Category Archives: New Hunters

5 Things You Can Do to Grow Digital Mentoring

Digital Mentoring is in its infancy. If you’re reading this article you’re one of about 400 people nationwide who have jumped on board early in the process. There’s much to be done, but our work is just, and we’re already making a real difference. Here are 5 things you can do right now to grow the impact of Digital Mentoring. Continue reading 5 Things You Can Do to Grow Digital Mentoring

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

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

 

AMERICA NEEDS MORE BOY SCOUTS

My wife, Stephanie, and I just spent the weekend Christmas shopping in Chicago. Our annual trip through the aisles of Michigan Avenue and State Street is a fun change of pace from the streak of hunting and fishing trips that usually dot my calendar throughout the year. While in many ways I would consider Chicago a great American city, my perception of our third largest city took a few body punches on this trip. In my opinion, Chicago is suffering.

We saw marches, boisterous demonstrations from disenfranchised youth, leagues of tired, stressed-out workers, and in general observed a city of people with their bolts over-tightened. Hundreds and hundreds of police officers, visible in the photo above, lined the streets in an effort to maintain civility. Life is complicated everywhere, but have we stooped so low that we’re willing to accept this as “normal” in one of our greatest cities?

Our work at Powderhook is about getting people into the outdoors. Fundamentally, we believe a connection to the natural world helps people gain a sense of place and perspective and helps them learn to value the world around them. Certainly, the outdoors can be one vehicle for exposing people to a value system, but in a place like Chicago, it is flat difficult to access those experiences. The war on traditional values is alive and well.

According to Census Data, nearly 2/5 children in America is growing up in a single-parent household. Of the remaining 3/5 of American kids, two-thirds are members of dual-income families, leaving Moms and Dads of any household less and less time to lead a family. Only 17% of Americans attend religious services each week, the lowest number ever recorded, eroding the value systems taught by our faith-based institutions. As our melting pot urbanizes, gains weight and hustles to make a living, must we accept that our values are changing? Or, is there something we can do to preserve the important things as the superfluous tides roll in and out?

Chicago and all of America needs more Boy Scouts. Along with groups like Girl Scouts, 4-H, FFA, FCCLA, and others, these organizations exist to teach fundamental values that can be tough to find in other places. They seemed really tough to find last weekend in Chicago.

Read this excerpt from the Boy Scouts website. To me, this sounds the America we once knew and wish to see once again:

The Boy Scouts of America is one of the nation’s largest and most prominent values-based youth development organizations. The BSA provides a program for young people that builds character, trains them in the responsibilities of participating citizenship, and develops personal fitness.

For over a century, the BSA has helped build the future leaders of this country by combining educational activities and lifelong values with fun. The Boy Scouts of America believes — and, through over a century of experience, knows — that helping youth is a key to building a more conscientious, responsible, and productive society.

Mahatma Gandhi once said, “If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. We need not wait to see what others do.” I think he’s right. Time to go get my kids signed-up.

About the author:
Eric Dinger is the co-founder and CEO of Powderhook.com, an app built to help people hunt and fish more often. He can be reached at eric@powderhook.com.

Powderhook’s “Yik Yak for the outdoors” marks a major pivot

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After trying out a web-based marketplace for hunting and fishing on private land, Powderhook is trying a whole new approach to their mission–a “Yik Yak for the outdoors.”

Until now, Powderhook has been developing a web-based platform that helps people find places to hunt and fish on private lands. What the company discovered is that young people who use technology are not interested in paying for access to land, and the people who own the land are less likely to use technology to solve problems.

“[We’ve decided] instead of trying to get a person who doesn’t want to use tech to sell access to a person who doesn’t want buy it, let’s get two people together who really want access and get them talking to each other,” said Eric Dinger, Founder of Powderhook. Continue reading Powderhook’s “Yik Yak for the outdoors” marks a major pivot

WATERFOWL TRACKER UPDATE: MIGRATION REPORT AND WEATHER PUSH NOTIFICATIONS LIVE

As the waterfowl migration begins to heat up, Waterfowl Tracker announced the availability of location-based push notifications for inclement weather and migration reports.

