With so many new members joining Rokslide, it stands to reason that many of you were not around when we launched in early February, 2012. Ryan Avery and David Long worked tirelessly night and day (that’s no stretch) to build the platform we all enjoy now. One of David’s jobs was working with top notch hunters and writers to bring you many of the articles that are still read daily by members.
One of those articles was written by Robert Hanneman: Bighorn Sheep Hunting Tips & Tactics and is still in the top ten articles we’ve ever published. Besides bighorn sheep, Robert possessed a vast knowledge of western big game hunting. So it was no surprise when the following year that Robert joined the staff of The Huntin’ Fool– a company dedicated to helping hunters find good places to pursue their dream species.
As a long-time member myself, I believe Huntin’ Fool can help you improve your non-resident hunting experience and is one reason you see their banner on the Rok Blog. I’ve stayed in touch with Robert over the years and with the application season upon us, I figured it was time to invite him on for an interview.
Robert Hanneman, Research Specialist for The Huntin’ Fool
Robby: So Robert, what’s new at the Huntin’ Fool that can help our members.
Robert: One of our most popular services is our team of Professional Hunt Advisors. There are six of us in the office answering calls daily on the where and how to hunt all across the country, but especially the West. We only hire Advisors who’ve hunted across the West so they know first hand the process of everything from getting a tag to gathering information on how to hunt a specific area. These guys are generous with information and can help anyone from the trophy hunter to the guy just looking to get out for an enjoyable hunt. Between the staff and all the research we do, we’ve got a good handle on where to send guys and how to best secure tags, from OTC hunts to landowner tags.
Tyler Ferris, Huntin’ Fool Professional Hunt Advisor
Robby: I heard the price actually dropped on the Professional Hunt Advisors?
Robert: Yes, our base membership of $100 now covers access to the Professional Hunt Advisors, too, along with the digital version of our magazine and access to our website. It was $200 for a while but that price has been reduced. The membership includes access to the digital version of the magazine and the print copy version. If you want a high-quality research-based magazine, you can’t beat ours.
Garth Jensen, Professional Hunt Advisor at the The Huntin’ Fool
Robby: I write all the time about the importance of big mule deer hunters talking to people in the area they intend to hunt- local knowledge if you will. Tell us how Huntin’ Fool offers that service.
Robert: Our member draw list is a volunteer database of Huntin’ Fool members who’ve drawn a certain unit who are willing to help others who have the same tag. As you know, this is an invaluable resource to someone who’s new to a unit or has drawn a great tag.
Robby: Ya, and something I only dreamed of 20 years ago! What about draw odds? Those are a hot topic this time of year. What does Huntin’ Fool offer there?
Robert: We currently cover 20 states and all Western states- more than the competition. These odds can be accessed via our website and are super helpful in developing your personal application strategy.
Robby: What else is helpful in planning hunts?
Robert: Our private member’s only forum. Lots of talk on there about units, where to apply, what others have experienced in the areas, etc. I see some really good info on there and because it’s private and not shared with Google, a guy can find some good information that’s not widely known.
Robby: I know you work closely with each western state before the license applications open and usually are the first to announce changes that affect application strategy. Anything new this year we need to know?
Robert: Well, Arizona released big news when they decided to change the percentage of tags available in the 20% max point sweep which essentially means everyone has a chance to draw the toughest tags now. Before this change, only max-point holders had a chance at the best tags. Also, Colorado changed their policy on refunds. You can no longer draw a tag then return it the day before the season and receive your money or points back. These exchanges have to made at least 30 days before the season. We’re always watching out for these changes and more and will have them in our magazine usually at least a month before the draw due date so you can be ready.
Thanks Robert! If any of you want to learn more about the Huntin’ Fool, just click on the banner on the right side of the blog.
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Read all about Hunting Big Mule Deer in my new book