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Earl Hoyt, Jr.
Experts vary as to when the Hoyt Archery Company was actually founded. Some report that Hoyt was founded in 1931 in St. Louis, MO with Earl Hoyt Sr. and his son producing hand-made cedar arrows and wooden bows. Others believe that it was in 1942 that Earl convinced his dad to go into the archery business with him under the name of Hoyt Archery Company. Notwithstanding, the first major breakthrough was in bow design, introducing in 1947 dynamic balanced limbs and limbs of equal length. Hoyt was among the first to use deflex-reflex bow design. He then began designing bows with a semi-pistol grip, and in 1956 the full pistol grip. He later added stabilizers. The archery industry relied upon Earl’s expertise many times while he served as a member of the Standards Committee for the Archery Manufactures Organization and while serving as president in 1964. His famous target bow, the Pro Medalist was used by archers Doreen Wilbur and John Williams to win gold medals in the 1972 Olympics, the first year that archery was added back into the Olympic Games after many years.
Hoyt never did produce a large line of recurve bows. In the mid-1950s, the Hoyt lineup consisted of only three models: the Pro OIympian target bow, the all-purpose Pro, and the Champ II hunting bow. Both his 1964 through 1970 line included only the Pro Medalist and Pro Custom target bows, the Pro Hunter hunting bow, the XPert all-purpose bow, and the Scout entry-level bow.
In the 1960s when Holless Allen created the first compound bow prototype, Hoyt took the design and proceeded to create his own version of the compound bow that proved to be a much better product than what Allen had invented. This innovation that Hoyt displayed continued to drive the Hoyt Archery Company for many years to come. Hoyt is one of the few vintage archery companies that not only survived the compound era, but redefined it.
Earl Hoyt, Jr. had first met Ann Hoyt when Ann was working at Robin Hood Archery. Having traveled in similar social circles the two knew each other and had spoken on the phone on numerous occasions. Earl is reported to have often watched his future wife from behind her chair on the archery line while she shot a bow during archery tournaments. Earl, too, competed in tournaments. In the late 60s, Earl and Ann begun dating and were married in 1971. When Earl Sr. died Earl Jr. and Ann took over the reins of Hoyt Archery. They shared thirty-four happy years together making history with Hoyt Archery. Ann was sixteen years old when she was first introduced to archery. She later became a world champion and like Earl, was inducted into the Archery Hall of Fame. She worked alongside her husband and supported his passion for archery.
In 1983, Hoyt was purchased by California-based sporting goods equipment manufacturer Jas D. Easton Inc., and its headquarters moved to Salt Lake City. This was a marriage of Hoyt bows and Easton arrows. Hoyt is currently a division of the Easton-family owned Jas. D. Easton, Inc. which also owns Easton Technical Products, manufacturers of arrows, tent tubing and medical tubing. Easton was formed in 1922 by Doug Easton.