Club History

In the beginning

Red McLachlan, the bowhunting legend of Gila County and throughout Arizona, began his archery career in August 1935 at Hannigan Meadow. While camping with his wife, Idell, he noticed a gentleman at a camp table with a bow. This person was Judge Rudrow from Phoenix. He showed an amused and interested Red a yew wood bow and some arrows and this was the beginning of an incredible archery and bowhunting career.

One of Red’s greatest accomplishments was getting the first archery hunt in Arizona. Red and other pioneers of bowhunting formed the first Arizona Bowhunters club and thru persistence and determination they convinced the Arizona Game and Fish to conduct a research archery hunt in the North Kaibab. After many heated meetings and arguments they succeeded in convincing Arizona Game and Fish to legalize archery deer hunting in 1954 and eventually all big game in Arizona.

The next big accomplishment for Red was the formation of an archery club in the Globe/Miami area on October 16,1947, called the Gila Archers Club, later to be renamed ApacheBowhunters, Inc. The majority of the members were converted to archery by Red, and most shot Red’s homemade bows. The club has had its ups and downs over the years and has survived continuously from its inception largely due to Red’s dedic

Along the way

The ApacheBowhunters is the oldest continuous archery club in the state of Arizona, thanks largely to Red’s passion and dedication to archery and the club. The original clubhouse was built in 1965 and served the membership until 1992 when it was replaced with a Quonset style building forty feet by forty feet. The club furnished this building with complete kitchen facilities, target and supply storage area and a club meeting room complete with heating and cooling. Flush toilet facilities are located in separate block buildings. Today the ApacheBowhunters Club and range is considered one of the best in the state.

Current Objectives

Our current club goals and objectives are to honor the hard work and dedication that all the previous members, current members and officers and especially founding members have contributed to making our club what it is today. We strive to increase our membership and to instill ethical archery and bowhunting habits in all our members and to focus on our future archers, the youth of our community.

We hope that by taking a trip down memory lane with us and our website you will come away with an understanding of what archery and bowhunting should be all about. It isn’t just the successful filling of an archery tag, it is more about the camaraderie and the friendships developed along the way, and the ability to pass on an animal if it “ just doesn’t feel right”.

Thanks for visiting us today and we hope to see you at our next club function so that you may enjoy what all the hard work is about.




One thought on “Club History”

  1. There is a Bowhunters Hall of Fame in Squaw Valley, CA. which recognizes great bowhunters across the United States but also the archery industry as well. Red McLachlan’s name is currently absent from this list. It should not be. I was a neighbor kid that became interested in archery in the 4th grade, and Red gave me that start. My uncle, Dean Stephenson, was one of the first members in the Gila Archers Club along with Jack Warter. There is a nomination form on the website that can be completed and signed by the organizations along with endorsements, and submitted. Would you be interested in supporting this endeavor?

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