Images courtesy of the White House.
Images courtesy of the White House.
My wife, Stephanie, and I just spent the weekend Christmas shopping in Chicago. Our annual trip through the aisles of Michigan Avenue and State Street is a fun change of pace from the streak of hunting and fishing trips that usually dot my calendar throughout the year. While in many ways I would consider Chicago a great American city, my perception of our third largest city took a few body punches on this trip. In my opinion, Chicago is suffering.
We saw marches, boisterous demonstrations from disenfranchised youth, leagues of tired, stressed-out workers, and in general observed a city of people with their bolts over-tightened. Hundreds and hundreds of police officers, visible in the photo above, lined the streets in an effort to maintain civility. Life is complicated everywhere, but have we stooped so low that we’re willing to accept this as “normal” in one of our greatest cities?
Our work at Powderhook is about getting people into the outdoors. Fundamentally, we believe a connection to the natural world helps people gain a sense of place and perspective, and helps them learn to value the world around them. Certainly the outdoors can be one vehicle for exposing people to a value system, but in a place like Chicago it is flat difficult to access those experiences. The war on traditional values is alive and well.
According to Census Data, nearly 2/5 children in America is growing up in a single-parent household. Of the remaining 3/5 of American kids, two-thirds are members of dual-income families, leaving Moms and Dads of any household less and less time to lead a family. Only 17% of Americans attend religious services each week, the lowest number ever recorded, eroding the value systems taught by our faith-based institutions. As our melting pot urbanizes, gains weight and hustles to make a living, must we accept that our values are changing? Or, is there something we can do to preserve the important things as the superfluous tides roll in and out?
Chicago, and all of America, needs more Boy Scouts. Along with groups like Girl Scouts, 4-H, FFA, FCCLA, and others, these organizations exist to teach fundamental values that can be tough to find in other places. They seemed really tough to find last weekend in Chicago.
Read this excerpt from the Boy Scouts website. To me, this sounds the America we once knew and wish to see once again:
The Boy Scouts of America is one of the nation’s largest and most prominent values-based youth development organizations. The BSA provides a program for young people that builds character, trains them in the responsibilities of participating citizenship, and develops personal fitness.
For over a century, the BSA has helped build the future leaders of this country by combining educational activities and lifelong values with fun. The Boy Scouts of America believes — and, through over a century of experience, knows — that helping youth is a key to building a more conscientious, responsible, and productive society.
Mahatma Gandhi once said, “If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. We need not wait to see what others do.” I think he’s right. Time to go get my kids signed-up.
Our country has a huge problem. Mass killings are disgusting and we need to investigate every possible solution to reversing what is a growing trend. According to some sources there have been over 300 mass killings in the last 300 days. In our great nation, innocent people should not be dying in their schools, movie theaters, places of work or at their finish lines. That much is very simple and a fact on which we can all agree. It’s pathetic.
Let’s say we completely ban guns. Continue reading Let’s say we completely ban guns
My cares fall off amongst the cattails and cornrows
The air somehow different here, crisp with a hint of harvest
Whiskey smoother, too, me and Grandpa think
Finally away, though connected to time and place
Memories rush back, as we repeat them anew
My heritage alive with family, friends and pheasants
When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe. – John Muir
Just as duck seasons open around the country, a new tool for sharing information about the migration is ready to go.
Cabela’s and Powderhook are pleased to announce the launch of “Waterfowl Tracker,” a free app that allows hunters to monitor waterfowl migration activity and harvest reports in their neck of the woods, and up and down their flyway.
Highlighted features of the app include four heat maps optimized for waterfowl migration. Eric Dinger, CEO of Powderhook, says it’s set up that way for an important reason.
“Each waterfowl species migrates at a slightly different time,” said Dinger. “We engineered the app such that users can see a map specifically built for mallards, other ducks, dark geese and light geese. In time we believe users will really enjoy the ability to differentiate the snow goose migration from the Canada migration”
Other features include observation and harvest reports, though the app makes it impossible to pinpoint the exact location of a single report. Powderhook CEO Eric Dinger said waterfowl hunters will appreciate the ability to contribute to the overall improvement of waterfowl hunting while not having to give up any of their personal information.
