In the late 1950s, two young brothers John and Brian were paid a bounty of $0.10 by their father for every mouse they caught near the outside of their house. The brothers first tried cheese as bait since mice in cartoons always loved cheese. The results from cheese weren’t as good as expected. Then experiments began with different baits on the mouse traps. The goal was not just to find a bait that worked better than cheese, but to find a bait that the mice really went for and would attract every mouse that went near it. From these humble beginnings, the spark was kindled and the earliest foundations were laid for what was later to become America’s Top Brand®.
Listen to the episode here:
ATA Day 2 – 3: Arcus Tink Nathan
This is an absolute pleasure because I’ve interviewed some interesting people. Tink Nathan has created an industry and he is going to share his story with us. Tink, it’s just amazing what you created.
I didn’t start it to make money. My original goal was to get a deer to come close enough for my five-year-old son to get a shot. It was a little tiny bow. I had a little Martin bow. It’s twelve pounds, green fiberglass and all the arrows that I broke off. I put little bear razor heads on. I ground them down so they’d be a little tiny broadhead. He didn’t know he couldn’t get a deer. I got some urine from a doe that a game warden had raised from being hit by a car. He took this little foe on home and raised it. I told him I wanted to get some urine. He said, “That’s going to be pretty hard.” We’ve got some polyethylene Visqueen like you use in construction. I got duct tape and we put a diaper on her and we just let her pee in the diaper.
How long ago was this?
This was in the early ‘70s. We got the urine from it and we took it home and went to the drugstore. I got these little bottles with a little dropper. We put it out. It was in the apple tree and the deer wouldn’t come into the apple so we put the doe urine out and he says, “Daddy, come get me. I’ve shot all my arrows.” I went over there and all the arrows were stuck on the ground. At least he got some shots and it was this little buck. We ate lunch, took a nap, got back out there again and he called over to me. I was on the other side of the house. He says, “Daddy, I’m scared. This buck is climbing the tree.” There was this little spike buck. I had put some on his boots and he smelled that and that buck was trying to find it. He thought he was going to get some tail up in the tree. That’s what gave me the idea. As I said, Bruce, did you ever think that the archery industry would blossom and be all these different things?
I started off with a Jennings bow. It was at the ‘60s or ‘70s.
I was a first the Jennings dealer in Virginia. In fact, I went on a Professional Bowhunters Society with Marion James from Bowhunter Magazine and some of those old times. That’s the first compound bow they had ever seen. They’ve seen them in the magazine, but they never got to pull one. What was not illustrated in the magazines is, when you pull it back, it got easier. They didn’t convey that.
If you look at the stats and everything, it’s a $37 billion industry. Archery is $8 billion to $10 billion and all of that.
It’s a good cost. It will cost you twice as much as a rifle will. People fork the money out and a lot of guys are too old to shoot a bow, but they could still shoot a crossbow.
I don’t shoot at compound bow in my right hand.
I shake and wobble and do all that stuff, but I was blessed to get a stupid deer that came by and he came by the bait. I was waiting for him to turn the right sides and he got just the right angle and shot him with one of the green nocks. I’d never shot a lighter before and I didn’t think much of them until you shoot it. I had forgotten that I saw this green trail go down, it came out the other side and the arrow pops down on the ground, so I knew I got him. He whoofs and went off. He didn’t go too far.
You mentioned something about the industry when you start Tink’s so many years ago and it’s part of the tradition.
If you got your Tink’s, then you are set to go.
We’ve made it complicated. I was having this conversation with a guy and he mentioned it used to be you just grabbed your bow, throw on a pair of jeans, a flannel shirt and sat under a tree. Maybe not even sitting on the tree, just sat on a stump and went deer hunting. It’s the same thrill, but look where technology lies in everything.
The compound bow came along at the same time as a climbing tree stand. Remember that baker stand that would fall down and skin you up and everything like that. The bowhunters led the industry and the gun hunters followed them and now we got multimillion tree stand industry and all of this. In fact, young women are wearing camo, but don’t hunt. They just want to be fashionable. Now, they got the pink camo and all that.
This is incredible with what the brands are doing. We wash our hair in a specific brand. Marcus has Down Wind the brand and I use his doe spray.
