My mind never shuts off. When I sleep I constantly have ideas run amuck in my head. I once read that successful entrepreneurs will keep a notebook right next to their bed. Every time an idea comes to them in their sleep, they would write it down on the notebook while still fresh in their head so to avoid forgetting it. But my idea didn’t come to me in my sleep. It came to me while I was doing what I love the most, hunting.
My dad is a hunter. He was taught by his dad and my dad taught me, continuing the tradition. Even before I got the hunting bug, I remember I always had love for the outdoors. We camped a lot as kids and to this day, is my favorite family past time. One of my fondest memory was when my dad got drawn for a deer hunt. He hunted on his own mostly. So when my mom got the call that he shot his first deer, I was so excited to hear that he finally got one. My mom loaded up all 4 of us kids, packed some cold weather clothes and headed North, driving through the windy roads and the dark of night not knowing what to expect. After a few hours of driving and sticking my head out the window to smell the crisp, clean air and the fresh smell of pine trees, we turned on a dirt road and there he was, in all his glory, my dad, my hero, standing on the road in the pitch dark night in the middle of no man’s land. As we got closer, he pointed at a tree and as the headlights hit the tree, we saw it. There it was, an awesome 2×2 trophy of a lifetime! To me, that was the biggest deer I had ever seen. This moment will forever be engrained in my mind and has ignited a passion that, for years, I didn’t know was there.
Fast forward over a decade and after years of honing my hunting skills I would close the deal on my first mule deer a couple miles from where my dad killed his first deer. It came full circle and I would hang my first deer in the same tree as my dad hung his.
iSPY SPOTTING ARM
I have been very lucky in my short hunting career. I was introduced to Duane Adams who is one of the top guides service in Arizona. I was fortunate to spend some valuable time to see how he hunts and how he uses his eyes with high quality optics to pick apart the land. I have seen a lot of big deer hit the dirt and love going out with a couple of his guides to continue my knowledge of what makes a successful hunter.
During one of my days out scouting I saw couple of elk on the side of a mountain. I couldn’t see them that well and after turning off my ranger and trying to study them and see if there was a bull in the group, my shoulders started to fatigue and I could not hold up my Swarovski 15×56 binoculars anymore. It was a pretty hot day out and after putting many miles on my boots, I just wanted to glass from the comforts of my ranger, away from the sun. After trying to get steady and comfortable holding my binoculars, I finally said there has to be any easier way to do this besides grabbing my tripod setting it up and placing it next to my ranger seat. That’s when my brain went into overdrive and started thinking about a component that could adapt to my ranger and still give me that steady platform to place my binoculars or spotting scope onto. I went home and for the next 14 days I exhausted myself trying to design some rough drafts of how I would like to see this thing work and look.
I brought my drawings to a local machine shop that I miraculously found driving around an industrial area in hopes I’d somehow stumble on one. There I met Neal, the son of the shop owner. Right then and there, I knew I just hit the jackpot. We spent the next hour discussing what I wanted to build. Neal showed such enthusiasm for the idea that we bonded over it quickly. He gave me awesome suggestions and even made improvements to the original design that blew my mind. It was a no brainer to me then and still now. The minute I met Neal I thought, here’s the other half of iSpy Spotting Arm.
During our time marketing iSpy Spotting Arm I had other ideas and wanted to implement them into the business, but how it’s set up, iSpy Spotting Arm was a one product business. We had to rebrand. So we took a year hiatus to develop a product line and to build a new brand. We called it Strkn. Strkn is a passion business for Neal and I . . . our desire to create very cool and affordable accessories for the hunter or outdoor enthusiast is what drives us. We pride ourselves for re-envisioning products that people would be proud to put in their packs.
I’m extremely excited to share our innovative hunting products with you. Our products are dedicated to people who “Work harder, work longer, become greater”. — Ryan Larson