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FRIDAY, OCTOBER 2, 2020

- TOP STORY -
Yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives built off the historic passage of the Great American Outdoors Act, and other conservation victories in the 116th Congress, by passing America's Conservation Enhancement (ACE) Act (S. 3051), on a voice vote, making this Congress one of the most impactful for sportsmen and women in a lifetime. The legislation now goes to President Trump’s desk to be signed into law.
- ACQUISITIONS -
GSM Outdoors is excited to announce their newest company acquisition, GPS Bags. GPS Bags manufactures specialized range and gear bags for shooters under two distinct product lines and has quickly become a pioneer in the modern range back category.
- BOATING -
Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) is urging Alameda County residents who own boats as well as those who keep their boats in the county to take advantage of a Marine Flare Collection Event to be held Sunday, Oct. 18.
- COLLEGIATE FISHING -

The AFTCO Collegiate Bass Open on Lake Dardanelle will award $20,000 in prizes and contingencies to the top collegiate anglers at the two-day event

- COMPETITION -
Bowtech is proud to announce that Pro Shooter Paige Pearce proved once again why hard work pays off and brought home several national victories.

Team Federal/CCI had an excellent showing, setting several world records, at the recent 2020 Palmetto State Armory and Lead Star Arms World Speed Shooting Championships held September 23-27 at CMP Marksmanship Park in Talladega, Alabama.
Bushnell will continue its title sponsorship of the 2020 GAP Grind/Bushnell Pro/Am set to be hosted by K&M Precision Rifle Training October 2-4 at the K&M Shooting Complex in Finger, Tennessee.
Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc. (NYSE: RGR) is pleased to announce that Team Ruger captured multiple divisional wins this past weekend.
- CONTESTS -
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources has announced the winners of the 2020 Natural Resources Photo Contest, with the grand prize going to Zaphir Shamma of Gunpowder for his striking photo of an eastern screech owl nestled in a tree cavity.

- FISHERIES -
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries' near real-time landings data collection program indicates that 777,564 pounds or 99 percent of Louisiana’s 2020 annual private recreational allocation of 784,332 pounds have been harvested during the 2020 red snapper season.
- GEAR -
Plano's EDGE™ line stood out amongst leaders in the technology and conservation markets for Fast Company's Best Product Design of 2020.
The CHARD Pro-Former Electric Jerky Gun quickly and efficiently forms large amounts of wild game or lean ground beef into jerky with one pull of the trigger.
Blackhawk announced the addition of new SERPA CQC concealment holsters for the SIG SAUER P365/P365XL, Glock 48, Smith & Wesson M&P Shield EZ 9mm/.380 Auto and Springfield Hellcat pistols.

The B-301, conceived from a collaboration with Millennium Marine, features a pommel horse design that allows all-day comfort whether you sit saddle style, with your legs on the same side, or stand and lean against it.
- GRANTS -
More than 70 rural and volunteer fire departments from 47 Indiana counties have been awarded more than $320,000 in Volunteer Fire Assistance grants, DNR Director Dan Bortner announced Thursday.
The State of Maryland in partnership with the Forever Maryland Foundation is now accepting applications for the annual Keep Maryland Beautiful grants program.
The Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s Outdoor Fund has awarded a grant to Houston Safari Club Foundation (HSCF) in support of HSCF’s youth outdoor education programs.

- INDUSTRY -
Northland Fishing Tackle and the Bagley Bait Company are proud to announce the expansion of their established rep group Sokol Associates’ territory, effective October 1, 2020.
For over 35 years, Keith Warren has been a voice for all hunters- sharing his experiences, knowledge, and passion for the outdoors with viewers across the globe on television and the internet. The Lucas Oil Outdoor Line proudly sponsors Warren’s hit show, “The High Road with Keith Warren”, and gave his daughter, Matti Tackett, the opportunity to share her dad’s story through a biographical video.
MarineMax recently announced the acquisition of SkipperBud's and its affiliate, Silver Seas, deepening the North-South-West connection for both organizations and their customers.
NSSF announces that Leupold & Stevens, Inc., a leading firearm scopes and sport optics manufacturer, has made a significant contribution to NSSF’s #GUNVOTE® voter registration, education and mobilization campaign.

The innovative device will remove micro-plastics and debris from the engine cooling water before returning it to the ocean.
Olin Corporation (NYSE: OLN) announces that effective October 1, its ammunition division, Olin Winchester LLC has assumed full management and operational control of the Lake City Army Ammunition Plant in Independence, Missouri.
SIG SAUER, Inc. announced that its SIG AIR Division has officially joined forces with Evike Manufacturing Group for future product development, and continued product distribution of SIG AIR airgun and airsoft products in the U.S. through Evike.com.
Boating Industry has announced the 10th annual Mover & Shaker of the Year Award goes to David Foulkes, CEO of Brunswick Corporation.