“As a waterfowl hunter, the last thing I want to do is give someone the specific location of where I’m hunting. So, we don’t use pins, and our heat map blurs the user’s location by anywhere from 20 to 40 miles,” said Dinger.
Waterfowl Tracker is a free app, thanks to a partnership with Cabela’s. According to Dinger, the team at Cabela’s and many others throughout the country played an important role in contributing to the design of the app.
“Waterfowl Tracker contains several hundred reporters we call Insiders, and these individuals are field employees and pro staff members of our partner brands,” said Dinger. “Their feedback and on-going participation in the app helped us get to where we are today, and Insiders will continue to add insightful reports people can rely on. Users of the app will notice the logo of the Insider’s affiliated company on the reports these individuals generate.”
While the app is free, users are able to upgrade the app for $2.99 to include Powderhook’s database of over 650,000 public hunting grounds. Additional features available via the upgrade include the ability zoom as far as possible and several others to be announced in the coming weeks.
“Hunters play the biggest role in conservation efforts across this country through purchasing licenses, firearms and ammunition,” said Dinger. “These days, a hunter may only have limited time to prepare for and plan a hunt. We want to ensure they have the greatest opportunity for an enjoyable time outdoors, so they continue to carry on our hunting heritage.”
By Eric Dinger, co-founder of Powderhook
Life with three kids and a new business can be pretty busy. So, you can imagine my excitement when I found yesterday there was nothing on the family calendar and I was going to be able to leave work in time to make it out to my favorite dove hunting spot. Time to take advantage of one of the best parts of living in a place like Lincoln; you’re never more than 15 minutes from a dirt road!
As I worked my way through the day, a thought hit me. Today would be the perfect day to take Reagan, my four year-old daughter, on her first hunt! The weather was right, there wasn’t going to be a big group and she didn’t have any plans.
I’m always excited to get outdoors, something I think I come by naturally. In fact, almost every year my Dad says something to me along the lines of, “I’m 54… 5… 6… years old, and I’m still as excited to go hunting as I was when I was a kid.” Having now hunted for the first time with Reagan, I’m witness to a new level of excitement. Maybe that was the simple joy of a little girl and her Daddy spending time doing something together. But, I think there was more to it. Here’s a glimpse into our evening together. I hope you’ll use it as a reason to take the young people in your life out with you next time you go.
QDMA Deer Tracker is off and running! If you haven’t had the opportunity to check it out, visit www.deertrackerapp.com and give it a look.
We recently kicked off a little contest with Bushnell to celebrate the deer of the past. One of the cool features we came across was the app will add weather information to dates you put in from the past. Many of us have probably talked about keeping a journal over the years. But, if you’re like me, you probably haven’t done it. I recently uploaded a deer I shot in 2012. The app added all of the weather information from that day for me… and just like that I had my journal!
Try it out! We’ve got a sweet Wireless Bushnell Trophy CamHD to give to one lucky winner who uploads a deer from their past. We’ll give it away next week.
Now, here are some of our favorite stories we’ve seen in the app so far.
Keep sharing these stories. They’re so much fun to read, and every one of them contributes to the on-going research we’re doing with QDMA.
ATHENS, GA (August 24, 2015) – QDMA and Powderhook are pleased to offer “Deer Tracker,” a free app that allows hunters to monitor deer activity and harvests in their neck of the woods and across the country. QDMA and Powderhook hope to use the data generated as part of a long-term research project aiming to improve the deer hunting experience for new hunters and experts alike.
Highlighted features of the app include a heat map optimized for daytime deer movement. Brian Murphy, CEO of QDMA, says it’s set up that way for an important reason.
“While hunting the rut gets the most attention, research confirms that the peak of the rut often is not the best time to harvest a deer,” said Murphy. “There are plenty of windows before and after the rut that can be good times to see deer moving. Thus, we set up our heat map to indicate the likelihood of a hunter seeing a mature deer during shooting light.”
Other features include observation and harvest reports, though the app makes it impossible to pinpoint the exact location of a single report. Powderhook CEO Eric Dinger said deer hunters will appreciate the ability to contribute to the overall improvement of deer hunting while not having to give up any of their personal information.
“As a deer hunter, the last thing I want to do is give someone the specific location of where I’m hunting. So, we don’t use pins, and our heat map blurs the user’s location by anywhere from 10 to 30 miles,” said Dinger.
