Howard Hill Bowhunter


AH elite
Sep 3, 2009
Reaction score
Member of
Tanzania, Nepal, Canada,
Howard Hill, Bowhunter (1899-1975)


Howard Hill (1899-1975), Archer. Howard Hill, the first white man to kill an elephant with a bow and arrow. Notice the hole in the skull where afterward Hill attempted to shoot the skull.

Howard Hill was an archer who was unofficially referred to as the "World's Greatest Archer". He is the only person to win 196 archery field tournaments in succession. He was inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in 1971 for his skill in archery.


Howard Hill, Bowhunter

He would perform by doing difficult trick shots like shooting an apple or even a prune off of someone's head from as far as sixty feet, and then would likely top that by shooting at an even smaller target from the same distance or maybe even longer. He put out several short documentaries on archery, often featuring himself performing other trick shots like shooting a flipped coin from a distance or splitting a rolling ball made of wood. He would also sit on the ground and push his bow with his feet while pulling the arrow back; even from this position he was able to hit the bullseye.

• Cruise of the Zaca (1952)
• Deep Sea Fishing (1952)
• Tembo (1951)
• Arrow Artistry (1951)
• Battle of Champs (1947)
• Cavalcade of Archery (1946)
• Wild Boar Hunt (1940)
• Sword Fishing (1939)
• The Last Wilderness (1935)

Technical advisor and archery instructor
• Across the Wide Missouri (1951)
• The Bandit of Sherwood Forest (1946)
• Buffalo Bill (1944)
• The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)

During his performance as stunt archer for the film The Adventures of Robin Hood (in which Errol Flynn plays the title character), Hill accomplished the most iconic archery shot of all time: Robin Hood splitting one arrow with another. In an episode of MythBusters, none of the cast were able to replicate the end to end splitting of an arrow, and it is concluded that Howard Hill used an arrow shaft made of bamboo, not wood, for the famous shot.


Howard Hill with Lion

Byron Ferguson, traditional bow hunter and trick-shot (Hill's successor in archery showmanship), was able to perfectly split one arrow with another using a modern laminated longbow for the History Channel special "Extreme Marksmen". The average archer has a chance to shoot a "Robin Hood" (splitting an arrow with another) every 1 in 10,000 shots.[citation needed] Byron Ferguson, however, did not split a wooden arrow from nock to tip, as was portrayed in the movie, but telescoped a modern aluminum arrow into another. The aluminum and carbon fiber arrow shafts used by modern archers are more consistent and straighter than wood arrows, making for more consistent archery shots. These facts make Howard Hill's feat more impressive since he used only cedar wood arrows. Hill had, however, designed and used specially made aluminum shafts to hunt rogue elephants in Africa for his full length, color film Tembo.


Howard Hill with Leopard

The splitting of the arrow story is refuted by Hollywood stuntman Buster Wiles, in his book My Days With Errol Flynn. In the book, Wiles revealed that although Hill had split the end off of several arrows, he had been unable to split the arrow exactly as scripted (from end to end), and finally a specially constructed arrow with a large bladed head had been used, shot along a concealed wire. Nevertheless, Hill's accuracy was so great, he regularly hit the smallest of targets in live performances, as well as for films.

Both Wiles and Hill were long time friends of Errol Flynn and frequent guests at his house and on his yacht.


The Legendary Howard Hill

Official ABC Game Records
• Lynx - 43 lb.. live weight, taken in Canada by Howard Hill of California.
• Moose - 800 lb.. live weight, taken in Wyoming in late 1940's by Howard Hill of CA.
• Javelina - 66 lb.. live weight, taken in Arizona by Howard Hill of CA in late 1940's.
• Mountain Sheep - Had 11/2 curl of horns. 15 3/4 inches around base of each horn.
• Taken in Wyoming in 1940 by Howard Hill of CA.
• Mountain Goat - 7 inch horns, 300 lb.. live weight. Taken in Wyoming by Howard Hill of CA around 1940.
• Alligator - 90011 score. Measured 9'11" tip to tip. Bowbagged in Florida by Howard Hill in the '30's. Howard lived in Florida then.

Hunting with a bow appealed to Howard much more than did target archery. Consequently, his love of hunting was to take him to all parts of the world following the game trails and pitting his skill against all kinds of game, some that nearly cost him his life. Howard's greatness is probably reflected most in his long list of game taken with bow and arrow, dating back to 1925 when he bagged his first moose and white tail deer while on a hunting trip in Canada. From 1925 until he passed away in 1975, Howard compiled a record of kills that will undoubtedly never be equaled.

