Straight Talk – Dick Mauch Pt 2
FA: What were some of the special projects you worked with for Bear?
I began on a project to write a Dealers manual for Bear Archery. One of the major problems that I had encountered as a dealer involved a lack of uniform standards for archery bows and the replacement bowstrings to fit them. I asked for information on standards, which just didn’t exist at the time. Adding to the problem, there were early and progressive materials being used to make bowstrings, everything from Linen to the 3 progressions of Dacron, B, B-35, and the latest B-50. Throw in that these dacrons were also in white, black and potentially other colors, and that each had different modes of stretch or elasticity. Then throw all this together with method in which various manufacturers marked the lengths of their bows, and that general confusion prevailed when some bowstrings were marked in actual length of unstretched string, others by the bow length they were “supposed” to be able to fit. I laid the problem out to Fred and Bob Kelly, new sales manager at the time.
Kelly put it on the agenda for the AMO meeting. A standards committee was formed of Hoyt, Saunders, and Bear to address not only the bowstring /bow length problems, but also to standardize wood arrow stiffness-spine and nomenclature terms. Since I had opened the can of worms at Bear, I was delegated to work with Chuck Saunders and Earl Hoyt and in turn, I communicated back to committee any comments from Fred.
Another project involved putting together merchandising supp ort displays. Bear did not have a package f or bowstrings except a small plastic flat, about 2″ x 3″open at one end and with a belt type loop on back to slip it over the limb of a bow in shipping. Strings had to be coiled and this had the effect of loosening the center servings, which were never very tight from the source. Servings had changed from cotton type to braided Dacron and strings should be merchandised in an 8″ tube. Kelly instructed, using the new bowstring standards, create an initial dealer assortment package for 100 strings. I wanted and recommended a wire rack to hold 50 of these tubes which would be a stand alone or peg board fixture to fit 1/8″ peg board. Anything fitted to 1/8″ would also fit the larger holes in ?”, as all peg board holes were on 1″ center-to-center spacing. The alternate was a display, counter style constructed from cardboard and face printed Bear bowstring advertising, to contain 100 new tubed bowstrings. In later years, after mass merchandising retailers got into Archery, Bear adopted my old design for the wire bowstring displays rack. I still have 2 of these in my collection, but in 1966 the larger cardboard counter display was chosen because it was most quickly produced. I put together 2 pre-packaged bowstring assortments, one 75 strings, and one for 150 strings. The new display was furnished free with the 150 string assortment, and as a further push to straighten out the old string mess and get the new AMO standard Bowstrings into all the dealers hands, Bear reps were instructed to pick up all the old strings for full credit and ship than back to the company. This was just how Bear took care of their dealers and stood back of products. If the old string was in a bear package, it was replaced with the new nylon served B50 string in a tube, or credit given against the new display and assortment. Refer to 1966 Bear Catalog, pictured display and description of new strings and standard sizing description to bow length. The Shopper Stopper picture also shows the display string assortment.
Two other display aid products that I designed were the pegboard bow holders. One a single bow wire holder, #L-993 was retailed for 29 cents, and the L-992 retailed $2.95 a new multi use 5 bow hanger which could be attached in line to any wall, screw spacing on standard 16″ center studding, came with 2 peg board hangars for in line attachment and one extended bracket to install outward either right or left. These two products are also pictured in the 1966 catalog.
These fixtures need to be re-manufactured again for today’s market since there is a big return to traditional Archery. Bear Archery, are you listening? I still have my original blueprints, exact scale, from which these were made. A scan is attached of the instruction sheet that I drew up and we printed for enclosure in 5 bows L-992 bow holder pack.
|Carol Mauch with 1994 Wyoming Spearhead Ranch P&Y Pronghorn.|
As well as these items, I designed a new Pro Adjustable Glove. I knew that standard gloves, sized 6 to 12 just didn’t properly fit most archers. I investigated sizing and learned that for example a size 10 glove used a 10 size finger stall for the middle finger and size 9 o r the index and 3rd., and that pattern followed all the sizes. Many bowhunters, in an attempt to overcome the tight fingerstall on index finger would slit the side of the stall to achieve more room. Some folks have longer fingers, some shorter; some even have variances on the 3 fingers of their shooting hand. Standard size shooting gloves just didn’t fit the rancher and farmer customers I had outfitted with new bows. They didn’t even fit me, and this is what led to my design of the pro adjustable shooting glove and merchandiser. Check the 1966 Bear catalog once more to see the variety of gloves and armguards available. Some had stiff cordovan leather finger stalls, some open end, some closed ends, some with soft elk skin stalls, and pre-furred calfskin fingers on the L-898 glove, and even palm straps didn’t solve the need for better finger stall fit. The New Pro Adjustable Glove is shown and was also the first shooting glove to have the new Velcro miracle fastener on the wrist strap. While the Pro Adjustable could be ordered as a standard size with either “Firm Steer” (i.e. cordovan) or soft elk skin tips, that were standard, not the pro solution. To aid the marketing I designed a display and shipper box with 12 compartments for the fingertips.
