By Jared Newman
The Power of Story
For thousands of years, humans have been documenting their hunts: from ancient cave paintings to the handwritten notebooks of Lewis & Clark, Theodore Roosevelt, Jack O’Connor, Fred Bear, and other hunting legends. Their stories shaped our imaginations, sparked innovation and exploration, and brought value to the land and animals that we, as hunters, cherish and strive to protect. Stories are powerful and your story is important.
Over the past several decades, hunting has really been caught swinging in the pendulum between ancient traditions and modern innovation. As a young boy, I remember putting on my coonskin hat while dreaming of living like the great frontiersman Davy Crockett or Daniel Boone. Now after years of backcountry hunting in the mountains of Colorado, I have a different level of appreciation for modern gear, warm sleeping bags, lightweight shelters, jet boils, pyro putty, and good glass.
In the fall of 2008, I went on my first archery hunt for elk and mule deer near Eagle, CO. I brought a small field journal with plans of filling the pages with notes about all the animals I was destined to encounter seven miles deep in the wilderness. After five days of hunting (or hiking with a bow), I had yet to log a single sighting of a deer, elk, bear, or moose, but I saw a few squirrels, marmots, and one ermine. Rather than pages filled with animal encounters, I had notes about my army surplus camo that was drenched and heavy as well as the canned tuna and chili that I brought for food. Not only is canned food extremely heavy to pack in, but the chemical reactions created in your body are enough to drive your hunting buddies out of the tent and apparently all wildlife out of the region.
After ten years documenting my hunting experiences in handwritten journals, I found myself longing for a different way to capture the details of a hunt or scout. I wanted something that logged the hunt in real time with pictures, videos, photos, and notes. Past journal entries didn’t often include time or specific location information, so I had to cross reference entries with my Garmin GPS device, OnX, and Google Earth. It was time to put all these things together in one tool that would operate as a private journal, but gave me the ability to share individual hunts with hunting buddies, family, and friends. This is the foundation of the new HuntLeague mobile app; a field journal that bridges the gap between an ancient tradition and modern technology.
So how does your story, bear hunting, and HuntLeague all come together? That’s easy! It’s called “The On Point Experience”; a league inside the HuntLeague app hosted by Garrett Weaver in partnership with Bear Hunting Magazine and Vortex Optics. Garrett is an avid, accomplished bear hunter from the state of Oregon with a passion to mentor other hunters through his podcast, YouTube channel, and social media. Bear Hunting Magazine and Vortex Optics are both industry leaders in their respective fields. Now sprinkle in a few more industry leaders such as First Lite, AXIL, Velvet Antler Technologies, and Work Sharp to the mix, and what do you get?
The Ultimate Bear Hunt Giveaway!
One lucky hunter will win a filmed DIY bear hunt in the fall of 2023 with Garrett, Kolby the Bear Tech, a representative from Vortex, and me. The winner will also receive an incredible prize package with some of today’s top gear. Now add a featured article in Bear Hunting Magazine and the filmed hunt being shared across multiple YouTube channels, and this truly becomes the experience of a lifetime.
So how do you win? Your story! Download the HuntLeague app, join The On Point Experience league, and log and share your hunting stories with the community. It’s not a writing or photo contest, social media gimmick, random drawing, or killing contest. Simply log your hunts in the HuntLeague app and participate in the On Point Experience community. All species and methods of take are included, participants must be 18 or older, and prior bear hunting experience is not required. The league ends May 31, 2023 and Garrett, along with a panel of league sponsors, will select one lucky hunter to participate in the fall bear hunt just two months later.
Jared Newman is the founder of the HuntLeague app. @huntleague
Garrett Weaver is the host of the On Point podcast, “Garrett Weaver” YouTube channel, and @onpointwithgarrettweaver on Instagram.