This question has more than likely ran through your mind as you sit in the woods waiting for your target quarry; How to start a hunting business.
We all have the entrepreneurial blood running through us and wish we could somehow come up with a profitable business idea.
One that will satisfy us financially, emotionally and spiritually.
Hunters like us are overly dedicated to the sport of hunting, even some to the degree of obsessive.
That passion, dedication and loyalty can be used to your advantage by driving these customers to your new hunting business.
Pro Tip: Hunters are some of the most loyal customers to the brands they rely on to harvest game. Creating a brand that speaks the same language and connects fully with your target customer is crucial to your success and longevity.
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something, we may earn a small commission.
Here's Our List: Top 5 Hunting Business Ideas to Start in 2023
1. Hunting Guide Business
The best way to start a hunting guide business is to first think about expanding your knowledge with Outfitters School.
This allows you to begin on the same level playing field as the rest of the Guided hunt industry as 55% of Outfitters have a bachelor's degree and 20% of the industry major in business.
Like with most educational courses these days you can complete the process online. Although school is not required it can most certainly give you an advantage within your field.
An outfitter or guide fulfills a necessary role in the hunting industry, providing valuable insight and techniques into hunting.
The industry caters to hunters who stay in their own state to enjoy the sport but need somewhere to hunt as well as those who take trips and buy licenses to hunt in other states.
The Hunting Guide Industry: Let's Talk Money
The average Hunting Guides yearly salary in the United States is $65,400 or a suitable $31 per hour.
The low and high end of the Hunting guide spectrum salaries range between $15,000 and $282,000 per year.
Fully guided hunts depending on species of animal, lodging, quality of animal and location can range from $2,000 to $15,000 per trip, per hunter.
That is a nice chunk of change for a profitable guide service and the best part is you get to be front and center to your client's unforgettable experiences.
This creates a real-life human connection that you can leverage for future repeat business because as we said before, hunters are loyal.
Pro Tip: Positive experiences will create word of mouth refurls from happy customers over and over again without spending a dime of advertising budget.
Steps to Start a Hunting Guide Business:
Use this list and its links as a general guide to help you begin your journey to entrepreneurship guiding hunts.
- Put Together a Business Plan - This step is important because it starts you off with a solid direction.
If you have never tried to create a business plan before, there are affordably freelancers that specialize in this step.
Get help to guide you through the process and develop a plan specifically for your business and it's much easier and cheaper than you might think.
- Create Brand/Logo/Identity - Out of all the steps listed here, this step is the one that will get you the most recognized.
It's very important to design a high-quality logo and brand identity because it likely will be your businesses first impression to customers.
It needs to be memorable, high-quality, relevant and relatable to your target customers who are interested in your services.
- Consider Outfitters School - Take a few online classes if you want to take your knowledge and business to the next level.
Maybe you already know a ton from years of hunting, but it doesn't hurt to brush up on old techniques and maybe learn some new ones along the way.
- Stake Out Your Hunting Territory - This is an important step because if you do not have property to hunt on it will be pretty difficult to take clients hunting.
Maybe you own your own land or have access to a neighbor's property or even family land that is large enough to host clients.
You will most certainly need a place to guide hunts.
- Secure Licenses, Permits, and Insurance - Check your local laws and make sure to stay within the parameters of what you need to be a completely legal Guided Hunting Business.
This step consists of registering your business for local state and federal taxes and obtaining a FIN number (Federal Identification Number).
This will act as your social security number for your business.
Forming an LLC is the most popular choice for new business owners and protects your personal assets by separating them from your entity.
Obtaining Liability insurance is another important part of this step to protect you, your property and the clients on your property.
- Understand Your Expenses - This step is the difference between profitable and bankruptcy.
You cannot spend more than you bring in, it's that simple, and if you do your business won't be around long.
Knowing exactly the amount it will take to run your business is crucial to your bottom line.
This will also help you determine the price you charge per client and per hunt.
If you have never handled bookkeeping before, there are dedicated individuals that can help you organize this step.
Outsourcing your bookkeeping can provide less stress on you.
Allowing you to focus more on the business operations like client acquisitions and customer service.
- Stay Updated on Local, State and Federal Hunting Guidelines - Every hunter knows the importance of understanding and abiding by the hunting laws that have been implemented in your state.
These laws are put in place to protect hunters and the wildlife we pursue so the sport of hunting can be well managed for future generations.
Some laws are divided by individual counties of your state also known as zones.
Some of these basic laws are bag limits, sex harvest, ammo limits, when and where you can use a certain weapon.
Be sure to study these local laws for your hunting grounds and make sure your clients are well aware and understand them as well.
