McKenzie Sports Products Buys Taxidermy Company from Cabela’s

McKenzie Sports Products LLC, a portfolio company of Gridiron Capital, has acquired Van Dyke’s Taxidermy Inc. from Cabela’s Inc. (NYSE: CAB). No financial terms were disclosed. Van Dyke’s is a Woonsocket, S.D.-based provider of taxidermy products and supplies.


Gridiron Capital, LLC and Cabela’s Inc. (NYSE: CAB) announced today they have closed on the sale of Van Dyke’s Taxidermy, a division of Cabela’s Inc., to McKenzie Sports Products, LLC, a Gridiron portfolio company.

Van Dyke’s Taxidermy is a leading supplier of taxidermy products and supplies and has built a solid reputation of quality, innovation, breadth of product selection and great customer service with individual taxidermists, taxidermy studios and taxidermy schools over its 60 years of operation. Van Dyke’s Taxidermy will continue to operate out of its current manufacturing facility in Woonsocket, South Dakota.

“Van Dyke’s Taxidermy is a great addition to McKenzie,” said Gridiron Capital’s Managing Partner, Tom Burger. “Van Dyke’s has a long-standing reputation for quality products and top-notch customer service in its niche market. We look forward to partnering with Van Dyke’s senior leadership team to improve customer service and grow the industry.”

Van Dyke’s offers more than 14,000 items across a wide array of taxidermy products, tools and supplies and is one of the leading manufacturers of glass eyes in the world. The Company employs an in-house sculptor and contracts with other sculptors to produce many of the foam manikins it sells. Van Dyke’s also produces many of the chemicals used throughout the taxidermy process and maintains on-site wood-working and welding shops. Customers can purchase Van Dyke’s taxidermy products through the catalog and on the brand’s Web site (

“We are thrilled with the opportunity to add a brand such as Van Dyke’s to McKenzie’s business,” said McKenzie’s Chairman, Kevin McKenzie. “We are excited by the opportunity to work with the team at Van Dyke’s and to continue to expand its footprint in the taxidermy market.”

“We have been very proud to have had Van Dyke’s taxidermy business as part of the Cabela’s family for more than a decade,” said Tommy Millner, Chief Executive Officer of Cabela’s. “When the prospect of this sale first came up, we knew McKenzie would be the perfect home for this great company. The opportunities McKenzie brings are exciting for Van Dyke’s loyal employees and customers, as well as for the taxidermy industry as a whole.”

“As it relates to our third-quarter results, we do not expect the cash proceeds from the sale or the resulting gain to have a material impact,” Millner added.

About McKenzie Sports Products, LLC:

McKenzie Sports Products, LLC, headquartered in Granite Quarry, North Carolina, is the premier designer and manufacturer of taxidermy forms and supplies used to mount trophies harvested by hunters and fishermen. Founded in 1973 by experienced taxidermist and hunter Larry McKenzie, the company designs, manufactures, markets and distributes a broad array of anatomically correct taxidermy forms. The taxidermy forms are sold exclusively through the company’s retail catalogue. It also sells additional parts, supplies, accessories and training materials to create one-stop convenience for the taxidermist.

About Gridiron Capital, LLC:

Gridiron Capital, LLC, headquartered in New Canaan, Connecticut, is a private equity firm focused on creating value by acquiring and building middle-market manufacturing, service and specialty consumer companies in the United States and Canada. The firm’s principals have historically achieved superior investment returns by employing a combination of strategic, operating and financial experience to provide portfolio companies with competitive advantages. Gridiron’s principals work closely with management teams to develop strategies for portfolio companies, as well as providing resources to execute business plans and build industry-leading companies. Additional information about Gridiron is available on the firm’s website at

About Cabela’s Inc.:

Cabela’s Incorporated, headquartered in Sidney, Nebraska, is a leading specialty retailer, and the world’s largest direct marketer, of hunting, fishing, camping and related outdoor merchandise. Since the Company’s founding in 1961, Cabela’s® has grown to become one of the most well-known outdoor recreation brands in the world, and has long been recognized as the World’s Foremost Outfitter®. Through Cabela’s growing number of retail stores and its well-established direct business, it offers a wide and distinctive selection of high-quality outdoor products at competitive prices while providing superior customer service. Cabela’s also issues the Cabela’s CLUB® Visa credit card, which serves as its primary customer loyalty rewards program. Cabela’s stock trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “CAB.”