Dan Hansel, of Houtzdale, put his years of deer hunting experience and the years of experience his father, Terry Hansel, passed on to him as he learned the sport, in the digital direction dictated by his profession.
The result is the TrophyTracks app, which allows deer hunters to keep track of all their sightings, field notes, photos, crops and weather information for the places they hunt.
“I’ve been a whitetail hunter for years,” with years of experience, explained Penn State’s deputy IT director. “But I have 25 deer stand locations and I would wake up in the morning to try and decide, ‘Where should I hunt today? “” In last fall’s archery season, he hunted 11 pm at his most promising spot in Clearfield County.
Experiences like this in previous years, including in 2017, when he pocketed 10 points, that year made him wonder, “Why can’t I put this into an app?”
The app, available on Goggle Play and the Apple App Store, is a hunter’s way of recording their memories in their diary, predicting the best days to hunt and hopefully being at the top of their game. right place at the right time.
The free basic subscription allows the hunter to enter an unlimited number of reports but limits the number of photos he can save to 20. These photos may include downloads from surveillance cameras.
The paid pro version allows more photos, but photos are not the purpose of TrophyTracks.
Hansel said the advanced statistics feature is at the heart of the app. For example, based on previous reports from 2 different deer stand locations, TrophyTracks gives the hunter the statistic to decide which stand offers the best chance of success under current conditions.
The hunter can capture these reports live in the field or later at home.
Hansel explained, “It’s your personal journal,” like the hunting journals some sportsmen keep up to date, but more immediate, easier to grasp, and amplified with automatic map detail.
Like other popular hunting apps including Onyx and Huntwise, TrophyTracks has a mapping feature and this feature will be improved in future versions to enable features like Waze-like live tracking on the hunter’s location then that he moves in the hunt, but it’s more than mapping.
He said, “It’s not just about the map, it’s about your observations.”
The hunter’s own reports, compiled in the app, provide him with “information on which locations give the best results to begin shaping the deer to find the right place at the right time.”
Future improvements will allow the app to offer predictive analytics, combining hunter statistics with current conditions.
In addition, although the app allows the hunter to enter data, including game species other than deer encountered, Hansel plans to make it adaptable to these other species.
In its first partial year of availability, since mid-September, TrophyTracks has attracted over 650 users. Word of mouth has been strong, but the coronavirus pandemic has hampered the rollout by limiting Hansel’s planned fact-finding visits to gun shops, deer processors and other similar locations and canceling outdoor shows .
For more information, visit the TrophyTracks website.