An upright wire rack provided hooks to hang the backs, which had snaps to attach the tips, and were sized small, medium, and large in both right and left hand. The wire back also had an ad placard descriptive of the Pro Adjustable glove. One pictured in the Bear Shopper Stopper display photos.
The fingerstalls had 3 slots to adjust for precise finger length, and there were both cordovan tips and soft elk skin tips placed in the compartments below. I knew that using a combination of soft elk on the middle and lower finger and cordovan on the index finger, especially since new indoor archery lanes had begun to appear, could help many beginning archers. Because middle finger was stronger and longer, tendency was to torque the string and this combination solved it making a natural feel to apply less pressure with the softer tips. With mass merchandising the pro adjustable glove was eventually dropped by Bear, Wal-Mart and K mart didn’t have means to check out an uncarded packaged glove without a bar code. Now, most Archers are started with mechanical releases, sights, and compound bows and have never shot fingers. Archery in schools might revive the old traditional method of releasing an arrow, if not fully traditional bow use.
In the retail hardware business, I had been exposed to numerous types of floor and counter fixtures which manufacturers made available for showing products. Ben Pearson had a new marketing arrangement, which included a metal stand, hanger, and hooks for Pearson bows, and accessories. Bear needed something to aid the dealers to have a specialized floor display, but what and how to get it done. I struck out on my own on this one and started by visiting and studying displays at the 1965 NSGA show in Chicago. Several store fixture companies had booths and displays, but the one that caught my attention was Dick Loziers new and fast expanding company located Florence area of north Omaha.
Coincidentally, working in Loziers Ad and sales was Dean Brown, brother of Lyle “Jug” Brown, who was much involved with me in our old Sandhills Shrine Club and Omaha Tangier Shrine band. Dean was also a musician and played Bass Violin in Omaha Symphony. More coincidence, Dick Lozier flew a Piper Comanche, too.
Back to Bassett and on the way I visited Loziers plant and offices in Omaha. I got a price list and specs plus ad mattes of all the products, and an agreement that Bear Could become a distributor, which was 50%, added discount. I worked up an order for a basic convertible freestanding 4′ back to back, or 8′ wall display, and directed ship it to Grayling. I put the display together in the Visitors show room at the factory, made up an assortment of Archery, which would be the recommended minimum for a new dealership and presented it to Kelly and Fred. It evolved into a new ad and merchandising program. Took pictures of the displays, and it was called the Bear Shopper Stopper., and Fred Bear Pays Half. This then furnished the fixtures to the dealers at the going retail price, but Bear donated 50%, which was our distributor deal with Lozier.
|The Lozier Bear display with suggested inventory for a new or existing dealership, in long 8′ wall space. This is the Lozier shopper stopper set up as an island 4′ floor display with suggested initial merchandise.|
We had some dealers and full Archery pro shops, and our indoor lanes, which fully used Lozier fixtures for fine displays. I designed the pro shop and work area, working with The Architects for Wally Bergam’s Indoor Archery and Billiard center, Bow and Q, at St. Clair Shores, suburb of Detroit. This one was a model for efficient use of personnel. The upright Lozier fixtures were placed freestanding 5 feet away from the wall. Two way plate glass mirrors were placed in 2 sections (8′) center of the back and the bows were hung in front of these on the L-992 Bow hangers, all outward at 45 degrees, some right, some left. From the front, the bows were shown all sides and gave the appearance of double the inventory. The space behind was pro shop mechanics work area, arrow cut off saws, fletching repairs, and with the 2 way mirrors, the manager or help could monitor the lanes, counter and sales area.
The Bear Reps were also equipped with an 8′ Lozier sport show booth display.
I t had fluorescent lighted top canopy same as indoor lanes fixture described. It was designed to fit the trunk of a rep’s automobile and could set up in a half an hour.
|The end of the Nov. 1964 hunt, Fred and Knick dressed for travel home. Fred with Best Whitetail buck, Knick with Mule buck (he also shot a whitetail doe), Ed Bilderbach with Big Mule buck he called with a wrigley chewing gum wrapper. Mike Steger also scored on a Whitetail on this hunt. His doe and Knicks doe are on a similar one with Mike also shown. I don’t have that one scanned or would have sent it instead.|
In 1962 -63, I was still a Nebraska Lumber and Hardware Bear Archery Dealer with a trial on 10% pay my own expenses commission basis Bear Sales Territory of North Dakota, So. Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming, East ? Montana. My brother and I had put out some feelers for selling our Retail business. The problem to selling was too much investment in building and real estate. Additionally, my mother had passed on and another Estate with Death taxes weighing down on us to try to hold this and her other property together.
