One of the hottest businesses going these days are gun stores. Eagle River is fortunate to now have such an enterprise with the opening of the Northwoods Shooters Shop.
“I have guns and the point of my store being here is to facilitate hunters, facilitate people who want to protect themselves…” shop owner, Josh Raymond. “I always try to have ammo in the store. With the way the world is right now, it is very complicated and hard to do. I do a great job of it still.”
Josh went on to describe his impressive inventory of guns. “For handguns, we carry Smith and Wesson, Glock, Kimber, HK, FN, Taurus, and Springfield. There are so many companies, but those are the main ones.”
He said he carries almost all rifle manufacturers. In addition to new guns, he also offers used arms and collector pieces. The store buys used guns and will trade as well.
Northwoods Shooters has a sister store in West Allis owned by his father-in-law and Josh had a long tenure managing that store. Josh and his wife, Megan, wanted to move to the Northwoods for years. After doing some research he discovered there was no gun shop in Eagle River and found that to be somewhat surprising because of the area’s hunting popularity. He discussed opening a Northwoods store with his father-in-law who told him to, “ … look for a building and within five minutes I found this one. I don’t need to look further. This one looks like a gun store!”
He closed on the building on Aug. 24 and he began remodeling the store. Josh’s father and grandfather are home builders and Josh is skilled in the building trades, He is also a licensed home inspector.
The shop opened for business on Nov. 30 and Josh is very pleased with how it is doing. They maintain a very active Facebook page, letting customers know what ammo has arrived, specific guns they are offering for sale, and sales they are offering. Visit https://www.facebook.com/Northwoods-Shooters-Shop-102832395018139 to see all the great information.
In a year when many businesses are ailing, he is fortunate to be in a booming business. He recalls when the popularity of the gun business exploded as it related to the pandemic beginning in March. “Once the … hoarding thing started … it became guns. In March, April, and May, the West Allis store was so full that we didn’t even know what to do with ourselves … I was selling 11 guns at the same time … It was madness!”
Josh said eventually things had started to settle down for a bit and then the rioting began that launched another run on gun buying. From a period of March through June, 8.7 million guns were sold in America.
“Americans, just after those few months, were the most armed they have ever been in the history of this country,” Josh reported.
Naturally, following the heavy gun buying, next came the panic buying of ammo. People were buying ammo to have it on hand.”
Naturally, with this frenzy, prices went up and, in some instances, quintupled compared to pre-hoarding costs. The result was the nationwide ammo shortage.
“Ammo manufacturers are so behind that when they do get ammo made, they first must supply their military contracts, and 98% of the manufacturers have military contracts,” Josh described. “Then it goes to the law enforcement agencies, and anything that is leftover can come back out to civilians.”
Josh plans to add a gun range in the future and is currently looking into different structures to fill this need.
In addition to guns and ammo, the Northwoods Shooters Shop sells parts and holsters. There is also a temporary inventory of military surplus such as some clothing, MREs, backpacks, and more.
If you have ever felt uncomfortable going into a gun shop, Josh has made it his mission to make sure no matter what you need, you will feel very welcome. He has guns that fit special needs, such a those designed to accommodate elderly hands.
He also instructs customers on what they need to know about the gun they bought and how to use it safely. “I want my customer service to be almost to the point of being where you don’t know you are in a gun store. So very welcome. We are always here to talk to, also,” he invited his customers.
Customers will also enjoy the benefits of Josh working with his sister store – added availability of inventory and services.
The Northwoods Shooters Shop is at 5230 W STH 70, Eagle River, right next to Eagle River Cabinets. Their phone number is 715-337-2472. For their store hours, please visit their Facebook page, or see the display on the shop’s front door.