- Get Clients - Now you have executed your business plan to a T, created your logo and brand identity, furthered your education, staked out your hunting territory, got all your licenses and permits.
Pro Tip: Leveraging your social media accounts, your friends, family and hunting forums you may already be a part of will be the best place to secure your first clients for your guided hunting business.
2. Hunting Podcast
If you have a nice list of your hunting buddies that just love to talk all things hunting, why not record it?
Starting a hunting podcast business might be the dream job you have been looking for.
There are 464.7 million podcast listeners globally as of 2023, and if you can slice off just a fraction of that total?
Especially the ones that hunt, your hunting podcast will have no problem securing multiple revenue streams from the podcast industry.
The most popular podcast host in the world is Joe Rogan, and guess what? He loves to hunt.
If that's not a sign from the heavens to start a hunting podcast business I don't know what is.
The Hunting Podcast Industry: Let's Talk Money
The podcast industry as a whole has a market value of 23.56 billion. This value is generated by sponsorships and paid ads. Companies and brands related to your hunting niche will pay you to place ads in your show.
The more followers and listeners your podcast episodes have, the more you get paid.
In some rare cases brands will reach out to popular podcast hosts and offer them free products to give an open review on their show.
You can also personally try reaching out to the brands you like and offering them your review and podcast services for some sort of return (free product, backlink, ad placement, etc.).
It's important for you to have a solid podcast marketing strategy to help draw in new listeners.
Pro Tip: Many podcasts gain a following faster by uploading their episodes to YouTube video and sharing short clips of episodes via YouTube Shorts.
Steps to Starting a Hunting Podcast Business:
Use this list and its links as a general guide to help you begin your journey to Hunting Podcast entrepreneurship.
- Pick Your Hunting Podcast Name - This step is important to make sure your name matches your hunting niche so when viewers are searching for a new podcast to listen in on.
- Create a Podcast Business Logo - Your podcast logo is important for the fact that it gives your brand an identity.
If you create a high-quality logo that resonates with your target listener, it creates a better brand awareness for your companies first impression.
- Write a Gripping Podcast Description - This step is sometimes neglected by podcast hosts as they focus more on the video and sound quality of things.
A compelling text script in your descriptions is what potential listeners read before they ever hit the play button on your soundbite.
Explain who you are and what your content is in an absorbing manner so new listeners are more willing to click through to your episodes and subscribe.
- Purchase Your Podcast Equipment and Software - Depending on your budget you can find gently used podcast equipment online for a great price.
If you are confident in your business plan and have the means to purchase brand new gear, by all means do so. Quality in both video and audio will be crucial to your listener retention.
Maybe even pay a little extra for a freelance editing pro and take your episodes to the next level.
When you invest good into your hunting podcast company your listeners will invest good in you and the brands you advertise because again, hunters are loyal.
- Choose Your Podcast Hosting Service - In this step it's important to find the podcast hosting service that works best for you and your vision while not digging a huge hole in your hosting budget.
- Record Your Podcast Episodes - Here comes the fun part. Now you get to do what you and all your hunting stories set out to do.
- Tell The World About Your New Podcast - After you have completed all the steps to this guide it's time to share it with the world.
Upload sneak peeks and teasers to every social media site and mass email list you can think of.
Have them all link back to your hunting podcast and details for how they can sign up to listen to future episodes.
Pro Tip: Leveraging your social media accounts, your friends, family and hunting forums you may already be a part of will be the best place to secure your first listeners for your new hunting podcast business.
3. Archery Range Business
One of the questions we get most at Oak Ridge is "do you have a gun/bow range I can stop by and use? I'll pay!".
Just that experience alone puts the start an archery range business idea on the top 5 list because hunters need somewhere to practice and sight in new weapons before the season and archery enthusiasts need a place to hone their skills often.
This is a unique business idea in the fact that not many gun and archery ranges still exist in many locations today.
Maybe because a lack of modernness to their business plan or located in a low traffic area with less local customer reach.
With the growing popularity of Archery sports in schools and legendary archery and shooting competitions on the rise this hunting business niche has plenty of potential to earn you a decent yearly salary.
In states like Florida an outdoor range can be open year-round. In states up north an indoor range would be best suited for year-round income.
The Gun and Archery Range Industry: Let's Talk Money
The indoor and outdoor range market value is projected to hit $2.5 billion by 2031.
With the advancements in virtual target simulations and popularity of moving target competitions this market has plenty of room for growth with a modernized business model.
A vast indoor or outdoor facility can easily attract local foot traffic by offering an extensive collection of gun and archery smart technologies that modern hunters and enthusiasts are interested in using.
