Industry News

Paul Schluter stepping down as CEO of St. Croix Rods

PARK FALLS, Wis. – St. Croix Rods’ CEO Paul Schluter has announced a planned transition of leadership at the company. Sometime in 2019, Schluter will step aside from his current role with the Park Falls, Wis.-based company. He will continue serving as a member of St. Croix’s Board of Directors, guiding strategy and monitoring performance, along with his sister Pamela…

GSM Outdoors acquires Mainstream Holdings

Grand Prairie, Texas — GSM Outdoors, LLC, a multi-brand manufacturer and technology innovator of premium, specialized hunting and shooting products, has announced the acquisition of Mainstream Holdings, including Muddy Outdoors, Hawk, and Big Game Treestands, GMS said in a news release. According to the company, Muddy Outdoors is a premier manufacturer of hang-on, climber, and ladder stands, along with portable tripod and…

Garmin additions

Garmin recently announced the addition of two new products: The Panoptix LiveScope LVS12 single-array transducer and the ECHOMAP Plus bundles. According to the company, the Panoptix LiveScope series offers both 30-degree forward and 30-degree down real-time scanning sonar views, adding that the single-array LiveScope LVS12 transducer is an economical solution for inland and near-shore anglers without the need for a black box. Garmin’s…

Nik Kolbeck named communications director at Sheldons’ Inc.

Antigo, Wis. — Nik Kolbeck has joined Sheldons’ Inc. (Mepps and Mister Twister) as communications director. In this role, Kolbeck will develop and oversee communications for Sheldons’ across print, online, retail, social media and mobile. Kolbeck is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. Since graduation, Kolbeck worked for Swiderski Equipment, an agriculture and construction equipment company with five locations…

Bass Pro Shops files suit against former Cabela’s execs over non-compete agreements

Bass Pro Shops has filed suit against two former Cabela’s employees who started outdoor stores of their own following its 2017 acquisition of its former rival. The suits allege that both operators are in breach of non-compete agreements and are using stolen, proprietary information. According to the Delaware Court of Chancery, Bass Pro Shops has filed suit against NexGen Outfitters,…

Outdoor News offers annual contest for youth writers

Plymouth, Minn. — Students in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio and Illinois who fancy themselves a prodigy in outdoors writing should take note of the Outdoor News annual Youth Writing Contest that kicked off Sept. 7, 2018. Outdoor News, Inc., publisher of locally written fishing and hunting outdoor newspapers in seven Great Lake states, has promoted the writing…

2018 Outdoor News Print of the Year features artwork by Scot Storm

Plymouth, Minn. — With 22 federal, state, and conservation stamp wins to his name, Minnesota-based Scot Storm’s art clearly contains fine details that breathe life into every image and draw the viewer into the wildlife scenes he creates. Through the celebrated Outdoor News Print of the Year series, Storm’s latest artistry captures an image that fills the dreams of every…

Outdoor News calendars feature top-flight artwork, information

Plymouth, Minn. — Outdoor News Inc., publisher of locally written fishing and hunting outdoor newspapers in seven Great Lakes states, has published a series of calendars for sportsmen in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and New York. The Outdoor News Sportsman’s Calendars offer information for hunters and anglers compiled in seven state-specific versions. The calendars incorporate exclusive-to-the-state 2019 hunting…

Hurricane Florence forces suspension of Shimano’s South Carolina facility operations

LADSON, S.C. — With mandatory evacuations ordered by South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster due to Hurricane Florence approaching the Carolina coast, Shimano has suspended operations of its North Charleston distribution center and fishing division office until further notice. “We will continue to monitor the impending impact of Florence on all of them and our facilities before we resume operations,” said Steve…

Crestliner launches Angling Aces student program

Ostego, Minn. — Crestliner recently announced the introduction of Angling Aces, a program aimed at nurturing high school- and college-aged anglers’ passion for fishing and guiding them with higher education and careers related to the sport. In addition, the program advocates for the outdoors and resource conservation, helps youth anglers perfect fishing techniques, and teaches on-water safety, the company said…

Shimano/B.A.S.S. Nation scholarships: Future of natural resources, fisheries management in good hands

Incoming Virginia Tech senior Cantley Krafft (left) is awarded one of nine $3,000 Shimano/B.A.S.S. Nation scholarships during registration at the 2018 Carhartt Bassmaster College Series National Championship, held last week on Oklahoma’s Lake Tenkiller. B.A.S.S. Conservation Director Gene Gilliland (right) makes the presentation.LADSON, S.C. — The future within the ranks of natural resources and fisheries management professionals looks bright, at…

BRP acquires Alumacraft, creates Marine Group

Valcourt, Quebec – Bombardier Recreational Products (BRP), headquartered in Valcourt, Quebec, announced this week the creation of the Marine Group with the acquisition of Alumacraft, a private North American manufacturer of aluminum fishing boats based in St. Peter, Minn., BRP said in a news release. Tracy Crocker, senior vice-president and general manager of Evinrude Outboard Motors since 2017, has been…

