BARNSDALL — The proprietor of Lonewolf Outdoors offers customers the familiarity with hunting and fishing equipment that comes from having spent much of his boyhood in the outdoors, along with the expert knowledge of firearms and ammunition he gained in three decades of military service.
Brian Creason (pronounced crease-on) served 30 years in the U.S. Army, including deployments to Afghanistan, Iraq, Panama, Bosnia and Kuwait. He visited more than 40 countries overall. He started his business in Lawton, Okla., before retiring from the Army, and after retiring in the fall of 2016, he decided to move the business to Barnsdall.
“I knew I wanted to do it after I retired, so I had it going before I retired,” Creason said. A native of the Mounds area, where his father owned 60 acres, he generally grabbed a rifle or pistol and headed to the woods when he was looking for something to do as a kid.
Creason explains that the proximity of numerous U.S. Army Corps of Engineers lakes to Barnsdall made the town an attractive place for him to move. His shop is at 117 North Fifth Street in an old newspaper office. His hours are usually 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, but he puts up a sign on the glass if he’s going to be away during what are usually business hours. He lives just across the street from the business and is frequently available after hours if you give him a call at 918-847-3218.
Creason sells live bait, which is delivered to him every Thursday. He also sells fishing equipment that he gets from Big Rock Sports, a distributor in Minnesota. He explains that many distributors of fishing gear are only interested in large-volume sales, but Big Rock is willing to sell to smaller-volume businesses like Lonewolf Outdoors.
“The smell attracts a lot of flies,” Creason says, as he smacks another fly with his handy fly swatter. He talked about the importance of cleanliness in managing bait supplies and stressed that his prices are very competitive. His bait offerings include shiners, big fat Canadian nightcrawlers and more. His main problem during the spring was the flooding in northeast Oklahoma and the aftermath of the storms.
“I’ve lost more minnows than I’ve sold because the lakes have been closed,” Creason said, adding he hopes it starts to dry up some.
Creason said he thought his firearms sales in the Barnsdall area would probably include a lot of hunting-oriented guns, but he has ended up selling mostly tactical rifles and pistols. In this product area, as well, he says his prices are highly competitive.
“I can even beat Academy’s prices on ARs,” he said. Creason said about the only time that large-volume firearms sellers beat him on price is when they intentionally run cut-rate sales that involve them taking a loss he can’t afford to take.
What Creason brings to the sales counter that most people don’t is numerous years of military experience as a small-arms repairman. While he does not do gunsmithing at Lonewolf, Creason is able to expertly evaluate guns for quality and evaluate them for potential trades.
In addition to guns, for which he is able to turn to a wide range of wholesalers, Creason sells ammunition — both for weapons he sells and for weapons his customers already own.
“I’ve never been unable to get .22 ammunition,” he said.
Lonewolf Outdoors has a layaway arrangement available. Creason also charges just $15 when he receives a firearm for someone and helps them with the paperwork and background check.
Other services he offers include sharpening blades of various types — axes, lawnmower blades, broadheads and swords. He doesn’t sell hunting licenses but has a computer set aside that customers can use to pay for licenses.
Lonewolf offers military and law enforcement discounts — for law enforcement, 10% off anything officers use in the line of duty; for military with proper ID, 10% off anything including minnows and worms.
Creason also has BB and pellet guns for youngsters, as well as BBs and pellets to go in them.