Antler Up - Antler Up Report w/ Dan Hansel

Show Notes

Hey everyone, welcome to the Antler Up Podcast!

On this week's episode I was joined by my good friend Dan Hansel.  Dan grew up here in central PA where he has always had the passion for the outdoors, hunting and drive to help other hunters be more successful.  Upon graduating from Penn State Dan began developing the app TrophyTracks. Which is a glorified management/journal program that will help all hunters be more organized.  Since Dan has developed the app, it has gone through a total transformation and it is ready for all hunters to give it a test run.  So for the remainder of the season go download the PRO version today at  

With these Antler Up Report episodes, I am hoping to produce these on a bi-weekly schedule and are going to be quick and to the point.  I plan on giving updates from myself and other hunters to give you real time information and stories.  So, if you are interested in coming on the show or would like to hear from someone please feel free to send me a message! Tune in and listen to some stories and a fun conversation with Tim!  

Thanks again for all the support and best of luck out there and Antler Up!

Check out the Sportsmen's Empire Podcast Network for more relevant outdoor content!

Show Transcript

Jeremy Dinsmore: [00:00:00] Welcome to the antler up report. This is the place where you will hear from hunters discussing real time in the moment tactics and stories. Tune in, enjoy an antler

Dan Hansel: up.

Jeremy Dinsmore: What's up everybody. Welcome back to this week's edition of the antler up report. I'm joined by. Dan Hansel, Dan, I appreciate you coming back on the show. It's been a minute. I did not even get a chance to look at to see what episode you actually came on. But for anyone listening, that's been a long time listener.

Recognize that name. Dan is local to me here in central PA, where I live over here on outside of Phillipsburg and actually [00:01:00] went to school with my wife and attended Penn state. A university worked there for a couple of years, developed an app called trophy tracks. And over the last couple of years, especially since Dan has been on the show, you've we're going to dive into what trophy tracks is.

And we're going to talk a little bit about that, but Dan, man, thanks for coming on the show. How are you doing?

Dan Hansel: I'm doing great, Jeremy. Hey, thanks for having me back. It has been a while, but there's been a lot of changes in the app, and I'm excited to talk about these changes. And yeah, I appreciate you inviting me back onto the show and really pumped about these new updates.

The Trophy Tracks just came out with so really excited to tell everybody

Jeremy Dinsmore: about it. Sweet, man. Absolutely. I do want to just start off and just like after having the opportunity to You know, try it and beta test it and all that stuff and give you some feedback, I, I think it's important that people know, like right off the bat that it's not another mapping service type of [00:02:00] app, right?

It's not it's not like Spartan forge. It's not like Onyx or certain features that are similar, I guess you could say but it's a different app in itself. And I guess, Dan, like, why don't you go ahead and let people know, like what trophy tracks is and what, the last couple of years, like you said what have you been trying to really bring to the table?

Dan Hansel: Yeah, that's a really good point. And we get this question all the time from hunters that I talked to what is this? And Trophy Tracks is more of a hunting journal, right? It's not so much about mapping and pinning your locations and finding out, what's the distance from this point to this point.

It's more about keeping a journal of what you observe in real time while you're hunting or After you get back and you're sitting on your couch keeping track of all your old harvests maybe going and taking pictures of all the animals you have hanging on your walls or whatnot. And really the idea is [00:03:00] to.

Keep a good journal every time that you go hunting because you could take a look at these specific locations that you're hunting and really try to pick out what's the best spot to go, right? Is this an early October stand? Is this a morning stand? Is this an evening stand? Combining all of that data.

Really think of it as a, an empowering data app, right? And you had a great episode. Maybe it was the last episode or a week or so ago. And the guy talked about the history and how the history is so important. That's what trophy tracks is, right? Is that year to year history that you could log in your journal.

And the cool thing is you could take. They get live hunting with you, pull your phone out of your pocket and make your observations while you're in the stand, or you could do it at home on the couch, or you could take all your trail cam images and add it to trophy tracks. So there's many different like applications of use.

And I think that's what sets us apart is the [00:04:00] journaling aspect of it, right? In the memory aspect, right? To be able to recall, what did I get last year or what did I get? five years ago, what stand was I am? What was the weather at that point in time? There's all these little clues that you could pick up at the at the scene of the crime, so to speak, to figure out what is the best spot to be and really trying to, we're trying to help hunters, right?

I've always been that, in, in I've been an it guy for a long time. And a hunter. So I've always come from this background of, I want to help you. I want to help the next guy. I want to pass on these memories down to future generations. And I think that's what kind of sets us apart too, is the memory aspect of trophy tracks.


