Hidden Values of Hunting and Fishing Licenses

Hidden Values of Hunting and Fishing Licenses

Words by Joe Starinchak

Today, outdoor recreation is a big business that includes multiple activities, different sectors and an annual contribution of $889 billion to the country’s economy.  However, in spite of the sector’s size and diversity, the government is only involved in a few of these activities through licensing and registration processes.  More specifically, participants in hunting, fishing and boating either are required to buy licenses or submit annual registrations to government agencies.

What is interesting about government-run licensing and registration processes is that not much has changed over time.  Today, hunters, anglers and boaters can do much of the same things needed to get their licenses or registration online through agency websites; however, the perception of having to endure a bureaucratic process still exists.  Additionally, the unspoken values that a customer gets in return for purchasing a license or registering his or her watercraft remain vastly under promoted.  Besides securing the legal right to hunt, fish and harvest an animal or to use your watercraft, anglers, hunters and boaters also receive a bundle of lesser known rights, values and responsibilities – we call this bundle the hidden values of a hunting, fishing and boating.  Unfortunately, these agencies have not effectively communicated about these values, which helps to create an ethically driven culture compelled by conservation behaviors that protect the environment, species and habitat.

Hunting and fishing all create impacts to the environment and the licensing/registration processes represent a critical part of a longstanding user-pay model that has funded conservation for over eighty years to help offset these various impacts.  This federal-state-industry partnership has been a very powerful collaborative conservation model. 

When hunters, anglers and boaters engage in a transaction with a state fish & wildlife agency, they exchange money to secure a legal right to hunt, fish or boat and harvest an animal or fish.  Included within this right is the basic acknowledgement of a state’s authority to manage fish, wildlife and waterways and to abide by the various regulations that govern these activities.  While this partnership has been very successful over the past eight decades, a lot has changed and now is the time to improve the partnership and maximize the hidden values of these activities to help elevate conservation.

The impacts that hunting, fishing and boating all create, their foundations are grounded in an ethical framework.  While the framework differs between activities, the overall focus is on safety and conserving the environment.  Unfortunately, with today’s culture of busyness and a lack of time; these processes have been reduced to financial transactions and the ethical conservation frameworks have become an afterthought. 

Regardless of this reality, obtaining a license or registration is still key touchpoint to engage prospective customers in conservation.  With the transaction’s exchange of legal rights for money, this specific interaction represents an ideal opportunity to promote conservation’s ethical framework.  At the end of the day, these licensing and registration processes not only generate money, they also provide a critical opportunity to communicate with customers – in essence, these bureaucratic processes have an embedded communications platform that can be maximized to promote conservation. 

Since we are now living in the age of internet, information has become much more accessible and technologies like smartphones have changed how we consume information and interact with one another.  The federal-state-industry partnership that has been so successful in funding conservation needs to adapt and use this new technology to sell licenses, promote boater registrations and elevate the ethical culture that is so important to these activities.

Fortunately, a forward-thinking company, Pursuit has focused on these processes and has developed a refined smartphone application that allows state agencies to sell licenses, promote boater registrations while also elevating conservation’s ethical framework.  Besides helping the states, the Pursuit also helps hunters, anglers and boaters by simplifying the licensing and registration processes with an organized license utility and real-time field-mapping program for mobile devices.

This new smartphone technology makes these processes much more accessible and the Pursuit app’s multi-purpose functionality and its communication capabilities can be leveraged as a targeted conservation messaging platform that helps sportsmen remember their obligations and ethics while in the field or on the water.  Research shows that when organizations deliver repetitive messages at key points, the receiver is more likely to answer the call to action.  With technology being part of our everyday lives, now is the time to take advantage of smartphone technology to help with the licensing and registration processes and elevate the ethical foundation for interacting with nature by pushing out the critical conservation messages.   

Besides registering your boat and buying your license, hunting, fishing and boating all have specific and important conservation principles that influence these activities.  Fair Chase, an ethical approach to hunting big game animals where the animals are wild and free-ranging, and not confined by artificial barriers is one of the more influential principles for hunting.  In a similar vein, the practice of catch & release influences anglers to use this conservation practice to unhook and return to the fish to water.  This maintains healthy fish populations and allows anglers to catch fish again.  With boating, stopping aquatic hitchhikers is another influential conservation practice.  Boats can inadvertently move non-native species to other waters, so it is important for boaters to clean, drain and dry their equipment and prevent the spread of these harmful species.  Ultimately, with a growing population and interest in the outdoors, these ethics must be practiced vigilantly to help conserve game species and their habitat. 

