Narrator: It’s time for a new edition of the Land Show with Dave and Johnny. On the show today with the guys, Vic Jackson from Sportsmans Outpost, Titus Weaver from Weaver’s Meat Processing, Randall Upchurch with your Farmland Report, Brian Watts with your Timber Talk segment, and the guys answer a few questions from the listeners. So sit on back, relax and enjoy a new edition of the Land Show with Dave and Johnny.
Dave Milton: Hey everybody, welcome to the Land Show with Dave and Johnny. It’s a beautiful Saturday morning; it’s raining a little bit, drizzling, but it’s hunting season, man. It’s gonna be cool. I’m excited. I’m excited to be in the studio with my good friend and accredited land consultant, Johnny B. Goode. Johnny B., how you doing?
Jonathan Goode: I’m good, brother, I’m glad to be in the studio with you. I was telling you earlier this week I had a memory pop up on my Facebook account that reminded me of that big buck I killed on your place up there in Marion County five years ago. One, it’s hard to believe that’s five years ago-
Dave Milton: Wow. Wow.
Jonathan Goode: But two, it reminds me that this is the time of the year when those old big daddies, those old sad daddies are running around in the woods.
Dave Milton: Yeah, well the pure Alabama strain deer are starting to hit it now. And that part of the world they got some of them northern genetics that have kicked in, so maybe that rut’s almost over. But that’s an interesting thing about white-tailed deer in Alabama. If you look at the record books over the last couple years, that northwestern corridor, coming out of Birmingham, say from Birmingham towards Jasper towards the Mississippi line, all those counties. Kind of the old coal counties where there was a lot of coal mining traditionally. Where some of the biggest deer in the state are being taken. It’s just, it’s amazing. People traditionally have thought about the black belt counties, which are wonderful; big deer still down there in Jackson County. But those areas are really, really producing some big deer. That place that you hunted that I used to own is producing monsters.
Jonathan Goode: Yeah, I love this time of year. I love seeing all these big bucks and I do tend to think that the three-buck limit is helping some. I’ve game checked three deer now this season and that process is getting easier and so I think the things that Chuck and the department are do- Commissioner Sykes, let’s say it that way … and the things that the department are doing are helping, they’re working over there. I’m pleased. We’re seeing a lot of pictures of big deer taken here lately.
Dave Milton: I support what the state’s doing, and I always have such mixed feelings. We have to have good governance, but I’m a small government guy, as I want … but I do think that it’s the charge of the state of Alabama to manage our game and without that, folks younger than us, and even a little older don’t remember the time when our parents didn’t have any white-tail deer to hunt.
Jonathan Goode: Right.
Dave Milton: My dad grew up hunting nothing but squirrels and rabbits. Didn’t have any deer.
Jonathan Goode: Right, but I was the same way even in the ’90s in Morgan County.
Dave Milton: In Morgan County, there were too many of your relatives running around the woods there, killing all the deer year round.
Jonathan Goode: That’s right, that’s right. Well listen, our whole show today is kind of geared around this. We’re going to talk to some good deer processors and sporting goods retailers from around the state.
Dave Milton: Yeah Jonathan, man I’m really excited. I got a good friend of mine on the line here from my part of the world, Vic Jackson. He’s the owner of Sportsmans Outpost, which is just a tremendous place there, kind of where Chambers and Lee and Tallapoosa County meet, on the edge of the big city of Waverly. Pretty close to where I live.
Jonathan Goode: Ol’ Waverly-
Dave Milton: And Vic’s got one of the finest sporting goods businesses with guns and bows and he’s a deer processor in different shooting ranges. Hey Vic, thanks for being on the Land Show today.
Vic Jackson: No problem Dave, how you doing?
Dave Milton: Yeah man, we’re glad to have you on. Well Vic, man, before we talk about your business there, tell us about … I remember, you and I been friends quite a while, and tell us how the genesis of your business and a little bit about your background and kind of what led to starting Sportsmans Outpost.
Vic Jackson: I always had a love for the outdoors, the hunting. It’s always intrigued me. Just the whole hunting business, it was just a dream of mine to have a shop like this and ten years ago, I went ahead and pulled the trigger and opened up a Sportsmans Outpost here in Waverly and it’s really a cool store. I’m proud of it.
Dave Milton: It is man, I tell you what, it’s my go-to place and everybody in the Auburn Opelika area knows about it. You get a lot of traffic there on 280 from Birmingham to Auburn, Birmingham to Columbus, Georgia. And Vic, just talk about how your business has grown over the years. Remember when you opened up, you started off with the guns and the bows. And just talk about how the business has grown over the last ten years.
