Calls of the wild.Byline: Joe Mosley The Register-Guard
SPRINGFIELD - Five local businessmen have joined forces to buy a company that they hope will get them out of the office a little more.
Profit and growth are among the long-term projections, as well. But hunting opportunities are a big part of the bottom line for the new owners of Jones Calls - maker of wild game calls for everything from elk elk, name applied to several large members of the deer family. It most properly designates the largest member of the family, Alces alces, found in the northern regions of Eurasia and North America. In North America this animal is called moose. to javelina javelina: see peccary. .
"None of the five of us are looking at the company as a source of (immediate) income," retired Springfield City Manager Mike Kelly This article is about the newspaper columnist. For the baseball player, see Mike Kelly (baseball).
Mike Kelly is a columnist for the The Record, a newspaper serving Bergen County, New Jersey. says. "This was a dominant company 20 years ago, but it isn't any longer. We would like to regain some market share against some of the larger companies.
"And in the glow of all that, we'd like to maybe be invited to some special hunts that we wouldn't normally be invited to."
Such are the perks of businesses that cater to the hunting fraternity, Kelly says - "access to greater hunting and fishing opportunities."
Kelly bought Jones Calls (www.jonescalls.com) and sister company Wilderness Sound Productions last fall with his four partners - Wayne Myers, owner of Myers Fabrication fabrication (fab´rikā´shn),
n the construction or making of a restoration. in Eugene; Art Nichols, owner of Springfield's Drapery Boutique and Floor Covering; Rick Nation, owner of Nation's Mini-Mix in Eugene; and Indar Bhan, owner of Island Fence in Verb 1. fence in - enclose with a fence; "we fenced in our yard"
inclose, shut in, close in, enclose - surround completely; "Darkness enclosed him"; "They closed in the porch with a fence"
2. Junction City Junction City, city (1990 pop. 20,604), seat of Geary co., NE Kans., at the confluence of the Republican and Smoky Hill rivers; inc. 1859. The rail, trade, and processing center of an agricultural and dairy area, it grew as the supply point for nearby Fort Riley, . The purchase price was not disclosed.
To a person, the new business partners share the passion that led founder Larry Jones Larry Jones is also the real name of Atlanta Braves player Chipper Jones.
Walter "Larry" Jones (born September 22, 1942 in Columbus, Ohio) is a retired American basketball player. He played professionally in the NBA and ABA, from 1964 to 1974. to launch the companies almost 25 years ago.
"The first (call) that really sounded like an elk, they sold like hot cakes," says Jones, who will continue to consult with the new owners. "One thing led to another, and I started developing some other calls. Then some people got me started doing some videos, and I didn't like the way they did it so I got my own equipment.
"So my hobby, you might say, became a small business at that point."
Jones was a well-known bow hunter before launching the businesses, and his renown grew as he marketed his products to colleagues across the country. His hunting skills - and the tips he sold on his audio and video tapes - led to a regular column in Bow Hunter Magazine and to his new assignment as TV producer for the multimedia publication.
But his Springfield businesses have gotten short shrift short shrift
1. Summary, careless treatment; scant attention: These annoying memos will get short shrift from the boss.
2. Quick work.
a. in recent years, so Jones was happy to sell to a group of fellow hunters, many of whom also have business experience.
The business "kind of went downhill recently - mainly because I love to hunt so much," Jones says. "I don't take care of the business,' which he says grossed only $100,000 last year.
The new partners expect to push that annual sales total to $200,000 immediately, just by selling more aggressively to the existing markets. Their short-term business plan includes moving beyond the bow-hunting circles that Jones targeted almost exclusively, and advertising the companies' products on hunting and fishing TV shows and in magazines.
"There are (competing) companies that are doing $30 million a year," says Myers, who shot his first deer when he was 10 and already has scheduled six or seven hunting trips to Alaska this year.
"We just want a percentage of that. If we got 10 percent of $30 million, that would be a good small business."
Jones hunts with a longbow longbow
Leading missile weapon of the English from the 14th century into the 16th century. Probably of Welsh origin, it was usually 6 ft (2 m) tall and shot arrows more than a yard long. - a traditional bow that lacks most of the sighting and compounding mechanisms of modern bows - and concentrated his efforts toward that narrow niche.
"We're going to be trying to really push it toward the rifle hunters and shotgun hunters in the Midwest," Myers says. "We want to market to all aspects of hunting."
Myers is working on developing waterfowl waterfowl, common term for members of the order Anseriformes, wild, aquatic, typically freshwater birds including ducks, geese, and screamers. In Great Britain the term is also used to designate species kept for ornamental purposes on private lakes or ponds, while in calls and possibly a moose call moose call - whalesong to augment the company's existing line that includes calls for elk, deer, turkey, hogs and javelina - a small wild boar native to the southwestern United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. and South America South America, fourth largest continent (1991 est. pop. 299,150,000), c.6,880,000 sq mi (17,819,000 sq km), the southern of the two continents of the Western Hemisphere. - as well as predators.
The calls typically are plastic housings outfitted with specially designed reeds that reproduce animal sounds when they are blown through. The plastic parts are produced for the company at Wells Plastics in Florence, then assembled and packaged with specific reeds at the Jones Calls and Wilderness Sound office and warehouse at 40th and Main streets in Springfield.
The company makes the novelty yellow duck-bill duck calls that have been popular for the past several years at University of Oregon The University of Oregon is a public university located in Eugene, Oregon. The university was founded in 1876, graduating its first class two years later. The University of Oregon is one of 60 members of the Association of American Universities. football games. Kelly says an order before the UO's recent appearance in the Holiday Bowl was too much for the one full-time and two part-time employees to handle.
"Besides the three employees and their spouses, most of the owners and their spouses were down there assembling 5,000 Duck lips," Kelly says.
Jones doesn't have any regrets about leaving the companies he founded, mostly because of the direction his career has taken with Bow Hunter Magazine. As the publication's television producer, he is filming a series of 13 hunting shows for cable television's Outdoor Channel.
"I also get to go to Africa in June, so I think this job's working out," says Jones, who is 64. "I'm still doing what I love to do, and getting paid for it."
Larry Jones demonstrates the Jones Persuader Elk Call. Jones has sold his Springfield company to a local group.