Category Archives: Hunting

Working Remotely while Entertaining and Educating your Kids-with Conservation

Strange Times

As an American workforce reacts to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us are finding ourselves in uncharted territory. Working from home, school and daycare closures and the uncertainty of life as we know it. In these strange times though, we do know a couple of things. First and foremost is that this will pass. Second, that our love for the outdoors will not die. Third, it is exponentially more difficult to get any work done at home with each repetition of Frozen II blaring in the background.

Here at Powderhook, we decided to put our heads together to give you some resources and tools to help you occupy your kids so that you can get some work done. More importantly, though, we wanted to help you take your kids’ education into your own hands during this time. We want to help you mold a conservation-minded generation and inspire your kids to get outside once this is all over. In addition to the hard work and dedication of their remote teachers, let’s take this rare opportunity to form a syllabus that can teach our kids the lessons of conservation, the importance of wildlife and maybe—just maybe—that their parents still have something to teach them.

Educational Resources

Arizona Game & Fish’s “Learning From Home”boasts an impressive suite of online educational tools for kids that can be done anytime and anywhere. Some can be printed out (or offered as a digital download), while others can be viewed directly online.

The “Focus Wild” issues feature pdf’s that can be printed out from the Department’s Arizona Wildlife Views magazine. These lessons cover everything from learning about becoming “Bear Aware”, understanding “Water Adaptations” and introducing your kids to “Aldo Leopold”. Simply print these articles out the night before or load them on a tablet and make sure you have the requisite materials (if any) for the associated activities. We recommend that your student (or student leader) be at a 3rd-grade reading level or higher for these activities.

Arizona Game & Fish also has a “Wild Kids” learning series which features educational worksheet activities organized by grade level. In these lessons, your students can learn about topics such as “Protecting Wildlife(4th-6th Grade)”, “Riparian Habitats(Kindergarten-3rd Grade)” & “Fire Ecology(7th Grade-12th Grade”.

Pennsylvania’s Game Commission has plenty to offer on its education page. One program in particular that stands out is its “Envirothon Program” which offers learning objectives, reference material and learning enhancements geared towards identifying different species of trees. We recommend this course for Junior and Senior high students.

Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency hosts several “Fun Links” for kids that are both entertaining and educational. One of our favorites is the “Educational Coloring Book”. These coloring activities, which are easily printed out, allow your younger students to not only color but learn fun conservation-oriented facts. It has the added benefit of giving young children the early practice of animal species identification.

Wisconsin’s Department of Natural Resources gives you all the tools and some reading materials for your students to set up an in-depth curriculum through their “Learning to Hunt Activity Guide”. This guide will require a bit more preparation on your part as the educator, but it has an extremely fulfilling and knowledge-intensive course load. Some lessons require less preparation than others. We recommend these activities for students that can enjoy reading around topics such as “What Should I do?- Outdoors Ethics”, “Calling a Trophy Tom” and “Navigating Naturally”. Take a moment to browse through some of the lessons to see which ones will work for your schedule, environment and your student’s education level.

New Mexico’s Department of Game & Fish gives you “Discover New Mexico Wildlife Education” which offers a curriculum that is focused on New Mexico wildlife and wildlife management. Don’t worry though, kids from all states can benefit from the coursework. These lessons are intended for upper elementary and middle school grade students. However, if you have a wide age range of kids, a middle or high school-aged student could lead the younger students in the coursework.

Ducks Unlimited’s Greenwing Program offers a very interactive and fun suite of educational tools to help younger students learn all about waterfowl and wetland conservation. Activities include printable coloring exercises that help with species identification, early readers, an interactive feature story, animal jokes, and videos. They also have Educational Games such as “Duck Shooter”, “Jumper Frog”, “Match the Waterfowl” and “Find the Green Wing” which are sure to keep your students entertained (and educated!) for hours.

Pheasants Forever also has a website that’s full of pheasant facts for your students to impress the neighborhood kids with. That is, once we can begin reducing our social distancing practices.

QDMA (Quality Deer Management Association) has an online classroom for those students that are serious about deer hunting and that are looking to take their knowledge of deer, habitat, and hunting to the next level. At the end of these courses, your little deer hunter will probably be able to teach you a thing or two in the deer woods this upcoming season.

