A Short History of Wapiti Bowmen, Inc.
Wapiti Bowmen was originally formed in 1949 by a group including Mel Schmidt, a close school mate and hunting buddy to legendary bowhunter and archery manufacturer Fred Bear, Maynard Thompson, Gene Lueck and Ed Neustal. The club used property on Totem Pole Road owned by Ralph Frames, and had a 14-target field course and a 50-target broadhead course. In 1964, Ralph sold the property, and the club had no place to shoot. By 1965-67, the club pretty much went into a hiatus – never formally disbanding, but mostly becoming a memory.
With an interest in bowhunting, but finding no place to shoot, Jess (Jay) Stalcup and Duane McKinney ran an article in the Lebanon Express in 1970 inviting local bowhunters/archers to a meeting with the purpose of gathering support to find a place to shot. Over 30 people attended that first meeting. Individuals interested in archery were able to start shooting indoors by October 1971 using the Lebanon Junior High gym. The school system needed a name for the group using their facility, so former Wapiti members suggested Wapiti Bowmen and some funds remaining from the original club were transferred to the new club. The rest is history!