Hunting & Fishing Gear Review - Garmin eTrex Legend GPS PSE Spyder Synergy 4 Garmin Rhino 2-way Radio with Location Reporting Tica Fly Rods Two Piece
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Ol'Man Tree Stands-The Company
Bob Louk and John Louk, father and son (pictured on top left of this page), founded the Company in 1990 and shared equal ownership and officer duties. The two started working on the design of a unique treestand in 1984 when they had been hunting together several times and John found himself having to rescue his father from other types of treestands.
It was the love and concern of the two that motivated them to improve the design of treestands that were on the market at that time. The two worked on the design together for those first 7 years and made many improvements to the design while sharing time together both in the woods and in the garage. After 7 years of trial and error the two at last believed that they had in fact invented an improved product, and the father decided to apply for a U. S. Patent. Because funds were limited he borrowed $1,000 on a credit card, and bought materials to build the prototype that would be used to apply for the patent and hired a patent attorney to draw up the application.
After the patent application had been filed, they began to manufacture the first product to sell. Before marketing the product it needed a catchy name and because John wanted to portray the love and concern he had for his father, the name “Ol’ Man” was born. Since that time the “Ol’Man” has been the icon for the uniqueness in design and motivation of John to produce a high quality product. That first year Bob and John built and sold 100 units from a small garage in their backyard. In November of 1989 John accepted a position as local manager for a local utility company and moved to Leakesville, MS.
The demand for the product continued to increase the following year and John made the decision to subcontract most of the work since they could not keep up with demand. Working capital was limited to personal loans secured by Bob and John. In 1991 the company built and sold 800 units to local hunters and several local retailers.
In January of 1992 Bob and John chose to attend the Shot Show, the largest trade show for the hunting industry. That year it was held in New Orleans, LA and they commuted to the show all four days. After seeing the market for the first time under one roof they began to realize the potential for their product and decided to grow the business. A new attorney was engaged to expedite the patent, as the present attorney was not making progress with the application. In that same time period the Company received a cease and desist demand letter and was forced to defend the infringement allegations. The new attorney advised the Company to give him time to review the other patent and continue to pursue the patent that the Louks had applied for in 1990. The Company also rented a 2,400 square foot building for assembling and finishing the product. The Company contracted welding and fabrication out to a small metal shop in Lucedale, MS. That year the company managed to build and sell 1,800 units and added another product to the line, the Grand Ol’Man for larger hunters.
In the spring of 1993 Bob had a mild heart attack and needed triple bypass surgery. This put much of the responsibility on John and he knew he could not do all that was necessary to run the Company and keep another full time job. After Bob recovered from the surgery, John suggested they pursue additional financing to hire more workers, and they sought a $40,000 SBA loan secured by Bob’s house. The bank made the loan, which provided them the working capital to hire the company’s first two employees. Ronnie Fuller quickly learned every process in the production line and is now the production supervisor. Hollis Vess was an experienced welder and is now the welding supervisor. The Company made the decision to lease a 6,200 square foot building and purchase more productive equipment. In the last half of that year things really began to turn around in their favor. The patent was issued in August, they had hired a small workforce, and the infringement claim was overcome which freed them up to continue manufacturing the current design. That year they built and sold over 3,200 units and managed to show a small profit. With Bob’s health in question John requested that he be allowed to purchase 2,000 shares from him under a promissory note for a period of 10 years. This decision would help secure the ownership of the Company and improve the financial position of John’s parents.
The following year, 1994, turned out to be the first turning point of the Company as it had grown to the point of needing a full time manager. John realized that he would be forced to either resign his position with the utility company or they would need to consider selling the Company. John was willing and able to take the responsibility so he decided after 13 years to resign his position with the utility company to manage L & L Enterprises and the growth it was experiencing. That year John made the decision to offer health insurance, 401(K), and paid vacation and sick leave. As manager, John recommended that the Company offer benefits, hoping to attract and hold a better workforce, which was necessary to continue growing the Company. Also that year John worked with several employees to design a new product line, and after hours and weeks of hard work, they came up with what would be the best selling model in just one year, The Vision. The design was so unique that John filed for a U.S. Patent and had the employees assign the patent to the Company. The Vision is still the best selling product today and has forced competition to build similar products. That year proved to be very productive as the Company began to earn a respectable market share in the South and for the second year, made a profit.
