Lone Wolf Treestands: Company Profileon Aug 12, 2012
It was a bitterly cold November morning and I was finally nestled into my favorite treestand. I could see the sky beginning to lighten and I was not sure if the goose bumps on my neck were from the cold or the eager anticipation of having a deer walk right under me. As the sun slowly crested in the draw just above me, it was akin to the sound of reveille playing for all the creatures of the mountainous big woods. First, I could hear the squirrels, and next the birds, then it was the unmistakable sound of a deer marching through the frozen leaves----heading in my direction! I slowly stood; trying to anticipate from which direction it was coming. And then, out of nowhere, I could see the beautiful doe heading towards me. With every step she took, warm breath seemed to roll out of her nostrils like a steam locomotive. She was finally at 20 yards and although her angle was a little askew to my position, it was a shot I had made numerous times before.
In an effort to straighten out the angle, I slowly shifted my weight just before the moment of truth. In my mind everything was perfect. I was already thinking of the different ways I was going to enjoy the fruits of my labor. Then, without warning, my treestand made one of the most dreaded noises in the deer woods. The loud “creaking” noise from the platform of my treestand couldn’t have been any more damaging than a smack to the big boss doe’s face. Without a second thought, she bolted across the wooded point with the speed of a Kentucky Derby thoroughbred. As the unfortunate sight of that big white tail disappeared into the thicket laden hollow, I decided that would be the last time my equipment (especially my treestand) would ever negatively affect my chances for success.
Considering the amount of time bowhunters spend in a treestand, why would one want to settle for anything but the best in available options.
As hunters, we spend more time in our stands than we would ever care to admit. During my time in the timber, I have learned that it pays to have quality in the products you use; especially the ones that are so integral to the success of our pursuits. Recently, I spent some time discussing this topic with Jared Schlipf who is one of the co-owners of Lone Wolf Stands. I was excited about the information he shared with me and I hope it will help you be more successful this fall.
Question: For our readers that may not be familiar with the subject, what is your background?
Answer: I have hunted all of my life. My brother in law, Jeff, and I are actually partners in the business. I graduated from the University of Illinois with an agricultural communications degree. I was also the Director of Golf for a family golf course in Peoria, IL. We had been looking for an opportunity to get into the hunting industry because of our passion for hunting and the outdoors. At the time, Jeff and I were using Lone Wolf climbers and we really liked the product. We knew their products were “high end” and there was nothing on the market that compared to them; apples to apples speaking. That was exactly the situation we were looking for. Then, we were presented with the opportunity to purchase the company. The rest, as they say….. is history.
Question: When did you guys take over Lone wolf?
Answer: We purchased the company in 2006.
Question: What type of barriers have you faced and how have you overcome them since you took over Lone Wolf?
Answer: One of the biggest barriers is that Lone Wolf has always been more expensive than other stands. It is a “get what you pay for” world, coupled with the push for US made products. A lot of guys are thinking quality over quantity. They know they may spend a little more on a Lone Wolf stand, but it will last them a lifetime if they keep up the maintenance. We have focused on the quality of our products and materials that we use to build our stands. We do not cut corners in any facet of our production.
The owners of Lone Wolf are just as passionate about bowhunting as they are about making the best stands in the industry.
Question: Can you explain the manufacturing process?
Answer: I can, to some extent, without getting into our proprietary processes. Everything is made here in the United States. Our casting is done at Alcast, a local company here in Peoria, IL, which is only six miles from our corporate headquarters. All of the subcomponents are manufactured at plants in surrounding states. Once the casting is complete, we will bring the casts and the sub-components into our facility. The final assembly and packaging is done here in our corporate headquarters.
Question: What type of quality control do you have for your products?
Answer: We have very strict quality control processes in house and also for our suppliers. During the assembly process, our employees will inspect each component and will sign off that it is a quality piece going into the individual stand. We also have hunters in the plant assembling these stands. Everyone that works for us uses the products and they have friends that use our products. When you have people working for you that use and understand the product, they know every minute detail of how that product should look and perform. They understand how much tension should be on each bolt and how the stand should open and close, without making any noise whatsoever. This is very important to every one of our employees because they take pride in our company and the work they do.