NWTF generates brand and product awareness with co-branded blind/chair giveaway

The National Wild Turkey Federation has ran several social media giveaways (Contests) over the last year, all with similar success. Their focus is to highlight co-branded product from their partners and generate awareness for NWTF and its sponsors. By running these contests throughout the year, they hope to engage with their audience as well as add potential members/customers to their email list and re-target the entrants for memberships and sales in the future.

The latest contest they ran was for a Thicket blind and Striker blind chair co-branded from ALPS Outdoorz. Total retail value for the package is around $250. The contest began on September 14 and ran until October 6.

Contest Analysis:

  • 436 organic entries from users
  • 1419 total entries
  • Extra entries from users following ALPS Outdoorz and NWTF on several social media channels
  • Total retail cost: $250
  • Cost per organic entry/email address: $0.57

To reach this number of users, the contest was shared through Powderhook’s weekly newsletter, Powderhook’s social media channels (including the Powderhook app), NWTF’s social media, as well as ALPS Outdoorz social media.

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Cabelas Hits the Timing Just Right with a Giveaway of their Getaway 4-Person Dome Tent

Cabelas does a fantastic job in engaging their audience with a Powderhook PRO Contest campaign that runs usually once a month.  Consistency is key in building an email list for a newsletter or re-targeting campaign to drive future sales. For this contest, they hoped to time their audience’s desire to go camping with a giveaway of their Getaway 4-person Dome Tent, as well as add potential members/customers to their email list and re-target the entrants for sales in the future. This contest also helped to raise product awareness for their entire line of camping gear. Cabelas excels at directing new email entrants to specific landing pages designed to draw potential customers farther into their funnel. All entrants to contests like this will quickly receive special offers and email links to landing pages that may fit their interests.

The retail value for the Cabelas Getaway 4-Person Dome Tent package was $149.99. The contest began on June 15, 2017 and ran until July 19 2017, right in the heart of camping season, which really speaks to the success of this contest.Contest Analysis:

  • 600 organic entries from users
  • 1283 total entries
  • Extra entries from users following Cabelas on Twitter, Liking Cabelas on Facebook, and visiting Cabelas’ custom camping landing page
  • Total retail cost: $149.99
  • Cost per organic entry/email address: $0.25 (at retail dollars)

To reach this number of users, the contest was shared through Powderhook’s weekly newsletter, Powderhook’s social media channels (including the Powderhook app), and Cabelas social media and current customer base.

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On Winning a SHIFT Award

On Friday night, Powderhook was awarded the 2017 SHIFT Award for Technology. It’s exciting to be recognized, and knowing what our team has gone through to deliver said technology, I think this award is something to be proud of.

SHIFT is a festival (conference) filled with conservation-minded thinkers and doers. While attending, I learned a lot, and I thought I’d use this opportunity to share some of the more prescient tidbits with you.

  1. The outdoor industry has what appears to be two completely separate “sides.” To put it bluntly, there seems to be the politically progressive version of conservation, led by brands like Patagonia and organizations like the Sierra Club, and the politically conservative version of conservation, led by brands like Bass Pro Shops and organizations like the National Wild Turkey Federation. If my observation is true, I can’t even begin to describe to you how big of a waste this is. The SHIFT Festival was dominated by progressive-leaning people and organizations. That they chose Powderhook as an honoree tells me there is at least some appetite to work together more closely.

