New copies of my book Bowie Knife Fights, Fighters, and Fighting Techniques are now available from Amazon at $24.95.
This blog contains additional information about the bowie knife, as well as the fighting knives of other nations.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Throwing Bowie by Joe Brokenfeather Darrah

Anyone who sets out to write a book in order to make money is delusional. In terms of the return generated divided by the time invested, it's not really a paying proposition; however, it does have its rewards. For one thing, it can put you in touch with interesting people such as Joe Brokenfeather Darrah.

Joe  is an eight-time World Knife Throwing Champion (winning Quick Draw, Long Distance, Tomahawk, 12-foot Knife, 18-foot knife, Obstacle Course and other competitions), holds 40 National titles, has been inducted into the Knife Throwers Hall Of Fame three times for three different accomplishments, as well as an honorable mention for helping start the "Throw Inside the Alamo" competition in San Antonio, Texas. Joe won the Atlanta Blade Show "Tournament Of Champions" three years in a row and is the National Tournament Director for the AKTA (American Knife Throwers Alliance) as well as an ex-professional circus knife thrower.

Joe also makes knives, and he recently made me a gift of one of his Mountain Man Bowies. It's a "Bulls Eye Seeker," which have been used in almost every Mountain Man tournament in the United States as well as Europe. A Moutain Man knife must have handles of period correct materials, i.e., leather, wood, or bone/antler. Leather is the preferred handle material, as it holds up to the impact, is easily replaced, and the cost is low.  Joe also uses antler for handles, putting a thin piece of deer hide between the handles and tang to absorb the shock. He also uses copper harness rivets, which, being a bit soft, will usually give a little bit.

Here's a picture of the knife Joe made me:

The knife is 13.25 inches overall, with a nine-inch blade, and weighs 11.4 ounces. The full length of the blade is sharp, as is the false edge. The handle is made of the composite material used for outdoor decks. I told Joe I was unlikely to practice throwing the knife to the extent he does.

The Brokenfeather signature.

The knife is inscribed with my name.

I had one great triumph throwing knives, many years ago. I was visiting a friend whose 12-year-old son had three throwing knives that he was trying to stick in the side of a shed from a few yards away. He asked me if I could do it. I took the knives and, without much thought, threw and stuck them in a neat row, each within two inches of the others. "You are so cool!" the boy shouted. I was more surprised than he was and retired from the game knowing that I could only go downhill from that point on.

Anyway, I have to say this is one of the nicest gifts I've ever received. As strange as it seems, a couple of other people with whom I've corresponded over the years, but have never met, have also sent me bowie knives and I'll post photos of them in the near future. 


  1. Hi Paul
    Thanks for posting pic's of the Throwing Bowie I sent up to you, it is a fairly simple Mountain Man model called a Bullseye Seeker.
    One that I would do for a Mt. Man or Redezvous would have leather or antler handles but wood is also allowed for period correct use however there are really no wood types that don't succumb to errant throws and break eventually.
    I had some scrap Trex material from my porch being redone so thought I'd give it a try, a very resiliant material.
    Joe Darrah
    Custom Knives

  2. Thank you. This blog is inactive at this point as I've already put up most of the material I had left over after compiling the book.