October 14, 2022
Back in May, something happened that likely flew under the radar of most bowhunters. Dwight Schuh, my predecessor as Editor of Bowhunter Magazine, was inducted posthumously into the Archery Hall of Fame.
Some of you might say it was about time. However, Dwight was inducted into the Bowhunter Hall of Fame way back in 1997. At that time, the two Halls of Fame were separate entities, with the Archery Hall of Fame largely focused on the industry and competitive archery. Since then, the two have become one — and The Archery Hall of Fame (AHOF) is now a destination, with a showcase museum at Bass Pro Shops’ Springfield, Missouri, headquarters.
Publisher Jeff Waring and I flew to Springfield to attend Dwight’s induction, which was supposed to happen in 2019. Like most things, two years’ worth of AHOF inductions were postponed due to the pandemic. As a result, the list of inductees from 2018 and 2019 combined this round to include PSE Founder Pete Shepley; Eastman Outdoors Founder Bob Eastman; trick-shot and showman Bob Markworth; Black Widow Archery Founders, “The Wilson Boys;” SpinWing Vane inventor Richard Carella; and our friend Dwight Schuh.
Fame is no longer what it once was. Today, you need only make a few clicks on your computer showing you doing something memorable and BOOM! — you’re instantly famous. A couple decades ago, you earned your notoriety by interacting with your peers on a more personal level. They came to know you through years of personal appearances, correspondence, and reading your stories and articles written about you. It took time and effort to become “famous,” if that makes sense. Back then, being well-known took hard work!
Dwight Schuh accomplished that, and in my mind, his notoriety was genuine among his fellow bowhunters. It’s always unfortunate when someone receives their well-deserved recognition posthumously, but from the Bowhunter Team’s point of view, nobody deserved this honor more than Dwight.
Our trip to Springfield also allowed us to see the Schuh Family again. Dwight’s wife, Laura, and daughters Emily and Margie, along with grandson Dieter Berriochoa and Dwight’s close friends, Ron and Tanja Smith, also made the trip from Nampa, Idaho. Naturally, we were also excited to visit with other members of the Bowhunter Family, like Dr. Dave Samuel (AHOF class of ’07) and renowned whitetail artist Chuck Denault and, of course, it was a thrill to watch Bowhunter Magazine Founder M.R. James unveil Dwight’s plaque.
Dwight’s contributions to bowhunting are engraved for eternity on that beautiful museum plaque. Highlights include: 40-plus years as a successful freelance outdoor writer/photographer, editor, columnist, and public speaker; “Bows and Arrows” Editor for Sports Afield; Outdoor Life Western Editor; and Editor of Bowhunter Magazine from 1996 to 2011. Dwight authored nine books on archery, bowhunting, and do-it-yourself backcountry hunting, and he was a Senior member of the Pope and Young Club. Dwight also successfully took 22 of the 29 North American big game species with bow and arrow.
While those qualifications are impeccable, those who knew Dwight personally knew him as a man who defined integrity and ethics. He was intense, committed, and driven — all qualities every bowhunter should strive to possess. To me, Dwight was a mentor, colleague, friend, and someone I looked up to from the day I decided to order my first bow in 1980. Never did I imagine I would follow in his immense footsteps, which I know can never be filled. I still miss Dwight but, in some ways, he’s still right here with me.
M.R. James’ presentation at the Saturday night induction ceremony was one of honor and respect. He considers his hiring of Dwight Schuh as his successor to be the best move he ever made. And I’d have to wholeheartedly agree with that assessment.