Emery, my brother was more now settled into the old family business, married, 3 children and a couple Labrador dogs, a cat or two, a Shetland pony, and horse to feed. I suggested we dissolve our partnership and he should give me a figure, give or take. We didn’t take too long to strike a deal and I was on the job market to get down to serious talk with Fred and Bear Archery.
|Dick Cooley with mule buck. Buck was facing him, and arrow entered center chest and x’d the heart.|
June 10, 1964 came a call from Bob Kelly during the time that Fred was on the hunt to Mozambique for Elephant, with Arthur Godfrey. In Fred’s absence, Bear had been offered, for a price up front and royalties, the rights to produce and market, distribute, a patent applied for coin operated arcade style indoors archery game. I have a notation it was called the Arrowmatic. This consisted of a 16′ long table with Thick Plexiglas sides, enclosed ?” plywood top carrying a track and cables, shielded lights, closed at the far target end and a compressed cardboard indoor lanes style target which was programmed to return to the open front to retrieve the arrows. A 60″ Bear bow, about 35# draw, was permanently attached with an aircraft cable, about 3/16″ dia. This was threaded through a bushing lined hole in the lower handle area of the bow. The cable was of sufficient length to accommodate shooing down through the unit, but prevented aiming the bow in any direction outside the designated shooting line. The arrows would be microflite (non bendable), 30″ and #4 or #5 spine size. There was no need for shooting glove or tab as the string on the bow was fitted with 3 sets, 6 rubber nock locks (2 above, 4 below the arrow), or an S-305 rubber NoGlov. Two prototype units had been placed in bars, one at Marquette, Michigan, and one at a bar in Ishpeming, Mich. A third was at the plant at Grayling. They had been placed alongside the 16′ shuffle board games. To operate the game, a quarter, 25 cents was pushed through the coin slot. This brought the target containing the 5 arrows to the bow, where the player withdrew the arrow and pushed a return to send the target back to the end of the range. The barkeep had extra target faces, extra arrows.
|A very happy Fred Bear with his lion at site of kill, Mozambique, PEA, July 1965.|
Bob Kelly had a keen appreciation on all exposure to Archery having an impact to help grow the sport, and the market. He had been exec director of American Indoor Archery Assn; seen some ups and a few more failed indoor facilities than successful ones. Fred was out of contact on this, a decision was needed which couldn’t wait if Bear was to exercise an option and I don’t recall exactly, just that it was to purchase the prototypes and initial rights, I have foggy memory on the terms and have not searched files for the price or exact records.
Kelly saw the necessity to move on it or drop it or gamble if a competitor would jump at it if Bear declined. What would Fred do?? That was the question? Bob Munger and I, both being minor stockholders, were asked for our vote”. In the end, it didn’t matter because Kelly had an option with small amount paid down and hoped we would approve.
June 13th, 1964, I flew over to Marquette for a first hand marketing appraisal. I rented a car, went first to Ishpeming and spent a couple hours at the bar there, mid afternoon. I timed my arrival to the Marquette barstool for 8:PM.. It was a fairly busy night, good to evaluate the “Arrowmatic” game. I drank 7- up, (no booze, my flying rule, 24 hours bottle to throttle), and counted times archery was played. I also asked the bartenders about revenue being produced. It looked very positive, not many problems except losing some arrows (thefts) or arrows damaged. Liability could be great if a damaged (splintered arrow) might be shot. I made caution signs to examine the arrows if hit by another, don’t shoot if split or damaged. etc. Back to Grayling on the 14th and told Kelly and Don Koch, it looked very promising to me, but outlined and projected, how would Bear produce efficiently. Marion (Foxy) Fox had been assigned to make a thorough evaluation of the construction of the unit in Grayling, piece by piece and part by part, we needed a material list. Plexiglas and source was expensive back in 1963. 16′ exterior marine plywood was also not a local lumberyard item and needed lot of shopping. The rest of wiring, motors, switches, etc. wasn’t too difficult. The real big question, how to go about distribution, which are the people who own and service the shuffle boards, the pin ball machines, cigarette, candy, vending units. A possibility to explore, The Warp Company manufactured flex-o-glass and many similar products in Chicago. Harold Warp’s sister was Minnie Christensen, long time hometown Bassett family and I knew her eldest son was now an executive in Uncle Harold’s Chicago headquarters. I needed to visit Delbert Christensen at Warps in Chicago.
|1961 Fred and Jack Lee with Fred’s Grizzly. Kill on film never released in the public film librarys of Bear.|
Later on the 14th, I flew to Hastings, Michigan. Bob Munger picked me up and I enjoyed a couple days with Munger family at Duffeys point. Bob had a friend at Grand Rapids who had started a successful coin operated Car Wash franchise. On the17th Munger called him, and we flew over to get some advice. Didn’t learn much and not the answers needed. On the 18th I headed for Chicago Midway airport. The Warp Company didn’t have a Plexiglas product heavy enough for our needs.
