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Welcome to our new Website!

This isn't just a place to post pictures, although we will be doing more of that. This website was created primarily to facilitate membership renewal, but it will also enable us to amend and rewrite our outdated Bylaws and to conduct an election for Officers of the Club and Directors of the Board by the end of this year. It will improve our ability to gather information from members through surveys about their priorities, and significantly improve communication with members and the public about upcoming events. Although most likely we will have some initial glitches, the hope is that this site will make everything much easier for everyone. Take a look around!

Assuming you have an email account, the first thing you will want to do is go to the Membership page to learn about your Club’s plans for the future. 

On that same page we discuss membership dues and the reasons for a $15.00 dues increase — from $85.00 to $100.00. 

The Membership page will also explain how the “worker’s discount” will operate from now on. 

If after reading that page you decide you want to renew your currently expired membership or become a new member, you will then scroll to the bottom of the page, click on New Member Signup and then provide the information required. 

NON-MEMBERS: Should you decide not to be a member, you might still want to provide your name, email and text number so you will get updates about future VHA events.

NOTE: The initial look of this website will change significantly after this first round of membership applications are submitted. We’ve included a lot of explanations and instructions to try to smooth the transition to this system. Those details will be unnecessary and reduced if not eliminated after our current expired membership base has had an opportunity to rejoin/renew with our Club. 

KEYS & IDS

The tentative plan is to change the locks and distribute new keys at the end of May or beginning of June.

That will give all currently expired members until the middle of May to apply for membership, obtain approval and pay dues. 

Technically, if you were a member last year, your membership has expired as of March of this year.  

If you renew your membership by 5/21/21, the Club will then have a reasonable estimate of those who desire to continue to participate in the Club. With that estimate the Club will purchase sufficient keys and produce sufficient membership IDs. We will then confirm and post the date on our new website when all current dues paying members can pick up their keys and membership IDs. 

If you choose to join after May 21st, that may result in a delay in providing you with a key and ID card without which you will be denied access to the range.


DISPLAYING MEMBERSHIP IDS IS MANDATORY!

As soon as gate Keys and membership IDs are distributed, no one will be permitted on the range without wearing/displaying their IDs. Anyone not wearing/displaying a membership ID will be asked to leave. If they do not leave, the police will be summoned. 


Membership Application Instructions


The membership process requires that you have an email account.

You can get an email account for free. If you don’t have one, go to:

Gmail https://support.google.com/mail/answer/56256?hl=en 
or 
Yahoo https://login.yahoo.com/account/create 
or
Go wherever! There are many servers and hosts that provide a free email address.

For this first round of signing up on our new site, everyone is considered brand new member so that we can obtain complete information. Renewals next year should be much easier and fairly automatic.

You can go straight to the application by clicking here New Member Signup, but you probably should read the instructions first on the Membership page to avoid frustration.

You MUST enter the required information on each page before the system will permit you to advance to the next page.

The personal information which is required is necessary for the Club’s liability insurance in the event there is an accident or injury on the range.

The membership application process also requires that you read, and then electronically sign that you understand and accept the rules and necessary liability waivers.

The City mandates a signed COVID liability waiver! We will attempt to satisfy the City’s need with your electronic acceptance of the Joining Agreement.

When you finish the membership application, the system will send you an email acknowledging receipt of your application. 

When your membership is approved by the President or the Board (hopefully within a week), you will receive a second email. That email will direct you to return to the website verudgohillsarchers.com and login with your user name and password. You will see the Member Login at the top right corner. Click on Member Login, enter your information and the system should connect you to the final step in the application process which requires payment of your dues.

The site was designed so that you can pay your membership dues online by directly entering a credit/debit card through the system provided by Stripe, or by using your PayPal account. If you choose, you can mail your membership payment by check directly to ClubExpress, but we are charged a processing fee. By using any of these methods your payment will be deposited directly into the bank account of Verdugo Hills Archers. In the future the Club may decide to completely eliminate payment by check so that the system is entirely electronic.

When payment is authorized and received, you will receive an invoice. Eventually you will be issued an electronic membership card which you can carry and display from your phone. The production of tangible plastic cards to display on the range has yet to be determined.

