Local developer creates mobile app that helps hunters check if animals are in season

ihunter1 copy

The glimmer and shine of nearly $20 million in boating products filled the BMO Centre earlier this month at the Calgary Boat and Sportsmen’s Show. This was one Calgary software developer’s very first trade show, and he took advantage of this large venue to promote his own product.

Mark Stenroos is co-creator of iHunter, a phone app that helps hunters plan their hunt, look up regulations and track locations of animals.

“You don’t always have your regulations with you, but you always have your phone with you,” said Stenroos.

The product was released in fall of 2012, garnering 3,000 purchases in the first six weeks after it was launched.

 A hunter himself, Stenroos utilized his software developing background and passion for the outdoors to create iHunter. After looking for places to hunt in the Calgary area, and trying to find out where he could and could not go, Stenroos thought of an idea. 

“I came across a bunch of data that provided all of the WMU data, or the Wildlife Management Unit boundaries,” Stenroos said. “And I figured I could actually overlay that overtop of the maps on my phone, and it actually kind of steamrolled into a product that people were willing to spend a little money on.”

Traditionally, hunters rely on a paper booklet that contains a map of Alberta with the WMUs that each has their own regulations and seasons. More recently, hunters could access the data on the Alberta Hunting Regulations website.

However, it wasn’t until the creation of iHunter that hunters could access, store and locate all of the information in one central place.

While at the trade show, Stenroos decided to team up with hunting stars of the upcoming reality show The Replacements, who were able to verify the use of iHunter in the field. The Albertan hunters had won on Wild TV’s show The Search, and then created their own show, which is to be aired in July.

Additional iHunter features:
- Sunset/sunrise calculator to help plan when to legally hunt
- GPS tracking to indicate what zone you are in
- Sroppable pins to remember where you last saw that monster deer
- Storage of land owner information

“iHunter is great,” said Marc Andre of The Replacements. “We use it all the time. It’s easy, and it comes right up on our phones.”

Andre also mentioned the convenience of not having to rely on a paper map, which can be cumbersome when trying to find one’s exact location.

For $6.99, the app is available on the iTunes store, and the Google Play store for Android and iPhone users.

Boasting a 4.5- out of 5-star rating on the iTunes store as well as claiming the No. 13 spot on iTunes top-selling sports apps, iHunter continues to be popular and Stenroos said he only sees expansion in the future.

ihunter3 copyOutdoor enthusiasts young and old stopped by the iHunter booth at the Calgary Boat and Sportsmen show.

Photo by Kelsey Simpson
Travelling from British Columbia to New Brunswick, the app has already spanned seven provinces, working within each province's regulations. Stenroos said he has no intentions of slowing down just yet.

“We definitely have a couple of really good features coming up this year,” said Stenroos.” “But we are also going to expand in geography.

“We’re are going to add a bunch of the states in the U.S., and try to finish out Canada as well and get the remaining provinces.”

 

chad 20.02.2014 10:17  
worth every penny!   No more carrying around regulation books. Everything at the touch of a finger is so convenient! The GPS capabilites with the use if waypoints is one of my many favorite features! I don't quite understand how anyone can complain about paying for the app. In the grand scheme of things it's quite cheap especially for what you get. It's like anything else in life you get what you pay for and like I said, it's worth every penny. That's my two cents haha.  
   
       
Matt 19.02.2014 22:44  
Best of the best.   Love it! Been using it ever since it came out. It's the best hunting app out there. And I look forward to the new features. For sure. As an avid hunter it's great for checking out new areas via the satellite imaging and you know what wmu you are scoping out while double checking regs real easy. Super smart setup. Puts all other hunting apps to shame. Get it, you won't be disappointed.  
   
       
Matt 19.02.2014 21:13  
Ihunter is a great app!   I've been using the ihunter app for just over a year and have tried all the other apps out there and this app by far surpasses all the other apps I have used. I talked to Mark at the Tradeshow and he has some great things on the way as well! A great app will just get better.  
   
       
hunthard 19.02.2014 21:00  
2 thumbs up!   By far the best app available for hunting. I used mine all last yr. Was very useful for marking trail cams, deer trails and tree stands by the means of using way points. Also the sun rise/sunset table was very useful. Love the fact that you can click anywhere on the map and it will tell what wmu it is and its regulations. Great app! No complaints!  
   
       
Bones In The Basement 19.02.2014 15:13  
Not my fav app   Hey Rick I hear ya there! I bought the hunter app after seeing this article. not cool I have to pay more money once I download it. I rock iFish for big pike on Wabamun. Will have to check out iHunt too.  
   
       
Steven 19.02.2014 21:08  
  I've been using iHunter since it came out, and absolutely love it. The pro tools extra features that you can buy on top of the app are completely worth it and provide features that ihunt doesn't come close to matching. ihunt does contain lots of extra content like links to articles, tutorial videos etc, but doesn't have any of the tools I use daily like storing waypoints, breadcrumb tracking, etc. I was at the Calgary show and met the owner, and he seemed like a pretty nice guy. helped show me some features I didn't know about and took my feedback seriously. its nice we have products to choose from, but although i bought ihunt to give it a fair shot, I would only recommend iHunter to friends... my 2 cents  
   
       
Rick 18.02.2014 11:43  
Alberta has many great Apps   That's great that Albertans have tools available that both promote responsible activities and ensure a more successful outing. I have used the iFish Alberta app for the last few years and it's fantastic, they also have an app iHunt Alberta, that provides fundamental features for hunting in Alberta. Another great tool is the app that Alberta Conservation Association (ACA) provides for free ; The Alberta Outdoor Adventure Guide app is full of great info on conservation sites across Alberta. Has anyone found other outdoor apps that Albertans could use ?  
   
       
Jacob 20.02.2014 11:13  
Advertising?   Rick is you comment just a plug for a competitor? If you didn't notice the article is about iHunter.

I use iHunter and absolutely love it. I have talked to one of the creators Mark personally (pictured at the top) with some comments I had to improve the app and he really knows his stuff. He's leading the way in Hunting apps and I wouldn't be surprised to see an iHunter in every province and state in the US. Thanks for all the hard work iHunter!!

 
   
       

    COMMENTS: In accordance with our web policy, we reserve the right to edit reader comments for length, clarity, taste or legal reasons. In an effort to maintain reasonable community standards, the Calgary Journal will not publish comments that contain profanity, contain personal attacks, or are potentially libelous.'

  • Smileys
  • :confused:
  • :cool:
  • :cry:
  • :laugh:
  • :lol:
  • :normal:
  • :blush:
  • :rolleyes:
  • :sad:
  • :shocked:
  • :sick:
  • :sleeping:
  • :smile:
  • :surprised:
  • :tongue:
  • :unsure:
  • :whistle:
  • :wink:
 
  • 1000 Characters left