Category Archives: Recruitment

McKean Minute: When Mentoring, Any Amount Will Do

We talked a couple weeks ago that one of the main attributes of being a mentor is simply showing up, being available to someone who has questions and needs guidance.

The second great attribute is to give that guidance in any amount. Many of us get intimidated by the idea that in order to be a good teacher, we need to give all of ourselves. While some of us have a bottomless reservoir of outreach, most of us simply don’t have the time, energy, or enthusiasm to answer every question that comes around or to be available around the clock.

If you’re reading this, then there’s a good chance you’re familiar with Powderhook, the mobile app that promises to connect mentors with what we’re calling “mentees,” or beginning hunters. That connection happens in custom “camps,” which are basically virtual classrooms, places where that education exchange can happen.

A number of these camps have multiple mentees all seeking advice and direction from a single mentor. When I first heard about this disproportionate balance, I fretted just a little. How could a single mentor adequately serve all the people thirsty for their perspective? I was stuck on a notion of mentoring that told me that it’s a one-on-one relationship.

But the deeper I dive into Powderhook and its potential as that classroom, the more I understand that a single mentor can serve any number of mentees, simply by being available to answer a single question, or offer a single insight. Mentoring doesn’t have to be onerous, exhausting, or draining. In fact, it can be the opposite, as long as you show up, and are available to answer just a question or two.

I just got feedback from a mentee who is curious about bowhunting. They’re in the initial stages of what can be a steep climb to acquire the correct gear, and there are so many choices that they reached out to me for advice. It’s an easy gift to give, my perspectives on the right type of bow, broadhead, and release for the hunting they’ll be doing. And it turns out that the question one mentee had was shared by the other members of the camp, so my answers had a compounding effect.

Instead of feeling depleted by giving myself, I feel energized. And now I can’t wait to hear the follow-up questions. Doing this a couple times quickly compounds into a half-dozen, then a score. This is how we build new hunters and outdoorsfolks, by being available, answering questions, giving our perspectives. And it’s a method that can quickly grow the ranks of knowledgeable, enthusiastic, and engaged hunters.

– Andrew McKean

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

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.

Donald Trump Jr. on Hunting

By now you’ve probably heard that Donald Trump Jr. enjoys hunting and fishing. But, to hear him speak so eloquently of our traditions, of our way of life, is a thing to behold. This video is an excerpt of his keynote at the 2016 Western Hunting and Conservation Expo.

Said Trump Jr., “I know the benefits I got from being in the woods, in the duck blind, in the deer stand at 5 in the morning. It kept me out of so much trouble I would have gotten into in my life. I want to make sure that lifestyle, those great American traditions, are there for my kids.”

No matter who you voted for, Trump Jr.’s message hits home for the sportsman. Let’s hope his influence can be felt in policy decisions throughout our government in years to come.

Donald Trump Jr. at the 2016 Western Hunting & Conservation Expo from Sportsmen for Trump on Vimeo.

Video: Sportsmen for Trump via Vimeo

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.

8 Things Non-Hunters Are Missing Out On

If you’re at all familiar with our work here at Powderhook, you know we love hunting. But, we loved hunting long before there was a Powderhook, and will love it for decades to come. Most people have something they’re passionate about, but being passionate about hunting offers benefits far beyond what can be simply described. That’s why we believe one needs to hunt in order to understand hunting and hunters. For non-hunters, this simply means they can’t feel what we’ve felt, and it bums me out for them. Here’s what I think they’re missing.


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Watching the sun come up over the Bighorn Mountains while glassing for elk. Photo Credit: Martin Hogan

1: Witnessing the Forest Coming to Life

I really cannot explain it any better than movie star Chris Pratt did in this interview. “You walk out in the woods and the sun hasn’t come up yet, and you sit in a spot and your preparation has told you that this is the right spot. And the sun comes up and you are camouflaged, nothing knows you’re there, nothing can smell you, the wind is in your face. You’re a voyeur to the world waking up and the wilderness waking up around you in a way that no one gets to see it, when they drive their car down the road, because they’ve disturbed it. You’ve snuck in. If a tree fell in the woods and didn’t make a sound you’d be there to witness it, because nobody is there, you are not even there. And then the sun comes up and the last stars in the sky go away and the whole world comes to life.” Continue reading 8 Things Non-Hunters Are Missing Out On

5 Things Hunters Can Learn from the World Series

An all time classic. Game 7 ended about 8 hours ago. In a stroke of genius, or terrible parenting, I woke up my kids (ages 3 and 5) to tell them – on the off chance they’ll remember the night back in 2016 the Cubs won the World Series. I’ve been a Cubs fan since I was a little boy watching Ryno Sandberg on WGN in South Dakota.  They were always my second favorite team behind the Twins until my best buddy moved out to Chicago for college and we caught our first game at Wrigley.

I know what you’re thinking… sweet story dude, but why the heck does this matter in a story about hunting? Continue reading 5 Things Hunters Can Learn from the World Series

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.

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