Book Review – “Longbow: A Hunting Life” by Jay Campbell

I was introduced to the book “Longbow: A Hunting Life” on Facebook
several weeks ago through a post on one of the Traditional Archery related pages I follow. I immediately “Liked” the facebook page Jay had created for the book and within a few minutes I had found my way to his website and placed an order for a copy. Within moments I had a facebook message from Jay himself asking how I would like the book signed, and a promise that it would be in the mail the same day. I think it was at that moment that I knew this book was going to be something special.

The book arrived a few days later and I set it on my nightstand to begin reading once I finished reading a copy of Jay Massey’s “A Thousand Campfires”. This was my final book of a complete set of Massey’s books I had purchased a few weeks prior. Little did I know that the timeing of the reading of the Massey books would prove to be fortuitous.

The following weekend I cracked open “Longbow” and the journey began. What a wonderful journey it was. Over the course of the next few days I traveled with Jay and his wife Karen from Florida to Hawaii, Alaska to Austrailia and a number of equally exciting (and sometimes unexpected) locations in between. Along the way I got to “meet” quite a few others as well including; Jay’s father Reid Campbell, Walter Naki, the Molokain guide and the unforgetable “Woodsman” Will Cooley, not to mention a re-introduction to the venerable Jay Massey.

Jay facing down the business end of a Water Buffalo

Mr. Campbell has a way of immersing you in the experience, as I read chapter after chapter I felt like I was sitting around a campfire in a hunting camp. It was as if I was listening to the stories of an experienced hunter sharing his life experiences both good and bad. Rarely do I find myself reading, enjoying each page and regretting that the book will eventually come to an end all at the same time. This is one of those books. I would love to tell you more, but to do so would rob you of the experience of reading this wonderful book yourself.

In closing, I must say that after reading the final pages I felt like I had known the author for years even though we have never met face to face. Maybe one day our paths will cross and I will get to shake his hand and who knows maybe share a hunting camp together. After reading the way he pens a tale I sure would love to hear Jay tell a hunting story while sitting around the campfire!

May all your arrows find their mark!


Jay Campbell’s book “Longbow, A Hunting Life” can now be purchased on the Simply Traditional website.

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  1. Spot on Steve ! I too enjoyed Mr. Campbell’s book immensely ! I even ordered 4 books as gifts ! I eagerly look forward to the next book he is working on . Their website Campbell Photography , is worth at look as well . Campbell photography is also on FB .

    Jim Quinn

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