I’ve heard two stories, Bruce, you might want to put on your podcast. On the first day of the show, I had a woman and a man come to me. Both of them were in a box blind. They stuck it out the window, but they got it turned around and they sprayed their face and their mouth. A man and a woman, two different people, did the same thing.
How I use this is I’ll set it up and then I’ll mess with it, hit it just for a couple of seconds and I’m going to drift out. It’s worked for me. Just like a drag that all of a sudden, they’ll hit that cone.
We got a new one now that’s a fogger. It’s like you have to fog up your house for insects, this is a programmed one and you can have it for short burst or long locked down for maximum and you can go set it out twenty yards from me. This was brand new on the market. It doesn’t even have the real stuff in it, but it’s a program fogger that we have so you don’t have to worry about whether you fogged every ten minutes. You can program it to fog every five minutes or every ten minutes.
Who does all the evolving of your products?
We have a good crowd of people like this fellow and he’s got a TV show. It was called Live The Wild Life. They bring people to us with ideas and they say, “Have you thought about this or what’s your thought about that?” People that they have is in the technology business. We don’t come up with a lot of our own ideas. People bring us ideas. We pick and choose which ones make sense, which ones are going to sell.
The one thing about your product is it stood the test of time. I remember Tink’s when I bought it at the corner dry goods store.
What we’re finding is that we’re dealing now with the grandsons of a lot of the dealers that I sold to. The dealer originally and his son took over and now the grandkids are running the business.
No wonder there are iconic in the industry because you have a generational product. We’ve all seen cars come and go, different things come and go, but here you are expanding the industry with a product that’s still with us and it’s going to be with us for a long time.
It spawned other products and accessories and everything like that, but it’s a household word like John Deere or Harley-Davidson.
Tink, thanks for coming.
Bruce, thanks for coming.
ATA Day 2 – 3: Pradco Bart Stephens & Dan Moultrie
One of the things I want to make sure that you all take in while you’re here, these are not just people manning the booths that you face and talk to. These are the development experts of the products that you’re going to go around and see. I doubt there’s a question you can ask them and they can’t answer. They are the best of the best and it’s so much more impressive than the whole days of one guy doing 100 jobs. These people are at the best they are and the group we got. We assumed and got two new partners and everybody knows the Scott family and Steve and whitetail. Steve and I have been friends for a long time. What a great product to have and the name brand in food plots. All are in state and in Texas for the almost 40 years. They are the dominant force out there. They had the best fish feeder in the world. They have other feeders that are great. They have the ground lines and the shooting houses. They have great partners. What that does is make sure our mission is game management. We’re not selling hooks, broadheads and bullets. We’re game management. It’s game management related. If it grows them better, if it holds them better, if it attracts them better, that’s where we are. That’s what you’ll see assembled. Please enjoy your time with these experts and with us. Thank you again for your time coming.Everyone has a lot of ideas. Those that make sense get chosen. Click To Tweet
Thanks, Dan. I know you all are here to look at the product and learn about the product and it’s less about the company, but I do think that the organization that is behind the products is important. There are a few things about Pradco Outdoor Brands that make us different. We are not a trader of companies. We are not in and out quick. We are a collection of iconic brands in the hunting space that tends to be premium but also do alone with that theme, game management, wildlife management, and land management. You see that in deer feeding and Moultrie trail cameras, the Wildlife Feeders, the Fish Feeders and the Deer Feeders with Texas Hunter, Whitetail Institute’s food plot products, Code Blue’s scent and attraction products. What I would like to do now is mention a few specifics on each of the main new products that we have here.
We’ve got Code Blue, Whitetail Institute, Moultrie Cameras and Feeders and Texas Hunter back here and Summit. What we’d like you to do is grab a plate of food and then just relax, enjoy yourself and circulate around the room and may these people ask any questions that you want. We’ve got USB drives back here on the back table with assets that you can take with you. If anybody needs any product, you just let us know. That’s not going to be a problem. Martin Hill is our Director of Marketing and next to him was Mark Olis who joined us this past year. He’s an Outdoor Editor for many years. Get to know these guys, they are your liaisons at the company. They will do whatever you need and take care of you. Real quickly into the products, I just want to hit some key hot points. Aside from the two acquisitions, we had with Whitetail Institute and Texas Hunter, the most exciting step forward we’re going to be taking in terms of product is with the Moultrie Mobile line of Cellular Trail Cameras.