Effective October 1, Pure Archery Group hires industry veteran Phil Rabb as Mid Atlantic Territory Manager for North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia and West Virginia.
- JOBS -
In this role you’ll develop and manage the implementation of strategies for marketing and selling Leupold’s products to key channel partners: national accounts, distributors, and buy groups.
In this role you’ll be a key member of a high performance regional sales team, selling our premiere sports optics products to accounts in your assigned territory.
- LEGISLATION -
The United States House of Representatives’ unanimous passage of the bipartisan America’s Conservation Enhancement (ACE) Act affects many important wetland habitat and wildlife conservation programs. It now heads to the President’s desk to be signed into law.

H.R. 5126, the Direct Enhancement of Snapper Conservation and the Economy through Novel Devices Act of 2020 (DESCEND Act) requires recreational (including charter boats) and commercial fishermen to have on board a venting tool or descending device that is rigged and ready for use while fishing for reef fish in Gulf of Mexico federal waters.
- MARINE ELECTRONICS -
Humminbird is introducing the fourth generation (G4N) HELIX models, delivering more technology than ever, with a wide range of features and screen sizes suitable for any fishing application.
- NATIONAL -
The Second Amendment Foundation has joined in an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in a case involving an Arizona man’s motion to dismiss an indictment charging with two counts of being a felon in possession of firearms, on the grounds that non-violent felony convictions should not serve as a reason for lifetime loss of Second Amendment rights.
- NEW PRODUCTS -
The B-301 features a Palma Horse design that allows all-day comfort whether you sit saddle style, with your legs on the same side, or stand and lean against it.
Humminbird announces the introduction of the SOLIX® Series third generation (G3) units, building on the brand’s commitment to deliver technology advancements that give anglers a more complete picture of the water and structure around them, to find and catch more fish.
Tigress introduces a pair of great products designed to make life easier back on the dock.
Millennium Outdoors have expanded their strategic alliance with the introduction of the Mossy Oak B-301 boat seat.
As a supporter of the National Breast Cancer Foundation, XS Sights is offering an exclusive Pink version of its DXT2 Big Dot Tritium Night Sight through the month of October.
Nightstick introduced their new series of dedicated long gun weapon lights in the LGL-150, LGL-160, and LGL-170 models. These new high-power long-gun lights are made for rifles, carbines, and shotguns with MIL-STD-1913 rails.
Viridian Weapon Technologies announces the arrival of the E-Series Laser Sight for the Taurus TX 22. The new red laser sight will add versatility and speed to the TX 22, Taurus’s in-demand semiautomatic rimfire.
- NOW STREAMING -
On a new episode of Focus Outdoor TV, we get an inside look at late season bird hunting in Aberdeen as Dennis Foster shares the true South Dakota lifestyle and hunting the way he grew up.
- ORGANIZATIONS -
Plano Synergy has joined the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance’s (USA) mission to unite the union community through conservation to preserve North America’s outdoor heritage.
The Professional Outdoor Media Association (POMA) is proud to announce our first-ever POMA's Friends and Family Auction, a fundraiser that will run online this year.
- PADDLE SPORTS -
Whether you enjoy fishing area streams or simply like to relax by spending a day floating, the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) wants to remind area paddlers that kayaks and conservation areas go together in the fall.
- PODCASTS -
Team Tactacam members Jacob Autry, Bailey Bleser, and Conner DiMauro, along with Ben Stern from Tactacam, join us for an enlightening discussion.
- PUBLISHING -
The Fall Issue of Delta Waterfowl magazine provides a must-read story for every North American waterfowler: the 2020 Flight Forecast.
- RADIO -
This week on America Outdoors Radio Bryan Hendricks, outdoors columnist for the Arkansas Democrat Gazette, defends his bold claim that Arkansas should be named the "Outdoors Capitol of the World".
It’s the bid to buy Marlin, gun rights across the states, a guide to understanding gun control efforts, and more, this week on Tom Gresham's Gun Talk Radio.
- STATES -
The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department is proposing to simplify fishing regulations to make them easier to understand and would like your input at virtual public meetings on October 13 and 14.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) will present a 10-year management plan for the Triple N Ranch Wildlife Management Area at a virtual public hearing on Thursday, Oct. 15.
The Utah Wildlife Board approved a few changes to some of Utah’s fishing regulations, along with a few other rule amendments during Thursday’s virtual public meeting.
Thought November 6, 2020, the public is invited to review and comment on the 2021-2025 Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan: Guiding Success in Nebraska Outdoor Recreation.
On Monday, Terry Coleman will become the new director of Indiana State Parks.
The Arizona Game and Fish Commission announced 16 recipients of the 2020 Commission Awards at its September 25 meeting in Greer.
- TELEVISION -
This week on Pursuit Channel, join Shooting Pro, Doug Koenig and Leupold CEO Bruce Pettet, as they travel to the Majestic Mountains of Utah in Pursuit of Monster Bull Elk.
- WILDLIFE -
The Arizona Game and Fish Commission (AZGFD) and the National Park Service (NPS) have entered into an agreement to reduce the number of bison present on the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park.
- YOUTH SPORTS -
Throughout the entire month of October, anyone interested in benefiting youth shooting sports can join the MidwayUSA Foundation’s 2020 Hometown Challenge
 