Here’s how it works:

First users click to open the side bar and select “Get Notifications.” Then the hunter selects the city or state and the distance from the area they’re interested in. For example, within 100 miles of St. Louis. Next, the user can choose which notifications they wish to receive. Current options include; Peak Reports, All Reports and Weather Alerts. Continue reading WATERFOWL TRACKER UPDATE: MIGRATION REPORT AND WEATHER PUSH NOTIFICATIONS LIVE

WATERFOWL TRACKER: A NEW TOOL FOR HUNTERS

Just as duck seasons open around the country, a new tool for sharing information about the migration is ready to go.
Cabela’s and Powderhook are pleased to announce the launch of “Waterfowl Tracker,” a free app that allows hunters to monitor waterfowl migration activity and harvest reports in their neck of the woods, and up and down their flyway.

Highlighted features of the app include four heat maps optimized for waterfowl migration. Eric Dinger, CEO of Powderhook, says it’s set up that way for an important reason.

“Each waterfowl species migrates at a slightly different time,” said Dinger. “We engineered the app such that users can see a map specifically built for mallards, other ducks, dark geese and light geese. In time we believe users will really enjoy the ability to differentiate the snow goose migration from the Canada migration”

Other features include observation and harvest reports, though the app makes it impossible to pinpoint the exact location of a single report. Powderhook CEO Eric Dinger said waterfowl hunters will appreciate the ability to contribute to the overall improvement of waterfowl hunting while not having to give up any of their personal information.

“As a waterfowl hunter, the last thing I want to do is give someone the specific location of where I’m hunting. So, we don’t use pins, and our heat map blurs the user’s location by anywhere from 20 to 40 miles,” said Dinger.

Waterfowl Tracker is a free app, thanks to a partnership with Cabela’s. According to Dinger, the team at Cabela’s and many others throughout the country played an important role in contributing to the design of the app.

Waterfowl Tracker contains several hundred reporters we call Insiders, and these individuals are field employees and pro staff members of our partner brands,” said Dinger. “Their feedback and on-going participation in the app helped us get to where we are today, and Insiders will continue to add insightful reports people can rely on. Users of the app will notice the logo of the Insider’s affiliated company on the reports these individuals generate.”

While the app is free, users are able to upgrade the app for $2.99 to include Powderhook’s database of over 650,000 public hunting grounds. Additional features available via the upgrade include the ability zoom as far as possible and several others to be announced in the coming weeks.

“Hunters play the biggest role in conservation efforts across this country through purchasing licenses, firearms and ammunition,” said Dinger. “These days, a hunter may only have limited time to prepare for and plan a hunt. We want to ensure they have the greatest opportunity for an enjoyable time outdoors, so they continue to carry on our hunting heritage.”

Waterfowl Tracker is available for download through the Google Play and Apple App stores and can be accessed without the app via www.waterfowltracker.com on desktop devices.

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Species specific heat maps. Pins for your reports, no pins for the reports made by other people.

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Timeline view of reports near you, or near any area you want to research.
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Weather, wind, pressure and other data is automatically appended to reports based on the time and location of the report.
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Guys, Take Your Little Girls Hunting

By Eric Dinger, co-founder of Powderhook

Life with three kids and a new business can be pretty busy. So, you can imagine my excitement when I found yesterday there was nothing on the family calendar and I was going to be able to leave work in time to make it out to my favorite dove hunting spot. Time to take advantage of one of the best parts of living in a place like Lincoln; you’re never more than 15 minutes from a dirt road!

As I worked my way through the day, a thought hit me. Today would be the perfect day to take Reagan, my four year-old daughter, on her first hunt! The weather was right, there wasn’t going to be a big group and she didn’t have any plans.

I’m always excited to get outdoors, something I think I come by naturally. In fact, almost every year my Dad says something to me along the lines of, “I’m 54… 5… 6… years old, and I’m still as excited to go hunting as I was when I was a kid.” Having now hunted for the first time with Reagan, I’m witness to a new level of excitement. Maybe that was the simple joy of a little girl and her Daddy spending time doing something together. But, I think there was more to it. Here’s a glimpse into our evening together. I hope you’ll use it as a reason to take the young people in your life out with you next time you go.

