Los Angeles, CA – As a leading supplier of soft goods in the hunting, hiking and camping industries for over forty years, The Outdoor Recreation Group has claimed another chunk of marketshare with its acquisition of Timber Hawk, a backpack startup out of Salt Lake City. “We’re thrilled to take ownership of a brand that already had a strong reputation,” said Outdoor Recreations’ Brad Ottomeyer. “It’s always a challenge to meet the equipment needs of hunters, who demand such high quality and performance. These are men and women who really know what they want in a pack, and it feels good to know we can provide it.”
Outdoor Recreation’s team has redesigned and expanded the Timber Hawk line for 2012 to include five backpacks and two waist packs, offering hunters their choice between Realtree AP or Mossy Oak Breakup camo patterns. Most models are outfitted with hydration bladders, and all are stuffed to the zippers with nifty features to compliment the hi-tech gear toted by the modern hunter. The “Hawkeye” binocular system is just one of the innovations that comes standard — something so simple it’s amazing no other pack company has thought of it.
Over the last six years Timber Hawk has developed a strong reputation for creative and deceptively simple designs, while building a loyal base of hardcore hunters — all right in the backyard of some pretty stiff competition. “Anyone who’s dabbled in this industry knows that hunters are pretty tough to impress,” said Timber Hawk’s founder, Mike O’Reilly. “It’s even harder to do it in Utah where hunters really use their packs, and where there’s already a few good brands to choose from.”
Yet even as more hunters began to choose Timber Hawk, and as photos of trophy kills and positive testimonials clogged his inbox, O’Reilly couldn’t figure out a way to expand the business by himself in a tough economic climate. “I knew the brand had traction,” he said, “especially at the level of small archery stores and pro shops, but it was tough to find the [financial] backing to take the ‘Hawk to the next level.”
Not long after O’Reilly put the word out, offers for the company started coming in but there was more at stake than just dollars. “Obviously it was important for me to strike a good deal,” he said. “But it was equally important that I sold the company to someone I knew could really make something out of it, so it would really flourish the way I had hoped. Most of the potential buyers didn’t have a clue about the hunting industry, let alone the manufacturing process. After all, when you create your own company from scratch, it’s almost like raising a kid — you wouldn’t just give it away to anyone.”
When Outdoor Recreation came knocking, O’Reilly knew he’d found a good match. The California company had already built a complete portfolio of successful sporting goods brands including Fieldline and Outdoor Products, not to mention O.E.M. work for several names owned by Pure Fishing Inc. The Timber Hawk brand represents another tier of quality items Outdoor Recreation can offer the serious outdoor enthusiast. “They’ve proved they know their way around a sewing machine,” O’Reilly said. “They’ve got good business sense, they’re nice guys and, most importantly, they’re hunters!”