    The author participates in a panel discussing growing hunting among urban-dwelling participants.
  2. The two sides use almost the same language and want many of the same things. Common ground topics include our love of public land, our desire for healthy ecosystems, our need for clean air and water, and our enjoyment of and desire to conserve wild places for wild animals. Political hot-button topics such as climate change, global warming, herd management (population control), and guns rights divide us in avoidable ways. Can’t we stop focusing on these big political issues and start talking more about the stuff we can individually do something about? Conservation’s message is most compelling when it affects the places people recreate. Let’s start bridging the gap by focusing on local parks, green spaces, access programs, habitat projects, and experience-driven events.
  3. Progressive-leaning conservationists need to consider helping create an excise tax on the gear they use, like the conservative-leaning organizations helped create in the Pittman-Robertson and Dingell-Johnson Acts. They need to find ways to fund local work without having to win ballot initiatives, and without relying on massive donors. And, they need to consider hunting and fishing access foundational to their view of a successful conservation project.
  4. Conservative-leaning conservation groups need to learn from progressive-leaning groups in how they include new people and ideas, value change, attract stakeholders in urban areas, and strategically diversify their constituencies. And, boy, could we learn how to tell our story from these groups. The new economy is about gaining and keeping people’s attention – to do that we need to connect with people on a more emotional, less “science-and-numbers-driven” story arc.
Former National Parks Director, Jon Jarvis, presenting his keynote “A Unified Vision for Conservation” at the SHIFT Festival in Jackson Hole, Wy.

The above slide was taken from a SHIFT keynote given by Jon Jarvis, former Director of the National Park Service. His presentation was entitled, “A Unified Vision for Conservation.” Mr. Jarvis has started an institute to teach his vision at the University of California at Berkeley. Do you notice what’s missing? I did, and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since. Organizations and professionals from the fish and wildlife community, along with recreational users (hunters/anglers/hikers/climbers/campers, etc.) have a massive influence on conservation, yet they were nowhere to be found in this presentation. He called their absence, “an oversight.” Maybe that’s what it was, but this slide clearly says to me that conservative-leaning conservation organizations badly need to exit their echo chamber and get busy building bridges.

Photo credits: Powderhook

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Tackling SHIFT

I was the new guy… the one in the orange hat. For the first time in awhile, I knew almost no one walking into a conference the size of SHIFT.

SHIFT is an annual gathering of conservation-minded leaders from around the country. They gather in Jackson, Wyoming each year to tackle tough issues. In ways I’ve never been part of before in the outdoor industry, they work to build bridges across political and ideological lines – though it helps that the topic of this year’s SHIFT was Preserving our Public Lands, an issue that unites nearly every conservationist.

There are around 350 people here, and on the surface, you could draw the conclusion that many are “anti-hunting” or at a minimum, “hunting agnostic.” But, time and time again we’ve had great conversations about the role hunting plays in conservation. We’ve discussed what it really means to be a hunter, we’ve spoken about the threats a declining hunting population poses to the source of many of their budgets. I’ve explained the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation at least a dozen times to people who make their living in conservation. Almost every conservation has been concluded with positive takeaways.

Representatives from Sitka, First Lite, Patagonia, and REI are pictured here on the same stage talking about conservation advocacy from a brand perspective. Despite being very different, the need to protect public lands unites these brands. SHIFT leadership seems to have gone out of their way all week to introduce hunting, talk about hunting, feature hunting, and show the hunting community they’re welcome.

There is very little camo here, and perhaps because of that, some really cool things happened. Here are some examples.

Upon my arrival, I sat with two women from Boulder, Colorado who described themselves as “not-anti-hunting, but definitely not hunters.” They asked questions. “Does the NRA represent all hunters? Do hunters realize the image they’re portraying to people like us when they brag about the size of the deer they shoot? I hear hunters care about conservation, but I totally don’t get how that can be true.”

Later on the first day, I was at a table discussion with a woman whom I think would consider herself “anti-hunting.” She voluntarily takes Hispanic families in the Pacific Northwest on outdoor adventures. And, she recently took a job with the Sierra Club. I came away thinking she was brilliant. She articulately shared her concerns, and we concluded that her perceptions of hunting and her concerns about hunting aren’t incorrect, but that perhaps they fall short of the whole story. Like nearly everyone I spoke with this week, I found her open-minded and willing to have a real conversation. I didn’t get the impression she’d ever personally become a hunter, but I absolutely believe she thinks of hunting differently than she did when she arrived in Jackson.

A man who works for the Wilderness Society went out of his way on a couple occasions to seek out a conversation with me. He was eager to tell me the Wilderness Society is absolutely inclusive of hunters. Though he doesn’t hunt, he wanted me to know that he feels his organization does important work that hunters don’t know about or give them credit for.

