Habit founder Dick Mahan could not have had a better introduction to the outdoors. The son of a U.S. Forest Ranger, Dick grew up on an ranger station among the clear mountain streams and hardwood timberlands of the Ozark-St. Francis Natural Forests, a 1.2 million acre-tract that blankets Arkansas’s two mountain ranges. As a boy, he learned quintessential outdoor skills from his grandfather, “one of those old-timers,” who trapped fur to sell and hunted and fished to eat.
It was an idyllic upbringing, hunting and fishing before and after school, and forming friendships with like-minded kids who were blessed to be living amid such natural beauty. His formative years were spent along and around the Buffalo River country, prior to it being designated our country’s first National River.
Meeting Sam Walton
After graduating from the University of Arkansas with a zoology/wildlife management degree, Dick had planned to work in Alaska, which he fell in love with while working there in the summer during college. Dick's life took a change in course when he met Walmart founder Sam Walton. Mr. Sam convinced Dick to join Walmart management team when the company was a smaller retailer with 14 stores. Dick stayed with Walmart for 22 years, becoming vice president of the Sporting Goods Division and then founding and becoming president of a special division of Walmart named AIDCO, which specialized in Asia sourcing.
Hunting Gear Created from Personal Experiences
From the beginning, Dick always knew he would pursue other business interests with outdoor products being at the top of the list. He opened Mahco Outdoors in 1992 and managed to work in numerous trips and safaris to several countries and continents. Dick used his personal experiences in the field to develop and create a line of hunting apparel. Out of this grew the Habit brand and line of products.
Dick still gets outdoors whenever he can, spending time hunting, fishing, canoeing, working some, and traveling to find his next outdoor adventure.