Vic Jackson: Yeah, we have grown over the last ten years, and each year I try to add a little bit more to it. We’ve been lucky enough to be in business for ten years now. We’re going in the service industry. In other words, what we do up here and what we specialize in is, well really, archery to be honest with you. So we added the 3D range, we added the outdoor, the bag target archery range outside. Randy got a bow tech, he’s my bow technician, one of the best in the state if not the best in the state. He’s the go-to guy for a lot of people around here. A couple of years ago we added the outdoor pistol range. It’s 40-yard outdoor pistol range. It’s nice. It’s very well-supervised. We have on staff Roy Sosebee. He’s the range supervisor, so it’s a very safe shooting environment. Five years ago we added the processing building up here. I mean, honestly, it kinda does its thing. I don’t … it’s been very well … it’s done very, very well, the processing, we offer taxidermy services as well.
Dave Milton: Y’all still using the guy down in Macon County? What’s the guy’s name down there that-
Vic Jackson: David Large? Yep, David Large.
Dave Milton: He did a great job for me, I tell you, he did a great job.
Vic Jackson: Man, yeah, he’s grown and he’s doing an exceptional job and he’s growing his name here in this area.
Jonathan Goode: Well it sounds like all you need there is about 500-1000 acres behind the store and you could do it all right there on your grounds cause you, they-
Vic Jackson: That’s what we’re looking into right now.
Jonathan Goode: Well I know a guy, Dave Milton, I know a guy.
Dave Milton: I know somebody in the land business that lives pretty close to you there, so he might be able to help you out.
Vic Jackson: Yeah it’s kinda funny cause a lot of friends of mine, each year they’re starting to ask, “Dang, Vic, what are you gonna do next?” So, it is neat. It’s just neat.
Jonathan Goode: Well, Vic, what were the hot sellers this year? I know, I mean, we just had Christmas in the rearview mirror a few weeks ago. What were some of the hot retail items that went through your store this year?
Vic Jackson: We specialize in archery, and so, for us, just the bows, especially the youth bows. We see a lot of adults come in and they think that they’re doing the right thing. They’re unfamiliar with the sport of archery, and so they … Archery’s a very customized sport, and so my guy Randy, like I said, when you buy a kid a bow, you really need to come up here and see someone, a pro staff archery person ’cause there is a big difference in the draw weight and the draw length, things like that, and getting the youth set up the right way. But, yeah, archery … Hot items this year … We’re a Matthews, Bowtech, Hoyt dealer, so any of those.
Jonathan Goode: Okay. And are you selling firearms in your store also?
Vic Jackson: Oh yeah. Yeah. We sell firearms. I’m not too deep in them, but we have a solid selection. I know a lot of people come in and they browse and they pick out, and we can order anything you want, normally have it here in a couple days. So yeah, oh yeah, we do firearms. Like I said, we have the pistol range outside.
Dave Milton: Yeah, and y’all have got some nice used guns, too. Y’all still take guns?
Vic Jackson: Yeah. The cool thing about the Outpost here is we’re … You know, we incorporated the name Outpost, because we are kind of out from the city limits. But what sets that apart is used guns. We buy, sell, trade guns. You can come in, pick out … If you see a used gun on the shelf and you’re like, “Does it work?” Heck, I don’t know. Let’s go out back and make sure. We’ll take it out back and we’ll shoot that thing. We’ll run some rounds through it. That way you have confidence in the gun. We do hand gun safety courses for women. We make sure that the females are comfortable with the handgun before they leave the store whether it’s a revolver or a small frame semi-automatic. That’s what sets us apart from different people.
Jonathan Goode: Well, and that’s really important. My family, we had a situation where we potentially needed my wife to be able to use one for home defense a few weeks ago, and she was just talking about her comfort level and how it is important to shoot and do some of those things. So, I think that’s definitely a great resource to be able to get folks out there.
Vic Jackson: Yeah. It’s a comfort thing. It’s a comfort thing. That’s what we do up here. We make the kids comfortable. We get the women comfortable with their handguns, and it’s a confidence builder.
Dave Milton: Yeah. I got two things on my to do list that involve you my wife’s informed me of. She said my middle daughter’s got an apartment on her own now, so she said we got to get her a pistol and we got to get up there to Vic’s and shoot, and let her shoot. So, I may get your instructor guy up there help me make sure I’m not teaching her the wrong way and buy her gun.
Vic Jackson: Oh yeah.