I heard an elk hunting story –  a real, not-everything-goes-as-planned, pull-no-punches hunting story from a woman leading a new woman’s hunting organization from the National Wildlife Federation, called Artemis. It brought me to tears because I could relate, and it made me so happy SHIFT included her story in their event. For some of the over 150+ people in the room, I imagined it to be one of the first authentic hunting stories they’d ever listened to. There was some uneasiness as Iooked around, but as the storyteller said, “to a fault, we hunters tend to hide the feeling in our stories.”

I learned that diversity in the outdoor industry is actually a thing. There were brown people here – hunters, campers, hikers, climbers, bikers, and leaders. It was so refreshing to hear their perspective and to enter thoughtful conversations on hard topics with them. A woman from Japan taught us a Japanese gesture of reverence before a meal. It’s pronounced, “Ita-daki-mas” and there are no direct English translations, though it loosely translates to “I’m taking, and I don’t take it for granted.” As she described the word in English she perfectly narrated the way many hunters feel after they shoot a big game animal.

My notes from the conference are as follows:

  • General
    • If we want to grow hunting, people participating in other forms of outdoor recreation are a great place to start. But, they often don’t think about it the way a traditional hunter might.
    • We need to invite people who think differently to attend our hunting industry conferences. There are hundreds of them here. REI has 16 million members… just saying.
    • Individuals inviting people is the only way we’ll create new hunters at scale.
    • A yoga instructor told me hunting was just like yoga for her – meditation and relaxation. Haven’t heard that before…
    • The Emerging Leaders program at SHIFT is something many other organizations and conferences need to think about replicating. They added a lot of energy, good ideas, and unique perspectives.
  • On appealing to urban residents
    • Make them aware they own 640 million acres of public land
    • You gotta invite the family unit
    • Treat urban access, likes parks and ponds like it’s part of nature
    • Hunting dogs are a tremendous tool for appealing to urban youth.
    • Inviting a young person from an urban family to do something once is a waste of money unless you invite their family or someone else who can help them go again
    • Local protein has near-universal appeal
    • You  can’t say you want people of color involved, you have to go to where they’re at with opportunities designed around their lives
    • All 4th-graders in the US Public School System got a free public lands and parks access pass – but I’ve never heard anyone talk about it – this is a great place to start a conversation with the family
    • Many Latino people love the outdoors, but they’re scared to death of the government. Making them enter their social security number to get a license all but prevents them from doing it – a cultural truth for Latino people. Begs the question, why do we need a social security number to get a fishing/hunting license?
    • Food sovereignty is a term I hadn’t heard before – and one that means a lot to lower-income urban residents. It’s the root of things like community gardens – and could be the basis for recruiting more hunters from urban areas
  • On bridging the gap between left and right-leaning conservation organizations
    • Avoid trigger words/phrases like global warming, herd management, long-range shooting, etc.
    • We need to invite people who don’t look and think like us to our conferences.
    • Focus on what makes us similar – love of public lands, clean air and water, wild animals, wild places and most certainly FOOD
    • Ask more questions than you make statements
    • Hunters need to know that what they put on social media informs the opinion of people who don’t hunt and/or don’t like hunting – be thoughtful about what and how you share
    • Many environmentalists I spoke with talked about their respect for how well hunters know the animals they pursue and the land on which they hunt – What do we hunters respect about environmentalists?
      • Many are really tuned into the political issues.
      • Many use emotion in their stories I seldom hear from hunters.
      • Many are intentional about inclusion and diversity.

It was good to see fellow hunting brands like Sitka, First Lite, and Backcountry Hunters and Anglers in attendance. It would be a good thing for that list to grow.

PS – Remember the name, Robbie Bond. He’s 10, and he’s gonna be the face of conservation in this country inside of a year. You heard it here first!

Photo: Courtesy – Jared Frasier – 2% for Conservation

Photo: Courtesy – SHIFT

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Conservation Demands Innovation

Humans are an over-populated, invasive species.

