Become a Hunting Guide: 5 Ways to Earn Money From Hunting

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This has always been a dream of mine, to become a professional hunting outfitter. I have contemplated this over the years and I’ve been going back and forth on whether it’s a good idea or not.

I really wish I would have taken the steps necessary to become a hunting guide as now that I’m older and have been in contact with a ton of hunting outfitters and also seen the possibilities there are with Youtube, Instagram, etc the possibilities are endless! There are basically a million ways now to make money from just doing what you love. Of course, I’m not 100 years old so it’s still very possible I could drop my day job as an architect and just go for hunting. But somehow I feel that my wife and kids would have something to say about that.

So this article is for the rest of you who like me wish they could be hunting all year around, I have been collecting data and statistics and tried to compile it down to the best ideas on how to earn money from hunting. Not because we need to make money from everything we do but it’s just fantastic to be able to do what you love and also support your family while doing so.

1. Become a Hunting Guide / Hunting Outfitter

The awesome part about this is that you really don’t need any academic education or any kind of formal education to get started. All you need is basically land to hunt on and good knowledge of the legislation for your state. Some would argue that the most important part here is to be a super awesome ninja hunter with 200 world record trophies under your belt. But in reality, if you ask people who have ever gone on hunting trips I assure you that 99.9% prefer someone who is modest, knows their land, friendly, and laid back. There are very few people who want to visit you just because you’re good at hunting trophies, people are looking for a full experience not to meet their idol.

A while back we did a ton of research for our post about the best hunting outfitters sate by state and during that research, we looked at a ton of reviews, and by far the biggest factor in deciding what was a good hunting guide or not was the fact at how “helpful” and “friendly” the guides were. This was according to user feedback the feature that separated the good ones from the bad ones.

Skills Required For A Hunting Guide

So what we’re saying here is that it’s really not important that you’re the #1 hunter in your area and that you’ve hunted for years, what is important is how you meet your customers and that you know your local area and the legislation. I would highly suggest that you start out with contacting one of the established hunting guides or outfitters in your state and learn from them for a while before you start your own business. Just to get a sense of what people are looking for. Check this list here and click on your state and you will find the hunting guides with the best reviews for your state.

Meanwhile, you start working for someone else I would also highly suggest that you start building some authority in the field that you are trying to target, be it deer hunting, hog hunting, elk hunting, moose hunting or duck hunting. Start a blog (much like this one) or a Youtube channel or somewhere where you can start getting in contact with people in the same field and build a network that will later help you a ton with getting clients to your guided hunts.

  • Income/salary: Not brilliant, around 2500-3500 USD per month.
  • Active/Passive: Active, you need to work all the time.
  • Pros: You can do what you love.
  • Cons: You will most likely never become rich from your work unless you make a business out of it.
  • Overall Score: 3/5

2. Organize Hunting Trips

Hunting is a huge industry that a ton of Americans are passionate about. 101.6 million Americans participated in wildlife-related activities in 2016. There are around 12 million hunters in the US so you are sure to have a strong audience and a lot of customers to market your hunting trips too. A lot of these hunters don’t have their own land to hunt on and even if they do they often want to try some other game or land.

You can reach out to a few people across the US and preferably in other countries where you are allowed to hunt. Of course, you will need to pay the owner of the land and find good lodging but once you get going you could for sure offer a couple of destinations with different game in mind. I would try to spread out the hunting over the season as much as possible in order to have at least 10 months of the year where you can actually arrange hunting trips.

  • Income/salary: 400 USD per day and you take max 2-3 hunters each day so around 1200 USD per day.
  • Active/Passive: Active in the beginning and then passive once you get it rolling.
  • Pros: Fantastic as you get to travel and know a ton of people all over the world/country.
  • Cons: Some months will be fantastic and others you won’t have any income.
  • Overall Score: 4/5

3. Wild Hog Hunting to Earn Money

Some states offer a bounty of 5 bucks per wild hog shot but this really isn’t going to make you a millionaire anytime soon. Let’s say that you have a good day and you manage to down 10 hogs, it’s still only 50 USD which isn’t really worth your while in the long run. But if you arrange it so other hunters can come and shoot wild hogs at your ranch or a ranch where you have made a deal with the owner, you can charge up to 900 USD per wild hog. The more realistic and fair price is around 400-500USD per wild hog they harvest. So the earnings are quite different then, 2-3 hogs in a day will then give you between 1000-1500 USD.

It’s not at all uncommon that ranch owners will let you hunt their private lands for free if you promise to eradicate a minimum amount of wild hogs. Farmers are very often so frustrated with the amount of crops the wild hogs destroy that they don’t even see them as a value.

  • Income/salary: 25-1000 USD per day
  • Active/Passive: Active
  • Pros: A ton of fun!
  • Cons: It requires that you get clients who wants to hunt wild hogs.
  • Overall Score: 3/5

4. Start a Hunting Blog

This is of course even better in combination with any of the earlier suggestions, but it’s an extremely good way of making passive income if you’re a huge hunting nerd like myself. You write about the things you love and promote products that you think are awesome. You can then get revenue and income from advertisements on your site and also from affiliate income.

Affiliate income means that you get a % of the price when you get someone to purchase something. Like say for example that you write about the “best hunting rifles for women” and you list a couple of rifles and review them and someone then goes on there and purchases one after reading your review. You will end up getting 1-10% of that price depending on how good your deal is with the gun broker.

This of course works with all gear you need for the outdoors and as we all know that’s a ton of stuff.

  • Income/salary: about 80 USD per year per 1000 published words: source, this is of course impossible to say for certain.
  • Active/Passive: totally passive once you’ve written the text
  • Pros: It doesn’t get more passive than this and a lot of fun!
  • Cons: It requires a lot of work in the beginning.
  • Overall Score: 5/5

5. Start a Hunting Youtube Channel

This is very much like #4 on this list, here you create something that is evergreen content most of the time, and you put it on youtube and let it sit and hopefully it will find an audience who likes it and will watch it and consume your products.

Just as an example take this rather new hunting channel on Youtube:

It’s called Backfire and it’s not even a year old when i’m writing this post and already it has 21000 subscribers and some videos have around 129000 views.

Let’s put that in some perspective. Just take one video with 129000 views in 10 months. That means it has about 13000 views per month and the conversion rate is usually around 5% unless we’re talking Amazon where it’s closer to 10%. But for this example, let’s say that of those 13000 people we get 650 people to click the actual advertisement and from those 650 we get 10% to buy the gun. That means that they’re selling 65 guns from that video every month!

With an average gun cost of around 1000 USD and the affiliate commission of 5% that would mean that they make 3250 USD in profit each month from just that one video.

  • Income/salary: almost impossible to say but 0-10000 USD per month is realistic
  • Active/Passive: totally passive once you’ve recorded the movie.
  • Pros: It doesn’t get more passive than this and a lot of fun!
  • Cons: It requires a lot of work in the beginning.
  • Overall Score: 5/5

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