Matt Rinella for president

Billy Goat

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I think a largely overlooked part of influencers, especially on the YouTube, is the amount of sway they have over a small group.

Someone who is new to something anymore turns to things like YouTube for instructions. Be it how to install a kitchen sink, replace a toilet, finish drywall, replace brake pads, sight in your new firearm, or tune your bow. So while people in the know don't go and view any of that content, people who are trying to educate themselves find them to be an authority. This is why a 60 yo hunter has no idea who these people are.

So you have a largely ignorant audience who will latch onto things as gospel, which makes it easier to sell them products, hence why they get backed.

That can be both good and bad but personally I think it's why we should be concerned about what these influences do, because it's also something that will be top of a search function for anyone looking for any kind of information about hunting, independent of if they are for or against it.
 
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I think a largely overlooked part of influencers, especially on the YouTube, is the amount of sway they have over a small group.

Someone who is new to something anymore turns to things like YouTube for instructions. Be it how to install a kitchen sink, replace a toilet, finish drywall, replace brake pads, sight in your new firearm, or tune your bow. So while people in the know don't go and view any of that content, people who are trying to educate themselves find them to be an authority. This is why a 60 yo hunter has no idea who these people are.

So you have a largely ignorant audience who will latch onto things as gospel, which makes it easier to sell them products, hence why they get backed.

That can be both good and bad but personally I think it's why we should be concerned about what these influences do, because it's also something that will be top of a search function for anyone looking for any kind of information about hunting, independent of if they are for or against it.

All of this!!!

As a new bow hunter, I did exactly what is described here; I watched hundreds of hours of videos. While I learned pretty much everything I know about deer and archery from YouTube, it feels a lot like the karate kid learning karate from magazines but I can’t complain as after buying my first bow on the 4th of July, I was able to harvest my first buck two days ago.

While influencers provide a valuable service to young hunters, these “digital shepherds” hold a lot more sway over young hunters purchase decisions than people realize and as such are easy to monetize and there is nothing wrong with that, they are simply capitalizing on their value. My issue is a lack of consensus among the “experts”. Everyone is convinced they know better than anyone else and it can be an arduous test of discernment to filter through all of the BS (with a few exceptions like John Dudley).

Overall, while they make it easy to learn (which is what YouTube is great for), I am not convinced they are out seducing the masses to overcrowd our public land. They simply provide a valuable service and like all services, ethics may vary. I personally think it’s far more likely that any recent spikes in hunters can be attributed to the potential of food scarcity but that may just be what drew me in and I am tossing a personal bias at the issue.


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Billy Goat

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All of this!!!

As a new bow hunter, I did exactly what is described here; I watched hundreds of hours of videos. While I learned pretty much everything I know about deer and archery from YouTube, it feels a lot like the karate kid learning karate from magazines but I can’t complain as after buying my first bow on the 4th of July, I was able to harvest my first buck two days ago.

While influencers provide a valuable service to young hunters, these “digital shepherds” hold a lot more sway over young hunters purchase decisions than people realize and as such are easy to monetize and there is nothing wrong with that, they are simply capitalizing on their value. My issue is a lack of consensus among the “experts”. Everyone is convinced they know better than anyone else and it can be an arduous test of discernment to filter through all of the BS (with a few exceptions like John Dudley).

Overall, while they make it easy to learn (which is what YouTube is great for), I am not convinced they are out seducing the masses to overcrowd our public land. They simply provide a valuable service and like all services, ethics may vary. I personally think it’s far more likely that any recent spikes in hunters can be attributed to the potential of food scarcity but that may just be what drew me in and I am tossing a personal bias at the issue.


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Is the food scarcity really that big of an influence?

It's not something that hits home with me, but I farm, have several freezers full of both wild and domestic animals.

Just seems to me it's more economical to buy it than to hunt it, figuring time is valuable.


I think if protein actually got scarce, the protein that can be hunted will quickly disappear, and I'll pay guards in protein.


