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Gear overload?

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  • Gear overload?

    I’ve been thinking about this since my gun show post over on F&S. May have to cross post for more feed back but in the spirit of our earlier discussion I’ll lead it off here.

    So the gun show wasn’t a total surprise, I still wanted to go for several reasons. One was to get an idea of what’s out there. Another was just because we haven’t had many chances the past year and a half. The last was to hit up the Gander Outdoor store up the road.

    That store closing out of hunting, fishing and apparel shocked me. The location is smack dab in the middle of the state, just a ways off the NYS Thruway and near some of the best fishing opportunities you could want. Decent population base and easy access. Seems odd.

    Maybe not. With all the other shortages of late it’s easy to think
    it’s a supply issue. But even before last year hunting & fishing outlets we’re going through some serious changes. A decade ago there was huge competition for market share, then it seemed like things started going downhill fast. BassPro/Cabela’s merger, Gander Mtn out of business, DSP and Walmart backing off gun sales, etc. You wouldn’t think demand was down that much even under Trump. Internet sales to blame? Maybe but much of those were from the big players anyway. Big box stores thrive on turnover, they stock what sells. The first time I walked into the Hamburg Cabela’s I was in awe. Almost as much my first Gander Mtn visit. I certainly like clearance deals but was still careful about what I bought. After awhile when the newness wore off I started looking around and thinking “Who buys all this crap?

    I’m starting to think less and less people. Not so much for a lack of interest in the sports, but more because of a mind set. Younger folks tend to be minimalists. Older folks already have enough stuff that’s still usable, if it gets used at all. I wouldn’t be surprised if we’ve burst the bubble on all the gimmicky junk that’s been piled to the ceilings in these places. There’s no money in filling those buildings with items that don’t move.

    Maybe it’s just me.


  • #2
    When I go to the Basspro home store in Springfield it's a much different experience than Memphis, maybe because of the museums. More "touristy". I see more artwork and knickknacks, toys and Logo tee shirts than genuine hunting/fishing gear being sold.(clearance not withstanding). As for myself, as far as fishing, if it can't be caught on a beetlespin, small Rapala, any terrestrial fly, or paddle tail then I'm probably not going to catch it. I may go to the gunshow Saturday about an hour or so away but honestly I have no idea what I'd even be interested in looking for. I'm ducked out, doved out, mostly even squirreled out(for now). My deer hunting pard called me yesterday and said there's so many deer crossing his place we may have to wait for an opening to get to the blind. That puts a crossbow on the back burner. Starting to see lots of guns fill the stores but ammo for them looks to still be problematic.(but not impossible). Sold my 7mmRmag (150gr Rem core-lokt) to the guy replacing my windows. 43rds for $25. He's happy.
    Fitch: have around 30 empty 7-08 cases if you get short. Mostly Federal, a few Nosler.
    Stay safe


    • #3
      Got off track of your post so let me bear back. It used to be 95% of deer hunters hunted small game. Not anymore. Every acre that holds a deer is locked out to other hunting. It's why waterfowl hunting is booming. Expensive, but booming. God help duck hunters if deer take to swimming. Deer season runs all fall now from September to almost February. You don't have to switch to small game, merely switch weapon. Having the time to go another. Weekends are more and more undifferentiated from weekdays. Heck more and more people are grocery shopping during the week to fit it in. The tidal wave of fast food restaurants bears this out. The outdoors is also being overrun by people escaping the hectic pace but don't hunt. They demand a place free of gunfire. Hard to fish small rivers and lakes with a steady stream of inner tubes, canoes, and boats as well.
      If you subtract tactical rifles and shotguns, defensive pistols, low cost rifles for the weekend hunter, who is amazed to even see a deer let alone kill one, the resurgence in the buying market for "vintage" firearms, you will see little else moving. It's where we are and I believe where we will stay. The good news is.
      1. Value rifles and shotguns are very dependable and shoot very well.
      2.value optics will work just fine for 80% of people
      3. Tactical guns are loads of fun to shoot and can work for many hunting situations.
      All this means is in a much more crowded market sporting goods stores must adapt or die. Sadly many are doing the latter.


      • #4
        All good points, gentlemen. Maybe all the hunters spent their stimulus checks on guns, ammo, and gear and quit spending? In the process of moving out of our old home I discovered that I have a couple lifetimes of stuff hoarded and don’t need to buy anything. I may pick up a new pair of boots this year…


        • #5
          Last week I went to Bass Pro while in Destin, Florida. The store had full inventory except for ammo an there were many customers. Of course that location has a heavy emphasis on saltwater fishing, just like the Daphne, Alabama store.

          I'm in that older folks category and have plenty of gear that's still good. However, I did purchase a scope lens cleaning brush/tool and a small dry case for my new cellphone. My new phone is slightly longer than the old and wouldn't fit in the previous dry case. I wanted to look at semi-auto shotguns but there wasn't enough help at the gun counter and I didn't want to wait.

          At home, I've recently been in Academy Sports and their firearm inventory is still low. Also, there was little ammunition.

          I'm no longer buying the lowest cost on several sporting items. That includes Chinese made knives and blade steels.


          • #6
            I'm kinda like WAM, in the course of moving some things to the kid's house in S. Texas, I discovered stuff I had forgotten I had!
            WAM, bought my new boots after the foot surgery*, Apr 5th.
            So far!
            So good!

            Just a side note!
            I was very reluctant about the surgery. Six months later, AGAIN!, why the hell didn't I do that sooner!
            I'm still having some balance and agility issues. I'm hoping those will improve with use.




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