We've always considered ourselves a lucky bunch to live in the U.S. We're free to do some of life's great things, and our history of enjoying some outdoor recreation (and conserving the lands and waters we do it in) is long and storied. That's why we wanted to round up each state's biggest and best outdoor brand as a way of bringing all these companies together in one collective list. Some of these outdoor brands are headquartered in their respective states, while others may simply have large manufacturing operations there. These brands include firearms manufacturers, apparel makers, knife makers, fishing gear companies, boat manufacturers, retailers, and more. When you want to support American brands making great products for Americans, you can start with this list.
Post originally published in July, 2014.
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Below is some more information about each company, including what it makes and where it's located. When we were making this list, there was a lot to take into consideration. Longevity weighed heavily, and so did reputation. Some states were easier to decide on than others. Some states... well, let's just say there's some things left to be desired in their outdoor brand lineup. Most importantly, this list represents the hardworking mentality of Americans, plus a level of ingenuity and innovation that helps rise to the top. There's no doubt a brand like Remington or Berkley is well-known, but there are probably some surprises in this list, even for the most avid and knowledgeable outdoorsmen and women.
These companies have left their mark on the outdoor world in various ways, and we are excited to share this collection of American brands with people who will put the info to good use. The next time you're interested in investing your hard-earned money on some new hunting, fishing, or shooting gear, this is a good place to start. If you like to shop local, and spend your money with companies that are local too, this is going to be a great resource.
Products and companies featured on Wide Open Spaces are independently selected by our writers and editors. However, when you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.
Alabama - Pradco Outdoor Brands
- PRADCO Outdoor Brands is the largest parent organization of major hunting and fishing products in the world. Some of their brands include Moultrie game feeders, Lindy, and Summit tree stands.
- Headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama
Alaska - Tongass Trading Company
- Tongass Trading Company is one of the oldest outdoors stores in Alaska. Founded in 1898, the company started as a supplier for commercial fishing fleets and logging camps. Today, they are a retailer for a wide range of outdoor apparel brands.
- Located in Ketchican, Alaska
Arizona - Sturm, Ruger & Co.
- Sturm, Ruger & Co., Inc. is one of the largest manufacturers of firearms for the commercial sporting market in the US.
- The company has a casting plant in Prescott, Arizona
Arkansas - Ranger Boats
- Ranger Boats are synonymous with bass fishing boats. The company makes high-quality fishing crafts that are sold throughout the world.
- Headquartered in Flippin, Arkansas
California - 5.11 Tactical
- 5.11 Tactical is a leading manufacturer of tactical gear, apparel, and footwear.
- Headquartered in Irvine, California
Colorado - Eagle Claw
- Eagle Claw makes saltwater and freshwater fishing tackle for a wide array of species.
- Located in Denver, Colorado
Connecticut - Colt
- Colt is among the most recognizable firearms brands in the world. Its rifles, pistols and revolvers are used by hunters and sport shooters throughout the world.
- Located in Hartford, Connecticut
Delaware - Crossover Camo
- Crossover Camo is the maker of Reactive Camo, an innovative deer hunting camouflage that mimics deer hides and common foliage patterns.
- Located in Claymont, Delaware
Florida - COSTA
- COSTA makes high-end polarized eyewear for fishing, boating, and other water sports.
- Located in Daytona Beach, Florida
Georgia - Realtree
- Realtree is a leading camouflage manufacturer and supplier. Their camo patterns are found on everything from firearms to all-terrain vehicles.
- Headquartered in Columbus Georgia
Hawaii - Hammerhead Spearguns
- "We embody a culture of sharing and expanding the sport of spearfishing and the freedive experience." -hammerheadspearguns.com
- Located in Wahiawa, Hawaii
Idaho - Smith Optics
- Smith Optics makes top-notch protective eyewear for outdoorsmen, tactical shooters and other outdoor sports.
- Located in Sun Valley, Idaho
Illinois - Armalite
- ArmaLite, Inc. was the company that made the original AR-15 in the mid-twentieth century. In fact, the AR stands for Armalite. Today, they are a leading manufacturer of small arms for the commercial market.
- Headquartered in Geneseo, Illinois
Indiana - Bear Archery
- Bear Archery has been making quality hunting bows for more than 80 years. The company makes a wide range of compound, traditional and youth hunting bows.
