When I was a kid and someone asked what I wanted for my birthday or Christmas, I always asked for a bow. On my 8th birthday my Grandma called out anxiously for me to help her. I rushed into the bathroom, sandwich still in hand, she said, “There’s something behind the door.” I opened it…

There, leaning against the wall, was a tall, thin box with a cellophane front; containing a new bow, arrows, a shooting glove, a quiver and a folded paper target!

Without realizing it I spontaneously gulped the whole sandwich down and immediately ripped the cellophane off the box. It was a 22 pound draw, wooden longbow and gear. I was nuts.

Sometimes things happen that change your life. But, on those remarkable and infrequent occasions, you never realize what just happened.

My Grandma  changed my life that day.

Behind our house in the city was a 13 acre woods lot and, there, that bow and I became one. Actually, with no archery instruction I was a lousy shot. However, I learned to read my quarry as well as when to freeze, when to follow, when to wait, when to sneak closer … and when to shoot at the small critters in that woods lot.

In High School I joined an Archery Club and got invited to go bowhunting for deer. Those 4 men changed my life too. But that’s a story for another time.

In the late 70’s I switched from the Bear Grizzly I had arrowed several deer with to a compound bow. But I retained a love for what today’s archers/bowhunters call traditional bows.


Contact Stik Bows at: Rich Emery, 4625 S 700 E, Portland, Indiana 47371 – Phone (260) 726-5492 – Email: remerystikbows@netzero.net

So when I had the opportunity to test a new custom Stik Bow recurve (made by bowyer Rich Emery) I jumped at the chance. Rich Emery took my specs and helped me choose the bow’s type of wood, fiberglass, etc.. The bow arrived quickly. I opened the box.

Indeed, this was a fine looking bow. I was instantly impressed with its smooth lines and simple but expert craftsmanship. The colors and grain of the smooth wood riser melded perfectly with the limb’s wood and fiberglass.

I strung the bow up.

Like the old friend it is, my large leather back quiver still claims its spot where my bows hang on the wall, quietly waited for this day. I put on the quiver, walked outside and took a shot at my target.


Several things slipped into my thoughts as I drew and took the first shot.

A very smooth, quiet shot I might add. This Stik Bows recurve was a nice shooting bow.

Its grip was the most comfortable one I could remember. It fit perfectly in my left hand.


My Stik Bows recurve drew very, very smoothly … and it did not stack up.

(Frankly, I had expected the bow to stack up, after all my recall of my Grizzly from year’s ago was that it stacked up. Just to be sure went inside and I strung it up, yup it stacked up.)

I went outside with it and took a shot with both bows at different distances.

Without a doubt the recurve from Stick Bows was noticeably faster and flatter shooting.


No hand shock on the Stick Bows recure either. And the same with the Grizzly. I went back in the house where I have a Root recurve that I shot my first buck with at 19. It made a noticeable vibration from my hand to my elbow.


My recurve from Stik Bows has a very attractive riser. Look at that riser and the grain of the wood and finish, simplicity and pleasing in design.

Over the years I’ve had the invitation to shot many of the latest custom recurves and longbows and gladly shot them. Most were much more expensive than this bow from Stik Bows, but they didn’t shoot any smoother, faster or better.


Before I finished this article I wanted to know more about this bow from Stik Bows. The internet had plenty of information. I learned that the company Stik Bows was founded by Don Dow and everything I read about Dow praised both his bows and his sincere interest in the many people he made bows for.

I found this quote by Don Dow, “It brings a smile to my face knowing that even long after I am gone, a part of me will still be sitting in the woods, and taking aim at the prized trophy.”

Unfortunately, Don Dow passed away several months ago. However, his legacy is carried on by the man who built bows with him for years, Rich Emery. I found similar complementary comments about Emery and the bows he builds.

And I found this quote from Rich Emery, “It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that Don Dow passed away this morning. He was a great bowyer and a great man. He was like a father to me, he took me under his wing and taught me what I needed to know. I will take the knowledge and keep Stik Bows alive. May the Angels keep him under their wings and deliver him to God”-Rich Emery

So I called Rich Emery up. He was a genuinely nice guy. A true gentleman and very modest too.

Rich Emery worked with Don Dow for 11 years, building bows side by side. Five years into their association Rich began experimenting with bow designs and materials. He worked with current reflex and deflex riser configurations and experimented with arrangements of internal and external components, including woods, fiberglass and carbon materials. And he tried a number of traditional and new bow design concepts.

The day came when Rich felt he was onto something and he showed Don Dow the new bows. Dow shot them and was impressed. The bows were very smooth, did not stack up, had extra speed, exceptional performance and shot with excellent consistency, arrow after arrow.

They incorporated Rich’s bow improvements into the Stik Bows bow offerings.


My recurve from Stik Bows is a swell bow. It’s a real good performer. It’s smooth to draw and it does not stack up.

My draw length has been a problem to me in the past when I shoot a traditional bow. I draw it further than I do with a compound and I anchor on my cheek, so my arrow goes back nearly to the end of a 32 inch shaft. And the bow’s poundage is measured at 28 inches, so I am actually drawing about 65 pounds. That, of course, is with no let off.

So I ordered this bow at 42 pounds and that puts it in around 60 pounds. My older two recurve bows stack up, but the Stik Bows recurve does not stack up, which makes it an extra nice shooting bow.

Rich Emery makes a quality bow and I recommend it to any traditional shooter as well as people wanting to shoot a traditional recurve or longbow.

And I’m looking forward to bowhunting with it this year and the years ahead.

Contact Stik Bows at:

Rich Emery
4625 S 700 E, Portland, Indiana 47371

Phone (260) 726-5492
Email: remerystikbows@netzero.net

On the Internet at: 

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