(Click here for 2001 Newsletter)
(Click here for 2000 Newsletter)
(Click here for 1999 Newsletter)
B.C. INVENTS "SCENTHEAD"(tm) FISHING BAIT...
THOUGHTS FROM BOB LINK, V.P., GENERAL MANAGER...
THE TRUEFLIGHT FEATHERS WEB SITE...
MONTY BROWNING DOES IT AGAIN!...
As I write this in the fall of 2001, this isn't a happy time for America - or the rest of the world. The attack on The World Trade Center was shocking, disgusting,... incomprehensible. Our hearts go out to all who've lost friends and family.
We appreciate the many messages of condolence and support sent to us from overseas. This attack was not just on America - it was an attack on civilization itself.
I have to say that our problems in archery seem pretty small in light of these recent horrible events. But archery is what we do. One way of defying evil is to continue with our lives, to continue working hard at the business we love. And continue we will.
In general, it appears this was not a great year for the archery business. Once again it looks like "traditional archery" was slowly growing. Archery has had it's ups and downs in the past and we may be in the weaker part of it's cycle. Archery has both "pluses" and "minuses" going for it and both will play out to form the future.
For the near term, the national economy - the national mood - will have a large effect on the archery business. Retail sales were sharply down right after the attack - not good for us. However later reports showed a significant rebound. In the past typical recessions often did not reduce archery sales. In fact, during some recessions, archery sales actually increased. Apparently less overtime and more free time meant more participation in archery. This time is not "typical", but we've already heard some reports that in light of the tragedy, some people are re-evaluating their lives - spending less time at work and more time with their families. Which may be a plus for us.
Alan Greenspan and the FED have finally lowered interest rates enough to have a real impact on the economy. It's thought that the effects will lag the FED action by 3 to 6 months. Lower rates equal more cash for consumers, which should definitely help.
Again this year, we've seen one trend which may help archery dealers. For the last several years, when reviewing our sales, we've been surprised by the strength in "traditional archery". This seems to be sneaking up on us "under the radar". Traditional archery appears to be steadily growing even while archery in general is in the doldrums.
The traditional archery market is not as large as "modern archery" but the steady increases mean it is gradually becoming a bigger factor. I don't think that any dealer can ignore this market. The consumer interest in traditional will vary from place to place, but every dealer should have enough traditional items to test his local market.
One misconception about traditional is that the equipment is cheap and there are more dollars in modern equipment. Not so. The market is dominated by very high quality bows and arrows which are priced accordingly. The market will support higher priced traditional equipment - provided the quality is there. Crested arrows, Spliced feathers, Barred feathers, quality wood shafts - all add value which is appreciated by a significant portion of archery enthusiasts.
We're all aware that archery has had some long term problems. Increasing urbanization, single parent families, and the animal rights nuts all have been around a while, -- and still are problems.
There is some good news, however. Despite lots of dollars and effort by the animal rights fanatics, we have done pretty well fighting them, at least in legal areas. AMO, The Wildlife Legislative Fund, and many other state and national bowhunter organizations have fought off the vast majority of their efforts to reduce or eliminate hunting seasons. Many states have even passed hunter harassment and hunting preservation laws. These organizations need our continuing support. The U.S. today still has some of the world's best hunting opportunities for the average person.
It is true that animal rights continues to have a disproportionate number of supporters among school teachers and their influence, directly or indirectly, is a factor in our children's attitudes about hunting.
Very fortunately the animal rights people have gone a long ways to discredit themselves. Their violent and destructive attacks on medical research facilities, in particular, shows clearly just where their values really are. Even some in the national news media are beginning to report their activities with a sense of outrage. Perhaps recent events have put their violent, and irrational attacks in a new perspective.
The increasingly urban nature of the U.S. population continues to be a worrisome trend. But we can take some comfort in what we see in Europe. Europe must certainly be even less rural than the U.S., but we are sure selling lots of feathers over there. Granted hunting isn't their primary market. There is a demand for archery equipment in Europe, especially high quality equipment.