Congratulations on the buck, likely hooked now, so it doesn't exactly matter how the numbers pencil out.
 
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Is the food scarcity really that big of an influence?

It's not something that hits home with me, but I farm, have several freezers full of both wild and domestic animals.

Just seems to me it's more economical to buy it than to hunt it, figuring time is valuable.


I think if protein actually got scarce, the protein that can be hunted will quickly disappear, and I'll pay guards in protein.


Congratulations on the buck, likely hooked now, so it doesn't exactly matter how the numbers pencil out.

I grew up in Alaska on a partially subsistence household but I live in a fairly “Urban” area of Arkansas (Bentonville) now and have no idea how to live off the land here.

Looking at empty shelves, of meat during the pandemic I struggled to find protein for my two growing boys and that feeling of helplessness is something that I was determined to never feel again. So yes, it did effect me personally to that extent.

Do I think there will be wide spread food scarcity? Highly unlikely but knowing that it’s possible, it felt prudent to prepare by learning a new skill. In learning that skill, I grew to love the process and will hunt for life now.

I posed the question earlier in this thread with no response but if there has been a huge uptick in the number of hunters in the last 2-3 years, I think the answer is obvious as “influencers” have been around for decades .


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Billy Goat

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I grew up in Alaska on a partially subsistence household but I live in a fairly “Urban” area of Arkansas (Bentonville) now and have no idea how to live off the land here.

Looking at empty shelves, of meat during the pandemic I struggled to find protein for my two growing boys and that feeling of helplessness is something that I was determined to never feel again. So yes, it did effect me personally to that extent.

Do I think there will be wide spread food scarcity? Highly unlikely but knowing that it’s possible, it felt prudent to prepare by learning a new skill. In learning that skill, I grew to love the process and will hunt for life now.

I posed the question earlier in this thread with no response but if there has been a huge uptick in the number of hunters in the last 2-3 years, I think the answer is obvious as “influencers” have been around for decades .


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Thanks, I get that.

Like I said, it's not on my radar, however I'm in a different situation. I buy meat at the grocery store when it's on manager clearance, still find some whenever I go. Been buying roasts for around $4/#.

In our area we have a shortage of meat processing facilities, it's 22 month wait right now for an appointment for a steer. We have always had a decent waiting list, like 3-4 months on lambs, 6-8 months on steers. Usually you just renewed your dates every year when you dropped off stuff for that year, covid put the demand thru the roof.


One thing about the last 2-3 years is also people looking to occupy their time. Lots of gardens planted, I think that was definitely a concerned about food, but lots of home projects too.
I think people just looked for things to do, outside hobies/entertainment. Amount of hikers has gone thru the roof, don't think that's really to forage for food, just something to do outside.
Complicated scenarios, but seems to be an urban exodus, I'm sure a lot of that is from looking around and thinking is this really where I want to be if (insert whatever scenario) goes down?
 

Gobbler36

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I feel the best thing is to contact the companies politely and let them know how you feel. Another thing is to take as many youth hunting as you can and show them the way. That way they will learn from a good example you set for them.

On a side note:
One thing I've noticed lately is a lot of outrage over what "celebrity" hunters are doing. I personally don't think much has changed in the industry for decades. People have been making a living by promoting hunting and fishing for a long time. The platforms have changed with social media, but I think the same type of stuff has been happening for a long time. I could be wrong, and it may be way worse now. I have to admit I watch very little hunting content unless I know the person and want to see how their hunt went.
Yes but what’s been changed by those new platforms is the number of people they reach is much more much faster, and is constantly putting pressure on every hunt and experience that is out there not to mention all the slimes reasons these people get into hunting and posting about it as well

I’ll second Matt Rinella for president and im trying to make sure I hunt quietly from now on..
 

Gobbler36

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I grew up in Alaska on a partially subsistence household but I live in a fairly “Urban” area of Arkansas (Bentonville) now and have no idea how to live off the land here.

