Gordie Young has designed a decoy product as a solution to a problem encountered by many hunters. These decoys help to hide the hunters, so the deer do not begin snorting to warn other deer to stay out of the area.
Gordie’s small business, titled Pop Up Products, opened in September 2022. The business currently focuses on a hunting decoy that is best used in a tree stand. The device, weighing only 1.5 pounds, can be installed or removed in just a few seconds. Ideally, the decoy is placed in a tree stand and left there year-round, so the deer notice it and perceive it as an existing part of the environment. Since the deer know the object is there, they are then “tricked” into believing the object has not changed when the hunter is positioned there.
The technical use of springs inside the decoys makes the product difficult to build. Gordie first struggled to find a manufacturer for his idea, but after months and months of research, he succeeded. Another setback came when the COVID pandemic forced many delays in obtaining materials and shipping. Gordie was thrilled when the decoys finally became available for sale online at HunterDecoy.com.
Gordie said, “The product still wouldn’t be available if it was not for the help of Katherine Fossler at the UW-River Falls Small Business Development Center (SBDC). She gave so much of her time and offered so much expertise in starting a small business that I could not believe her services were at no cost to me through the SBDC. Her knowledge of resources to assist me seemed endless.”
One of those resources was the Entrepreneurial Training Program (ETP) offered by the SBDC. “My ETP experience was excellent! The class was limited to 15 participants, so we were each able to have a personal relationship with the instructor. Throughout the 10-week course, many different presenters and business owners offered their insights and at the end of the class, I had a fully reviewed, ready to use business plan. And I even qualified for the grant that paid for the majority of the course.”
Accomplishments with UW River Falls SBDC
- Resource Referral
- Business Plan
Gordie is looking forward to the future of his small business, hoping to expand the product line to include more items in addition to the hunting decoy. He looks forward to learning more about marketing, so consumers will have a good understanding of what the product is and how it works. “I am grateful for my daughter’s help in designing our logo,” Gordie said. Madison Young is a marketing major and was happy to contribute to her dad’s fledgling business.
In February 2023, to spread the word about the hunting decoy, Gordie will be attending a four-day outdoor sports show called Outdoorama in Novi, Michigan. In March, he will be featured at the Open Season Sportsman Expo in Wisconsin Dells. Feel free to stop by to check out Gordie’s decoy in person.