In the lives of many MyOutdoorTV viewers, bowhunting is an integral part of each autumn season. From an antelope visiting a waterhole in late August to the guttural grunts of a whitetail chasing a doe during the rut, carrying a bow around each season is an addition.
For longtime Outdoor Sportsman Group personality and MOTV regular Levi Morgan, the life of a bowhunter is actually a never-ending one. In fact, he named his well-known TV show on Sportsman Channel just that, Bow Life TV.
A regular staple on OSG’s popular lineup of hunting programs, the show records the fast-paced, multifaceted journey of Morgan and his family as he shoots competitively coast-to-coast, bowhunts around North America, and lives off the land with several seasons worth of Bow Life TV episodes.
Morgan, who has dominated the world of competitive archery in a way that no one else has, lives the "bow life" during the proverbial 24/7/365 cycle, usually with a nearby camera of some sort ready to capture all the action.
Often referred to by industry insiders as the most dominant archer in 3D history, Morgan has always shot well en route to winning a huge number of tournaments.But in 2018, he had a season for the ages, winning a total of nine tournaments and some of archery's biggest titles. Those included becoming the 2018 IBO National Champion, taking the top spot in the 2018 ASA Classic, and capturing the Male Open Pro Shooter of the Year title. In taking home his 12th straight Male Open Pro Shooter of the Year title, Morgan finished off a remarkable year with an even more impressive feat of a dozen straight — an amazing accomplishment in his 13-year pro career.
As the calendar moved to hunting season, Morgan, his wife Samantha, and their young son Landon all tagged big whitetails. With a Dall sheep from the mountains of Alaska, several big mule deer, a solid pronghorn antelope, and a big caribou in the mix as well, Morgan made sure that 2018 was a year to remember in more ways than one.
Fast forward to this year and it was a trip around the sun that while incredibly successful in some ways — Morgan’s taxidermy bill has already included an Alaska spring grizzly, another Dall sheep, and an early-season mule deer in addition to whitetail success — didn’t see the veteran archer reaching the same dizzying heights of competition that he had known the year before.
For starters, Morgan confided on social media that he and his wife had suffered through a miscarriage this year. There was also a lot of hard work as they remodeled and opened their White Arrow Farm lodge in southwestern Pennsylvania. And with two sons, there was a calendar full of family activities — including a year’s worth of Little League baseball.
And then there was winning "only" three events in 2019. Even though Morgan finished in the "Top 5" in 10 of the 11 events he competed in — and finished in 10th place in that other tournament — this year wasn’t the rush to the podium that the Pennsylvania archer was accustomed to. He finished second in August to Dan McCarthy in the 2019 Male Open Pro Shooter of the Year competition, the first time in a dozen years that Morgan failed to win that competition.
When Wisconsin archery competition veteran McCarthy took home those top honors in the late summer of 2019, he did so by besting Morgan with a score of 2,122 to 2,106 — a number that ended Morgan’s reign at the top after a dozen years.
That caused Morgan to pull over on his journey back home to Pennsylvania from the competition — at a gas station, no less — and film a widely-watched Instagram video where he profusely congratulated McCarthy, thanked God for his success, apologized to his family for going into “robot” mode at competitions, and promised his fans that he would double-down on his efforts to reach the top of the podium again.
For those not familiar with competitive archery, that would be the equivalent of New England Patriots legendary quarterback Tom Brady winning a dozen straight Super Bowls, losing the 13th, and proceeding to tell his fans that he'd do better next year. Clearly, Morgan is in another realm of competition when it comes to shooting a bow.
“Man, what a great guy (and what) a competitor,” said Morgan on his nearly 10-minute Instagram video. “Not a more deserving guy of Shooter of the Year. He’s been the one literally, I mean just pushing, and pushing, and pushing through for all these years. Gosh, you know, so many times he would have won, so many times he almost won, and it would come down to a one point between me and him.”
This year, instead of McCarthy “nipping at the heels” of Morgan, it was the other way around as the archery shooter that many consider the greatest of all-time finished in second place. Hence, the heartfelt and humble video where Morgan congratulated his fellow competitor and thanked family, friends, and fans for their support.
“I always knew in the back of my mind, that if — that when — that streak came to an end, I just had a feeling that it would be Danny standing there and rightly so,” said Morgan on his video. “He just deserves it, has worked so hard, never quit trying, never gave up, never stopped.”
So popular is Morgan that his video — which apparently hit the mark in the social media world that he works very hard to succeed in — has already been viewed more than 17,400 times in less than two months following its release. But it’s also the kind of thing that bowhunting enthusiasts and competitive archery fans have come to expect from Morgan.
While the last decade plus has brought Morgan to many glorious highs, he pointed out that there’s also been plenty of tough moments as the stress of travel, competition, and trying to keep his historic streak alive continued. Add in the demands of family — he and his wife Samantha are parents to two young sons — and Morgan’s streak finally came to an end with the world watching.
“It just wasn’t meant to be — it was Danny’s weekend,” smiled Morgan on his social media video. “He deserved it.”
But then in true Bow Life TV fashion, Morgan began thinking ahead — promising that he would try and get back to the top of the podium that he wasn’t on for the first time since he began his pro career in 2007 as a 19-year-old.
“I’m so thankful to God for what He has allowed me to do,” Morgan said. “I’m glad to be out from under that stress, in a weird way, that I can just have fun again and just shoot my bow.”
His fans, both of his TV show and his dominance in front of competition targets, have come to expect nothing less.