Carl Brack started building his own deer stands many years ago - mainly because he wanted to be safe each time he climbed up to wait out a wary whitetail.
Today, it's become a full-time business for the North Augusta man, his wife, Jean, and their son, Carl Jr.
"We've always made them, mainly for friends and people we hunt with," the elder Brack said. "Then we started making them as a business."
The Bracks are avid outdoor folk: they hunt hard, and they hunt often. South Carolina's early deer season, which opens in mid-August, is just the beginning. "We go all the time," he said.
Their factory, CB's Deer Stands, is small and unsophisticated - and well hidden off Martintown Road. The assembly building holds stockpiles of steel that are transformed into towers, ladder stands and lock-on devices.
The younger Brack designed his stands for what he describes as the "average" hunter, meaning you don't have to be an Olympic athlete to use one. Wider steps, steel handrails on long, lean-up ladders and welded seams are among the features he believes will promote and increase safety.
Most prominent, however, is a mechanism by which lean-up stands are attached to trees. "It's a lever-lock, with a five-foot chain," said Carl Jr.
The Bracks have patented the lever-lock feature, which uses a steel lever to stretch the chain around the tree, enabling it to be fastened securely with a single motion - and held in place by a steel pin.
So far, the family has been able to market their products at the annual Georgia Buck-A-Rama - and through retailers in Augusta and other towns as far away as Sandersville, Ga.; Anderson, S.C.; and Tabor City, N.C.
"We're just not that big yet," Mrs. Brack said. "But we stay busy all year."
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