Join American Survival Co. & Mead Longbows for a Primitive Wilderness Weekend in Macon, GA as you adventure into the wilderness with some of the most experienced outdoors men in the country. Start by building your own bow and learning archery on day one, feast on lamb as the night hits, then navigate the outdoors in the dark. We will spend days 2 and 3 stalking and hunting game and learning to process it in the wilderness using primitive tools and methods. In addition to formal training, there will be some amazing food (lamb feast, suckling pigs, wild edibles, and a variety of vegetables), arrow making, primitive weapon demonstrations, archaeology discussions, plant identification, survival techniques and more expertise shared throughout the weekend. Time permitting we can help you learn or hone any skill you wish.
DAY 1 – FRIDAY *Not required to participate in Sat & Sun events, but will be a ton of fun!
9:00 AM START – Make Your Own Bow & Learn Archery
Students will build a high-quality bow from world-renowned bowyer Mead Longbows, craft a tailor made primitive arrow, and then train to effectively hunt with it. While students are creating their bows, a whole lamb will be roasting over the fire all day, ready for you to enjoy that evening. (Students participating Saturday are invited to come early Friday evening and feast with us). During our lamb feast, Quinn Connolly will share expertise on identifying and finding artifacts. We will then go on a night land navigation session.
We recommend students arrive at 8:30 AM on Friday. You are welcome to set up camp Thursday evening on site or can stay at local lodging
DAY 2 – SATURDAY
9:00 AM START – Join us for a morning hunt training and field exercise as we continue to hone our skills with our newly created bows. We will also explore additional protein procurement skills like passive fishing and trapping techniques throughout the day. After we break for lunch we will regroup for the late afternoon hunt and game stalking. We’ll spend the evening making arrows and Alt Alt darts, flint knapping Mississippian Triangle arrow tips and axes, and night fishing for bluegill and large mouth bass using torches and Atl Atls. Dinner will be a variety of fire cooked vegetables and slow cooked suckling pig.
DAY 3 – SUNDAY
9:00 AM START – Today we will explore game processing in the wilderness. Students will process and cook the game over fire they have created from primitive methods. Students will have the opportunity to explore fire making methods with tools like the ferro rod and bow drill kits. We will demonstrate additional primitive weapons like the Atlatl, with students learning how to construct one from the land. Instructors will spend time helping students develop the skills they have learned from Friday and Saturday, perfecting their craft and ensuring they leave confident in their new skillsets.
Dave Mead, Mead Longbows –
Dave has been a craftsman and artist since childhood. Bow making began as a young child and with his martial arts background, archery was always a big part of his life. From the beginning, he enjoyed making and using many different primitive weapons. He always felt a tight relationship with nature and everything it provides. When he decided to hunt to provide food for his quickly growing family, he wanted to do it as spiritually respectful as possible. Since he had been a woodworker and mechanically trained for many years, he decided to try his hand at bow making; now as an adult with the knowledge of wood and with nature at his disposal. His first attempt was a success and he was hooked. He felt an immediate connection with his roots and what he was meant to do. He likes a challenge and learning as he goes where others have not. He developed his high performance, efficient, powerful, innovative bamboo bows through years of trial and error and countless hours of experimentation. Part of the challenge to himself was to build a lightweight bow (around 40lbs) that could do the job of a 60+ pound bow…and do it better. He teaches a form of archery that if he had to label, would refer to it as natural archery. It is very reminiscent of some of history’s greatest archers, hunters, and warriors. Also, very similar to how our ancestors would have shot a bow and arrow. This style is of more use to a hunter, zen practitioner, or combat soldier. He helps his students reconnect to their natural abilities by living in the present moment.
Dave builds hundreds of his bamboo bows every year in his humble shop in the sticks of Kentucky. He also travels the country year round teaching bow building and instinctive archery workshops. He was an active firefighter/EMT and volunteer firefighter for over 5 years. When Dave is not building bows and teaching, he enjoys spending time homesteading with his wife, 5 young children, and animals.
Joel Graves, American Survival Co. – Joel brings an extremely extensive military and tactical background. Completing 355 missions as Naval Special Warfare EOD on Seal Team 2 & 4, which is arguably one of the most elite and highly trained bomb squads in the world. He has served tours in Iraq, Bahrain and Afghanistan, personally disarmed improvised explosive devices with minimal tools in some of the most austere environments in the world. He has provided secret service protection in multiple countries for President Bush, President Obama and VP Biden. Today, Joel leverages his tactical and combat experience to prepare civilians, military personnel and organizations for international and domestic threats. Training and consulting opportunities with Joel include: international traveler, SERE, active shooter preparedness, self defense and organizational security.
Joel’s bushcraft and survival skill set is as equally impressive. Following his retirement from special forces, Joel spent six months in a long-term survival program where he slept in the field for 5 months, living off the land and honing his craft.. Since a very young age, Joel has been hunting and fishing all over the country. He currently lives in Jacksonville, Florida and spends much of his time fishing on the coastal waters, gator hunting, building bows, and keeping his self reliance skills sharp. He also put up fierce competition in Discovery Channel’s Bushcraft Build-off and truly has a great love for teaching people of all ages the skills they need to survive!
Quinn Connally – Like Joel, Quinn served as a Naval EOD Technician. At one point Joel and Quinn served on the same eight man team together. Quinn deployed exclusively to Iraq and served with 3rd Special Forces Group, completing over 120 missions. Quinn also later served in a response capacity to IED threats as well as with various SEAL teams and MARSOC elements. Quinn trained the Marine combat personnel to his theater of operation on various enemy tactics, techniques, and procedures.