All posts by Eric Dinger

6 great ways to use Powderhook

Mentored hunts are extremely important to the future of hunting. A mentored hunt simply means someone with experience is teaching someone who doesn’t have as much experience. If you’re passionate about showing new people the ropes, you could create a group for your area that helps to match people. For example, you could create a group called “Lincoln Area Hunting Mentors.” Powderhook will help send new people to your group and from there you can handle all the communication and coordination.

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Reactivating seniors, the forgotten millions

I’ve been an active member of the outdoor industry for about a year and a half. While I’ve hunted and fished my whole life, it wasn’t until I started Powderhook that I began to learn how the industry really worked. In my short time in the industry I’ve come to understand and deeply care about things like the North American Model of Conservation, R3 (Recruitment, Retention and Reactivation), license sales, and access. As I’ve traveled the country learning, meeting new people and discussing the future of the industry we love, I have been involved in dozens of conversations about the need to get people to actually go hunting and fishing. Most of those conversations have centered on the imperative for our industry to activate new people, especially young people.

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For hunters, it’s time to play offense

The anti-hunting movement has overwhelmed the consciousness of the hunting industry. Hunters, hunting land, firearms, and the sporting way of life are under attack politically and socially. Millions of hunt-able acres are shut down in Oregon to protect the spotted owl. Lead ammunition is banned in California. Increasingly legislators, not biologists, are making wildlife management decisions. Professional huntress Melissa Bachman receives threatening messages to this day, over a year removed from the day she posted her now-famous lion photo. A deceptive foe, the Humane Society of the United States, seems to gain momentum even in the face of science, ethics and reason. The negativity and pressure has taken its toll, leaving industry leaders frustrated and searching for answers. A way of life once mandatory to sustain life is now fighting for its own life.

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According to John Frampton, industry veteran and leader of the Council to Advance Hunting and Shooting Sports, “we’ve got to do something drastic or hunting as we know it won’t exist for future generations.”

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Top 10 Reasons You Should Hunt and Fish

I feel lucky to have grown up in a family that values our hunting and fishing heritage. Many of my earliest memories involve hunting with my Dad, Grandpa and Cousins. But, for those who didn’t grow up the way I did, hunting and fishing can be intimidating or maybe even off-putting. While I may never convince you to feel differently about killing an animal, I can offer you these 10 reasons hunting and fishing are about so much more than that. If, after you read them, you decide you want to give it a try, hit me up. It’d be my honor to help you get started.

10) Fish you catch or animals you harvest are the most free range, organic, sustainable food you can eat.

9) No one ever remembers the day they sat on the couch all afternoon.

8) There is so much to love about nature – so many things you can’t see or hear until you let the wild world around you forget you’re there.

7) Your grandpa did it and you love your grandpa.

6) The gear – so much cool gear – and with every new season comes new gear you get to shop for.

5)  Freshly caught walleye and Shore Lunch.

4) You’ll stop getting socks and bad ties for Christmas and start getting Cabela’s or Bass Pro Shops gift cards.

3) It’s one of the best excuses I’ve found to spend quality time with people you care about.

2) Hunters and anglers are financially responsible for the vast majority of conservation efforts in America.

1) Wild animals live in the most beautiful places on earth.

About the Author:

Eric Dinger is the co-founder and CEO of Powderhook.com, a website built to help people hunt and fish more often. With Powderhook you can find spots, plan trips and organize events in an environment built specifically for sportsmen and women.

Powderhook Reviews

Hunters and anglers continue to have success using Powderhook to find access to quality hunting and fishing spots.

“Powderhook’s mission is Access For All. Our staff is dedicated to helping those who hunt and fish,” said David Nelson, Powderhook’s VP of Customer Acquisition. “Our platform makes it easier to find places to go and helps work out the details. In short, this means more people get outside”.

Keith and Kathy Stewart utilized Powderhook for a fly fishing trip in Arkansas. “Powderhook arranged for a great guide for my fishing trip on the White River in Arkansas”, said Mr. Stewart. “He was very informative, professional and had the great patience necessary for dealing with a pretty novice fly fisherman. I caught 15 or more Rainbows on our day together and his fly suggestions worked well for me on following days when I put on the waders and fished near our cabin. I am sure I’ll be using Powderhook to facilitate my next outdoor adventure.”

Powderhook’s map contains millions of acres of public and private hunting and fishing properties across the US. Another user, Ilya Swanson of Rochester, Minn., used Powderhook’s public lands and waters map to find nearby public lakes to fish. Swanson was very pleased that Powderhook created such an effective and user-friendly service for outdoorsmen like himself. “I have been using Powderhook to my advantage for the past four months. My friends asked me where I learned about these lakes, and now most of my fishing buddies are also hooked on it!”

“I don’t have to be an expert in outdoor experiences to use Powderhook,” commented user Blake Lawrence, of Lincoln, Neb. “I found the perfect opportunity that fit my budget, and booked it”, referring to a one-day private land fly fishing access to Nebraska’s Snake River, a trophy trout destination. “Powderhook has the experts, and with them on my side, I feel like I can maximize the value of the platform.”

Dr. Roger Fisher used Powderhook to find a special hunting location in south-central Nebraska. “Well I certainly had a great experience. Everything that I thought might happen, did happen many times over. It has been 30 years since I shot a gun, and on my trip I was able to shoot not one but two wild turkeys. I recommend using Powderhook to anyone looking for the experience of a lifetime”.

Marriage and Startup: Five Things to Get Right

Balancing the demands of a marriage, family and startup can be tough. My wife, Stephanie, has been an integral part of any success we’ve had at Powderhook. She doesn’t have a title, tasks or projects, yet her role is essential. We’ve been in business a little over a year, and our marriage is stronger than ever. This is our second go-around as a startup couple (we sold our first business in 2012), so I thought I’d share some of our experience. Here are five things I believe we’ve gotten right:

1) Starting a business is a family decision. Stephanie was part of deciding to start a business in the first place; she had a lot to say about what type of business, how much we would invest, and how long I could go without a paycheck.

2) We set boundaries. Dinner is at 6:45. I’m there. Once the kids hit the hay I jump back on and get to work. It’s important to us that we get a few minutes to talk every day, so I don’t bring the computer to bed. Both are seemingly little things, but these boundaries help us prioritize in the midst of an otherwise chaotic time.

3) Stephanie knows our team, problem, product, customers, and partners. She’s come with me to trade shows and she’s stayed up late with me testing our product. If starting a business is a family decision, growing one is a family commitment.

4) Grace. Unending grace. Entrepreneurship can be an exhausting, stressful and a downright frustrating experience. Stephanie lets me vent; she senses when I need time to come down from a tough day, and she picks up all my slack around the house. On top of that, she is our family’s breadwinner right now. To do that with a smile takes strength and grace.

5) We make time to be alone. The love language of the spouse of almost every entrepreneur is “time.” Ask a successful businessperson you know about their marriage. Most will tell you they are more proud of their marriage than their business. There is literally nothing that happens at your business that is so important that you can’t focus a few hours a week on your spouse. Plan it, send calendar invites, ritualize it, whatever. Do it.

Eric Dinger is the co-founder and CEO of Powderhook, a startup that helps people hunt and fish more often.