The St. Charles Thunderbird Recurve


Over the Winter of '52-'53 my father Glenn St. Charles launched a new and exciting project: a full working recurve bow limbed bow utilizing a relatively new material - fiberglass - in combination with hardwood laminations. Most innovative were its long handle riser and relatively its short fully working recurved limbs.


At the time of its introduction in the Spring of 1953 the St. Charles Thunderbird recurve was truely unique. By the Spring of 1957 nearly all recurve bows in production mirrored the Thunderbird's basic style.

The Thunderbird enjoyed a most successful introduction at local Northwest tournatments and later at the 1953 NFAA Nationals held at Twin Rivers Wisconsin. It also established its popularity among the core of active bowhunters throughout the Nation.


The Thunderbird's great popularity brought about a turning point for Glenn and his three decade bowbuilding career. In 1953 the activity of bowhunting was building throughout the country. Having long been involved in the critical leadership of the bowhunting movement, Glenn found that he had a difficult decision to make: be tied to the workbench answering the growing demand for the "Thunderbird" recurve or take a different course that would free him to pursue his vision of the furture of bowhunting.

When an opportunity came to travel the West representing Bear Archery and to at the same time actively promote greater bowhunting - the choice became clear.

A total of approx. 300 of the original Thunderbird recurves were produced from early 1953 to 1954.


50th Aniversary Limited Edition St. Charles Thunderbird


In commemoration of the 50th aniversary of the St. Charles Thunderbird Recurve we offered a special limited reproduction series of 300 of this legendary recurve bow. These individually numbered 2nd Generation Thunderbird Recurves featured laminations and riser of hand selected naturally seasoned Pacific Yew, a clear glass backing, horn tip overlays and wrapped leather grip. They were made to the original 63" Thunderbird form and as in the original, they were built configured both RH/LH and single sided. They also carried the narrow, light tipped recurve limb that is a hallmark of this classic bow. These special bows were numbered beginning with No. 101 on a first come, first served basis.

Although the Special limited and numbered Commemorative Series of 300 is completed and no longer available, demand for the Thunderbird Recurve itself remains high. I therefore continue to build versions this sweet shooting bow for the archery communtity.


Jay St. Charles

Pacific Yew Inc.

P.O. Box 721

Fall City WA 98024


(425) 761-3696



The St. Charles Thunderbird






50th Anniversary Thunderbirds