In 1995 John made the decision to move the corporate office to Hattiesburg, MS realizing that a larger workforce would be necessary to grow the business. To accomplish the screening and hiring process, John hired the Company’s first human resources manager who had 17 years of experience. Gene Smith developed an employee handbook and handled the benefits. Mr. Smith is still with the Company and is now also serving as Corporate Secretary. That year the workforce grew to over 30, produced over 5,000 units and added 2 new products to the line, The Grand Vision and The Tara. The manufacturing plant remained in Leakesville for the time being. John began to search for a larger manufacturing facility that would increase production capacity. Also it was necessary to search for a bank that would be able to provide an increased working line of credit and financing for the expansion. With the demand for the product continuing to increase, John sought out independent sales representatives and contracted two groups, which covered 26 states. Before the year ended the Company paid off all personal loans and agreed to purchase Bob’s remaining 3,000 shares through his Trust.
In the spring of 1996 the Company secured the financing for the purchase of a 66,000 square foot building and several automated pieces of equipment to increase the production capacity by more than 50%. The bank also increased the line of credit, which allowed the Company to build inventory and maintain a good cash position during the off-season. In June the plant was ready to begin production, and the plant in Leakesville was shut down and sold. With the corporate office and manufacturing plant being under one roof, it managed to grow more than 40% and show a good profit. The Company’s market share increased and demand for the Ol’Man product line continued to grow because of its unique design and high quality construction.
In 1997 the Company made the decision to engage a certified public accounting firm to ensure its financial position with the bank and the IRS. Later that year John traveled to Ireland and assisted in the design of a new carbon product line. Also that year the patent for the Vision was issued and a license was signed for a new ladder. These new product lines would continue to improve the market share of the Ol’Man product line and round out the product mix.
In the summer of 1998 John hired the Company’s first sales manager, as he needed assistance managing and maintaining the distribution network, which had grown to over 600 customers in 43 states. The Company also secured the license to camouflage their carbon treestand line and added the Ol’Timer ladder series to the line. In December, “Field & Stream” magazine recognized the AirElite series as “The Best of The Best” and the Company received the award during the 1998 Shot Show. Staff offices were remodeled and the computer software was upgraded. Sales continued to grow and the Company ‘s workforce grew to over 80 employees. In order to sustain the proper cash flow a different bank was necessary and the Company changed accounting firms, to KPMG Peat Marwick LLP.
In 1999 the accounting firm recommended the Company change its fiscal year end from December to March. This proved to be a good tax advantage and also allowed for a better time of year to close the books. Demand for the product line had grown to the point that the Company struggled to maintain inventories and was in a need for additional working capital. The Company also purchased a cut and sew factory in Sumrall, MS. This purchase allowed the Company to maintain control of supply and quality of all cloth accessories and strap parts for treestands. The Company purchased a large piece of hunting land on the MS River to test new product designs and support sales. With these two purchases the Company’s total assets almost doubled. The Company also invested in more warehouse space and additional equipment to also improve supply and demand. That year the Company built and sold over 70,000 units and had over 150 employees between the two factories. The Company was recognized as one of the state’s “Fast 40” and received the award as the 21st fastest growing company in Mississippi.
Year 2000 proved to be one of the most challenging yet as projections for the year reached an all time high, increasing over 40%. The decision to purchase a higher end manufacturing software was made in May but could not be implemented soon enough to be used in planning production and handling the accounting efficiently. A consultant was contracted in November to prepare for year-end and make recommendations to management to improve efficiency in accounting and manufacturing along with assisting in implementing the new software. A change in the economy the last quarter of 2000 and the first quarter of 2001 slowed sales and new orders. The commitment to build inventory had already been made and it was necessary to seek additional working capital and warehouse space to store it.
Ol' Man is still growing, and has developed new and exciting innovative products for 2002, which includes a new Pivoting Spreader Arm design available exclusively through Ol' Man Treestands. Be sure to visit our online product showcase for full details on these new, exciting products available only from Ol' Man! From the Ol'Man website www.OL-Man.com
Camovision Eyewear-You Can See Out, Game Can't See In.
CAMOVISION™ Eye Wear utilizes state-of-the-art technology which bonds camouflage patterns to the lenses without interfering with the hunters ability to see or obstruct the field of vision.
Now, for the first time ever, you will enter the field not having to worry about spooking game because they saw your eyes. With CAMOVISION™ Eye Wear you can keep your eyes where you need them, on target!
Now Available! "Clip & Flip" & RX Inserts CAMOVISION™ Eye Wear utilizes state-of-the-art technology which bonds camouflage patterns to the lenses without interfering with the hunters ability to see or obstruct the field of vision.
Now, for the first time ever, you will enter the field not having to worry about spooking game because they saw your eyes. With CAMOVISION™ Eye Wear you can keep your eyes where you need them, on target! Now Available! "Clip & Flip" & RX Inserts.