My next research of distribution of coin arcade, punch boards, pin ball, and vending machines led to Cicero, IL a suburb of Chicago an area where the control was very much in the hands of the political mob, under their control and percentage taken off the top. There was interest in what we had come to call our Saloon Archery game, but much more negative than positive, and it was quickly apparent to me that Bear Archery would be in a different league, not one we would want to be associated with. I went back to Hastings to discuss my findings with Bob Munger, thence on to Grayling. I reported to Kelly and Koch and The Saloon Archery machine never made it past the prototypes in the U.P. bars. There was good news, however, from Fred and Arthur Godfrey’s radio broadcasts from Mozambique, Fred got his elephant.
Recall that in 1964, American Indoor Archery Lanes were the hot new item for growth of our sport. West Coast Engineering had some big 24 to 36 lane operations and Kelly had been the head of the association before Fred hired him away to head Bear Sales dept. Trueflight had a return automatic target operation in Wisconsin; Chuck Saunders had designed a battery operated target carrier and lanes in process. Most archery clubs in the northern States had indoor walk up lanes facilities. The various activities had attracted the attention of the major bowling companies. Bowling had peaked and in many places overbuilt. AMF and Brunswick’s stock prices, earnings had fallen. Brunswick was hot to learn if indoor Archery leagues would work. At the same time, AIAA lanes were in disarray on how to keep the interest long term and mostly ignorant about league development.
A couple archers’ engineers had developed a newly designed electronic indoor setup over in Conshohocken, Penn., Their Company, Archery, Inc. The target consisted of a series of electronic grids, crisscrossed wires about ?” each direction which were connected to a lighted scoring target which would light up at the point the arrows passed through the grid. The arrow stop behind the unit consisted of heavy rubberized belting material which the arrows hit but did not penetrate to hold but dropped onto another conveyor belt which deposited them into a fast belt return enclosed tube and returned them to the shooting line, flipped them up into an open sided quiver arrangement. Bowling, as you may recall had automatic pin setters, automatic score devices, and the ball returned fully mechanized. Thus the president of Archery Lane Inc, a Mr. Charley Sanzar (sp may not be correct) and his partner (whose name I can’t recall) had been looking to Brunswick Corp. to carry their invention to the public through some of their bowling franchises. Brunswick knew bowling, how to create demand and league interest, but very little about fundamental Archery. Charley Sanzar and Brunswick contacted Bear Archery because Bear had the inside track on bows for indoor lanes and Bob Kelly on staff.
|Stevens lake camp head waters Kispioux river, B.C. Sept 1961. (my first hunt with Fred, Chas Kroll, and Bob Munger.) pictured L.R order Chas. Kroll, Bob Munger, Fred Bear in foreground, Dick Mauch back by tent holding arrow from supply tube, Jack Lee and Wilford Lee (Jack’s son) seated.|
To follow up on the potential, we needed to see the prototype. Weather looked VFR, so next day, July 27th, I flew with Fred and Don Koch as passengers to Detroit for a mid-day meeting with Bob Surridge, our Attorney and then on to Philadelphia Wings airport near Conshohocken. Arrived late afternoon, weather deteriorating and light rain. (Lost an hour time change), got a couple rooms at a motel, a bite of food. Then a look at this new fangled indoor electronic scoring archery lanes idea. The meeting ended and Fred agreed for Bear Archery to participate in a shakedown test of the equipment in a bowling lanes operation, which Brunswick would select, to be approved by Sanzar and Bear. Bear would furnish lanes rental ranger bows, arrows, arrange, design and stock a pro-shop, furnish a knowledgeable sales person to give instruction and manage the project. Archery Lanes Inc would finish the additional units and install them, all safety and liability bases to be covered to satisfaction of Bear and other parties.
My flight log shows next day departure, 28th cleared instrument climb out for VFR on top flight plan to Detroit direct. We hit a line of nasty thunderstorms and I chose to stop at Youngstown, Ohio and wait for them to pa ss. The sun was setting when we made Detroit. I figured Fred owed us a good dinner at his old parade grounds, so I declared the Pilot was done flying for the day. We taxi’d to the best Hotel, and I enjoyed a big lobster dinner on Bear Archery that night. Fred did know his way around Detroit. We were back in Grayling and on the job by 10 the next day.