That sounds harsh, but the evidence is overwhelming that man’s consumption is negatively affecting the biosystems of our planet. Our cities lurch into wildlife habitat. We plow up grasslands to plant crops, or we graze them bare to grow protein. Mines, forestry operations, farms, ranches, dams and more are changing the ecology of our planet at a pace plants and animals simply cannot adapt to fast enough.

As conservationists, it’s not good enough to dig our heels in and say we don’t like that this stuff is happening. There’s little to nothing we’re going to do to stop these trends… unless we innovate.

For this reason, I believe conservation-minded people of all types need to take innovations like algae farming seriously. Take a look at this video. Try and set aside any political leanings you might have and listen with a conservationist’s ears.

Progressives and conservatives alike should hear some things that could make sense in a project like that. “One acre of algae farm can produce what 40 acres of traditional agriculture can produce.” I know so scarcely little about algae farming that I’m certainly not in a position to advocate for this specific solution. But, it sounds to me like an innovative way to keep 39 more acres of wildlife habitat.

Sure, we can scoff and say this is a government-backed, global warming, liberal long-shot. But, wild things and wild places don’t care much for human politics. They need conservationists to conserve. To conserve we must innovate. That’s not progressivism, that’s not conservativism, that’s a fact.

Photo: Kaleb White

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The Gun Conversation: A Hunting Company’s Take

By Eric Dinger, founder of Powderhook

Nearly everyone at Powderhook and nearly everyone with whom we work owns a gun. We’re 2nd Amendment supporters and concerned citizens who value life, safety, justice, and freedom. And, we are sad, just like you, about the shootings in Las Vegas, Chicago, Lawrence and throughout the country.

Because our work involves encouraging people to safely own and use guns, lots of people from media to Facebook acquaintances, family, and lifelong friends have asked me for my “take” this week.

Their questions are most often about guns. My question is, ‘Why does this keep happening?’

We have gun laws in this country we struggle to enforce. When we uphold them, we give people overcrowding-shortened sentences at prisons designed to fail. What if, for the sake of having a different kind of conversation, we stop talking about guns long enough to investigate whether there are other, more addressable-by-you-and-me factors at play? What if there is something each of us can and should be doing to slow the growing trend of mass shootings in this country?

The mass shooters I’ve researched have all struck me as isolated, eternally lonely people. And they’re always men – usually white men – which means we gotta discuss why white men are so much more likely than others to commit these crimes.

During a sermon at my church a few Sundays back, I remember distinctly my pastor citing a survey on friendship. When asked by the surveyor how many true friends the respondent has, sadly, the most common answer for an American male was zero. In the study, the term friendship was defined as a trusted person with whom you can openly, reciprocally share feelings. So, late last night, triggered by an article on Medium, I began Googling, and here’s what I found. “Of all people in America, adult, white, heterosexual men have the fewest friends.”

I have close, trusted friends. So I began to ask myself, ‘when do we actually get time to take things beyond the superficial text chain or the two-minute catch-up phone call a couple times a week?’ The answer? Hunting trips. Sure, I’d love to say that hunting trips are the answer, but that’d be self-serving and short-sighted. It’s what happens during those hunting trips that holds an insight. While hunting, we’re away from our daily pressures, we’re in nature, and we’re together for long periods of time. Periods of time that allow for real conversation and connection. In a way, we’re playing. People do all kinds of things with their play-time, but that same Google session turned-up something interesting.  Humans, especially adult American males, don’t play together as much or for as long as they used to. Would you be surprised to find someone makes their living studying play?

According to Dr. Peter Gray, a person who makes his living doing just that, “Over the past half-century, in the United States and other developed nations, children’s free play with other children has declined sharply. Over the same period, anxiety, depression, suicide, feelings of helplessness, and narcissism have increased sharply in children, adolescents, and young adults… The decline in play has contributed to the rise in the psychopathology of young people.”

Would it be too much of a leap to say that lonely people don’t get a chance to build meaningful friendships in adulthood through play?

