View Full Version : Kifaru Mention by NRA

08-23-2004, 03:46 PM
This month's American Hunter had a short gear article. I was surprised that Kifaru made the brief list of sources. Only the paratipi was listed specifically, as I recall. I figured only the large companies would be included. Have to expect that should mean a bump up in interest here. REI was in the list, which did surprise me. When I have asked REI salespeople questions about hunting suitability, I get incomprehension.

08-23-2004, 04:45 PM
REI is anti-hunting. Thats why they dont sell anything in camo.

Kevin B
08-23-2004, 06:14 PM
The look patriot, was incredulity.... they had full comprehension, disgust, but comprehension. I had a similar experience when looking at down/synth liner jackets and poly base layers.

08-23-2004, 06:21 PM
Glad that Kifaru is getting some well deserved recognition.
I almost hesitate to open this can of worms, but let me weigh in on the anti-hunting at REI issue.
I'm not supposed to "speak" for the company this way, but I've worked for REI for 21+ years, and I'm basing this comment on my own observations. I beleive that what you see as anti hunting is more an acknowledgement that the company has strenghts in other areas and a heritage coming from the climbing/mountaineering side of things, and leaving the hunting gear and clothing to the folks who'll do it justice. There is nothing in any of the companies stated policies that is anti hunting. It's just that for most of our stores there's no real expertise related to hunting (not as true here at the Denver store)and limited demand for the gear amongst our most common members/customers. And the company chooses to put it's energies and dollars in the form of investment in inventory into categories that perform well for us.
That said, I sure understand that the whole no camo, no guns or ammo, quite often no knowledge of your needs on the part of the sales staff, could be viewed as an anti hunting bias--but I have never found that to be really a true underlying policy. And unfortunately many of the staff have never gotten to know hunters like the men and women on this forum who are willing to get out of the jeep, off the OHV, and into the wild after the game. I find they are truly interested when I'm hiking/skiing with them and can identify tracks and scat, and relate something about the animals (both game and non-game) that they haven't paid any attention to other than "aw aren't they pretty".
If you're in the Denver flagship store and need hunting help--look me up!

Kevin B
08-23-2004, 06:56 PM
Cleve, Good to hear and I suspect things are different in CO than in WA. Here in Seattle, they haven't yet determined their position on the ruthless murder of the nut plants at harvest leading to so many of their Gorp products. They are very conflicted. :p Of course you have to go to San Francisco to get farther left than here.

Obviously Seattle is different than other places. However, when you ask about base layering and about light weight shells and stuffable down jkts etc.. the Q about use comes and you say, x feet to x feet altitude in the following temps/months, oh yeah, for hunting... and all of a sudden there's another customer or the answers come but become strangely truncated. On the left coast there is a "granola" crowd staffing REI and no company policy is required. There's still LOTS of gear at REI that is hunt applicaple and it's quality stuff if spendy. The company needs to take Tom Hanks policy from "you've got mail" (hate to use the reference I'll never live that down, did I mention I'm married?) His Father in the show attacks the New York elite clientelle where the new store is going in and Tom says... "Customers dad, they're called Cutomers!"

08-23-2004, 07:30 PM
Guys, the REI flagship in Denver is a spectacularly beautiful store. Having met Cleve at the Rondy, you'd be hard pressed to find a nicer fellow to give you a hand. If you are in the flagship, and want to talk hunting, or likely anything else, you'd be well served.

08-23-2004, 08:33 PM
Thanks for your kind words.

Kevin B--
I can imagine the response you've gotten in WA. I've done what I can to change that attitude in Denver. And my boss, the store manager, is an avid (fanatical) traditional archer/bowyer and elk hunter. And there are probably 6 other hunters I can think of on our staff. So Denver is different than Seattle (and not just because of the extra sunshine! /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/laugh.gif )
The company policy IS take care of the customer--no other point in being there. A lot of the staff haven't been exposed to anything but the media respresentation of hunters as bloodthirsty throwbacks-or sadly the worst of our bretheren reinforce the stereotype--Bubba with a beer and a gun. A shame more don't get to know the folks on this forum--would turn some heads for sure. But you're absolutley right there's NO EXCUSE for giving even Bubba bad service.
Well--let's stop beating the REI dead horse and get back to disillusionedpatriots initial intent for this thread--congrats to Kifaru for some good press from the NRA!

flamingo 7
08-23-2004, 10:38 PM
Form my experiences at REI stores across the states, I've not found meny people who hunt so couldn't offer advice in that vein, but they have always been helpful. The single exception is at the Phili store where I ran into a salesman who was an avid duck hunter and did a wonderful job of "making" me buy stuff I needed. R&R is in a couple of months and visiting the store is one of the "activities" on my to do list.

Yolla Bolly
08-23-2004, 10:46 PM
Kevin---you have given me a good laugh. I was dragged to the city (San Francisco) several years ago. Saw the REI store, and since I had previouly mail ordered from the company, went in--ran into the same blank stares and one openly hostile young lady (but she was sure lovely to look upon.) I swear I was not carrying a can of beer, was not wearing camo, and nobody calls me Bubba. Haven't been back (to the store or the city) since.
Cleve---Glad you and the others are there in Denver-if I ever get that way I wil come in for the refreshing difference.

