Category Archives: Access

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

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

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

Powderhook Events API Now Available

 

Powderhook PRO users can now implement the Powderhook Event API, a first of its kind, nationwide, outdoor event dataset.

R3 (recruitment, retention, and reactivation) has become a hot topic in the outdoor industry. And while events play a significant role in the adoption sequence, it’s not often that outdoor events are visible in places new people think to look. According to Powderhook CEO, Eric Dinger, the Events API is a step toward solving this problem. “Fundraising banquets, family fishing nights, and countless other types of events are great ways to recruit, retain, and reactivate hunters, anglers, and recreational shooters. But in order for events to reach their potential as an R3 tool, we have to get outdoor events into the mix of other things people can do with their time. Through this API the outdoor industry is now able to list their events alongside things like concerts, plays, sports tournaments, and other options. And, because of its open architecture, any brand, fish and wildlife agency, or organization can begin promoting all the events in their area, rather than just their own.”

In total, over 9,000 hunting, shooting, fishing, and conservation events are accessible via the API. Event hosts include major NGOs, such as Ducks Unlimited and National Wild Turkey Federation, state agencies, and businesses. New events are added every day via integrations with our partners, scrapers, and APIs. Once the API is implemented, no additional development time or support resources are required to keep it up-to-date.

There are many uses for the Powderhook API:

Web developers can implement a calendar containing events from hundreds of sources.

State agencies can map all the events happening in their state as part of their R3 effort.

Businesses can create a calendar of events happening near their location(s).

Non-government organizations can aid their members in finding other things to do in their local area.

More information is available here: https://powderhook.com/events-landing

To view the events on our map simply navigate to: https://www.powderhook.com/map

Next up we’ll announce a fully self-contained calendar widget, giving our partners the ease of configuring/copying/pasting our events calendar into their website.

Please email us with questions.

The Question That Will Save Hunting

It’s been well documented hunting license buyers are declining as a percentage of the US population. Beginning around age 65, license sales begin to plummet drastically, as hunters begin to have physical, financial, geographic, or other limitations. While the overall decline in total licenses sold has been very slow, the largest cohort of hunters, the Baby Boomers, are nearing the proverbial license buying “cliff.” Alarmingly, the cohort of Millennials who must replace them appears to be significantly smaller. Analyzing the data in the video below can lead one to some grim conclusions for our North American Model of Wildlife Conservation.

Video and Data Credit: Dr. Loren Chase, Arizona Game and Fish

 

Hundreds of entities including businesses, organizations, and agencies, as well as individuals in positions of leadership in the hunting industry have turned their focus to this very real threat. But can their concerted efforts do enough, fast enough?  No one knows, but what we do know is our industry needs the help of the individual sportsman and woman.

The one sure way we can change is to engage people at the local level in affecting this trend in their own lives. No single program, no marketing campaign, no app, or website can do what the readers of this story can do by stepping up and getting involved. It’s up to us as individual sportsmen and women to do the work.

So, here’s the big question: Do more people hunt because of you, or do fewer people hunt because of you? If everyone you hunt with, and everyone they hunt with could answer “more,” we will secure our collective hunting heritage long into the future.

Let’s start asking.

Be the Change. Become a Digital Mentor

It’s been said you’re either a part of the problem or you’re part of the solution.

Do you love the outdoors? Are you willing to spend 2-3 minutes per week ensuring your way of life lives on into the next generation? If so, you’re the person we’re looking for to become our next Digital Mentor.

We get it. Mentoring can be tough. Life is busy; there are so many demands on your time.

But, why should you care about spending a couple minutes a week passing on our outdoor traditions? Why spend the time helping new people?

The math is clear. Each year that passes the average hunter ages nearly 10 months. Today the average license buyer is about 42 years old. By the age of 68, license purchases fall to nearly zero. At the present pace, we’re only one generation from participation in the outdoors reaching alarmingly low levels. But, it doesn’t have to be that way.

Digital Mentoring via the free Powderhook app, made possible through a partnership with Cabela’s and Pass it On – Outdoor mentors, is one way we can work together make the kind of change we need. Only you, the individual outdoorsman, have the ability to make it happen. No agency program, no event planned by an organization, and no ad campaign from a company can do what you can do with just a couple minutes a week.

Only you can change this trend. Will you join us?

Join the movement. Get the app and get to work. Visit www.powderhook.com today.

