The Southern Sportsman Outlet
Jacksonville’s Premier Retailer for all Things Archery, Firearms & Fishing!
By Terry Newsome
If you are like me, you absolutely LOVE living the “outdoor life” here in beautiful Northeast Florida! We live in the greatest sportsman’s paradise (eco-system) on the earth! Within a 50-mile radius of downtown Jacksonville, you will find one of the MOST DIVERSE hunting, fishing and watersport opportunities on the planet. Hunting for white-tailed deer, turkey, wild hog, duck, waterfowl, dove, quail, (and the list goes on,) is excellent, right here in our own “backyard!” And when it comes to premium inshore saltwater fishing, offshore sport-fishing, surf-fishing, trophy large-mouth bass or quality freshwater fishing, Northeast Florida is famous for some of the BEST coastal angling in the world.
That’s why most of the national “sporting goods chain store” retailers and massive “big-box” stores selling sporting goods have multiple “brick and mortar” retail locations throughout our area. In fact, according to the Outdoor Industry Association’s 2017 Annual Report, national consumer spending on outdoor recreation contributes $887 billion to the U.S. economy, employs 7.6 million Americans. More than $63.1 billion in retail spending can be attributed directly to hunting and fishing, while the two industries employ nearly 483,000 Americans, with salaries and wages of more than $17.8 billion.
YOUR ONE STOP SHOP FOR ALL OUTDOOR EQUIPMENT
National chain “outdoor sporting goods” stores can be good, but many times these “national chain stores” do not have highly-trained employees with the “local knowledge” or specific expertise necessary to provide avid hunters or coastal anglers with the high-level of technical information or product knowledge needed. Is there a solution? Is there a locally owned and operated outlet with a knowledgeable, friendly and experienced staff that will help you find the RIGHT outdoor equipment for your individual needs at affordable prices? You bet there is! It’s called The Southern Sportsman Outlet!
I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am about the grand opening of The Southern Sportsman Outlet slated for August 2018! Whether it’s premium archery equipment, firearms, hunting or fishing equipment, this “one stop shop” has it all! I recently had the privilege of interviewing Mr. Bill Gilliam, Founder and Owner of The Southern Sportsman Outlet. “We are a family owned and operated business dedicated to serving our community by offering premium quality products and world-class service to our customers,” Bill proudly proclaims, “and we are excited about our grand opening in August. I am extremely proud of our General Manager, Tyler Gilliam, who carefully planned and organized our amazing grand opening event with a multitude of activities and special promotions. We will have a ton of ‘giveaways’ during the event and an outdoor 3-D shooting range. We will also open our new 20 yard 8-lane air conditioned indoor archery range and a separate (13’ by 45’) club meeting/seminar room and also doubles as a teaching range during the event as well. Additionally, Tyler and his staff will feature several prominent fishing charter captains during the event. There will be something for the entire family to enjoy during the event, especially for children.”
I was extremely impressed with Bill Gilliam’s genuine commitment to create a legacy for future generations of hunters and fishermen. “As a youth, I loved the outdoors and by the time I was 12 years old, my parents were already enrolling me to attend youth camps with basic hunting and fishing activities to help develop my understanding of safety, conservation and protecting our natural resources,” Bill explains, “and my family and I are dedicated to supporting ongoing Youth Conservation Programs through The Southern Sportsman Outlet.”
ARCHERY EQUIPMENTAND CUSTOMIZED SERVICE
“As a Prime, Hoyt, Obsession and Bear Authorized Dealer, we have one of the largest selections of new and used bows in the Jacksonville area,” says Bill, “and we also have a large selection of archery accessories, arrows and broad heads to meet all archery needs of our customers. Our talented Archery Technician and Manager is Nino Lazo. He has an extensive background in bow tuning and fitting. He is truly an expert and can custom fit and tune any bow to precision. All new bow purchases come with a FREE tuning for one year.” According to the company’s website, The Southern Sportsman also offers custom bow strings using handmade BCYX material and served with BCY Halo (guaranteed not to allow peep rotation or creep.) Custom bow strings are available in array of colors to add that custom touch to your bow. Installation and tuning are free with the purchase of custom strings.
FIREARMS AND FISHING EQUIPMENT
“Jarin Cobb runs our firearms department,” Bill explains, “and he does a great job! Jarin takes into account the actual needs of our customers that are otherwise neglected by most firearms dealers and national chain store retailers. Our carefully selected and trained staff is composed of veterans and former law enforcement officers who possess the knowledge and experience that will actually help you find the right equipment for your individual firearm needs at an affordable price.”
One of the things that I like the most about The Southern Sportsman Outlet is that the company’s fishing department focuses on the needs of inshore fisherman. “We have a fantastic selection of inshore rods, reels, tackle, braided (and monofilament) fishing line and a ton of fishing lures,” Bill proudly explains, “so if someone likes to catch Redfish, Trout, Flounder to Black Drum and Sheepshead, we have all the equipment needed to have a successful day on the water! We also spool reels for our customers (if line is provided) for a small fee or if line is purchased in bulk from us, we will spool it for free.”
All of us here at Coastal Angler Magazine wish Bill Gilliam and his talented staff, all the best and a successful grand opening this month! The Southern Sportsman Outlet is located at 8324 Arlington Expressway, Jacksonville, FL 32211. For more details about the grand opening in August 2018, call (904) 903-2745 or visit www.mysouthernsportsman.comfor specific dates and hours of operation.
With over 25 years of corporate experience as a writer, director and producer, Terry Newsome has personally filmed and produced over 100 outdoor television shows and instructional fishing videos internationally. He is an avid coastal angler and is a former co-owner of Pine Island Fish Camp on the Intracoastal Waterway just north of St. Augustine, Florida.