by Robert King
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Hunting was more than a season growing up. It was an annual event where they stopped school for a day because if they didn’t, they knew they would have empty classes. I will never forget the smells, the crisp mornings and Rocky Mountain weather, during hunting season.
During my 19th year, I was fortunate to meet a gentleman named Dennis Wintch, who ended up being a very close friend, or more of a family member over the years. He was 20 years older than I was and he was the best hunter I had ever met in my life. My weekends were spent alone with him in southern Utah scouting and hunting big mule deer. Being a young buck and in tiptop shape, I was able to keep up with this part sheep, part coyote kind of man. He could hike and walk all day long at a constant speed. He seemed to never tire. He was a simple kind of man. Nothing about him was fancy. But it with his non-fashionable hunting attire that got me started into thinking how much the hunting apparel was behind the times. It seemed that hunting attire was whatever you had leftover from the week.
Dennis wore a pair of polyester pants that I thought I would never be caught dead in. These appeared to be straight from the 70’s. I asked him one night around the fire why he wore those pants and not good old blue jeans. He said “Well, these are tough and dry very quick when they get wet. They don’t look dirty like blue jeans and they last a lot longer.”
During one of our hunts, it was cold and snowy. We sat down for a lunch of a snickers bar and a can of Squirt (that was the only items he ever ate during the day). He looked down at my pants and noticed that around my boots, my pants were virtually an ice block. Above the ice block they were wet. He showed me his pants. No ice. Not wet. Hmm . . . This got me thinking that maybe I wanted to get into the hunting industry more than I did the construction industry.
In 1999, I had decided that it was time to start designing a western camouflage pattern. After a couple of years, our first pattern was created and the first strike off was done during July of 2002 in South Carolina.
Before we had completed the first camouflage pattern, I knew that we needed a good way to market it. We had our calendars and catalogs, but decided that we should do a magazine so that we had an avenue to show our new camouflage the way we wanted to. Our first issue was printed and ready for the fall of 2001. Yep, that 2001. 9-11. Right in the middle of the elk hunt, some intelligent people decided to crash some planes into the World Trade centers, among other places. We had just moved into a nice new building the year before, prepared our first magazine and were weeks away from printing our catalog.
We launched our new camouflage line in the summer of 2003. We started to create demand through our magazine and catalogs. In 2005, we introduced some new products that were made out of polyester. Almost a decade after I spent time with my friend Dennis with him wearing his polyester pants, was now coming full circle and we found some great ways to implement some great fabrics into hunting gear.
After selling my original company, I started to work on a new pattern and concept that would be different and challenging. I worked on the pattern for two years before I even got a hard strike off sample. I had to tweak the colors over and over to get the right blend of color to have the ultimate concealment in the widest range of terrain as possible.
In the motorsports world, I know that the quality of accessories and parts are everything. You can buy a stock model and have a great time. Racers and competition riders use stock models as the base. They do not use cheap parts and accessories or they will break down and lose. I wanted to create the same process into hunting gear and apparel.
My bullet points for making Monster Camo were the following;
- Stick with one major pattern for now
- Create a pattern that was as universal as possible
- Do not make a military type digital pattern
- Make from the very finest fabrics in the world
- Find and locate the best accessories to be used
- Nothing released without extensive actual field testing
- Apply a “race-ready” garment without having to go to the “aftermarket”
- Design it to handle the extensive abuse the Rocky Mountains can throw at it
- Make the gear and apparel for “off road” use
- Has to have complete blood stain protection
- Has to have complete scent control built-in
- Has to wick away water better than anything on the market
- Has to look different than anything else on the market
- Needs to have an “aggressive” look and feel to it
- Design for hunters that truly seek out the best
- Create designs that encourage people to wear more than just hunting
- Be different, be different, be different . . .
- Implement the calendars as Monster Calendars
The Monster Camo team of manufactures and suppliers are of the highest quality and standards. We believe you cannot get the best of everything from one source. No one supplier or manufacture is an expert at everything. We are not locked into any one supplier or manufacture which enables us to use the very best products in the world.
We will not bow to anyone or allow anyone to create our path. We are not in this to eat dust, we create it.