- Headquartered in Evansville, Indiana
Iowa - Berkley Fishing
- Berkley Fishing is one of the world's premier tackle companies. They are most well known for their Berkley Trilene fishing line and Powerbait scented lures.
- Located in Spirit Lake, Iowa
Kansas - Bushnell
- Bushnell's makes optics products, including game cameras, binoculars, spotting scopes, rifle scopes, telescopes, night vision equipment, GPS devices, holographic weapon sights, and much more.
- Located in Overland Park, Kansas
Kentucky - Double Star, Inc.
- Double Star, Inc. is a burgeoning manufacturer of AR-platform rifles, small arms and gun parts.
- Located in Winchester, Kentucky
Lousiana - Duck Commander
- Duck Commander is the powerhouse brand behind the popular TV series Duck Dynasty. They make game calls, apparel, hunting gear, and are the sponsors of a number of major sporting events.
- Headquartered in West Monroe, Louisiana
Maine - L.L. Bean
- L.L.Bean, Inc. is one of the most established American outdoor apparel brands. gear for hunting and fishing.
- Located in Freeport, Maine
Maryland - Under Armour
- Under Armour has grown from humble beginnings into one of the world's largest sports apparel manufacturers. Known mostly for their traditional sports apparel, the company also makes a wide range of products for hunters and outdoorsmen.
- Located in Baltimore, Maryland
Massachussetts - Smith & Wesson
- Smith & Wesson is one of the oldest gun makers in the US. Founded in 1852, their pistols are standard issue for sports shooters and law enforcement agencies throughout the world.
- Located in Springfield, Massachussetts
Michigan - Carhartt
- Founded in 1889, Carhartt makes rugged hunting apparel and workwear. Their products include jackets, pants, gloves and more.
- Located in Dearborn, Michigan
Minnesota - The Sportsman's Guide
- The Sportsman's Guide began in 1970 as a mail order catalog. It has since grown into one of Internet's largest retailers of outdoors sporting goods.
- Located in St. Paul, Minnesota
Mississippi - Mossy Oak
- Mossy Oak makes some of the most recognizable camouflage patterns in the hunting industry. The company's camo patterns are used on everything from clothing to vehicles. Mossy Oak also operates media brands and conservation programs.
- Located in West Point, Mississippi
Missouri - Bass Pro Shops
- Bass Pro Shops are mini meccas of bass fishing, hunting camping and outdoors products. The company is one of the world's largest retailers of outdoors merchandise.
- Headquartered in Springfield, Missouri
Montana - Sitka Gear
- SITKA Gear designs and builds high-quality hunting apparel and packs that feature innovative designs and unique camouflage patterns.
- Headquartered in Bozeman, Montana
Nebraska - Cabela's
- Founded in 1961, Cabela's has grown into a massive retailer of hunting, fishing, camping and shooting goods. The company's huge retail stores are located in several states throughout the US.
- Located in Sydney, Nebraska
Nevada - Xtreme Bullets
- X-Treme Bullets, Inc. is rapidly building ammunition manufacturer with clients all over the world.
- Located in Albuquerque, New Mexico
New Hampshire - SIG SAUER
- SIG SAUER is a world-renowned firearms manufacturer for sport shooters, law enforcement agencies and militaries.
- Manufacturing plant located in Newington, New Hampshire
New Jersey - Henry Repeating Arms
- Henry Repeating Arms is one the world's leading lever action manufacturers. It's also one of top long rifle makers in the US.
- Located in Bayonne, New Jersey
New Mexico - Calibers
- Part shooting range, part gun shop and part gunsmithing business, Calibers offers private lessons and membership deals to New Mexico gun nuts.
- Two locations in Albuquerque, New Mexico
New York - KA-BAR Knives, Inc.
- KA-BAR Knives, Inc., a subsidiary of Cutco Corporation, makes high quality military, hunting, sporting, all-purpose utility, and outdoor survival knives.
- Located in Olean, New York
North Carolina - Remington Arms Company
- If you're a hunter or a sport shooter, you know Remington. This is the oldest firearms company in the US, and it's our country's largest producer of shotguns and rifles
- Headquartered in Madison, North Carolina
North Dakota - Russ Kommer Knives
- Russ Kommer is a renowned knife maker who makes custom and production knives for a number of top hunting and knife brands, including CRKT, Browning and Timberline.
