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January 2022
Author: Jerrod Lile

On behalf of the Huntin’ Fool Team, I want to thank you for your membership and support! When I arrived here nearly five years ago, I thought I had what it took to be a Hunt Advisor. I also thought I knew how to easily describe who Huntin’ Fool is and what we do. After all, I’d been a member for nearly 20 years. However, I was quickly humbled when I looked at the thousands of calls that pour in every year and realized that I had a lot to learn.

Yes, I’d been applying for out-of-state hunts for more than 20 years while building my own spreadsheets on everything from draw odds to harvest statistics. I’d also been fortunate to hunt in multiple states each year for more than two decades, but I had done a lot of that from an archery-only perspective, mostly because that’s how I love to hunt. Therefore, oftentimes when a member had a rifle or muzzleloader question, I found myself relying on the incredibly knowledgeable teammates I inherited when I walked through the doors. I also realized that I had a lot to learn about bowhunting opportunities, too. In short, I’ve eaten a lot of humble pie since I joined this team, but I’ve done so in the name of helping our members make the most of their precious time in the field.

Perhaps even more perplexing was the fact that I realized it was difficult to quickly outline the benefits of Huntin’ Fool to potential new members. It wasn’t because we lacked benefits. In fact, there were too many to outline in a quick conversation. As I worked on perfecting my “sales pitch,” I realized we were missing a simple mission statement that outlined our core purpose. At the same time, as the CEO of Huntin’ Fool, I was struggling to make decisions on where to invest time, money, and energy as a business. At that point, I turned to the entire team and started asking simple questions about who we are, what we do, and why we do it. In the end, we emerged with a mission statement that is both simple and profound:

Our mission is to help our members go on more hunts with better information.

This statement is important because it puts members first. It also reflects the attitude of our Hunt Advisors. In a lifetime of searching, I’ve never met a more selfless group of individuals when it comes to hunting. At the family level, every one of these guys will put all of their hunts on hold to help a family member. At the teammate level, they will drop everything they’re doing to pack meat, scout, glass, host, and in general, help each other out. And finally, at the member level, I know that every one of our Advisors knows that the great opportunity we have is thanks to you, our members. As a result, they’ll do anything within their power to help make your hunts successful.

The second half of our mission statement is equally important. We want you to hunt more! We know that time is short and that there are always excuses to not go. We want to help you overcome those excuses, and we know that one of the best ways to do that is by providing you with information that makes you confident you’re going to have the best outcome possible when you head into the field. We’d like to take some of the guesswork and hesitation out of your hunt because we think it’ll inspire you to say yes to more opportunities.

So, why is this important? For me, it’s because it provides a standard for all ideas we discuss inside the office. We can easily ask ourselves, “Is this putting members first?” “Will this help members go on more hunts?” “Will this provide valuable information to our members?” If the answer to any of those questions is yes, then we add it to our list of things we want to do and try to figure out how to prioritize the idea. If the answer is no, it’s a lot easier to kick it off our plate and move on.

This is a great internal test for our team, but I’d like to invite you to take a more active role in this process. After all, we’re a members only organization and there’s something truly special about that. We’re not a magazine. We’re not a consulting company. We’re not a booking agency. What we are is a collection of members who represent the most passionate segment of the hunting community, so please reach out to us personally with your requests, your ideas, your visions, and yes, even your complaints.

In the years to come, we are going to continue to see restrictions on our opportunities at the state level. This is going to make it more imperative than ever to have your ducks in a row when it comes to applications, tags, licensing, and more. We’re committed to assisting you with that process so that you can keep doing what you love with the people you care about.

As we start into the 2022 planning year, we’re honored that you chose us to accompany you on the journey and we can’t wait to help you go on more hunts with better information!