08-24-2004, 05:57 AM

Maybe ďanti-huntingĒ was a bit strong of a term to use. And I certainly didnít mean anything personal. In fact, I spend a lot of money in REI and am a member there.

But personally I wear camo year Ďround, not just during hunting season. I donít feel I need two sets of outdoor clothes, one for hunting season and another for the rest of the year. I spend a lot of time in the woods tracking, photographing wild animals, bird watching, fishing etc. And camo is just as useful for all of those activities.

When Iím in the woods, I like my impact to be minimal, and that includes not standing out like a sore thumb. So when I asked REI why they didnít carry camo, the response I got was, ďbecause we donít want to be associated with huntingĒ. While thatís not really anti-hunting, itís also not hunter friendly.

So I guess the bubba effect is the cause for them not carrying camo, and not necessarily the political beliefs of REI. However my statement was a jab against REIís position on avoiding camo for the wrong reasons. Not every outdoorsman wants to wear pink and blue fleece.

I have no issue with them not adding guns and fishing rods to their floor, but I think itís silly to avoid offering one additional color of items they already sell.

Anyway, sorry, didnít mean to hijack this thread. Congrats Kifaru! Keep up the good work!

08-24-2004, 08:17 AM
Since NRA articles are often, shall we say, softball, I don't usually even read National Hunter very thouroghly. But, I am addicted to Kifaru because I skimed the piece just to see if Kifaru was reviewed.


REI? - I have been a member since 1977. No they are not outwardly anti-hunting. But, the eco crowd mentality permiates much of outdoor America, and we are not considered to be acceptable company by most of that crowd. When you buy from them, let them know you are buying it to use while hunting.

Hog Hunter
08-24-2004, 08:50 AM
I admit there are times when I have serious brain fade. Most recently I made the mistake of taking the HUMMER to the Berkeley, California REI. I felt like a bull elk on opening day and wanted to retreat to dark timber ASAP. Maybe if I wore my Predator camo they wouldn't have seen me. I'm traveling to Colorado on Sept 2 and plan on stopping by Kifaru world headquarters and will supplement my shopping spree with a detour to REI. My brother lives in Boulder and we're going to do a fourteener. (Whatever that is)

Jim T
08-25-2004, 07:55 AM
I think the anti-hunting stance of REI employees is nationwide. I have run into it in the REI store in Anchorage. I don't attribute it to the company, but rather the bunny/tree hugging granola crunchers that work there. I have gotten everything from the just-stepped-in-something look to surprise that hunters shop there. Now I do my research first and then just ask the employees where the item is located in the store.

I have been an REI member since the late 80's. Great store, great gear, bad grooming. /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/wink.gif


08-26-2004, 09:41 AM
Shotgun News had an article that included two items from our favorite product line too.

Hog Hunter - a fourteener is a 14000ft mountain. Doing one means climbing one.

09-01-2004, 10:26 PM
I really like Siskiyous5's idean of letting them (REI) know you're using the purchase for hunting. Nothing speaks louder for businesses than improving their market share and the bottom line...

09-02-2004, 12:00 AM
Know what you guys mean about the REI experience, have had the same type of encounters in the Anchorage store myself. But I'll tell you some of those guys while not hunters qualify as outdoorsmen, some of the backpacking only types have some serious skills. I have on occasion when "getting the look" asked an employee to recommend some freeze dried meals for me. If they mention anything with chicken or beef BINGO !! I use that opportunity to explain that " I doubt the chicken or cow died of old age that went in that package. If you truly want to get a sense of thankfulness and gratitude for the meat you eat, there is nothing like procuring it for yourself. It's healthier for you, helps keep the animal population healthy and gives you a sense of the connectivity of all living things that ordering a pizza with extra sausage just doesn't render."

Every obstacle is an opportunity, and while I'm not naive to believe every time I've used that line, it caused the guy to take up hunting, I hope it at least gave him pause to think about hunting in a different light, provided my tone, attitude and body language conveyed my respect and humility. Just my take on it, but they do have some good gear. Randy

09-02-2004, 09:43 AM
Hog Hunter,

Unfortunatley, Colorado has 14ers that have roads going to the top. So technically, you can't "do one" unless you can get yourself up there on your own. At least that's my take!

David Walter
09-02-2004, 10:14 AM
I cut my teeth at the REI store in Anchorage.

Who cares if they hunt? They camp, canoe, climb, pack, view wildlife, etc.

With the exception of shooting, they are us in all manner.

I ask them for the best tent, and pack, and mountain bike, and stoves, etc.

I don't ask they where to hunt or how to hunt, I ask you guys that stuff.

The Anchorage REI is and was very helpful. If I needed hunting specifics, I walked a half block down to Barney's and asked Barney for advise.

09-02-2004, 11:06 AM
I've been in the Anchorage store several times. If memory serves there were hunters on the staff. I don't suppose the "majority" of the employees, perhaps not even close, but hunters there were. It's Alaska, right?