- Located in Fargo, North Dakota
Ohio - Havalon Knives
- Havalon Knives has developed a solid reputation among outdoorsmen for as a quality hunting and survival knife maker. The company has been in business for more than 25 years.
- Headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio
Oklahoma - Falcon Rods
- Falcon Rods makes high-quality, American-made rods and spinner reels for freshwater and saltwater fishing.
- Headquartered in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
Oregon - Columbia Sportswear
- Columbia Sportswear makes clothing, footwear and gear for fishing and other outdoor sports, including as hiking, camping, skiing and snowboarding.
- Headquartered in Beaverton, Oregon
Pennsylvania - Dick's Sporting Goods
- Dick's Sporting Goods, Inc. is a huge chain retailer of sporting goods, including bows, fishing gear, firearms, outdoors apparel and more. The company is listed as a Fortune 500 American corporation.
- Headquartered in Coraopolis, Pennsylvania
Rhode Island - North Coast Boats
- NorthCoast Boats, a subsidiary of C&C Marine, builds top quality fishing boats in the fish boat manufacturing mecca of New England: Bristol, Rhode Island.
- Headquartered in Bristol, Rhode Island
South Carolina - The Shakespeare Company
- Open any tackle box and you'll probably find a Shakespeare product. It's the oldest fishing gear brand in the US. Shakespeare makes fishing rods, reels, tools, fishing line and terminal tackle.
- Headquartered in Columbia, South Carolina
South Dakota - Hagen's Fishing Components
- Hagen's Fishing Components have been making quality fishing tackle for more than 30 years. They are one of North America's leading wholesale tackle and lure manufacturers.
- Located in Bristol, South Dakota
Tennessee - Yamaha Motor Sports
- Yamaha Motor Sports is a Japanese manufacturer of ATV's, boats, outboard motors, and other motorized vehicles.
- Manufacturing plant located in Athens, Tennessee
Texas - Academy Sports + Outdoors
- Academy Sports + Outdoors is the largest outdoor sports goods store chain in Texas.
- Headquartered in Harris County, Texas
Utah - Browning
- Browning Arms Company's logo of a buck silhouette is one of the most recognizable brands in the outdoor world. The company makes top-quality firearms, and fishing and hunting gear.
- Located in Mountain Green, Utah
Vermont - Orvis
- Orvis is synonymous with fly fishing. This family-owned business sells high-end gear and apparel for fly fishing and hunting.
- Headquartered in Sunderland, Vermont
Virginia - Parker Bow Compound Bows
- Parker Compound Bows is one of the largest compound bow and crossbow manufacturers in the world. The company was honored twice as the fastest "The Fastest Growing Manufacturer in Virginia", by Virginia Business Magazine.
- Headquartered in Mint Spring, Virginia
Washington - Filson
- Filson has been making rugged, quality clothing for outdoorsmen for more than a century.
- Headquartered in Seattle, Washington
West Virginia - Douglas Barrels, Inc.
- Douglas Barrels produces a range of handgun and rifle barrels that promise high accuracy at an affordable price.
- Headquartered in Charleston, West Virginia
Wisconsin - Mathews, Inc.
- Mathews, Inc. is a leader in bow innovation and technology. "Since our inception in 1992 and starting with Single Cam technology, Mathews has been responsible for multitude of innovations that have not only enhanced performance by quantum leaps, but have also reduced complexity." --mathews.com.
- Headquartered in Sparta, Wisconsin
Wyoming - Sierra Trading Post
- Sierra Trading Post is another powerhouse mail catalog and online retailer of sporting goods. The popular retailer sells footwear, adventure gear, footwear, apparel and home products for a wide array of outdoor sports brands.
- Headquartered in Cheyenne, Wyoming
How many of these companies did you already now about? How many did you just learn about now?
There's no lack of outdoor affinity within the great United States, and for the majority of these outdoor recreational activities, you need certain gear and instruction to do it. That's why these brands are so important to the overall state of our country. If these brands are doing good, so is our respect and appreciation for the outdoors. And if we want to keep doing the things we're doing, then these are the companies who can help.
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