United States Navy Veteran Matthew Futtere combined his moniker as a "high-tech redneck" with his passion for archery and bowhunting to create Veteran Innovative Products.
The great outdoors of Texas provides immense value outside of market inputs such as oil and agriculture. The outdoors is a place to connect with yourself, family, friends, and wildlife. Research by the American Psychological Association and Harvard Health show that spending time in nature can sharpen cognition while reducing stress, anxiety, and depression. Outside of the health benefits that come with being outdoors, there is immense economic value as well. The Texas outdoor recreation market has a value-added (GDP) of $31.7 billion, according to the US Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis.
In ensuring the protection of the outdoors and the health and economic benefits that come with it, you will be interested in finding that the most significant contributors to the conservation of the great outdoors are hunters. Historically speaking, two of the greatest conservationists to walk the earth were hunters, Theodore Roosevelt and Aldo Leopold.
According to Texas Parks and Wildlife (TPWD), hunters have contributed over $5.5 billion for conservation in less than 60 years, paying over $372 million a year for conservation. TPWD cites that “hunters do more to aid wildlife than any other group in America” by supporting laws that created conservation stamps and funds to protect and enhance wildlife habitat.
The Fastest Growing Sector in Hunting
One of the fastest-growing sectors within the hunting market is that of bowhunting. Hunting with a bow, and archery in general, are ancient practices that provide a seemingly spiritual experience in the process of sending an arrow into flight. Hunting with a bow offers more of a challenge and a more intimate experience when harvesting an animal. Instead of relying on the energy produced by a controlled explosion of a rifle, the use of a bow relies on the energy produced by the hunter’s pull of the bowstring that transfers energy into the arrow, putting it into flight.
In bowhunting, apart from the body of the arrow, the bow, and the archer's aim, the broadhead is one of the most critical parts of ensuring an ethical harvest. One of the most innovative broadhead lines on the market is Fredericksburg-based Veteran Innovative Products.
A Humble Veteran Entrepreneur
Veteran Innovative Products founder and president Matthew Futtere is a man who would prefer anonymity. Yet, after a profound experience providing a presentation to his local 4H chapter, he realized he is positioned to inspire future entrepreneurs to open their own businesses and solve problems they see in the world, whether in the outdoor industry or another sector.
Matthew Futtere is a self-described, high-tech redneck. He served for seven years in the United States Navy under the Reagan administration, working on nuclear power and electronics. After his service, he moved to the private sector, working on semiconductors and particle accelerators with some of the biggest names in the industry. He retired from this line of work at the age of 36. He later started his consulting firm, which was very successful and led him to Afghanistan to work with the military on their UAV program.
All his professional success aside, he always had a passion for archery and bowhunting. This passion led him to solve a problem he experienced as a consumer within the bowhunting market; the marketing schemes and the lack of performance from the traditional manufacturers of broadheads. After countless hours of research and self-teaching, Mr. Futtere and his wife Cindy started their venture,
Veteran Innovative Products (VIP). Futtere’s company holds multiple patents focusing on the development of innovative, high-quality broadheads, among other things. His innovations are powered by the backbone of his career, energy management.
Broadheads are a specific type of arrowhead used for hunting. These arrowheads utilize sharp, knifelike points that mimic the shape of arrowheads made by Native Americans. There are two main types of broadheads: fixed and mechanical. Fixed are just as you would expect; a fixed blade is shaped like a traditional arrow, whereas mechanical broadheads open when they contact a target, releasing the blades after the flight to ensure accuracy and an ethical harvest. Not to say that fixed blades can’t produce an ethical harvest, but mechanical broadheads fly like a regular field point would as the drag produced is minimal compared to a fixed broadhead.
When it comes to VIP’s products, there is no denying the innovation at play, so much so that VIP’s Combat Veteran broadhead was recognized as one of the top 10 best broadheads for 2021 by Field and Stream.
The other broadheads VIP offers include The Veteran and the Dangerous Game. The Dangerous Game line is the same model as the Veteran and Combat Veteran; however, the Dangerous Game utilizes hardened steel bodies to get their weight up to 175 grains. This broadhead is designed to be used on game such as hippos, crocodiles, Cape buffalo, lions, or leopards in Africa, or brown bears and Grizzly bears in North America. When dealing with dangerous animals, as Mr. Futtere says, “a person cannot have any weakness in such broadheads meant for dangerous animals, or lives can be put in jeopardy in an instant of a failure of the broadhead.” The Dangerous Game is specifically designed to ensure a safe and ethical harvest of big game animals.
Veteran Innovative Products is the epitome of an innovative company in the outdoor recreation market. Furthermore, what’s beautiful about Futtere’s company is that if you ever call them up, he is the one who will take the call. No customer service representatives: you’ll hear directly from the innovator himself.
Mr. Futtere also mentioned he is available to talk about what it takes to develop a new product and create a small business. Matthew Futtere is a rare breed when it comes to being a humble innovator and sharing his experience.
As far as the future of VIP, Mr. Futtere hinted at the release of new branding and products for 2022, which he will unveil at the 2022 Archery Trade Association (ATA) trade show in Kentucky early next year.
Looking for more information?
If you are interested in archery and bowhunting and don’t know where to start, Mr. Futtere recommends visiting your local archery pro shop for professional advice on taking the first steps of getting out into the field with a bow.
For more information on Texas’ archery hunting season, click here.