mossy oakFrom an early age Toxey Haas spent a lot of time in the woods with his father. “I just always wanted to get so close to the critters; I just felt like it was my calling. I guess it’s still that way no matter what angle it is today, whether its camouflage or land and land management and everything that goes with it—I’m just obsessed with getting close to critters,” said Toxey Haas, founder and CEO of Haas Outdoors Inc.

Looking back, Haas believed the camo hunters had to wear 25-plus years ago just stuck out like a sore thumb. “As a kid, I just dreamed about blending in so perfectly that the deer or turkeys or squirrels or whatever would just walk about naturally around me,” Haas recalled.

Later, while working for a company specializing in marketing and brand management, Toxey Haas figured he knew what he wanted and started investigating it further. “I knew it would work, from a consumer standpoint. There was nothing like it, not even close. I had no clue from a printing or technical standpoint, though,” Haas confessed. He began questioning printers as to the viability of buying a bolt of fabric and having a pattern printed on it. “They just laughed and thought I was an idiot, but I don’t take ‘no’ for an answer very easily.”

Early on, Haas took the conventional route, trying to find a chip of paint or taking color pallets to the woods, looking for the colors that matched. Eventually, he reversed his direction and just took the woods to the printer. “I took baggies of dirt and handfuls of leaves and sticks to match for the first patterns. I didn’t think I was any kind of genius; I just didn’t want to keep chasing my tail to get the colors right.”

Mossy Oak’s top product has likely been the Break-Up franchise. “There comes a point and time where you just learn so much more and technology progresses. Sometimes the same old things work forever and ever, and when that’s the case we leave it alone. But when we can bring something better to the market, with more depth and better imaging, we feel it’s our responsibility, and that’s why we brought Infinity out this year,” Haas explained.

“There are two ways to hide. Either blend in perfectly or break up your outline,” Haas continued. “Both have advantages and disadvantages depending on your surroundings and game. Knowing this, we base different patterns on the varying uses—for example, Treestand, Bottomland, Infinity and Obsession.”

Most of all, there is one message that Toxey Haas would like to get out: “Don’t waste time being negative. Get outdoors, and spread the love of things we do with the people you want spend time with. Let’s become our own little evangelists to the outdoor lifestyle.”

(662) 494-8859; www.mossyoak.com