Jeremy Dinsmore: that's really cool. And there's times where, you're able to keep track of certain things and write things down. And, I think the key thing. Of trophy tracks is being able to go back to, like you said obviously if you're in the stand and you had, a fawn come by with [00:05:00] the, with the the big does, not far behind her and it outskirts, you're not really trying to put meat in the freezer, just watching them go by, you have a couple of minutes, you could log that, you're logging that at that point in time, or you're keeping track okay, I know it's towards last light. That was my last light of the deer that I saw on your way. Home or wherever. And you're finally home on the couch and you put that in on the app. You're being able to see that, or you have success, October 7th with a dough or something like that.

And then the next year rolls around. You're like, Oh, October 7th looks like it could be a good day. Did I kill anything on that day? And you'd go back into trophy tracks, and you're able to keep track of that, right? Like you were saying the data and and all that type of stuff. So it's a really cool.

Really neat idea to, log your trophies.

Dan Hansel: Oh, yeah. And ever since I was on, a couple of years ago, the app has just really taken off. And, by going to outdoor shows, at least locally here, I'm trying to spread the word, we're on facebook, instagram[00:06:00] thrown as much as we can at it.

And really just trying to get the word out, more so about this app and in what it does and how it, how we're different than all these other apps. This is a very unique take on hunting. And so far the reception that we've got from it has been excellent. Especially with the latest updates that we've just rolled out this past

Jeremy Dinsmore: season.

Nice. So what are some of those new updates that you rolled out?

Dan Hansel: Yeah. Great question. The first thing that we completely re overhauled the entire design, right? Same premise, right? Still keeping track of animals and movement and stuff. But we added a whole lot of new graphics to the app.

We added. Many different more animals to pick from. So we know that whether you're deer hunting or trapping for animals, maybe your waterfowl hunting, there's lots of waterfowl options, big game hunting out west. We got the, we got a lot of hunter hunters feedback over the past couple of years and they're like we don't want this limited to just deer, right?

We want this to be [00:07:00] waterfowl, turkeys anything that you could trap. Things like that. So we added a whole bunch of new animals to hunt and keep track of. And really now we now that we have data in the app and we're seeing how users are searching for this data, we added a completely new filtering section.

So now you can search on keyword. So if somebody like, if you're hunting a big buck and maybe you give it a name and you're keeping track of this buck over time you're able to search on that box name. For example you can search by date range. So I think this is like what you said earlier, like October 7th.

Maybe you got something last year. You could go into the app. and search on just a specific date or date range, which is really huge. Cause you think about how things change from the beginning of October through the middle end of November, especially across the, the Northern section.

Things change rapidly, right? So if you're hunting in early [00:08:00] October, that's way different than hunting in the middle of November. So being able to filter on those specific date ranges is huge. One big change that we added was identifying the sex of the animal. So before we would just say, hey, I saw a deer, right?

Or maybe I saw five deer. But now we say, is the animal a male or a female? If it's a male, then we give you an option to identify how many antler points are on each side. So I think that's really cool. And when you're tracking, an eight point or 10 point or even better than that, it's really cool to be able to go back into those journals and say, Okay this stands producing a lot of eight points, maybe if I'm after that 10 point, I need to move somewhere else.

One other thing is being able to edit those past journals. Once you save a journal, the story really isn't completely written. You can still go into that journal. You could add entries. You can edit entries. Maybe the time changed or maybe you realized that you made an error. Maybe you [00:09:00] realized that you wanted to add a note to it.

So being able to go back into these journals and edit the name of the journal, edit any of your journal items, we just thought was a huge benefit to users to, it's easy to forget stuff, right? And it's. The ability to go back and be able to rename or edit something is just absolutely huge So those are some of the main ones.

There's lots of little other ones. But yeah, those are some of the main ones

Jeremy Dinsmore: yeah, the one that I liked is the being able to keep track of trail cameras and daylight photos like those ones I think are really cool because obviously wherever you are on the fence with say summertime photos, I know a lot of people, a trend that I noticed was not putting out cameras until X month or closer to the season.

And, I see the value in that obviously and whatnot, I find it hard to keep tabs on specific trail cam photos, right? Like I'm not very organized with my, and I know some people. [00:10:00] are. I found it very easy, like going on and Oh, that, that is a good buck. I'm actually going to log that on the trophy track.

So then when I could go in there, I it's there, right? It's, I don't have to try to put in the spreadsheet on my computer or whatever, have it. I'm not trying to scroll through a bunch of other pictures on that, whatever specific app, if it's a cell camera, obviously so it, it cleans that up a little bit, especially for some of those good ones.