Moultrie was among the very first brands to introduce a trail camera back around 2000. It was Moultrie and Cuddeback. Those are the only two brands that are still around. It’s hard to get accurate numbers on this, but by most accounts and certainly the study that Southwick puts out, Moultrie continues to be the best-selling trail camera in the market. We were the first wireless trail camera back in ‘09 with the 2G products game management system. In 2016, we were the first cellular product to get on the 3G band with Moultrie Mobile. In 2018, we did not have any introductions with Moultrie Mobile because we were working furiously to transition from 3G to 4G, which is something that is mandated by the carriers. It took a lot of work on the backend, but we’re through that.
This year in 2019, there is a whole host of introductions related to Moultrie Mobile. Let me point out several to you. We started two years ago on Verizon. This 2019 we’re bringing AT&T online. We’ll be on Verizon 4G and on AT&T 4G. Wherever you are in the country, chances are very good that you’re going to be able to connect to the Moultrie Mobile system. Number two, we’re bringing out all new hardware. The Moultrie Mobile System that you’ve seen that was introduced several years ago was a modem. It was an outboard modem that used a cable to connect to a Moultrie Trail camera. We have new line of modems that are 4G modems. We have one for AT&T and one for Verizon, but then we’re also introducing our first integrated cellular trail camera. This is a camera that has the modem built-in. It has the antenna built in. We have an AT&T version. We have a Verizon version. I’m very excited about that. There are four new Moultrie Mobile items, two modems, two integrated cameras, one each for AT&T and Verizon.
This is very exciting and I know that everybody’s watching the cellular trail camera business as it grows, it’s the most exciting innovation we’ve seen in trail cameras for years. The innovation is not so much going to happen on the hardware front. The innovation is going to happen on the software front. Getting the picture up to the cloud is a trick. It’s not easy making sure it connects all the time. It’s easy to use. There are some challenges there, but where the real opportunity is, what do you do once you have that image in the cloud? We’ve solved the challenge of having to drive two hours to your property to go retrieve the SD card and get the images. Cellular retrieval has solved that. That’s great. The next problem is, what do you do when you have 10,000 images? How do you find the 75 images that matter? It’s that software development and bringing out new features that is going to usher in the next age of field intelligence and trail cameras. The first step in that is Moultrie Mobile is introducing image recognition at the show. We now have the ability to determine if there was a deer or a turkey in an image and automatically apply and tag to that image so that it can be filtered and sorted by deer or turkey.
This is very early days in this technology. We will be continuously improving and continuously upgrading those as time goes on. We’ve only been in this business for a couple of years. We have well over 100 million images uploaded on the system and we’re using machine intelligence to improve this. Right now it’s deer and turkey, soon it will be deer, doe and buck. Within a few years, I’ll assure you, it will be that specific buck. It is just a matter of time or before we know it, it will be turkey, doe, buck, human automatically tagging those images and allowing you to quickly get the information that is important out of your photo collection. That’s Moultrie Mobile.
On the traditional trail camera front, we have released a complete overhaul of the physical camera design of all of our traditional cameras. All of them have upgrades. It’s a typical thing. They got better battery life and faster trigger speeds. Go check that out as well. Moultrie has got a new gravity feeder. On the Summit front, you’ll see the Summit Ground Blinds. It’s our first entry into the ground blind market in quite a few years. These are very exciting new designs. They are different. You got to come and check out these windows. Very thoughtful design elements have gone into these new blinds. We have a new Featherweight Hang On Stand and then we have some big ground furniture, some new folding seat packs and items like that. You’re seeing some take that iconic brand, that Summit Treestand brand and extended into some other product categories.
It’s very exciting. There are much to come on that in the years ahead. Back here with Mr. Dale Baden in Texas Hunter, we welcome them to the fall of this year for the first time. For those of you who are not familiar with Texas Hunter, their real corner and angle or directional feeders, steel, all-metal feeders. They are the number one selling brand of the fish feeder in the world. They make very high-end high capacity deer feeders as well. Protein feeders and broadcast feeders and directional spin blade feeders, please come by the booth and take a look at that. Texas Hunter has a great lawn of shooting houses. We don’t have any here at the show, but they are an excellent high on shooting house offering that Dale can tell you more about if you come by and visit him.
