Being a part of the hunting community offers a multitude of benefits, with one of the most significant being the sense of camaraderie and the valuable industry partnerships that enhance the hunting experience. In a recent conversation with Nathan Huizenga, the Marketing Partnership Manager at HuntWise, the importance of these partnerships, particularly with companies like HuntWise and ScentLok, became abundantly clear. "When HuntWise came into existence, we recognized the fundamental need for hunters to have access to crucial information regarding when and where to hunt," Huizenga emphasized. He explained, "We initiated a gear program exclusively for our valued subscribers, providing them exclusive industry discounts on their favorite hunting equipment." As the discussion continued, it became evident that the right gear is essential for hunters to make the most of their time afield. Through these industry partnerships and the discounts available to their subscribers, HuntWise aims to ensure that the savings derived from these benefits not only enhance the hunting experience but also help offset the initial subscription cost.
Utilizing hunting apps has revolutionized how hunters plan their outings, helping them pinpoint the best days to hunt, facilitating efficient scouting, expanding their access to hunting properties, and offering many other invaluable features. These apps have become an indispensable tool in pursuing mature whitetail bucks. During my conversation with Huizenga, he detailed the features of the HuntWise app that empower hunters to increase their chances of success during the fall season. Huizenga emphasized that, based on personal experiences and numerous success stories, the harvest of these elusive whitetail bucks would often remain unattainable without the aid of a comprehensive hunting app. One of the number one leading excuses for hunters not getting to hunt is time. Huizenga stressed that one of the most significant features of hunting apps, such as HuntWise, is providing hunters with enough information to help maximize their time off. He mentioned some hunters have what is called a “rutcation.” Meaning a vacation that is centered around the whitetail rut. When hunters have data such as weather, wind directions, moon phases, and the best rut days, they can plan accordingly. “Our app allows hunters to see a 15-day forecast to help move their rutcation up or back a few days to maximize hunting during the best predicated days. Huizenga also shared a story that stressed that it isn’t always what days you hunt; it can be critical to maximize the days you do not hunt as well.
“It was a Friday when a good friend of mine from Pennsylvania, a police officer, elected not to hunt because he knew that a cold front was predicted to move through him and his buddy's hunting area two days from then,” explained Huizenga. “When my friends and co-workers from the police force all spent the weekend hunting, yet had no luck, it was my friend who had decided to wait until HuntWise told him it would be better hunting that ended with him having success. When hunting two days later than everyone else, he was in the stand a mere ten minutes when the big target buck he had been watching stepped out, and he could make the harvest. My friend advised his police chief not to go on the opening day; wait until this other day when HuntWise said it would be better, and his chief listened, resulting in success for him as well.”
Hunting apps are one of the most used tools by whitetail deer hunters for many reasons. Weather and mapping, when partnered together, can significantly help hunters determine when and where they need to be hunting for each specific day. Hunting apps, such as HuntWise, have mapping features that show public and private land, with the option of seeing the landowner's name. Both are huge in finding new hunting property and when in search of the best-producing land to hunt. Wind has always been a massive aspect of deer hunting; with that in mind, HuntWise developed another feature titled Wind Cast. The hunters can use this feature to help set tree stands for the ideal wind; plus, with this feature, you can see what the wind is forecasted up to five days in advance. Once the hunter sees the wind direction, they can choose from multiple stands set prior to hunting, each set for different wind directions. Pick the most suitable stand for the wind on your day to hunt, and you have already increased your chance at success before even stepping into the woods.
Other vital features include scouting features, stand and game camera indicators, and more to help plan specific hunting locations. One of the favorite features among hunters using the HuntWise app comes into play during one of the most popular times of the season – the rut in November. HuntWise boasts a "Rut Cast" feature specifically designed to assist hunters during this crucial time.
After diligently completing their preparations, including stand location selection and coordinating time off from work, hunters eagerly anticipate the arrival of the rut. During this pivotal period, Nathan Huizenga shares his enthusiasm for the Rut Cast feature within the HuntWise app. He explains, "Rut Cast is a collaborative effort with Jeff Sturgis, who brings years of dedicated rut research to the table." He elaborates, "We've harnessed Jeff's extensive data, experiences, and algorithm to focus on the distinct phases of the rut. It's crucial to recognize that the rut is different from start to finish; it comprises pre-rut, rut, post-rut, and secondary rut phases." Huizenga underscores that the app is committed to educating hunters about these distinct rut phases, emphasizing that each one demands a unique approach. For instance, the pre-rut is an optimal time for rattling and grunting techniques, while during the secondary rut, these tactics may not align with the deer's natural behavior. By embracing this approach, hunting apps empower hunters to make more informed decisions, ultimately leading to greater success in their pursuits.