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How to Become a Professional Hunter – A Definitive Guide

how to become a professional hunter
Written by Robert Stevens

A telling revelation is that there are less than 3000, to be precise 2490, organizations in the US focusing on hunting, trapping, and fishing. What about professional hunting? The numbers are plunging. Hunting has deep roots in the American culture.

The ecosystem usually benefits greatly from the efforts of hunters in terms of conservation efforts and keeping the wildlife from being overpopulated. The money raised from licensing fees helps the Us Government fund their different conservation endeavors, such as their Fish and Wildlife programs.

You can take your hunting passion to a whole ‘nother level by becoming professional. This guide is designed to set you off on how to become a professional hunter.

How to Become a Professional Hunter – Factors to Consider

1. What Kind of Hunting Do You Want to Partake in?

The first and the most important decision you need to make is what type of hunting you want to partake in?

  • What is the kind of game you wish to hunt? What’s the geography, seasonality, and your own personal interest?
  • Your preference of game; big game such as elk or deer; small game like rabbits; upland birds, waterfowl, or amphibious creatures?
  • What are the weapons you are familiar with? The revolvers, the rifles, shotguns, the crossbows, the compound bows, the longbows, or something else?

Marketing is an essential part of going pro. Determining your expertise, and conveying it to your customer base in well-crafted language is essential. Most paid hunters involve endorsing a certain brand of equipment. They could be writers or videographers who document their hunting experiences to further the sport among budding enthusiasts. Hosting TV hunting shows is yet another avenue.

Another alternative is selling meat to farmers.

Professional hunters can also work alongside the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service towards their animal control efforts.

2. Going Through the Application Process

Annual screenings are conducted by most organizations looking to rope in pro-staffers. Whatever the position may be, it aims to fulfill a particular need. Hunters are included. Your resume, specific hunting skills, and your game-tracking background, all figure.

For instance, one organization we are aware of looks for hunter-videographers who can submit a video resume and has 4 years of experience. Another organization is on the lookout for hunting pro-staffers who are well-spoken, well-written, and highly educated.

The US Fish and Wildlife offers the general public a simple online application process on a number of openings. Check it out.

Keep your eyes peeled open for local openings. If you are starting off, we advise take up a position even if it is less paying than you’d wish for.

Regardless of where you are applying, make sure to play upon your distinctive qualifications, great skill sets, accolades, and above all, the passion for the outdoors.

3. The Education, Certification, and Membership

Going professional is worth the effort. To maximize it, get a college degree though this is not compulsory. The subject could be wildlife management or animal science. This will certainly separate you from other candidates.

Hunter education courses offered by many states is a huge bonus in your landing a pretty good job as a hunter. These could be instructor-led or online self-study programs. You become eligible for certain permits- training on local wildlife; regulations and codes for the areas you will be hunting in.

The transition to going pro, calls for establishing credibility, professional knowledge, and building up your contacts. Membership in recognized hunting organizations such as IPHA, Buckmasters, and The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation that’re well known in the hunting community is highly recommended.

4. Keep Enhancing Your Skills

Come what may in this process of transition, letting your basic hunting skills rust is a bad omen. It is your bread and butter.

Enhancing those skills and learning never ends. It will remain an ongoing process. To be truly successful, you need to keep abreast of current developments and technology. There is a constant flow of new equipment, new legislation that you as a professional hunter cannot afford to skip.
Read up, scour the net; keep abreast.

5. Invest in the Right Equipment

In this age, you cannot afford to be a Daniel Boone with a musket.

You, as a professional hunter, need to have the best equipment such as the best hunting scopes, the best hunting rangefinders, the best hunting binoculars, the best night vision binoculars, the best monoculars, the best night vision monocular, and the like. This is not fashion advice, but a reminder that you need to pay attention to detail. Weaponry, apparel, are simple.

Animal attractants are a different ballgame. You want animals to play ball, then get them to you. You can use decoys or game calls, create your own hunting strategies, and even plant turnips. Ground blinds, and tree stands work wonders.

The learning curve is not steep, but something you want to make a habit of.

Becoming an Expert

Who is an expert? There are some checkboxes that need ticking off before you claim to be one.

You are a hunting guide. To be called an expert in this area, you need to be darn good in your choice of trade. Play to your strong points. Or, develop new strengths. Either way, you want to deliver the best to your customers.

Soft skills cannot be given a skip. Get working on these.

1. Great communication skills

You will be working with clients from many walks of life in your hunting expeditions. It is important that your communication style addresses individual needs. A hunting excursion requires a clear understanding among the parties involved. Your camp will be happy and safe.

2. Organization skills

A hunting guide needs to be an efficient organizer. There are many aspects involved in an excursion that would need your supervision. Setting up shelter, getting meals prepared, navigating rough terrain, and harvest downed game. You are the peg on which every facet of the hunt hinges.

3. Teaching Skills

Your clients will be of both categories; those with experience and rookies. To ensure safety and the success of the outing, being a good teacher is important. You will be called on to correct a client’s shooting style, showing how to clean a kill, stalking prey, and so on. Wisdom, patience, and skill, all play a role in being a successful hunting guide.

4. Good physical fitness

It is physically demanding to be a hunting guide. You may be called upon to spend up to 16 hours traversing rough terrain and braving adverse conditions. Strength and stamina are called for in such trying conditions.

Conclusion

We have laid the groundwork to steer you as to how to become a professional hunter. You can now make a smooth transition to a rewarding career and the best part is that it involves something you are passionate about. A career in hunting is still a rarity which makes your chances of success even better.

Happy hunting!

About the author

Robert Stevens

A Seasoned Hunter

It’s been several years that Robert, a retired teacher and a proud dad, has silently been piling up mature bucks down the South. This humble hunter began his hunting journey at quite an early age and since then, he spent countless hours in the woods and learned good lessons in terms of woodsmanship. Along the way, he also made money sharing his skill with his followers and well-wishers.

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