All posts by Eric Dinger

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

Cabela’s and Bass Pro Shops Set to Combine Forces

Merger Will Enhance Ability to Serve Outdoor Enthusiasts with Complementary Product Offerings and Geographic Footprints Cabela’s Shareholders Will Receive $65.50 Per Share in Cash Bass Pro Shops Entering into Multi-Year Credit Card Partnership with Capital One Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s Club Customer Loyalty Programs Remain Unchanged

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. & SIDNEY, Neb., Oct 03, 2016 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s Incorporated CAB, +14.69% two iconic American outdoor com

Credit: Nati Hamlk - AP
Credit: Nati Hamlk – AP

panies with similar humble origins, and with a shared goal to better serve those who love the outdoors, today announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which Bass Pro Shops will acquire Cabela’s for $65.50 per share in cash, representing an aggregate transaction value of approximately $5.5 billion. Continue reading Cabela’s and Bass Pro Shops Set to Combine Forces

Anti-hunters Receive Desired Outcome

We all love animals. But some of us live in the real world, where each disaster gets cleaned up after the internet outrage tornado blows through. Those of us who use our dollars, our backs, and our brains to conserve wild animals and wild places know this story well. For those who have never purchased a hunting or fishing license and took the liberty to bash hunting, this video is for you.

A Conservationist’s Cry is a video put together by people and organizations in African whose livelihood is tied to hunting – the livelihood that you, the anti-hunter, have decimated. And, if you don’t care about the people and only care about the animals, there’s a horrifying ending just for you.

If, after watching the video, you still don’t believe hunting plays a vital role in conservation, try this:

Ask your Grandpa how many deer there were in his area of the country when he was a kid. How many are there now?

Or, think back to when you were a kid. Do you remember the amount of geese living in your area that you see now?

Hunters and anglers do the real world work of conserving wild animals and wild places. If you want to join in our effort, all you need to do is purchase a hunting or fishing license. Think of it like a membership in the club of people getting things done for the animals and places we both love.

Photo credit: taken from video.

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

Stop talking about background checks

Background checks are already a thing. Expanding them is pointless.

This is the first of a 3-page document, Form 4473, entitled ‘Firearms Transaction Record.’ Every law-abiding citizen in the US fills this form out, awaits processing by the seller, and receives approval from the Federal Government to purchase his or her weapon before they can leave a store with a gun. The story that they’re not wide-reaching or all-inclusive is a myth. Most lawful gun owners have no problem with this process and see it as a meaningful way to keep guns out of the wrong hands. But, lawful gun owners aren’t the problem. The problem is the system that sits behind this paperwork is flawed, has loopholes, and fails to punish the criminals who don’t use it. More encumbrance on lawful individuals is absolutely not the way to keep the unlawful from having guns. That’s like lowering the speed limit because some people speed. Let’s encourage our lawmakers to start discussing real solutions.

Every lawful gun purchaser fills out this form or one like it.
Every lawful gun purchaser fills out this form or one like it.

Hunters and the Gun Debate

To hunt you must shoot. But, not all hunters are “gun guys” and not all “gun guys” are hunters. When it comes to the highly politicized topic of gun control, where does this leave people who only own guns to hunt?

As gun owners, I believe the 2016 election may be the most important of our lifetime. Our government is run by people who show up. If more anti-gun voters turn out, we can expect an erosion of our gun rights. If more 2nd Amendment supporters turn out, maybe we can affect the gun conversation in ways that better reflect the way we feel.

I believe the “threat” to gun-owning hunters is more immanent than some might think. The gun in the photo above is a semi-automatic shotgun (as you probably know). It’s a ‘hunting gun’, and also happens to be my most cherished worldly possession. This means it scares me when politicians talk about banning ‘semi-automatic weapons’ or propose legislation that would require me to store it at my local police station. While I’m not aware of any United States governmental body literally taking guns from law-abiding citizens, there are many examples of city and state governments entertaining and even enacting laws that I view as an infringement on my right to keep that specific gun in my home and use it to hunt.

In New York City, I would be required to have a permit to purchase this gun, have to register it, even if I already owned it before the Bloomberg gun law passed in 2014, and I would need a license to leave my house with it. You and I both know that only law abiding citizens are going to go through all of that. So, what comes next?

The path toward stricter gun control is well worn in countries like Australia and England, where hunting is often referred to as “The Sport of Kings.” It’s time consuming and expensive to jump through the necessary hoops to secure a firearm, find a place to go, and to learn hunting safety. So, the wealthy are more likely to hunt and the poor are less likely to hunt.

We live in a time when easy access is changing everything. As Americans, we enjoy access to cars we don’t own via Turo, to homes we can’t afford via HomeAway, and even to things such as boats we didn’t buy via Boatbound. Through our phones we can access tee times, bowling lanes and movie tickets; we can sign-up for softball league, enroll our kids in gymnastics, and pretty much get whatever we need whenever we need it. Making access to the guns you need to hunt more difficult creates one more hurdle, one more time sink, one more reason to choose something else to do. As hunters, we know that going less often hurts license sales, decreases funds for conservation through our Pittman-Robertson Excise Tax contributions, and negatively affects our ability to bring new people into our way of life.

As a hunter, you may choose to hunt without guns. I often do so myself. The overwhelming majority of our cohort uses a firearm as their primary method of take. No matter how you hunt, I encourage you to consider the role of guns in hunting and use your voice in support of the type of leaders who will uphold our 2nd Amendment. Follow the laws yourself and push for stricter enforcement of those that already govern the possession and trade of firearms in your area.

Without your voice in the gun conversation, our beloved North American Model of Wildlife Conservation, and wild animals and places we value more than any other group of people on the planet may not survive.

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.