Acquired in mid 2008 from the founder of Ridgeline, Inc. Ridgeline started in his garage outside of Phoenix, AZ in 1992. An avid shooter and hunter, he had recognized the need for a high quality, comfortable and reliable hearing protectionr and sound amplification. Working with a world-class engineer from Motorola they created the first, and to this day, only compression system to limit high decibel sounds while amplifying low decibel sounds. The market has enthusiastically responded to this innovation. By 2008 after many product and business improvements the founder decided it was time to enjoy the fruits of his labor and retire. Altus Brands reached agreement to acquire Ridgeline, which at that time had been relocated to Westcliffe, CO. The company has since been relocated to the Altus Brands home office in Traverse City, MI where we continue to manufacture and distribute the world’s best electronic earmuffs.
The original American made rifle shooting rest was started in 1988 in a small town in Pennsylvania. The founder had an idea that a high quality, sturdy steel, simply designed shooting platform could be made in the USA to last a lifetime. He was right. Many customers who use these products understand the importance of quality materials and construction and products made with American pride. They keep coming back to Benchmaster. Made in the USA. Guaranteed Forever.
As the former owner contemplated retirement, Altus Brands was able to acquire the assets to keep this American tradition alive and growing. Benchmaster was the second Altus acquisition, completed in the fall of 2008. Altus has continued to build on the stellar reputation for quality and lifetime warranty by introducing new products such as the American Bison Shooting bags with EZ Fill spout and anti skid base and the Thompson Long Range Shooting Table. Benchmaster is proudly made in Traverse City, MI.
The founder of the amazing crossfire sling is an avid hunter who often found himself trekking long distances across the Colorado high plains and traversing steep mountains only to find himself not in a “ready to fire position” when the opportune moment arrived. After a year of tinkering and prototyping he came up with an innovative sling design that allowed him to carry his weapon in a variety of positions but always ready to quickly release and move into a firing position without removing the sling. When friend and stranger alike raved about the versatility of his invention he knew he had a winner. But the sling market is a crowded place. Convincing buyers at big retail chains to take on a new product was not an easy task. In the fall of 2008 and agreement was reached with Altus Brands who acquired the rights to market and sell this Altus has developed an on-line and in-store demonstration video which has quickly grabbed the attention of key retailers and continues to grow this brand.
Cass Creek Electronic Game Calls
This company was one of the original electronic game call manufacturers. In 1998 in Upstate New York, a well known hunter and outdoorsman decided that it was not necessary to spend $500 or $600 for an electronic game call and that a game call should be portable and easy to use. He set about finding the best product designer, sound recordings and manufacturer he could and tasked them with developing an electronic game call with great sound, ease of use at an affordable price. Cass Creek took the market by storm. Eventually due to certain political aspirations (he became a judge) he needed to divest himself of the company. The company that bought Cass Creek found it necessary to divest it’s crown jewel during the troubled economy in 2009. In October 2009 Altus Brands acquired the assets of Cass Creek and began to reinvest working capital. At the same time Altus Brands purchased Woodland Whisper hearing amplification products. Combining these two products with the other Altus brand’s opened up anew distribution channels and broadened the scope of the Altus product offering. Altus is investing in R&D to develop new electronic hunting accessories which will be introduced in the fall of 2010. This business was relocated to Traverse City in November 2009.
Extreme Dimension was started in early 2000 by Bill Gardiner and Peter Brown, two avid life-long hunters from Bangor Maine. Their epiphany was that hunters who used hand held electronic callers or mouth calls were calling the animals directly to themselves and also risk other hunters mistaking them for a deer. They were the first inventors to develop a high quality electronic deer caller with a speaker connect via a 60’ wire. After a successful launch at SHOT show and winning the prestigious Deer and Deer Hunter Magazine 50 HOT Products for 2000 sales really took off. Over the years multiple new versions of the original caller were developed as were new sound cards for predators, bear, moose and turkey. After a years worth of discussion, Altus Brands and Peter Brown (Peter had earlier bought out Bill) an agreement was reached to be acquired by Altus Brands. Over one weekend in July the entire business was relocated to Traverse City and there was no break in shipping orders!
Harmon’s has been serving the needs of hunters for 30 years all over the United States. The founder of Harmon’s, William D. Harmon is a native of Georgia, and has been hunting for over 50 years and has logged hundreds of hours hunting whitetail deer, turkeys, ducks, doves, bears, hogs and the like. He has shared hunting experiences with world famous hunters such as Dean Durham, Bill Schofield, Bill Jordan, Eddie Salter, Preston Pittman, Ben Lee, Anthony Hinton, Joe Langlois, Phil Sosby and Jeff Hail. Harmon’s has hosted deer hunting seminars across the nation, teaching hunters the habits and instincts of the white tail deer. Harmon’s knows what it takes to get that trophy deer. Harmon Deer Scents have been featured in the Whitetail Journal Buyers Guide and Buckmaster’s Magazine as a recommended hunting tool. An avid hunter himself, he became frustrated with the ineffectiveness of lure and scent products available to the hunter The solution, develop products that truly worked and were based on science and nature. Each and every Harmon scent and lure has been extensively field tested to ensure that the product that went to market was the best and most effective that it could be. Harmon’s knows what it takes to get that trophy.
In 2012 Mr. Harmon was approached by Altus Brands to see if the two companies could join forces to expand the distribution of Triple Heat. Altus had recognized the rabid fans across the Southeastern US for Harmon Scents and felt their broader distribution could benefit both companies. The solution was the total acquisition of Harmon Deer Scents with Mr. Bill continuing to work as a consultant to the company.
The Legend Continues
Kwikee Kwiver is the standard by which all quivers are measured and is the most popular bow quiver in the world. No other quiver has been so highly awarded. Kwikee Kwiver has recently been honored as an inductee into Field and Stream’s “Gear Hall of Fame”. Each year Kwikee Kwiver is honored with the “Reader’s Choice Award” by Bowhunting World and Inside Archery’s “Best Buy Award”. Kwikee Kwiver Company got its start in 1956 when R.E. (Bob) Stinson (1924–2006) invented the Deluxe Kwiver for his recurve bow. The quiver fit on the limbs of his bow and became an instant hit. The original prototypes were made of cork-like material and plywood. The design evolved to metal plates and now they are injection-molded plastic. The original cork of the Deluxe Kwivers were dyed green and placed on the front lawn to dry. This produced a problem in the early stages of the quiver because the grasshoppers loved to eat the cork!
Kwikee Kwiver was incorporated in 1957 and has been growing ever since. Fred Bear Archery in Graying, Michigan, was one of Kwikee Kwiver’s first customers to purchase our string silencers and Deluxe Kwivers. The first lightweight, quick-detachable quiver for compound bows was invented in 1976 by Bob along with his business partner Chester (Chet) Grant.. In April of 2008, Chet Grant purchased Kwikee Kwiver Co. and moved the office and production facility from Acme to Williamsburg, Michigan. Soon after Altus Brands relocated from CO to MI we initiated a discussion about acquiring Kwikee. In December 2013, when Chet was ready to pass the torch, the two companies quickly came to terms an in less than 30 days a deal was struck and the business was relocated.
We are always on the lookout for new companies to add to our portfolio. Opportunities come from all avenues. We search for companies that fit our investment criteria at trade shows, in journals and through our industry network. As our reputation for fair dealing grows, we have been approached by people ready to join forces. Sometimes our customers are in love with a product, know an owner is ready to sell and think we may be able to apply our expertise to grow the line. If you are aware of a company that you believe would prosper under the Altus Brands banner give us a call.