Powderhook and Pass It On – Outdoor Mentors Release Digital Mentoring App

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Contact:
Eric Dinger, CEO Powderhook
eric@powderhook.com

Lincoln, NE-  Powderhook and Pass It On – Outdoor Mentors announced today the release of a revolutionary Digital Mentoring program delivered via the Powderhook app. The app functionality will provide hunters and anglers with ready access to Digital Mentors in their area. Digital Mentors who use the app provide advice and tips, making it easier for new people to begin, and helping people of all experience levels enjoy better days outdoors. Funding for the development of the program was provided by Cabela’s Outdoor Fund. Continue reading Powderhook and Pass It On – Outdoor Mentors Release Digital Mentoring App

Collective Impact: Answers for the Outdoor Industry

Ever heard of the shooting game “knockout?” The game is pretty simple. A clay target is thrown with the first shooter in a line getting the first chance to shoot it. If that person misses, the next shooter has a chance to “knock them out” by breaking the target. With each miss another shooter gets a chance to break the target, until finally the target hits the ground. If everyone misses, no one gets knocked out. The winner is the person who successfully knocks out their competition by shooting the targets missed by those before them. It’s a fun, simple way to pass some time on the range – and potentially make a few bucks, if you’re the best shot in your bunch. In many ways knockout resembles the approach we humans take to solving big, important problems.

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Continue reading Collective Impact: Answers for the Outdoor Industry

The Millennial Generation Outdoor Industry Insights and Opportunities

IMG_7563Millennials – the rumored “low-hanging fruit” and “target audience” for your next program or marketing effort. We all know we need to attract Millennials, but the tricky question is how can we do so successfully? This was the question posed to the presenters of the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies’ (AFWA) Conservation Education Strategy webinar series. Eric Dinger, co-founder and CEO of Powderhook, and Samantha Pedder, Manager of Outreach and Diversity for the National Shooting Sports Foundation,  discussed some key insights into the Millennial generation and answered some questions from the audience. Post questions in the comments section below and Sam or Eric will answer. Here’s what you need to know:

Insights and background

  • Millennials are:
    • ~19-35 years old today (2016)
    • Most educated, biggest spending adult cohort
    • Digital native – connectedness via technology is like a second skin
    • Delaying coming of age: moving out later, getting married later
    • Seeking happiness, celebrating diversity, big fear of missing out
    • More politically independent, less religious, less patriotic
    • Experience driven, ahead of finances and security
    • More optimistic about their future than previous generations
  • Individualism is important, generalizations are too vague
    • A generation of two distinct parts, defined by post-secondary education
    • Used to being treated as if they’re unique
    • Obsessed with perception – run their lives like a unique brand
  • “SO-LO-MO” Social, Local, Mobile
    • Socially connected at all times (Facebook biggest, Instagram favorite, Snapchat fastest growing and most time used)
    • Real influence is specific to location or topic
    • Mobile first every time
  • Social decision makers
    • Family and friends, one-to-one still most important
    • Influenced by subject matter experts with reach (Instagram is huge here)
    • Tribes – easy to find and interact with people who think like me (downside – I only interact with people who think like me)
  • Recreational habits
    • Nature can be “trendy”
    • Shooting more than hunting at first
    • Non-consumptive use simpler to start with than hunting or fishing
    • Paddleboarding, kayak fishing, hiking – all increasing in participation
    • Urbanizing influence is overwhelming
  • Demand and dictate a frictionless customer/user experience
    • Is it simple? Is it easy? Is it rewarding? Is it fun?
    • Licensing, mapping, certification, education, regulations must be or they’re out
    • Make it ever easier to do business with you
  • Speed of adoption
    • Moore’s Law – speeds up tech, tech is omniscient, tech speeds up all change
    • 1 million users: Facebook 10 months, Instagram 2.5, YikYak faster yet
    • Attention spans shorter than ever
  • Impact on the workplace by Millennials
    • Offer a new perspective/take on things
    • Perceive opportunities to reinvent processes using influence of technology
    • Example of Citizen Science with Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation

