Have you ever wondered “Can hunting be a job”? Everyone dreams of doing what they love for a living. If you could get paid to be a hunter would you do it? Of course! But it is a lot harder than it may sound. Many professionals in the industry have spent years working very hard for little or no pay. So if you are in it for the money and not because you just deeply enjoy the outdoors and the community around it, you are looking in the wrong place.
The dream job of getting paid a decent living to only hunt does not exist. There are, however, many jobs in the outdoor industry. The outdoor industry is broad but you could find careers related to hunting, fishing, conservation, videography, marketing, and biology. The opportunities are endless and the only limitation is you and the amount of work you are willing to put in.
The Tv Hunter – Being Realistic
If you are here searching how easy it is to start your own hunting show, the answer is not hard at all. But you will not make very much if any money. If you think about some of the “celebrity” tv show hunters and how their business plan is actually laid out, they make their money from sponsorships or selling their own products. The hunting is just entertainment so they hope they can grab your attention long enough to advertise to you.
This market is extremely competitive and flooded. If you wanted to buy a set of arrowheads or new arrows or maybe a new set of hunting boots, think of how many brands you actually have to choose from for those products. Now think of the following you have to build to just get people to watch your show. This would take 10+ years of very hard work with zero profit just to start making anything at all, but hey, if you are willing to do it nothing is impossible.
Getting Started In The Outdoor Industry
The question “can hunting be a job” may be a bit complicated, but what do you actually have to do to get started in the outdoor industry? Get Involved! Be active on social media, go to trade shows and community events. Do not forget about job sites like Indeed or Glassdoor. Search for the companies that you like or would like to work for and see if they have any job postings. Even if it is not something that you are crazy about, getting into a company and making connections can boost your success and opportunity for the job you really want. This advice also stands for any other industry as well, you just have to put yourself out there and sometimes even work for free just to get in and get experience and connections.
Six Job Examples In The Outdoor Industry
Being a property manager is an amazing job for someone who loves wildlife. Technically a property manager can manage anything from wildlife to agriculture, or eco-tourism. With one quick search, I found a listing on indeed.com for a position labeled ” Whitetail Outfitter & Ranch Operations”. This type of job is for a veteran outdoorsman that knows all about the outdoors and how to handle it.
Here is the description of the job I mentioned: ” role requires the individual to have significant deer, and turkey hunting, guiding, and calling experience. They are responsible for all aspects of the hunting experience; including, but not limited to: deer habitat management, deer stand management, food plot implementation, and management, pre and post-hunt experience management, game processing, significant people skills and ability to interact with guests, demonstrate good hunting morals, ethics, and knowledge of local and federal regulations. Outfitters are required to interact and guide guests in shooting, fishing, and other miscellaneous event activities. Outfitters are also responsible for the facility, vehicle, and all general upkeep, cleanliness, and maintenance. ”
- Average Salary: $107,798/ yr – Glassdoor.com
- Education required: Highschool, Some college preferred, Extensive wildlife knowledge.
- Housing included
A hunting guides job is to take the customer to a successful location and guide them to a successful harvest. They make sure everything is carried out in the proper way, including but not limited to: ensuring all harvests are legal, firearm safety, locating wildlife, upkeeping camp, and providing a fulfilling experience for the customer. Many hunting guides own their own property but is possible to work for a property manager and carry out hunts on their behalf. Many managers hire guides to take customers out on paid hunts not only to increase revenue but also harvest mature deer from the population.
- Average Pay: $1,500 – $2,500/Month
- Education Required: Hunting Guide School
- Housing and Food Included
If you are a scientifically inclined person that loves the outdoors, you may want to consider being a wildlife biologist. A wildlife biologist’s duties can be very broad depending on the employer and the location. They perform research and help better manage wildlife populations. Wildlife biologists can work for private parties but many of them work at the state or federal level where their findings can influence regulations and seasons.
These biologists also tend to specialize in a specific species. So you may spend years studying bears of Idaho, tracking these animals and analyzing the data flowing in from hunters. You may add collars to captured animals to track their movement or study food plots to see how animals react to certain foods and which food groups can best benefit them. These are just some examples and every job will vary, but it is a hands-on outdoor job and if that is what you are passionate about you should go for it.
- Average Pay: $51,483 – payscale.com
- Education required: Bachelor’s degree in Biology
What the heck is an influencer? An influencer is anyone that builds a following in a certain niche, ours being hunting and the outdoors. Influencers use social media to share content with others who like what they like. This is not an easy job. Large influencers have a lot of influence (hence the name) in their industries, and companies see them as an amazing marketing opportunity. So they may pay a certain influencer to use their product and tell their followers about their experience. To be an influencer you have to really love your industry and be in it for the long run because you will be in the trenches working really hard for years before you start to make any money.
The best thing about being an influencer is you can do it on your own time, as much, or as little as you want. However, your income will directly correlate with the amount of time and effort you put into your craft. You also do not need any formal education for this job and could even do it on the side after your boring nine to five job.
How do you make money as an influencer? Influencers have multiple ways of monetizing their audience, and they should use more than one method. You can make youtube videos that generate ad revenue, you can do sponsorships on social media or podcasts, or you can place ads on a blog (like this one).
A wildlife conservationists job is to protect wildlife and the habitat that supports it. They work to make sure the ecosystem is in good health and not in danger to any diseases or invasive species. They will also check the soil to see if there is possibly any pollution or runoff affecting the area.
Another responsibility of a wildlife conservationist is to advocate for wildlife and the environment. They also educate the public. As a matter of fact, 79% of wildlife conservationists work for government agencies (bls.com) where they can better communicate with the public about these topics. While working for these government agencies, many conservationist advocate for things like green energy, climate change, national forests, habitat conservations, and regulations relating to wildlife and the environment.
- Average Pay: $63,800/yr – bls.com
- Education Required: Bachelors degree in wildlife biology, agricultural science, or environmental sciences
Game Warden/ Conservation Officer
Game wardens do enforce laws in the wilderness to ensure the safety of the habitat, but that is not their only job. They actually do a lot more than you may think. Game wardens are responsible for issuing licenses to hunters, running hunter safety and education classes, performing search and rescue, provide backup to law enforcement, conduct investigations of game harvesting operations, and also maintaining the census of wildlife populations. These are just the bulk of their duties, as with any job other duties may arise.
Obviously, this is a hands-on job for outdoor lovers. You are outside in the thick of every situation, and you are the determining factor of how it all goes down. If you are instrested in this career I would highly suggest checking out gamewarden.org.
- Average Pay: $49,400/yr – bls.com
- Education required: Bachelors degree in one of the following fields,
- Wildlife and/or Natural Resource Conservation
- Wildlife Ecology
- Biological Science (Specifically Wildlife Biology)
- Environmental Science
- Fish and Wildlife Management
- Criminal justice
So when you ask “can hunting be a job” the straight off answer may be no; however, that should not stop you from joining the outdoor industry. Though I listed a few, there are limitless possibilities of what you can actually do in this industry. So instead of “can hunting be a job” ask “what careers best suit me in the outdoor industry”.
Thanks for reading my article about whether or not hunting can be a job. I hope you enjoyed it and learned something you didn’t already know. If you like my content, subscribe to my weekly update. If you have any other questions about outdoor careers or just want to connect, feel free to email me at Patrick.Long@omegaoutdoors.net.