In 1983 a group of like-minded archers gathered to celebrate a very special bow. The longbow wasn’t just a tool, but a way of doing things. A spiritual change of pace from the hustle of modern society. In their hands, it became a conduit of energy and enthusiasm. A torch to be passed down through the generations to preserve the beauty and wonder of a simpler time.

They caught lightning in a bottle, and the Michigan Longbow Association (MLA) was born.

Several decades have passed, and little has changed, save for the fact there are more of us. We are still here: laughing, camping, and flinging arrows together.

What we do

It is the mission of the Michigan Longbow Association to do the following:

  • Preserve and spread the true spirit of archery.
  • Bind together people with a mutual love for the longbow.
  • Encourage the use of and respect for the longbow in all its forms, including tournaments, target archery, and lawful hunting.
  • Educate the public in the use of and respect for the longbow as an effective and suitable weapon for the hunting of game and fish.
  • Cooperate with organizations and individuals interested in perpetuating the use of the longbow.
  • Encourage the study and art of crafting archery equipment.
  • Support and honor organizations and individuals who have made notable contributions to the sport of archery.
  • Promote and respect those values, activities, endeavors, and places associated with the longbow, including camaraderie, woodcraft, conservation, respect for excellence, the thrill of the chase, the beauty of nature, and the spirit of all things wild.

You can help

The longevity of the MLA is in the hands of our future members and we aim to fill those hands with longbows and arrows whenever possible. Fortunately for us, this isn't difficult. All it takes is a single spark to ignite a lifetime of camaraderie and excitement behind the arrow. We are all capable of creating that spark.

We admittedly are a rather unique group of archers and for some of us the passion of being into ‘the true spirit of archery’ compels us to share our joy and love of the sport.
— Denny "Ol' Sagamore" Every

Longbows mean adventure, fun, and possibility, and we do everything within our power to build on that trifecta and make every archery experience memorable for people of all ages — our youth in particular. MLA kids are always occupied and are continually learning — about archery, about life, and about themselves. 

We believe that every adult is a potential member and that every kid is an MLA kid. All we need to do is seek them out, which can be as easy as a friendly conversation with a friend or interested stranger.

In the Public Eye

The Michigan Longbow Association has become a dynamic partner in the Michigan outdoors community. Through traditional archery displays, lectures and shooting programs the MLA is reaching many individuals who have never heard of or had the opportunity to participate in the great sport of traditional archery. Not only does the MLA sponsor their own activities like the Great Lakes Longbow Invitational, the Winter Awards Banquet and the Spring Shoot, it also teams with other organizations to teach the art of instinctive shooting along with traditional ethics and values. The MLA has worked in coordination with the Boy Scouts of American, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Michigan Parks and Recreation, Michigan Public Schools, Pheasants Forever, and many other private and public outdoor organizations.

Should you have a need for our service, please let us know how we can help to improve your program through the joy of the longbow. Also if you can lend a hand please volunteer to help out at the numerous events that the MLA is involved in. Remember that many hands make light work in this continuing labor of love.