What is Generation Z?
Gen Z consists of people born between 1992- 2010. Yup, many are in high school or still in strollers. But don’t underestimate this group. The older folks in this group are very social and tech savvy. According to eMarketer, “By the end of 2011, 96% of US teens ages 12 to 17 will use the internet at least monthly, significantly higher than the 74% penetration for the total US population. Nearly three-quarters of teens will use Facebook monthly this year”
So What Does this have to do with Whitetail Deer Hunting?
As more folks begin to use social media channels and tools to connect with each other around their main interests, such as whitetail deer hunting, more opportunity arrises. Opportunity to meet great new friends. Hunt new land. Learn new hunting tactics and strategies. Learn about new trends and products. Share stories. And more.
In the old days, many of us would talk about deer hunting with our immediate sphere of friends during hunting season. Then we’d fall back into our daily day-to-day routine after deer hunting season. Today, we can talk to them about deer hunting online. All year around. From our mobile device or via many social networks and forums. We can even talk to the companies whose products we use. Imagine that. That was really not possible, at this level anyways, when I was younger.
We are all becoming better connected with each other. So if I’m a deer hunting fanatic in any major city, I can now meet many like minded outdoors folks online, much easier. I can even meet people from around the country or even the world. Growing up, that was not possible for me. I just had hunting friends from contacts in my family or local friends.
Generation Z is growing up talking about and learning about deer hunting and the great outdoors online. They are mobile. They are doing things we never had the opportunity to at their ages. They have more ways to meet other hunters than I ever did at their ages.
Hopefully, this is a good thing for our industry and outdoor heritage. Reason being, as many Civics and Baby Boomers get older, our hard core deer hunting ranks will decline. In many instances they already have. The folks who I learned to hunt from, including my dad, no longer hit the woods in search of a deer each fall. Believe it or not, priorities and interests change as you get older. I’m sure many other Gen X and Gen Y folks have similar stories. Because of this, someone has to pick up the difference.
Meet Jesse Coe.
Huntography: When & Why did you get started bowhunting?
Jesse: I started in 2009, I was 13 years old. I started because I was visiting my family up in Michigan, and my uncle handed my a little Mathews Genesis bow, and told me that I could use it this season if I wanted to try out Bow Hunting. So I did, and that season changed my life. Plus, I LOVED the warmer weather that October and early November brought!
Huntography: You have a great Facebook page with over 10,000 fans, tell us how you got that started and where it is today?
Jesse: I started it the same year I started bow hunting. I loved bow hunting so much, so I decided to make a silly facebook page. The same night I had made it, I was already getting folks on there that I did not know! By the next season, we had enough fans to do a big giveaway, so I got a hold of some companies and we came up with a giveaway for our fans. That really boosted the number of likes and brought in a lot of people. In early 2011, a friend of mine suggested that I should get a hold of some companies and start doing partnerships ( like a sponsor ). So I took his advise, and then I teamed up with Tru-Fire, Hatcams, Rack1, DoubleTake Archery, RhineHart Targets, and soon to be Gorilla Tree Stands! Never in my craziest dreams did I ever think I would end up here. To God Be The Glory! Oh yeah, I also signed a contract with Harvest Time Archery as an Advisory Shooter Staff..
Huntography: Dang! How old are you again?
Jesse: I am only 15 years old, this will only be my third season! I have A LOT to learn still. And my only deer harvested with a bow was in my second year.
Huntography: Where do you see yourself in 3 years? [age 18]
Jesse: To tell you the truth Rudy, I dont know! I had no idea I was going to be here 3 years ago. Lord Willing, and His Will alone, I will end up as a host of TV show. But I’m still young, I would like to fine a good enough Job to support a family on until that happens.
Huntography: Bow or rifle?
Jesse: My passion is the bow. I’ve used rifles as a kid, but it never really appealed to me. Not like a bow did! Plus, a lot of gun hunters around my neck of the woods ( West Virginia ) left a bad taste in my mouth, not saying all gun hunters are jerks, but living and bow hunting in one of the most over hunted states in the USA is hard with crazy gun hunters.
Huntography: Favorite outdoor show?
Jesse: I dont really have a “Favorite” show. If its got bow hunting in it, I’m good!
Huntography: Describe your ideal hunting scenario? [environment, temperature, time of year, gear etc….]
Jesse: Mid October, falling leaves, crisp cool morning, sitting in the stand in some West Virginia woods, and of course, with my Mathews bow in hand. The sound of a deer coming in on the crunchy leaves is like no other sound! Im sure every bow hunter can agree with me on that one? This year, they will be coming into my spot to tear up some Rut Fuel/ Acorn Crush by Rack1!
