Sean McCosh understands the unique camaraderie that exists among those who share a common passion. Growing up in a family of hunters, he enjoyed the bonds that formed and the silent language spoken in those early morning hours while awaiting a hunt. He reveled just as much in the swapping of "tales" that inevitably followed.
From these early experiences, McCosh came to realize that "hunting is a brotherhood, and that the smartest, most skilled hunter in the field is all of us together, sharing our experiences." This understanding is what ultimately led him, and co-founder Paul Smiley, to the creation of the ProHuntersJournal.com.
Their dynamic website, launched in 2009, is a virtual "Field and Stream meets Facebook." Providing a social online community for fellow hunters and outdoorsman, ProHuntersJournal.com encourages members to share, to advise, to map, to record, and even to brag about their noteworthy success in the field.
Numerous tools available on the site enable hunters to store and upload photos, log the specifics of their hunts for future reference, connect and swap information with hunting comrades, create and customize their own hunting and scouting maps, and learn useful tips and strategies from those who share a passion for the outdoors. Also on hand is the four-member Field Staff who warmly welcome new members to the site with the genuine hospitality of a band of brothers.
The creative team also plans to launch an iPhone application this year that will "provide many of the benefits of ProHuntersJournal.com in mobile form," and enable users to access the site while basking in the great outdoors.
Better known to fellow web members as DuckBuckGoose, McCosh is amazed at the success his website has seen since going live. During their first fall hunting season online (September-December 2009), ProHuntersJournal.com averaged 8,000 unique visitors per month and is now home/hunting lodge to over 3,000 registered members from across the nation. With very little investment in paid marketing, Cincinnatians McCosh and Smiley anticipate that their unique visitors will triple by fall 2010 and continue to grow from there.
True to their mission, the creative team of McCosh and Smiley, along with their Field Staff, view ProHuntersJournal.com as more than a business concept. Their fundamental goal is to direct a portion of the company's profits toward connecting more people with the outdoors and to raise funds to support North American wildlife and wildlife conservation efforts.
As Charles Dickens once observed, and outdoor sportsmen understand, "There is a passion for hunting-something deeply implanted in the chest." The flourishing success of ProHuntersJournal is certainly testament to that.
Writer: Alyce Vilines
Source: Sean McCosh, founder ProHuntersJournal.com