Don’t get Craig Bell wrong, just because one of the most popular products with his Wyoming customers is a vinyl sticker proclaiming “I Hate People,” that doesn’t mean he actually hates people.
Bell lives in a small Oregon town near the base of the Cascade Mountains, so he’s no stranger to the outdoors. In fact, he’s an avid hunter, angler and shed antler hunter.
However, enjoying those activities to their fullest in his home state has become increasingly difficult. It’s a growing frustration he shares with many in Wyoming.
“I’m religious, and I believe in God and love everybody,” he told Cowboy State Daily. “But whenever I pull up to go into the mountains and the lot at the trailhead is full of cars, I just shake my head and say, ‘I hate people.’”
Oregon appears to be running out of room, he added.
“I don’t care where you go around here, there’s going to be lots of people there,” he said. “My wife is hearing it from me constantly, ‘I hate people.’”
Shed Hunting Mobs Spill Over Into Wyoming
It seems that many in Wyoming share his sentiments when it comes to crowds – and many other things, such as the basic freedom of the outdoors and Second Amendment rights.
Bell has close friends in Wyoming and has been coming here every spring for many years to join them to enjoy our ample shed antler hunting opportunities.
But even in Wyoming’s vast spaces, that’s started to draw large crowds, to the point the Wyoming Legislature is considering a measure to make the first three days of the shed hunting season exclusively for Wyoming residents, in hopes of thing out the mobs.
Even though it would delay his adventures here, Bell said he supports the idea.
Hobby Becomes A Business
A few years ago, Bell started making vinyl stickers as a hobby. They quickly caught on with his Wyoming friends, and mostly through word of mouth, he built a loyal customer base here and in the surrounding region.
The business eventually grew to the point where he can make a living at it.
“It’s what I do now,” he said. “I spend time in the outdoors and I design stickers.”
Working mostly out of his house, he does all of his own graphic design and markets his products mostly though social media, such as his Facebook page.
Bell’s brother owns a vinyl printing machine and helps manufacture the finished products.
“I sell thousands of stickers. Most of my stickers are hunting-based, shed-hunting based or related to guns,” he said.
It’s no accident that a wide streak of Wyoming attitude runs through most of his work.
“My style fits more the Wyoming state of mind,” Bell said, adding that he and his wife hope to move their family here someday.
“Oregon is nice, but I like Wyoming and the state of mind there,” he said.
For one thing, Wyomingites seem to truly appreciate the Second Amendment, and Bell said his gun rights-themed stickers sell briskly in the Cowboy state.
It’s become particularly relevant this year, as Oregon passed more restrictive gun regulations, which Bell said he doesn’t appreciate.
Meanwhile, the Wyoming Legislature is considering bills that would expand gun rights here.
Sasquatch-themed stickers also are customer favorites, he said.
“People in Wyoming seem to have an appreciation for Bigfoot,” he said.
Bell said Cowboy State residents also seem to get the dry, politically-incorrect humor reflected in his art.
“I try to come up with things that people form Wyoming and other like-minded people would want to stick in their car windows,” he said.