The following is a partial list compiled from Howard's field notes showing his BOW & ARROW KILLS:

Gane Killed in Africa

• Egyptian Goose......1
• Sand Grouse......4
• Guinea Fowl......10
• Lesser Bustard......6
• Greater Bustard......2
• Golden Crested Crane......1
• Marabou Stork......2
• Spur Fowl......6
• Ducks......12
• Hornbill......1
• Buzzard......3

Big Game
• Elephant......3
• Buffalo......1
• Lions......2
• Leopard......1
• Zebra......1
• Impala......4
• Wildebeest......2
• Thomson's Gazelle......2
• Hartebeest......1
• Grant's Gazelle......2
• Wart Hog......3
• Forest Hog......1
• Cheetah......2

Reptiles and Fish
• Crocodile......13
• Rock Python......3
• Spotted Cobra......1
• Black Mamba......2
• Horned Viper......12
• Catfish......12
• Captain......1

Other Animals
• Jackals......2
• Hyenas......4
• Bat Eared Fox......3
• Mongoose......4
• Spring Hare......6
• True Hare......8

Game Killed in North America
Big Game
• Buffalo......1
• Moose......4
• Elk......3
• Wild Jackass......12
• Black Bear......6
• Grizzly Bear......1
• Mule Deer......27
• White Tail Deer......7
• Dwarf Deer......2
• Black Tail Deer......36
• Pacific Coast Deer......4
• Pronghorn Antelope......4
• Mountain Sheep......3
• Wild Goat......129
• Mountain Goat......2
• Peccary......6
• Wild Boar......101
• Cougar......5
• Jaguar......1
• Lynx Cat......3
• Bobcat......12
• Timber Wolf......1
• Coyote......5
• Bull Hairy Seal......6
• Bull Elephant Seal......1

Small Game
• Badger......6
• Fox......12
• Raccoon......25
• Beaver......3
• Armadillo......3
• Rabbit (estimate)......1500
• Opossum......6
• Gray Squirrel......20
• Red Squirrel......9
• Ground Squirrel......500
• Flying Squirrel......3
• Rock Chuck......7
• Ground Hog......4
• Chipmunk......9
• Marten......2
• Mink......3
• Weasel......6

• Shark......40
• Sailfish......3
• Black Marlin Swordfish......1
• Salt Water Rock Bass......3
• Tuna......30
• Ray......25
• Swordfish......8
• Sheephead......12
• California Flying Fish......7
• Mango Snapper......30
• Salmon......25
• Royal Chinook......64
• Rainbow Trout......30
• Broadbill Swordfish......2
• Brook Trout......20
• Small Mouth Bass......3
• Large Mouth Bass......50
• Cut Throat Trout......20
• Scissor Bill Gar......250
• Alligator Gar......2

• Eagle......4
• Hawk......17
• Owl......8
• Buzzard......20
• Crow......7
• Raven......3
• Sand Hill Crane......3
• Blue Grouse......26
• Dusky Grouse......18
• Ruffed Grouse......31
• Fool Hen......40
• Partridge......6
• Bittern......1
• Chukar Partridge......8
• Sage Hen......35
• Prairie Chicken......8
• Ducks on the Wing......20
• Other Ducks......30
• Chinese Pheasant......21
• Wild Turkey......4
• Canadian Goose......2
• Woodcock......4
• Wilson Jacksnipe......8
• California Mt. Quail......6
• California Valley Quail......40

• Alligator......8
• Snake......100
• Gila Monster......4
• Iguana......6
• Desert Swift......30
• Fresh Water Turtle......20
• Loggerhead Turtle......6
• Giant Sea Turtle......3

With a bow and arrow record such as this, it is little wonder that Howard Hill is considered the greatest archer-hunter of all time, and has often been referred to as "The Babe Ruth of Archery", "Mr. Archery", "King of the Archers", etc. .S. Even at the age of 62 years he could draw and shoot a 75 lb. hunting bow with ease and comfort. Infact, two or three times each week he would shoot a bow of that weight for 30 to 90 minutes, shooting from 110 to 150 arrows. Howard never liked the use of sights or other paraphernalia on his bows. He considered these to be crutches and felt they took away from the challenge of the bow. Also, he liked his bow clean and free of any encumbrances that would hinder the maneuverability of the bow for moving shots. He considered cable and pulley bows something that detracted from the romance of the ancient sport of archery.

