Western Bowhunter Doug Walker Passes

The industry mourns another icon as Doug Walker passes. Our hearts and sympathies go out to Doug’s family.


Famed bowhunter. Industry leader, Hall of Fame recipient and magazine publisher was a legend, ‘lethal in the field.’

Doug Walker, a California bowhunting pioneer and record-holder who published a national magazine from his Squaw Valley home, died Saturday following a brief illness.

He was 80.

Mr. Walker died at Community Regional Medical Center after a week-long bout with pneumonia, said his son, Scott Walker.

“I think my Dad was the last bowhunting legend,” Scott Walker said. “He just loved everything about it.”

Doug with his old boss and friend Fred Bear swap hats.

A member of the National Bowhunters Hall of Fame, Mr. Walker’s résumé includes more than 100 big-game kills and several books on his favorite sport. He was also the first person in California to take all 11 of the state’s big-game species with a bow and arrow.

Doug with his Little Sweetheart bow.

Since 1975, Mr. Walker has produced “National Bowhunter,” one of the most widely read publications in the industry. Mr. Walker served as editor and publisher of the bi-monthly magazine. Pictures of Mr. Walker, wearing his trademark white beard and red bandanna, posing with one of his kills ran in every issue.

The walls of Mr. Walker’s study are lined with trophies collected from six decades of bowhunting. They include a 600-pound black bear from Alberta, Canada; an enormous buffalo from a South Dakota ranch, felled with a single arrow; a 10-foot-long alligator from Louisiana; and an extensive African collection.

“Doug was one of the real founders of bowhunting and remained prolific in his later years,” said friend Bob Fromme, who owns an archery store in San Diego. “He was pretty lethal in the field.”
Mr. Walker was born May 9, 1930, in Visalia. At 15, he lied about his age so he could join the Army, not wanting to miss out on World War II.

Formally introduced to archery during his 82nd Airborne training, Mr. Walker proceeded to make bowhunting his life’s work.

“When you take an animal with a bow and arrow, you feel like you’ve accomplished something because you had to use your own wits,” Mr. Walker said in a 2009 interview. “Just getting off a shot requires a lot of patience and skill.”

Mr. Walker is survived by his wife of 56 years, Betty; two sons, Scott and Michael; and three  granddaughters, one grandson and one great granddaughter.

Our thanks to the FresnoBee

Click here for:  Doug’s Straight Talk Interview

10 Responses to "Western Bowhunter Doug Walker Passes"

  1. Rick Philippi   2011/02/02 at 3:36 pm

    I am so sorry to hear of Doug’s passing. May God bless him and his family. Doug was a great man.

    With my deepest sympathy,
    Rick Philippi

    • mike clark   2011/02/15 at 11:19 pm

      Doug also had other grandkids and a great granddaughter from Mike Walker that live in Virginia, Grandson Austin Walker and Granddaughter Cierra Weathery.

      • mike clark   2011/02/15 at 11:25 pm

        The last male of the Walker blood line Austin Lee Owen Walker age 28.

  2. Lynne Frady   2011/02/05 at 4:34 pm

    The archeryindustry has lost another true legend and hero. I will miss you Doug thanks for the opportunity to write for you when no one else wanted a lady writer. May God be with your family and friends you will be sorely missed.

  3. Cheryl Walker   2011/02/16 at 1:46 am

    Sorry to hear of Dougs passing.He and his family forgot to mention that Doug also left
    behind two Blood only Grown grand children.His son Mike Walker is their father .
    Doug disowned them when I moved them to the East coast 27 years ago.I raised them alone without any LOVE or SUPPORT from any of the Walkers .Doug would NOT allow them
    to contact these kids.Or would he allow his son Mike to take calls from them.Its sad
    to think they all missed out in seeing these two successful ,loving and beautiful kids
    grow up because the Grandfather forbid them to talk to us. Maybe now with his passing
    there will be more peace and less CONTROLL At the Walker ranch.In time I hope the other
    Walkers might let their guard down and accept these wonderful siblings they never were allowed to know. Yes there is alot they missed out on..Cierra and Austin will fill them in
    with their lives if you let them. Remember Austin s the last of the Walkers now and forever..
    Cheryl Walker
    Mike Walkers ex-wife

    • Rich Walton   2011/02/17 at 5:29 pm

      Cheryl I am sorry for the events you mention here. Families are often in situations like this and while I don’t think this is the proper forum to air family laundry I have changed the last paragraph to reflect Cierra and Austin. I will also say this, I also divorced with a daughter and my parents cut off all contact with their granddaughter. However, it never stopped me from doing so. God bless you and your family. I hope things work out for you all.

      • Cheryl Walker   2011/02/21 at 1:51 pm

        Rich,
        Thanks for understanding. I just felt that my grown children should not be left out
        on the obits.We did send a card with pictures to Mike and Betty.I know my son has
        always wanted to know more about the Walker family but gave up.Maybe with his passing they will take the time to reopen their hearts.
        I would love to share their pictures with you too.Austin looks so much like
        his father.And they all share the Walkers teeth gap.even the baby..too cute.They
        are the ones who sent the paper to my daughters about the passing of Doug.otherwise we would not have know.
        Thank you
        Cheryl Walker (W.remarrried)

  4. Marvin Carlston   2011/02/22 at 6:20 am

    I really enjoyed our hunts with Doug at the YO! He will be missed. May God be with your families at this most difficult time.

  5. Stacey Parsons   2011/04/26 at 1:56 am

    Cousin Betty and Family My Heart Gos Out to you . We will miss Doug,
    All our Love to you The Parsons , Ed Donita and all us kids

  6. mario fierro jr   2011/09/26 at 2:46 am

    I take my hat off to you miss walker.if I can be of any assistance to you don’t hesitate to ask. THANK YOU. Visalia.town@gmail.com/Mario fierro jr