Hunting is a billion dollar business in Mississippi, and Will Primos is the face of it.
Will Primos is the founder of Primos Hunting, America’s top-selling brand of game calls and hunting accessories. For over forty years, hunters around the world have trusted the Primos name, from the award-winning calls to ground blinds, trail cameras, scent control products, and more.
Will’s love of the outdoors and passion for hunting began at an early age, hunting with his father, Kenneth, his uncles and cousins. At age eleven, right after a green timber duck hunt with his uncle Gus, Will crafted his first game call – a single reed duck call that would prove to be the forerunner of millions of Primos game calls to come.
After earning a business degree from Belhaven College, Will went to work in the family’s restaurant and catering business, a Jackson mainstay founded by Will’s grandfather, Angelo “Pop” Primos, an immigrant from Greece. Game calls were still calling Will, however, so in 1976, at age 24, he founded Primos Hunting, a one-man operation based out of his garage. Just one year later, the company had eight full-time employees working long hours to meet the growing customer demand.
Will first ventured into media with an instructional turkey hunting audiotape in 1983, followed by his first video, “Spring Turkey Hunting with Primos,” in 1986. The success of that video led to the Primos TRUTH video series, with annual titles specifically focused on hunting turkey, deer, elk, predators, and waterfowl. The nineties were a decade of rapid growth, beginning with the company’s largest investment to date in new technology and skilled staff in 1990. The Primos brand’s visibility grew further with the 1999 premiere of “Primos TRUTH About Hunting,” a weekly program on the Outdoor Channel that has consistently ranked as one of the most popular hunting shows on TV. Outgrowing its Jackson facility, Primos Hunting broke ground in 2000 on 100,000 square foot office and manufacturing complex in nearby Flora, where the company is based today.
Today, Primos Hunting offers hundreds of different hunting and hunting accessory products, with a team of product developers continuing to create new products each year. The company holds owns a vast portfolio of patents and trademarks both foreign and domestic and employs more than one hundred staff members at its Flora and Brookhaven, Mississippi facilities. Despite the company’s growth, Primos Hunting is still very much the company Will began in his garage back in 1976.
In addition to representing Primos Hunting, Will is an avid conservationist who works with wildlife conservation groups promoting the wise use of wildlife habitat.
Mississippi Top 50 is an annual list of the people who are judged to be the most influential leaders in the state. This bipartisan selection of leaders comes from the ranks of elected and appointed officials, economic development professionals, business, media and government affairs. The awards are sponsored by Entergy Mississippi and Mississippi Farm Bureau and awardees were nominated through an open process. Follow MSTop50 on Twitter @MSTop50 or on Facebook to keep up with news and updates about MSTop50 winners and events.