First things first. Mom needed a picture. Check.
First things first. Mom needed a picture. Check.
Next, we had to make our ceremonial stop at the gas station. Is it even possible to start a hunting trip without it?
Next, we had to make our ceremonial stop at the gas station. Is it even possible to start a hunting trip without it?
Jackpot! A spinny airplane candy dealy bobber with some Hello Kitty juice. Nice work, Junk Food Marketers, you win this time.
Jackpot! A spinny airplane candy dealy bobber with some Hello Kitty juice. Nice work, Junk Food Marketers, you win this time.
On our way out to the spot we spotted some teal on the pond. Reagan used her
On our way out to the spot we found some teal on the pond. Reagan used her “binocliers” to “make them look huge.” Right at about this point I realized how awesome this night might get.
We caught grasshoppers and butterflies until the doves started to fly overhead. Watching her trample fearlessly through the grass made me realize that we teach our little girls to be afraid of things like bugs. They aren't naturally all that caught up in how
We caught grasshoppers and butterflies until the doves started to fly overhead. Watching her trample fearlessly through the grass made me realize that we teach our little girls to be afraid of things like bugs. They aren’t naturally all that caught-up in how “yucky” things are. Note to self: Don’t teach her to be afraid of singing in public, dancing her butt off at weddings, speaking her mind, or talking in front of groups of people, either.
We had a little safety lesson. She learned never to play with real guns, to never ever point a gun at people, even the fake ones, and she learned that guns are safe if we're safe with them and they're dangerous if we don't follow the rules. She said,
We had a little safety lesson. She learned never to play with real guns and to never ever point a gun at people, even the fake ones. And, she learned that guns are safe if we’re safe with them and they’re dangerous if we don’t follow the rules. She said, “okay, Dad” as if depositing those little morsels into her long-term memory bank.
Next, I got to learn about all kinds of important things. Like, how bugs probably don't like candy and how Mom doesn't always need flowers, but we might need to pick her some anyways.
Next, I got to learn about all kinds of important things. Like, how bugs probably don’t like candy and how Mom doesn’t always need flowers, but we might need to pick her some anyways.
As the shadows got long, the doves started flying. She was ready.
As the shadows got long, the doves started flying. She was ready.
When the first dove hit the ground, she took off after it. It will never cease to amaze me how a little girl who wears Disney Princess gear 24x7 can toss on her jeans and mix it up with the best of them. With no hesitation, she grabbed the dove by the foot and proudly showed me she wasn't afraid. It was then that she noticed the blood. I feared for this moment, because I knew she would ask.
When the first dove hit the ground, she took off after it. It will never cease to amaze me how a little girl who wears Disney Princess gear 24×7 can toss on her jeans and mix it up with the best of them. With no hesitation, she grabbed the dove by the foot and proudly showed me she wasn’t afraid. It was then that she noticed the blood. I feared this moment, because I knew she would ask. “What’s wrong with his head… does he have a headache?” Ready, I answered, “no, honey, he’s dead.” In stride, she said, “well then we’ll take him home and we can eat him, right?” Right. We’d talked about this topic many times while fishing, but she had already made the correlation to hunting. The things we eat were once alive. They have to die in order for us to live. Simple, I guess.
It's hard for me to think of a time when she was happier to be with me. Not only was it the one-on-one time all little kids love, but I think she was genuinely interested in learning about hunting. She told me I was just like her teacher. That's high praise from a pre-schooler.
It’s hard for me to think of a time when she was happier to be with me. Not only was it the one-on-one time all little kids love, but I think she was genuinely interested in learning about hunting. She told me I was just like her teacher. That’s high praise from a pre-schooler.
From her frenzied 25-minute recounting of the story to her Mom on the phone to the unbridled joy on her face, she had made my night so special.
From her frenzied 25-minute recounting of the story to her Mom on the phone to the unbridled joy on her face, she had made my night so special.

QDMA and Powderhook Announce Deer Tracker Mobile App

ATHENS, GA (August 24, 2015) – QDMA and Powderhook are pleased to offer “Deer Tracker,” a free app that allows hunters to monitor deer activity and harvests in their neck of the woods and across the country. QDMA and Powderhook hope to use the data generated as part of a long-term research project aiming to improve the deer hunting experience for new hunters and experts alike.

