Q. Who is Powderhook?
A. Powderhook is a small tech company based in Lincoln, Nebraska. Our mission statement is "access for all," which means we're working hard to help people hunt and fish more often by making it easier to find places to go and things to do outdoors. Visit www.powderhook.com to learn more.
Q. What is Waterfowl Tracker?
A. Waterfowl Tracker is a tool for helping you track and share the waterfowl activity you're seeing. You can view waterfowl activity all over the country, or even just in your own neck of the woods. While it’s intended to be a fun and useful tool, it’s also our hope that the data we collectively produce can be used by scientists to better understand migration and to positively influence the experiences of waterfowl hunters everywhere.
Q. Why are there ads?
A. Can I get an ad-free version? Powderhook partnered with Cabela's to provide Waterfowl Tracker as a free app. There is no paid or ad-free version of the app at this time. If you enjoy the app, please make a note to support our partners next time you have a chance.
Q. Can I use Waterfowl Tracker from my computer?
A. Yes! Visit us at www.waterfowltracker.com from your desktop computer. Once you sign-in all of your reports will be visible to you on your computer.
What can I do to help make Waterfowl Tracker a success?
A. Because this app relies on quality reporting from users, the biggest thing you can do to help is to share Waterfowl Tracker with your fellow hunters. In addition, please make reports often, and make your reports helpful to other hunters. As sportsmen we all win when more people get out more often. Together we're building a tool that has the potential to help shape the future of waterfowl hunting.
Q. How do I submit a report?
A. Click on the "+" button at the top of the screen. You'll be asked a couple questions, but you only have to put in the data you're comfortable sharing. We'll never share your name, exact location or personal information. Observation Reports are made for individual flocks. Feel free to document as much or as little as you feel comfortable. You can also add a photo and enter a description of your observation, and specify the location and time. By default, we'll use the location of your phone and label it with the closest city. Collecting this type of data allows us to compute an overall "migration level" for your area.
Q. What is a heat map?
A. The Waterfowl Tracker map shows waterfowl activity in the form of a heat map for four different categories of waterfowl: Mallards, All Other Ducks, Canada (Dark) Geese and Snow Geese. Specks and Lesser Canadians are included under the Canada Geese map. A heat map is a special type of map that shows aggregated information blended together as a trend in a certain area. Think of it like a radar map for weather. The more red an area, the closer to peak migrating activity you can likely expect to see. The more blue (or lack of color all together) indicates less migration activity reported. The further you zoom out, the more aggregated the heat map will become because it's showing a trend across a larger area. The closer you zoom in, the more specific the heat will become because it's showing a trend across a smaller area. Because we use about a 50 mile radius to show heat, rather than using pins, we make it much tougher (if not impossible) to figure out the exact location of a report. We're watefowl hunters, too, and we know it can be frustrating when people interrupt a hunt.
Q. Can other people see the exact location of reports?
A. No. We take privacy seriously and will never reveal the exact location of your reports. We aggregate all reports in a region together for display in the heat map. That way we can show useful trends without revealing any specific information. When scrolling through a list of reports, we'll display the nearest city or town but never anything more specific. No one will be able to figure out where you hunt or scout by using Waterfowl Tracker.
Q. Can other people see who submitted a report?
A. No. We will never reveal your name or any information about you without your permission. However, you can view the reports you have submitted by clicking the menu at the top right of your screen and selecting "Your Reports."
Q. How accurate is Waterfowl Tracker?
A. Waterfowl Tracker is built with the latest technology, and with the input of expert biologists, insiders and by hunters all across the country. However, we rely on the information you provide. The more accurate the information provided, the better the Waterfowl Tracker becomes. To that end, please do your best to only submit accurate reports. As you probably already know, migration activity in any specific location is not guaranteed - that's the fun part, right? Use Waterfowl Tracker as a reference and a tool, but please don't use it as a reason to skip a day in the blind! Instead, use it as a reason to take that extra day off of work.
Q. Who can I contact with other questions?
A. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions. We're always happy to help! Also, please feel free to make suggestions for improving the app. If we don't get back to you within a few hours, please know we're probably out hunting ourselves and we'll get back to you as soon as we get back to civilization. We'll almost always respond within 24 hours.
Q. Why can I input a single species at a time?
A. In order to make the process of submitting a report as simple as possible, we don't give you the ability to add multiple species in one Observation Report. Thus, if you want to report multiple species, please make a new report for each you see.
Q. Who can see my reports?
A. Anyone with the app can see any report you make. Waterfowl Tracker is a social research tool intended to help improve the hunting experience of veteran and new hunters alike. Please don't share anything you don't wish for others to see.
Q. How do I estimate migration?
No New Birds - you're seeing only "local" birds - these birds likely live in your area or have stopped in your area for an extended period of time and stick to a pretty similar pattern from day to day.
Early Migration - you're still seeing some local birds, mixed with birds that are likely new to the area and likely in smaller flocks - and you may be seeing a few flocks here and there pushing south for the winter - you're starting to see a lot of birds break from their earlier patterns
Near Peak Migration - you're seeing a lot of birds pushing south, most of the local birds are gone and the way the birds work has become really unpredictable, small water is freezing at night and big water is open
Peak Migration - large migrating flocks are visible, all local birds have moved south, your area is seeing more birds than any other time of the year, you are on or near the snow line, most of the small water is frozen solid and big water is partly frozen
Declining Numbers - for the most part only large flocks remain, most water is frozen solid, perhaps only the toughest northern birds remain
Q. Who gets to see my data?
A. All users of the app can see all reports made in the app. At the end of the year, the reports you submit will be aggregated and used by Powderhook to begin studying important macro trends we'll make visible in future years. Your name and email address will be used for communication by only Powderhook. We will not sell, give or provide access to your email address to anyone else. You can unsubscribe from email communication at any time by clicking "Unsubscribe" at the bottom of any email.