Someone You Should Know: Hunting Bow Craftsman

Center, N.D. - Any avid bow hunter will tell you, the keys to success are patience and persistence.

"I shoot probably 2,000 to 3,000 arrows a year in practice before I ever go hunting. I shoot almost every other day, even in the winter," says Dale J. McKnight, the owner of Luck-E-Bows.

As it turns out, those same mantras, patience and persistence, apply to making hunting bows.

Dale McKnight knows from experience. "I like working with my hands," says McKnight. "To me, there's nothing like it."

Dale, with the help of his wife Rita, has spent three decades in this workshop near Center, building custom cabinets and furniture. Then a few years ago, Dale decided to branch out to bows—but his first attempt didn't go the way he'd hoped.

"I ended up with this bow that was beautiful, but it wasn't functional. And when I pulled the string, the limb broke."

It took him a few years to revisit those plans. Now, about sixty functional bows later, it's safe to say the craftsman has hit his mark.

"Anybody can go out and buy a bow and learn how to shoot it," McKnight says. "But to do it yourself the old way like they used to do—that's what I'm attracted to."

"The most gratifying thing is that people are really happy with our work," says Rita McKnight. "We've never gotten a call back for complaints."

The McKnights build traditional hunting bows: no cables, no pulleys, no scopes. Just wood, string, and intuition.

"You have to get used to instinctively shooting," McKnight says, "You don't have sights and all that. It's just so much more gratifying to harvest a deer with one of these style bows."

Patience and persistence—core values that have driven Dale for a long time. "I don't think you can succeed unless you fail first and learn by your mistakes. 30 years in the business, we're still learning."

Dale and Rita don't just make bows for adults, they've begun crafting youth bows to help light the spark for more young hunters.

Learn more about their work here or call Luck-E-Bows at 701-400-5803.

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