I closed out July of 1964 with a flight from Grayling to Memphis. Foster Uncle, Dan Dugan, had died when I was working Doug Walkers beat and I had been out of touch. I needed to console Aunt Julia and visit his grave. Departed Aug 3rd, and back home 3 days catch up, get my gear together for flight to Alaska to hunt the Little Delta. Left on Aug 7th to Minneapolis. The Comanche needed to comply with a directive, AD on the propeller governor. I had it scheduled with the Piper Dealer at Minneapolis because Bill Tutt, Bear, Rep for Wisconsin and Minnesota, and his friend Herb Lindsey lived in Minneapolis. They were to be my hunting partners and we would fly north from there.
Also, my former Bassett Dentist, and hunting pal, Dr. Elmer Seale, had moved and was practicing at Brainerd, MN, and I had needed time in his chair. It was a weekend; Elmer’s Sabbath was Saturday. Elmer took the impressions and did the castings, and created for me a masterful gold bridge, which he firmly attached inside my mouth. Return flight home from Alaskan adventure on Sept 4th. No details of the hunt here. That would be another lengthy tale to fill a chapter of a book.
Sept 12th, 1964, I was airborne for Grayling. On arrival back in Grayling, The bad news was that Chuck Kroll had had a very serious auto accident. He was hospitalized in Grayling, good news, he would recover and live; but might not walk again. Chuck was transferred to Hospital in Ann Arbor for several surgeries, rehab, and eventually with a brace through his shoe, crutches, and finally a cane, he once again challenged the salmon and the trout with his home tied flies.
|l to r Dick Mauch holding Rob Keck’s Merriam turkey,(one tail feather short) Rob holding Hybrid turkey and Sunny Gilbert with first Merriam Turkey . Rob was in Washington in the oval office the following day to present #1 print of his Turkey Fed. painting ‘Follow the leader’ to Pres. George H. Bush. Sunny Gilbert, former president of Nat.W.Turkey Fed, had purchased the hunt Dick and Carol Mauch donated to the Nat’l convention auction at Nashville.|
I purchased a used Chevrolet from a local dealer at Grayling for my ground transportation when flying. My 88 Olds was stored in my hangar at Bassett Airport. Fred had gone back to the Kispioux for another Grizzly hunt with Love and Lee. I parked my suitcase in Fred and Henrietta’s guest bedroom and went to work at a table set up for me in Fred’s office.
At this time, Bear was completing a combination Billiards and indoor archery lanes at Flint, Michigan. A building elevator company manufactured the target backstop equipment that would be endorsed by or carrying the Bear name at Madison, Wisconsin. The motors and electronics were actually elevator controls moving objects horizontally on a track rather than vertically up a shaft. The stops in the 60′distance were usually 15′, 30′, 45, and 60, but could be varied. .
He had a backlog of mail of an asking for advice on equipment to other questions from his fans. Not all were complimentary for although PETA had not yet formed, the anti hunter and Humane Society followers were vocal through their mail. Fred had delegated Charley Kroll to reply to some of these requests or barbs at bowhunting. There wasn’t a standard form letter reply, but Fred’s secretary, Lillian Hill, pulled the file copies for guide or reference and I just answered them as Fred had usually done. Lillian typed them, laid on his desk and ready for Fred to check and sign on his return Quite a few went back,” regarding your request for or information about, etc., on? Date, Fred Bear has directed your inquiry to our department for reply.”
The Brunswick Bowling lane Archery test plan was warming up, and I had completed the purchase of Charley Pipers’ stock in Bear and the sale of my interest in Farmers Lumber & Supply with my brother. A new Buy and Sell agreement with Fred and K. K. Knickerbocker was being formulated and to be backed with a company insurance policy on me, as were policies the company had on Fred and K.K. So I had physical exams to complete. The local Northwestern Life agent was handling the application for Bear Archery co. who would own the policy and pay the premiums.
Brunswick and Charley Sanzar advised that the Automatic Archery Lanes would be set up at Pierce Gunderson’s Bowling establishment in Fort Dodge, Iowa. 6 bowling lanes would be removed on the end of the building nearest the entrance and replaced with 6 lanes as previously described. I was to design the pro shop layout, and supervise whatever construction or installation of fixtures for counters, rental bow racks, full line of Bear Archery pro shop new bows, arrows, quivers, etc for sale. Bear would consign the stock; I would manage and proceed to train a replacement for permanent employment of the lanes portion of Gundersons business. The town of Fort Dodge was chosen because it was probably the most overbuilt bowling in the country. There were 4 bowling establishments in Fort Dodge alone in the fall of 1964. The Gunderson facility was 24 lanes on the west side of the city.
I felt I needed a bit more information and experience on AIAA proven methods for teaching instructors to handle beginners. Doug Morgan had recently been hired by Bear to expand the Bear Indoor Lanes potential. A prototype of the equipment had been installed in Madison, Wisconsin. On Oct 12 th, I flew to Madison, Wisconsin to assist Doug Morgan at this lanes.
