Sweet smell of success: Franklin family monetizes homemade wildlife attractant
Scott and Brenda Lindsey and son Joshua first think of themselves as hunters, not as businesspeople – but sometimes, the two can go hand in hand. The Lindseys are making a name for themselves with their Buck Tea Outdoors wildlife attractant.
“I’ve always hunted all my life, and Brenda’s hunted a good bit of hers as well,” said Scott, who is a purchasing agent with B&B Roadway Security Solutions and a minister for Belgreen United Methodist and Halltown United Methodist. He said going from a hunting enthusiast to product creation just made sense. “We found some things that worked for us and wanted to share them with others.”
In summer 2019 the Lindseys began mixing and testing their very own wildlife attractant solution – a highly-concentrated aroma that can be sprayed on stumps, shrubs or other surfaces to pique the quarry’s interest and draw it to come investigate. “There are a lot of products online, and I was raised on a farm growing up, and we used different kinds of flavoring for feed for wildlife,” Scott explained. “I hunt, but I don’t like to spend all of my paycheck buying stuff for hunting. I want to do it in the most cost-efficient way I can.” With the ability to create his own attractant in big batches, Scott was able to eliminate the cost of purchasing an array of products – and the Lindseys soon began sharing their own unique mixture with friends. Those friends spread the word, impressed by how well the product worked, and encouraged the Lindseys to market their attractant. Interest in the product began to grow, across the community. “It kind of all fell together,” Brenda said.
Scott said the burgeoning family business went through several test batches to pinpoint the best ingredients and recipe for the attractant. With the base mixture finalized, they next moved into creating different aromas to attract different wildlife in different areas – everything from cherry, persimmon and maple to licorice and peanut butter. “That smell will bring that animal in,” Brenda explained. “You can spray it on the ground or on corn or anything.”
It was Joshua who came up with the name, Buck Tea Outdoors. “He loves sweet tea; I think that was part of it,” Brenda said. As a moth to a flame, as a Southern man to his sweet tea – so deer, turkey and hogs to the Lindseys’ attractant spray.
Since their beginnings last year, the Lindseys are carrying on production in the way they started: from their home. “Our kitchen becomes a laboratory, pretty much,” said Scott. The family can mix up a batch of attractant – a gallon at a time – in about half an hour, and together they tackle all parts of production and operation, from labeling and filling the 32-oz spray bottles, to managing the brand’s social media and website, to maintaining local distribution at Stidham’s Feed Store in Russellville and CJ’s Grocery in Belgreen.
Of course, everyone has their niche tasks, too; Brenda’s keen sense of smell, for example, is crucial when developing new favor variants. “We’re always looking for different flavors,” said Scott, adding they have also already had people make requests for specific scents. Green apple, white oak and persimmon are their current bestsellers. “I think we’ll probably always look at adding new products and growing, as long as that’s what the Lord has willed for us.”
In addition to the wildlife attractant in its variety of scents, Buck Tea Outdoors also offers turkey calls and T-shirts, and the Lindseys are continuing to work to expand their product line. Though primary sales are to their local customer base in Franklin County and the surrounding north Alabama region, the family has also seen their products reach customers from far and wide through internet sales, including their most-distant sale to someone in Wisconsin.
As Buck Tea Outdoors continues into its second year in operation, the Lindseys said their foundation has remained constant: running their business together as a family. “It was not about doing this to get rich; it was to allow others to enjoy the same success we’re having at a comfortable cost so they aren’t breaking the bank,” said Scott. “Hunting is a pastime, and we wanted to make something that would help others to enjoy the outdoors as much as we do. We’re able to do that by being a family-owned business and keeping our overhead down.”
And although Buck Tea Outdoors is a time-consuming venture – at least 10 hours a week for production to keep up inventory, not counting the hours spent in distribution and marketing – for the Lindseys, it’s time well spent. “We work together as a family, so regardless of what we’re doing, we’re still spending time together,” Scott said. “I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.” Bonus – there’s still time enough to hunt together in favorite spot across Franklin and Colbert counties.
The Lindseys have found success even in the hunting “offseason.” The season varies from state to state, and Scott said even between seasons, hunters are eager to keep attracting wildlife to their desired hunting grounds.
Away from Buck Tea Outdoors, Brenda is an overdraft supervisor for CB&S Bank in Russellville. Joshua is starting his sophomore year at Russellville High School and is on the RHS football team.
Scott said the family has received wide-ranging positive feedback on their attractant. Facebook fans and friends will post pictures of the animals the attractant has helped them bag, and reviews include praise noting they “go above and beyond to make sure customers are happy and I’m looking forward to using these products come October” and “If you’ve never used Buck Tea, you might want to try it.”
They also, however, welcome negative feedback as well – whatever is needed to improve the product. “I enjoy seeing the people and hearing the stories of how the product has worked for them,” Scott said. “One guy said he’s never gotten pictures of big bucks so early in the season as he did using our product.”
To find out more about Buck Tea Outdoors, find the business on Facebook or visit https://buck-tea-outdoors.square.site. Those with additional questions or comments can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photos by Montana Hester