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Shooting Industry November 2012 - Page 37
Varmint & Predator Think Beyond Traditional Seasons, Adjust Displays For Year-Round Selling Call In By Carolee Anita Boyles Sales Photo Courtesy of Haydel’s Game Calls armint hunters are serious, dedicated shooters — who are often overlooked consumers. In many states, varmint hunting is a year-round activity that dealers should take advantage of to ensure consistent sales throughout the year. Varmints are two slightly different — but closely allied — markets. “With predator hunting, hunters are calling animals to them,” said Michael Kinn, creative manager for ATK Sporting Group. “They could be calling coyotes, bobcats, foxes and even sometimes hogs. This category includes anything that’s seeking an easy target or an easy meal.” The overall varmint category is broader, said Rod Haydel, president of Haydel’s Game Calls. “Varmints may be crows, V groundhogs, prairie dogs and other animals,” Haydel said. Hunters in both categories are enthusiastic about what they do — and some will spend big bucks to do it. Dedicated hunters will travel to take advantage of the year-round nature of varmint and predator hunting. The “all the time” nature of varmint and predator hunting means dealers can make yearlong sales. “There’s no ‘opening day’ like there is for big-game season,” Haydel said. “You don’t get a big rush of customers coming in, and it’s a lingering selling season; Continual Selling Season there’s no real big ‘push.’” Both predator hunters and other varmint hunters use a wide variety of products dealers already have in stock, as well as some very specialized items. “Varmint hunters going for animals such as prairie dogs use backpacks, firearms, shooting rests, spotting scopes and shooting benches,” Kinn said. “If they’re making very long shots or very close shots, they use a variety of ranging techniques. “In the varmint world, everything comes down to distance and precision because the targets hunters are shooting at are small,” Kinn continued. “Typically, these hunters go out with a group of their friends, carry a trailer full of gear and usually stay in one location for an extended period of time.” When it comes to predator hunting, The Savage Model 11 Trophy Hunter XP is available in a number of models, including left-hand and youth versions. www.shootingindustry.com NOVEMBER 2012 37