In addition to the conservation-driven values, a host of other values and benefits exist that a person gains access to when they purchase a hunting or fishing license or register their boat with their respective state agency.  To effectively position this communications platform and to elevate the conservation ethics, it is important to highlight these other features.  Below is listing of some of the other values and benefits that people can access when they buy a license or register their boat.

  • Access to awe – Nature is incredible and by purchasing a license or registering watercraft, people purposefully choose to access the outdoors, whether it’s the mountains, rivers, open space or wildlife populations.  This choice gives us access to Nature, its beauty, healing powers and connectivity.
  • Improved mental and physical health – Whether you fish, hunt or boat, these activities require you to be fit and skillful in your engagement of Nature.  Also, with incredible therapeutic value, Nature gets us out of our heads and into a world where we are part of something larger.  Harvard and other research institutions show that Nature interactions are very beneficial to our mental health and hunting, fishing and boating get us into Nature and create connections to life all around us.
  • Stronger family and friend relationships – One of the best things about choosing to engage in hunting, fishing and boating are the relationships we have and the value that these experiences can create for them. With Nature, we see each from a different perspective and strengthen our relationships with each other.
  • An escape from everyday life – Modern day life is hectic and chaotic.  We are under pressure to make money to feed our families and pay our mortgages.  These pressures mount and create undue amounts of stress.  By engaging in Nature, we can escape this chaos and rejuvenate ourselves with our escape from modern society.
  • A spiritual connection with other living things – Activities like hunting and fishing require concentration and skill.  Once this mental stamina is built and the skills are realized, hunters and anglers begin to notice things around them, like the rise of a trout sipping a mayfly, the majesty of a moose in the wild or the wind whispering through the aspens.  These experiences help you to appreciate Nature, it’s vibrancy and all of its creatures and it makes you want to share these experiences with others, because you begin to realize what is truly important.
Where it all Started – 2019 Fly Fishing Film Tour

Where it all Started – 2019 Fly Fishing Film Tour


Where It All Started

Karlie Roland learned to fish on the Henry’s Fork river in Idaho. Her family has a cabin in Island Park and they’ve been going there since the early 80s. Last fall she took a job at Trouthunter Lodge and returned to the river where it all started. The new gig and her move back to Island Park represents a homecoming of sorts for Karlie. She’ll be the first to tell you that the Henry’s Fork feels like home.

About a month before her job officially started she made a trip to Island Park to meet up with her family for a few days of fishing. She got to guide her dad and grandpa. Grandma was there too, but she let the boys and Karlie have at it. Local guide Keegan Barrett also joined the crew. What followed was four days of Idaho fly fishing at it’s best. The Henry’s Fork is sacred water and for good reason. The river is full of healthy fish, the surroundings are postcard-perfect and the fly fishing culture is as rich as it gets. Simply put: Island Park is a trout bum’s paradise. That’s why Karlie decided to move there.

Karlie has spent the last three years in West Seattle working for Emerald Water Anglers. And while her time in the NW has served as a jumping off point and offered up countless sea-run fish to catch, Karlie’s heart is in the Rocky Mountains. So, she traded the urban apartment for a cabin in the woods.

Where It All Started offers a glimpse into the fishing lives of Karlie and the rest of the Roland family. Four generations of Rolands have fished the Henry’s Fork and now Karlie is continuing the tradition.

Glorious Bastards – 2019 Fly Fishing Film Tour

Glorious Bastards – 2019 Fly Fishing Film Tour

Glorious Bastards
Official selection of the 2019 Fly Fishing Film Tour
By Capt Jack Productions

Australia is world famous for its natural wonders and wide open spaces, its beaches, deserts, “the bush”, “the Outback” and the Barrier Reef. Slowly becoming a world wide “Bucket List” fly fisherman’s dream destination. Yet still there are so many untouched or unknown fly fishing adventures to be had around this amazing continent. Follow the Capt Jack Productions team as we explore the wild and untouched terrain of Australia.

South Africans and Australians are long time rivals, but have joined forces here to tackle some of the most technical fish to catch on the planet. Set on the remote Northern Territories islands, The Wessels. They first have to get permission from the aboriginal landowner, Terry, and a quick crocodile brief from his wife, before setting sail with the Waterline crew.

On arrival they are treated to untouched waters and amazing fishing. Some of them being 2 different species of Permit, named the Anak and Blocchi. Then there is also the main target, The Blue Bastard. The blue bastard fish, long rumored to exist among Australian fisherman, was formally identified as a new species in 2015. Queensland Museum ichthyologist Jeff Johnson named the fish plectorhinchus caeruleonothus — the Latin translation of blue bastard. Native to the Northern Australian waters, they are truly a Aussie fish. They live up to their reputation and drive the anglers insane because of their tenacity.

