MDC’s Cape Girardeau Nature Center to host in-person bow-making workshops in October

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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 get the chance at the Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) “Introduction to Traditional Bow-Making” at the Cape Girardeau Nature Center. The program will be offered Oct. 1 from 6:30-9:30 p.m., Oct. 2 from 8 a.m.-5 p.m., and Oct. 3 from 8 a.m.-4 p.m.

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 Southeast Regional Education Supervisor A.J. Hendershott. “So many Missouri hardwood trees will make a great bow. This class is a fantastic introduction for those who are curious about how a wooden longbow is made.”

Registration is encouraged and can be completed online at

To ensure the safety of all, this program requires participants – limited to age 15 and older – to observe social distancing and to wear a face covering. Those interested are also reminded to follow current health recommendations which include:

  • Stay home if you’re sick.
  • Have soap and hand sanitizer.
  • Be considerate of others.

This traditional bow-making program requires stamina. Upper arm strength and woodworking skills are recommended.

Cost for materials is $110. MDC will provide interested individuals with a registration form and a detailed supply list. Participants are encouraged to attend all meetings to ensure foundational understanding. Lists of references and resources for making future bows will be provided.

Questions about this event can be e-mailed to MDC Conservation Educator Mary Beth Factor at More information about this event and other upcoming activities at MDC’s Cape Girardeau Nature Center can also be obtained by calling 573-290-5218. Staff at MDC facilities across the state are holding virtual programs. A listing of these programs can be found at

Cape Girardeau Nature Center is located at 2289 County Park Dr. in Cape Girardeau.