By Bill Cooper
The old year is out and the new year is in. Many are happy to see 2020 gone forever and hope to push the memories of bad occurrences out of their lives. I know I’m overly blessed. However, the year 2020 brought unique challenges for me as well, but overall the outdoor recreation industry fared very well under the circumstances surrounding COVID 19. And most products manufacturers of outdoor gear are looking for another banner year, as people continue to flock to the outdoors amidst the changes the pandemic forced upon everyone.
“If anyone had told me how insane sales of fishing tackle was going to be in 2020 I would have told them they were crazy, no way. However, just the number of anglers at the boat ramps in Northwest Arkansas right now in the middle of winter it appears last year was just the tip of the iceberg as 2021 I expect will see increases in product sales from boats, kayaks, fishing tackle and lures,” said PR Director PICO Lures and outdoor writer/photographer Brad Wiegmann.
“All indications are that this year will be even more intense than last year for fishing tackle companies. Demand is high for lure components already and there could be shortages again for product for fishing retail stores. Although no one knows the future it’s looking like and we are expecting record numbers of anglers out fishing in 2021. To meet the expected demands PICO Lures has ramped up production and increased inventory; we are even looking for more storage space for products right now. For PICO Lures it’s about being able to meet the demand from retail stores carrying our product and meeting online orders for PICO products; in addition to continuing to design, do on the water field testing and getting new products out for customers like our new Eye Scope Jigheads,” said Mitch Glenn owner of PICO Lures.
I lost about forty percent of my clients, for which I provide public relations support, because of COVID. However, I had grown so busy that the break may have been a good thing.
As soon as I caught my breath, more work appeared on the horizon. I began hosting Living the Dream Outdoors on ESPN radio for Living the Dream Outdoor Properties broker/owner Darrell Hindman of Cuba, Missouri.
Hindman and I quickly formed a working bond that reached into other areas. He offered me the challenge of writing infomercials for his real estate business listings. The big advantage to doing so is that I often tag along with Darrell to check out some incredibly beautiful properties.
Living the Dream Outdoor Properties specializes in large outdoor properties suitable for hunting, fishing, ranching and outdoor recreation in general. You can find smaller properties in their listings as well. “It’s been an incredible year for us,” Hindman said. “We’ve sold some gorgeous properties and helped people secure the lands they wanted to begin living their dream in the outdoors.”
Hindman expects 2021 to be as productive as 2020. “We don’t see any immediate signs of the real estate market slowing down,” he said. “Our agents are excited about helping people find the ideal place they want.”
Living the Dream Outdoor Properties is expanding its reach in outdoor communications as well. “It’s not just land, it’s a lifestyle is our motto,” Hindman said. “And we live that lifestyle every day. As a group, we hunt, we fish, we make our living from the land. We want to share that lifestyle with others so, they too, can enjoy the outdoor lifestyle.”
To expand their reach to help people understand and appreciate the outdoor lifestyle, Hindman began the Living the Dream Outdoors Podcast in early January on most social media platforms. National Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame writer Bill Cooper is the host of the show, joined by Hindman himself, and Kody Lucas of the Outdoor Vigilantes and Frank Cox of smokerbuilder.com.
The podcast will air five days a week. Shows will be 15-minutes in length and will cover a wide range of outdoor topics, centered primarily in the Ozarks. However, the podcast team has an extensive outdoor experience base, and will cover adventures from Alaska to the Yucatan and other points of the globe. Interviews with well-known outdoor celebrities, conservation leaders and natural resource based individuals will keep the material fresh, lively and entertaining. Too, episodes will often include short glimpses of dream come true outdoor properties.
Additionally, Living the Dream Outdoors TV will launch in January, hosted by well-known local outdoor personality Kody Lucas, of the Outdoor Vigilantes. Lucas has spent his life in the outdoors. Raised on a farm, as part of a hunting and fishing family, Lucas knows the land and the connection it has to all life. He is adamant about preserving the outdoor lifestyle to pass on to future generations.
“Some say we have already lost this generation of kids to the outdoors,” Lucas said. “With less than four percent of Americans now hunting, that may appear to be the case, but it is not true in the Ozarks. The Ozarks still maintains a strong hunting and outdoor culture. We at Living the Dream Outdoors are providing the perfect combination of assets to recruit, retain, and reactivate people to the physical, mental and spiritual values of the outdoors. Our agents can hook you up with great outdoor properties, and we will demonstrate weekly the grand enjoyments to be had from being outdoors through the podcast and TV programs. And, whether it’s the simple stuff like teaching your child to build a small campfire in the back yard, or how to outsmart a wild turkey gobbler deep in the jungles of the Yucatan, we’ll show you how to do it, and have fun and make memories in the process.”
EDITOR’S NOTE: Bill Cooper is an award-winning outdoor writer and member of the National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame and lives in rural St. James. He is host of “Outside Again Adventures TV-Online” and “Wild at Heart” on ESPN 107.3FM in Rolla. You can follow Cooper at www.facebook.com/OutsideAlways, www.aoutdoorstv.com and www.espn1073.com.