Larry Kendall is a bowhunter and entrepreneur. Kendall is founder of Muddy Outdoors, which began several years ago offering cutting-edge treestands and climbing harnesses. And now carbon arrows, quivers, and scent control products. Where does it all end? “I don’t know where it ends,” Kendall says. “In this economy you have to diversify.”
Kendall founded Muddy Outdoors in 2007 to deliver “category-leading products” to hunters. The first Muddy product line included the Safeguard harness and the Hunter treestand and five years later those items are still in the line. Of course, the line is expanding and shows no sign of slowing down.
“We’re serious about hunting,” says Kendall, “and our development energies are focused on solving bowhunting problems. We use our products, and push them to the limit. Our personal goal is to figure out ways to break stuff. Then we redesign until we get it right. It’s a little different philosophy, but we know it’s a better way.”
Muddy’s treestands are TMA Certified, built with a commitment to versatility, comfort and safety. Thus, Muddy stands not only have 3-inch, triple layer waterproof foam core seats, but the company offers free strap replacement every three years.
The 12-pound Hunter hang-on ($200) with a 34×24-inch aluminum platform uses a proprietary tree cleat that allows side-to-side adjustment on leaning trees. This gives a wide latitude to hang the stand in the best spot, rather than hunting for the best tree.
Muddy stands also offer a simple platform leveler for tree trunks that aren’t straight, and aluminum mesh platforms to minimize the sound of nervous feet. Muddy’s Hunter and Outfitter stands include an optional footrest. Backpack straps are included and all four Muddy stands are rated to 300 pounds.
The all-aluminum BloodSport hang-on ($220) has a 29×21-inch platform and weighs 13 pounds. It uses a revolutionary rope cam hanging system without metal buckles or ratchet straps. The BloodSport is designed for fast, safe placement and, according to Kendall, is perfect “for aggressive hunters who move their setup when necessary.” The BloodSport also has a platform leveler, seat leveler and boomerang tree cleat for solid attachment.
Muddy Outdoors offers climbing sticks, a ladder stand, a tree-attachable camera arm to video hunts and a series of wearable, lightweight Safeguard full-body fall-arrest harnesses. Safeguard harnesses are priced from $80 for youth sizes to $130 for adult sizes in Lost Camo.
Maybe because of the inherent limitations of a treestand business (they’re heavy, so shipping is expensive and it’s a high liability product line) Kendall developed the Muddy BloodSport accessory line with unique quivers and the ZVT (Zero Vibration Transfer) for crossbows and compound bows.
The BloodSport ZVT (rear mount, $35) copes with the noise and vibration of fast bows. Tests suggest a ZVT may reduce noise 60 percent while eliminating bone-jarring after shocks. Unlike other string dampeners and stops, the ZVT eliminates noise and vibration before it is generated by catching the string in the brush module as the string travels forward. ZVT does not interfere with a full power-stroke or reduce arrow speed. Just as the string starts to vibrate, the brushes slow it down and gently return it to rest.
Bloodsport’s unique EX5 and CX3 quivers ($70) are designed for mechanical broadheads. Articulating quiver hoods open down their centerline, allowing precise broadhead placement. This means the foam cushion is not systematically shredded as sharp heads are positioned and withdrawn.
Muddy’s Xecute scent control line uses none of the harsh metals or artificial chemicals found in many odor control solutions and will come in clear bottles. Made from all-natural, plant-based ingredients, Kendall says Xecute products use no ingredient that isn’t found in a deer’s environment. Xecute shower products are professional grade and salon-approved. The Xecute line includes a Field Spray (16 ounces, $10), a brightener- and scent-free clothes detergent (32 ounces, $15) and 8-ounce bottles of shampoo ($12), conditioner ($10) and shower wash ($10).
At the 2012 ATA Show in January, Muddy announced the acquisition of Harvest Time Archery and its carbon target and hunting arrows. Today, uncut 31-inch BloodSport arrows are available with four inside diameters: HT1 (.155), HT2 (.245), HT3 (.315) and HT4 (.385). Plus, Aero-Foil crossbow bolts are advertised as the “first and only spin-stabilized crossbow bolt” and come in 20- or 22-inch lengths at 9 grains per inch.
Kendall realizes Muddy Outdoors is experiencing a “phenomenal growth rate,” relatively easy when a company begins small and works hard to build its brand. His partners are Mike Maddison, vice president sales, and Steve Rockwell, vice president operations.
“The most exciting development is Muddy Direct,” Kendall says. Muddy relied on internal sales and rep groups for several years, but wasn’t satisfied. “We determined to develop a new type of sales team. We now have 120 sales reps who work part time selling and demonstrating our brands. It isn’t their primary job, but this gives us stable local presence. About as far as a Muddy Direct rep has to drive is an hour; our goal is to have about 250 local reps with background checks and factory training. This type sales force isn’t being used by anybody else and our relationship with our dealers is going to be very solid. A dealer can either call us direct or call the local guy.”
The Muddy Companies are headquartered at 6604 201st St., Albia, IA 52531. The telephone is (877) 366-8339, the fax (641) 932-2349, email email@example.com and Internet site (where you may download complete catalogs) www.gomuddy.com. Muddy is also active on Facebook.com.