Tag Archives: Realtree

It Turns Out, She’s One of Us!

Very few things have captured the national news cycle over the last 24 hours more than a particular football fan sitting in the stands during last night’s BCS National Championship game.

Katherine Webb as a Realtree model (Image borrowed from Realtree.com)

Katherine Webb as a Realtree model (Image borrowed from Realtree.com)

This particular show stopper, though, just happens to be dating A.J. McCarron, the quarterback for Alabama who easily steered his team to consecutive national championships during the aforementioned game. That’s still not what made her Twitter followers grow roughly 8,200% since (and still climbing!).

Katherine Webb (@_KatherineWebb) was in focus on ESPN’s broadcast when play-by-play analyst Brent Musburger made several comments pointing out her beauty. The rest of the world, as awkward as it was, pretty much agreed.

I’m not sure anyone could argue that she’s beautiful, but then again, she is also the reigning Miss Alabama.

For us hunters, it gets better.

It turns out Webb also is a hunter. In fact, she is a camouflage model who has done work for Realtree in the past. According to Realtree staff, she loves to hunt quail, dove and deer, she describes herself as a country girl and is very proud of those facts.

I’m from the country. I’m a hunter. Heck, I even have a boat load of photos featuring me in Realtree camo. Any comparison to Miss Webb stops right there for me.

A Head Scratcher and Kentucky Elk

For the last several years, I have joined some 35,000 individuals who have entered an annual lottery for a Kentucky elk tag. In all, 90 hunters will receive a tag to bow hunt the burgeoning herd that roams the Bluegrass State.

Waddell and Mundt, who are both among my favorite professional outdoorsmen, pose behind Waddell’s 2012 Kentucky elk. Photo borrowed from facebook.com/RealtreeOutdoors

Before I go further I want to go on the record, and be crystal clear, that this post is not in any way a bash on celebrity hunters. In fact, it’s far less about them – in this case two of the most popular in the country – and more about a program that decided to provide tags to celebrities sans the normal procedure for obtaining one.

I noticed a Facebook post this evening highlighting the successful exploits of Michael Waddell and Nick Mundt of each taking a bull elk this week in Kentucky. Congrats to those two Bone Collectors for closing the deal.

But I’m left scratching my head a little bit on what the “deal” actually was here. If I’m doing my scratch-pad math correctly, the chances of both hunters (neither a resident) drawing a Kentucky tag this year is less than .00013%. And that’s rounding up!

Providing “media” tags to out-of-state hunters for the purpose of highlighting and promoting a state’s hunting attributes is not a new practice. For years the state of Iowa has provided annual tags in order to get their state in focus on television. And they’re certainly not alone.

I point to both of those states, though, after feeling the same level of confusion with why they’re doing it at all.

Here’s why:

In both cases – Kentucky for elk tags, and Iowa for whitetail deer – the demand for tags far outweighs the supply of tags. The famous economic supply/demand curve shows that in this case, the two are in different countries.

It takes no fewer than two years to be selected for a non-resident archery tag in Iowa, considering that most hunters try in the first year, are denied and provided a preference point, and then re-apply the following year. That’s the minimum time I’m aware of for the large contingent of hunters I know who apply each year. Three years is becoming more the norm for those hunters.

Winning the lottery, literally, in Kentucky is seemingly a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

So why do either of these states, or the large groups of others, supply these tags to hunters in order to be featured on their television program? My spidey senses say at the core it has something to do with dollars and little sense, but I’m sure some politician getting ready to seek re-election can provide a better explanation than me.

Perhaps it’s to shine light on the successful conservation efforts by a lot of groups to re-introduce elk to Kentucky (side note: pretty amazing is the success of this program, by the way. It’s a testament that pretty much pokes anti-hunters, ones who doubt hunting as a fantastic conservation tool, right square in the eye).

For now, though, I’m left to ponder the logic alongside more than 34,000 other hunters who don’t stand a chance of getting drawn for a Kentucky elk tag next year!

Realtree takes AP beyond its patterns and onto the Internet

The Internet makes life a lot easier for outdoorsmen to keep up with their favorite pastime – especially during the off season! I recently stumbled upon Realtree’s new website and was impressed with something so many sites are missing these days. Realtree had simplified the navigation of www.realtree.com!

Realtree is a camo company with a backbone in the fact it licenses its patterns to manufacturers for use on their products.

Realtree's new site is AP

Along with Mossy Oak, the company is at the top of the food chain in the camo industry. And their business model is one that continues to fascinate me. It’s very similar in principle to the model that made Coca-Cola one of the largest and most recognizable companies globally.

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Book Review: “Hunting Booger Bottom” by Michael Waddell

Michael Waddell is without question the biggest star in the outdoor world.

To my gun- and bow-toting brotheron, he’s sort of our LeBron James. Well, except when he was a big-time free agent in the hunting industry a couple years ago, he didn’t do an hour-long show on the Outdoor Channel to tell everybody about it. In fact, hardly anyone knew about it. He’s that kind of humble.

He’s gone from a part-time grunt with Realtree Outdoors to the most sought-after representative for every outdoor product manufacturer. He’s developed two brands that carry significant value in the outdoors. And he’s done it by staying true to himself. I respect that very much.

He kind of reminds me a lot of Marty Smith with ESPN. Smith is beloved by NASCAR fans because he is different by being normal. Does that make sense – different by being normal? The normal for both Smith and Waddell helped fit a niche that was needed in their respective industries.

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