You will also be sent notice of when new gate keys will be available to be picked up, at which time it may be necessary to physically sign a City Mandated COVID Liability Waiver. (We hope that they will accept your electronic signature, but this has not yet been confirmed.)

Besides our hope that this website system ultimately makes your membership renewal and dues collection much easier, it definitively creates an independent record of monetary transactions that will make the process more secure and the Club’s financial accountability above reproach. Furthermore, the system is automatic so that next year you will receive notice of when renewal and payment is required.

More Benefits of this New Website:

The site also provides the ability to generate a newsletter as well as to send out texts and emails simultaneously. We should be able, with a slight learning curve, to improve our communication with members about upcoming events. calendar. The site permits you to post photos. Check that out. Please use good judgment and not post anything inappropriate otherwise you subject yourself to potential suspension or termination of membership.

If in the future you learn that you are not receiving texts or emails, return to the site and check to make sure your contact information is correct. Failure to receive notices will no longer be a result of error on the part of the Board. That’s one complaint that is totally eliminated. 

Again, this site makes it possible to hold secure elections for Officers and Directors of the Club through an independent process managed by our service provider’s programming.  We will be conducting elections by the end of the year.

We also desperately need to rewrite our dysfunctional and outdated Bylaws. That process is already underway. Our website will enable our members to read, make suggestions, and vote to approve the new Bylaws all of which will help us to modernize our Club and address ongoing operational problems. 

The site also enables us to survey members about their priorities for the Club. What should the Club spend its membership dues on? We will be conducting several of these surveys right away.

Since it is a Club, when you sign up you will create a user name and password to gain access to the private areas of the site many of which are still under development. Forums.

Take a look around! If you have any suggestions for improvement or page additions you might like to see, please let the webmaster webmaster@verdugohillsarchers.com know. The site is still growing and improving. 

About our Club

 

Verdugo Hills Archers Club [VHA] is a Four Star NFAA Archery Range nestled between the hills of Sunland-Tujunga. Members are all toxophilites (lovers of the ancient art of archery). Deers frequently wander our range and no poaching is permitted. Our Club members use both traditional and compound bows. Crossbows are not permitted. Broadheads are forbidden except in one limited area we call the Broadhead Pit.

There are multiple courses, including a large practice target area with 10 targets and a 3D range with 28 Targets (field/hunter/3D animals), picnic and restroom facilities, and ample parking.

The range is open to our membership 7 days a week, but access requires a gate key.

It is also MANDATORY that members display their membership ID at all times!

We do not rent or loan equipment.  We do provide equipment for lessons, but currently instruction is not available.

No Crossbows are allowed on the range. Broadheads are strictly prohibited except in a very limited area.

Verdugo Hills Archers is non-profit Archery Club. No one gets paid for their time. Volunteers agree to help maintain the range and keep it safe in exchange for a future dues reductions.  


LESSONS/ARCHERY INSTRUCTION

At this time we are no longer offering 
beginning Archery classes to Boy/Girl Scouts, school groups, etc.  If you are interested in lessons/classes please visit the Lessons page for updates as to the status of their availability.  If the instruction status changes, typically lessons will occur on Saturday mornings by arrangement only.


LOCATION & DIRECTIONS

When traveling South on the 210 Freeway, exit at Sunland Blvd. and turn left (head towards Pasadena) passing Ralph’s Market on your left. Stay on that street (Sunland merges into Foothill Blvd. at the park on your left which is just past the Ralph’s Market mall). Stay in the left lane and proceed to Oro Vista and turn left (there is a 7-11 on the right corner and a Jack-in-the-Box on the left corner). Follow Oro Vista until it ends at the desert wash at which point you will turn right. When you turn right Oro Vista becomes Big Tujunga Canyon Road. Follow the road up the mountain towards Mount Wilson. Pass the Little League baseball fields on your right and, immediately after you pass the entrance to the ballpark, prepare to turn right. Our entrance is marked by our Club sign (check out the picture of the sign above) a short distance past the baseball fields. Pass thru the gate, turn right and follow the dirt road which turns left just before the baseball fields. Pass thru the second gate and the range is straight ahead behind a large berm. Follow the dirt road which turns right and then turns left. You have arrived and will find plenty of parking. 