RV company Winnebago adds boats to the mix with Chris-Craft acquisition

And the crossover effort continues. RV maker Winnebago Industries, Inc., announced Monday, June 4 that it has acquired recreational boat builder Chris-Craft from Stellican Ltd., which has owned Chris-Craft since 2001. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Last week, snowmobile and all-terrain-vehicle maker Polaris Industries, Inc., based in Medina, Minn., reportedly acquired Boat Holdings, a pontoon boat company out…

Time winding down to apply for Shimano scholarship program

LADSON, S.C. — For graduating high school seniors, undergrad and graduate students interested in fisheries, wildlife and natural resource fields of study, the application period for the Shimano Varsity Program Scholarships is winding down. Shimano North American Fishing, Inc., is awarding up to $30,000 in financial assistance to future leaders in conservation, fisheries and wildlife sciences and management, according to…

Wisconsin DOJ charges lure-maker with bilking investors

(WBAY.com)Andrew Reynent, 37, of Cecil, Wisc., is accused of bilking investors in his Screamline Lures company for about $350,000 between 2015 and 2017 and spending it on personal expenses and gambling, according to reports. He is charged with seven counts of embezzlement of amounts ranging from $10,700 to $102,588. According to a WBAY.com report, the Wisconsin Department of Justice estimates $141,084 of investor money was spent at…

Minnesota hunting industry mourns loss of John Burgeson

Anoka, Minn. — Wildlife Research Center founder John Robert Burgeson, 66, of Andover, passed away May 19. A native of Arden Hills and later Andover, Burgeson graduated from Mounds View High School in 1970 and went on to study business at Anoka Ramsey College and later Augsburg University. Graduating with a degree in business, Burgeson established Wildlife Research Center in…

Wild Wings outdoors art company announces new owners

Mark Mickelson, left, owner of Art Brand Studios, and Randy Eggenberger, Wild Wings president.Art Brand Studios, a leading publisher, manufacturer, marketer, wholesaler and branded retailer of fine art reproductions, has announced the acquisition of Wild Wings, a company representing 50 of America’s top wildlife and Americana/nostalgia artists. Wild Wings, out of Lake City, Minn., has a long history of specializing…

NSSF report: Firearms industry economic impact rises 169 percent since 2008

NEWTOWN, Conn. — The total economic impact of the firearms and ammunition industry in the United States increased from $19.1 billion in 2008 to $51.4 billion in 2017, a 169 percent increase, while the total number of full-time equivalent jobs rose from approximately 166,000 to almost 310,000, an 87 percent increase in that period, according to a report released by…

Fishing industry well represented on national outdoor recreation advisory committee

(U.S. Department of the Interior)WASHINGTON, D.C. — A host of well-known outdoor recreation representatives – from the fishing industry in particular – were recently named to the national “Made in America” Outdoor Recreation Advisory Committee, announced recently by U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke. The 15-member committee was established on Nov. 8, 2017, and is intended to serve as an advisory…

Gander Outdoors stores open in Forest Lake, Minn., and Chambersburg, Pa.

Gander Outdoors, formerly known as Gander Mountain, has opened locations in Forest Lake, Minn., and Chambersburg, Pa. The 96,000-square-foot store in Forest Lake is located at 14640 West Freeway Drive and will be one of six Gander Outdoor retail locations in Minnesota, operating with more than 65 part-time employees and full-time staff, the company said in a news release. The…

2017 Deer and Turkey Classic headliners the Holders move to larger Discovery Channel

David Holder of “Raised Hunting” fame talks about what it means for his family to serve as headliners during the 2017 Outdoor News Deer and Turkey Classic. (Brian Peterson photo)The headliners of the 2017 Outdoor News Deer and Turkey Classic are headliners once again on the outdoors television front. Raised Hunting, the show chronicling the lives and adventures of the…

Wisconsin Fishing Expo continues to grow

After a 13-percent increase in attendance in 2017, an all-time high, the Wisconsin Fishing Expo (WFE) continued its upward attendance swing with another 9-percent increase for the 2018 event, held Feb. 23-25. In addition, the Expo area at Alliant Energy Center Expo Hall in Madison grew by 17 percent, featuring more than 150,000 square feet of space for vendors, manufacturers, retailers, boats,…

Skeeter Boats, Yamaha Outboards again to sponsor Classic Bass Champions Tour in 2018

ZIMMERMAN, Minn. — Classic Bass has announced that Skeeter Boats and Yamaha Outboards will again be the presenting sponsor of the Champions Tour in 2018. In 2017, Andy Walls of Grand Rapids, Minn., left the Champions Tour Championship on Lake Pokegama with a new Skeeter Boats and Yamaha Outboard package; the winner of the 2018 championship also will earn a…