Buck Stop Lure Co. is celebrating its 50th Anniversary this year, making the Stanton, Mich., scent supplier one of a handful of firms in the hunting industry to achieve this milestone.
In the spring of 1953, young Don Garbow began mixing and selling a synthetic apple lure. Garbow had hunted deer in northern Michigan with his father and figured there had to be an easier way to bring deer into range other than lugging pails of apples into the woods.
"I thought, gosh, rather than having to carry bushels of apples, it might be better to have a liquid scent that smelled like apples," Garbow said. "That was my first product, an apple scent."
Garbow's original workshop wasn't much, just an abandoned chicken coop on the family farm. But Garbow knew something about scents, thanks to the fur trapping he'd done with his father and uncle.
"I started this business on a $20 bill, right out of high school." Garbow said.
Part of that first $20 bought Garbow a list of 900 Pennsylvania sporting goods retailers, and covered the pennies in postage it cost to mail...