While hiking several years ago David Merrill spotted a hunter’s dream.

“There was a nice big bull elk on the trail,” the Riverton resident said.

He reached behind for the bow strapped to his backpack, but it didn’t detach easily.

“By the time we got it sorted out my dream had vanished,” he told a small audience at the Center for the Arts a few weeks ago.

That snafu spurred him to invent the Bow Spider, a device that lets hunters comfortably carry their bow but have it in hand in an instant.

Merrill, who calls his hunting accessories business RAD Innovations, talked about the Bow Spider during presentations by students in the most recent session of the Start Up Intensive, an entrepreneurship course offered by Silicon Couloir and Central Wyoming College (see box below).

“If you can scratch the back of your head you can grab this bow and pull,” Merrill said. “You’re going to be able to manage your bow very quickly and efficiently and get it when you need it.”

The Bow Spider, he said, works with any backpack and any bow whether the hunter is on horseback or foot.

Counting Merrill and his classmates, nearly 130 business and nonprofit principals have gone through the Start Up Intensive over six years.

Most of Merrill’s classmates also gave presentations at the Center for the Arts, as is the custom at the end of each Start Up Intensive. Their ideas ranged from artsy trucker hats to construction and job placement businesses to spiritual and horseback riding nonprofits and women’s retreats.

Monday’s Chance Meeting at the Rose will feature Start Up Intensive presentations. The free networking event starts at 5 p.m.

Contact Jennifer Dorsey at jennifer@jhnewsandguide.com or 732-5908.

Jennifer Dorsey is chief copy editor and Business section coordinator. She worked in Washington, D.C., and Chicago before moving to the Tetons.

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