More than 15 million Americans are involved in hunting activities every year, spending millions of dollars in the process. If you’re a landowner, particularly if your land is in the rural areas, you stand to make some tidy bucks if you exploit the hunting potential of your unused land. And what better way to go about that than starting an actual hunting business?
Types of Hunting Businesses
Before we touch on the requirements and procedures for starting a hunting business, it’s imperative to note the main types of hunting-related activities you can engage in. Basically, you can get into the business as a:
- Distributor or seller of hunting gear and equipment
- Land lessor
- Intermediary between hunters and gear sellers or landowners
Each of the above ventures has its pros and cons which you should make a point of finding out before making a decision. Also, deciding on a niche is the first step towards establishing a successful hunting business as you will be in a better position to determine your exact requirements. Hunting businesses, as with other types of business, require some market research or feasibility studies to establish just how viable the particular business is.
Setting up a business involves spending a considerable amount of money just to get things running, and you wouldn’t want to throw your hard earned cash into an investment that’s doomed to fail. Failing to plan is planning to fail, they say. Coming up with a plan before investing in a business will increase your chances of success!
That said, below are some additional tips on how to start a hunting business, whatever the niche:
Have a Game Plan
Whether you plan to lease land to hunters or sell equipment, it’s important to zero in on a specific type of game on which your business will be based. Currently, the most popular game animals in North America are caribou, cougars, wild boars, rocky mountain elks, and grizzly bears. That these animals are not commonly found in most regions means that people will be willing to pay more for the experience which means higher returns. While at it, consider the hunting laws in your state, particularly the ones protecting particular types of animals. Getting into legal tussles with the authorities does not exactly bode well for your enterprise.
Identify a Suitable Location for a Hunting Business
Your location determines to a large extent the success, or failure, of your ventures so you need to be careful when identifying your base. Ideally, you should base your operations in states that are easily accessible, have great weather, a wide variety of game and most importantly, established game hunting pedigree. States such as Texas, Kansas, Mississippi, and Alaska are renowned for their hunting culture and consequently receive tens of thousands of hunters every month. If you intend to venture into buying and leasing land, you will also find better deals in these states as opposed to other urban areas such as California and New York.
Conduct a Survey
The next logical step after identifying a strategic location is to carry out a comprehensive market survey to give you a clearer picture of the business outlook. Pay attention to the particular state laws on hunting, licenses, and approvals required and the projected costs of operations, including initial marketing expenses. Also, look at the numbers of people, local and visitors, who practice game hunting in your selected area. Additionally, take a look at the number of businesses offering similar services to yours, their locations, client bases, and revenues as you wouldn’t want to get into a saturated market. Your survey findings should guide you on the subsequent steps to follow, and just as we’ve mentioned earlier, you will be increasing your chances of success if you do the market survey (or feasibility study) before investing in the hunting business.
Organize Your Finances
Presumably, you have all the data on capital and cost estimates from your market research. The next step is to look for the necessary resources, whether from your savings account, borrowing from friends and family, or bank loans. We recommend funding your business through your savings and soft loans from friends as opposed to bank loans as the latter puts you under undue pressure due to stringent terms. If possible, seek to minimize your expenses by leasing property or buying already existing businesses. It makes more sense to, for instance. Go for an existing hunting outfitting business for sale that already has a customer base rather than starting from scratch.
5. Sort the Paperwork
Hunting is regulated by both federal and state governments, although licensing is primarily done by the states. Some states allow license applications only once a year while others have more flexible procedures. Similarly, some states have mandatory training requirements for some hunting specialties so check on that too. Whatever your niche is, make sure to get all the necessary paperwork sorted out before you start your business.
Start Your Business
You can now launch your business and look towards your first clients. Make sure to place some ads on your local newspaper and give out some fliers in your neighborhood to create awareness. A bit of online marketing won’t hurt either.
Hunting is a fun hobby and if you play your cards right. It can also be quite a lucrative business venture. Hopefully, our guide on how to start a hunting business is of help to you in your endeavors. Take your time in making preparations but act decisively once you’re ready!
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