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Black Hawk (Cravotta Brothers)
Some Cravotta Brothers' literature listed their company as Black Hawk (two words), and sometimes it was just Blackhawk (1 word). Nonetheless, the Black Hawk archery company was founded around 1950 by three Cravotta brothers: Charles Sr., Cosimo, and James. Charles Sr. was a physician and not directly involved in the operation of the business. Charles Jr. worked for the company for a time in the early 1950's until joining the military.
After launching their bow making business, the brothers hired Gale Knott and his brother, two native Ojibewas, to help promote and demonstrate the Black Hawk bow line. The Knotts were family friends of the Cravottas and operated a fishing guide service where the Cravottas' vacationed each summer. Charles Jr. and the Knotts would shoot demonstrations of the bows at local rod-gun clubs, shooting heavy poundage (70#-90#) bows. Charles Jr. preferred the Blackhawk Hornet and would shoot broadheads into a bullet hole fired by a Winchester rifle to demonstrate accuracy.
The 1957 December edition of The Eastern Bowhunter magazine and the January 1958 NFAA Archery magazine featured display ads of the Blackhawk Brave bow. The brothers put out a full line of recurves, from high-end target bows, to hunting bows, to all-purpose and entry-level recreational bows. Target bows included the Apollo, Venue, King, Queen, and Chief. Hunting bows included the Hornet and Short Hornet. All-purpose bows included the Warrior, Black Bee, Yellow Jacket, Scorpion and Mosquito. Interestingly, for a company named Black Hawk, Cravotta never gave their bows any names for birds of prey, although a couple were given native american terms, such as the Chief and Warrior.
Black Hawk models that get good reviews include the Short Hornet, Warrior, Brave and Chief. The Cravotta brothers also produced the “Galaxie” line of bows, and also built bows for the Red Head company which was later purchased by Bass Pro. See the Black Hawk catalog page for more information.