Online Hunter Education Courses

Online Hunters Education Courses: You could also take this time to enroll your child in an online hunting education course. Even if you aren’t a hunter yourself, or if your child has already taken a hunter education course (or is planning on it) this is a great idea. It will allow your student to work his or her way through a self-paced, engaging and entertaining course that will occupy them for most of the day. You can also spread it out over several weeks depending on your student’s preference. The following states offer the International Hunter Education Association approved online courses for your student, which has reciprocity throughout the US. Please check your state’s requirements, which may include age restrictions and an in-person field day before the student can earn the certification. Nonetheless, an online hunter education course is a cheap and beneficial educational opportunity for your kids that can be accessed by clicking any of the logos below.

Arkansas GFC

Iowa DNR

Online Boating Safety Courses

Online Boating Education Courses can be another great opportunity to give your students the tools and education they need in water safety. These courses are similar to online hunter education courses in that they are engaging, entertaining and highly educational. The following links are just a couple of states that offer online boating safety courses. Please make sure you check with your state’s rules and regulations regarding reciprocity and additional course requirements for the certification of your young boater.

The Powderhook team wishes that you and your family stay safe during these transformative times. We hope that these resources can help you right now, but we know that they will help us in our long-term goal of creating a brighter future where every American can enjoy the outdoors. If COVID-19 is going to teach us anything, let it be an appreciation for one another, public access and our place in nature. Stay tuned for next week’s article where we will give you some back-yard activities to help keep your kids safe, interested and passionate about the outdoors!

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. Continue reading McKean Minute: When Mentoring, Any Amount Will Do

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

On Winning a SHIFT Award

On Friday night, Powderhook was awarded the 2017 SHIFT Award for Technology. It’s exciting to be recognized, and knowing what our team has gone through to deliver said technology, I think this award is something to be proud of.

SHIFT is a festival (conference) filled with conservation-minded thinkers and doers. While attending, I learned a lot, and I thought I’d use this opportunity to share some of the more prescient tidbits with you. Continue reading On Winning a SHIFT Award

Tackling SHIFT

I was the new guy… the one in the orange hat. For the first time in awhile, I knew almost no one walking into a conference the size of SHIFT.

SHIFT is an annual gathering of conservation-minded leaders from around the country. They gather in Jackson, Wyoming each year to tackle tough issues. In ways I’ve never been part of before in the outdoor industry, they work to build bridges across political and ideological lines – though it helps that the topic of this year’s SHIFT was Preserving our Public Lands, an issue that unites nearly every conservationist.

There are around 350 people here, and on the surface, you could draw the conclusion that many are “anti-hunting” or at a minimum, “hunting agnostic.” But, time and time again we’ve had great conversations about the role hunting plays in conservation. We’ve discussed what it really means to be a hunter, we’ve spoken about the threats a declining hunting population poses to the source of many of their budgets. I’ve explained the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation at least a dozen times to people who make their living in conservation. Almost every conservation has been concluded with positive takeaways.

Representatives from Sitka, First Lite, Patagonia, and REI are pictured here on the same stage talking about conservation advocacy from a brand perspective. Despite being very different, the need to protect public lands unites these brands. SHIFT leadership seems to have gone out of their way all week to introduce hunting, talk about hunting, feature hunting, and show the hunting community they’re welcome.

There is very little camo here, and perhaps because of that, some really cool things happened. Here are some examples. Continue reading Tackling SHIFT

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

Nerds and Retailers


When nerds and retailers come together, customers win.

Two Nebraska-based outdoor companies have come together on an innovative in-store experience coined “Digital Trailheads,” a new tool designed to help customers find local resources and experience the outdoors like never before. Digital Trailheads feature intense 360-degree “virtual reality” content showcasing Cabela’s Ambassadors pushing products to their limit, along with maps and local resources designed to help customers find places to go. The project will be unveiled at the grand opening of Cabela’s El Paso, TX, and Albuquerque, NM store locations in mid-September.

Continue reading Nerds and Retailers

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:

To view the events on our map simply navigate to:

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.

Hunter Finds A Bear Sitting In His Treestand

Expecting to spend some time in his treestand, this hunter was surprised to see a black bear had already claimed his stand for the day.

This video shows you can’t predict how wild animals are going to act and that you may have to adjust your hunt because you are in their habitat. This black bear got a lecture on what his role is supposed to be in the woods.

Watch this video as the hunter tries to reason with the bear that took over his treestand.

Video by  Jim Burnworth