Deer stand maker seeking start-up cash

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 14, 2000

FERRIDAY, La. — A local company that has renovated and located equipment in a former dog food plant in Ferriday needs $500,000 in startup money to start manufacturing deer stands for the disabled.

&uot;We’re all ready except for that,&uot;&160;said Larry Chauvin who, along with Elwine Smith and Buck Denny, is a partner in the company, Wright Manufacturing. &uot;We’re looking at all our funding options.&uot;

He said he has talked with officials from the Macon Ridge Economic Development Region about the possibility of getting a grant, especially since the facility hopes to hire employees with disabilities. The partners have already invested $100,000 and clean months of cleanup and renovations in the building, he said. Chauvin’s spoke after a Ferriday Rotary Club meeting in which he discussed the deer stand venture as well as an RV park that he and partner Cappy Stahlman are building on the riverfront in Vidalia.

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Smith invented the deer stands, which feature a battery-powered lift chair for hunters who cannot climb trees otherwise, after a disabled man contacted him with the idea one and a half years ago, Chauvin told Rotarians Thursday.

An estimated 1.7 million National Rifle Association members have disabilities that do not allow them to use conventional deer stands — &uot;a bigger market that we realized at first,&uot; Chauvin said.

And Wright Manufacturing is already branching out into our markets. Pastors from Ferriday and Winnsboro recently approached the company’s partners about building lift chairs for church members who can’t get around as well as they once did.

Meanwhile, the Riverfront RV Park should be completely operational by October’s Great Mississippi River Balloon Race, Stahlman said.