As long as there has been hunting and fishing, there have been stories of huge antlers, record trout and bragging rights.
Walk into any outdoor sports store and the evidence is on the wall – photographs of happily dazed sportsmen and sportswomen clutching their long-sought, perfect catch.
With these memories in mind, three Montana men are trying to bring the photos off the wall and online, melding tradition with modernity on their Web site, No Name Outdoors.
“I enjoy sharing hunting stories and fishing stories and pictures of wildlife,” said Blaine Cox, one of the Web site’s founders. “Originally, it was just a kind of a thing to share pictures with family and friends. The more it got going, the more it’s grown.”
The site allows users to create an account and upload photos from their hunting and fishing trips. It’s also a social networking site, where members can communicate with one another and comment on photos.
Devon Cox said he thought of the idea when he was working on a construction site with his brother, Blaine, during his summer break from Eastern Washington University.
“Growing up hunting and fishing, that was always the topic of conversation,” Devon Cox said, who grew up in Dixon.
He wrote up the business plan as part of his Master of Business Arts thesis and showed it to his best childhood friend from Dixon, Zachary Pitts. After about a year of work, the site officially launched a few weeks ago, just in time for hunting season.
So far, the site members are largely family and friends, Pitts said, but they are hoping to expand.
“We’re aggressively going out there and asking people to join the Web site,” Pitts said. “So far the feedback has just been great.”
The site separates hunting, fishing and other stories in different categories. There are also several blogs from the site founders, including a series called, “Crystal Pistols,” a write up on handguns by Pitts’ mother.
The site’s unusual name is also a part of hunting and fishing tradition, Pitts said. When someone comes back with a really big animal, they are often tight-lipped about exactly where they got it, he said.
“Nobody wants to tell you where they killed their elk, nobody wants to tell you where they caught their fish,” Pitts said, an idea that lead to the “All Game, No Name” motto.
Site members can post photos of bird hunts in the “No Name Sky,” category, and fishing pictures go in “No Name Creek,” and big game are listed under “No Name Mountain.” There are also places for pictures of animals that were seen in the wild and not killed.
One of the highlights is the “Brag Search,” where curious members can search for photos of specific species and areas. There is also a section for game preparation and for gear reviews. The picture of the month offers a look at some of the biggest game to come through the site. Another section is focused on dispelling or highlighting Internet myths.
Pitts said he hopes the site gains enough popularity to expand the business and eventually create jobs in the Flathead. Right now, he said the headquarters for No Name Outdoors is in his in-laws’ basement in Kalispell.
All three founders have other jobs, but they said they hope to create enough interest in the site to work on it full time. Devon Cox, who is working in Portland, said he couldn’t wait to be able to move back to Montana. He said his priorities have shifted from sports in college to the memories he made early on with family and friends outdoors.
Blaine Cox, who now lives in the Mission Valley, said the site has already enhanced his relationship with his brother.
“Sometimes the miles tend to separate you from your family,” Blaine Cox said. “This has given us a common link to keep us in almost daily contact.”
For more information, visit www.nonameoutdoors.com
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