Serving the region's hunters and fishermen
When I began hunting many years ago, I remember walking into D&R Sporting Goods to buy my first knife. I’m sure many other local and regional hunters, fishermen and trappers can say the same. Without question if you are looking to buy that specialty item for the outdoors, D&R is the first place many sportsmen visit. And for good reason.
If there is an outdoor retail store that specializes in all the different categories of outdoor sports, D&R is it. And if they don’t have something you are looking for, then chances are they’ll get it for you. Whether it is a fly fishing rod from the “River’s Edge” fly shop located in the store, or if you are shopping for a new high tech bow, D&R is not only going to have the gear you need, it will be well priced and the service is going to be first rate. As it should be.
D&R is old hat in the outdoor retail game, having been in business since 1974. There are not a lot of retail outlets in Thunder Bay with 35 plus years in business, so how does D&R Sporting Goods keep customers happy and attract new ones all the time? For the answer, I went to store manager Adrian Hagar to find out what his secret is.
Adrian explained, “Thunder Bay has a huge outdoor user group to draw clientele from, but they are fiercely loyal when they find a retailer they like, so we make sure we strive to give customers what they want, at a competitive and affordable price.” As a frequent shopper at D&R I can vouch for this.
I particularly gravitate to all things archery and I regularly stop in to see Stacey Cusick at D&R’s archery counter for bow tuning advice or insight on new equipment. Sometimes I just like to tease him about his long beautiful hair! Gotcha Stace! But seriously, Stacey is knowledgeable and qualified to solve your bow tuning problems and it won’t cost an arm and a leg to get it done.
D&R is proud to be locally owned and has a full time staff of five and six part time employees. The store provides a variety of versatile services, ranging from minor gunsmith work, scope mounting and repairs to a full service archery counter and archery service technician who can cut and fletch arrows to custom specifications. The store also supports a full Pro Staff line up who are on hand to assist during sales events and promotional shows.
Open seven days a week, the store also boasts the largest sales in hunting and fishing license sales to both resident and non-resident sportsmen. Export permits and forest land access passes for the Wagner Forest can be obtained over the counter. The staff at D&R will even arrange to have your big buck antlers or that giant walleye you caught this summer, shipped off to Gates Taxidermy in Winnipeg for that trophy of a lifetime.
From my own perspective, and I know I speak for a lot of the outdoor clubs in the region, the role D&R plays in the outdoor community goes much deeper than simply catering to the hunting and angling consumer from around the region. The staff, management and owners of D&R Sporting Goods have loyally stood behind a variety of outdoor and conservation related groups such as the Northwestern Ontario Sportsmen’s Alliance (NOSA), Northshore Steelhead Assoc., Thunder Bay Salmon Assoc., the Angler Young Angler competitive walleye tournament as well as the Fort City Kinsmen. They will all tell you that D&R gives back a lot to the community and to the future of our outdoor pastimes by assisting those groups who are most active in working for conservation and the preservation of our hunting and fishing rights.
It just makes good business sense though since future sales depend so much upon having hunting and fishing activities for your consumers to enjoy. With so many forces affecting hunting, fishing and gun owning rights, the store has stepped up to the plate to do their part to support the future of these traditions and pastimes.
Are you thinking about a new rifle for moose season or possibly some electronics for the boat? Or if you just want to chat with the staff about the latest hot spot for bass or to find out the gossip on upcoming hunting or fishing reg changes, stop in and meet the staff. If they can’t answer your questions, they’ll point you in the right direction.