Huntography: You’re a part of Generation Z, people born between 1992 and 2010. How does your generation perceive deer hunting, archery and the shooting sports?
Jesse: Im sure it’s safe to say that many in my generation have never been into the woods, and that’s not there fault. The love for hunting, archery, shooting sports, fishing, trapping, ect, was never taught to them by the older generations. So they never think about it. And when they see a redneck like me with my torn up blue jeans tucked into my big camo boots and a flannel shirt and my camo hat, they look upon us like outcast from normal society. ( although there is a lot of folks like me around here in WV. ) They were not raised like us, so they are not going to think like us. And I don’t expect them to. I really enjoy it when ever I find someone my age that has a love for the outdoors like me, because its hard to find!
Huntography: How many of your high school friends hunt deer?
Jesse: I’m home schooled, so I dont really “get out” much. But I have two high school friends, and they both love hunting as much as I do and we often go hunting together when we get the chance. Its always fun to have a little friendly competition during the hunting season!
Huntography: Do the friends you mentioned have older family members or friends who have passed down hunting traditions and ethics? Or are they just learning from what they see on TV/ DVD’s?
Jesse: All of them do. And thats something that really helps me and my friends. Their dads have really showed me some good tips and tricks when it comes to hunting and shooting.
Huntography: Do you have a Smartphone like an iPhone or Android?
Jesse: No, I dont. I would rather save that money to buy some new boots or a camo coat!
Huntography: Have you ever shared a real-time update on Facebook or Twitter LIVE while deer hunting?
Jesse: I have, sometimes I’ll say something like ” just got in the stand, a little late but better than not getting in at all!” or my favorite was ” dragging my buck through the woods! “.
Huntography: How do you feel about social media and deer hunting?
Jesse: I think the social media is a great way to ‘get the word out’ for a company that is trying to sell product or advertise a new TV show! I know that I am on the internet a lot more then I am watching a TV show. The internet is a hard thing to master, but when you learn how to use it, its a powerful tool.
Huntography: What advice would you give to today’s youth about deer hunting?
Jesse: Don’t give up, and listen to what your elders tell you! It might be a few years until you put your first deer on the ground, let alone a big buck! Remember to take in EVERYthing that happens in the woods, and learn from it. Don’t give up. Respect the animal that your chasing. Learn from it. Become a better hunter. The best hunters are those that KNOW what the animal is going to do, before it does it. Dont rush anything. Take your time. The shot will come, and when it does, DONT RUSH IT.
Huntography: What would you like to see the Gen X and Gen Y generation do more of for our way of life?
Jesse: Just pass on the knowledge, that’s all they need to do. Teach your kids how to stalk a whitetail in the snow. Or how to get with in 20 yards of a buck with a nose that can smell a mile. PASS ON THE KNOWLEDGE. If they dont have a kid of there own, ask to take a friends kid. Some how, pass on the knowledge, even if they have to use the internet to do so!
Huntography: Would you like to be in Season 3 of Huntography?
Jesse: I would LOVE to! The first season was awesome, and I know that the 3rd will be way more better. Your doing a great thing, Rudy. Keep up the good work!
Huntography: How has being home schooled effected you compared to other kids your age?
Jesse: I grew up home schooled with my 3 older brothers. My mother did an extremely good job teaching and raising us. I really believe I would not be who I am today if it was not for my education.
The above demographics are for Jesse’s Bow Hunting page on Facebook. Compare to your own pages numbers.
Ages 13-17: 19% Male and 4.6% Female
Ages 18-24: 25% Male and 7.1% Female
Ages 55+: 2.1% Male and 0.24% Female [Almost non-existent]
Huntography: I noticed you have so many young folks that are fans of your page compared to other popular fan pages I’ve seen. Are you doing anything unique to reach out to them? How are today’s youth finding your page?
Jesse: No, Im not. I think its awesome that we have so many young people on the page, and I love passing down my knowledge down to them, but I’m not targeting younger kids more then any other age. I think the best answer to that is question is this, Generation Z, my generation, is also called Net Generation, Generation Text, or the Internet Generation. I think its just that there are more younger folks on FaceBook then there are older.
I do what I love, and I put food on the table for my family. I have yet to kill a decent buck in my past 2 seasons. But my time will come sooner or later, until then, I’ll be busting some does!
Jesse Coe, Owner of Bow Hunting On FaceBook.
Advisory Shooting Staff at Harvest Time Archery
Thanks so much Jesse! You have a bright future ahead of you.
One last thought
As a Gen X parent myself, I’m already passing down all of my outdoor knowledge to my Gen Z children. They love the outdoors. I hope many of you do the same. Let’s keep our fabulous outdoor tradition and family hunting heritage going, for many more generations to come.