Highlighted features of the app include a heat map optimized for daytime deer movement. Brian Murphy, CEO of QDMA, says it’s set up that way for an important reason.

“While hunting the rut gets the most attention, research confirms that the peak of the rut often is not the best time to harvest a deer,” said Murphy. “There are plenty of windows before and after the rut that can be good times to see deer moving. Thus, we set up our heat map to indicate the likelihood of a hunter seeing a mature deer during shooting light.”

Other features include observation and harvest reports, though the app makes it impossible to pinpoint the exact location of a single report. Powderhook CEO Eric Dinger said deer hunters will appreciate the ability to contribute to the overall improvement of deer hunting while not having to give up any of their personal information.

“As a deer hunter, the last thing I want to do is give someone the specific location of where I’m hunting. So, we don’t use pins, and our heat map blurs the user’s location by anywhere from 10 to 30 miles,” said Dinger.

Deer Tracker is a free app, thanks to partnership support from Cabela’s, Hunting Lease Network, SITKA Gear, and Bushnell. According to Dinger, each partner played an important role by contributing to the design of the app.

“Deer Tracker contains several hundred reporters we call Insiders, and these individuals are field employees and pro staff members of our partner brands,” said Dinger. “Their feedback and on-going participation in the app helped us get to where we are today, and Insiders will continue to add insightful reports people can rely on. Users of the app will notice the logo of the Insider’s affiliated company on the reports these individuals generate.”

While the app is free, users are able to upgrade the app for $2.99 to include Powderhook’s database of over 500,000 public hunting grounds.

“Hunters play the biggest role in conservation efforts across this country through purchasing licenses, firearms and ammunition,” said Lindsay Thomas Jr., QDMA Director of Communications. “These days, a hunter may only have limited time to prepare for and plan a hunt. We want to ensure they have the greatest opportunity for an enjoyable time in the woods, so they continue to carry on our hunting heritage.”

Deer Tracker is available for download through the Google Play and Apple App stores and can be accessed without the app via www.deertrackerapp.com on desktop devices.

About Powderhook

Powderhook’s mission is Access for All. That means access for new hunters, anglers and shooters; for parents and their children; for neighbors who haven’t been out in the field for years; and for you. Powderhook works with the nation’s leading conservation organizations, retailers and manufacturers. The Powderhook platform is bringing our industry together to solve some of its most important problems.

Top 8 Reasons to Lease Your Land for Hunting

Leasing your land is a balancing act of risk and reward for most landowners. Sure, you can make some extra money, but between finding the right group, covering any liability, and figuring out who’s doing what on your property it can be a bit of a hassle. Here some of the hidden benefits of leasing your land for hunting.

1) After setup, it’s almost completely passive income

2) Your lessees are likely to become family friends

3) Most people are happy to share their game with their landowners – ask for jerky and backstraps!

4) It’s not out of the question to ask your lessees for help with the things you need done, whether that’s spraying thistles, trimming trees or throwing bales

5) Having your ground leased cuts down on trespassers because you’ll have extra eyes and ears who care about your property

6) It’s your ground so it’s your rules, most hunters are happy to abide by your wishes, no matter what you have in mind

7) Your hunters will not only help you manage game populations on your property, but money from their licenses and gear funds nearly 80% of all conservation efforts in the United States

8) If you don’t hunt, they’d love to teach you, your kids, your grandkids, friends or pretty much anyone else to love and appreciate the outdoors

Lastly, if you are about the access problem, and that’s a strong possibility if you’re a fan of Powderhook, here are a couple things to keep in mind. 1) Traditional leasing can lock up your property such that only a few people can hunt it, thus consider allowing your lessee to sub-lease it to people you both approve during times or seasons they’re not using it. 2) Remember that many states have programs for leasing your land directly to your local fish and wildlife agency for the purpose of opening your land up to public hunting.

If you have any questions regarding leasing, or other forms of access, please don’t hesitate to reach out via the form found here: www.powderhook.com/lease