What Accessories And Sidelines Have Been Profitable In 2014?

When archery pros reviewed the first half of 2014, they found it paid to stock a wide variety of arrows and bowsights. More customers are turning to quick-adjusting single-pin sights, and interest in bowfishing keeps growing.
What Accessories And Sidelines Have Been Profitable In 2014?

Billy Lawson,

Archery World USA,

Cincinnati, Ohio

“In a word, arrows,” Lawson said. “We’re also selling a fair amount of Ripcord and QAD arrow rests, but arrows have been our most profitable ‘side line.’ I also put together a mobile store this year for parts and service, and we travel to 3-D shoots each weekend. I saw the need. Something wouldn’t function on their bows, and they had nowhere to turn.

“But arrows are doing well. We’re selling lots of Easton’s Bowfire carbon arrows. Guys also like the graphics that Easton put on the Bowfire. The ‘cedar shaft’ look is also popular. We’re selling lots of the Easton Axis Traditional arrows, and the Carbon Express Heritage. They’re carbon shafts with a wood-grain finish.

“We’ve made a big push this year to serve the traditional recurve and longbow shooters, because traditional archery was kind of a lost market in the Cincinnati area. No other archery shop in the area was tending to them, so I started helping them out.

“We’re also doing lots of Trueflight Feathers on ‘traditional’ arrows. They often like three of the same color or all barred, but some like two solids and one barred feather, and others like two barred and one solid. Traditional guys are very picky, so we do lots of custom fletching. Some traditional guys like their arrows crested, too.

“Most of them like right-wing feathers, but some like left-wing. They pay attention to those details. One guy shoots real wooden shafts, and depending on the bow, he’ll shoot the left twist and right twist. He dresses to look like Fred Bear. He wears the back quiver and Borsalino hat. Most traditional guys dress a little differently, so I bring a leather worker with our mobile store to do their custom work.

Boyd Wild,

Archery in the Wild,

Longmont, Colorado

“Single-pin sights are selling well,” Wild said. “We’re also selling lots of Trophy Taker rests, Hamskea rests, Bee-Stinger stabilizers and TightSpot bow quivers. The bottom line is that people will pay for quality products. Archery is all about confidence. You must have confidence in your ability and equipment. If something gives them confidence, they’ll pay for it.

“More people in the West are transitioning to single-pin sights. We’re doing well with Spot Hogg and Black Gold. People like the ease of use. When you look through your peep, you’re looking at one pin. Older guys really like that. Their vision isn’t what it used to be, so it’s easier to use that single pin. Single pins also solve one of the biggest problems with bowhunters: using the wrong pin. Once they shoot the single-pin and get used to making adjustments, they get that confidence working for them.

“Single-pin sights adjust easily and quickly. I set mine at 35 yards and just aim low for closer shots. When an animal is farther away, it usually isn’t aware of you, so you often have time to adjust the sight. The companies are really good at setting up their sight tapes. Most guys sight-in their single pin at 20 yards, set the tape at 20 yards, and then adjust the pin for longer distances.

“Across the board, today’s products are pretty amazing. Spot Hogg’s sights are indestructible. You can drive your truck over them and still go hunting. They’re probably our No. 1 selling sights, but we do well with Black Gold, too. Their Pure Driven sight is amazing.

“Trophy Taker rests, Bee-Stinger stabilizers, Hamskea rests and Hamskea’s third-axis products — they’re all really good, high-quality equipment that always work.

Junior Larsen,

Bwana Archery,

St. Paul, Minnesota

“The new Fuse products are selling well, like the Helix sights and Vector quivers,” Larsen said. “They redid their price structure and things took off. We’re probably up about 800 percent on the Hoyt accessories. They were at an elite price point, and now they’re more into the mainstream pricing.

“We’re doing well with arrows, too. We mainly sell the ‘cheapy’ stuff and the elite stuff. The Maxima Red Arrows from Carbon Express are doing very well again. We also stock the Easton Flatline and da’Torch, Beman ICS, Gold Tip and the Hex.

“With arrows, some guys go as cheap as possible and the others want the best they can afford. Our bow sales are spread more evenly, except that we sell more high-end bows early in the year. Experienced guys buy early, and the less serious guys show up later. It should be the other way around, but that’s generally how it works.

“We’re also doing well on Axion Archery’s stabilizers, and sights from Black Gold, Spot Hogg, AXT and Trophy Ridge. We don’t see one brand dominate. We sell a good variety of sights.

“We’re also doing well selling used recurves. I’ve been collecting recurves for years, but now we’re getting overrun with them and I’m starting to sell them. It’s hard to say why they’re selling, but part of it is that we have 40 to 50 on display at a time. If it’s there, it can sell. I like the older recurves from the 1960s and early ’70s.

“Crossbows are selling too. They’re doing decent because Wisconsin now allows crossbows during archery season, and Minnesota lets you use crossbows during archery season once you’re 60. TenPoint and Wicked Ridge are good sellers, and so is Excalibur for guys who like lighter, less-maintenance crossbows.”

Ruth Hilliar,

Archer’s Den,

Ardmore, Oklahoma

“Bowfishing has been growing in popularity around here, so we’ve been selling lots of bowfishing gear,” Hilliar said. “Hog hunting has been pretty good, too. We can hunt hogs year-round, so we’ve been doing well with arrows like the Easton Bloodline and Beman Pork Chop.

“Bowfishing has been really popular the past three to four years. We have several bodies of water around here, and the more people who try bowfishing, the more friends tell friends how fun it is. It usually just takes one time, and they want to do it again. We’re stocking more bowfishing gear every year to make sure we have everything available.

“The new AMS Bowfishing Retriever Pro reel is selling well for us. People like its longer handle because they can reel in the line much faster. They’re fast and easy to use, and they’re reliable and sturdy.

“We don’t do much for spring turkey hunting, but that’s a good time for hunting hogs. Once you get into late spring and summer, it’s too hot for most people to go hog hunting. There’s lots of pig hunting in southern Oklahoma and northern Texas. We’re only a half-hour from Texas, so we get a lot of business from down that way. We sell a lot of the medium price-ranged arrows for pigs. People really like that name, ‘Pork Chop.’ The Pork Chop isn’t real expensive, so if they break a few they can live with the loss. It’s not a heavy arrow, but it still gets excellent penetration.

“For broadheads, the Rage has always been a good seller for us, and they’re doing well again this year. Guys generally use the same broadheads for pigs that they use on deer, but a lot of them switch to lower-priced broadheads when they go hog hunting. The closer we get to the fall hunting seasons, the more higher-end broadheads we’ll sell.”


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