Category Archives: Fishing

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

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.

6 Things to Do with an Email Address

For most businesses, acquiring a new customer costs many times what it costs to keep an existing customer. For an agency or organization selling to your existing customers is a must. An email list is one of the cheapest and most efficient marketing tools at your disposal to keep your customers coming back. Here are 6 simple tactics you can use to keep your license, membership, or product buyers coming back for years to come.

1. Remind buyers to purchase again before their license or membership expires. If you can, offer a small incentive to get them to renew before they lapse. If a customer bought fishing gear at your store last year around this time, send them an offer to get them back to buy their gear again this year.

2. Contact the individual 10 days before their birthday with a reminder their friends or family can buy them a gift card for their birthday. Most marketers nail Black Friday. For that reason, Black Friday promotions fall amidst tremendous noise. Try treating the 10 days before a customer’s birthday like you would Black Friday.

3. Alert previous buyers of specific licenses or tags of season open dates and draw deadlines. We’ve all missed out on a hunting season because we missed the draw. As brands, we’re all in the business of getting people outdoors more often, and having better days once they’re out. Let your customers know when the seasons are open, and ask them to come stock up.

4. Cross-promote licenses without a draw to winners of tag drawings, or buyers of one product with a different product used for the same pursuit. My friends and I take a pheasant hunting trip to South Dakota every year. We all buy a waterfowl permit, too, as long as someone remembers the application period is in June. When my Dad and I went elk hunting last fall, the person who sold us our tag at Walmart asked us if we wanted bear tags as well. That little question sold Colorado and Walmart $750 worth of additional licenses.

5. Hit up your out-of-state buyers with an invite back to your state. Consider appending the invite to the end of the survey you might be sending them. Remember to consider how far in advance a person must plan in order to account for tags, accommodations, and general logistics.

6. Remember, your buyer or member is the most important relationship to your business. Their lifetime value is likely many times what the individual spends per transaction. Tell them you appreciate them with a thank you letter. Remind them their purchase funds the important work you do in your local area.

Does your business, agency, or organization use another email tactic? Please share additional ideas in the comments.

10 Things You Can Do to Ensure the Future of Hunting

We live in an extremely fluid world where public perceptions and opinions on issues can change by the hour.

Just because hunting has been around for 90 percent of human history doesn’t mean that it will be around for the next 50 years. We cannot take our rights for granted. Preaching to the choir will not save hunting; we must influence others outside our circle to further our message.

ensure-hunting-for-future-generations

If we want to preserve the proud traditions of hunting for future generations, we must expose and mentor those generations to the most basic of human behaviors. Here are a few places to start.

1. Become a Hunting Mentor
Though I spent lots of time at the shooting range as a kid, I grew up without exposure to hunting because there was no one to take me out and teach me the ropes. Not every child has a parent who hunts or has the time to be a good mentor.

Whether you mentor your own children or grandchildren, nieces or nephews, or just a family friend or neighbor, you can do your part in passing along your knowledge and enthusiasm to another generation of hunters. Taking someone hunting just once could be life-changing for that individual—and you’ll never know whether they’re interested if you don’t ask.

preserve-hunting-rights-for-our-kids

My own kids are too young to take hunting at this time, but I still bring them along when I’m scouting for sign or checking trail cameras. They enjoy the time spent with Dad and are gaining an understanding of the connection between the outdoors and the food on their plates.

Can’t find a kid in your area to mentor? You can become a digital mentor through an app called “Powderhook.” The app allows new hunters to ask questions and gain insight through anonymous interactions with more-experienced mentors. In just a few minutes per week, you can help guide the next generation. Continue reading 10 Things You Can Do to Ensure the Future of Hunting

Mark Zuckerberg On His Love For Hunting & Fishing

We have all heard the controversy surrounding Facebook and their censoring of conservative news and photos involving guns & harvested animals, but would you be surprised to hear that Mark Zuckerberg himself is into hunting and fishing? Take a look at the video below of Mark Zuckerberg taking live questions from viewers while smoking some meat on the patio.

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.

An Open Letter to the Anti-Hunter

If you don’t approve of hunting, for whatever reason, I want you to know I appreciate you taking a minute to read this letter. My intention is to offer a couple facts about hunting you may not know. I don’t expect to change your mind altogether, but I do hope to provide some information that may create a more informed conversation.

You’re right. Our civilization has changed such that many people no longer need to directly participate in the food chain. Cities of us can go to grocery stores for the food we once grew or killed for ourselves. So, why then does hunting still matter?

You’re right. All living things have value. Animal lives matter, and that’s all animals, not just the one whose hair is stuck to your shirt right now. If that’s true, how can someone argue killing an animal is not only justified but important?

IMG_2479 (1) Continue reading An Open Letter to the Anti-Hunter

Transferring Control of Federal Lands Would Devastate Hunting and Fishing

“We have to do this,” Blaine Cooper told me in a rush. “The BLM lit a fire to burn this ranch down because they want the uranium that’s under it! The left blew up buildings, killed people, enslaved people to make this wildlife refuge!”

Cooper was sitting behind the wheel of a white pickup, heater blasting, and talking to me through the open window. It was the middle of last January, maybe 12 degrees above, here at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon, with day just breaking over a universe of frost-whitened sagebrush and 6 inches of old snow.

FAS0916_CMP08two Continue reading Transferring Control of Federal Lands Would Devastate Hunting and Fishing

TEACHING MY SONS TO LOVE FISHING

The more time I spend as a parent the more I realize how much I appreciate my father.  Beyond the values of hard work and caring for others that he instilled in me, what I appreciate most is my love of the outdoors that comes from my time spent in a boat with dad.  Recent articles and other discussions here on IDO have talked about the topic of less youth getting into fishing these days and my biggest hope is that I am able to do as good a job of passing my passion on to my son as my dad did for me.

photo-1-725x540 Continue reading TEACHING MY SONS TO LOVE FISHING