We have provided here both an active map, through a link you can click on, and a fixed map with red arrows (see below):

Click on this link to access a Google Map to our location: https://goo.gl/maps/LNEyViw2c63PPcnE7


ACCESS REQUIRES KEY


Access to the VHA Range requires a key when there is no scheduled shoot or other club activity. This helps dissuade non-members from parking, off-roading, hiking and wandering the range when arrows are whizzing by. When you become a member, you will receive a key that will unlock the two gates. If you’ve made arrangements for Archery Lessons the gate should be unlocked and open for your arrival.


Your entry key is for opening the locks to the range and to the restrooms. You are responsible for locking both gates  behind you when entering and exiting the range. Also, please lock the restrooms after use! Please do not give your key to anyone else. 



Map to: 11966 Big Tujunga Canyon Road

A LITTLE HISTORY ABOUT OUR CLUB

The Verdugo Hills Archers was founded in 1953 by Dick Garver Sr. and Ted Ekin.

In 1952 Ted Ekin saw Howard Hill putting on an exhibition for the Los Angeles Sportsman’s show. At the time, Ted was a member of the Los Angeles Police Department. Ted was so impressed by Howard Hill’s shooting, he immediately went out and bought a bow. According to his son Craig Ekin, Ted loved archery so much he quit the LAPD. He then dedicated himself fully to the archery shop he opened.

Ted and his wife, Betty Ekin, and Dick Garver, Ted’s brother-in-law, were co-owners of Shawnee Sports Center Archery Shop in Sunland, also started in 1953. I’m told it was located where the lawnmower shop currently is, next to The Burrito Factory, across the street from Sunland Park.

Garver and Ekin discussed it with Hill and decided to go into business with Howard Hill, making Howard’s archery equipment and giving Howard Hill a check for everything they sold with the Howard Hill name on it. Howard Hill Productions was set up and officially began selling Hill’s equipment at Shawnee Archery Shop in Sunland in 1958. Ted made most of Hills arrows from 1955 until Hill left the state in 1965. After the passing of Ted in 1979, Craig stepped in to take over the Howard Hill Archery Company which is still in operation in Hamilton, Montana. https://howardhillarchery.com/.

Thirty Three archers attended that first VHA Club meeting, and thereafter held meetings twice a month to establish a Constitution and elect officers. After three months, the members decided on the Verdugo Hills Archers name. 

VHA then located property in the Big Tujunga Canyon for our roving range in the "wildwoods" located in the Angeles National Forrest. After 10 years, the Club was forced to move the range to Roger Jessup Park in San Fernando Valley for a couple years. The VHA relocated to our present range in Big Tujunga Canyon on June 30th, 1963.

The first club shoot was held at the present range on February 27th, 1966.

Every year Howard Hill was invited to be the guest speaker at the annual banquets of the Verdugo Hills Archers Club. Though he never joined the Club as a regular member, he spoke at so many of our banquets that VHA made him a lifetime honorary member.


This photo depicts Howard Hill (center), Ted Ekin (left) and Dick Carver (right)

HOWARD HILL 

One of our Club’s famous and frequent guests was Howard Hill (born 11/13/1899 – died 2/4/1975) considered The World’s Greatest Archer. Howard Hill is known, for example, as the stand-in who split the arrow in Robin Hood starring Errol Flynn.

Hill stood 6’2” and weighed 220. It was said: “Never has one man so completely dominated his sport as Howard Hill.” If you are a VHA member and toxophilite, you might just be inclined to learn about The World’s Greatest Archer who walked our range. 

You can learn more about "THE MAN AND THE LEGEND HOWARD HILL" by reading this book, copyright 1982, written by Craig Ekin, Ted’s son. Craig’s book, covering everything embraced by instinctive straight bow and traditional longbow archery enthusiasts, was dedicated to Craig’s father, Ted Ekin, and his wife. You can find that book here: https://howardhillarchery.com/.

The Ekin’s worked closely with Hill until his death in 1975. Craig was personally instructed by Hill on the Verdugo Hills Archery Range. Below, you can find a few photos of Hill with the founders and on the VHA range. The few facts shared below come from Ted’s book.

There are lots of Howard Hill stories. He killed more game with the bow and arrow than any other individual in history and was the first person to be named in the Hall of Fame because of his skill as an archer. Ted’s book says Hill killed more than 4000 animals.

