2016 is Mossy Oak’s 30th year anniversary. The true value of any company is the people who work with and for that company. This new feature celebrating Mossy Oak’s 30th anniversary will be added for several months about some of the people who have become a part of Mossy Oak since 1986, grown with the company and are still a part of Mossy Oak today. In this article we hear from Mark Drury of Drury Outdoors.
I was in college in 1989. I was an avid turkey hunter and a competition turkey caller who went to turkey-calling contests all over the country. One of the contests I attended was the World Natural Voice Turkey Calling Championship in Natchez, Mississippi, where I won. After the contest ended, Bobby Cleveland, the outdoors reporter for the Jackson, Mississippi “Clarion Ledger” newspaper, interviewed me. Some gentleman I didn’t know came over, interrupted the interview and said, “Hey, congratulations on winning the contest. I just want to know, what’s your favorite camouflage pattern?” I looked at the fellow and thought, “Well, that was kind of interesting that he’d interrupt my interview.” I answered, “I just bought some of this new Mossy Oak camo, and I think it’s the best stuff out there in the marketplace.” Then the gentleman who interrupted the interview smiled and said, “I'm Toxey Haas. I invented that camouflage, and I'm president of the company. I’d like to talk to you when you get through doing your interview.” When I finished my interview, Toxey and I talked.
A couple weeks later I went to West Point, Mississippi, and stayed with Toxey and his wife, Diane, for a week during my spring break from college. I told Toxey that I wanted to learn what camouflage and Mossy Oak were all about, and that I’d work for nothing just to be able to learn that week. I helped pack clothes, made out shipping invoices and did everything I could to learn the camouflage business. I returned to college, and a few weeks later, Toxey called.
I graduated college in May, 1989. Toxey put me in contact with Cecil Carder of Advanced Marketing Specialists – a manufacturer representative that sold Mossy Oak clothing. Coming right out of college as a sales rep for Mossy Oak, my territory was Missouri (my home state), Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas. I worked for Advanced Marketing until 1998 selling camouflage. In 1993, my brother Terry and I had formed a company called M.A.D. Calls that we used to sell turkey, deer and a wide variety of game calls. We were also selling videotapes. I was selling M.A.D. Calls through Advanced Marketing, and licensed Mossy Oak to use on all our calls. Terry and I also wore Mossy Oak in all our videos.
Terry and I also had a company, Drury Outdoors. I sold M.A.D. Calls in 1997, and I left Advanced Marketing to work with Terry and Drury Outdoors full time. Even when I quit selling Mossy Oak camouflage, Toxey, Cuz Strickland, Bill Sugg and the family at Mossy Oak and I stayed close friends. Toxey still is one of my best friends in the whole world. Toxey and Mossy Oak have been very supportive of everything Terry and I ever have done with Drury Outdoors and our greatest ally. We truly understand what being a part of the Mossy Oak family is all about, and we more or less have grown up with the folks at Mossy Oak.
Mossy Oak Adopts Mark Drury
Drury Outdoors has grown alongside Mossy Oak and has had a steady growth relationship since 1989. Today, Drury Outdoors produces four different television shows, and Mossy Oak is a sponsor for all four of them. Drury Outdoors plants BioLogic. We believe in Mossy Oak Properties, and we plant the products from Nativ Nurseries on Terry’s and my farms. We believe in everything Mossy Oak does and incorporate what they do in all that we do.
One of my favorite hunts of all time happened a couple of years ago when Toxey and his dad, Fox Haas, hunted with us at their Alabama hunting property. I called up a turkey for Mr. Fox that gobbled so loudly the ground shook. He came marching in, and Mr. Fox bagged that gobbler. Being in the woods with Toxey and his dad during turkey season always will remain one of my favorite hunts.
Our relationship with Mossy Oak is much more than a business relationship. Toxey, Terry and I are close, personal friends. Our friendship has grown from the first time I met him at a turkey-calling contest through the time I moved in and lived with him and his wife for a week in West Point, Mississippi, started my first job as a sales rep for Mossy Oak camouflage and began M.A.D. Calls and Drury Outdoors, including videos and TV shows. Although the people of Mossy Oak are very important to us, we believe too in the Mossy Oak patterns. We hunt and film so much that being concealed in the woods is a critical element to the success of our TV shows. Time and time again we've had animals in close looking right at us, and they haven’t seen us, because we were wearing Mossy Oak. We've worn Mossy Oak on every single animal hunt that’s been harvested on our videos and TV shows. Every hunter who hunts with and for Drury Outdoors always is wrapped in Mossy Oak camouflage too.
Terry and I made our first video as Drury Outdoors when Toxey came to Missouri to hunt with us and was on our first video titled, “King of the Spring.” We've been a part of Mossy Oak for 27 years, and we don’t see anything changing in the next 27 years. We always have believed that Mossy Oak makes the best camo pattern a hunter can wear.