Listening to the sound of ATVs starting up along the ridges surrounding me, I knew exactly what time it was. It was “high noon” in the eastern mountains and that meant that most of the hunters in my neck of the woods were headed home for lunch. In years past, I too had often looked forward to this time of day; especially after an unproductive morning in the stand. The dull, seductive hum of those ATVs seemed to merge with one another to produce an alluring melody that lead straight to warm food and good fellowship.
However, as the tempting sound disappeared into the distance, I quickly regained my composure and convinced myself that remaining in my stand was the right course of action. It did not take long for that decision to pay off. Just below the old logging road I was perched above, I noticed something. It was a shadow. Like a ghost, it seemed to glide effortlessly through the impenetrable thicket; slowly working its way through various openings in the briars and saplings. Then, like magic the shadow emerged, revealing a monstrous 10 point standing just on the edge of the logging road. As the buck slowly moved into an open shooting lane, I felt the smooth glide of the string reach its perfect anchor point. My eye met the peep with absolute precision as the .010 pin settled in on the sweet spot. And just like a well-trained orchestra, every component within my archery setup performed in complete harmony to deliver the perfect “death ballad”.
Watching the beautiful buck sway and fall not more than 50 yards from my stand, I was amazed at the deadly precision of each component in my bowhunting setup. Like most hunters, I spend a lot of time and money preparing for that one opportunity. I also experiment with new gear that will make filling my tags a common occurrence. Recently I sat down with Brian Bychowski, the Sales and Marketing Director of Pine Ridge Archery, to discuss some new gear that promises to do just that.
Q: How did Pine Ridge Archery get Started?
A: We currently have three divisions within our company. Du-Bro Products, Inc. was formed by Dewey Broberg in 1959. This side of our business is the largest worldwide manufacturer of parts and accessories for RC planes and RC cars. Mr. Broberg was also an avid fisherman and when he saw the opportunity, he decided to develop our second division, Du-Bro Fishing. This division manufacturers tackle and equipment for Great Lakes and Coastal anglers. In 1997 Jim Broberg, who is the son of founder Mr. Broberg, decided to use his love for bowhunting to start our third division. That division is Pine Ridge Archery.
Need a hanging system that will handle all of your gear? The Hunt-n-Gear Equipment Hanger is the answer.
He started Pine Ridge Archery in 1997 at the annual Archery Trade Association Show (ATA) with a product called the Arrow Inspector. Jim had been a diehard bow hunter for many years and it hit him that the propeller balancer that was currently being produced for model airplanes could be converted and modified to be used as an arrow spin checker. That was the product that launched Pine Ridge Archery. We have gone from that one product in 1997 to over 400 products currently.
Q: What are the founding principles of Pine Ridge Archery?
A: Because we are bow hunter ourselves, we strive for common sense in our products. If there is a product that we just do not want to use or that just does not make sense, we will not pursue that product. We are proud that we manufacture our products here in our factory. We do everything from the production to the packaging, so if there is ever an issue with a product, we get it taken care of very quickly. We provide our customers with common sense items, stellar service and quality American made products.
One of the new products for 2013 is the Feather Peep; an ultr-strong, lightweight, plastic peep that does the job of a regular peep sight without adding extra weight to the bowstring.
Q: How does Pine ridge Archery develop its products?
A: When we first started, much of our development came from need. Since we are all bow hunters, we would talk about things that were needed or what we thought needed to be improved upon. We always felt that our best research and development was done in the treestand. As we have grown, we have found that our customers and vendors will dictate the products they want to see us develop. They feel we have the best customer service and take care of their needs to such an extent that they would rather buy products from us than other retailers. So if we do not have it, we will develop it.
Pine Ridge Archery manufactures all of their products right here in the USA! Pictured here: a section of the facility and custom molding machines.
Q: How is Pine ridge Archery different than other companies in the market?
A: We are a good sized company with over 400 different types of products. To be able to say that our products are made in the USA is a huge differentiator for us. We are very serious about our fill rates, our quality and our response to customers. We were recently told by one of our large box store customers that we had been awarded 100% fill and shipping ratios which they had never seen out of any of their other suppliers. We are very proud of that type of feedback we get. We also strive to make sure that consumers save money. We want to make sure that there is a real value in our products for our consumers.
Another exciting product from Pine Ridge Archery is the Nitro Button XL. When attached to the bowstring it offers several advantages.
Q: What Challenges have you overcome to get Pine Ridge Archery Where it is today?
A: We have always had one or two products that always outperform the others. Our customers seem to look to us for just those products. It has taken a long time and a lot of effort to get our customers to see us as an all encompassing bow accessory provider.
Q: What new products can we bowhunters expect for 2013?
A: The first is the Feather Peep; it is one of the few tubeless plastic peeps on the market. It comes in two different apertures 3/16 and 1/4 and also in eight different colors. This is a great product and we feel that it is going to do really well this year. We have come out with a new wrist sling that is injection molded instead of being leather, which of course holds scent. The sling is unique in the fact that it will hold the specific position that you need it to and you can customize it to what fits you best. We also have the Nitro Button XL which can be added to the bow string to increase speed, dampen vibration and allow the user to customize the color they want on their bows.
Q: How does Pine Ridge Archery ensure quality products?
A: We are very old school. Our quality control is based on using the products in real world hunting scenarios. Take for instance our peep sites. Our company is very proficient in plastic moldings. We came up with a plastic peep site, put it into a bow and shoot it thousands of times. Then we took it out, measured it, examined how it held up, and then tweaked it until it was perfect. This ensured we ended up with the best possible product we could take to market.
Also, our employees have the expertise of knowing how to get the raw materials into products that perform exactly the way they need to in order to give our customers exactly what they want. On average, our employees have all worked here for 15-20 years, which gives us a real edge in the development process and says a lot about how we take care of them and value their contributions.
Q: What is the most overlooked piece of equipment by hunters that may make the biggest difference in their hunting success?
A: I would have to say there are really two items that are very important, but frequently overlooked. The first would be the Arrow Inspector. If you are not spin checking your arrow with your broadheads, you simply cannot be sure that your arrows are going to fly the way you need them to. All of the time and effort you have put into shooting and tweaking your bow may be wasted if you have not spin checked your arrows and broadheads. I would say every single archer needs to take the time to look at our Arrow Inspector.
The second is our Hunt-n-Gear Equipment Hanger. I cannot tell you how many times I have gone out to a stand that someone has set-up and there is nowhere to hang your gear. It is such a pain when that happens but, this product solves that problem.
If you are a scent control nut, and you should be, you will appreciate a bow sling that doesn’t hold scent. The new injection molded model from Pine Ridge won’t give away your position before the shot.
Q: What is the one thing you would like the general hunting public to know about Pine Ridge Archery?
A: I would have to say our dedication to quality. Customers need to know that the quality control has been done with our products. The items are going to perform the way our customers need them to. If there is ever an issue and you call our office, you are not going to be transferred through a big switchboard. You are going to get a live person to talk to and we will make it right no matter what the problem is. Our customer service is second to none.
For more information or a detailed list of Products from Pine Ridge Archery check out www.pineridgearchery.com