Thunder Bay brothers marketing new throat lozenge for hunters

An ill-timed sore throat cost a pair of hunters from Thunder Bay, Ont. a shot at a bull moose, but it's led to a new business venture. Grunts is being marketed as a throat lozenge for hunters.

Grunts lozenge uses natural products from the bush

Lance and Landin McFarlane are the brothers behind Grunts, an all-natural throat lozenge they're marketing to hunters. (Gord Ellis / CBC)

An ill-timed sore throat cost a pair of hunters from Thunder Bay, Ont. a shot at a bull moose, but it's led to a new business venture.

Lance and Landin McFarlane are marketing Grunts, a throat lozenge they say is aimed at hunters, and made up of natural ingredients found in the bush, like balsam fir.

"Coniferous trees such as spruce and balsam and pine, they all have medicinal benefits," Landin McFarlane told CBC Thunder Bay's outdoor columnist Gord Ellis. "Balsam fir just happened to be a great expectorant, and a disinfectant for colds."

The two were bow hunting for moose, Landin McFarlane said, when they caught sight of a mature bull. He started to put out a cow call when a stubborn cold came into play.

"My throat crackled," he said. "I ruined the call and that was the end of that hunt ... that was it, [the moose] was gone."

Ever since then, McFarlane said they pondered why there aren't many cough and cold products for hunters, and set out to change that.

Ingredients like balsam fir, echinacea, eucalyptus and menthol are not only designed to help ward off colds, but also mask a hunter's scent, McFarlane said.
Grunts include ingredients like balsam fir, echinacea, eucalyptus and menthol. (Matt Prokopchuk / CBC)

"The majority of people say it tastes like pine needles," Lance McFarlane said. "That's what we wanted to hit, is something that tasted like something natural and the outdoors."

The two started researching about a year ago how to get their product manufactured, and expose it to a wider market, McFarlane said, adding that it's been a lot of work.

"It took a lot of sacrifice," he said. "We've been working pretty much two full-time jobs between our own jobs and now the job on our business."

"We're pretty happy with the end result," he added. "We think it's a pretty good product and pretty valuable to hunters."

Grunts is currently available at some retailers in Thunder Bay and Kakabeka Falls. The brothers said they ultimately hope to market it on a national scale.

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