In the long run, there are some other encouraging signs for archery. This summer, in less than one weeks time, I was startled to notice 4 different television commercials featuring dramatic close-ups of bows and arrows being drawn and shot. These commercials weren't archery commercials. They were ads promoting other products. (Bow Flex exercise equipment, a stock brokerage, a pharmaceutical trade group, and Honda cars.) It's amazing to see these companies using the images of archery as examples of the positive attributes of their product or service.
I'm convinced that these companies and their Madison Avenue ad agencies know what they are doing. They wouldn't be spending millions of dollars on ads featuring archery if it wasn't something positive and universally appealing to associate with their products.
Deep down human beings have an attraction to archery. This is at least as true today as it ever was. I haven't yet met a kid who didn't immediately recognize a bow and arrows for what they are and want to try shooting them.
No one is expecting the next year to be a booming year in archery. But the base is definitely there and isn't going to disappear. If there is any surprise this year it might well be on the up side.
Trueflight's founder, president and chief inventor has invented a new fishing bait -- and gotten it patented. B.C. has come up with more than a few clever ideas. He patented "Brush Buttons" almost 50 years ago. He also patented the "Pop Up" magnetic, freeze proof ice fishing tip up.
Well, at 79 years old, B.C. says enough ice fishing -- he likes warmer weather. And, he reports the fish can't get enough of his new "ScentHead" bait. (At least big fish keep trying to steal it!)
B.C.'s "ScentHead" is a spinner bait with a difference. The "ScentHead" carries a scent pad saturated with B.C.'s own "BloodScent" fish attractant.
The report from B.C.:
It's a spinner bait for use with a casting rod & reel. (not a spinning rod unless it's a medium weight). A light buck tail rod works great.
What fish does it catch?
Every type that eats other fish. Primarily made for Bass, it is almost 100% weedless - cast way back in the pads and it will come thru clean. (Stop the bait in the air so it doesn't go in the water "backwards". Hold rod tip up when retrieving.)
The field reports are fabulous. It really works! See www.scenthead.com.
What's all the fuss about ScentHead ? Well it's a new fishing bait mainly for Bass but it will catch any type of fish that eats other fish. Yeah, I know, you're seen them all. So what's so different? Well we have 18 claims on our patent and in the fishing field that's very improbable, and almost impossible.
Believe me, it really does work! This is not a 10 day wonder - it took 8 years of development to bring this to the market. It has caught Bass, Muskie, Northern, Walleyes, etc. - salt water: not much data but 60 speckled trout in one afternoon reported. The point's sheet enclosed will explain the advantages.
We ran a special for "Bass Times" subscribers only and seeing Trueflight is a sister company to Crafty's we thought we should extend it to our feathers customers. So if you wish to try one at about 60% off fax or call in an order (see ad) and write or say "Trueflight" someplace and we'll ship pre paid first class . Of course it is guaranteed as is all Trueflight products. Full refund for any reason or no reason.
The weather is getting cooler here in Wisconsin.
September 10th : Shot a few arrows checking the bow tune, re check the supplies for the hunt- have I forgot anything? Hunting season is right around the corner.
The road side sumac shows a few red leaves, the maple have a branch or two in full color. The leaf trees are getting ready to change their green dress for a party dress of bright Hues. The party is hunting! September: Geese, grouse, bear, deer season opens --everyone getting ready - and then 9-11. We are about 1500 miles from New York so it took a few days to really comprehend what it all meant. And we feel so helpless. We want to help - but how? Sure we can fly the flag and wear buttons, but it doesn't satisfy enough. So we can feel better if we donate to a charity that's helping in New York. Choose wisely. There are over 140 charities to give to and more than one is a scam. I certainly don't want my help buying a yacht or new car for some thief.
A different war, long ago, when I was on a troop train there was one charity that meet all trains at all stops. The only one I saw. Hot coffee and donuts. (Sometimes a sandwich.) Now that's next to nothing but when your tired , stressed, worried and scared, 15 to 20 minutes of "Home" sure was highly appreciated. It cleared our mind for a short time. And then the train moved on. And every year since I contribute to this charity: The Salvation Army.