Product Information & Facts Ask any hunter how important good, effective camouflage is to the success of any hunt and the reply will be unanimous. Camouflage is absolutely essential! The only problem was, little thought had ever been given to one of the most important aspects of effective camouflage.
The eyes, may indeed be ‘The windows to the soul’, but for the hunter they present three other, major problems.
1. Man is a predator and like all predators our eyes are positioned in the front of the head as opposed to the side of the head placement of prey animals. This placement allows us to focus and gauge depth but also makes us an easily recognizable threat.
2. Man is the only animal, besides the moose, in the woods with whites in our eyes. Again, this is easily detected, making man an easily recognizable threat to prey game.
3. Although a hunter is capable of remaining still, the eyes are constantly moving. In fact, we move our eyes more than any other part of our body.
CAMOVISION™ Eye Wear solves these problems by expertly hiding the eyes behind a camouflaged lens. The wearer can see out, but nothing can see in. The result is total, complete, effective camouflage.
Available Camo Patterns: SuperFlage Game By Lynch Mossy Oak - Shadow Branch Mossy Oak - Break-up Woodlands Classic Camo Montana Camo - Ghost Ridge Montana Camo - Prairie Ghost Moth Wing Camo - Marsh Moth Moth Wing Camo - Timber Moth
Available From www.camovision.com
Walker's Game Ear-All Sports Glasses
For more than a decade Walker's Game Ear, Inc. has been recognized as the marketer of miniature hearing enhancement and protection devices. They are now expanding their personal safety protection line to include shooting glasses.
According to Bob Walker, President of Walker's Game Ear, Inc. of Media, PA. " Our new line of All Sports Glasses (-ASG-) by UVEX R will enhance and protect your vision, just as our Game Ear enhances and protects your hearing. These two high quality product lines are a perfect combination. You've trusted us to protect your ears now let us help protect your eyes." According to Bob Walker, President of Walker's Game Ear, Inc. of Media, PA.
"Our new line of All Sports Glasses (-ASG-) by UVEX R will enhance and protect your vision, just as our Game Ear enhances and protects your hearing. These two high quality product lines are a perfect combination. You've trusted us to protect your ears now let us help protect your eyes." will enhance and protect your vision, just as our Game Ear enhances and protects your hearing. These two high quality product lines are a perfect combination.
You've trusted us to protect your ears now let us help protect your eyes." According to Bob Walker, President of Walker's Game Ear, Inc. of Media, PA. " Our new line of All Sports Glasses (-ASG-) by UVEX R will enhance and protect your vision, just as our Game Ear enhances and protects your hearing. These two high quality product lines are a perfect combination. You've trusted us to protect your ears now let us help protect your eyes."
Walker's Game Ear -ASG- (All Sports Glasses) are ideally suited for all indoor or outdoor conditions. Handsomely packaged in their carrying case is three interchangeable, non-distortion, polycarbonate lenses. Selecting the right lens for a given light condition is important.
Over the past ten years Walker's Game Ear, Inc. has earned their reputation for producing the highest quality hearing protection products available at an incomparable price. Bob Walker feels that by adding the UVEX line of safety glasses, they will be doing the same when it comes to eye protection. And as with all Walker's Game Ear, Inc. products, if you are not completely satisfied with the quality or performance of the product you have a complete money back guarantee less S/H.
BuckWing-Introduces The LIFELITE® Goose Decoys - The Most Authentic Waterfowl Decoy Ever
BuckWing® has taken the plunge into the Goose Decoy market by developing the most authentic Wild Canadian and Snow Geese in the industry. Built on the same principles as our highly successful turkey decoys, these goose decoys also offer all the same great benefits.
• Collapses flat for easy carrying and transport
• Easy set up in day or night, decoys mount in seconds
• Decoys will not fall off our patented Decoy Expander® Mounting Stake
• Expander® Mechanism allows for wind-generated movement left and right, back and forth
• The Expander® Mechanism allows the decoys to be mounted at different heights
The Outdoor hunting industry has never seen more realistic goose decoys that are so easy to fold, transport and set-up. BuckWing® will feature these lightweight Canadians and Snows in feeding, resting and alert mode. When used in combination with the patented Expander® Mechanism, BuckWing’s® Goose Decoys will prove to be the most convincing spread in the field. Wind generated movement in all four directions (front, back, left, and right) will make these decoys hard to resist, even those high-flying, gun shy birds will be fooled. BuckWing’s® decoy will bring them in; all you have to do is pull the trigger.
Kolpin- The Stealth ATV Exhaust System
The ATV Stealth Exhaust System fits on any ATV with a four-stroke engine to quiet ATV noise by 50% or more. It can be easily installed according to user preference and rear-of-machine configuration.
