Rural Missouri - July 2012 - (Page 12)

O U T D O O R S F by Jason Jenkins rom his office on Gulf Street, Danny Little can gaze down the road and see a reminder of Lamar’s manufacturing past. There, standing empty and forlorn, is the former home of O’Sullivan Industries. When the ready-to-assemble furniture company went out of business in 2007, more than 1,500 lost their jobs, striking an economic blow to this town of 4,500. But Danny and his business partners Russ Worsley, Tim Reigel and Russ Hurt aren’t looking back at the past. Instead, the small business owners are writing Lamar’s manufacturing future. They are successfully returning jobs to this southwest Missouri town by building what they consider is the best fiberglass hunting blind on the planet — Redneck Blinds. “Our slogan is ‘There ain’t nothing redneck about our blinds,’” says 57-year-old Danny, who retired as president of Lamar Bank & Trust a few years ago before embarking on a second career. “You’re not going to find a better blind out there. They are maintenance free and built for a lifetime.” Only in its second full year of manufacturing, Redneck Blinds has quickly developed a following among hunters, both in Missouri and throughout the Midwest. Last year — in the company’s first full year of production — Redneck Blinds sold more than 1,800 units. This year, they expect more than 2,500 blinds to find their way into the field. The company owes its start to the intersection of three unlikely industries: classic car reproductions, readyto-assemble furniture and outdoor recreation. With the exception of Danny, all of the partners had worked for O’Sullivan. In 2007, Tim Reigel bought Redneck Street Rods and began manufacturing high-end fiberglass reproductions of classic 1930s coupes and sedans. Danny had a company called Big Green Targets where he produced archery targets from recycled cloth and foam. While at a sports show promoting his target business, Danny and Russ Worsley took note of what was available in fiberglass deer blinds. “We saw what was out there and felt we could produce a better product,” recalls Danny. “We came back and discussed it with Tim. We’re all hunters, so we put our heads together and came up with what Russ Worsley, left, and Danny Little, two of the owners of Redneck Blinds, pose in front of one of the we’d want in a blind. company’s Predator 360 Combo blinds, the most popular blind in the company’s lineup. The result is the Redneck Blind design.” Redneck Blinds offer a number of advantages over traditional blinds. The first is safety. When mounted atop one of the company’s 5-, 10- or functional, you’d end up with squirrels, wasps and 15-foot-tall deluxe stands, each blind a Redneck blind,” says Grant, other critters. is attached to the ground with a 24adding that the blinds easily Perhaps the great adinch anchor stake on each leg and a accommodate three people vantage, however, is com30-inch ground auger anchor in the plus camera equipment fort. “It allows you to spend center, providing maximum stability. when he’s filming his TV more time in the field, and The stands also come with a ladder • Lamar program. “I’ve been the more time you spend, with non-slip treads and a handrail, in and out of almost the more deer you’ll see,” so climbing into and out of the blind every brand of manusays Russ Worsley. “I spent doesn’t require acrobatic feats. the entire first two days of rifle season For hunters concerned with maskfactured blinds. Metal blinds and plastic blinds, homemade in mine. I never left the stand. You ing their presence in the woods, wooden blinds and old truck bodies can stand up, stretch a little bit and Redneck Blinds deliver superior scent up on stilts blinds. Nothing is as well not worry about spooking the deer.” control. Automotive gaskets and thought out as the Redneck.” Danny says that comfort also weatherstripping around the door Blinds vary in cost from $1,299 to makes Redneck Blinds ideal for introand windows ensure an airtight seal. $3,499, depending on the model and ducing youth to hunting, as they afThe blind’s interior is painted black the stand combination you select. ford a platform that is safe, warm and to help obscure the occupants, and Each comes with a five-year manufacroomy enough that a young hunter marine-grade carpet on the walls and turer’s warranty. In addition to buying has room for a nap, if necessary. floor dampen sound. And no deer is directly from the factory, the blinds Redneck Blinds currently offers five able to see through the tinted and are sold at Bass Pro Shops, Rural King different models. The most popular tempered automotive glass windows. and independent sporting goods are the “combination” models. These The glass windows also contribretailers. have an octagonal design with horiute to the blind’s maintenance-free Today, every Redneck Blind is zontal windows on the sides and verticonstruction. Unlike Plexiglas manufactured along Highway 71 at cal windows on the corners, allowing windows that can get scratched a facility served by Barton County hunters to use either a rifle or a bow. or cloudy over time, the glass Electric Cooperative. The company “Right now, our Predator 360 Comwindows resist scratches and are is running two shifts to keep up with bo blind is our No. 1 unit,” Danny easy to clean. All Redneck Blinds demand, keeping 30 employees busy. says. “The combo blinds account for feature a marine-grade gel coat Danny says they plan to introduce 70 percent of our sales.” on the exterior that won’t other products, including a deer proGrant Woods, a wildlife biologist fade or peel over time, and tein feeder, in the near future. from Reeds Spring and host of the the 100-percent fiberglass “The way a town can really grow online show, “Growing Deer TV,” shell keeps out mice, and prosper is through small busihas been hunting out of Redneck ness,” Danny says. “We’re proud to Blinds since 2010. He says the blinds be creating local jobs and putting our have made it easy to safely hunt with Thanks to horizontal neighbors back to work.” both his children and his 81-year-old and vertical window father. openings, you can For more information about Redneck “If you were to sit down and try hunt with a bow or a Blinds, visit or to design a blind for your family gun inside Redneck’s call 877-523-9986. that was safe and comfortable and combo blinds. The best fiberglass deer blinds are built in Lamar BLIND FAITH 12 WWW.RURALMISSOURI.COOP http://WWW.RURALMISSOURI.COOP

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - July 2012

Rural Missouri - July 2012
A peach of a place
Quilting for a cause
Corralling the faithful
Out of the Way Eats
Platte City’s jewel
Reeling in the competition
Hearth and Home
News Briefs
Rita & Little Ollie
Around Missouri

Rural Missouri - July 2012