Now 60 days or so after 9-11 and 24 -7 coverage of it, (yes, we must be aware and alert to all the developments) we all need to clear our minds and hunting can do just that. The smell of fresh fallen leaves, the crunch underfoot of early morning frost, the rays of dawn in your eyes while the earth below is still dark, the hop, hop racket of squirrels in the leaf blanket, jabbering geese up high, turkeys flying down, birdsongs, chickadees on your bow, nature is waking up and there is no better mind clearing sight or sound period. And maybe, just maybe the stars will line up and you'll collect a 10 or 12 pointer. Go for it!
B.C. Roemer, President
On behalf of all of our hard working employees we would like to thank you for all of your loyal support of Trueflight Feathers. Once again this year we seen a ton a processed feathers shipped all over the world. That's a neat feeling, to know that our fletching are helping guide arrows all over the World.
The tragic events of September 11, 2001 will always leave an indelible mark on all of us. We were all sick at heart everywhere. It sure makes you think twice about complaining about how rough life is to us. Nothing could ever be so bad or sad as the events that we witnessed. I know we're all suppose to move on and keep the U.S. wheels turning and I believe this is correct. However, it is not easy to forget about all of our brothers and sisters who died. Their bravery and courage will be our strength and inspiration to keep moving on when the going gets tough. It is truly great to see our Country so united and so supportive of those in need in New York. I hope that this uniting will also bring all families closer together also.
This year the volume of pre packed die cuts and full length feathers increased with many of you taking advantage of having this operation done for you. The additional price of 50 cents per die cut bag and $1.00 for full length (for stock box quantities, advance ordered) has proved to be very worthwhile for many of you. I talked to all of you about our good friends at Headwaters in Rhinelander, WI. , who do the packaging for us. This workshop for the handicapped has proved to be a tremendous asset for us and it gives the clients a sense of doing a job well done. A simple thing like counting feathers in bags provides many of the clients with a job that their very capable of doing. Every time, I visit this workshop it just moves my heart to see these fine folks working on our feathers and other jobs. Along with counting feathers for us, they do work for other area manufactures such as packaging candles, cassette tapes, pet products, corn dog sticks and fishing baits just to name a few. I know if the clients at Headwaters could thank you they would but being that most of them cannot I will thank you on behalf of them. You might not realize it but your dollars are reaching out to help those who were born a lot less fortunate than us. By the way, I'm also delighted to tell you that I have yet to receive any serious complains about our packaging.
Last Bow hunting season I was able to officially hunt with my ten year old son, Jacob for the first time, thanks to a youth hunt in Missouri. Participants must be under twelve years old and accompanied with an adult who has a valid hunter education certificate card . This is just the ticket for youngsters who are not old enough to take a hunters safety course, but yet are very efficient with archery equipment and firearms.
Well, my best buddy, Jacob never did get any blood under his fingernails but he did get to see a trophy buck chasing a large doe with her two fawns. He also got an education about what happens when a buck approached down wind of your stand. But most of all we got to spend some great quality time together on a beautiful farm in Missouri.
My hat is off to those good folks in Missouri for offering non-residents kids an affordable hunt ($15.00 for kids eleven and under) non residents included. When you talk about doing something positive for kids here is a classic example. Many states now offer youth gun deer hunt day or weekend but no one to my acknowledge, offers the kids the opportunity throughout the deer archery season. This is a wonderful thing and I would like to see other states follow this very positive lead to get more kids involved in our sport. For more information on Missouri Youth deer and Turkey hunting permit contact Missouri department of Conservation P.O. Box 180 Jefferson City, MO. 65102-0180 (573)-751-4115 or www.conservation.state.mo.us.
The Archery Alley again was a huge success throughout our country. This year we added a little spice to ours by using cardboard silhouettes of deer, bear and turkeys, suspended by the cables which hold the target plates. We also suspended some 2" by 24" long P.V.C. pipe horizontally with a tiny balloon pushed to the front of the pipe and a soup can at the other end. Talk about having fun, the kids had a ball with it. If the kids put their arrow in the tube we called it a "Robin Hood" and they got a free ice cream or pop. We had about 10 kids that were able to accomplish this challenge. Next year I would like to take our Archery Alley to the Department of Natural resources section of the Wisconsin State Fair. Can you just imagine how many new kids we can reach there? Hopefully, next year I'll have a successful story to share with you about that.
