Tucked among the big tractors and other heavy equipment exhibited outside at the Stock Show is a colony of camouflaged deer blinds designed to keep hunters and their companions warm, dry, hidden — and happy.
The tongue-in-cheek company slogan? “To impress the hunted.”
The MB Ranch King line of custom deer blinds is manufactured in Joshua by Mark Bogart, company president, owner and inventor, and a 30-person staff.
His wife, Wendy Bogart, manages the retail Buck Stop hunting accessory store in Alvarado where the blinds and a full line of other hunting accessories are sold. Fifty dealers across the country sell the blinds, which are transported from Canada to Mexico, Catherine Cermak, office manager at Ranch King, said.
Mark Bogart started making the blinds 10 years ago, and the Buck Stop was opened more than two years ago.
Now, some of their 1,000 repeat customers are the rich and famous. Others are merely eccentric.
“He built a duck blind that went to Louisiana, with a full kitchen area built in,” Wendy said.
Cermak added, “There was a guy who ordered a special pink camo-patterned one for his girlfriend, so we had to find the pattern.”
Clients include singers, musicians, actors, and sports figures in baseball, basketball, football and golf. Country singer Kevin Fowler recently posted a photo of the 16-by-16 Accommodator on his Facebook page and got more than 19,000 likes.
Add the Jerry Jones family to that list of repeat customers. They have bought “more than one” blind, Bogart said, “Way more.”
“In the hunting world now,” she said, “money is no object.”
The octagonal blinds are all-metal with steel tubing framing, sturdy and “insect and varmint proof,” according to Cermak. This is the first year the company has exhibited at the Stock Show.
The blinds are purchased mostly by landowners rather than lease hunters, though there are trailer-mounted models. The blinds can be installed at ground level or on platforms 5 to 20 feet tall.
They can be outfitted with electric generators, air conditioning and heat, even amenities such as ceiling fans and custom carpet. Blinds can be customized for handicapped hunters as well.
The basic model, the 4-by 5-foot Little Buck, starts at $1,300. Prices can range up to $70,000 for a 16-by-16-foot fully customized blind three stories high that accommodates six or seven adults called The Accommodator.
The high-end blinds are fully insulated and have wood paneling inside, air conditioning and heating, wood window blinds, a refrigerator, TV satellite, porch light and deck for the taller tower platforms.
The Accommodator is delivered to the site in two pieces and its tower is anchored to a concrete slab.
The most popular model is the 5-by-6-foot blind that can accommodate two 6-foot tall hunters and their gear. It comes with composite shelves, carpet to deaden sound on the floors, walls and ceiling, seven horizontal or vertical side windows for gun or bow hunting, and exterior window and door shades. This blind sells for $2,350 to $3,450.
Matching forest camo deer feeders are also available.
“Most of our customers are families,” said Bogart, who left her school counselor job to manage the Buck Stop. “With our blinds, they can take their kids and be comfortable. Some [blinds] have plugs where the kids can take their games.”
Contact The Buck Stop at www.buckstophunting.com
Shirley Jinkins, 817-390-7657