Code Blue, we have new additions to the D/Code scent elimination line. We have a number of new synthetic attractant products for retailers and hunters that prefer a synthetic urine over or natural urine and a number of unique items as well. Steve can tell you about it. Lastly, with Whitetail Institute, we’ve got a very exciting new product called Conceal which is a crop that you grow, that you can use to funnel deer. It will grow up to about eight feet tall and you can use it to create a structure for your food plots and cover for yourself if you’re walking to a stand, walking to a location or cover for an animal. With that, I will leave it there and I encourage you all to enjoy yourselves. Please stop any of us if you have any questions. We appreciate your time. We thank you for being here.
ATA Day 2 – 3: Wildlife Research Center
Is it true that the Wildlife Research Center is America’s top brand?
There’s no doubt about that.
It works well with those high outputs. I fill these things up and I put them out right at the end of October and I get all good pictures on my cameras. The thing that’s neat about them is even the does are coming to it. Does are stopping at it and in Pennsylvania, the bears love to come and check out the scrapes. It’s great for running your cameras on and just keeping the activity around your stance.
Make sure they’re high enough. I know in Wisconsin, I have a lot of damage. If they can reach it in Wisconsin, the bears will take it. They’ll take them down.
I showed you the pictures I have. She didn’t rip it down. She just squeezed in it to make some stuff come out. That’s great.
I am one step better. I put these out the end of July and early August. I’ll put in some of our synthetics. What that does is draws in the does and then you start inventorying the deer on your property. The buck, you can see them start to grow and you’ll know what’s going on out there. They’re a great tool to use all year round.
I usually start running my cameras right after the 4th of July. Because before that, the bucks hasn’t grown enough, but by the 4th of July, they’re big enough to see what they’re going to be. I forget about that. I’m not putting that stuff out at that time of the year because I’m not thinking about that. I need this year to do that.
The earlier you put that out, that’s where they’ll start to create that looking branch so you can create a looking branch and a scrape wherever you want it. If you want an edgier field, that’s what’s neat about the early stuff. They’ll just start picking at it and then eventually if you don’t create the branch, it will appear naturally. It’s a great product. I use a Magnum Dripper early season because it lasts longer. That’ll last two to three weeks. This one here lasts seven to ten days, but I’ll use the other one in that.
I’m Christian Berg from Petersen’s Bowhunting and this is Paul Marion.
I’m the Marketing Director with Wildlife Research.
They’d been giving me a product demo or just talking about the product and how will you use it in the labs. Talk about the effectiveness of it.
I’ve used the Wildlife Research Center, a lot of their scrape products as well as their scent elimination. Their Scent Killer Gold with the hunt dry technology. That’s good because it’s designed to be sprayed onto all your gear. You’ll let it dry and it keeps all the odors for many hunts. You don’t have to reapply it all the time. It works for one up to a couple of weeks. That’s been great. I’m a scent control guy and I use a whole system. From whether it’s keeping yourself clean, spraying your gear down, I’ll use ozone products too. I believe the more that I can do to get my scent down, the better. Your products do a great job for getting all the scent out when I’m in the field. Any residual sense or just even your breath or the wind blowing across your body or something like that, I tried to fight against that too. For me, I’m a big trail camera guy. Just use a trail camera on a trail. It’s a bad name. We should not call them trail cameras anymore because how often do you just put up on the trail? I like to run my game cameras or wildlife cameras with some attractant either a mineral or a product like scrape dripper or even the scent works. If you think about the senses, you know how effective they are. I find if I put one of these works out, I will have a good buck on that the very first day. It’s amazing how fast they find it. When you put it out on a camera, it’s not going to take two, three, four, five days until you get pictures. You’re getting pictures within hours of setting that camera up and leaving.
When you hang that wick the air, that’s when the wind catches out and brings it out.
It’s new for them. That’s the deer smell that and they’re like, “That wasn’t here the last time I passed through this area.” They’re very curious about investigating.
Dripping it into the ground is one thing, but putting up a wick too is helpful. With the new scent reflex that we have in there, that stuff will stay on those wicks. It attacks fire so it enhances the smell, but it makes it sticky. It will stay on these wicks for weeks. I’ll have deer cameras that I put off for months and they’ll still be hitting the same wick and I won’t even refresh it. They’ll still be checking it out. It’s a good product too. Thank you very much.
