Stevens Creek County Park has a heritage dating back to the later 1920’s during which time the Civilian Conservation Corps was engaged during the depression era to put people to work by cutting trails and developing parks facilities. The park was initially managed by the County Roads Department and later placed under the control of the current County Parks & Recreation Department.
Stevens Creek Park Archery Range was activated during the 1957–1958 period. Members of the San Jose Archery Club maintained practice range butts mounted on wood platforms for seven years. Early contributors to range operations included the following:
Vernon Smith (a county electrician)
Frank Gasman (cousin of Vernon Smith)
John Daly (local archer whose father worked for PG&E who helped install current bridges made with telephone poles which span Stevens Creek to the upper field course beginning with target number 7)
Gordon & Burt Drummond (experienced carpenters who coordinated telephone pole placement using block and tackle rigging)
Lee & Sherrie Child (Lockheed employees who were active at meetings and owners of the Wild Cat Sports Shop in Los Gatos)
Rolland Fogg (Lockheed employee active in range affairs)
Primary range activists were employed by or had connections to Lockheed Corporation at Moffett Field and San Jose PG&E. Due to problems with vandalism at the range, the San Jose Archery Club relocated the range to a Christmas Tree farm located off Skyline Boulevard. This site was used for about two years until the land was developed. Range operations returned to Stevens Creek County Park.
During the 1970’s and early 80’s, the range was maintained by Stevens Creek Bowman and Lockheed Employees Recreational Association. Close inspection of metal bow stands positioned near target 21 on the field range will reveal the engraved letters “LERA”, an abbreviation for “Lockheed Employee Recreational Association”. During 1975-1980 the range fell in disrepair and was vulnerable to vandals who abused the property with all-terrain vehicles and damaged the facilities.
In 1980, efforts to refurbish the range were initiated by Glen Silva. Glen contacted a ranger by the name of Reese (Reese Current?) and suggested that a perimeter fence be installed to establish some control over the property. The first cooperative agreement between archers and the parks department was achieved whereby materials (pressure treated poles and barbed wire) were furnished by the park and Glen and a group of friends rented an auger to install the present day barbed wire perimeter fence. Glen was also responsible for installing the first split rail fence, which bounded the range driveway.
In 1983, Al Nelson and some twenty other archery enthusiasts founded Bowhunters Unlimited—a club dedicated to promoting bow hunting. This was the first organized group to formally enter into a use permit agreement with Santa Clara County Parks & Recreation Department. A number of concrete core cylinder markers were installed on the field range to satisfy the minimum yardage marker requirements then mandatory for NFAA range certification and insurance. Club meetings were held periodically at a local Round Table pizza parlor at the junction of Saratoga Avenue and Moorpark. The club was affiliated with E&G Archery run by George Stutler.
In 1986, Glen Silva became President. Stan Koslowski was Range Master. The practice range consisted of an evenly aligned wall of bales positioned at the rear of the present day range. Concrete core cylinders were positioned in the ground to identify yardages towards the parking lot. The covered observation framework was installed in 1987. The large poles were donated by United Technologies with the help of Stan Dudley. Joe Giacomaazzi hired a company to level the area and drill the holes for pole installation. That same year the practice range was revamped into its present variable yardage configuration. Stan visited Kings Mountain’s range in Woodside and the layout was duplicated at Stevens Creek Range such that multiple shooters could have the choice to shoot different distances at the same time.
In 1987, Tom Liston became club President. Tom’s daughter was the designer of the recent pig and deer club logo.
In 1988, Jerry Rubalacabe built the barbecue with donated materials (brick, mortar, etc.). The grate and crank were purchased by BHU. The range entrance was locked and accessible only by BHU club members. Later in December of 1990, this arrangement was rescinded by the Parks Department based upon complaints about handicapped access and the threat of legal action.
Between 1995 and 1998, Don Eberhard was very actively involved in creating much of the range we see today. He got the donations of 140 tons of asphalt and 100 tons of base rock needed to get the driveway paved, and donations of 3,000 feet of heavy rubber conveyor belting from United Airlines to create the 120-foot-long backstop on the practice range. Under his stint as rangemaster, safety railings were installed, bridges built, trail and range rule signs were installed and trellis shade areas were created. He got 150 companies to donate tools and supplies.
The recent club logo was tweaked in 2009 by Cameron Gott.