Deer Tracker is a free app, thanks to partnership support from Cabela’s, Hunting Lease Network, SITKA Gear, and Bushnell. According to Dinger, each partner played an important role by contributing to the design of the app.
“Deer Tracker contains several hundred reporters we call Insiders, and these individuals are field employees and pro staff members of our partner brands,” said Dinger. “Their feedback and on-going participation in the app helped us get to where we are today, and Insiders will continue to add insightful reports people can rely on. Users of the app will notice the logo of the Insider’s affiliated company on the reports these individuals generate.”
While the app is free, users are able to upgrade the app for $2.99 to include Powderhook’s database of over 500,000 public hunting grounds.
“Hunters play the biggest role in conservation efforts across this country through purchasing licenses, firearms and ammunition,” said Lindsay Thomas Jr., QDMA Director of Communications. “These days, a hunter may only have limited time to prepare for and plan a hunt. We want to ensure they have the greatest opportunity for an enjoyable time in the woods, so they continue to carry on our hunting heritage.”
Powderhook’s mission is Access for All. That means access for new hunters, anglers and shooters; for parents and their children; for neighbors who haven’t been out in the field for years; and for you. Powderhook works with the nation’s leading conservation organizations, retailers and manufacturers. The Powderhook platform is bringing our industry together to solve some of its most important problems.
Hunters and anglers continue to have success using Powderhook to find access to quality hunting and fishing spots.
Keith and Kathy Stewart utilized Powderhook for a fly fishing trip in Arkansas. “Powderhook arranged for a great guide for my fishing trip on the White River in Arkansas”, said Mr. Stewart. “He was very informative, professional and had the great patience necessary for dealing with a pretty novice fly fisherman. I caught 15 or more trout on our day together and his fly suggestions worked well for me on following days when I put on the waders and fished near our cabin. I am sure I’ll be using Powderhook to facilitate my next outdoor adventure.”
Powderhook’s map contains millions of acres of public and private hunting and fishing properties across the US. Another user, Ilya Swanson of Rochester, Minn., used Powderhook’s public lands and waters map to find nearby public lakes to fish. Swanson was very pleased that Powderhook created such an effective and user-friendly service for outdoorsmen like himself. “I have been using Powderhook to my advantage for the past four months. My friends asked me where I learned about these lakes, and now most of my fishing buddies are also hooked on it!”
“I don’t have to be an expert in outdoor experiences to use Powderhook,” commented user Blake Lawrence, of Lincoln, Neb. “I found the perfect opportunity that fit my budget, and booked it”, referring to a one-day private land fly fishing access to Nebraska’s Snake River, a trophy trout destination. “Powderhook has the experts, and I feel like I can rely on them to help get me setup.”
Dr. Roger Fisher used Powderhook to find a special hunting location in south-central Nebraska. “Well I certainly had a great experience. Everything that I thought might happen, did happen many times over. It has been 30 years since I shot a gun, and on my trip I was able to shoot not one but two wild turkeys. I recommend using Powderhook to anyone looking for the experience of a lifetime”.
Now that Gobble Map has been in the wild for a while, we’ve been busy working on ways to make it even better. Here’s a rundown of the latest updates to Gobble Map. Jump onto Google Play or the iOS App Store and download version 1.2.2 to check them out!
Include a Photo with Your Reports
When you create a Gobble Report, you have the option to take a photo or upload an existing photo. The photo will be included with the report so others viewing your report can see what you were seeing! You’ll now see the following buttons when you’re creating a new report:
When you’re viewing Gobble Reports in list view, reports that include an image will be annotated with a camera icon. Click on the report to view its image.
Invite Friends with Facebook
Gobble Map is more fun with friends. That’s why we’ve made it easy to sync your Facebook account so that you can invite friends to download Gobble Map.
Simply open the menu (by tapping top right), and select “Invite Friends”. From there, tap the “Invite Friends with Facebook” button. Your friends will receive an invite to check out Gobble Map on their mobile devices.
Invite Contacts with a Text Message
You can also invite your contacts with a text message. We’ll pre-load the text message with the download link, and you can send it to contacts of your choice. Simply open the menu (by tapping top right), and select “Invite Friends”. From there, tap the “Invite Your Contacts” button. The text message interface will open on your device.