McKean Minute: Make the Most of This Cruelest Month

Where I live in eastern Montana, February is a brutal month. Hunting seasons are over, the ice fishing can be slow, and we annually have a bout of soul-searching cold in February when the mercury dips to -30. And stays there for a week or two.

But I’ll trade a year of Februarys for a single August. For me, August is the cruelest month because it’s hot, dry, buggy, and I’m daily reminded that I need to be prepping for the fall, but I can’t seem to find the time to adequately do it. Continue reading McKean Minute: Make the Most of This Cruelest Month

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McKean Minute: Cat or Dog?

Are you a cat or are you a dog?

I’m not asking whether you crave catnip or bury bones in your yard—though you might do both. I’m asking you as a hunter what sort of predator you are.

The topic came up in an oblique way the other day as I admitted to a friend that when it comes to deer hunting, I’d rather be on my feet than sit a stand. My preference probably owes to the area I normally hunt, which is fairly open and populated by more mule deer than whitetails. But it also comes down to personal preference. I simply feel like I’m going to have more encounters with animals and convert encounters to success when I’m on my feet and on the ground. Continue reading McKean Minute: Cat or Dog?

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McKean Minute: When Digital Goes Outdoors

I was describing Powderhook to a friend the other day in one of the simplest ways I could. “It’s using technology to connect people who want to know more about hunting and fishing with those who want to share their experience and knowledge.”

I could tell I wasn’t getting through, so I tried again. “It’s a digital mentor in your pocket,” I said, patting my phone for emphasis.

That got him.

“I thought the whole idea of introducing people to the outdoors was to get them out to put down their phones and disconnect from technology.” Continue reading McKean Minute: When Digital Goes Outdoors

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McKean Minute: Get Outside This Interdependence Day

You read both parts of that sentence correctly. The first part is easy to understand. Get outside. Go fish. Go camp. Have a picnic. Lay on a blanket and look up at the clouds.

The second part takes a little ‘splaining.

It’s Independence Day, America’s 242nd birthday. The Fourth of July. A celebration of the signing of the Declaration of Independence and a statement to our British overlords that the American colonies would stand alone as 13 sovereign states.

But I’d argue that as much as the declaration asserts independence, it also makes a strong case for interdependence. Those 13 colonies had to stand together, to rely on each other and to present a unified front in the fight against the world’s reigning superpower that culminated in the creation of America. Continue reading McKean Minute: Get Outside This Interdependence Day

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Powderhook Receives Innovation In Technology Award From Hunter Educators

ANCHORAGE, AK – The International Hunter Education Association USA (IHEA-USA) has awarded its 2018 Innovations in Technology Award to Powderhook. The award was announced last week at the annual international hunter educators conference held in Anchorage, Alaska.

Powderhook is at the lead of a national effort to recruit, retain, and reactivate new hunters and recreational shooters. The company’s digital technology, including a mentoring app and website, are designed to leverage technology to connect new hunters and shooters seeking knowledge with experienced sportsmen and women who have it. Continue reading Powderhook Receives Innovation In Technology Award From Hunter Educators

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McKean Minute: The Evolution of the American Sportsman

Earlier this summer, I had the great honor to deliver remarks at the Jack O’Connor Dinner in Lewiston, Idaho. It’s an annual homage to the Outdoor Life writer and shooting editor who defined for a generation what it meant to be an American sportsman. In the years after World War II, O’Connor hunted wild sheep on distant mountains, worked with manufacturers to perfect their products and introduce them to eager consumers, and maintained a cool, almost academic, distance from most of his audience.

My presentation featured Outdoor Life covers from the magazine’s founding in 1898 up through O’Connor’s tenure into the 1970s. Those classic cover images are a pretty good reflection of the evolution of the American sportsman over the last century, starting with romantic paintings of what was, in the years before America’s conservation movement, a vanishing world—sad-eyed Native Americans hunting and gathering and big-game animals posed in nostalgic landscapes. In the 1920s, Outdoor Life covers depicted a brand-new vocation: the outdoor professional, usually a manly Western big-game guide wresting a living from a wild world. Continue reading McKean Minute: The Evolution of the American Sportsman

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Why I Joined Powderhook

By Andrew McKean

Since I joined the Powderhook team a week ago, lots of friends and colleagues have asked me the same question: Why? What is an ink-stained wretch of an outdoor writer doing with a bunch of computer geeks half my age? And how can a high-tech start-up ever have the grit and blood to speak passionately to people who define themselves in terms of grit and blood?

The answer is both easy – the Powderhook team is small, scrappy, and composed entirely of avid hunters, anglers, and outdoors folks like me who are committed to welcoming more people to each of those activities – and it’s hard. Hard because media – communicating ideas and information that has defined my career – is so fractured and noisy these days that trying to build an audience and deliver information has never been more challenging.

This is the competitive edge of Powderhook: It’s not your typical media company, or content-delivery device. Continue reading Why I Joined Powderhook

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Andrew McKean Joins Powderhook, Will Lead Hunter-engagement Efforts

Former Outdoor Life editor-in-chief and longtime outdoor communicator Andrew McKean has joined Powderhook as its brand director.

McKean will primarily be responsible for content across Powderhook’s multiple digital platforms, its website, and its hunter-recruitment app, available at Google Play and the App Store. The app is designed to serve as a digital mentoring tool, connecting experienced hunters and their knowledge with beginning hunters looking for guidance. Continue reading Andrew McKean Joins Powderhook, Will Lead Hunter-engagement Efforts

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Deer Don’t Vote

I’ll say it again. Deer don’t vote.

Through pieces like the those linked below, Sierra Club is attempting to pit consumptive recreational users against non-consumptive users in what can only turn into a race to the bottom for conservation. Surely the author realizes the villain in her story, Vista Outdoor, is one of the largest funders of conservation in this country, right? Nearly $88 million last year, in fact. You could add up the entirety of the financial contributions to conservation made by ThuleDAKINE, and every other company listed by the author, plus throw in hero brands like Patagonia and CLIF Bar and you wouldn’t get close to Vista’s level of contribution. That’s not a knock on any one of those companies… it’s just a fact. Continue reading Deer Don’t Vote

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NWTF generates brand and product awareness with co-branded blind/chair giveaway

The National Wild Turkey Federation has ran several social media giveaways (Contests) over the last year, all with similar success. Their focus is to highlight co-branded product from their partners and generate awareness for NWTF and its sponsors. By running these contests throughout the year, they hope to engage with their audience as well as add potential members/customers to their email list and re-target the entrants for memberships and sales in the future. Continue reading NWTF generates brand and product awareness with co-branded blind/chair giveaway

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Outdoor recruitment, retention, reactivation and access from the creators of Powderhook.com