PRADCO Outdoor Brands has acquired Gene Larew Lures, a Tulsa, Oklahoma, company that manufactures and sells fishing lures under its Gene Larew, Bobby Garland and Crappie Pro brands.
The U.S. Coast Guard released its 2018 Recreational Boating Statistics Report last week, revealing that there were 633 boating fatalities nationwide in 2018, a 3.8 percent decrease from 2017.
– Shooting ammunition handloaded with Berger 338 Caliber 300 grain OTM Tactical Hybrids and Lapua cartridge cases, Randy Wise scored three consecutive hits on a 36” plate at a distance of 2,158 yards to set a new world record at the NRA Extreme Long Range Championships.

If you enjoy wildlife be sure to make plans to attend the 18th annual Dead Creek Wildlife Day in Addison, Vermont on Saturday, October 5.
On Sunday, September 15, 2019 SIG SAUER Academy will host best selling author Jack Carr for an exclusive book-signing event from 1:00pm – 4:00pm at the SIG SAUER Academy Pro Shop at 233 Exeter Road in Epping, New Hampshire.
The Second Amendment Foundation and Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms expect huge interest in this year’s 34th annual Gun Rights Policy Conference the weekend of Sept. 20-22 in Phoenix, Ariz.
Fort Harrison State Park will host the annual Cowboy Bob and Wrangler Gail Bark Walk on Sunday, Sept. 29, from 1:30 to 4 p.m.

The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department says hunters are looking forward to Vermont’s upcoming October 5- November 1 and December 7-15 archery deer hunting season.
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources announced that archery hunting for white-tailed and sika deer opens statewide Sept. 6, and continues through Jan. 31, 2020.
Arkansas Hunters Feeding the Hungry will hold a special “freezer cleanout day” at the Bass Pro Shops in Little Rock, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Sept. 21.
Upon the National Weather Service hurricane and storm surge warning announcements for the greater Charleston, South Carolina area, along with mandatory evacuations ordered by South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster, Shimano has suspended operations of its North Charleston distribution center and fishing division office.

The Stuart Sailfish Club Foundation has once again partnered with US and Bahamian Customs, Blue Marlin Cove, West End Bahama Island, Day Maker Charters and The Stuart Jet Center to collect relief items for those on the Island devastated by Hurricane Dorian.
As part of JL Marine Systems new Community Action Service Team initiative, the company will be collecting supplies for those impacted by the landfall of Hurricane Dorian, particularly batteries, generators, and cell phone and USB charging devices.
The entire angling community is feeling the hurt along with our neighbors in the Bahamas suffering from the effects of Hurricane Dorian--donating supplies can help.
Because the storm is expected to bring large amounts of polluted water into shellfish areas and shellfish feed by filtering the water, harvest has been closed temporarily.

FLIR Systems and Excess Catamarans have announced a partnership between FLIR’s award-winning Raymarine brand and Groupe Beneteau new catamaran brand, Excess.
Sovereign Sportsman Solutions has been awarded a contract by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife to build a new volunteer and event management System for the agency.
Savage Arms has named JKS Unlimited, Tim Bailey & Associates and Jones & Company to service valued Savage retailers, dealers and distributors across the United States.
Clenzoil is proud to announce a new program geared toward giving back to industry instructors and guides. To honor their dedication, Clenzoil will provide approved field staff access to discounted Clenzoil products and gear.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (“ODFW”) has awarded Sovereign Sportsman Solutions company a multi-year contract to build and support a new volunteer and event management system.
Outdoor Solutions announces its 2020 spring schedule for its highly popular long-range shooting schools. Outdoor Solutions hosts its long-range shooting schools in Texas, Utah and now at the newly opened location in Michigan.
- JOBS -
The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation seeks a Development Officer (DO) to serve as a key member of the RMEF’s Field Operations Team, which includes the VP of Field Operations, Directors of Field Operations, Executive Staff, Regional Directors, Lands Program Managers, Development staff and Board of Directors.
The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation seeks a performance-motivated team player with strong interpersonal skills to engage and manage volunteer activities, event fundraising and major gift fundraising in Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Mississippi.

