City Limits Outfitters
City Limits Outfitters is a sporting goods retailer located at at the edge of Bozeman, Montana, that was founded in 1989 by two young outdoorsman, Charles Hankins and John Freeman, who were hoping to create a prominent, easily accessible staple for the region. The multi-faceted business has a mission to be a reliable location for hunters and adventurers alike to acquire the equipment necessary to optimize their outdoor experience. Primarily revolving around hunting, the business fluctuates based on hunting seasons, migration patterns and game management and weather conditions of the area.
Bozeman, Montana, with a population of nearly 44,000, is located in the southwestern portion of the state in the center of Gallatin County. It is the fourth largest city in the state, but it is comfortably nestled 93 north of Yellowstone National Park.
Aspiring to revolutionize the local hunting industry, owners Hankins and Freeman, embarked on the journey of creating a store that offers adventurers and hunters with what they need in a location that is on the way to their destination. The owners found a plot of land on the edge of a busy roadway that leads to a national park and wildlife management area.
According to Monatna.gov, wildlife management areas, “provide vital habitat for bear, bighorn sheep, birds, deer, elk, furbearers, moose, mountain goats, wolves and an array of other game and nongame wildlife” (Montana.gov 2015).
The most important objective for City Limits Outfitters has been to monitor the traffic of customers over the years because hunting seasons rarely produce the same outcomes every year and tourism is what remains the constant.
In the past five years, technology within the outdoor industry has changed and made it possible for advanced equipment and new products to keep cycling through the inventory each year. Ultimately, the owners are pleased with the interests and participation of customers, but they are always looking for the newest and best product or service to provide them.
The Issue – Hunting Accidents
The skillful hunter always recognizes a risk, and in nearly every occasion it can be grouped by placing yourself in questionable situations with animals, natural obstacles or the common equipment failure. This is the nature of the job and it can present manufacturers with tough legal battles or product enhancement opportunities.
Over the years, hunting accidents have revolved around the safety of hunting in tree stands and the assembly of such contraptions. In most cases, the human variable is what causes the accident and not a particular brand, but in the event that the hardware is the culprit, retailers catch the blame. City Limits Outfitters is a trusted source for gear, but the store frequently assesses situations to cultivate good relationships with the customers. When this happens, the goal is to identify the faulty tree stand systems, relay the problems to the manufacturers to help settle with and regain the trust of our customers.
- Owners of City Limits Outfitters, Charles Hankins and John Freeman
- Government Game Warden, Tyler Reynolds
- Initial investors: Bank of America, Bozeman Bank of Commerce, Wild Game Innovators
- Montana Fisheries, Wildlife and Parks Chairperson, Nancy Sturdivant
- Tree stand manufacturer, Thomas Gates
- Taxidermy specialists, Lewis Jones and Dalton Roebuck
- Forestry expert, Jake Moreland
Effects On Organization
City Limits Outfitters, as a local business, thrives on relationships with customers and relies on feedback for improvement. An objective is to maintain a profit margin therefore we make business decisions that are vital to our advancement as a business. City Limits Outfitters has increased awareness of the need for improved safety and reliable equipment for hunters. City Limits Outfitters accepts product returns of certain tree stand brands and products under warranty, but the store has lost nearly five percent of sales that normally occur during the spring hunting season. City Limits Outfitters is providing incentives that will rebuild trust in our products and educational content for customers.
Although we are a local company, we are loyal to our customers and to the high standards of the hunting industry. In response to hunting accidents and equipment malfunctions, we are including safety harnesses into a purchase deal with all brands of tree stands to encourage the use of these systems. Another form of proactive service that we are adding is a seminar on hunter’s safety and tree stand assembly workshops to educate hunters once a month. We wish to adapt to and overcome these hunting accidents and look forward to once again revolutionizing the use of these valuable products.
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks. (2015). Retrieved September 19, 2016, from
This backgrounder should be sent to or posted on the City Limits Outfitters website, hunting magazines and blogs, The Bozeman Gazette and The Montana Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks newsletter. These outlets provide a broad platform to get the information to key publics who are affected in the region.