MDF Podcast – Talking Mule Deer with Steve Belinda and Jodi Stemler
S2 E30 – Eric Dinger with Powderhook and Outdoor Life Hunting Editor Andrew McKean
This week on Talking Mule Deer, we are visiting with Eric Dinger and Andrew McKean about mentoring new hunters. We open by talking with Andrew about his journey as a conservation journalist – as well as his journey to live in “the middle of nowhere” in Glasgow, Montana. Then Eric tells us about Powderhook, the technology company he founded that is making it their mission to add 3 million new hunters in the next five years through mentoring. He jokingly refers to Powderhook as the hunting mentor “match.com” because it’s intended to help connect new hunters with experienced hunters to get more people in the field. This new social technology is tapping into what more people are using for acquiring information and helping to reduce the barriers that people who might be interested in hunting may be facing. Andrew, who is renowned as a tremendous storyteller, is helping Powderhook to communicate our outdoor heritage and build the mentor network willing to take someone new out in the field. We hear about the experiences he’s had mentoring his daughter to hunt, featured in an article in Outdoor Life, then mentoring a man in his community who never had the opportunity to hunt before, and this year mentoring three different hunters he had never met before. We wrap up by talking about how it’s a responsibility for those of us who love to hunt to share this love with people who might not otherwise have the opportunity to get outdoors. As Eric says, the start of mentorship is an invite – he calls on all of us to take that step and ask someone to go with us this hunting season.
The Mule Deer Foundation is the only conservation group in North America dedicated to restoring, improving and protecting mule deer and black-tailed deer and their habitat, with a focus on science and program efficiency. MDF is a strong voice for hunters in access, wildlife management and conservation policy issues. MDF acknowledges regulated hunting as a viable management component and is committed to recruitment and retention of youth into the shooting sports and conservation. Get involved in your state or become a member at www.muledeer.org or call 1-888-375-3337.