Kids at the Wisconsin Bowhunters Convention practice on "exotic" game.
Bob Link and some admirers at the AMO Archery Alley
Once again this year we were all able to enjoy all the beautiful fall colors trees in our area. However, at the end of May I really had my doubts about a colorful fall as all of our freshly budded green leaves were eaten by the end of May by millions of tent caterpillars. With the exception of maples and conifers there was not a leaf to be seen on any poplar, cotton wood, oak, birch or aspen trees in the Northwood's of Wisconsin. Even the Tag Alders and Hazel brush leaves were eaten. There were so many that when you drove down the road it looked like the roads were moving, not to mention the popping sounds when you drove over them. One of the worst things we experienced was their scat that rained down on everything for several weeks. You had to be careful when you ate outside. About the second week in June they finally cocooned up and then we had the messy job of cleaning up. It was very strange to see bare trees in the beginning of summer, it looked more like fall in June. However, like a miracle the trees did rebud and once again, Wisconsin's Northwood's look beautiful again. However, the oaks never did bear any acorns after the trees rebudded. I'm very concerned about that as so many critters around here rely on acorns to put the fat on to help them through the severe winter months.
It seems like now a days its hard to find people who will do repetitive production jobs. This year I have been very fortunate to find enough employees to perform the tasks of washing, drying, grinding, and die cutting our feathers. It takes a special person to sit or stand by a machine for 10 hours a day handling primary wing feathers. It 's not an easy job especially when you know that 50% of what your handling will end up as scrap. Yet, day after day our good people do their daily jobs. You would think that with these daily demands that there would be a rash of absenteeism but, I'm very pleased to say not with our crew. In fact, last year we had 4 employees who never missed a single day of work throughout the year. I never averaged it out but I would have to say we had an average of 2 days per year for each employee, that I'm proud to say is very special. Our employees clearly understand your needs and expectations and they do their best each day to meet those demands. Needles to say, I'm very appreciative and proud of them. We will always strive very hard to continue to get you the best quality die cuts and full length feathers available.
Thank you for keeping is busy throughout this year and it is our hope and prayers that you will continue your loyal support. May God Bless You Always,
Bob Link, V.P., General Manager
Trueflight's wet site visitor numbers continue to increase. We use the site to promote feathers and advise on their use. We don't sell anything over the internet - we strongly advise individuals wanting to buy feathers or feather fletched arrows to visit their local archery dealer.
Our web site contains electronic versions of our "Feather Facts" brochure, our "Fletching Guide", product details, a distributor list, and copies of these newsletters. We've made some additions and improvements this year. The "Fletching Guide" has a few new diagrams in response to questions we've received. If you have access to the internet, be sure to check it out. We'd be happy to hear any suggestions for improvements or additions.
By the way, free printed copies of our "Feather Facts" are still available. Phone or write us with your request.
Monty Browning has taken another world record animal. This time it's a South Pacific Water Buffalo, in Northern Australia. Monty reports that the 2000 pound bull was killed with a single arrow - and that the arrow passed completely through the animal.
It's really awesome to realize that a simple "bent stick" has the power to take down such a large animal. Those human beings who invented the bow and arrow sure were clever folks!
Of course the "bent stick" can't do a thing without someone who knows what they are doing is at the controls. It's a real thrill to know that the skills we need in archery today are the very same skills that our ancestors have practiced - for at least the last 10,000 years.
One interesting thing Monty mentioned is that he hunts with very heavy arrows. The heavy arrow is a great aid to penetration and helps get the most efficient energy transfer from the bow to the arrow. The trade off, of course, is lower arrow speed and a less flat trajectory. Monty sure seems to make this system work.
Naturally, we have to mention that the "guidance system" Monty chooses for his arrows is Trueflight's 5 3/4 inch Maxi-Fletch in a Trueflight Barred pattern. We're really proud to see our feathers out there doing their job - all over the world.
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