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June 2020
Author: Paul Damron

Sharing experiences with friends and family has helped me appreciate my understanding for  the outdoors. It also brings me joy when I can help others be successful. It was my grandpa and dad who shared their love for the outdoors with me. It didn’t matter what we were doing, going for rides, hunting, or fishing, they always shared their knowledge and understanding of the outdoors with my brother and me.

Central Utah is unique in the sense of  geography and geology. On one side of the valley, there are rolling hills covered with sagebrush, cedar, and pinyon pine, eventually leading up to very heavy and thick forests. On the other side, we have the “Red Hills,” red rock cliffs and rolling hills stretching for miles. My grandpa would take my brother and me for rides in his 60’s Ford pickup. With a cold drink and a treat, we were ready to tackle the mountains. It seemed we would drive for miles and miles. Every new bend in the road and hill brought us new country that needed to be explored. We were able to explore a lot. I’m not sure if it was because the truck needed a break or if my grandpa needed us out of the cab of the truck for a bit. Either way, we were able to explore!

Like most grandpas, he knew everything. He grew up exploring these same hills. As we rode from one end of the valley to the other, he would point out things most people would have just driven by. I think he knew where every Native American drawing and ruins were and where old mines and gold veins ran. We would also see hundreds of deer and elk. Along those rides, he would always find a deer hiding in the sagebrush or clear up on the hill. He didn’t use binoculars often, but man, could he spot wildlife. We started calling him “Eagle Eyes.” In fact, this is how I harvested my first buck.

Hunting was a family tradition with grandparents, uncles, aunts, and cousins. We would all wake up early and head out to our spot for opening morning. Hunting public lands also meant others reaching our spot first, so getting up earlier was usually the norm. That morning didn't bring much success, so we headed to another area. As we pulled off the side of the road for lunch, my grandpa pulled my dad and me over and said while pointing, “There are two bucks up in that small draw.” We didn’t hesitate or question him. We drove up the hill as close as we could. We never did see them until we got within about 100 yards. My heart was racing. My dad helped me get set up and 

pointed in the right direction. As I pulled my lever action 30/30 up and did my best to rest the sights on the kill zone, buck fever set in. I couldn’t control most of my body from shaking. I have been told it was a sight to see. I can still remember my dad and brother asking me if I was OK. A few shots later, I had harvested my first buck. It wasn’t anything to write home about, but it was my first and I’ll never forget it.

I was hooked on the idea of spending time in the mountains with those I love. In the summers when the snow had melted off, my parents would load up our single cab truck and just drive. We went nowhere in particular, we just enjoyed being in the mountains. We would also head to our favorite fishing spot and sit and fish.

Fast forward a handful of years to when I graduated from high school and I had the opportunity to serve a mission for my church in Italy for two years. After returning home, I followed my high school sweetheart, Rebecca, to southern Utah. There, I proposed, attended college, and we started a family. We have been married for a wonderful 15 years and have four boys (ages 13, 11, 9, and 7). They are a busy crew, but my love for the outdoors continues to grow as I teach my own boys like my grandpa and dad taught me.

While at Southern Utah University, I started studying Natural Resources. I enjoyed learning about the outdoors. However, I also started learning about Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and decided to switch degrees. GIS is a framework to organize, communicate, and understand the science of our world. Little did I know that the change I made in college would take me down a career path that I love.

My career has helped shape and mold my knowledge into understanding our world. I currently work for the Department of Transportation in Utah as a GIS and Data Analytics Manager. I have also been running a small GIS business for 10 years. My business has allowed me to follow my passion for GIS and the outdoors. A little over a year ago, I started to develop a hunting mapping application that filled the gaps of current industry mapping apps. This led me to my first meeting with Huntin’ Fool’s VP of Operations, Austin Atkinson. As far as I’m concerned, they fell in love with what I had started to develop. From there, a partnership and Huntin’ Fool’s Hunt Planner were born. This has been an amazing experience and opportunity. We have been able to work together and develop the Hunt Planner into a vital tool for e-scouting. The Hunt Planner is a Huntin' Fool member-exclusive 3D satellite mapping platform to research hunts by state, species, weapons, trophy potential, and more. The platform 

includes public land overlays, wildfire history, roadless areas, current weather, and many more layers and features. It’s the only 3D satellite mapping platform that combines proprietary hunt research with a waypoint management system to create the ultimate e-scouting platform for today’s hunter.

We continue to develop and make the Hunt Planner stronger than ever. We launched the 3D Mapping Application at the 2020 Western Hunting & Conservation Expo in Salt Lake City, and we had a lot of great feedback. Our Hunt Planner is developed by hunters (and tech geeks) for hunters. Knowledge is one of the keys to success when it comes to hunting. Our app gives you the tools to understand all aspects of areas you are interested in hunting. It's a scouting app in your pocket, at home, or virtually anywhere. We don’t know what the future holds, but I can tell you we have some really cool e-scouting tools developed and they will be deployed strategically.

This opportunity has allowed me to share my experience with technology and combine it with the outdoors.
I hope you all have had the opportunity to view and check out our Hunt Planner at If not, do it!