Platforms like Facebook, Google, and Twitter have proven the power of big data. Here is what it means for hunting.
What is big data? It is the ability to process large amounts of information. Computers these days collect information about everything we do on the internet and everything going on around us. The whole world has been brought into a system that allows businesses and governments and individuals to organize and recognize trends and see the larger patterns of burgeoning data sets.
The future of hunting lies in big data. Harnessing big data for the purposes of hunting is just another way of becoming an efficient predator. And the concept of an efficient predator is quite relevant to modern part time hunter. You have a wealth of information at your disposal that can help you become more efficient. Sometimes information that seems irrelevant to your hunt can make a world of difference.
A lot of hunters often hunt whitetails like CIA agents (myself included). They gather intelligence through trail cameras, aerial maps, and ground zero scouting to gather as much information on a deer as possible. This data serves to connect us with the deer we have committed to harvest.
What trends can you find lurking in the data?
Using big data in hunting takes it one step further. Take all that collected intelligence you have and put it into a bigger process. Now that you know everything you can find out about the deer, what else is there to do? I like to say that this is more like Google than the CIA. Google is at the forefront of big data collection in the world and is therefore able to recognize broad trends.
Big data in hunting means looking at behaviors often gone unnoticed by hunters, putting those behaviors together, and asking what the broader trend is. This can be things like what other hunters do in the area or what kinds of habitual behaviors individuals perform everyday. Find out what the whitetail’s general goals are. Unearth other bits of information like this, no matter how insignificant it might seem. When you consider this information together and combine it with the CIA method, the result is a more efficient prediction of future behavior.
We are not super computers. We do not have access to the level of big data that Google has. What we do have is the ability to approach things at a new angle. New approaches can often lead to recognizing things that were once not so obvious. That is where I have derived such theories as “Hunting the Hunter.” I even dedicated a chapter of my book to the idea (The Urban Deer Complex—Real Tactics of the Part Time Hunter).
I challenge you this season to look at the “big data” when trying to unlock your hunt. Inspect and consider information like what area you prefer hunting. Look at human activity in the area. It may hold a thread of relevance that could string all of your future predictions together.
In the end, “big data” hunting leads to more efficiency and efficiency leads to saving time. Saving time is the cornerstone of the part time hunter.
Last modified: August 9, 2018