FWC biologist Pierson Hill recently documented an extremely unusual “patternless” eastern diamondback rattlesnake in north Florida, which he then microchipped and released safely for identification by researchers in the future. This color morph is exceptionally rare – only a small handful of patternless diamondbacks have been documented by biologists, according to FFWCC. We thought it worth sharing with you because it’s still warm enough for cold-blooded creatures to be active in the woods, despite it being hunting season. 

Covering the details of the bankruptcy auction and breakup of the assets of the entity formerly known as Remington Outdoor, you tend to get caught up in the dollars and lose sight of one thing: the bankruptcy is unfortunate for the industry, but it has the potential to have a cataclysmic impact on the people who work-or worked (depending on how things shake out) at Remington.

In acquisitions, facilities change ownership, but the people, largely, remain. In the short-term there are seldom any changes. As the new owners learn the nuances, redundancies may be eliminated and economies-of-scale realized by consolidation, but the majority of the people survive.

A bankruptcy is different. In a Chapter 7 liquidation, the company, essentially ceases to exist.

Most Remington manufacturing workers have either already been furloughed. For others, their final day of employment is today.

But not every company’s fate is the same in this liquidation. Some have already ceased to exist as anything other than brands. And we know that Vista Outdoor intends to continue operations in the ammunition manufacturing facility in Lonoke, so those workers seem to be OK.

But what about the two “other” key assets: Remington firearms and Marlin? Those are two decidedly different situations.

Yesterday, I spoke with Roundhill Group partner Jeff Edwards about that group’s plans for Remington firearms, and Ruger CEO Chris Killoy about his company’s plans for their acquisition, Marlin.

They’re both bullish about their acquisitions in the long-term. Their situations in the short-term, are definitely different.

For Killoy and Ruger, Marlin’s a straight-asset acquisition. For Edwards and Roundhill, it’s an opportunity to restore a gun company to its former glory.

Edwards was straightforward in his group’s intent: keep Remington operating -in Ilion, New York- and to have guns being manufactured there again as soon as possible.

“We’re intent to keep Remington in Ilion, and operating again as quickly as possible,” he told me, “and it’s not altruism. We’re optimistic about the town, working with the union, and the highly-skilled workforce there.”

The Roundhill Group, he told me, doesn’t expect this to be simple, but “It’ll be interesting and we’re going to tackle it with good intent.”

The decision to keep that portion of Remington in its longtime home makes sense, especially since Roundhill will be going into the situation without a crushing debt service or past liabilities. “That,” he explained, “doesn’t mean we expect to just turn on the machines and start making stuff.”

So what will Roundhill’s role be? “We’ve done our job. Now we put good people in place and give them the tools to be successful again. We (the owners) got the easy part- we can afford this.”

Apparently his enthusiasm is reflected in Ilion as well. Yesterday, local news outlets there quoted New York State Senator James Seward as saying that “the new owners were staying in Ilion” and that he expected an initial recall of 200 workers “within 30 to 60 days.”

Should that prove true, Remington firearms would join the ammunition workers in getting back to their longtime business -although under new ownership and unfettered by old debt loads.

In the long-term, there’s also reason to be optimistic about the future for Marlin Firearms.

But, as Ruger CEO Chris Killoy reminded me, “this isn’t like an acquisition where we’re assuming a working operation.”

“We’ve got a lot of work still ahead of us,” Killoy told me, “but we’re delighted to add Marlin. And we’re not going to absorb Marlin into Ruger’s lines. It’s a great brand and products, but it will take some time to get the results and quality it deserves.”

It’s not like Marlin hasn’t been on Ruger’s radar for some time. Ruger considered acquiring Marlin in 2007, but that didn’t work out.


This time, however, there’s no option to combine facilities. This is a bankruptcy auction, and Ruger’s acquiring assets, not facilities. That means the future’s not quite so bright for Marlin’s factory workers, but engineers and other technical staff could bring a world of expertise and experience with the intricacies of building lever-guns.

Lever actions, Killoy reminded me, aren’t uncomplicated pieces of equipment. Neither are some of the pieces of equipment acquired in the purchase.

And relocation of those pieces to Ruger facilities, wherever they’re located, will mean they’ll need to be reassembled, wrung out and brought back into tolerance before they can consider making products.

Right now, Killoy says, “we couldn’t build a Marlin if we had too. But give us some time, and the results will be quality.”

This week has focused almost exclusively on how a legendary brand got into dire straits. Going forward, it seems the story will focus on how the various parts and pieces reemerge.

As always, we’ll keep you posted.

— Jim Shepherd

 
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