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Hunting Guide Business Idea

If you love to hunt, know all the best hunting spots and want to start a small business, you might be interested in learning how to start a hunting guide service. The most successful new business ventures involve combining a passion with a great opportunity. You could be the guide that everyone wants on their next hunting trip when your knowledge, skill, and enthusiasm are discovered by the hunting elite.

A hunting guide service involves more than just showing a client where to find game. You should be prepared to arrange for transportation to the site, accommodations for overnight stays, and food supplies. Prior to the hunt, you should be able to provide basic safety instructions and an overview of the hunting area.

An explanation of the target and its habits would also be helpful to the inexperienced hunter. Be prepared for a variety of different personality types when clients show up for a hunt. Most will be cooperative and excited, but you’ll probably encounter a few know-it-alls that don’t listen to your advice. You may also have a few nervous clients who will need a little encouragement. Take time before each hunt to get to know the team and learn to anticipate their behavior in the field.

How To Start A Hunting Guide Service – What You’ll Need

While contemplating how to start a hunting guide service, decide your primary quarry and your destination hunting grounds. Your target prey should be one that you have successfully hunted in the past. Unless you plan on relocating or traveling, you should also choose prey that is abundant in your local area. You will need to gain access to dependable hunting grounds as well.

This doesn’t necessarily mean a large land purchase. If public lands in your area are available to hunters and not over-hunted, these areas have potential. Otherwise, many landowners will lease large tracts of timberland or wetlands to hunters at a relatively low access cost.

Your equipment needs should also be considered when deciding how to start a hunting guide service. In addition to your personal hunting equipment, you should be prepared to supply equipment to the hunter who doesn’t own their own or doesn’t care to travel with it. This should include a selection of firearms and archery equipment in addition to ammunition, camouflage clothing, ear and eye protection, and cover scents.

Depending on your prey, you will also want numerous callers, stands, blinds, and maybe even a small boat. If you have to travel a long way into the hunting area, a few ATV’s and GPS units will also be helpful.

Once the hunt is over, be prepared to snap a few shots of the proud hunter just in case they forgot to bring a camera. Even if they have their own camera, you’ll want your own shot of the more successful kills to display on your website.

You should also have cleaning and butchering equipment available to prepare the game for packaging and travel. Vacuum seal equipment and dry ice will help the meat arrive at its final destination without spoilage. If the prey has trophy potential, you should be able to refer your clients to a few reputable taxidermists in the local area and arrange for their items to be shipped at a later date.

Other Skills and Licensing

When learning about how to start a hunting guide service, remember that you will need knowledge in addition to your hunting skills. As mentioned previously you will want to be able to instruct your guests on safe firearm handling. First-aid skills are not only necessary, but could be life-saving.

Depending on your location, you may need special licensing to own a large collection of firearms and to purchase certain ammunition. Your local game commission or hunting store should be able to provide you with any regulations that apply to your situation. They will also be able to tell you the hunting license requirements for both in-state and out-of-state hunters.

You may be able to get a business hunting license that covers any hunters on your lands as long as they are hunting with you. Don’t forget that you will also need a business license and general liability coverage.

Marketing And Expanding Your Hunting Guide Business

Once word gets out about your successful hunts, you will have customers coming to you. In the meantime, place ads in several hunting magazines that feature your intended quarry. You can also post notices in local hunting supply stores. Contact the chamber of commerce in your local area and ask if you can be listed in the business section.

When you contact the game commission about licensing, ask if you can be listed on their website as a guide. Your own website or mentions on other websites will allow hunters to find you during web searches. Many hunters actively look for guided hunting tours, and the key to finding customers is simply to get your name out there.

Once you’ve learned how to start a hunting guide service and are successful, it will be time to expand. Consider adding another type of game to your guide services. You might want to add another activity that can fill up your off-season time. Guided fishing trips are just as popular as guided hunts. You could also provide camping or rafting services and photo-hunting for nature lovers.

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