It was a downtown upstairs facility which was financed by Ned Nedrebo and John Swagler (sp), Ned owned a tailor shop and had a big tuxedo renting business (college town, U of Wisc. Lot of formal fraternity and Sorority dances, Proms, etc.). John owned the beer garden where the University students socialized over pitchers of beer.
Gordon and Mimi Bentley had been hired to run the Madison Indoor Archery Lanes. They were capable but inexperienced. Doug Morgan had been involved in Golden Arrow Lanes, a West Coast Engineering early lanes at Redwood City, Calif. This was the Indoor facility to which Doug Walker had sent me as my first call in July. Doug Morgan had considerable experience in promotional, what worked, what failed and why. I had retail experience and had designed a simple daily report form for managers to use to simplify cash and sales /inventory records. Computers were not yet invented, just cash registers and Victor adding machines. We instilled our systems for the Bentleys, created some advertising, arranged the displays for the pro shop, and organized new interests into beginner’s leagues.
The Bentleys eventually operated their own Archery Lanes, were instrumental in founding the organization of ALOA, (Archer Lanes Operators Assoc.), and Gordon’s efforts in early Archery Council are legend.
By October 22nd of 1964, the New Test Archery Lanes, Inc equipment was nearing completion at Fort Dodge, Iowa. I left Madison to return to Bassett with stop at Fort Dodge to check the progress. I left my Comanche at home and liberated my Oldsmobile from the hangar and back to Fort Dodge by ground transport on the 23rd. I got a room at the Holiday Inn, which was next door the bowling/new archery lane. I interviewed potential managers, and selected Irma Gustafson as my trainee. Irma proved a good choice.
|Bear Salesmen lined up for photo at completion of Bow making contest during winter sales meeting week in Grayling, (I think was 1964) This is very representative of Fred Bear’s fun loving , morale building, nature and why we loved our jobs. L to R. Glenn St. Charles, Clayton Shenk, Dick Mauch, Ralph McCoy, Ed Marker, Doug Walker, Roger (Tommy) Thompson, and Bill Tutt.|
I won’t go into the details of the Fort Dodge experiment with Automatic lanes equipment except to say that it didn’t fly with the archery or Brunswick people. The difficulty was that beginners to indoor lanes and leagues need to shoot at closer targets than 20 yards. The Fort Dodge installation required beginners to walk up to a station 15 feet, and later 30 feet. When beginning classes were shooting on one or two lanes at closer to the target, the other lanes were necessarily shut down for safety. The equipment was an eventual bust.
We did have a grand opening of the new Archery facility; Fred Bear attended and was advertised on the Holiday Inn Marquee, Welcome Fred Bear.
The finale to the Brunswick/Archery inc experiment was concluded the following year. Irma Gustafson opened a walk up archery lanes and pro shop in the basement of a very good food chain establishment nearby. It was good for both businesses. Irma’s husband, John, was an engineer/architect who had worked on the design of the new Iowa Beef Plant at Fort Dodge, and a revolutionary new concept, Boxed Beef.
In 1966, John and Irma had moved to Schuyler, Nebraska where John engineered another new beef packing facility. Irma became my Bear Dealer in Schuyler when I undertook to build Bear Archery sales as a Rep working on commissions in an 11 ? State territory on Jan 1, 1966.
I could fill the pages in naming all the various company Presidents or executives who were members of AMO, Many now deceased, and who served with me during my term as President and my subsequent years on the Board. During my first term as President, we established the office of a Commissioner of Archery and we appointed Charley Nicholas the first to fill the post. Charley worked tirelessly on a proposal to increase exposure through national TV. The interested sponsor was Smokeless Tobacco Company and the tournament would be known as the RED MAN CHALLENGE. In the end, it wasn’t accepted by AMO as a proper fit for a sponsor and Red Man dropped out. Dr. Jim Schubert replaced Charley Nicholas when Ron Powell of Ben Pearson succeeded me as AMO president. After all his work, it was devastating to Charley that he didn’t get an opportunity to explore new avenues. He should not be forgotten for his contributions in PAA, The American Indoor Archery Lanes Operators Assn, and for a great effort as the first Commissioner of Archery.
I did once meet Ben Pearson at one of the shows when he was in the Pearson display booth. Ron’s father, Jerry Powell and Jack Witt were the company execs with whom most problems or AMADA plans were worked.
Include The list of special people not specifically named were those dedicated guys and gals involved with American Archery Council, the early Pope and Young boards when I was Secretary, and first board of panel measurers to verify scores when I was serving as Records Chairman.
I couldn’t omit Dr. George Hoffmiester, Gary Hunsicker, Larry Bauman, Glenn Helgeland, Bob Brandau, with whom I served on the “Bowhunters Who Care” Board under leadership of the organizations founder, Chuck Saunders.
To recount the friendship I had with Al and Violet Henderson which developed when I was Bear’s sales rep in Arizona and most of Central and southwest States, would be a chapter if I were ever to write a book.
