This month I would like to make a tribute to the late Chad Holm, The founder and owner of Holm Made Traditional Bows. Firstly I want to thank Amy Holm the widow of late Chad for providing some pictures and a little write-up about her husband. It wouldn't happen without her help. I'm sure the readers will appreciate it as much as I do.
The world has lost a truly great man and bowyer. Chad left the archery world in August 2020 at the age of 49. I have never had the pleasure or honour to meet the man of even talk to him. But I know he is missed by all traditional archers. Especially anyone who knew him or has any of his bows. As an Irish archer, I am the owner of not one but two River Runners and hopefully more in the future. These bows will never leave me - keepers for sure.
Chad was a craftsman not only making works of art but also very functional bows. They were meant to be used and not hung on a wall and looked at. I use my two regularly. Everyone I have shown Chad's bows to thought they were stunning. It's with great regret I'm saying this, but we will never see a bow made by the great Chad Holm ever again. So anyone who has one - cherish it!
His legacy will be carried on in his family, friends and anyone he has touched with his craft. I'm sure Chad is looking down with a smile and more likely laughing at anyone who wilds one of his making and misses the target. And we all miss. I would also like to thank Brad Davis for providing apic of Chad showing a lady how to build a bow.
Now onto a lighter note: I'm going to review the two Holm Made River Runners I proudly own. At a glance, these bows are fabulous looking. Chad used the best of woods in his making. Both are 60 inches long. One is 47# at 28" the zebrawood and purpleheart one. The darker one is walnut I think not too sure and is 44# at 28". One thing is certain - both of these bows shoot as good as they look - which is awesome! My draw is 29 inches so they pull a bit heavier but not much. I normally shoot wooden arrows but I have found they love carbon ones, which fly really well from them. The carbon arrows weigh a total of 440 grains each. These are two bows I was very lucky to get my hand on. And will only become harder to find. As there will be no more. But I'm on the lookout for a Holm Made longbow. Which might I say are even harder to find. I haven't speed tested any of them but believe me when I say: they can chuck arrows with authority!
I have added some pics of these fabulous bows. Just to give you a glimpse of what this man was capable of. Hope you enjoy the read. If you have any questions don't hesitate to contact the magazine and I'm sure they will pass them on to me so I can respond.
Pics (starting from top) shows zebra wood and purple heart bows, quiver by Selway. Arrows custom made be D & M custom arrows. Custom hickory arrows. Quiver by Mike Yancy.
Photo by Layne Kennedy
From a young age, Chad always had a great work ethic, was into sports, and being an outdoor enthusiast, he dearly enjoyed hunting, fishing and trapping. What he set out to do, he accomplished it. He had always wanted to be a physical education teacher, so he went to college, got his degree, and was an excellent teacher.
In the mid 90’s he started to get interested in traditional archery. He began making wood arrows, collecting recurve bows and also making knives. Since he was a teacher and had the summers off, he was looking to form some kind of a business. In the early 2000’s he built two log cabins from scratch and sold them.
As he thought about his passion for Traditional Archery, he started making bows for himself and his friends. He learned everything by reading magazines and talking to other bowyers. In 2006 we moved to our home and he turned one of the garages into a shop. He decided he wanted to start making recurves and longbows and selling them - that's how Holm-Made Traditional Bows was formed.
Teaching during the day and building bows at night kept him very busy. By working hard, going to archery events, advertising in magazines and on the internet, he built up his business. He has shipped bows all over the world. Oh, how he loved to build bows!!! And he loved to talk about hunting… It saddens me to know he cannot build any more bows for anyone. I loved when a customer would call him up after receiving their bow and they were so happy with the craftsmanship and performance. Everyone loved their Holm-Made Bow. Chad’s Legacy is carried on in all the lives he has touched and all the bows carried in the woods.