In Memory of: Dave Staples – 1939-2008


  “It is not the destination, but the journey.” 


In the nineteen sixties a young man from Easton Pennsylvania had a dream.
That dream was that some day there would be an archery hall of fame to honor those deserving in the sport of archery. In 1972, together with Joe Rusinek, that dream became reality and in 2008 Dave Staples was the first person since the hall’s inception to be inducted in the Lifetime Achievement Category as well as for Contributor to the Sport and Influence on the Sport.

Dave with the immortal Papa Bear.

Dave traced his beginnings in archery back to the age of 13, when his uncle, Paul Merwarth mentored him into the sport of bowhunting. Dave joined his uncle hunting whitetails in the farmlands of central New Jersey. Merwarth, who also owned an archery shop, gave Dave his first job in the retail archery business….sweeping floors. Having mastered that, Dave was introduced to the nuances of fletching arrows and making bowstrings. As his interest grew, he soon found himself a participant in both field and target archery at local, state and regional levels.

At age 20, he started writing about the sport. It was not long before he was named Assistant Editor of Bowhunting Magazine. Dave’s byline at sometime appeared in virtually every archery magazine in operation from the nineteen fifties through the seventies. In 1987 he co-authored the book Peak Performance Archery with master coach, mentor and friend, Al Henderson.

Over his 50-plus years of involvement in the sport, he worked tirelessly to promote archery and bowhunting.  His many radio and television show guest appearances over the years exposed thousands to the diversity of the sport and promoted it as a lifetime activity.
As an archery lanes operator, he also introduced thousands of archers to the sport of bowhunting and the many forms of competitive archery.  Through his business, he also sponsored a vibrant Junior Olympic Archery Development Program (JOAD) developed by the National Archery Association as the original feeder system for the Olympics. The Spectre program mentored hundreds of kids in the sports, some of whom went on to NAA amateur and collegiate competition and many of whom continued to participate for years to come.
With Ann Hoyt
In 1996, Dave was elected president of the Archery Hall of Fame. Since its inception he has served the hall in every administrative post during the organizations  38 year history. His administrative efforts and fundraising helped grow the Hall from what was originally, a committee of the American Archery Council, to an independent, non profit organization. His work assisted in establishing the Hall its permanent home in Springfield Missouri .
“The Father of the Archery Hall of Fame”

The following is a poem written by

AHOF Executive Director, Diane Miller

On June 18th, 2008


In Memory Of  Dave Staples

                                                                  1939- 2008

Today I have to say goodbye to you, “My Special Friend”
Our bond was formed many years ago and was true until the end

Your agenda was a special one, Your passion, “The Hall of Fame”
The Archery World will carry on, but will never be the same

Your mission wasn’t finished, there was so much more to do
So many dreams were shattered, on the day that we lost you

You will forever be my mentor, I learned so much from you
As I face life’s challenges, I’ll do exactly what you would do

You taught me so many things, Stand Firm, Don’t question why
The one thing that you didn’t do, was teach me how to say goodbye

The chain has now been broken, but we will carry on your quest
until our mission is completed and we too, are laid to rest

This year you’ll be inducted into The Archery Hall of Fame
I can already see you smiling as MR calls out your name

                                                                                            Until we meet again……


Al Henderson, Karl Palmatier, Diane Miller, and Dave Staples

Notes of Interest

  •  President of the Professional Archers Association
  • Vice President of the American Archery Council
  • Director of Education, Professional Archers Association
  • One of the founding members of the Archery Lane Operators Association
  • Director of the Instructional Steering Committee for the National Archery Association
  • President of the Archery Hall of Fame & Museum, Inc.
  •  Karl E. Palmatier Award of Merit – 1978
  • Pete Shepley Archery Excellence Award in 1986
  • Over 50 years of involvement in the sport of archery
  •  Inducted into the Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania Archery Hall of Fame in 1976
  •  Editor and writer for various archery and outdoor consumer and trade publications
  •  For 20-plus years, he was directly involved in the N.R.A.’s Youth Hunter Education Challenge
  •  From 1965 – 1990 he was a guest on more than 300 sport talk shows
  •  In 1969 coached the Women’s Professional National Team to victory at the Ben Pearson Open
  •  From 1969 – 1974 served as director of the PAA’s advanced international coaching program.
  •  Member of TWAC (The World Archery Center) senior coaching staff from 1976 through 1985.
  • From 1960 to 1980 coached 49 students to State, Regional and National Championships

Thank you Diane Miller, the Archery Hall of Fame and most of all to you my friend and mentor Dave. We all miss you Dave.

For BHN Interview go to: Dave Staples

For more go to: Archery Hall of Fame