All posts by Eric Dinger

How Powderhook Makes Money

We’re betting the company on a completely unique way of making money. If it works, everyone wins.

A Letter from our founder, Eric Dinger

Eric and his daughter, Reagan.

If you’ve been a part of Powderhook for awhile, you know we’ve set out to build something transformative in the name of our mission, “Access for All.” Figuring out how to do that in a way that’s good for everyone, and pays the bills, has been the challenge of a lifetime. Today I want to share with you the vision we believe gets to the heart of solving the outdoor industry’s most significant problem.

What’s the right lure to use to catch walleyes at Oak Lake this afternoon? I want my son to catch his first fish, where around town should we go to have the best chance tomorrow? Who’s the best person to talk to in the Cabela’s archery department? Are the turkeys responding to calls today?

No matter your experience level, these are the questions that stand between you and a better day afield. Discipline-specific, local, and current information – that’s the stuff that can help you have a better day as a hunter or angler. It’s why we stop at the tackle shop when go fishing, and it’s the reason hunters scour local message boards for a tidbit before a hunt. Having better days afield is the best predictor of more days afield – if it’s fun you’ll do it more. And, more days afield solves the 887 billion-dollar outdoor industry’s biggest problem; a shrinking percentage of the US population hunt or fish, and those that do go less often than they once did.

It sucks to be new to the outdoors. 

And, no matter your experience level, it’s hard to know where to go in a new area. It’s annoying to get access when you can’t pay; it’s tough to figure out licensing; it’s difficult to time that day off of work; and it can be intimidating to kill, process, and cook an animal you’re not familiar with. Each step in the process adds friction, and there’s less hassle in just about any other activity someone could choose to do with their time.

The future of conservation as we know it depends on tapping the goodwill of the individual sportsmen. No other approach can yield the kind of numbers we need.

For years we’ve heard hunters and anglers won’t help each other. You may have even said it yourself.  But, we’ve found that to be fundamentally false. Sure, some won’t, but Powderhook brims with thousands of examples of people who don’t know each other who are sharing tips, spots, directions, and advice. So much so, we’ve come to believe there’s a meaningful difference between a hunter/angler and a sportsman. Fundamentally, the sportsman understands their pursuit isn’t about them, but rather the animal, the habitat, and their legacy as a contributor to the lives of the people around them. Unlocking the goodwill of the individual sportsman holds the keys to the future we desire.

So, how can we do that and make money?

Thousands of sportsmen have built their livelihood in the outdoor industry, and almost every job ties to our collective ability to get more people out more often. Powderhook taps the local knowledge held by individuals who work for outdoor industry brands, businesses, agencies, and organizations through a business model we’ve never seen anywhere else. We believe our model aligns the incentive of the industry expert with the needs of the person seeking information. Think of Powderhook like a local message board, filled with a community of people incentivized to help each other out.

You may have noticed a few ads popping up here and there on Powderhook. Those ads signify you’re getting an opinion from someone affiliated with an outdoor brand. These members of the Powderhook community represent businesses, agencies, and organizations who pay us a flat fee for access to Powderhook PRO, the platform we purpose-built to incentivize them to help you. With Powderhook PRO, our industry partners earn an ad each time one of their employees, pro staff, or ambassadors offer their discipline-specific, local, and timely expertise by posting on Powderhook.

With Powderhook PRO, brands are creating meaningful relationships with customers by helping, rather than strictly advertising to them. The more people they help, the more their ads show up. We call our model “Earned Native Advertising.” Today, the average post by a Powderhook PRO earns 202 impressions and a .8% click-through rate. Each impression and click are counted and attributed to the individual who earned the ad, making Powderhook PRO a uniquely high-touch, measurable approach to local marketing.

We’re betting Powderhook’s future on the idea you’ll appreciate brands whose representatives help you have better days outdoors.

Fresh air awaits,

Eric

PS – Interested in your brand going PRO? Here’s a link.

Bucks of America Gear Giveaway

 

Want to win a sweet gear package from our friends at Bucks of America? Of course you do! Would it be better if the gear package was from a state you’re passionate about hunting? We think so.

Click on a state below and have a look at what you can win. All you have to do is enter your name and email address so Bucks of America can contact you if you win. No cost, no catch, just a chance to win some sweet gear branded with the state you love. The package includes a short-sleeve shirt, hoodie, 8″ decal, and a hat.

Don’t see your state? Stay tuned. We’ll be offering more great Bucks of America giveaways down the road.

Example gear package for the State of Nebraska. 

BUCKS OF AMERICA
ENTER TO WIN GEAR FOR EACH OF THESE STATES


 

 

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.

NFL Player Cut After Being Cited for Carrying Registered Firearm

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver, Josh Huff, was cut by his team following a traffic violation turned gun violation in New Jersey. Huff disclosed his weapon, registered in Texas, to the officer but was cited for unlawful possession. The Philadelphia Eagles released him days later.

“I’m a professional athlete. What professional athlete don’t have a gun?” said Huff, in an interview with reporters prior to leaving team facilities. Continue reading NFL Player Cut After Being Cited for Carrying Registered Firearm

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

A Father-Son Elk Hunt

This is the story of my Rocky Mountain Elk hunt in the White River National Forest of Colorado. I’ll remember this trip forever, not just because it was with my Dad, but because of the way I felt when all was said and done.

By Eric Dinger

It was a normal June day at the office when I received a call from my friend, Josh Dahlke, the man behind the Scoutlook app, and host of the internet show The Hunger. Josh had booked a Colorado elk hunt and two of his four guys had backed out. He asked if I’d like to come along and bring a friend.

I don’t have a long bucket list, since I pretty much want to go everywhere and do everything, but hunting elk with my Dad had long been the one thing I could name. I’d always claimed I wanted to do so with my bow, but I was happy the opportunity had finally come. Given the hunt was to be largely a public land endeavor and the price to stay in the small private cabin adjoining the White River National Forest near Buford, Colorado was really palatable, I jumped at the chance. Getting my Dad to come along wasn’t hard, though he would have to leave for a week in the middle of harvest. For an ag man, that’s certainly not ideal timing. A bucket goes dry if the man carrying it waits for that mythical time. Continue reading A Father-Son Elk Hunt