Bear & Son Cutlery introduces a new fixed blade designed for big game hunters, the 563 Small Stag Bone Hunter.
Realtree Fishing "It Was This Big" Tee by Grunt Style is the perfect tee for those fisherman who like to tell a tall tale of how they had a fish "this big."
GILL’s new OS Thermal Zip Neck Top is the ideal technical layering piece to team with a protective outer layer, and is an indispensible solution for all manner of active outdoor pursuits.
LIVETARGET reminds anglers that their brand new Freestyle Frog and other advanced frog-replicating baits are ideal choices for catching big bass right now, as well as throughout the coming days of fall.

The Browning Men's Reversible Jacket in Realtree EDGE Camo is the ideal choice for hunting, working, farming or any other activity where you appreciate a warm, durable, versatile jacket.
Bear & Son Cutlery introduces the 563 Stage Bone Hunter, a new fixed blade designed for big game hunters.
B.A.S.S. has debuted a free Roku channel offering more than 1,000 videos ranging from coverage of the 2019 Bassmaster Classic and past Bassmaster Elite Series events to quick tips from pro anglers.
Plano Synergy recently became Ducks Unlimited’s latest Proud Partner, supporting waterfowl and wetlands conservation through a strategic partnership with Zink Calls and Plano.
The Pope and Young Club announces that Lancaster Archery Supply has renewed their support through our Corporate Partner Program
The International Game Fish Association (IGFA) is excited to announce three new hires, who have recently joined the organization to fill the positions of Angler Recognition Coordinator, Communications Manager and Events Coordinator.
Outdoors Tomorrow Foundation, a nonprofit group, based in Dallas, Texas, has celebrated a milestone, partnering with 500 middle and high schools in 34 states which use its curriculum to “teach outdoor education and promote conservation of wildlife worldwide."
Whitetails Unlimited has named Brandon Showen of Wilmington, Ohio as Field Director of the Year for fiscal year 2018-19. Showen, who conducts events for WTU in western Ohio, was honored based on chapter performance, service to local chapters, and internal performance benchmarks.
This week, Outdoors Radio features Ruffed Grouse Society regional director Dave Johnson, dog trainer Tim Mader, charter captain Dan Welsch, and archery expert JC Chamberlin.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has announced that state wildlife agencies now may claim a dollar value of the NRA’s Free Online Hunter Education Course as in-kind match dollars to access federal Pittman-Robertson (P-R) grant funds.
Boss Buck introduces The Boss Blend, a new no-till seed blend for your hard to reach food plots.
Bow hunters looking to upgrade to the most advanced bow sight on the planet will receive a $100 gift card with the purchase of a Burris Oracle Bow Sight from an authorized Burris dealer.
Tactical Solutions (TacSol) announces the company’s revolutionary Pac-Lite IV TSS Barrel upgrade is now available for the popular Ruger® Mark IV™.
In response to the eleven-member San Francisco Board of Directors labeling the NRA as a “domestic terrorist organization” Honor Defense is offering an 11% promotional discount for a firearm purchased in September.
Plano Molding has renewed as a Whitetails Unlimited national sponsor, said WTU President Jeff Schinkten.
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources today announced that Wildlife Division Chief Russ Mason is taking on a new position as the DNR’s executive in residence at Michigan State University’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, effective Sept. 22.
The California Fish and Game Commission announced this week that Melissa Miller-Henson has been selected to serve as its executive director.
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources Parks and Recreation Division will host a public meeting from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 19, at Bangor Township Hall (Community Room), in Bay City.
An Indiana DNR Division of Reclamation (DOR) project in southwest Indiana has received the highest regional award the federal Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE) issues annually.
Robert Trundy, age 38 of Hebron, Maine, plead guilty yesterday in Oxford County Superior Court to Manslaughter, a class A crime, for the killing of Karen Wrentzel on October 28, 2017
September’s arrival ended the Pennsylvania Game Commission survey on wild turkey sightings, but participants can report their July and August sightings through Friday, Sept. 6.
Come along for the hunt with Corey Brossman and the “out there” crew on Innerloc’s Out There airing Saturday at 9 a.m. ET on Sportsman Channel.
The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s award-winning weekly television show returns with new episodes Oct. 5 on KFTA-TV Channel 24 in northwestern Arkansas and Oct. 6 on KARZ-TV Channel 42 and KARK-TV Channel 4 in the central Arkansas market.
Last week the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's estimates showed a stable population, similar to last year at first glance, but biologists with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission caution that a deeper look may temper some expectations.
Fourth grade students can get a free annual pass to visit more than 2,000 federal recreation areas with their families, classmates, and friends through the Every Kid Outdoors Program.