Looking at empty shelves, of meat during the pandemic I struggled to find protein for my two growing boys and that feeling of helplessness is something that I was determined to never feel again. So yes, it did effect me personally to that extent.

Do I think there will be wide spread food scarcity? Highly unlikely but knowing that it’s possible, it felt prudent to prepare by learning a new skill. In learning that skill, I grew to love the process and will hunt for life now.

I posed the question earlier in this thread with no response but if there has been a huge uptick in the number of hunters in the last 2-3 years, I think the answer is obvious as “influencers” have been around for decades .


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Dude there’s never been the amount of influencers as there is right now and constantly growing and reaches so many more people. not even comparable to when it was just a magezine articles
 
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Dude there’s never been the amount of influencers as there is right now and constantly growing and reaches so many more people. not even comparable to when it was just a magezine articles

Content creators don’t create demand, they service it.

Those “influencers” are only afforded the opportunity to exist because people are looking for that kind of content.


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Newtosavage

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I think a largely overlooked part of influencers, especially on the YouTube, is the amount of sway they have over a small group.

Someone who is new to something anymore turns to things like YouTube for instructions. Be it how to install a kitchen sink, replace a toilet, finish drywall, replace brake pads, sight in your new firearm, or tune your bow. So while people in the know don't go and view any of that content, people who are trying to educate themselves find them to be an authority. This is why a 60 yo hunter has no idea who these people are.

So you have a largely ignorant audience who will latch onto things as gospel, which makes it easier to sell them products, hence why they get backed.

That can be both good and bad but personally I think it's why we should be concerned about what these influences do, because it's also something that will be top of a search function for anyone looking for any kind of information about hunting, independent of if they are for or against it.
Important part of this message is in the first sentence... "a small group."

The vast majority of hunters are still learning through the examples of friends and family, as they should. Like I said from the onset, so-called "influencers" have much less influence than they think they do.
 

Newtosavage

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Dude there’s never been the amount of influencers as there is right now and constantly growing and reaches so many more people. not even comparable to when it was just a magezine articles
How do you know that? Do you know what the circulation of Field and Stream or Outdoor Life was back in the 80's. There was literally one or two in every waiting room (doctor, auto mechanic, barber) in the U.S.
 

Billy Goat

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Important part of this message is in the first sentence... "a small group."

The vast majority of hunters are still learning through the examples of friends and family, as they should. Like I said from the onset, so-called "influencers" have much less influence than they think they do.

Problem is, small minority groups are proving to be pretty important anymore.


10% might not seem like a lot, but if it's a shrinking subset, that 10% can be very helpful or hurtful.
 

Newtosavage

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Problem is, small minority groups are proving to be pretty important anymore.


10% might not seem like a lot, but if it's a shrinking subset, that 10% can be very helpful or hurtful.
I'm still not convinced. I think to people who frequent social media and especially online hunting forums, the influence seems more than it is to the general hunting population. But as I've said, I could be dead wrong. Either way, I won't lose a minute's sleep over what some social media celebrity "pro hunter" does or says. And neither should anyone else IMO. They should be seen for what they are - marketing tools and nothing more.

The real "influencers" like Bear, Pearson, Chuck Adams, Jack O'Connor, etc. are long behind us. Those guys actually created new opportunities and knowledge that we all benefitted from. The clowns on social media today create nothing but opportunities for themselves. Rinella is the last of his kind - someone that actually brings something new to the game - but even he isn't in the same league as the Bears and O'Connors of the world. Not even close. And he would probably tell you that himself.
 

Newtosavage

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Content creators don’t create demand, they service it.

Those “influencers” are only afforded the opportunity to exist because people are looking for that kind of content.


