Around the same time that Mossy Oak came about, David and I were making and selling hunting videos with the help of videographer Chuck Jones. The first time we saw Bottomland, David and I fell in love with it. We started wearing Mossy Oak in our videos and got the opportunity to meet Toxey Haas, Ronnie “Cuz” Strickland, Fox Haas, Bill Sugg and the late Bob Dixon. Our shared passions and love of the outdoors helped form the partnership that we still share today.
I still believe that one of the best patterns that Mossy Oak has produced is Bottomland, and the fact that it is still in production today is a testament to that. Mossy Oak became a big part of our success in the outdoors industry when they sponsored our TV show in the early days. We wore Mossy Oak when we traveled, spoke, and participated in calling events, and we realized that more and more people were wearing Mossy Oak, too.
When Knight & Hale came out with the EZ Grunter call, we brought writers in and took them hunting to promote it. When Mossy Oak started holding writer camps, we would attend some of those early camps and promote Mossy Oak and our company. The folks at Mossy Oak were just the kind of people we liked to be around.
I've been fortunate enough to hunt with the Mossy Oak people for many years. I guess I've hunted more with Ronnie Strickland than I have anybody. One year Toxey came up here and hunted with David and me. I can tell you for a fact that the head people at Mossy Oak are 100-percent hunters and conservationists and love the outdoors just like David and I do. We also see each other at trade shows and consumer shows from time to time. One person I look forward to seeing and always try to talk to every time I see him is Toxey’s dad, Mr. Fox. If you look up the words Southern Gentleman in the dictionary, you’ll see a picture of Mr. Fox. He's one of the most real, kind and understanding men you’ll ever meet, and he loves to hunt. He does everything with class.
Although David and I are somewhat retired now, we still love to go hunting. We went elk hunting with one of my grandsons earlier this year, and we’re both looking forward to deer season arriving. David and I get together every day just like we always have. We’ve seen each other just about every day for the past 40 years. I was once asked, “How have you and David stayed partners in business for so long? Most partners usually break up after spending several years together.” I smile and answer, “David is my best friend. We've been best friends for 40 years, and that will never change.”
And that’s the same for Mossy Oak, friends of Knight & Hale for nearly 30 years and looking forward to more.