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    Museum of Bowhunting

In the rolling hills and farmland of southeastern Minnesota, just minutes off of Interstate 90, lies the singular, crowning testimony to North America's rich bowhunting heritage--a place to learn about bowhunting's history, a place to appreciate bowhunting's "rediscovery," a place to understand bowhunting's place in wildlife conservation and in our culture.

Pope & Young Club/St. Charles Museum of Bowhunting
(507) 867-4144


MUSEUM IS CLOSED!



Walk in the Footsteps of the Pioneer Bowhunters

In 1911 near Mt. Lassen in northern California, an Indian was captured.  It was determined that he is from a thought-to-be extinct tribe, the Yahi, and has never had contact with the “civilized” world.  He was called Ishi, which simply means “man” in the Yahi language.  Ishi is considered to be the last truly primitive Indian in North America. Anthropologists brought Ishi to the University of California to study him.

Dr. Saxton Pope arrived at the University as a surgeon and medical instructor in 1912.  He was assigned as Ishi’s physician.  Despite obvious and cumbersome language barriers, Pope and Ishi developed a friendship and Pope took an immense interest in the Yahi culture and how Ishi made bows and arrows and his hunting methods.

In 1915 Arthur Young meets Will “Chief” Compton at a Panama-Pacific Exposition in San Francisco and begins to learn about archery.  Young was a tremendous athlete - he played water polo, was a champion competition swimmer and an exceptional competitive shooter with both rifle and pistol. Compton introduced Young to Ishi and Pope, and, in the time that followed, the four made several trips into North California hunting - with Ishi and Compton as the teachers and Pope and Young as the eager students.


After Ishi’s passing in 1916, Young and Pope continued to share a common…and growing… passion for archery.  They made their own hunting tackle—aggressively experimenting and refining their equipment.  They, too, experimented and refined their hunting abilities - chasing deer, black bear, cougar and small game in northern California. 
Art Young made journeys to Alaska in 1922-23 to hunt brown bear, the giant moose and Dall’s sheep, during which he made a motion picture film of this trip (the first of its kind) entitled Alaskan Adventures. This movie, in DVD format, is available in the P&Y Store. Buy it TODAY!

The exploits of Saxton Pope and Arthur Young began to spark a new, and larger, generation of potential field archers.  Through Pope’s writing and Young’s lecturing, they shared with the nation a passion for this long-forgotten, romantic and challenging form of hunting.  They were the pioneers of modern bowhunting.




At one of Art Young’s lectures in Detroit, Michigan, a young automobile worker became enthralled with the idea of hunting with the bow and arrow.  That young man was Fred Bear. Young Fred Bear immediately began making archery equipment and, by 1933, had founded Bear Products Company. Fred introduced mass production to archery equipment, making and inventing countless adaptations of bowhunting equipment. His films, books, articles and television appearances captured the imagination of millions. He is arguably the most well-known and visible bowhunter of the 20th Century.
In the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s more and more people were taking to the bow and arrow.  But it was an uphill struggle for acceptance.  The “stick and string” was looked down upon by most of the hunting community as just a “toy.”  Game agencies, nationally, were skeptical and not convinced that the bow was an effective and efficient hunting tool.

In 1948 Glenn St. Charles, an archer, bowyer and archery shop owner from Seattle, Washington, became Vice-President of the NFAA.  Through the ‘50s, the NFAA strived to gain archery seasons around the country. St. Charles was appointed the chairman of a newly-formed NFAA Hunting Activities Committee in 1956.  The committee tackled the need to better the image of bowhunters and bowhunting and to prove the effectiveness of the bow and arrow as a hunting weapon.

St. Charles settled on a records system to recognize animals taken with the bow and arrow.  A program was established using, with permission, the Boone & Crockett Club’s scoring system.  The new program was announced in the February 1958 issue of Archery Magazine, to immediate and widespread appeal.  Then, in June of 1958, the first Awards Program was held in Grayling, Michigan, during which the first official World’s Records were named.

Two hectic years of refining the program followed.  During that time, a second Awards Program was held in Grayling, Michigan, in June of 1960.  At this meeting, attended by 35 bowhunters, the decision was made that an organization, separate from the NFAA, should be formed.  It would be called the Pope and Young Club, in honor of pioneer bowhunters Saxton Pope and Arthur Young.


The Pope and Young Club officially came into being on January 27, 1961, with Glenn St. Charles as the Chairman, and later as the first President.

With the underlying purpose of bettering the image of bowhunting and proving the effectiveness of the bow and arrow, the Club would record North American big game animals taken with a bow, and be dedicated to good conservation practices, quality hunting and fair chase. Immediately, conservation departments from throughout the country requested the records information to utilize in potential establishment of bowhunting seasons.




 

Records | Bowhunter/Conservationist | Fair Chase | Heritage | Youth

POPE & YOUNG CLUB NEWS | View All

 Kowa Optics Joins P&Y as New Corporate Partner
The Pope & Young Club is excited to announce that Kowa Optics has pledged to support the organization through their corporate partnership program. Kowa Optics has proven their commitment to protecting, promoting, and preserving the passion for bowhunting by joining the club as a Gold level corporate partner.
6/7/2021... »

 Convention is a Go
The 4-day event will feature great appearances by some of the best speakers and personalities in the industry, amazing live and silent auction items, informative seminars, immersive big game display with new world records, fabulous dinners, PYnt nights, and displays and product offerings from some of the top vendors in the industry.
5/27/2021... »

 BREAKING NEWS: The Pope & Young Club Museum of Bowhunting to be Relocated
The Pope & Young Club/St. Charles Museum of Bowhunting to join Johnny Morris’ Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium in Springfield, Missouri
5/27/2021... »

 Andrew McKean to Speak at 2021 Pope & Young Convention
Pope and Young, America’s leading bowhunting organization is proud to announce the addition of Andrew McKean to their speaker line up at the 32nd Biennial Pope and Young Convention being held in Reno, Nevada this July 14th-17th,2021.
5/3/2021... »
PHOTO-OF-THE-WEEK | View All
Robert R. Spratt
Barber County, KS
5/18/2021 - 5/24/2021



Testimonials | View All
"Lancaster Archery Supply is proud to continue our partnership with the Pope and Young Club as they increase their impact on the positive image of fair chase bow hunting and the future of our sport. We are happy to have LASs very own Chris Scott working to become an official Pope and Young Club measurer to assist bow hunters in our area. We are grateful for all the great things that the Pope and Young Club has done in the past and are looking forward to working with them in future initiatives."
Rob Kaufhold, President of Lancaster Archery Supply
"Sayersbrook Bison is pleased to announce our support of the Pope & Young Club. As an ethical and responsible bowhunter, lifetime P&Y member and owner of Sayersbrook Bison, I have a strong commitment to wildlife conservation and I greatly value the work that the Pope and Young Club does to promote and protect the heritage of bowhunting in North America. They have worked tirelessly to defend and protect North America's rich bowhunting heritage and values. I Greatly value the work they do to pr"
Rocco Verelli, Owner of Sayersbrook Bison Ranc
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The Pope and Young Club | PO Box 548, Chatfield, MN 55923