For anyone looking to see if innovation and the American entrepreneurial sprit are still alive and well, look no further than the creative minds at Spot-Hogg.
“Sights have definitely been the pinnacle of our success. We started out making releases, but it was the arrow rests we sold to Golden Key that really provided the money to get the company going,” stated Josh Johnson, marketing manager at Spot-Hogg. “But it’s been sights that put us on the map. We started out ahead of our competition with the introduction of a sight with a round pin guard. At the time, the only other company with a round pin guard was Copper John—ironically, they debuted at the ATA for the first time the same year we debuted ours, back in 1999. In addition to the pin guard, we both had second and third axis adjustments, which were also industry firsts.”
That first sight was the Hogg-It, a hunting sight rather than a freestyle sight like Copper John’s. “We got a slow start out of the gate. People today still come to me thinking it’s a new sight. In reality, it’s the oldest sight we make. They’ve just never seen it because their dealer didn’t carry it in the past. Because it was so slow with the Hogg-It, we had to come out with some lower-end models to put the carrot in front of their noses and drag them in the right direction. The cheaper, less-complicated models certainly got the market’s attention, and once customers really started coming it’s been hard to keep up with the demand.”
Being at the front of the pack with new features is one thing, but having the stamina to remain in the front down the stretch is another. As Josh says, “Durability is what has really set apart Spot-Hogg from our competitors. Our sights are built like brick [outhouses]! We didn’t set out with a goal of making them so tough; we were just tired of our own stuff breaking, and at some point you get tired of buying disposable products. So, when we built our initial products, we just kind of kept ‘beefing them up’ until they looked strong enough that we wouldn’t break them.
“The market has definitely noticed, too. We constantly get feedback and comments—both in person and on the major online forums—about how ‘a sight has outlasted three bows’ or ‘I’ve taken this through hell, and the only things that survived was my bow and my release.’ Those types of testimonials made us realize that we were filling a niche and what we were offering was not being offered anywhere else. I mean, why would they make such a giant deal out of our durability level if we were just keeping up with somebody else? The truth of it was that we were setting a new standard for the rest to be measured against.”
Adding to this rich history, Spot-Hogg has introduced its new Bulletproof pins on every sight it sells. “The one thing we still received complaints about was the pins. When we first built the Hogg-It, fiber optics were not very big. Today you practically can’t sell a sight without them. Instead of simply offering replacement pins, we built a pin that’s nearly indestructible, but just in case you find a way to break a fiber optic pin encased in 6061 aluminum, you can replace it,” Josh explained. “If you have one of our older sights, we made sure the pins were completely compatible to upgrade those, too. We don’t believe in improving a product just to make the customer buy an entirely new one. We wanted the customer to be able to upgrade it more like a Lego and build on an existing design.”
Due to the high volume of requests from dealers, Spot-Hogg has introduced a new single-pin, adjustable sight. “It wasn’t something we see people using around us much. Our goal is to pare it down to something for hunting purposes. The market has sure responded, though, and sales have been much higher than we initially predicted. Again, it came back to reliability. People were just tired of their single pin that rattled loose over time and made too much noise or simply wore out.” Josh went on, “We know things are going to wear, and that’s why with the Hogg Father we made an adjustable bushing system. Yeah, it will wear to the point that you may get a little slop, but you don’t have to replace anything or send it back to us. It was designed to be fixed by the archer—in the field, if need be. Whether you are a hunter or a competition shooter, you just can’t afford to have something break and have to send it back.”
The Spot-Hogg team has always had “tons of ideas” for new releases, but they were simply put on the back burner to meet the demand for its sights. However, now seems to be the time to unleash some of them. “The Wise Guy is still setting new sales records for us. It’s not really any particular one in the series, but the nylon has sure taken off,” Josh said. “[The fact that] it’s new has something to do with it, but I think it has a lot to do with the fact that so many archers were simply holding back on purchasing a Wise Guy until they could get it with the nylon, free-floating strap.
“The cool thing about the Wise Guy is that everyone thinks it makes him or her more accurate,” Josh continued. “It’s OK, if that’s what they want to believe, but in reality the release was designed to be less sensitive to inconsistencies in the shooter’s form. Simply put, the Wise Guy won’t punish you as much for a sloppy shot than other wrist-strap releases.”
For more go to www.spot-hogg.com