A novel approach to a hunting utility app gave Pursuit a great start. Here’s why it will continue to see success.
There is no shortage of outdoor, and specifically hunting-related apps in the marketplace. If you’re hunting you’re almost certainly bringing your phone along for the adventure, and companies are cashing in on the social, world-flattening environment that smartphones and connectivity gives us.
Except they don’t all work that way. Pursuit, a new-to-the-scene app specializing in license acquisition and organization, is really on to something. They’re making it easier than ever before to find, secure, and store hunting and fishing licenses for the modern outdoorsman who can simplify things with the little rectangle in their pocket.
We talked to Rob Hudson, who’s the founder and CEO of Pursuit, about what it does, how it’s being used, and what makes it unique. But before we let Rob fill us in, check out this short clip explaining the Pursuit concept. This gives you a pretty good idea.
Hudson was eager to explain things further, and his sincere devotion in what he’s doing became clear right away.
“We basically built this platform to change the way that licensing is done,” Hudson said bluntly. “It’s a super pain.” He brought up situations that inspired him, like friends who went on a trip out of state, realized their license from last season was expired, and they’re four hours away from the nearest physical location to buy a new one.
Upon initial use of the app, it becomes pretty intuitive and doesn’t require much learning curve. The connections to each state’s licensing portal are pretty seamless, and the user interface is welcoming and clean.
Currently only available on iOS (with Android soon to follow), the app seems destined to satisfy its mission, with some additional features as well.
“We’re a utility app, not a social media company, not taking weather statistics from other place and just slapping hunting and fishing on it. We’re trying to start apart and really be a utility tool for hunting and fishing,” he said. That’s where the distinct differences started, and we asked for a little more information.
“The Field Notes section is your private notes. We’re not saying share this location, share this information, and stuff like that. It’s more like ‘Hey, here’s this really good spot I fished two years ago, and at some point I really want to go back there. So here are those same annotations in my Field Notes.'”
It’s a simple idea, but done in a slightly different way. Hunters and anglers can inherently be a little reserved when it comes to sharing their spots and information, and that’s likely something that the wider outdoor app engineers failed to recognize. Maybe I don’t want to let everybody in a four-hour radius know what I got a limit of dove on that particular field, or that my personal best largemouth was caught on a Senko in a certain urban lake.
Pursuit is also close to finalizing a safety mechanism, with GPS tracking and impact technology, which can contact emergency contacts if a hard fall or other mishap should happen.
“We wanted to take a step out so that we don’t call search and rescue for you, and have the helicopters come, and have it be a $100,000 ride out,” Hudson said. “We want to see that something happened, and send word to your mom, your dad, your wife, or your friend, who knows you’re out in the woods for a few days, that something’s up.” That seemed like a smart way to approach things, and avoid situations with both peace of mind and a good, reliable source of communicating your scenario.
Hudson assured us that despite a young lifespan (the company started just a year ago, and June 15 was the app’s launch date) and a few obstacles already hurdled, Pursuit is getting rave reviews. He’s certain that once more users realize the value of Pursuit (an entirely free app and resource, by the way), it will begin to swing the pendulum of licensing and field note taking into the tech-centric, connected world we live in.
The concern over the diverse, confusing, and sometimes archaic method of hunting and fishing license acquisition was strung through our entire conversation with Hudson, and he truly feels there should be a better, easier way and that Pursuit is helping lead us in the right direction. Could licensing and permitting eventually become entirely paperless?
“I think that’s the challenge and the hurdle, is getting people to think differently,” Hudson told us. “I can’t tell people that I’m going to change it, because I don’t know if we are going to be able to. But right now, we seem to be the only people at least giving it a shot, and it’s worth going down the road to hopefully make all our lives easier.”
Hudson mentioned that he’s met with and had conversations with state agencies in Washington recently, in an effort to help persuade them to open their eyes to the possibilities. While there are people in those agencies who see the light and acknowledge the need, they still admit the difficulties in making changes.
“It’s just a matter of manpower, and knowledge, and everything else, so hopefully this can maybe be a tipping point to say we need to reinvest in technology and clean this stuff up, or maybe we aren’t going to sell as many licenses,” said Hudson. “I’m hoping that it will continue to trend in the direction that we’re going, and we’ll be able to make some partnerships with the states and go from there.”
That is a well-intended objective, and you’d have to agree with the general thought. If you can’t get a license with your phone in the middle of the wilderness, are you going to try hard to get one?
Pursuit will help you do it, and might just change the licensing landscape in the process.