Opportunities for Interaction

  • Authenticity is key
    • Identify target segments within this generation to engage with
    • Pick the low fruit, not all the fruit
    • Focus your efforts on what you can do well in terms of content, marketing, etc.
  • Things change, but the fundamental concepts won’t
    • Relevant content
    • Two-way conversations
    • Social, local, mobile
  • Meet them where they are, not where you want them
    • Your website is a utility, not their only source of information
    • Start everything mobile first
    • If it is important, they believe it is going to find them
  • Think multi-channel (but do only what you can do well)
    • Is your content portable? Sharable across multiple platforms without people?
    • Videos on YouTube, Facebook and Vine
    • Posts on Twitter, Instagram and YikYak
  • Participate with them
    • Reward millennials with your engagement
    • Play with the new network-of-the-hour – repurpose your content
    • Focus on quality over quantity
  • Mine their habits of thought
    • Don’t cut corners when highlighting novelty and excitement of experiences
    • Empower them to build their own brand (Desire to have influence)
    • Deliver things that makes them feel like they’d be missing out if they missed it
  • Enable others to help you
    • G.U.E.S.T. – Groups, Users, Events, Spots, Trips – aggregated in an open format
      • Groups – what can I be a part (i.e. NWTF Chapter)
      • Users – who can help me (mentors, coaches, instructors)
      • Events – target shooting, hunter ed, etc.
      • Spots – places to go (public land, places to shoot, fish, etc.)
      • Trips – who can take me
    • Open architecture isn’t shared data, it’s shared standards – data.gov
    • You’re the manufacturer, they’re the distributor
  • Embrace diversity
    • Add a millennial as an advisor
    • Actively invite decisions from people who don’t look like you
    • Celebrate differences, they do

Resources

Prepared May 2016 by:

Screen Shot 2016-05-20 at 1.46.04 PM.png

Samantha Pedder

www.nssf.org

spedder@nssf.org

203-426-1320 ext. 286

PH-LOGO-Black.png

Eric Dinger

www.powderhook.com

eric@powderhook.com

402-560-1678

 

Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism Partners with Powderhook to Deliver Hyper-Local Outdoors App to Kansas Residents

Use of the App Unlocks Special Discounts and Offers for Outdoor Pleasures from Major Retailers, Industry Brands and Non-Profit Companies

Today Powderhook is announcing our partnership with the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism today to provide a hyper-local app dedicated to the outdoorsmen and women of Kansas, free of charge. For the first time, Kansas residents and visitors can have real-time access to local information about outdoor events and activities, hunting and fishing opportunities and free topographical maps of Kansas in one convenient app. Helping provide local expertise include representatives from leading national and regional non-profit organizations including the National Wild Turkey Federation, Delta Waterfowl and Pass it On – Outdoor Mentors; major brands including Yamaha, Cabela’s, Bohning Archery and ACTIVE Network; in addition to students and faculty from Kansas State University’s Wildlife and Outdoor Enterprise Management program. The Powderhook app is available for both Android and iOS.

Our app provides users with access to thousands of location-based hunting and fishing events and resources gathered from across Kansas, allowing residents and visitors to take advantage of the many outdoors opportunities available to them. Users can also ask questions via the app to the local Powderhook community who, in turn, provide instant and “in the moment” responses.  

For instance, a fisherman might pose a question about where the fish are biting or what bait is best for fishing on a particular lake. Anonymous local fisherman can answer with exact or general information within seconds, without having to share anything more than they’re comfortable. The app also enables residents and visitors to purchase hunting and fishing licenses via links through the app. Free contour maps for Kansas lands and water, local events and a community of outdoor-loving users enable people, regardless of their experience level, to quickly get the fishing and hunting answers they need.

“We’re eager to offer residents and visitors an easy way to access information about the outdoor opportunities in Kansas,” said Richard Smalley, Tourism Marketing Manager at the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism. “People are using their mobile phones for a growing percentage of the things they need. Having outdoor opportunities in the mix in a fun and interesting way is an important means to get people started and keep them engaged with the outdoors.  From hunting and fishing to general outdoor recreation, the Powderhook app gives Kansans local, current outdoor information they cannot get elsewhere. We’re the first state to adopt this new technology and it’s exciting for our agency.”

In addition, active users of the app can earn access to even more discounts and offers. Each action within the app earns “cred” loyalty points. These points are used to unlock different offers and discounts from Powderhook partners. For example, Cabela’s, one of the nation’s largest outdoor retailers, is offering Kansas users a chance to win $1,000 in gift cards.

“Helping new participants access the outdoors has become a hot topic among the 50 state fish and wildlife agencies,” said Eric Dinger, founder of Powderhook. “With the Powderhook app, we are opening the doors to new opportunities and engaging more people in the outdoors. Being new to activities like hunting, fishing, shooting or camping can be tough. Having access to an online community that provides real-time, accurate information makes the process easier and more enjoyable. Powderhook promises to help get people out into the outdoors more often, and that’s something we think everyone involved can get behind.”

 

Contact:

Eric Dinger – Powderhook  eric@powderhook.com

Richard Smalley – Kansas Wildlife, Parks and Tourism  richard.smalley@ksoutdoors.com