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Sign of the Tines

Iconic hunting landmark receives bittersweet good-bye/hello

By Tim H. Martin

If you've ever driven along I-85 in Montgomery, Ala., you've passed by Buckmasters headquarters and the large logo sign in front of our building.

That illuminated buck head sign was the first thing I noticed 17 years ago when I arrived for a job interview. It's been a beacon for other visitors and deer hunters since our headquarters was built nearly 20 years ago.

In 2013, you've probably noticed we have a new logo. This means we had to re-print everything from business cards to the big sign with the new Buckmasters image.

The sign company arrived with a new sign face just the other day, and I hurried outside to take pictures of the event as they swapped out the panels.

When the bucket-truck man rose to the sign frame and unceremoniously removed our beloved old logo buck, I was struck by an unexpected sense of sadness. I felt as if I was saying good-bye to an old friend.

That might sound sappy, but for 25 years I've worn that little buck-head-in-the-orange-circle emblem on countless articles of clothing - caps, shirts, jackets, gloves. It's accompanied me everywhere from Alaska to Africa, and I have no idea how many deer I've taken while wearing it. I even have a photo of my newborn son sporting a tiny cap with that original Buckmasters logo.

Now, with a few turns of the screwdriver and a shove, the logo was officially history.

As I snapped away with the camera, Jackie Bushman suddenly appeared beside me, quietly watching as the symbol of our company was lowered to the ground. I wondered what he was feeling at that moment.

Jackie said, "Man, that logo's been up there a long time. It's been a good one."

I nodded and said, "Yep, I guess this is the end of an era."

A few moments later, a crane hoisted our sleek new black-faced sign to the frame, and the bucket truck guy secured it into its new home.

The moment the sign went in, I detected a sense of relief in Jackie. He smiled and walked around, examining it from different angles and hovering like an expectant father.

We, along with a large group of Buckmasters staffers who'd gathered to watch, agreed it was pretty darn sharp looking!

It was bittersweet watching our old friend go, but the new logo undeniably moves Buckmasters' corporate image out of the 1980s and into a bright future.

Now, I can't wait to hit the woods in a new embroidered logo cap. If it looks half as good as the sign, I have a feeling we're going to take a lot of venison together. 

Editor's Note: If you're ever passing through Montgomery, Ala., our headquarters are open to the public and tours of the office are available 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (CST) Monday through Friday. And, if Jackie Bushman is in, he loves to meet fellow deer hunters and Buckmasters members, so please stop by and say hello!

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