That I'm hopefully going to have a chance to hunt. It keeps it in a more organized like spot.

Dan Hansel: Oh, absolutely. Yeah. The ability to manage trail cams and trophy tracks is really taking it to the next level with this last update and in some of the problems that you speak of that's problems industry wide, right?

You get thousands and thousands of photos, but you really only care about a handful of them, right? You only really care about those mature does, or maybe you care about, or the mature box, or maybe you care about those mature does and the dough family groups or when they're moving through. [00:11:00] So it doesn't matter if you're using cell cams, if you're old, the old traditional SD cards, and even if you run it, run a cell cam or a regular cam in video mode, right? So you take. All this data that you have. And like you said, it's so easy. It takes once you get good at this, it takes literally less than 30 seconds to add a picture or an observation.

So you go in, you identify the location, you upload the picture, you indicate if it's a male, female, and how many, and the date and time. And it's so easy because then the back end of show food tracks, what we do is we go from that location. Now we know what the weather conditions were, what the wind was doing and all that, that really good.

Weather information. So now you could go in filter on that location and you get to see everything that you have put in there. So we recommend in the, how I do it too, is [00:12:00] take those daylight photos, right? Not that, not to add anything from the evening, right? Cause if there's a big hammer that shows up, maybe you want to add that.

But take those daylight photos because that's when you can. And that's when you could kill them. So get it. Take those daylight photos, add them to trophy tracks. And now you're really starting to piece together what's happening at that location. And the other thing that I always recommend, and I know you do this, is the locations that you hunt.

Usually have a cell phone or a cell cam or some sort of trail cam, because those are the eyes that are there when you're not there. So now you're getting a whole season look at that location based on your trail cam and your own eyes. And if you put all of that into trophy tracks, Now you get a really good idea of what's moving through there, what time, when it is, what the weather's doing, how the weather dictates that sort of movement.

So the ability to add trail cam images and no matter what source [00:13:00] it comes from, right? Even if it's an SD card and you're plugging that into your laptop, I still have trophy tracks on my phone right in front of me. And as soon as I see a good picture on my screen, if it's good enough, I'll take a picture of the picture.

Just so I could put it in the trophy tracks, but you don't even have to add the pictures, right? You could just indicate that it was a this location. It was a Mailbox and it was four on each side and here was the date and time right hit submit, you know So it's a very simple process And it becomes so much easier To manage in trophy tracks than any other app.

That's the

Jeremy Dinsmore: aspect, like what I was just saying about the whole, the trophy tracks is that more glorified, easier management system instead of trying to create something. Like I remember last year, the last two years I tried creating something and it just wasn't working for me.

And it just fell out the wayside just because it wasn't, I hate to say it because I know I'm guilty of it, but [00:14:00] I'm holding my phone right now. Like these are attached to us, right? Like the, and so having, like you said if you're still going through that SD card, and that could be there like, Oh, okay.

I do want to log that image. Yeah, I don't, I think it's a really neat, different type of man, like honestly, Dan, like I, for me personally I like it as a management system where I, like you said, I'm able to log that data in a visual aspect, whether it's through my own eyes, as I'm out in the field seeing or when I fill a tag, but then also the aspect of the trail camera.

So it's that is the thing that I love. It's a management system for me. That's going to log this information and help me over time, collect the data that I need as the time goes on. Absolutely.

Dan Hansel: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. To take it one step further is once you add all this stuff, you could certainly just go into your list of journals, you could filter on that location or that trail cam and see your list of journals, right?[00:15:00]

And anybody could do that, right? But the pro version of Trophy Tracks takes it even that step further, right? So now we have what we're calling a movement probability. So this is all based on weather information and what we know and how, what, how white tails move, we give a probability. Okay. Some other apps give a probability too.

I'm not going to discount that, right? But here's the kicker that sets trophy tracks apart from all these other apps is we're taking your past data. That happened already and we're combining that with the future weather forecasts and we're saying okay We know that you have data plus we know that the future forecast is such Now we're combining those two factors Into that movement probability, right?

It's easy to say. Oh the what you know cold front moves through tomorrow's going to be a good day but now we have the data to back that up because all these years of you entering this [00:16:00] data whether it be through cell cams or trail cams, or through your own personal observations. Now that really increases those probabilities because, Hey, there's actually things moving in the morning at this location, right?

And maybe there's things moving in the evening at these locations, but with a pro version, you could really unlock the power of trophy tracks because it's like, you're combining your own eyes observations or your trail cams observations. Plus the future weather forecast. There's really no other thing that's like that's bringing these two things together and providing you with some sort of probability.

