Howard Hill

Howard Hill

Howard Hill (November 13 1899 - February 4 1975) was an archer who was unofficially referred to as the "World's Greatest Archer". He is the only person to win 196 archery field tournaments in succession. He was inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in 1971 for his skill in archeryFact|date=February 2007.


He would perform by doing difficult trick shots like shooting an apple off of someone's head from as far as sixty feet, and then top that by shooting a prune from the same distance [cite book
last = Wiles
first = Buster
authorlink = Buster Wiles
coauthors =
title = My Days With Errol Flynn: The Autobiography of Stuntman Buster Wiles
publisher = Roundtable Publishing
date= February 1989
location =
pages =
url =
doi =
id = ISBN 0-915677-36-9
] He put out several short documentaries on archery, often featuring himself performing other trick shots like shooting a flipped coin from a distance or splitting a rolling ball made of wood. He would also sit on the ground and push his bow with his feet while pulling the arrow back; even from this position he was able to hit the bullseye.



*Cruise of the Zaca (1952)
*Deep Sea Fishing (1952)
*Arrow Artistry (1951)
*Battle of Champs (1947)
*Cavalcade of Archery (1946)
*Wild Boar Hunt (1940)
*Sword Fishing (1939)
*The Last Wilderness (1935)

Technical advisor and archery instructor

*Across the Wide Missouri (1951)
*The Bandit of Sherwood Forest (1946)
*Buffalo Bill (1944)
*The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)

His role as stunt archer in the film "The Adventures of Robin Hood" (in which Errol Flynn plays the title character) allowed for a famous shot of the movie, in which Robin Hood splits an arrow from nock to tip. In an episode of "MythBusters", nobody was able to replicate the complete splitting of an arrow, and it was revealed that Howard Hill was able to accomplish this only because the arrow to be split was made of bamboo, not wood.

Byron Ferguson, Hill's spiritual successor, was able to perfectly split one arrow with another using a reflex-deflex longbow for the History channel special "Extreme Marksmen". It did however take him 937 tries, but the average archer chance is 1 in every 10,000 shots will be a "Robin Hood".

Byron Ferguson, however, did not split a wooden arrow from nock to tip, as was portrayed in the movie, but telescoped a modern aluminum arrow into another.

The aluminum arrow and carbon fiber arrow a the most popular shafts used today. They are also more consistent and straighter than wood arrows, making it easier to be a consistently accurate archer. These facts make Howard Hill's feat more impressive since he only used Port Orford cedar wood arrows, but he did use specially made aluminum shafts to take his elephants.

This was refuted by Hollywood stuntman, Buster Wiles in his book 'My Days With Errol Flynn'. In the book Wiles revealed that Hill had been unable to split the arrow as scripted and that in the end, a specially constructed arrow with a large bladed head had been used, shot along a concealed wire. Neverthe less, he has several times broken one arrow with another his accuracy was so great. These shots simply weren't as clean as the one portrayed in the movie.

Both Wiles and Hill were long time friends of Errol Flynn and frequent guests at this house and on his yacht.

Fictional representations

In Book One of DC Comics' "Green Arrow: The Longbow Hunters" by Mike Grell, Howard Hill is mentioned by Oliver Queen as having been his childhood idol. It is this series that depicts Ollie's meeting with Hill during a cruise that led to Queen's becoming the Emerald Archer.

In fact, it is repeatedly mentioned throughout the regular Green Arrow series that Oliver Queen met Howard Hill on a cruise ship shortly before falling overboard. Hill is shown shooting a quarter out of the air with the bow he used on the film "The Adventures of Robin Hood". He then gives this bow to Queen, who later finds himself on a tropical island using that very bow to survive.The bow makes a reappearance in the world of Oliver Queen when he begins to seek "spiritual guidance". It then becomes the bow he regularly uses in his crimefighting escapades.When Oliver dies 'Green Arrow #101' his son Connor Hawke Starts to use the Hill Bow to fight crime, and is still using it to this day.

In the first issue of "Green Arrow: Year One", Oliver Queen (Green Arrow) buys the bow Hill used during the filming of Robin Hood.


External links

*imdb name|id=0384325|name=Howard Hill
* [ Bow Hunters Hall Of Fame]

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