If you take a machinist with a strong passion for archery and a penchant for putting in the extra effort to get the job done—and combine it with the talent to make it all work, you “almost” have Spot-Hogg’s Steve Johnson. Almost, because it took far more than one driven man to bring Spot-Hogg to market.
Johnson worked for a couple of years to develop a mechanical release that fired when the trigger was released. During the same period, he developed a micro-adjustable arrow rest. Both were shown to Freddie Troncoso of Golden Key-Futura, who liked them both and immediately took to distributing them. Johnson worked as a machinist and was allowed to use the machines after hours to make his own products.
Johnson’s wife stayed at home to take care of the couple’s three boys (with another on the way) and assembled the releases and arrow rests. “No flat surface in the house was safe from parts for assembly and boxes that were ready to ship,” remembered Josh Johnson, Spot-Hogg’s marketing manager and Steve’s son.
Within a couple of years, the tough decision was made to purchase a facility in Oregon and start producing the products full-time. That’s not to say that things were getting any easier. Eighteen-hour days were common for both, in addition to the work of raising four strapping sons. Eventually, Steve designed the Hooter Shooter and a couple of sights. Golden Key couldn’t make the numbers work, and thus Spot-Hogg was born. “Finally, we were able to make Spot-Hogg something more than a business license on the wall that we could sell under,” Josh stated.
For 2011 Josh seemed most excited about Spot-Hogg’s new Bulletproof Pins that are now featured on all of its sights. Fragile fiber optics have always been a bane of the archery industry. With Spot-Hogg’s new technology, to break a fiber optic pin you’d have to break a 6061 aluminum pin as well. “The idea behind it was that people were still complaining that they were breaking fiber optics, so we set out to make it near impossible,” explained Josh.
Innovations and redesigns are nothing new in the archery industry, but Spot-Hogg’s approach may be. Not only does the new sight line feature bulletproof pins, the pins were designed so you can upgrade the Spot-Hogg sight you have been using for years. “We don’t believe in improving a product just to make the customer buy an entirely new unit. We wanted the customer to be able to upgrade it more like a Lego and build on an existing design,” said Josh.
Spot-Hogg is not only about sights and rests and shooting machines.
“The [new] Wise Guy wrist-strap release has some cool advantages that nobody else is offering,” Josh proclaimed proudly, of the release that is newly available in a tethered model for 2011. According to Josh, the placement of your finger on the trigger, how fast you pull through and the strength of the spring inside can cause a left or right spray. “Our theory is that to bring something new to the market, you need to be original, not just a ‘me, too.’ The Wise Guy solves many of the ‘spray’ problems and has proven to be more forgiving than any other wrist-strap release we’ve tested.”
(541) 995-3702; www.spot-hogg.com