Besides the obvious, what kind of jobs in the hunting industry are out there?
It’s a question that has probably crossed your mind before while you’ve been in the woods: “What if I could do this for a living?”
Aside from hunters who are paid to help manage populations of wolves, feral hogs and other dangerous pest animals, there aren’t that many people who actually make their living through chasing down and killing game. For this reason, many passionate hunters more or less dismiss their aspirations to work in the hunting industry right away, figuring that this sport is more of hobby than a job.
However, there are actually a slew of different career options available in the hunting industry that you might not ever think of if you give up too quickly.
View the slideshow to see the seven careers that could put your passion and skill as a hunter to lucrative use.
1. Property Consultant
Think you’re a master of managing pressure, nutrition, cover, and other factors on your deer property? Wouldn’t mind traveling all over the country as part of your career? The job of property consultant might be right up your alley.
There’s always a market for quality deer management practices, and while the Internet has made it possible for hunters to produce healthy and high quality deer herds in a DIY fashion, there are still plenty of hunters out there who will seek on-site consultations to make sure they are doing everything they can to turn their properties into havens for big bucks.
Get a college degree in wildlife conservation or management, then join up with the QDMA to start networking and getting your name out there.
2. Professional Hunting Blogger
Be warned upfront that the hunting blog community is fairly crowded at the moment – significantly more so than it was five or seven years ago. However, if you write well, love hunting, and have a bit of marketing or web development experience, becoming a hunting blogger might be the best way to combine your talents and interests into a career.
As with most careers in the hunting industry, you won’t be famous right away, but if you produce consistent, well written, informative, and engaging content, there’s no reason why you can’t make it your living. Hunters are always looking online for helpful tips and involving stories, and a blogger who provides those things will slowly build a following and become a trusted authority on all things hunting.
3. Outdoor Photographer or Videographer
Aspiring photographers or videographers who want to focus on the hunting realm will likely follow a similar career path to hunting bloggers, only their art will focus on the visual aspects of the sport rather than the written.
There are a lot of amateur hunting photographers or videographers out there who simply film themselves or their hunts for posterity or self-improvement. If you want to be a professional hunting photographer or videographer, however, you are going to have to work to set yourself apart from the amateurs.
Study photography in college and build up an arsenal of expensive and high-quality cameras and other equipment. From there, you could go in a number of different directions, from establishing yourself as a documentarian to founding a business where you help others capture their hunting experiences.
4. Wildlife Biologist
Most hunters never envision themselves working on the scientific side of things, but careers in wildlife biology are actually some of the most secure and essential jobs in the hunting industry.
From state and federal natural resource departments to non-profit wildlife conservation organizations, wildlife biologists are always and will always be key cogs in the hunting machine. Jobs vary quite a bit depending on employer, but expect a wealth of research projects relating to the health and biology of deer herds (or any other animal groups, including elk and turkey).
Your data and reports will be taken into account to help establish wildlife management policies, in turn impacting hunters all over your state or throughout the country as a whole.
5. Land Specialist
Believe it or not, land specialist is actually a completely different career than property consultant or wildlife biologist. Land specialists are essentially the real estate agents of the hunting industry, assisting hunters in finding, buying, or selling properties for hunting purposes.
For those who love to spend time outside and who always enjoy scoping out fellow hunters’ deer properties, this job will be a perfect fit.
6. Private Guide
Speaking of spending time outdoors, private guides make a living by showing hunters around properties and helping them find and kill big game animals. Private guided hunts are most vital in exotic foreign areas such as Africa, where hunters are largely tourists in need of advice and direction.
Private guides essentially take hunters to areas where they can be successful, give them tips and strategies for hunting the animal at hand, and make sure no one gets hurt or endangers their lives. In other words, if you consider yourself an expert hunter and wouldn’t mind imparting your wisdom on other passionate hunters, then this might be the job for you.
You don’t necessarily have to live in an exotic hunting area to be a private guide, either. On the contrary, anywhere with a great hunting reputation will draw out-of-staters, and tourists often like the convenience of a guided or pre-packaged hunting experience because it gives them the best chance of landing a trophy.
There’s a lot of money to be made in the hunting outfitting industry, and there are ways that you can be a part of that scene without working behind a retail counter.
Advertising and marketing for hunting outfitters is huge, and with the Internet changing the way society buys and sells products, the industry is going to need smart and innovative people who can balance a passion for hunting with a knowledge of the web and technology.
The need for talented marketers in the hunting industry goes beyond outfitters and retailers as well. Virtually every business in the hunting world, from gun and ammunition companies to magazines and blogs, needs a marketing staff, so why not become a part of one?