About 15 years ago I graduated from college and stuck around Lincoln, Nebraska, the place I still live today. I remember clearly what I now describe as an awkward transition phase. In the years following college, most of my friends moved away, and the lifestyles of the friends I had around town began to change from the relatively care-free college days to the family and career phase. Like it was yesterday, I remember the first few weekends where no one called to make or hear about my plans on a Friday night. I felt isolated, and I feared I had done something wrong, or worse if something about me made no one care to hang out (play) anymore. I felt shame.

In time, I made new friends, and old friends moved back, but I’ll never forget that isolated, lonely feeling. Could the long-term effects of this feeling be causing the form of “mental illness” we so often hear about following these shootings? Is it possible that white, American males who feel isolated and lonely — who have no one to talk to about their feelings — who live in a culture that values male machismo — who don’t get time away from their stress — feel deep, dead-inside shame? Could it be that long-term, dead-inside shame is at the heart of the problem?

If so, can we talk about what each of us can do about it?

Photo: Christopher Burns

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An Open Letter to Hunters

Fellow Hunters,

It’s never been more clear that now is the time to act. The hunter numbers are in, and they’re not good.  Preliminary findings of U.S. Fish and Wildlife’s National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation indicate a 5-year fall-off of over 2 million hunters. Since 1980, hunter numbers have fallen from nearly 18 million to the current count of 10.5 million. The preliminary findings are summarized well here. The future of conservation in this country relies heavily on our collective ability to reverse a devastating trend in hunter participation.

But what can we do about it? Continue reading An Open Letter to Hunters

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QDMA Releases Improved 2017 Deer Tracker App

ATHENS, GA (September 7, 2017) – The Quality Deer Management Association (QDMA) is pleased to announce its newly improved 2017 Deer Tracker app. The app is available completely free of charge on both Android and Apple devices thanks to sponsorship by leading deer hunting brands, including Fusion Ammunition, Cabela’s, QDMA, and Powderhook.

Users of QDMA’s Deer Tracker app will find a variety of features focused on getting the information they need to have a better day in the field, including reports of deer activity in their area, public land maps, harvest reports, and more. Additionally, hunters can now estimate the score of deer in photos, receive push notifications for areas they might hunt, and view trends on an interactive heat map. Continue reading QDMA Releases Improved 2017 Deer Tracker App

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Nerds and Retailers

CABELA’S PARTNERS WITH POWDERHOOK ON INNOVATIVE RETAIL EXPERIENCE

When nerds and retailers come together, customers win.

Two Nebraska-based outdoor companies have come together on an innovative in-store experience coined “Digital Trailheads,” a new tool designed to help customers find local resources and experience the outdoors like never before. Digital Trailheads feature intense 360-degree “virtual reality” content showcasing Cabela’s Ambassadors pushing products to their limit, along with maps and local resources designed to help customers find places to go. The project will be unveiled at the grand opening of Cabela’s El Paso, TX, and Albuquerque, NM store locations in mid-September.

Continue reading Nerds and Retailers

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Improvise, Adapt & Overcome

By Clint Lindemann – www.safe-shoot.com

Bio:

I was born and raised on a farm in North Dakota. When I was 15 years old I was in a hunting accident that left me paralyzed. I am a C4-5 quadriplegic. I graduated from North Dakota State University in 2002. Started hunting again when I was 19. I have a crossbow mount and a rifle/shotgun mount that can be attached to my electric wheelchair. I also fish with an electric reel that can be mounted to my chair. I am president of my local wildlife club, active in summer baseball program and write as much as possible about my activities. Hoping some of my ideas can help others get out and enjoy the outdoors.

Blog:

Sad to say, in every hunting season, in every state there are always hunting accidents that involve shooting of another in a hunting party. I know this all too well, I am one of the statistics. On December 28, 1994 my life would change forever after my own hunting accident.

During Christmas break of that year we had wrestling practice once a day, usually in the mornings and after that a couple buddies and I would go trudging through the snow looking for deer with our bows.  Northeast of my hometown in the “Hartford Valley” there was always a big group of deer that wintered there.  We would spend hours pushing deer back and forth but no one ever got a real good shot at any deer. Continue reading Improvise, Adapt & Overcome

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Outdoor recruitment, retention, reactivation and access from the creators of Powderhook.com