provided by John Phillips
Mossy Oak has two basic philosophies: live your best life in the outdoors and leave it better than you’ve found it. Mossy Oak began as a camouflage company 34-years ago in West Point, Mississippi, and was founded by Toxey Haas when he introduced his first camouflage, Bottomland. Since that time, Haas Outdoors has become a multi-faceted company dealing with almost everything to do with the outdoors and an outdoor lifestyle through its Brands. Mossy Oak Brand Camo, Mossy Oak Fishing, BioLogic, Nativ Nurseries, GameKeepers, GameKeeper Kennels, Mossy Oak Properties, Nativ Living, MOOSE Media and Mossy Oak Golf.
Bill Sugg was the first employee of the company and has worked and contributed to its growth in many capacities, including as a salesman, production manager, vice president of operations and for the past 10 years as president of Haas Outdoors – doing whatever needed to done. Haas Outdoors has a vital concern about the conservation of land and the animals on it, as well as how that land’s used. A primary focus of the company has been helping young people become more involved in the outdoors, including people with special needs and anyone wanting to learn more and become a part of the outdoors heritage we share.
Here are some things you may not know about Mossy Oak and the numerous endeavors the company takes to improve outdoor experiences for everyone.
Editor: Mossy Oak has partnered with and helped support many conservation organizations. Can you tell us about them?
Bill Sugg: Mossy Oak believes in its stated vision, which is that Mossy Oak’s not just passionate about the outdoors; we’re obsessed. We live and breathe the outdoors – hunting, fishing, conservation, stewardship and legacy. Every acre cared for, river restored and species managed can’t be accomplished without working together. We believe it’s Mossy Oak’s duty to try to leave things better than we’ve found them for future generations.” And, those conservation goals are also reached by Mossy Oak working with and becoming the official camouflage for conservation organizations like Ducks Unlimited, the National Wild Turkey Federation, the Quality Deer Management Association, Bassmaster, the Coastal Conservation Association, the Bonefish & Tarpon Trust and growing.
Editor: What’s the future of Mossy Oak as you see it right now?
Sugg: Mossy Oak wants to continue to be able to couple our company’s business initiatives, products and licensees with the knowledge needed to join the mission of our company and to move forward in being a leader in conservation. We want our Brand and our messaging to be about everyone’s best life in the outdoors, however that looks for individuals, and all that’s embodied in that statement. We want everyone in our reach to join us in the outdoors and conservation movement.
Editor: What do you see as the future of hunting as we know it?
Sugg: I don’t know for sure what the future of hunting will be. But I do know that the values of hunting have and always will be with us, including: quality time spent with family and friends afield; how to take care of and preserve the land and its wildlife and fisheries for future generations; and how to build bonds with people who have introduced you to the outdoors and helped you learn outdoor skills. We know that it is through hunting that individuals learn the importance of conservation and land management to preserve and grow what God has given us. We have to all be more conscious of introducing more people to the blessings we’ve received from living our lives outdoors.
Editor: Mossy Oak is an unusual company, since all of your employees participate in hunting and fishing, don’t they?
Sugg: Yes, we are. Almost everyone in the company has a passion for hunting and fishing and enjoys the great outdoors. We even have a rule at Mossy Oak that someone applying for a job need not put down that they turkey hunt, because we all understand how a gobbling turkey may keep you from getting to work on time. We’ve noticed that sometimes lights at the Mossy Oak headquarters don’t come on as early in the morning during turkey season as they do during other times of the year.