2016 is Mossy Oak’s 30-year anniversary. The true value of a company is the people who work with and for that company. This new feature will be added for a number of weeks to Mossy Oak’s webpage about some of the people who became a part of Mossy Oak in the early days and have grown with and are still a part of Mossy Oak today.
My brother Mark and I started working with Mossy Oak in 1989, three years after Toxey started the company. Mark and I started filming videos in 1988 and formed Drury Outdoors in 1989. Many marriages don’t stay together as long as we've been a part of Mossy Oak. I think the reason we’ve had such a long relationship and look forward to being a part of Mossy Oak well into the future is that we have the same philosophy and mindset that Mossy Oak has. We have the same respect for the animals that we hunt, the land we hunt on and our neighbors and other people we come across. Mossy Oak’s philosophy is the same that our parents taught us growing up.
We always want to give back to Mossy Oak 110 percent, and they’ve always supported Mark and me in the same way. They’ve introduced us to people we can partner with and helped us grow our business. Not only has Toxey Haas been this way with us, but so have Bill Sugg, Ronnie “Cuz” Strickland and all the Mossy Oak people. Any project or business venture that we’ve started at Drury Outdoors has been supported by Mossy Oak in a really big way, and we appreciate the company’s backing and help. The people at Mossy Oak know our wives, our children and everyone in our families. We consider the Mossy Oak people and the company itself as a part of our family. It always has been this way since Mark first met Toxey.
My fondest remembrance of Toxey and Mossy Oak was when I took my very first turkey. Toxey was hunting with Mark and me, and I bagged my first gobbler on the first video that we produced as Drury Outdoors, titled “King of Spring.” When you kill your first turkey with someone like Toxey, then continuing a working relationship for many years is easy. One of the reasons we've had such a long relationship with Mossy Oak is that we don’t view Mossy Oak as a company. The people at Mossy Oak are our friends and family.
When Mark and I first started Drury Outdoors, we considered ourselves partners and ambassadors of the sport of hunting. At that time, Mossy Oak was learning how to promote their products in the outdoor marketplace. One of the promotional tools that Mossy Oak used back then was taking outdoor writers hunting and they invited Mark and me on many of these hunts. They’d ask us to guide writers on turkey and deer hunts and that helped promote our company too. As Mossy Oak brought more writers into its family, we met and made friends with writers and brought them into the Drury Outdoors family.
Serving the outdoors is a very tight-knit industry where many people know each other and work together. We’ve learned the writers and the folks at Mossy Oak have the same philosophy we do. We’ve been trying to find ways to work together, for all of us to be able to earn honest livings for our families in the sport we love so much. Mossy Oak always has been such a strong supporter of ours. We’ve gone on Mossy Oak hunts to meet writers, take them hunting and get to know them for Mossy Oak and Drury Outdoors. The first step for Mossy Oak and Drury Outdoors has been to learn how the outdoor industry works, and I think we’ve all learned the same way at about the same time. As a part of those early hunts, we’ve maintained relationships with the outdoor media and communicators for many years, just like Mossy Oak has.
After we started the video business, Mark continued to travel all over the country competing in turkey-calling contests with some of the best turkey callers in the nation. Because of the reputation Mark built as a turkey caller, we felt we could build turkey calls and other types of calls and products relating to hunting turkeys and deer and market them as well as our videos. Through the growth of Drury Outdoors Videos and M.A.D. Calls, I think Toxey saw a kindred spirit in Mark. Both were creative, very hard working and innovative, while running the same race in different lanes. Mark never was satisfied with just good enough and always wanted to build the very best videos and calls. Toxey was striving for that same type of perfection in the camouflage industry. Because hunting videos and game calls were and are a very important part of the outdoor industry, just like camouflage, we all had and still have the same goals and objectives and have helped one another.
We've had a blessed relationship with Mossy Oak, and I hope we've been good for their company too. Toxey and Mark talk regularly. Anytime we’re considering a major business deal, we usually seek advice from Toxey and the people at Mossy Oak. When Mossy Oak is thinking about a new camo pattern, they generally want our thoughts on what we think of that pattern long before it comes to the market. We feel that Drury Outdoors and Mossy Oak are joined at the hip. Over the years, both Drury Outdoors and Mossy Oak have grown to the point that we’re now looking even farther down the road for ways to ensure that we can protect and perpetuate outdoor sports, especially hunting, for generations well into the future.