There’s been a lot of “spitballing" throughout the industry since Walmart’s announcement yesterday that it will no longer sell certain ammunition calibers. Seems everyone from the manufacturers to the smallest retailer is trying to figure out what the decision means to them.

After all, it’s not often a retailing giant with a reputation for predatory pricing ever cedes market share of anything. And Walmart says they estimate the impact about 12-14 percent of the entire U.S. ammunition market. Since they’re innovators and pioneers in customer information collection, there’s no doubt they’re closer than a ballpark estimate.

Here’s one simple fact: ammunition consumers (shooters) across the country will now be forced to find another source for the fuel to run their guns. If you’re in California, for example, you’re going to be forced to look locally- there’s no option otherwise.

Certainly, it’s an opportunity for retailers -but there’s really no clarity on just what it might mean to small independents.

One idea about estimating upside potential for a small retailer involves looking at the numbers on how much their sales declined after Walmart came to their area. Take that number and start estimating how the market has changed since that decline.

OK, as an aside, it’s unlikely that any retailer will regain all the market share lost to Walmart and their economies of scale. But it’s also true the marketplace is larger than five, ten or twenty years ago.

Simply stated, there are more shooters than even five years ago. So…there’s some reason for optimism if you’re a retailer.

But there’s more at play than simple market share. There are economic and logistic factors as well. A retailer will need the means to purchase and then warehouse the product to service customers.

That wherewithal is one primary reason Walmart was able to squeeze small retailers out. Their volume buying, distribution and inventory management gives them advantages no single-location retailer, buying group or distributor can hope to match.

So….there’s some ground to be gained there. Provided, of course, the small retailer has the financial wherewithal to buy and warehouse the ammunition. Walmart’s volume buying offers advantages that no single-location retailer can ever match. And no ammunition company is going to want to sit on the amount of product Walmart regularly accepted at distribution centers around the country.

Twenty percent of all U.S. ammunition sales represents a lot of investment in raw materials and manufacturing costs.

So what’s a manufacturer to do?

Here are a few suggestions:

- Don’t panic…the demand is still there.

  • Realize that selling your product into all those abandoned Walmart areas will mean lots more time taking- and filling orders. Not many small stores need ammo by the rail car. Yes, logistics will increase, but opportunity always lurks in sudden market changes.
  • Consider working with retailers and creating groups with cooperative plans to let their customers know your product is still available in their stores
  • Realize that there’s an opportunity here to work with the industry’s backbone- small retailers- and reach back out to the core gun community. These are the retailers that can sell your product on knowledge, not price.

“It’s really a time of opportunity for small retailers,” Pete Brownell of the eponymous Brownells told me yesterday, “the core of our industry, small retailers are going to have an opportunity to get back some of the business lost by a retailer that focuses on squeezing the margins, not selling based on knowledge, experience and affinity.”

“To me,” he says, “it’s actually good news, although it’s never all good news when any company starts to give in to social pressure.”

He’s right on both points. Granted, some consumers will lose the ability to hit a Walmart for a box of rifle shells, diapers, orange juice and sodas. But they’ll now have a valid reason to go back to the stores where the shelves and displays are full of products they actually enjoy.


On an unrelated note…we have gotten word that Ruger has filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Hampshire against American Outdoor Brands Company, Smith & Wesson and Thompson/Center Arms. The suit alleges that Thompson/Center’s T/CR22 rifle infringes on the “trade dress” of Ruger’s ubiquitous 10/22 rimfire.

No further information available, but as always, we’ll keep you posted.

—Jim Shepherd

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