Video Narrated by Ronald Reagan: Howard Hill Hunts Sharks With His Longbow

Before he became the 40th President of the United States, Ronald Reagan was an actor, and evidently he was also paid to narrate shark bowfishing films, too!

Video Narrated by Ronald Reagan: Howard Hill Hunts Sharks With His Longbow

Starring in this vintage video is the legendary archer Howard Hill. As teased in the story title, however, another person far more famous than Hill is featured, too. A young Ronald Reagan, who much later would become the 40th President of the United States, narrates the action.

Howard Hill (1899 - 1975) is considered by many to be the "world's greatest archer,” known for winning a record 196 archery field tournaments in succession with his long bow. In addition to hunting and target shooting, Hill kept busy writing and producing. 

As stated in the description of this YouTube video:

“During Hill’s career, he produced 23 films about archery for Warner Bros. He also shot 10 different movies of his own, and was a technical adviser in far more movies to provide advice in the archery field of the movies. He killed over 2,000 animals with his long bow, including an elephant, becoming the first white man to kill an elephant with a bow and arrow. He used four-foot arrows, while pulling a 115 pound bow to take the mighty beast. In 1928, he set the new world record for the furthest flight shot in archery, at 391 yards.”

In the 10-minute YouTube video below, you’ll see Hill “hunting” sharks with his long bow. I used the quotation marks because it’s clear the action is staged. It’d be interesting to see a behind-the-scenes video about how they pulled dead sharks through the water to make them appear alive. If you look closely in the final shark scene (9:16 to 9:20), it’s pretty clear to see the wire/line used to manipulate the shark. 

I’d also be interested to know more about the script writer; I assume it was Hill. I laughed when the enthusiastic Ronald Reagan narrates Hill shooting the plug (bung) that has slipped from the floating wooden barrel containing bait for anglers. During the slow-motion replay, Reagan says “Again it’s a hit!” Well yeah, I didn’t think the outcome would be different during the replay. Overall, the script is colorful and certainly adds to the video.

From the youth swimmers being saved from a shark by Hill’s arrow, to the well-dressed anglers who — surprise, surprise —are tipped over in their small rowboat and need Hill to save them from a shark, the video is ridiculous. But it’s fun, too. It would fit right in during Shark Week.

Ronald Reagan narrating a bowfishing video — with dead sharks pulled to appear alive; now you have seen it all!


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