I have had the pleasure of knowing Edward Gramza for close to a decade now. Ed continues to amaze me with his writing, his hunting and his ability to make friends with anyone around him. I am excited to call him a friend.
How Did you get into the hunting industry?
Edward Gramza: So I got in the hunting industry about seven years ago, actually just kind of poking around, trying to figure out how to get in it, because I tried it then I was working as a hunting manager at a local Cabela’s. When I left there, you know, I wanted to figure out a way to still have an impact and still, you know, worked in the hunting community, talk to these folks. You know, just started to reach out to people on Facebook and trying to figure out what it would take, what I had to do. As you know, I started my writing for huntinglife.com.
And you started managing and working with Pro Staff for companies like Sitka Gear and others?
Edward Gramza: Our competitor at the time and it really snowballed from there. I have not looked back. Over the last seven years, my roles in the industry have definitely grown from just being a pro staffer, ambassador or a representative of a company to actually having paid positions within the industry, which is definitely not the norm. It has been nice. I feel that I’m making some sort of an impact or getting known and trying to train to fix some of the things in the industry that are that are broken or wrong.
You have had a tremendous success in being able to work your way into the industry that a lot of people have not had success in. What has been your secret to being able to be successful in this industry?
Edward Gramza: Hard work, dedication. I will say having a pretty, good rolodex full of contacts, you know, with the right influential people in the industry. Honestly, it is just being honest and being me not trying to be somebody that I am not, you know, not trying to be Insta-famous, as they say, and trying to put off a persona of somebody that I’m really not.
Well good for you, because it has made a big difference in how you are perceived in the marketplace.
Edward Gramza: Right. People that will meet me will say, well, you are exactly like you are online. Well, yeah because I do not want to have to fake it when I see you.
Absolutely. So just this year you joined BaseMap.
Edward Gramza: Well, actually, it was last year. In July ’19, I was brought on as the ambassador manager. I was still working my normal day-to-day full time job and was brought in as an independent contractor, essentially to build and run an ambassador team for them. Prior to that, they, kind of, had a team but they did not really have much marketing or anything behind it or what is the word I am looking for.
Edward Gramza: Yeah, push. Accountability that is what I am looking for, accountability. They brought me on and it seemed like every month my role, what they wanted to do just kept growing, growing and growing. I joked with them many times about just hiring me because I wanted to leave my full time job. After about the fifth time of me saying that an offer came my way that I could not refuse. In the middle of October, I was brought on as the marketing manager for BaseMap. I received my roles, and responsibilities continue to grow since then.
Outstanding. Tell us about what is your role currently inside at BaseMap?
Edward Gramza: So I do a lot of the networking or working with our celebrity that we sponsor, our television shows. I work with other partners within the industry, get manufacturers to help promote a campaign that we have called Geardrop where we giveaway some free gear every week. I do a lot of talking to the other industry folks to get gear donated or we purchase that we give away every week. That consumes a lot of my time but there are a lot of time also, like I said, is dealing with some of the celebrities for people trying to build new partnerships will get more influential people using the app. Because if we have a celebrity using it, well, now it is, kind of a cool thing and it give us a little bit of credibility within the industry. So my seven years in the industry is paying off with that that Rolodex I was talking about.
What is it that makes BaseMap Unique in regards to other hunting apps currently on the market?
Edward Gramza So obviously, everybody knows about our competitor the ‘Eight Hundred Pound Gorilla’ that I used to work with. You know, there are some things that make us different. There are some different features that we have: 3D mapping on iOS, it’s not integrated into Android but if you have an iOS devices integrated into that, people really seem to like the ability to have all the layers and all the information in a 3D view like Google Earth. We have live location sharing which people like. You can share your location with other users or friends of BaseMap, see where they are at any point in time, and make sure your buddy is actually coming to help you haul that elkout of the mountains. Honestly, I think the biggest thing that separates us from some of the competition right now is just our price point. Our competitor is a hundred bucks a year and we are thirty bucks a year and we provide more information. We are trying to differentiate ourselves from the competition, you know, at a lower price point but give our customers more bang for the buck.