Besides Robin Hood, he did the shooting in Elizabeth of Essex, They Died With Their Boots On, Dodge City, Buffalo Bill, and Bandits of Sherwood Forest. In They Died With Their Boots On Howard Hill was on horse back chasing a man on horseback. They were in a dead run. Hill used an 80-pound bow and shot the man in the back, hitting a one-foot square piece of balsa wood and steel.

Hill built bows for Gary Cooper, Roy Rogers, Iron Eyes Cody, Errol Flynn, and even Shirley Temple, who he took out behind his shop on Chandler Boulevard in North Hollywood, and gave her some tips.

While boating on Errol Flynn’s yacht, Hill took the cork out of a barrel and threw the barrel overboard. He then threw the cork out next to the barrel. While they were bobbing up and down in the waves, Hill shot the cork with an arrow that had a line attached, pulled the arrow back and then shot the arrow again with the cork still attached, perfectly plugging the barrel. It was filmed and you might find it searching the internet.

It’s recorded in Ripley’s Believe It or Not that a man named Howard Hill shot a shark underwater with a bow and arrow.


On 1/26/28 he set a new flight record of 391 yards, 1 foot 11 inches, using a 172-pound bow at 24-inch draw.

He hit a 800-pound elk in the chest cavity at 185 yards.

He could shoot 12 arrows fast, his record being 12 arrows in 24.4 seconds, and all were in the gold or center of the target. He could also loose 8 arrows in the air before the first one hit the ground. “Time and time again I’ e seen him shoot an arrow into the air and as it was coming down, he’d take out another arrow, shoot, and hit that first one.” — Skeet. It was reported he once shot 12 dimes in the air before missing one. A sportswriter reported that Hill shot a dime in the air at 100 yards. This made Hill angry. “Heck, I couldn’t even see a dollar at that distance, much less a dime - and hit it!”

Some believe that Hill, a frequent VHA visitor, successfully, without killing anyone, pulled a William Tell and shot an apple off someone’s head possibly at one of the VHA's earlier Range sites. When Hill next tried to shoot a grape off this person’s head, the person fled the scene. You can find this video and other videos of Howard Hill by searching on the web. Try https://youtu.be/zo8UZneuggE.

Howard himself stated: “I shot an apple off the head of Kenneth Wilhelm, a friend of mine, at 60 feet...I’ve never lost a field archery tournament and I’ve been in six national archery-gold tournaments and won all of them.” Hill won a phenomenal 196 consecutive field archery tournaments without losing one. In 1945 Hill would be paid $2000 on up for a 30-minute exhibition.

Howard Hill once shot an eagle at a distance of 150 yards. He apparently did it on the first shot. An impressive, if not impossible, shot with a traditional bow at a time when killing an eagle wasn’t regulated or considered abhorrent as it is today.

In 1950, long before game hunting was considered controversial, Howard supposedly trained for a year with really heavy longbows in preparation for an elephant hunt (something most bowhunters wouldn’t do today). It is said that his bow was a 115 pound draw. Because the elephant was rogue and had gone on a rampage killing natives, the Tanganyikan government gave Hill, who was there filming the movie Tembo, the rare privilege of hunting the bull. He used a 41-inch aluminum arrow with a broadhead welded onto it for a total weight of 1700 grains. The elephant was 60 yards away and the arrow penetrated the lung one-inch above the heart. The arrow penetrated 31 1/2 inches deep. The bull was 5-tons and his tusks 7 feet long weighing 110 pounds. There is a video of Howard’s elephant hunt on YouTube.

During his life Hill set a world record of pulling a 172 pound bow. That record was later broken by Gary Sentman who pulled a 176 pound bow. In 2018 Mark Stratton topped that by pulling 200 pounds according to the Guinness Book of World Records. Howard, however, was known to have put two 100-pound bows together and draw them a full 28 inches.

Howard once, in front of a large crowd, ricocheted an arrow off a boot jack which then passed through a swinging wedding band before it hit the bullseye.

Hill wrote two books edited by his wife: Hunting the Hard Way (1953) and Wild Adventure (1954). The movie about his hunting adventures in Africa is called Tembo