Just as it could be said the 3-D shooting boom of the ‘90s “made” the foam target market, the current rise in gas prices is threatening to “unmake” them. Shipping boxes of heavy materials across the country, whether it’s bags or boxes—even with discounts for volume and packing the truck—is expensive. Nevertheless, and despite a destructive 2008 fire in its Iowa facility, Delta McKenzie continues to thrive and keep its eye on continued growth.
Delta and McKenzie were competitors once, but in the nature of commerce— some companies discover the competitive advantage while others struggle—they are now one company.
Today, multiple lines and styles of targets are available from the united Delta McKenzie: 3-D, bag, foam planks and cardboard, recreational (with stands for club, 4H or youth group shooting) and even paper (spot targets plus big and small game, many printed with universal scoring zones) to tack onto neighborhood excelsior bales.
Classic 3-D targets—this was the niche where McKenzie made its name—offer shooting opportunities at everything from whitetails to carp to dragons. (The $300 green and white dragon is 44x30x30 inches.) Targets are painted in realistic colors and designed to be durable. They are also built for easy arrow removal and to be self-healing with replaceable features such as antlers or parts such as the core. Given heavy use and/or being left uncovered outside, cores eventually become tattered. T-Series and Elite targets are also available with ASA or IBO scoring options, and some are imprinted for universal scoring.
The larger 3-D targets—deer, standing bear, and buffalo, for instance—are built in sections for easy shipping or storage, and parts such as antlers or ears can be removed. Depending on the target, Delta’s 3-D line is fine for broadheads or field points, though of course, broadheads will tear up targets much faster.
One of the most popular targets, the Broadhead Buck (about $375), has a replaceable core designed for either field point or broadhead shooting and stands, including the removable antlers, 51 inches high.
New for 2012, the CrossBuck 3-D Target ($130) has an enlarged replaceable vital made from Delta’s E-Z flex foam for easy arrow removal and is both compound and crossbow approved. “It includes large trophy antlers and is really easy to assemble,” says Delta McKenzie’s Krista Huffman.
Another recent addition to the 3-D line is the portable Turkey Kill Zone middle ($60). Like the deer Kill Zone, this target is good for taking on hunting trips or even lugging around the backyard for pre-season practice. The Kill Zone is only the mid-section with a molded-in handle for portability. Lightweight and durable, this mini-target will provide countless hours of excellent practice.
Delta McKenzie is known for more than just molded 3-D targets, though. Its super-durable bag targets feature brightly colored bull’s eyes, and tough outer bags that will easily stop arrows from heavy compound bows. Bag targets are available in a variety of sizes, and many models include a stand. These targets are not, however, recommended for use with broadheads.
In the bag line the new, brightly colored Speed Bag—Knockout Range Bag ($100) measures 32x36 inches and offers easy arrow removal, even with arrows from fast, powerful bows. In fact, it was designed for compounds and crossbows up to 400 fps and is ideal for intense use at archery ranges.
As more and more states have liberalized hunting seasons for crossbows, it has become necessary for most sectors of the archery industry to deal with this uber-fast, heavy-hitting horizontal bow. The new, 12x12x12-inch Crossbow Discharge Bag Target ($20) is built to handle arrows in the 400 fps range. Lightweight and portable with multiple bull’s eyes for shooting variety, its purpose is light use by crossbows—or even just discharging a single bolt at the end of a day; it works just as well with compound bows.
Speaking with Jacob Stark on his last day as National Sales Manager prior to moving back to his home in Wisconsin, he says the Delta McKenzie sales philosophy is to attend all of the buying group shows and to work through Outtech, its national rep group.
Delta McKenzie also maintains good relationships with distributors, but since shipping has increased dramatically in cost, distributors tend to work off the inventory at Delta McKenzie headquarters and request that targets be drop-shipped. Thus, Stark suggests that most archery dealers would do best to deal directly with the factory and set up a dealer account through their sales rep. Besides, a minimum $1,500 order with Delta McKenzie gives a dealer October 1 dating and free freight!
Commenting on merchandise display, Stark believes many dealers under-represent targets on their show floor. “Of course, there is a space issue,” he says, “but having numerous 3-D and bag targets on display sells them through as impulse buys.”
Delta McKenzie Targets is located at 30151 160th Street, Dike, IA 50624. The toll-free dealer number is (800) 708-0673; www.deltatargets.net, www.mckenzie3d.com and www.deltamckenzie.com. Delta McKenzie also communicates via Facebook.com and Twitter.com, and numerous videos are posted on YouTube.com.