Experienced staff helps seasoned and new hunters
Stephen Simank crouched down in a field with his ten-year-old son Kyle. “Let’s keep the wind on our faces, so the deer won’t smell us,” he whispered. They walked, quietly, a little further toward the creek, where they knew a deer could easily wander down for a drink. “See the tall grass lying down? When we shoot, we’ll have to adjust for this strong wind,” Stephen coached. As soon as Kyle spotted the perfect doe, he leveled his rifle and placed his cheek against the stock. Aiming at the exact spot, just as his dad taught him, he harvested his first deer.
GunsPlus owners Kristi and Stephen Simank made sure their three children grew up hunting, teaching them everything that goes along with it—animal behavior, nature, safety, and a little bit of patience. “I would teach the kids, and they watched it happen before our eyes,” Stephen says. For the Simanks, those experiences proved to be invaluable time spent with Dad—not to mention that the hunting trips put some tasty deer sausage in their freezer. And now Kyle, their oldest child, runs GunsPlus.
The Simanks and the staff at GunsPlus offer many years of hunting experience to their customers. “When someone comes in to buy a gun for hunting, it’s more of a consultation,” Stephen says. “We ask what they’re hunting and where they’re hunting, because it makes a difference in the equipment they need.” Some customers know exactly what they want, and GunsPlus can fix them up, too. With a large selection of new and used rifles, shotguns, large-caliber hunting pistols, and optics, GunsPlus is well stocked for the hunting season.
Stephen believes it’s a good idea to be prepared. “We can clean up rifles and shotguns before the season so they’re ready to go. But some guys will take their gun out on the opening day of dove season, then start having trouble with it,” he explains. Last year, the GunsPlus crew stayed up all night to fix guns so hunters could get back to the hunt the next day, instead of having to wait weeks. “That’s what you get when you have hunting enthusiasts behind the counter,” Kristi says with a laugh. “They understand.” Shooting at a gun range before a hunt can also help prepare hunters for the big hunt. “Being proficient with your weapon and understanding how each type of bullet behaves can make all the difference,” Stephen says.
“Guns can hurt you,” Stephen warns, “but respecting them and understanding that they’re always loaded helps to make hunting safe for everyone.” Hunter safety courses are available for kids and new hunters through the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department.
“It’s great that we get to use our hunting experience to help customers,” Stephen says. “When a customer returns to the store and tells us all about their great hunting trip and how they enjoyed the gun we recommended to them, that’s very rewarding.”
For hunting license information, hunting FAQs, planning aids and more, please visit the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department’s website at www.tpwd.state.tx.us.