Rim country archery hunters have a new source for equipment and supplies. Award-winning archer Dan Frost has opened Bootleg Archery Pro Shop.
Frost said he got into the business to help his friends, and "if I make a buck, so be it."
The shop is a one-man band, but Frost said he hopes it grows while developing friendships through it.
"There have been so many little guys come and go here because people won't support them," said Frost. "Too many are interested in saving a couple of dollars through mail order or buying over the Internet. We see shops closing left and right and it doesn't need to be that way. Now bow hunters don't have to go elsewhere for their equipment and materials because I'm here."
Before opening his archery shop, Frost owned a four-wheel-drive off-road center. He has built and raced these vehicles.
The shop opened in May, but Frost has been in Payson for eight years. The son of former community leader Ray Frost, he came here to help look after his parents. His parents decided to move into an assisted-living center in the Phoenix area, but Frost and his wife stayed.
Years ago, he was on the board of the Phoenix Varmint Callers and served as its hunt chairman. He has been a hunter all his life, and when he moved to Payson, he needed something to occupy his time, so he took up archery.
After practicing with a bow for about three weeks, he entered a contest and took second place. Frost attributes his quick study of archery to his background in competitive rifle hunting for many years. Meanwhile, Frost continues to compete with his bow and arrow.
Frost said archers are different from other hunters because they believe in the concept of "fair chase."
"You have to get so close to the animal; you don't hunt with anyone else; you cover your scent and wear camo to blend into the forest," said Frost.
Frost has actually lost only one animal in the time he has been bow hunting. He went back three or four times after the season to find the carcass.
"Before, when I was hunting with a rifle, I thought archers would just shoot at anything and leave it to die if they didn't kill it outright. Now, I know most archers will do whatever they can to find their animal.
"If an animal is not hit in a vital organ it will not die. Most archers won't take a shot at an animal unless it will be a lethal one."
Frost anticipates a business rush following the big-game permit deadline this past Tuesday. Hunters will wait until they receive the results of the lottery when they're mailed July 29, and then a push to purchase archery equipment.
Frost's inventory is extensive. Whatever is not in stock can be ordered and delivered within a few days.
Frost also services all types of bows and any special equipment hunters might need.
"It's a full service shop," he said.
Bootleg Archery Pro Shop is at 302 E. Wade Lane, Payson. The phone (and fax) number is (928) 468-4269. Frost is available generally from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday, but asks that customers call first -- he is the sole caregiver for his ailing wife, Suzy.