Hunting with a bow appealed to Howard much more than did target archery. Consequently, his love of hunting was to take him to all parts of the world following the game trails and pitting his skill against all kinds of game, some that nearly cost him his life. Howard's greatness is probably reflected most in his long list of game taken with bow and arrow, dating back to 1925 when he bagged his first moose and white tail deer while on a hunting trip in Canada. From 1925 until he passed away in 1975, Howard compiled a record of kills that will undoubtedly never be equaled.
Last edited by a moderator:

Jerry Hill

New member
Feb 3, 2021
Reaction score
Monish, I would appreciate it if you would edit your post here on Howard Hill. Byron Ferguson is not the successor to Howard Hill. He never new or met Howard Hill, he only has heard me talk about him or read in books what has been written or seen things on film. Its fine to admire someone in a sport, but to compare yourself to a legend is wrong.
Byron Ferguson is a good shot with his bow, but he is nothing new to the sport or first on anything like Howard Hill was or comes anywhere close to comparing himself with Howard Hill. If Howard Hill was alive I know what he would say about an archer that goes about comparing himself to him. As I have heard him say about another bosting archer, quite famous. Mr. _______________ shoots the bull and Howard Hill shoots the bow and arrow and don't you forget it! Many other archers have performed on stage and on TV or before gatherings of archers or interested people over the years during Howard Hills lifetime and since his passing. Until you do something legendary, how can you be referred to as a legend. How can you go about claiming to be something your not, other than a good shot like so many others past and present. I myself have shot my bow on National TV, been featured in Outdoor Publications, Newspapers north and south and east and west, i have acted in motion picture for MGM. I have aided archery as film advisor in many motion pictures made. I have supplied some of these same motion pictures with archery items in order to make their movie more complete. I manufactured longbows and sold them world wide, becoming the largest longbow only company. I have shot my bow in TV commercials, I am an author on the subject of how Howard Hill shot his bow and arrow as he taught to me as a son, receiving what he said he had never shown another archer during shooting instructions. I have shot my longbow on many stages in front of excellant archers of their own right, as well at State Fairs and county fairs and at schools and for boy scout groups, 4 H clubs and Royal Rangers for boys. I have shot on many variety TV shows, hitting disc and coins including a thrown dime. I have made rechochet shots on National TV off two 4 x 8 plywood walls striking the bullseye. I shot for the same show a sewing thread from 65 feet. I also shot backwards looking in a ladies compac mirrow held by another. Reason for Howard Hill keeping his true secret of shooting to his self, was because of his fear once he did, the other would go off bosting that they knew more than him and from that day forward he would not be respected or needed. I have had the privilege to of had Howard Hill as my teacher of all things archery. I hosted for 20 years a world archery tournament in his honor, in his true home and birthplace Wilsonville Alabama. I am the personal adopted son of Howard Hill and the person he left in charge to keep his name before the public and never allow his good name to be drug down in the mud.
Howard Hills shoes in archery will never be filled by me or any other archer, including Byron Ferguson and I feel to claim such an equal an insult on Howard Hill's name and record held in the sport of archery. That is something I will never do when it comes to Howard Hill or any other great well known archer such as Fred Bear or Tom Jennings and Errol Flynn I must add as I helped in the writing of a book about him, in order to right the wrongs written in anothers book written with false claims.
Please keep your topic from now on, on the subject Howard Hill, if you plan to write more about him and not drag into the writting a want-a-be . Byran Ferguson needs to make a name for himself instead of trying to compare to someone he never knew or met or received instructions of shooting a bow from, much less try to ride on anothers coat tail that deserves the praise. I'm not trying to be a dope on the subject. But to compare even myself that was doing shooting publicly and so much more long before Byran Ferguson ever picked up a longbow, is something even I would never claim an equal to. A student will never be as good as his teacher. To claim otherwise would be disrespectful and a lie. Thank you for allowing me to speak my piece when it comes to Howard Hill. I was appointed as his successer. Every arrow I shoot is for Howard Hill, and every arrow I shoot, he is with me. This he said and promised to me on his dying bed.
If you desire to write something about Byran Ferguson then so be it. But please on behalf of the Howard Hill family. Do not include Byron Ferguson or any other archer that would spoil or lower the bar set so high by The Worlds Greatest Archer Howard Hill.


AH legend
Aug 14, 2016
Reaction score
Namibia - Kalahari, Namibia - Khomas highland
@Jerry Hill
Forum member monish has not been on forum for quite a long time. Above thread is 5 years old.
Suggest to contact moderators, for any corrections if necessary.

Forum statistics

Latest member



Latest profile posts

eballo wrote on doubleboy's profile.
Is the Parker still for sale?
hunt 65 wrote on Bullthrower338's profile.
You ever sell the Hyme 458 Lott?
Bob Nelson 35Whelen wrote on jwp475's profile.
If you need help with your Whelen loads please PM me
xausa wrote on Challer's profile.
I don't know where you're located, but I'd be happy to let you try out my Krieghoff. I'm located in West Tennessee and the local gun club has a skeet layout and is located not far from my farm. We're about five miles from the Kentucky state line and about 100 miles west of Nashville.
I just joined today, I live in Louisiana. I joined mostly because of all of the 35 Whelen discussion as I am now very interested In the 35 Whelen. I have an 1885 Highwall that J.E.S.S. rebored to 35 Whelen

Also own 338s 375 and both a 416 rem and Rigby