The industry mourns another icon as Doug Walker passes. Our hearts and sympathies go out to Doug’s family.


Famed bowhunter. Industry leader, Hall of Fame recipient and magazine publisher was a legend, ‘lethal in the field.’

Doug Walker, a California bowhunting pioneer and record-holder who published a national magazine from his Squaw Valley home, died Saturday following a brief illness.

He was 80.

Mr. Walker died at Community Regional Medical Center after a week-long bout with pneumonia, said his son, Scott Walker.

“I think my Dad was the last bowhunting legend,” Scott Walker said. “He just loved everything about it.”

Doug with his old boss and friend Fred Bear swap hats.

A member of the National Bowhunters Hall of Fame, Mr. Walker’s résumé includes more than 100 big-game kills and several books on his favorite sport. He was also the first person in California to take all 11 of the state’s big-game species with a bow and arrow.

Doug with his Little Sweetheart bow.

Since 1975, Mr. Walker has produced “National Bowhunter,” one of the most widely read publications in the industry. Mr. Walker served as editor and publisher of the bi-monthly magazine. Pictures of Mr. Walker, wearing his trademark white beard and red bandanna, posing with one of his kills ran in every issue.

The walls of Mr. Walker’s study are lined with trophies collected from six decades of bowhunting. They include a 600-pound black bear from Alberta, Canada; an enormous buffalo from a South Dakota ranch, felled with a single arrow; a 10-foot-long alligator from Louisiana; and an extensive African collection.

“Doug was one of the real founders of bowhunting and remained prolific in his later years,” said friend Bob Fromme, who owns an archery store in San Diego. “He was pretty lethal in the field.”
Mr. Walker was born May 9, 1930, in Visalia. At 15, he lied about his age so he could join the Army, not wanting to miss out on World War II.

Formally introduced to archery during his 82nd Airborne training, Mr. Walker proceeded to make bowhunting his life’s work.

“When you take an animal with a bow and arrow, you feel like you’ve accomplished something because you had to use your own wits,” Mr. Walker said in a 2009 interview. “Just getting off a shot requires a lot of patience and skill.”

Mr. Walker is survived by his wife of 56 years, Betty; two sons, Scott and Michael; and three  granddaughters, one grandson and one great granddaughter.

Our thanks to the FresnoBee

Click here for:  Doug’s Straight Talk Interview