Yeager’s, Doing it right for 96 years.
Ira Yeager started selling Evinrude outboard motors out of his garage in 1921. He soon moved to a store in downtown Bellingham and added more fishing and hunting inventory until he outgrew that building. At the urging of his daughter Marianne, he built a new store on the edge of town in 1958 and then doubled it in size a few years later. He ran his business long after most men would have retired but he loved it too much to quit. In 1980 his son-in-law, Frank Uhrig, began buying the business and upon Frank’s death in 2010, Ira’s grandsons now own it.
Yeager’s became the focal point of the hunting and fishing pursuits in northwest Washington and still is today. We specialize in hiring and training experts in local hunting and fishing and in giving our customers the best service possible. We hunt, we fish, we paddle, we camp, we ski, and we keep no secrets. We want our customers to catch fish and bag the quarry they are after and we do all we can to help them do that. We are constantly on the lookout for new ideas and products to enhance our customers’ experience in our store, on the water or in the field.
Our ski and paddle sports shop has become recognized as among the best in the area with highly trained personnel who are active participants in the sports they represent.
With 26,000 square feet of retail space, and membership in a large buying syndicate, Yeager’s is able to offer a very wide selection of merchandise in each represented category and offer very competitive pricing.
Our downstairs toy and housewares departments are favorites among the locals and we are known for our selection of hunting, fishing, and work clothing and footwear.
In today’s world, 96 year old retail stores are rare, but we intend to keep doing it right and are looking forward to our centennial celebration when we hit 100.
Meet John “Westy” Westerfield
John (Westy) Westerfield first came to work at Yeager’s in 1973 as a clerk in the hunting and fishing departments. Within a couple of years he was an assistant store manager and managed the fishing tackle and shoe departments. In 1980, with the blessing of Frank Uhrig the store manager and eventual owner, Westy went on the road for 30 years during which he represented a number of major hunting and fishing companies. At various times he was a sales rep for Lyman, CVA, Colt, Federal Ammunition, Master Fishing Tackle, Les Davis Fishing Tackle, RCBS, Taurus and Glock, eventually becoming a regional manager for Glock running their commercial and Law Enforcement business in the thirteen western state. His final field job was as VP of Sales for Para-Ordnance, a position he held for ten years. Tiring of the road, but still loving the business Westy accepted the position of Store Manager at Yeager’s in November of 2009, in support of the ailing owner, Frank Uhrig and upon Frank’s death in 2010 took up the reins fully. Throughout his career, Westy maintained his love of hunting and fishing and has pursued elk in Washington and Wyoming, Bear in Washington, Antelope in Montana, Geese in Texas and prairie dogs in Wyoming and Montana. An avid waterfowler, he was a member of the Duckbusters Hunting Club for many years in Whatcom County. His love of fishing took him from Washington to Montana, Wyoming, British Columbia, California, and Alaska, in pursuit of trout, salmon and steelhead or whatever was available. His future plans are to stay at Yeager’s at the pleasure of the owners for several more years while continuing to enjoy the great outdoors with his family, especially those seven grandchildren.