I fell in love with the store as a child when they advertised a kid's day on PBS. I begged and nagged my older brother to take me. After some time of "persistent persuasion," he relented and grabbed his car keys. It was over an hours journey from our house but well worth the drive. I tried a pellet gun and recurve bow for the first time at that event. They also had a small pool filled with trout for youngsters to catch. After one was caught, a man would take a meat cleaver, chop off the head, clean it, put the fillets on ice, and give it to the kid to take home and eat. It was definitely a eye-opening experience that caused me to pass up fish for several weeks afterward. Despite that humorous experience, the store introduced me to the outdoor lifestyle and "hooked" me for life.
On my recent Clare visit, I made sure to revisit them. They have a complete array of goods for sale, competitive prices, and friendly staff. The place has a country, small-town feel that is not as common at a Cabelas or Gander Mountain. I have had good service with the employees from the cash registers to the gun counters. Taking my parents to Jay's for their first time was an enjoyment. Like all first-timers to the store, they were interested in every little thing and had a good time.
I have a great deal of respect for Jay's. The store has been a prominent, Michigan figure for decades. They also have a smaller store in Gaylord, Michigan. It is a perfect stop on the way up to the Mighty Mac or on the return trip to stretch the legs. You can check out their website here and please "like" them on Facebook. If you have been "hunting" for an outfitter, stop by and visit.