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About Us

Wayne began an independent concrete business in 1956, but his plans changed with a call to serve a 20-month tour of duty in the Army, including 16 months with peacekeeping forces in Korea. Upon his return, he restarted his concrete business and asked his grade school friend Earl Champagne to join him. This was the beginning of Champagne-Webber, a small concrete business that grew into a national highway construction company which built highways, bridges, and airport runways in several states.​
He was a passionate hunter. His love of nature and hunting took him around the globe. He was dedicated to the preservation and conservation of wildlife and supported the people of the regions he visited. On every journey he helped hundreds of people by constructing freshwater wells and watering holes for wildlife during the dry seasons. Clothing, school supplies, hygiene products, and sports equipment are just few of the items he would bring with him for the children he met along his travels.​

Mr. Webber built an Educational Wildlife Museum that was located in Macomb, Michigan but was not open to the public. He would invite school and community groups in to visit to help education them on wildlife conservation, habits, and animals from around the world. Upon is death, Mr. Webber had one more project that he wanted completed. This was moving that Wildlife Education Museum from his building in Macomb to the new location next to Jay’s Sporting Goods in Clare Michigan. He wanted his legacy to continue in educating many generations to come on wildlife, conservation, and the habits from all the different regions around the world.

In awe of this legacy, he knew that Jay's Sporting Goods, with the same desire as him, would embrace this gift and share it with their community. And so, Jay's expanded their store to include this astonishing exhibit, creating a space where customers can not only shop for their sporting needs but also connect with the wild heart of Michigan.

About Wayne Webber


Wayne Webber was an avid outdoorsman, businessman, and philanthropist. Born on a farm during the Depression era in the northern Michigan community of Thompsonville, Wayne enjoyed exploring the countryside along with his siblings and numerous cousins. Along with a strong work ethic and a gift for building, Wayne developed a love and respect for hunting, fishing, and conservation.

As a young man, he served his country with the U.S. Army in post-war Korea. Upon his return, he resumed the building of a small cement contracting business in Macomb County. The work required long hours of manual labor, however, Wayne often returned to the family property in Thompsonville to visit relatives and pursue his love of outdoor activities.

With the help of a childhood friend, the business grew and eventually became one of the largest concrete road pavers with locations in Michigan and Texas. This success offered Wayne and his wife Joan opportunities to travel to over thirty different countries around the world often seeking many different hunting adventures to fulfill his vision of an educational exhibition of animals showcased in a simulated natural habitat.

As a longtime member of Safari Club International, Wayne participated in the preservation and conservation of animals. Among his commitments was to help build water systems in the desert southwest for desert big horn sheep, desert mule deer, elk, and antelope. Freshwater systems were initiated in various countries of Africa to eliminate bacteria in the water and improve hygiene. Schools in Africa were supplied with necessary items. Wayne helped fund the Anti-Poaching Teams for training and equipment to protect the elephants and the black and white rhinos.

Today The Wayne and Joan Webber Foundation continues to assist hospitals, schools, churches, food pantries, and homeless shelters ensuring Wayne’s legacy of helping those who help others to help themselves.

About Jay Poet


Jay D. Poet was born in 1940 on a farm in Clare County where he learned to hunt and fish. He learned this passion from his family, and it often supplied the main course for their meals. After graduating from high school in Clare in 1959, he went to work at Dow Corning in Midland Michigan. In November of that year, he married his high school sweetheart Arlene Hogue. They had two sons, Jeff, and John Jay. As he worked at Dow Corning, he started selling and trading guns, ammo & related equipment out of the trunk of his car to fellow workers. From there, he turned their single car garage into a small business. Soon he outgrew that space, Jay, and Arlene built an 8,600 square foot building on 5th street in Clare. That proved too small, and they constructed another new 36,000 square foot building at its present location a few miles north of Clare on old 27. This location has seen several additions over the years and expands over 100,000 square feet of the retail operation today. The legacy carried on by the family opened a second location in Gaylord Michigan in 2000 and has seen expansion there as well.

Jay always supported local and state fundraisers generously and was a member of many wildlife organizations that supported wildlife & habitat conservation. Whenever Jay could squeeze time into hunting with the growing demands of his business, he enjoyed going “out west” to hunt and fish.

Jay always took extra time with children when they would come shopping with their parents. He felt strongly to instill the love of hunting and shooting and making sure they were not overlooked in getting the proper gear for their experience. Several of these children became future employees of Jay’s over time and later in life. He sat on several boards helping to promote the shooting sports and all the benefits it provides. The support given by Jay to the conservation organizations has also helped educate all in the benefits of hunting, fishing, and managing wildlife for future generations.

Jay passed away in 1989 from an aggressive cancer. His spirit still lives on in the lives of his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren and the Traditions of Jays. The Tradition that has touched so many lives and makes us all better people. God blessed him in making his dreams come true, and that dream continues today.