Here's a sample of some of the fun happening at the Santa Ynez Valley Bow Club!
Early 1973, local archers used to have an indoor shooting range in the Carrillo Recreation Center. Once a week, archers would gather and shoot in the 20 yard gym. Plywood would be placed against the walls so as not to damage the walls if the bale was missed entirely, though several times arrows would travel through the plywood. The club eventually lost this indoor range due to lack of attendance.
The Santa Barbara Archers later began using an outdoor range in Hale Park in Montecito, perhaps the best range in California at the time. People from all over California would attend the club shoots. The club yet again encountered trouble when the city removed the beautiful Hale Park from archery use. Ira West (the patriarch of the Santa Barbara Archers) and the remaining club members would often take opportunities at the UCSB range to gather and shoot when they could. Throughout the years, the club continued to revitalize the club by securing a range location, but plans were always confronted with struggle.
In 1979, Ira West and Paul Collins were contacted by John Thayer to discuss the development of a shooting range. John was a training officer for the Santa Barbara Police Department and an archery enthusiast. The Santa Ynez Pistol Club had been looking to add an outdoor archery range. The proposal was agreed upon and Ira West, John Thayer, Skip Bond, Rich Valencia, and Paul Collins began construction. As there was no electricity on the range and limited funds, all construction and ground work was performed by hand and with one small generator. The most difficult aspect of the range construction, taking months of time, was the concrete formation for the interior targets as there was no water source on the range. When construction was completed later in 1980, the Santa Ynez Bow Club was founded.
At its infant stage, the club began to slowly gather members and reignite the enthusiasm that had existed at the old Santa Barbara club. Cal Vogt, the seven time National Bowhunter Champion would show up and participate in club shoots. Today, over 150 members participate in monthly shoots and fundraising events. The club continues to grow and encourage community support and interaction.
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