William Eiker, Sr.
My father, Bob Eiker Sr., was a life-long resident of Emmitsburg, who resided at 116 South Seton Avenue, located directly across from the Chronicle office. From his garage, he operated Bob’s Archery Shop, the only supplier of archery accessories within 25 miles. He crafted custom shafts, bow strings, new and used bows, and free advice.
A straw bale was used as a target in the back yard. Arrow shafts evolved from cedar to fiberglass to aluminum to carbon over the years, and from long bows to recurve to compound.
Bob also provided services to the Trojan Sport Shop near Waynesboro, Pennsylvania. Producing custom bow strings and straightening aluminum shafts were among some of his services. He was responsible for many potential archery and bow hunting buffs in the surrounding communities.
In the early 1950s, Bob and several friends of the community endeavored to form a local archery club, equipped with a shooting range that would be open to enthusiasts for competition. This dream was realized when land was leased southwest of Emmitsburg, off Riffle Road.
Some of the early founders and members of Indian Lookout Bowmen were Bob Eiker, Harold Hoke, Weldon Shank, Elwood Eiker, Gilbert Eiker, Morris (Mickey) Eyler, Jack Umble, Jim Brown, John Adelsberger, Tom Zurgable, and Mac Ancarrow.
Competitors from miles around came to shoot this rugged terrain and challenging course. The club disbanded in the late 1950s due to the loss of the land.
Bob also assisted in the formation of a new archery range in the 1960s, off Pumping Station Road near Gettysburg, and then again when this range relocated near Bonneauville, Pennsylvania.
Bob was so respected for his knowledge and successes in bow hunting that his friends referred to him as “The Fred Bear” of Emmitsburg.
Fred Bear was born in Waynesboro, Pennsylvania, in 1902 and earned the reputation of “the Father of Bowhunting.”
Over the years, Bear would become an international bowhunting legend, tackling all manner of dangerous game with his trusty bow and arrow. Bear broke six archery world records for various big game species: Alaskan brown bear, barren-ground caribou, mountain caribou, Canada moose, polar bear, and stone sheep.
My father catered to his customers in Emmitsburg for nigh onto fifty years. His last two buck successes were acquired when he was eighty-two and eighty-three years of age.
Bob Eiker, Sr. was born January 21, 1917, and departed this life May 10, 2004.
May his legacy live on!
From Friday, October 29, 1954, issue of Frederick Post:
“Pictured are winners of championships and trophies at the recent championship archery match, sponsored by Indian Lookout Bowmen’s Club. Elwood Eiker was awarded the trophy for winning the championship at the tournament held at the range on Riffle Road near town. Other winners at the shoot were Maurice Eyler, medal and ribbon; Robert Eiker, medal; and Johnny Adelsberger, medal. The first junior award was claimed by Robert Eiker, Jr., ribbon and medal, with James Brown second. Weldon B. Shank won the flight medal award.”