Engineered with an innovative high-flow, low-restriction spark-arresting muffler, the Stealth Exhaust System quiets ATV noise by 50% without sacrificing engine performance. The patented design is used on military ATVs by both U.S. and British Special Forces, is also a USDA Forest Service Approved Spark Arrester.
The ATV Stealth Exhaust System includes an efficient, aluminized steel muffler measuring 22 inches in length and 4˝ inches in diameter. Fully welded, the muffler is proven to work well on all sizes of ATVs from 250s to 700s. The system comes complete with a universal kit including mounting hardware and detailed instructions for quick, easy installation; a universal adaptor elbow for high mount installations; a zinc-plated two piece wrap-around clamp hanger assembly; and galvanized flex tubing that turns the exhaust and noise closer to the ground.
The ATV Stealth Exhaust System reduces noise levels for decreased disturbance of other public land user groups, and provides added protection to the environment through the use of a second spark arrester. Its revolutionary design results in less disruption of wildlife for the benefit of outdoor enthusiasts, as well as livestock for farmers and ranchers that use ATVs. In addition to significant noise reduction, the ATV Stealth Exhaust System actually delivers an increase in mid-range power and overall performance on some models, according to extensive dynamometer tests.
Patent No. 6,591,935 Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price: $229.99 Model No. 53500 www.kolpin.com
Hunting & Fishing Gear Reviews
eTrex Legend GPS
About $225.00 at the Firing Pin 3 months ago, the price has probably come down since then.
This is my first one and these things are awesome. I've been downloading maps into it like mad. I can find anything now. It's way quick at least compared to the old fashion ones.
I'm burning up batteries like mad. I wish these things were rechargeable or something.
I haven't dropped it yet so I'll have to let you know. The buttons are solid though. If there's a way to break it I will.
This thing is the bomb, I can find anything just tell me where it's at and I'll meet you there.
I ain't Lost
Spyder Synergy 4
My Step-Dad bought this for my confirmation for me. I had an old Bear Whitetail bow that was old. Both of his bows are PSE and it's what I wanted. I wanted him to give me his old one. I couldn't pull it back because it's 70lbs.
My Step-Dad says I will be able to use it two to three years since the draw is adjustable and so is the weight. It's really light and not very big either.
I wish the weight went a lot higher so when I get stronger I could make the weight go higher.
It's really well made. The handle fits into my hand really good. It's light so I won't have a problem carrying it. My friends Dad said I'll never have a problem with it. It makes my arms sore sometimes.
It's a really nice bow. I should be able to shoot a lot of big bucks with it. I can hit in a pie plate almost every time I shoot it. Really good bow. Definitely the nicest anyone has at school.
Rhino 2-way Radio with Location Reporting
We spent $250 dollars each for the two of them. That's a lot of money no matter who you are. My big concern here was safety for my Daughter who has decided to come hunting with me this year. We've had them about three weeks now.
I hunt deer in some pretty big mountains and the fact my daughter can use this device to find her way out in an emergency or just to locate me and the other receiver not only gives me piece of mind, it gives Mom piece of mind as well. Amazing what their doing with electronics these days.
almost anyone can use the radio part. I struggled with the GPS portion at first and wish the directions would have been a little simpler, or maybe that I had more time to read the directions. My Daughter was actually teaching me about them in only a few minutes.
The buttons and controls work well. I'm not sure how much more I can say.
It's going to be an intersting year for me. I'll have to put away the usual intensity of the first day in favor of my Daughter. This is something she will be able to tell her Grand Kids about someday. As for the product it's pretty awesome. My only wish is they were a little cheaper. You do get a lot for that price.
Tica Fly Rods
This fly rodding thing is new to me and for the most part I'm trying to teach myself with the help of a couple of books. I liked the feel of the rod in a local tackle store and then bought it cheaper at the Sports Authority. It was right around $80 or in that neighborhood.
It's ultra light which is good for the type of fishing I do. Most of my fishing is for small native trout who although small in stature put up a great fight with this rod. Remember it's not the size of the fish in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the fish. These natives may not be big in catching them half the challenge is to get them to bite. The over seven feet of the Tica gives me more than enough space to sneak up on them without scaring them into a hunger strike.
There's a little give in the reel seat which may in part be the reels fault. I just like something solid with no give in it.
It's fairly well made. The two pieces fit together nicely unlike some rods I had as a kid. The rod gives good feedback as it should being Ultra weight and all.
It's not the best rod out there, for me for the moment it is. If I decide to continue fly fishing I will probably go out and buy a much nicer one. For the moment I'm enjoying sneaking up on natives in streams not much wider than my bathtub.Another cool part is I can tie flys all winter long and dream about fishing.
Fly Rod Frank
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