Despite the appearance of a “Polar Vortex,” the 2014 Archery Trade Association (ATA) show took place this week in Nashville.
For the most part — provided a hardy soul could get there — the annual gathering of the bowhunting industry went off without a hitch.
Which was good news for Orvie Cantrell, Jr. of “Big O’s Archery Shop” in Sherman who braved the cold and icy conditions in the Music City to see what bowhunters have to look forward to this year.
According to Cantrell, they’ve got plenty to look forward to.
“BowTech has come out with two new bows this year,” said Cantrell. “The RPM 360 model shoots 360-feet per second and the new Carbon Overdrive model is another (flagship bow from BowTech).
“The latter is similar to the Carbon Knight (of last year) but with the Overdrive Binary Cam and Flex Guard.”
Cantrell said that last year’s Carbon Knight just might be this year’s steal for consumers.
“It was reduced in price for this year, making it the best buy for the money in the world,” said Cantrell.
The local bow shop owner also found the following in Nashville:
* “Trophy Ridge has two new sights out. With minimal sighting in, the pin gaps will be (automatically) set out to 100 yards.”
* “I also liked the new “Shape Shifter” broadhead from Innerloc.”
* “Sitka Gear has the new hybrid jackets with Primaloft down blend insulation. The insulation retains 95-percent of its warmth even when wet.”
* “Tru Glo has a single pin sight with two different pin sizes and three color options that can be changed in a matter of seconds.”
* “I also liked a new changeable blade knife that was brought out by Outdoor Edge.”
Cantrell had a good show — despite the winter weather conditions — from a buyer’s point of view.
But what about the manufacturer’s perspective of the 2014 ATA show?
Again, it was a thumbs up experience despite temperature readings near zero in middle Tennessee and a virtual blizzard to the north and west of the Music City.
“Traffic was down due to the weather, for sure,” said Dodd Clifton, marketing man for Bill Jordan’s Realtree Camouflage and Jordan Enterprises. “It was really tough and there were some dangerous travel conditions, obviously.
“Still, Realtree has so many manufacturing, retail, promotional and other partners that these shows would be busy for us even if only 20 people showed up!”
With Bill Jordan, David Blanton, Tyler Blanton, and the rest of the Team Realtree gang in Nashville last week, Dodd says the show went very well.
“The show was great for us,” he said. “There were lots of positive meetings.”
Clifton said that this year’s show — which was buzzing in anticipation of the launch of Realtree’s new Max-5 waterfowl camouflage pattern at next week’s SHOT Show in Las Vegas — follows on the heels of one of the company’s best years ever.
“Last year’s launch of Realtree Xtra was literally our best ever and that momentum has carried over into 2014,” said Clifton.
If this week’s ATA Show in Nashville gives any indication — plenty of business, lots of momentum and ample good vibes — then good times would appear to be on tap for the rest of the archery industry the remainder of 2014.
Especially if Old Man Winter will behave himself.