- Associated Press - Saturday, March 4, 2017

LANGFORD, S.D. (AP) - Sometimes the best ideas show up in the strangest places. Just ask Jordan Deutsch, who came up with a new camouflage idea while farming.

Three years ago during harvest season, Deutsch was sitting in a tractor cab, grain cart in tow, as he waited for the combine to make its rounds in the cornfield. That’s where the idea to start Fallin’ Fowl Camo was born, the American News (https://bit.ly/2lrbMSA ) reported.

“I was looking at the field and wondered why someone hadn’t come out with a corn or cornfield camo pattern,” he said. “I always felt other camo patterns were too dark and stuck out too much. I love Realtree and Mossy Oak for deer hunting and all that, but some of their newer waterfowl patterns don’t look anything like where we hunt up here, like cornfields.”

Once harvest was complete, Deutsch took the initiative to explore what options were available for an upstart to introduce a corn-themed camo pattern, which he named Killer Korn, to the waterfowl market.

“I checked with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and they told me to submit my ideas with some pictures to get the patent going,” said Deutsch, who is 25 and returned to the Langford area to farm with his extended family after receiving an agriculture degree from Lake Area Tech in Watertown. “We took a bunch of pictures, picked three and a graphic designer from the USPTO meshed them together. Then we tweaked it three or four times from there until we got it where I wanted it and put a patent on it.”

After receiving a patent on the Killer Korn pattern, Deutsch decided to also trademark his Fallin’ Fowl Camo brand name.

“The next step was how to get the actual pattern onto clothing,” he said. “That was the tough part.”

Deutsch said some exhaustive online research finally lead him to Jest Textiles, a New Jersey-based company that offered the printing and design services he’d need to screen the Killer Korn pattern onto material.

“I got in touch with them and sent them the file for my camo,” he said. “They ran a sample, and once I got that back I wanted to tweak it a little bit more.”

He said minor adjustments were necessary, as there were slight differences in color and size from how the pattern’s image looked on a computer screen compared to how it actually printed on clothing. As a result, Deutsch altered the color and scale of his pattern several times prior to settling on a final design.

“As far as scale goes it really depends on the ground, but we averaged out what a corn ear would normally be,” he said. “Some are 7 or 8 inches, and some really big corn is 13 inches. We settled on 9 to 10 inches and went from there, blowing up the husk size so it was lifelike and would mimic what actual corn looks like in a field.”

Through the process, Deutsch said he also came to another important realization.

“There’s corn from North Dakota all the way to Texas, and not all corn is the same,” he said. “Some might have more green in it, while some varieties might be more red. Plus, corn in the fall has a totally different color than it does in spring after it’s been sitting around all winter. I finally had to bite the bullet and settle on a design.”

With the help of Jest Textiles, Deutsch had the Killer Korn camo pattern printed on some pants, hooded sweatshirts and beanies, and the first batches of his product started arriving in November and December.

It’s been a long process for Deutsch, who said the idea for Fallin’ Fowl Camo first took off in January 2014.

“Here it is, three years later, and I finally got it where I want it,” he said. “Now that I have my product, I’m trying to figure out which direction to go. I don’t want to go too far in the direction of selling it myself, but would rather have a licensing deal where companies can put it on whatever they want.”

Deutsch said he’s working on a potential partnership with Heavy Hauler Outdoor Gear, a company from Kingsley, Iowa, that specializes in waterfowl products.

“I’ve actually been working with Heavy Hauler and trying to work out a deal with them,” he said. “They’ve put the pattern on a sample blind, blind bag and gun case, and we’re working out the details. They make the Scheels-brand blinds along with some other products, and that was part of my dream, to invent something and see it in a store like Scheels or Cabela’s.”

For Deutsch, a camo pattern that looks identical to corn fills a vacant need in the waterfowling world. He also believes it could mean less work in the long run for duck and goose hunters who don’t take the time to properly stuff their blinds. Stuffing corn stalks and husks, wheat stubble and other vegetation into a layout blind’s exterior to help it melt into its surroundings is necessary while field hunting, but Deutsch said some hunters fail to do it properly.

“Staying hidden is the key to waterfowl hunting, and I was sick and tired of people not stuffing blinds and ruining the hunt,” he said. “That’s why I came up with the pattern. I wanted something that blended in a lot better, because most of the time we hunt waterfowl in corn.”

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Information from: Aberdeen American News, https://www.aberdeennews.com

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

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