By: Ellen Runnels
July 5, 2010
Three archers in the name of Keith Gunnar, Roy Burch, and Ralph Park
formed an archery club with emphasis on fun, hunting, and general
outdoor shooting such as "Sagebrush Plunking" rather than competitive
target shooting, Upon suggestion of Roy Burch to combine the first three
letters of Columbia and Yakima Rivers, the name “Colyak Bowhunters”
came into life on July 9, 1951.
The founders sent letters to all bow hunters in the Tri-City area whose
addresses were available “to announce the formation of a new
organization whose purpose will be to promote bowhunting, roving and
related activities in a non-competitive manner.” The first organization
meeting was held on a Wednesday, July 18, 1951, 8:00 p.m., at the Richland
Recreation Hall conference room.
After its formation the club membership started to grow with Keith Gunnar
Roy/Rachel Burch, Ralph/Susie Park, Jim Scoggin, Jess Arledge, Jim Boak,
Wayne Worley, Don Vaughn, Royce Wingfield, John Smith, Bob Falkoski,
Marv Shockley, George Finney, George McLaughlin, and other members
whose names were not available.
Members then wore green jackets with Colyak Bowhunters emblems that
are still being used by the present club members. Some wore personally
made Colyak T-shirts. The then club members had informative meetings,
potluck picnics, and other get-togethers. They tried to make their
activities informal – having fun was their main thing!
Keith Gunnar, one of the club founders, has been the secretary-treasurer
of the Washington State Bowhunters for 1952 to 1954. He worked as a
chemical engineer for GE at Hanford Works and wrote a weekly archery
article called Bowline for the Hanford Works News. Mr. Gunnar is also a
professional photographer. He remained very active in archery until he
moved to Seattle in 1955.
In behalf of the present officers and members of Colyak Bowhunters, we
wish to thank Mr. Gunnar for providing us with pictures and data on the
formation and early years of the Colyak Bowhunters. It is with great
pleasure and appreciation that we acknowledge all your group efforts in
forming the archery club that we inherited. We are proud to let you know
that your efforts are not in vain. Membership of Colyak Bowhunters is
Colyak Bowhunters Club welcomes the original and succeeding officers
and members to contact the club to share your experiences and pictures
that you may have, or better yet come and join us in our activities. We will
love to see you!