Jack Joseph from Valentine, Neb was an early companion on a South Dakota hunt for pronghorn with Gene Jones and Merriman Nebr. Bowhunter rancher Bill Hendershot. Jack was an early Senior Member of Pope and Young and followed my term as Hunting Vice Pres of the Nebraska State Prairie Bowmen Archery Org. I measured and scored all of his trophies; we loosed a lot of arrows together. . Jack’s passing is recorded in Bows on the Little Delta book, our Central Canada Caribou hunt with Gary Jaeb at McKay Lake. Jack had a fatal heart attack the first morning of the hunt while drawing down on a caribou. The bay adjacent where he was hunting has now been named Jack Joseph bay.
|Departure day for all the gang from Safarilandia, except Fred and I stayed on another week. Wally and Rui didn’t have clients booked and were happy to extend our hunting with them. L. to R., pictured, Rui Quadros, Bill Wright, Walter Johnson, Jr.;Dick Mauch, Bob Munger, Bibla and Werner Von Alvensleben (Camp director), Fred Bear, Wally Johnson, Amandeu Peixe (ie Fish), charter pilot background, Ken Knickerbocker, and George Dedick.|
Art LaHa, his wife, Ruth and Sister in Law, Marj Engle, Bob Munger, Bob’s son Rick, Dick and Margaret “Rick” Cooley, were all my hunting guests the evening I harvested my qualifying Pope and Young White tail buck. Munger’s book, “Trailing the Bear” gives an account as Bob recalled it. Art LaHa harvested a mule deer doe on his first hunt here with me and I think it was October 1962. He hunted in buckskins, stalking quietly and slowly to take her quick and clean. I gave out a couple thousand of the original Art LaHa Trailing Tips 4 color pocket pamphlet folders at my bowhunting Seminars, the beginning of Bowhunter education in the 11 states I was Rep for Bear in 1966 and 67.
Included on my list of “Who stands out in my years of Archery and bowhunting” I add hosting Joe Foss and to participate in filming a program for his Joe Foss Outdoorsman show, sponsored by Liberty Mutual Life. Foss Halmi productions. Joe’s photographer/ co producer was Robert Halmi who was Fred Bears photographer on numerous trips, as well as our 1965 African Mozambique hunt. The events Oct 17-21, 1966 would also be a chapter for a book, and as Bob Munger was also here at that time, he has recounted his version in his book, previously mentioned.
For the younger generation of bowhunters who might not know of Joe Foss or his contributions to our Country, he was a Marine Fighter pilot. An ACE who was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor fighting and flying from Henderson Field off Guadalcanal early in World War II. Joe bettered Capt. Eddie Rickenbacker’s 1918 record of 25 aerial kills on Jan 15, 1942 when he downed his 26th Japanese zero flying the F4F Grumman Wildcat fighters. After the war, Joe entered politics in his home State of South Dakota, became Governor and continued in the military to rank of General in the National Guard. Joe was the first AFL football Commissioner. It was his idea as commissioner of the AFL to have a championship game between AFL and NFL and this happened and we named it the Super Bowl.
Joe Foss Field at Sioux Falls is named for him and that was where I flew to pick him up for his hunt and filming here in Bassett. Joe had a near death illness when he was here. His hunt and planned deer hunting sequence was not completed. They did get a good unplanned segment when during a deer drive, we moved a big bobcat within the sights of his flint lock muzzle loader, a prized revolutionary war relic which the National Isaac Waltons had given him during his football commissioner days. Joe became a very active Born Again Christian after he recovered from that illness, which was believed to be an herbicide arsenic poisoning sprayed on a corn field to which he was exposed while hunt filming a Pheasant sequence in Nebraska just prior to coming to Bassett. Joe often pulled a stem of grass, or corn stalk and stuck it in his mouth when walking a field and hunting. In his autobiography, Joe said they finally determined what was wrong by studying the films they had completed prior to his coming ill and abandoning the hunt at Bassett. They then learned what had been sprayed on the field, and I’d say it almost got Joe as well as the cutworms that had attacked the corn. There were too few of his Autobiographies printed. The Title is A PROUD AMERICAN. I didn’t know of it until a couple days after Joe died and there was a small mention with his obit in the paper. I finally got a decent copy on the Internet. Had I known when it came out, I know I would have gotten a nice signature from Joe which would say something like “To my very good friend, Dick Mauch” Joe was uncanny at remembering people like when I ran into him at the NRA booth at the Shot Show in Houston during the time he was serving as NRA president. There were presidents of 3 major firearms company standing around the booth and visiting with him. When he spotted me, he broke off conversation, called me by name, shook hands asked the greeting questions. First thing, however, he introduced me to the gentlemen, and the introduction began, “I want you to meet my good friend from Bassett, Nebraska.” I think Joe made everyone’s day whenever he encountered because everyone was always referred to as “My good Friend”.