The also find a array of deferent species and capitalize on every opportunity. The beautiful untouched backdrop of the Wessels with its insane fishing makes Glorious Bartards, one crazy ride.

Movements Trailer – Fly Fishing Film Tour 2019

Movements Trailer – Fly Fishing Film Tour 2019


14 minutes

Director: Colin Scott

Cinematographer: Nathan Corbin

A Wilder Studio Production

Original Symphony by Joaquín Gomez

 MOVEMENTS is the symphonic saga – in four parts (RAINBOW, STEELHEAD, MUSKY, STRIPER) – of three Alaska fishing guides who, following the close of the summer season, road trip their way home in a 2003 Dodge Caravan (best known as ‘Van-a White’ and for its lack of a reverse gear) from AK to NYC. From an Alaskan paradise to a literal Gomorrah in four short weeks – arriving in Time Square on Halloween night – MOVEMENTS is a stunning 14-minute showcase of what North America has to offer in terms of its diverse beauty and angling opportunities, and an invitation to rediscover where and why we fell in love with fly fishing in the first place.

Alaska is a veritable Eden. Where generations have pursued its pristine abundance and, many times, in the name of fish. However, like the swift hand of God, winter strangles the land, freezes the waters, and expels any astute angler from paradise. MOVEMENTS is the symphonic saga – in four parts (Rainbow, Steelhead, Musky, Striper) – of three Alaskan fishing guides who, as fall gives way to winter, fish their way east across North America to their homes in New York City.

Catching up with our trio anglers on the tail end of their guide season, windows are being boarded and motors hung, but we gain a glimpse of what Alaska has to offer – bush planes, jet boats, and big rainbows – when the weather begins to turn. Time to go, our anglers – traveling in a 2003 Dodge Caravan best known as ‘Van-a White’ and for its lack of a reverse gear – leave Eden in their rearview in pursuit of British Columbia’s wild steelhead.

The reentry into Canada is a gentle one as low populations, big country, and bigger fish remains consistent with Alaska. Clear skies, grandiose river valleys, and countless steelhead keep our anglers spirits buoyed as they move further east toward America’s heartland in search of something far more ominous and elusive… musky.

From floating the untouched wilderness of the Canadian Rockies for chrome steel to scanning Wisconsin’s black depths for neon green monsters, our anglers’ mood has shifted. Slinging twelve-inch flies at bleak banks dotted with cheese factories and hostile dogs, with nothing to show for it, bring our anglers to an all-time low. However, a momentous day of roping these prehistoric flesh-eaters rights spirits but the impending sense of dread is hard to kick. With Eden so far behind, the eerie gloom of the black Wisconsin stream can’t help but feel like a River Styx – and our boys are crossing over…

Arriving in New York City on Halloween night, our three anglers have exited Eden and entered a literal Gomorrah over the course of four short weeks. Catapulted back into the noisiest, brightest, and most debaucherous society has to offer, our trio finds solace on Long Island Sound stripping for stripers. The senses continuously assaulted by squawking gulls, roaring JFK jets, or Montauk mansions, our anglers are all smiles because they are home – a special kind of paradise.

With stunning cinematography and its own original symphony (in the vein of Vivaldi’s ‘Four Seasons’), MOVEMENTS serves as a showcase for what North America has to offer in terms of diverse beauty and angling, but also as an invitation to explore and rediscover where and why we fell in love with fly fishing. It was doubtfully on the sandy beaches of the Seychelles or the raging waters of the Zambezi, but rather close to home. Whether you’re from Edmonton, Madison, or Brooklyn, MOVEMENTS should encourage you to hop in an old jalopy with family or friends, take a little road trip, and fish for something… anything.

Fly Fishing Film Tour 2019 is coming! check your local show and book your tickets early: https://flyfilmtour.com/


Welcome to Pursuit

Welcome to Pursuit


Thanks for visiting Pursuit and hopefully you’ve had the chance to download the app on your android or iOS device. You can also create an account on your desktop through our web app. We’re new and we get it there are a lot of bugs and features we want to provide in the future but we had to start somewhere. Take the time to upload a paper license, keep track of those important expiration dates and use Pursuit as a utility tool to keep all those licenses in one spot, or download some important field notes in your phone on those favorite campsites, turkey scouting, your favorite fishing holes or even that last stop for libations before your next trip. We’ll continue to work and add features that we think will help with the logistics for your next Pursuit. Enjoy for now and keep coming back to catch up on some new content from our partners and friends.

Thanks for visiting!

The Pursuit Team

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