Traditional bowhunters talked about having their own organization for years, but it wasn't until May of 1999, at the Pope and Young Club Awards Banquet, that a meeting of interested bowhunters was held to discuss the possibilities of such an organization. An article by Glenn St. Charles, “IT’S TIME,” appeared in the Dec/Jan 1996 issue of TRADITIONAL BOWHUNTER MAGAZINE encouraging traditional bowhunters to form their own organization, and to create a separate identity distinct from the modern bowhunter. Many bowhunters agreed with Glenn, feeling it was, indeed, time. Out of this initial meeting came a second, smaller, meeting held in conjunction with the “Traditional Bowhunter’s Nationals,” which were held each year in Cloverdale, Indiana. The 15 to 20 bowhunters who attended this meeting became the nucleus of the steering committee which formed COMPTON TRADITIONAL BOWHUNTERS. Glenn St. Charles attended both meetings and was a major contributor to the formation of the organization. Glenn also formed the famed Pope and Young Club in the late 1950's to show the hunting world of the day that the longbow and recurve bow and arrow was a worthy hunting weapon and should be taken seriously...goals that few of today’s bowhunters recognize as necessities in that era.
It was agreed that the thrust of COMPTON TRADITIONAL BOWHUNTERS would be the promotion of traditional archery, it’s equipment and it’s ideals. This would be accomplished by educating, preserving, and advancing the public’s awareness of the American, Native American and European heritage of traditional archery, as well as by putting forth the positive aspects and enjoyment of using traditional archery equipment, in the field, in games, and in bowhunting. Everyone...young and old alike, current shooters and non-shooters, both modern and conventional equipment users would be targeted.
It was agreed specifically that COMPTON TRADITIONAL BOWHUNTERS should be about promoting traditional archery, rather than opposing modern equipment. However, this would not preclude COMPTON TRADITIONAL BOWHUNTERS from opposing (politically and financially) equipment, techniques and concepts perceived as specifically detrimental to the future of bowhunting. COMPTON TRADITIONAL BOWHUNTERS should be based on the positive aspects of traditional equipment.
It was agreed that specific efforts must be made to present traditional equipment and instruction to schools, camps, organizational groups, and youth programs. Toward that end, specific goals, guidelines and budgets should be established, and members with abilities in these areas should be solicited and utilized.
An annual meeting or gathering should be held with an eye toward creating an atmosphere of traditional camaraderie among all COMPTON members. It was agreed that such meeting/gatherings should emphasize the shooting of traditional equipment and the exchange of hunting information in a hunting camp type atmosphere.
Membership in COMPTON TRADITIONAL BOWHUNTERS shall be open to all who support the goals and objectives of COMPTON TRADITIONAL BOWHUNTERS.
COMPTON TRADITIONAL BOWHUNTERS officially came into existence November 29, 1999. Marvin Clyncke of Boulder, Colorado was the first president, Marvin Cochran of Harrisonville,Missouri was the first vice-president. Directors were; Jay St. Charles of Fall City, Washington; Steve Wolff of Crete, Illinois; G. Fred Asbell of Twin Lake, Michigan and Bill Wray of Creede, Colorado.
CURRENT: COMPTON TRADITIONAL BOWUNTERS has grown by following it’s planned course and has developed it’s identity by leading positively and working for the good of traditional bowhunters.
Each year COMPTON TRADITIONAL BOWHUNTERS draws traditionalists from all over the world to their COMPTON TRADITIONAL RENDEZVOUS, held in Berrien Springs, Michigan, in early June. This is a three-day gathering on the banks of the beautiful St. Joe River in southern Michigan. While shooting traditional bows and arrows is the first order, shooting them at flying targets and giant targets 150 yards distant elevates it to pure frolic. There are cooking contests, seminars on everything traditional, campfires and campfire round tables, as well as a Friday night free chili dinner for all. Meetings, raffles, auctions and drawing are laced through the weekend too. Considered by many to be the finest gathering of them all, the COMPTON TRADITIONAL RENDEZVOUS is an experience your whole family will enjoy.
COMPTON has, since its inception. taught young people how to shoot traditional equipment. A shooting class for all beginners and youngsters has been held at each Rendezvous. This past year there were around 200 youngsters in the class. It’s a great success, and each year we improve on what we’re doing. Nick Dedaker, our Educational Programs Coordinator, has done an excellent job. Since June '03, through Nick, Compton has donated close to 300 bows, around 700 arrows and multiple arm guards and gloves to various clubs, organizations and individuals.For our organization to remain strong we need new members who believe in traditional bowhunting and everything it stands for. We need people who understand the need to teach traditional bowhunting ethics and conservation to our kids. Members who love to watch the flight of an arrow, measure their success by the effort involved, and are willing to fight for our right to bowhunt in this great country forever.