How can users use your app to be successful on and Antelope or Elk hunt?
Edward Gramza: Yes, I do some annual hunting in Southeast Montana and where I go, an app like this is definitely needed because there is so much public land out there. To know the boundaries of public and private is extremely important, because if I am hunting public land, I need to know where those boundaries are and where I can actually hunt. Then we would drive around, look for animals, and look for private land. You know, in Montana, they have land that is open to public use that is private we show all that, you know, just being able to know where you can hunt on private is worth its weight in gold. You know where I am at here in Wisconsin, we use the app to gain permission to hunt on private not for deer but if you are a turkey hunter. A lot of people around here just want you to kill every dang turkey out there so if you go knock on the door and ask permission to hunt turkeys in the spring they let you know. It is a lot easier to gain that permission if you know that landowner name prior to knocking on that door. Surely, I could do a little bit of homework on your end.
Absolutely. It shows that you are actually a little bit more knowledgeable, and especially if you can show them, you know, where the borders of their property is.
Edward Gramza: Correct.
And it shows that you actually pay attention and that you have respect in their wishes as a landowner.
Edward Gramza: You can also use their lookup information online on our web platform. It allows you to do a lot of scouting from home and we have this mantra ‘plan, navigate, share’. Well, I could do a lot of planning sitting on my couch on my iPad or sitting at my computer and marking waypoints looking for clearings, looking for water, looking for areas I think might hold elk prior to getting boots on the ground out there and marching waypoints. Then all that information from the web transfers over to your handheld device and vice versa. So, it allows me to do a lot more scouting prior to actually getting to where I am hunting.
Absolutely. How can people test out your application?
Edward Gramza: So, you know if you go to www.basemap.com you can download the app there or download it from your respective app store on your phone or mobile device. We do not have a free trial, but we do have a free version. The free version is limited but fairly robust. It still shows you property boundaries, shows you public land, but it does not show you private landowner names or information. You only get to lay down 50 waypoints. You can download one offline map. There is a lot of stuff you can do in the free version that you can actually test it out and when you pay for the pro membership that is where you unlock the 3D mapping on an iOS device, unlimited online maps, unlimited waypoints, private landowner information and a few other things.
Very cool. Currently, how many states do you have that have the private landowner information?
Edward Gramza: All fifty.
All fifty states that is outstanding.
Edward Gramza: Now, there is a caveat to that. I mean, some states we do not have all of the information and it really boils down to the county, the municipality, whatever it may be, does not have an up-to-date digital format showing information so we just cannot get it. So while I actually do a lot of my deer hunting in Wisconsin, about 50 percent of the county is mapped and, you know, the other half just doesn’t have any private land or information. Unfortunately, I hunt on the land that does not have any information but there are other counties throughout the country that we just have limited information. It really comes down to that county not investing in digital technology.
Absolutely. Give me one good tip that a Whitetail hunter could use. Like, how do you use the app to scout? What is it that you are looking for when you are scouting private land or public land specifically for Whitetail?
Edward Gramza: So one thing that we have in the app, we call it ‘Smart Markers’. If you laid out a waypoint or mark a waypoint, it records a lot of atmospheric information from weather centres across the area. It records temperature, wind speed, wind direction, barometric pressure, you know, all that sort of thing so that is actually kind of date and times on that waypoint. As you start marking waypoints that you are seeing deer or things like that, you can kind of have a log of what the conditions were. If you think bucks are moving at this time based on this pressure or these weather conditions you can probably have a pretty educated guess as to where to go based on some of the information that that is recorded in the app.
Edward Gramza: So how I use it, you know, again, from a satellite view, looking for trails, looking for areas I think deer might be better to look for water, food sources and then just kind of figure out a plan of attack where trees stand should be try to cut them off going from one place to another.
Do you focus on things like pinch points and things like that when you are looking for properties?
Edward Gramza: Yeah, definitely. Because want to try to find those travel corridors and get out ahead of them before they get there. So yeah, pinch points or you know, if you are on public or private land areas are going to do some hinge cutting or things like that to create those pinch points.