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Let me offer another take:

1) Content is more inexpensive than ever to create. The barrier to entry has never been lower.
2) wannabe "influencers" are creating content with the hopes of farming it out and finding a taker. That is not the same as supply meeting demand. They are hoping to create demand or expand the market by telling people they "need" something or by putting a new twist on a tired old story. I mean seriously, how many times do we need to see a deer shot from the edge of a soybean field while the shooter yells "smoked 'em!!!" ??? It's an addiction for a very small group of people who are susceptible to that addiction. That is all. Everyone else gets bored with it pretty quickly.
3) so-called "influencers" are also subsidizing their desired lifestyle in other ways. I doubt very many are doing it full time.
4) The number of full time "influencers" (who pay their bills for years doing just that) will tell you what the market bears, not the other way around.
5) The primary "influence" these people have - primarily on young men in their teens and 20's - is negative. Like most of social media, they lead impressionable young men to believe they can actually make a living traveling around and hunting which causes a lot of young men to take part-time jobs and forego honest careers and building a life that will allow them to retire someday. It's also very hard on relationships.

I saw this first-hand when I lived in Southern Illinois as the self-filmed hunt craze was just starting to take off. Whole generations of 20-somethings were working construction in the summer to pay for their hunting addiction, all the while thinking they were going to be a "pro hunter" someday with their own show. It was such a waste of time and talent. It was honestly hard to find anyone in their 20's in that area who was taking their education and career seriously, because of all the hunting opportunities they were busy pursuing. I had never seen anything like it before or since, and I'm sure it's only gotten worse since iPhones and YouTube arrived.

Social media "influencers" are literally a brain drain on modern society. I feel sorry for those who fall for their b.s.

And yes, I fully realize how old that makes me sound. LOL
 

Billy Goat

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I'm still not convinced. I think to people who frequent social media and especially online hunting forums, the influence seems more than it is to the general hunting population. But as I've said, I could be dead wrong. Either way, I won't lose a minute's sleep over what some social media celebrity "pro hunter" does or says. And neither should anyone else IMO. They should be seen for what they are - marketing tools and nothing more.

The real "influencers" like Bear, Pearson, Chuck Adams, Jack O'Connor, etc. are long behind us. Those guys actually created new opportunities and knowledge that we all benefitted from. The clowns on social media today create nothing but opportunities for themselves. Rinella is the last of his kind - someone that actually brings something new to the game - but even he isn't in the same league as the Bears and O'Connors of the world. Not even close. And he would probably tell you that himself.

To anyone under the age of 30, the YouTube hunting personalities are the same as Chuck, Randy, Fred, O'Connor etc.

It's that segment, the ones who will set the tone for the next 20 years, is where the influence is.
 

fngTony

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To anyone under the age of 30, the YouTube hunting personalities are the same as Chuck, Randy, Fred, O'Connor etc.

It's that segment, the ones who will set the tone for the next 20 years, is where the influence is.
To add to your point the vast majority of that generation is not growing up in a household or even a family that hunts therefore their only example tends to be the Internet.
 

Newtosavage

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You guys might be right. I suppose peoples phones are everywhere that the old hunting magazines used to be.

I know what new opportunities folks like Bear and O'Connor and others made us aware of or even created themselves. What are the present day personalities creating for the hunting community, other than entertainment and advertising?
 

Billy Goat

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What are the present day personalities creating for the hunting community, other than entertainment and advertising?

Pressure, at least in the mind of the old timers. I first got the opportunity to go west in '07, I didn't know about e-scouting, didn't know a 1/4 of the stuff that it seems every first timer needs to know now, and was probably better off for it.

I have seen what seems like a massive increase in participation of western hunting since then, I don't think it's due to the influencers, tho they have their part. I think it has revolved around the economy, since the recovery after '08 things have been pretty good for a while, people had extra spending money, they decided to take these hunting trips, however instead of the traditional leg work to find out information, they turned to things like YouTube and other online research tools, making social marketing, and influencers more desirable to companies.



So I blame it on the fact people are just making too much money, or don't give a shit about dept. Likely the latter.
 
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