This week I'm walking the aisles at the Archery Trade Association Tradeshow in Columbus, Ohio. It's an annual event where who's who of archery converge to show their wares, network, buy and sell products and learn about what's new in archery. It's the official launch of the archery retail buying season and often the platform for new product launches. I flew down here in one of over a dozen Delta planes loaded with Minnesotans involved in some way in the global archery trade.
I met Craig Reichel, owner of Coyote Creek Gun & Archery in Rochester. Craig and a large crew from the Rochester area have attended the ATA show for the past 3 years and find it very useful to most major manufacturers under one roof. You'll also meet the who's who of outdoor TV which includes Minnesota outdoor legend Babe Winkelman. Babe is pictured below with Walt Larson (right), President of Scales Advertising and spokesperson for Cuddeback. This is the only photo I've ever seen of Walt where he wasn't in the center of the picture! (if you've never seen Walt in the Cuddeback commercial Highlighting their Centered Subject Technology please excuse my lame attempt at humor!).
Dale Larson (TV Host), Babe Winkelman (TV Host) and Walt Larson check out a picture of Walt's latest addition to his trophy room!
Here are a few companies that I've encountered at ATA with Minnesota operations:
A major player in the apparel and accessories market, Robinson Outdoors pioneered odor-eliminating outerwear with their Scent-Blocker line. They are major sponsors of outdoor legends Mark & Terry Drury, Michael Waddell and Minnesota's own Pat Reeve & Nicole Jones from Driven TV.
Nicole Jones & Pat Reeve, hosts of Driven TV on Outdoor Channel
Ramsey-based Wildlife research sells scent and odor eliminating products. They also use Minnesota's own Brock Lesnar as a spokesperson.
Red Wing Based Red Wing/Irish Setter had rows and rows of their latest boots on display. They were also showing off their new logo! Red Wing's Kim Emery, owner of Firefly Publicity is readily available to field product questions with a smile!
Wilderness Dreams/Weber's Leather Products
Craig Zwilling in Alexandria owns and operate Weber Leather Products and Wilderness Dreams. They're a specialty manufacturer of leather products and intimate apparel for the outdoor enthusiast and probably one of my favorite booths to visit at this show....because they're nice people!
Winona-based Nose Jammer has made a big splash in the hunting market with their sweet-smelling cover scent. New to the line up this year is an assortment of soaps and other products using their unique Vanillin base to calm your quarry while you take your shot. I have many friends that used this product for the first time this fall and achieved great results.
David Healy runs the Wind Pros out of Orono, MN. Their innovative products attract deer...big deer and hang off the lanyards of Bone Collectors Michael Waddell, Nick Mundt and Travis "T-Bone" Turner.
Big Game Treestands
Windom-based Big Game Treestands always has a big presence at ATA. This year was no different.
The crew from Vaportrail in Ham Lake make the annual road trip to ATA to show their wears....high-quality strings and cables.
Industry veteran Howard Tripp scored a prime location on the show floor for his Plymouth-based company, Real Avid. Howard and the crew were showing off their innovative gun and archery multi-tools.
Next week it's more of the same but on a larger scale. I'm heading to Las Vegas for the annual SHOT Show. It's about 10 times larger than the ATA but still has a huge Minnesota influence. I hope to bring you a story or two from the show next week.