about how a wooden longbow is made.”

This event requires stamina, upper arm strength and woodworking skills are recommended.

MDC will provide interested individuals with a registration form and a detailed supply list. Cost of the bow stave is $110. Checks should be made payable to MCHF. Lists of references and resources for making future bows on your own will be provided. Participants are encouraged to attend all meetings to ensure foundational understanding.

All family members that plan to attend in-person and virtual events must be registered. To ensure the safety of all, in-person programs require family groups to practice social distancing, and masks are strongly recommended. Those interested are also reminded to follow current health recommendations which include:

  • Stay home if you’re sick.
  • Wash hands with soap and water and/or use hand sanitizer.
  • Be considerate of others.

Questions about this event can be emailed to MDC Outreach and Education Regional Supervisor A.J. Hendershott at

Cape Girardeau Nature Center is located at 2289 County Park Dr. in Cape Girardeau, and is open Tuesday through Saturday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. White Oak Trace Trails are open daily, from sunrise – 10 p.m.