I’m going to keep moving. There are a lot of manufacturers in here, but enjoy the rest of your show and have a great year.
Let’s talk about the scent killer. Again, it’s Paul Marion from Wildlife Research Center. You are still up in Minneapolis in Ramsey, Minnesota. Was it Robinson Scientific or something?
No. It’s a completely different company. Those guys are gone. This is our new air and room spray. If you want to spray it on your room, your car, your blinds, your closets, your totes, anything. Anything where there’s a smell, spray this out and it will work. It works great. If you’re a pet owner, if you have kids in diapers and stuff like that, this is what you want. Spray it around your room and high output sprayer. Your truck is perfect. It won’t leave that film residue in there. Spray your truck, your seats, your carpeting, and all that stuff.Urine can change day-to-day, week-to-week, depending on diet and all that stuff. It breaks down a lot faster. Click To Tweet
How about the other aerosols you have? You got three of them there.
We have new aerosols came out late last 2018. This is a three-ounce aerosol. It’s a bag and valve system so the bag is encapsulated around the pressure so it doesn’t come in contact. It’s pure urine that comes out. It’s our premium doe urine. It’s a good cover scent early season. We also have our Golden Estrus, which is a good attracter scent and then we have a synthetic for some of the states that don’t allow urine.
What’s the story with the synthetic? What’s your luck or no luck?
My luck has been good. We’ve been making synthetics for twenty years. It’s more consistent than urine. Urine can change day-to-day, week-to-week, depending on diets and all that stuff. It breaks down a lot faster. This stuff won’t break down like regular urine. We can simulate the same smells. We do a lot of wild deer testing on this stuff. We’ve done it for years, so that’s a great product.
Marion, thank you so much for being here.
- Pradco Outdoor Brands
- Code Blue
- Whitetail Institute
- Moultrie Cameras and Feeders
- Texas Hunter
- Martin Hill
- Mark Olis
- Summit Ground Blinds
- Featherweight Hang On Stand
- Wildlife Research Center
- Magnum Dripper
- Petersen’s Bowhunting
- Scent Killer Gold
- Golden Estrus
- Tink Nathan – Facebook
About Arcus Tink’s
Established in 1972, Tink’s® has been the #1 brand and #1 performing line in deer scents and lures. Trusted by generations of hunters for nearly 50 years, Tink’s® lures meet the needs of every phase of the hunt along with a broad variety of dispenser options.
Tink’s® natural whitetail lures are certified CWD-free, extensively tested for effectiveness, and simple to use.
Whether you’re hunting trophy whitetails, black bears, big bull elk, monster moose, pigs or predators, we have a product to help you succeed.
Proven Innovation. Proven Results.
PRADCO Outdoor Brands is the largest company in the world that manufactures and markets major hunting and fishing brands and products under one parent organization. It is a leader in producing game calls, scents, attractants, game feeders, game cameras, tree stands, and fishing lures. Our powerful portfolio ranges from top lure brands Rebel, Yum, Booyah, Lindy and Bomber Saltwater Grade to top hunting brands such as Moultrie, Summit, Code Blue and Knight & Hale.
PRADCO Outdoor Brands’ heritage in the outdoor business goes all the way back to 1894 when Heddon Lures was founded on the banks of the Old Mill Pond in Dowagiac, Michigan. PRADCO Outdoor Brands’ has been reaching consumers for parts of three centuries, which gives it a rich heritage to set it apart from its competitors.
About Wildlife Research Center
In the late 1950s, two young brothers John and Brian were paid a bounty of 10 cents by their father for every mouse they caught near the outside of their house. The brothers first tried cheese as bait, since mice in cartoons always loved cheese. The results from cheese weren’t as good as expected. Then experiments began with different baits on the mousetraps. The goal was not just to find a bait that worked better than cheese, but to find a bait that the mice really went for and would attract every mouse that went near it. From these humble beginnings the spark was kindled and the earliest foundations laid for what was later to become America’s Top Brand®.
In the 1960s the family moved to a more remote location with many animals around. Always eager to improve on their success, the brothers soon began to think about the different scents that different animals reacted to. Whenever they would see anything written about scents attracting animals they would really dig into it. From there it was just a short step to conducting experiments in hopes of learning how to improve upon what was available to hunters at the time.