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Big Dave2

Shoot, kill, and season game birds at the same time

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A blast of flavor: Seasoned bird shot scheduled to hit market next fall

Mollee Francisco

Staff Writer

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

On the spectrum of ideas, there are bad ideas, there are good ideas and then there are million-dollar, why-didn't-I-think-of-that ideas.

One innovative Chaska resident may just have one of the latter on his hands.

The "Season Shot" is a shell filled with spices, designed to "shoot, kill and season" game birds. By next fall, the product could already be on the market.

Brett Holm, a carpenter by trade, came up with the idea after watching a friend struggle to dress a bird he had just shot. His friend had to cut the bird into pieces and then roll it with a rolling pin to find and remove the

BBs before he could prepare and serve it.

"Well, he missed one," recalled Holm. "And I chipped my tooth."

It was shortly thereafter that Holm had his brainstorm.

"I just thought to myself, 'There's got to be a better way,'" he said.

Holm, who himself had not hunted in years, got to work in the kitchen. He envisioned creating a product that would allow for a perfect Thanksgiving Day turkey or a Christmas goose instead of a mutilated bird reduced to usable pieces.

"I came up with a concoction and loaded the shells up," he said. "I knew it would work."

With a couple of birds in hand, Holm tested out his invention. The shells are designed such that, once they enter the bird, fluids dissolve the pellets and the seasoning is distributed throughout.

What did Holm think upon first taste of a Season Shot bird?

"It was amazing," he said.

Tough marketing

While the idea came along with ease, getting people to buy into his product took a little more work.

"When I told people, they'd say, 'It'll never work,'" he said.

Then Holm changed his approach.

"I started asking people, 'Have you heard about Season Shot?'" he recounted. "I told them about it and then they were interested.

"Sometimes an idea's only good when it's not your own."

As a concept alone, Holm said Season Shot is estimated to be worth $70 to $100 million. As a product, Holm and his business partner and longtime friend Dave Feig have been told that they could be looking at a whole lot more.

"The numbers are staggering," said Feig.

"I knew I had a million dollar idea," said Holm. "I didn't know I had a billion dollar idea."

To protect his idea, Holm quickly sought out a patent lawyer.

Now, with a worldwide patent-pending in hand, Holm has the market for seasoned shotgun shells cornered, and is seeking out manufacturers for his product. Remington and Winchester are just two of the names floating around as possibilities.

For a product with this much potential, Holm has to think big.

"By next fall, everyone's going to be clamoring for these shells," he said.

Keeping it fresh

Initially, Holm and Feig plan to start with a few flavor shots ranging from lemon pepper and mesquite shells to Mexican and Creole.

"The chemists are working out the exact spice proportions right now," Holm added.

They'll offer five flavors to start, and then they'll tackle their long list of other flavor possibilities.

"We'll introduce flavors like a new color of M&Ms," said Feig.

But Holm and Feig aren't stopping there. They also have plans for supplemental spices, spice shakers, spice racks, a full line of clothing and perhaps gun cabinets.

"We'll probably have guns, too," said Holm.

There's even a Dick Cheney-brand shot designed to play on the Vice President's well-publicized hunting snafu, in which he accidentally shot one of his hunting partners in the face.

"When you shoot that one, cotton candy comes out of the ears," Holm said, jokingly.

And while he realizes that he probably won't be able to begin the manufacturing process in Chaska, Holm has high hopes that eventually all of Season Shot operations will be able to be located here.

"By 2008, we hope to have everything here in Chaska," said Holm, who added that it could mean hundreds of jobs for the area. "We want to keep as much control of the company as we can."

David Letterman

If the financial predictions are correct for Season Shot, Holm and Feig could be very wealthy men in the near future. But so far, they aren't spending too much time thinking about what they may do with the money.

"I'd like to buy an old plantation in Georgia and fix it up," said Holm.

"I'd buy my wife a new car," said Feig.

Other than that, Feig and Holm only have plans for the charitable dollars they can spend. Both men light up when they think of the people they could help with millions of dollars at their disposal. Their ideas range from an evening amusement park for children with sun allergies to a hall of fame for background singers.

But until the dollars start rolling in, both Holm and Feig have a lot of work to do. They've already begun their publicity campaign, setting up interviews with the Wall Street Journal, Time and Money. And then there's the Late Show with David Letterman.

"His producers saw our patent application and thought it was a joke," said Holm. "Now they want to do a skit with the Dick Cheney shot."

While Holm insists that he won't ever go hunting with Cheney, he did say that he won't turn down an opportunity to visit the White House.

"I know we're going to get invited after they see the skit," he said.

Holm and Feig will also be doing hunting and game fairs this fall to generate a buzz about their product. First up is the Game Fair in Anoka County, the second and third weekends in August.

Then comes the really hard work, completing their vision for an advertising campaign and getting a theme song recorded. But Holm has an idea for that as well.

"I'm going to get Ted Nugent to do it," he said of the renowned game hunter. "I'm sure he will."

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That shot wouldn't work for me since I just shoot them in the head. It sure will be a nice gimmick buy out there. Can you imagine the decisions to make. Let's see I'll put a cajun in for the first shot and then a little lemon pepper and then add a little garlic. Have the grill fired up out at the truck when you go into the field and your all set.

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I don't know whether to applaud them, or slap them on the head with that crazy idea... tongue.gif

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Dumb.

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Sounds to me like they are going to be in debt to the bank for the rest of their lives. But who knows. I know I am going to stick with regular shells.

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Its only a good idea if you can actually kill birds with it.

Its one thing to blast away at tyson fryer hens propped up on a stick, its another thing entriely to kill ducks at 40 yards in the rain!

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I am thinking BS...

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I'd have to agree, I have a hard time believing many people are going to spend a bunch of money on expensive seasoning shells that work at 15 yards. I've heard of loading shells with salt, but that was to drive away stray dogs or something & the idea was not to kill them. Sounds like a farce to me.

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I'm not sure what to think of it yet. A co-worker who lives in Chaska is who showed me this article or I would not even know about it. Coincidentally I was at game fair today and saw thier booth so I went over and chatted with them. They think it is a big time idea and will be producing sometime in late '07. They said the first ones produced will be all for upland game and then they will start adding shells made to kill ducks and then even turkey.

I just thought I'd see what you guys thought. If they weren't too expensive I would maybe give them a try or at least would be good for a novelty gift idea.

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The problem there going to have is there is a guy from emo, ontario who has a patent already for the same thing...their patent is pending and probably will not get approved...they have alot of money invested in a product they can't sell.

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Thats interesting. I did not know that.

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it was hard enough to get the lead down using steel now have to readjust for butter and garlic .... shocked.gif

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The whole thing sounds like an elaborate put-on to me. It reminds me of a teller of tall tales I knew as a kid. He said he shot ducks so high up that he had to put rock salt in his shells to keep them from spoiling on the way down.

If they're looking to make bucks on that idea, it won't be mine.

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