Saying Farewell To Three Bowhunting Legends
June 15, 2011
I feel I have to address this topic. It's very important -- to me, anyhow -- that I comment briefly on the passing of three of our sport's honest to God legends: Glenn St. Charles, Bill Krenz and Doug Walker.
I dare say that Glenn St. Charles' vision for the future of archery hunting set the stage for the sport millions of us enjoy today. St. Charles, co-founder of the Pope & Young Club, made it his mission to take bowhunting to the highest level by promoting its legitimacy and demonstrating its efficient lethality to non-believers many, many years ago. Simply put, bowhunting is alive today because of Glenn St. Charles!
During my tenure as president of the Club (1976-1984), Glenn and I were sometimes at odds. There was nothing personal in this, just occasional differences of opinion as we both worked toward making bowhunting and the Club ever stronger. In the end, it worked, and I believe our respect for each other was mutual. We have lost one of the greatest leaders our sport will ever have. Glenn passed on Sept. 19, 2010, at the age of 98.
Bill Krenz liked to be thought of as just another bowhunter. But everyone who knew him knew he was much more than that. In my opinion, he embodied the spirit of modern bowhunting. Strangely, the two of us had a common beginning, as both of us started our archery/bowhunting careers at the Kittredge Bow Hut in California. Though we were generations apart, the commonality of our beginning brought us together.
We shared hunts and campfires many places together, got drenched chasing turkeys in Texas and shivered in the cold of Iowa. Bill went from a teaching background in Wisconsin to Kittredge's when he decided on a new life course in archery and the outdoor business. Gaining knowledge every step of the way from years with Hoyt, PSE and Bear, Bill became one of our sport's premier equipment gurus and writers and eventually became founder and editor of Bowhunt America. He had a direct, no-nonsense approach to writing that served everyone who read him well. He passed on Dec. 3, 2010, the day after his 58th birthday. He went too young and too soon.
Doug Walker was a tireless promoter of archery and bowhunting for more than seven decades. A dedicated patriot who enlisted in the army during World War II at the tender age of 15 (lying about his age was the only lie I ever knew him to tell), his military service got him interested in archery. My association with Doug goes back to the late 1950s. During that time, Doug liked to tell folks he was with me when I shot my first big-game animal'¦left handed. And he was.
He stood right beside me as I lowered the boom on a trophy goat on Catalina Island. It was my way of beating the affliction of the right-handed yips. We went hunting a lot throughout the West. One time in Nevada, I woke him up from a back seat nap, whereupon he got out of the car and drilled a deer (we were on the way to his car so he could head home). The total elapsed time, including the shot, field dressing and loading, was about five minutes! Doug was a bowhunting icon, particularly in California, though his fame was widespread. His Autobiography of a Bowhunter is a classic and should be read by everyone who enjoys archery and bowhunting history. Doug passed on Jan. 29, 2011, at the age of 80.
To these strong, fine men we owe a debt. Bowhunting exists and is healthy, in large part, due to their efforts. All served the Pope & Young Club with distinction, and while some of you do not endorse the Club's record-book restraints, few if any can ignore its values and what it stands for.
To the St. Charles family, Sherry Krenz, Betty Walker and sons Scott and Mike, I am so sorry for your loss but I thank you sincerely for sharing these men with us. We would all do well to remember them.