Nor could I complete the memory listing of the friends in my past without remembering the Great champion Wild turkey caller, Ben Rogers Lee. Ben, Earl Groves, and I were partners in the Ben Lee Turkey Call Company. Lea Lawrence, Steve Price, and Charley Dickey were outdoor writers who often accompanied Ben. All did magazine articles on Ben’s bowhunting turkeys at Plum Creek, and in my area. Fred Bear once told me that Ben Lee was the best natural hunter he had ever seen, known or had in camp at Grouse Haven. I certainly did agree. Through Ben, Carol and I met his Uncle Lowell Lee and his lovely talented wife Christine. Lowell has great woodworking talent, made and assembled all the Lee Twin Hen, Gobbler Box, Super Hen, and cedar yelper calls, which Ben then tuned and verified with his signature thereon. Ben died in a flaming pickup crash near Jackson, Ala. Ironically his daughter Gail had previously died in a head on accident on her way to work at Jackson, and the car also was engulfed in fire. If I might ever do a book, Lee Calls would rate a chapter, too.
FA: Are you in any of the books that have been written about Fred Bear?
Yes, Dick Lattimer’s Books, “I Remember Papa Bear” and “Hunts with Fred Bear” have chapters or mentions of our history together. Also Glenn St. Charles books, “Billets to Bows”, and “Bows on the Little Delta” have mentions or pictures of times and hunts shared. Bob Munger’s book, “Trailing the Bear” relates adventures we shared in Mozambique, Nebraska, and Bear Hunting in Ontario. Fred Bear biography and his 80th birthday celebration gave us a mention when Mrs. Bear reported that Dick Mauch arrived with a “Half Married Bride”. Fred Bears Field Notes, Mozambique 1965.
Other books that relate stories of hunts are Earl Groves, Tomfoolery 2000. The Turkey Hunting world of Ben Lee. Peter Capstick’s biography on Wally Johnson, The Last Elephant Hunter and a Jim Dougherty’s trails end chapter on his Mozambique trip.
FA: Why have you not written one?
Aside from members of my immediate family, for whom I can document my history without a printed book, who would want to buy one? Bob Munger’s children published his book after he died because he wanted it done. As I previously said there were some dates and years listed wrong, errors in names, and some I know were because they involved trips Bob made when I carried him from and back to airlines in my plane. My logbooks are my diary with exact dates and times. Bob’s book needed some editing, I won’t say more, except I wish I could have seen the document before it went to print because I think I could have helped. The only problem with books is that once errors are in print and in a book, fiction becomes fact, and that’s how history keeps it recorded.
The other reason, it would be a huge time consuming undertaking.
FA: Do you think Fred was a hard-core hunter or was he more about the “whole Experience” of the hunt?
I would say that Fred always was about the whole experience of the hunt. Fred said that for a successful trip, he was always expected to kill something or make the film. That wasn’t his way. Perhaps that was why he liked coming to Nebraska to hunt with me. Here he was relaxed and there was no pressure, just do as he liked, hunt, take pictures, fly fish, walk and be a part of the natural scene with a new flower or clump of bittersweet to slip under the band on his Borsalino hat. .
FA: What do you think about today’s hunting video?
Times have changed. Proper grammar has just been lost from our language, especially on the outdoor hunt and fish shows. Redneck grammar prevails. Don’t they teach grammar in schools today? We hear it so often; it gets to be the norm. Even shows up in print, poor editing and writing. Ever wonder why the shooter still whispers to the camera after the shot has been made and the animal has departed? The video and outdoor programs have all slipped into the same uniform mold. I used to read all the stories in the archery and outdoor magazines, and I subscribed to every one. Now it is just history repeating stories with different people and a shrinking world. New sophisticated video and all over hunting equipment, air travel and it’s a whole lot easier than it was 30, 40, 50 years ago. Would be nice to hear or read them edited with proper grammar again. I won’t comment further except that I seldom watch anymore.
FA: Are you still in the archery business?
No. I made a very bad choice in turning Cornhusker Archery over to Paul Mykut. Carol and I still have some minor interests in the revised Concept Bow Company it’s been over a year that Paul stripped Cornhusker from Bassett, and I still have most of the obsolete inventory and trash to remove.
FA: What is your impression of the sport these days?
I marvel at the growth and success of the total industry. The archery in schools programs and interest in traditional bowhunting will increase. It’s hard to predict what effect the current recession and meltdown in the economy will have on Archery, except I think will be less hurt than many other segments of business. It’s still possible as it always has been to make your own bow and build some arrows just as Ishi and Saxton Pope, Art Young and Glenn St. Charles did when they began to bowhunt. Even in the toughest of times, if there exists a will, there will be a way to meet the desire to hunt with the bow and an arrow.