Dave Milton: And, then the other thing, of course, is our shared priority. I’ve sat in the deer stand for about an hour this year. I’ve been working trying to sell land, and my wife’s like, “When you gonna kill a doe and bring … We need some meat. We’re almost out.” She loves how the Outpost does a deer, and I’ll be candid. I kill dear different parts of the state and I used to take them to different people. But, she insists now, you gotta take them to the Outpost, ’cause you go inside there, it’s clean. I mean, it’s cleaner than any grocery meat. When I go to the grocery store and I go back to the butcher area back there in the grocery store and they cut steaks, Vic’s place is twice as clean. It’s stainless steel tops. Clean, and you know it’s your meat. Sometimes you go to some places you don’t know. Am I getting my deer? And, Vic’s place, you’re getting your deer. It’s clean and he’s got so many products. Tell some about your products there.
Vic Jackson: We do, well a lot of different products. I mean, bacon burgers a hot item. This year we’ve got into the Salisbury burger and the Salisbury burger is … I mean we grind the Salisbury seasoning in with the hambuger meat. It’s great as a hamburger, on one of those onion buns, throw some Swiss cheese on top. Yeah. That’s awesome. We started bologna this year. We do the link sausage. We do, obviously the regular breakfast, the patty sausage, summer sausage, jalapeno and cheddar sausage.
Dave Milton: No, oh, that’s the one. I gotta get some of that.
Jonathan Goode: Why are we not on location having this interview? Vic, I don’t understand why Dave set it up where we’re calling you today.
Vic Jackson: I’m cooking some summer sausage right now as we speak.
Dave Milton: Oh man.
Jonathan Goode: Hey. There is nothing better than eating a good bite of deer jerky or something while you’re firing off a handgun out there on the range. We should have been out there, Dave.
Dave Milton: I love .. I have … I’m out of that … I got a bunch of that jalapeno last year, that jalapeno summer sausage, and a big ole thick chunk of that and the Vidalia onion on the side. Man. Whoo. That just makes me hungry.
Jonathan Goode: Well, Vic, I’ve got a … You can appreciate this. We’ve got a processor over in my part of the state, and the first time I went in there, he was making those new sticks, those new meat sticks, the jalapeno and cheese, and he gave me a small pack of them, and it was like a dealer introducing somebody to a product for the first time because every year, I’ve wanted to kill a doe and just take it to him just to get those sticks made, man. That stuff is good.
Vic Jackson: And, we do that here with the summer sausage. It’s a little bit more on the expensive side because it’s so time-consuming for us to make. A lot of people don’t understand that, but
Dave Milton: It’s worth it. It’s worth it.
Vic Jackson: When you get into the specialty stuff, it’s time, a lot of time involved.
Dave Milton: It’s definitely worth it.
Vic Jackson: But, it is good.
Dave Milton: Well, Vic, I know a lot of folks that are listening, we got stations in Birmingham and the Huntsville area and different places around the state, Montgomery that travel to the Auburn Opelika area, up and down the 280 corridor, maybe have seen you for years and know more about you now. How can folks get in touch with you? Give us … Have you got a Facebook? Have you got a website, phone number? Give us some contact.
Vic Jackson: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Facebook is … unfortunately, I do all the Facebook marketing stuff, and this time of the year, I’m not good at it anyway, but this time of the year I’m really bad at it. But, yeah, Facebook is the number one, the Sportsmans Outpost, Waverly, Alabama. You’ll recognize it if you go on there. We’re the only one in this area. It’s pretty easy to find.
Dave Milton: Okay. Sportsmans Outpost.
Vic Jackson: They can always call the store. The store is area code 334-501-2411. That’s the phone number. Randy’s the guy.
Dave Milton: Yeah. Randy does a great job. He’s your go-to guy. He just does a little bit of everything in the store doesn’t he?
Vic Jackson: Yeah. He can take care of you in any department down there.
Dave Milton: Well folks, y’all get in touch with my friend Vic Jackson with the Sportsmans Outpost in Waverly, Alabama on highway 280 just outside of Auburn Opelika. Super business. Super people. They’re friends of mine. They’ll treat you right. Vic, thanks for being on The Land Show today.
Vic Jackson: Hey man, thanks for inviting me. We’ll see y’all.
Jonathan Goode: Dave, that sounds like a fantastic place. I mean, it sounds like a place we need to go hang out this afternoon and your processor really becomes a part of your life. I just got a message here a few minutes ago. I need to go pick up our three deer from our processor, Black Belt Processing there in Marion. Check them out if you’re over in that area. Y’all stay with us. We’re gonna take a quick break. We’re gonna be back for more of The Land Show with Dave and Johnny.