Editor’s Note: Will Primos, founder of Primos Hunting, says, “If I had been dipped in Mossy Oak right after I was born, I would have been able to take more critters during my younger days.” Since 1987, Will Primos not only has been a Mossy Oak ProStaffer but also a very close friend of Toxey Haas, the creator and founder of Mossy Oak, and Ronnie Strickland, senior vice president of television and related media for Mossy Oak.
When Jim Crumley first brought out Trebark Camouflage, I was fascinated. I met Jim at the SHOT Show in 1985 or 1986. I always leaned against trees hunting turkeys and sat in them while bowhunting deer, so tree-bark-patterned camouflage really caught my imagination. About a year later, a fellow named Bill Suggs (now president of Mossy Oak) called me. Bill said, “I really want to learn how to use a mouth-diaphragm turkey call, but I’m struggling trying to make that thing sound like a turkey. Can I come visit you and get you to help me learn to use a diaphragm call?” At that time Bill was selling insurance in West Point, Mississippi. I had used money from my restaurant business to create a little game-call company in Jackson. We sat down in my restaurant between lunch and dinner, and I helped teach Bill how to improve his calling for a few hours. I learned as much from Bill as he learned from me. A few years later, Bill called me and said, “I’m going into the camouflage business with my friend Toxey Haas, and I want to come talk to you about it.” I explained to Bill that I was already endorsing Trebark. Bill said, “Just give me a chance to show you this new Mossy Oak camouflage.” He came to my house and we put the camouflage next to a pin cherry tree. Then we held it next to a pine, and finally a water oak. Bill had two patterns, Bottomland and Hill Country. Both of these patterns were fantastic and blended in well with all the trees, but Bottomland seemed to be the most-universal pattern.
I called Jim Crumley and told him that Toxey Haas and Bill were Mississippi boys, and since I was a Mississippi boy, I wanted to help them. Jim said he understood, and I’ve been a part of the Mossy Oak family since then. I use Mossy Oak in all my videos. At that time, Ronnie “Cuz” Strickland, (now the VP of video and television production at Mossy Oak) was working for me, helping me film. When Mossy Oak camouflage caught on, they wanted to hire Cuz to do their videos. We worked out a cooperative agreement, so Cuz could work for Mossy Oak and still help with my Primos videos. I told Mossy Oak about the SHOT (Shooting Hunting Outdoor Trade) Show and how important it was to the hunting industry. Mossy Oak had a 10-foot booth at the SHOT Show around 1988. At that time I had about 500 dealers for my game calls, and each time a dealer came to my booth to place an order, I’d take them over to the Mossy Oak booth and show them the new pattern. I’ve tried other camouflage over the years, but I always go back to Mossy Oak Bottomland.