UK alumnus creates app for hunters, anglers

Bailey Vandiver

It all started when a UK alumnus had an idea.

Brad Luttrell, who graduated in 2009 with a journalism and communications degree, came up with an idea for an app geared toward hunters and anglers.

But it didn’t stop there.

“Idle ideas are not worth the time you spend thinking about them,” Luttrell said. “It takes action and a team to build a brand and product, and I have a heck of a team.”

Today, after a year of work by Luttrell and his team, his idea is now an app called GoWild that is available in the Apple Store.

His teammates include Chief Analytics Officer Zack Grimes, Chief Product Designer Donovan Sears, Chief Development Officer Chris Gleim and Director of Marketing Lauren Gleim. Luttrell is CEO.

The app is meant to curate a community for lovers of the outdoors to engage, interact and learn, said the website.

Specifically, Luttrell said, the app’s current niche is hunters and anglers, with future developments that will offer more for all outdoor enthusiasts.

“I challenge anyone to find a more passionate group of people than hunters and anglers,” Luttrell said.

GoWild is like Facebook for hunters and anglers, plus more. The app will learn more about the user, allowing it to offer increasingly relevant posts, such as hunting tips. Users can also log their animals or fish caught.

Luttrell said more than 101 million people hunted, fish or participated in some other type of wildlife activity last year.

“If we tap just 10 percent of that, we’ll have one of the top 100 social apps in the world,” he said.

Luttrell said the hardest part of curating the functionality of the app was deciding what to leave out, not deciding what should be included. He said most of the feedback he and his team have received so far has described the app as “clean yet robust.”

Luttrell said he is most excited that this app will be a part of someone’s hunting and fishing experience. This is not only a social media app; it’s a tool for users to log their catch right after it happens, then compare it to their friends’ catches.

“No one’s ever done that in this space, and we’re proud to pioneer this concept,” Luttrell said.

Luttrell said he did not want to choose a brand name that limited its future. GoWild allows future expansion that will “encompass the outdoors as a whole.”

“GoWild as a brand is interest agnostic, yet piques your curiosity,” Luttrell said.

The skills he learned during his time at UK still help his career today, Luttrell said. He worked for the Kentucky Kernel, where adviser Chris Poore helped him understand “how to work the different angle and find the nuances in the story.”

He said he also learned from professors and even some of his peers at UK.

“I had mentors and advisers who didn’t let me settle for good,” Luttrell said. “They knew I could do great work if I pushed myself to stay later, work harder and think differently.”

GoWild can be downloaded now on iOS and is expected on Android this winter.