Archive for the ‘Gear and Gadgets’ Category

Bad Customer Service Experience…

Thursday, September 3rd, 2009

Here is an outdoor related post, just to balance out the last one…

Recently, a friend and I went to Gander Mountain in Charleston, WV, to get some stuff for the upcoming bow season.  Unfortunately, when we got there, we could not get anyone to help us!  We spent a lot of time in the archery department, and then spent more time at the gun counter.  In more than 30 minutes, we didn’t have a single associate come around the departments we were in to offer us assistance.  I decided today that I would send an email to complain, as I figure nothing will change if no one ever complains about such bad service!  Here is the email I sent to them:

I just filled out the customer survey, but thought I would go this route as well, just to make sure this gets to someone who may be concerned about it.

Recently, I shopped at the Gander Mountain in Charleston, WV, and was extremely disappointed in the customer service available.  We were in the Archery department for 15 to 20 minutes, and never saw an associate.  We went over to the gun department, and stood at the counter for another 15 minutes, and only saw a couple of associates behind the gunsmithing area.  One associate was on the phone, but looked up and saw us waiting for them at the counter.  He finished on the phone, hung up, and then disappeared behind the wall.  Neither associate came out to assist us.  After this, we decided to leave (since we could not get any help).  Walking out, we passed a couple of associates, who did not even acknowledge us, or ask if we could use some help.  I should not have to go hunting associates in the store to get help with merchandise!

Just so you know, we decided to go across town to Dick’s Sporting Goods, where we spent over $200 that day, and where we went back and spent about $100 a week later.  When I go back out to purchase the rest of my equipment for this year, I will most likely be going to your competitor because of the bad service in your store.  It would be nice to see people who are excited about hunting and fishing in your store, and who are excited about helping the rest of us outfit ourselves for the great outdoors!

Kris Brewer

I wish these specialty stores would be diligent to hire people who are going to be helpful.  I don’t go to the store to walk around aimlessly.  I want someone available so that they can help if I need it.  By the way, I was going to be asking about a special order gun stock, or barrel to outfit a gun for my son.  There’s no guarantee that I would order one, but because I got no help, they certainly are not going to get my order.

So, do you all have Gander Mountain in your areas?  If so, is the service better than what we experienced?

I have used Gander Mountain as affiliate advertising on this site in times past, but I will not be doing so any more, unless they are able to make amends for their poor service!

EDIT:  I got a very fast response (less than 30 minutes) from Gander Mountain.  Here is what I got:

Hello, Thank you for your email, I do sincerely apologize for the bad experience you had in our store. Our goal is to fully satisfy every customer in our stores. I assure you that this is something that we do not want to ever happen again, I will forward this to the store and district manager so this problem can be addressed. Hopefully you can forgive us for this occurrence because you are the most important part of Gander Mountain. Thank you very much and have a great day!


Daniel M.
Gander Direct

Visit us at

I am happy to get this response, and will await further response from the local store.  I’ll keep you posted!

Treewalker Treestands Review

Monday, January 21st, 2008

Treewalker Tree StandsI don’t know if you all have heard of the Treewalker Tree Stands, but I bought one a couple of years ago at our West Virginia’s Sportsman’s show, and have been thrilled with it. At the show, the guy showing the stands (which is the son of the man who makes them) had a stand set up on a round steel pole. Unlike other places, where you are often told to stay off of stands set up in such a way, this guy was encouraging us to get in the stand and climb the pole. I was amazed! I had no intention of buying a tree stand when going to the show, but I walked out with one anyway. The stand went up the pole with no trouble at all. It is the most stable, and most comfortable stand I have ever been in. I sold my Summit Viper, and now exclusively use my Treewalker. I also went together with my brothers and bought my dad one of these, which he loves as well.

I wrote a more in depth review of the Treewalker Treestand, and it can be found by CLICKING HERE.

If you have used one of these, leave a comment, and let me know what you think!

[AffomaticEbay]tree stand[/AffomaticEbay]

High Tech Scouting…

Friday, September 22nd, 2006

Remember when hunting was a stick and string, and camo was a tree branch cut off and set up in front of you?  Ok, you probably don’t remember that, and neither do I.  And, I guess it is inevitable that technology will continue to creep into the world of the outdoors.  But, sometimes, I think it goes a bit far.  Case in point:  the SmartScouter Trail Camera. This may be a great idea (I’m sure it is), but it just goes against my instincts as a hunter.  It is the next step in the evolution of the trail camera though!  The SmartScouter Trail Camera wirelessly sends photos to you from any where in the world.  You only need your internet connection.  Their advertisement in Field and Stream Magazine states that there are only 3 easy steps needed to get started:  1)  Purchase a SmartScouter, 2) Register Camera and Purchase plan, 3) Attach to tree and turn on.  Simple as that!  You can sit back in the comfort of your home and check out the monster bucks as they pass by. 

There are some benefits I see to this new gadget.  Once the cameras are set up (I guess you would need several), you wouldn’t have to contaminate the hunting area with your scent ever again.  You could just sit back and check out the pics, then decide which stand to hunt on opening day.  You ceratinly wouldn’t have to head out on those dreary cold mornings to retrieve film, or download digital shots of those big boys.  It cuts down on the leg work involved in every aspect of the scouting process.

I do wonder, however, if this is a feasible gadget for the “average joe” (read, “me”!)  I visited the website to try and figure out what the costs were going to be on this thing, but was not able to find out much information.  There is a note informing me that the SmartScouter is on backorder, but that I can sign up to be on the waiting list.  I guess that is a sign that the product is doing well–it evidently has outsold production. 

I like to think of myself as “old school” when it comes to hunting, but the truth is, I am not.  I have the rangefinder.  I have the GPS.  I have Goretex and Thinsulate.  When does it go too far?  I guess when you run out of money to buy the new stuff coming down the line.

On a personal note, it turns out that two of the guys that started the SmartScouter company, Jake and Justin Roach, went to High School with me way back at Mill River High School in Rutland Vermont.  Small World!  Wonder if that’s worth a free sample?