Now, is it going to be exact? No, nothing's really ever going to be exact. You still have to, try to put yourself at the right spot. And really the right timing, because if you pick the wrong location, maybe you pick an evening's time. stand or maybe you pick a morning stand where you should have flip flopped them, that's on you.

And that's the hard part of it. And that's the challenge. That's the part of hunting that is so [00:17:00] much fun that we don't want to take away that. But we want to provide hunters with the intelligent tools that we now know, we know your past observations. We know what the weather conditions were at that specific time.

So really, That's the power of trophy tracks and to see what time of the day that those observations spike. What's the weather temperature? Those when you're seeing the most observations, what direction is the wind coming from when you're seeing these observations, right? Because when you know, obviously as well as most hunters When matters big time, but now we have the data to prove that and I think that's the cool part of trophy

Jeremy Dinsmore: tracks Nice, so it's starting to get that to be the best time of the year as far as white tail hunting goes Dan What's your game plan for these next couple weeks for you?

Dan Hansel: So that's a good question. I've been watching my cell cams and I have a few of them on food plots and then I have a few of them on scrapes inside the woods. [00:18:00] I call them staging areas, before they come out to eat. But what's interesting, and I've talked to a lot of hunters, and of course I watch.

Listen to your podcasts and watch your reels and stuff. And, everybody here, at least in central PA is saying the same thing, like they're not hitting the food plots. What's going on? I think we have such a bumper year of acorns that they don't have to move very far at all. That's going to play into the strategy a little bit and, trying to find these acorn flats and these active scrape areas, that, that's key in the next couple of weeks.

And then what I did last year with Trophy Trax is all my scrapes I took all the data that I got from those scrapes because, you can't hunt every scrape, right? So I took all that data from my cell cams or SD cards, and I put that into Trophy Trax. So now I'm looking at, that first, second week of November to figure out, okay, what time of the days was this, what, where was the most [00:19:00] activity where were the biggest box showing up? And one thing that I learned last year that I never really occurred to me and I should be smarter about this, but now with data, I am I had a lot of movement between 11 and two o'clock and it. And I would be out of the woods by 10, 10 30.

And, I would no sooner get home from hunting that morning and a buck would show up on my camera. And I'm like, huh. All right. I'm doing something wrong here. Is it me or is it just how the time of the year. I think one big lesson that I learned from managing these trail cams and looking at the data is there are some of these stands that I thought were maybe morning stands.

That turn out to be all day stands and that's simply from the data and you know that's a big lesson learned I guess that I have and I think that's going to be a little playing a little bit more with my strategy here, instead of my nap time at 12, I think

Jeremy Dinsmore: I better stay there.[00:20:00]

That's awesome, Dan. I like it. Man, dude, I appreciate you coming on, doing a little quick hitter with us and giving a little update on trophy tracks. I'm looking forward to seeing that grow for you and helping out with that. And, where could people find it? What's the deal with everything.

And, what, maybe how to videos, all that type of stuff.

Dan Hansel: Yeah. Yeah. Trophy tracks dot com. That's our web page. There are download links right off of our web page, either on the Google play store, the apple store take you to them free to download free to use. You could make as many journals as you want.

The pro version is of course an upsell. We do have a three month promo code. So if you go to trophy tracks. com slash promo it'll tell you the process to redeem a three month free trial of trophy tracks pro. So I think that is, a nice introductory A gift to all of you, and this is something that's taken a few years to really build and put together and we're so excited about it.

We're super pumped about it. So we want [00:21:00] everybody to Download this use the promo codes because we love that feedback, right? If we're doing something wrong, or maybe you want to see some new features Let us know, because, we are a team that is passionate about hunting and we want to provide hunters with good tools in their hands.

I also made a whole bunch of how to videos. So they're on our YouTube channel at Trophy Tracks. So that should be pretty easy to find on YouTube. And of course we have lots of good blogs out there. The whole trail cam idea, there's a whole bunch of trail cam topics on there that you could follow and read about and learn how to do that.

But for the most part, Hey, this is something that you can easily download for free on the Google play store or the Apple iOS store.

Jeremy Dinsmore: Awesome, man. Go check them out trophy tracks. com. Dan, good luck for these next couple of weeks and looking forward to seeing what you hopefully get a chance to knock down and everybody else out there.

Appreciate you tuning in for this week. We'll see you next week on on Wednesday for a regular back to [00:22:00] show full episode. And best time is yet to come everybody. So get out there, be safe, have fun hunting and best of luck. We'll see you next week, antler up.