The days of setting up a bench and slinging arrows and lead at coke bottles and hay bales are over.
Modern technology facilities will attract the on trend now and the next generation customer base you need to be a successful range owner.
Innovate your offerings and use technology to your advantage.
Pro Tip: Focus on your local market and create ways to host weekly archery and shooting competitions for your local customers and enthusiasts. Offer cash prizes and competition entry fees to bring in extra revenue.
Steps to Start an Archery Range Business:
Use this list and its links as a general guide to help you begin your journey to Starting a Gun/Archery Range Business.
- Create a Business Plan - This is the step that will officially send you on your way to create a gun and archery range business.
Your plan is an important part to documenting your starting point and business model for reference and future investors.
If you have never created one and need help creating a business plan there are freelance professionals willing to help for much less than you might think.
- Create a Name for your Brand - Think of a catchy and memorable business name for your brand.
- Register to be a Legal Business - Fill out the necessary paperwork to register your range business with your local state and federal government for tax purposes.
- File for Licenses and Permits - Be sure to research all necessary licenses and permits required to own and operate a gun and archery range within your city, county and state.
You will need to file for your FFL License to be approved for selling firearms and conducting background checks for firearm purchases within your facility.
- Innovate - Out of all the steps listed here, the innovate step will be the one that separates you from your competition.
- Connect with Brands - This step is important for connecting with suppliers that will fill your showroom with the latest and mandatory products.
Customers can buy directly from your wide variety of items and accessories.
To fulfill your customers' needs you can offer guns, ammo, cases, crossbows, compound bows, extra arrows and new bow strings and much more.
- Choose a Location - This step requires some major research.
Be sure your business has enough local enthusiasts to consistently fill your range with archers, shooters and customers.
Your location needs to be easily accessible to your target demographic within a reasonable distance.
- Open for Business - The most exciting step is here.
It's time for you to reach out to your local media outlets and make them aware of your grand opening time and date.
Run social media ads for your local demographic and maybe even spice it up with a postcard campaign to the surrounding neighborhoods.
Make them aware of your new business and how they can get a special of some sort for shopping local.
Pro Tip: Offering memberships to your gun/archery range can be a huge traffic driver and constant revenue source for your business. As a membership perk you can offer special discounts and invites to special events only available to members who pay the monthly membership fee.
4. Hunting Equipment Business
Do you have a hunting product idea that can change the landscape of the hunting industry or solve a problem for your target customer?
Now is the time to bring it to life. Start a hunting equipment business that can provide a very lucrative venture for you and your family.
Trail cameras, hunting sticks, ammunition, cartridge belts, compound bows, crossbows and firearms.
These are some ideas of hunting equipment you can sell or make better by creating your own.
The growing popularity of the hunting and outdoor recreational activities is fueling consistent growth for the hunting gear market.
Finding unique ways to deliver your services year-round will set you apart from your seasonal competitors.
The Hunting Equipment and Accessories Industry: Let's Talk Money
The hunting equipment and accessories market including trapping is valued at $848.3 million.
The popularity continues to rise for this industry partly due to the emphasis on living a healthy lifestyle and not eating overly processed foods.
Yearly product launches by highly reputable hunting brands drive the market to flourish.
These new products usually feature many options and price points to fill the needs of each hunter demographically.
The longevity and financial success of your hunting equipment business will require a creative business plan that will drive traffic to your products on a year-round basis.
This means being first to market with brilliant new innovations and finding ways to offer or make products that are used during the summer months to bring in revenue during the offseason.
Pro Tip: Offering the sale of hunting and fishing licenses in your hunting gear store can provide better foot traffic as well as help in wildlife conservation and forest management, which is important for future generations.
Steps to Start a Hunting Equipment Business:
Use this list and its links as a general guide to help you begin your journey to Starting a Hunting Gear Business.
- Create a Business Plan - This step is the one that will need the most thought as to where, how and what you plan to sell.
Create a business plan for your company that is innovative and needed most by the people in the hunting industry.
Help your target customer solve their problems.
- Create a Name and Logo/Brand Identity - This portion of steps is most important because it is the face of your new company and will be your first impression.
Create a business logo that is relevant, memorable and high quality so new hunting customers can relate to your visual voice and identity.
So much so that they are willing to wear your brand on a t-shirt like so many do for Bass Pro and Cabela's.
- Form your Business Entity - Another important step to becoming a hunting equipment business owner is forming an LLC.
- File for Licenses and Permits - If you plan on manufacturing or selling firearms you will need to file and be approved for an FFL license.
Be permitted to sell firearms and conduct background checks on your customers.
Without the proper license you will not be allowed to sell firearms in your store or on your website.
- Connect with Brands/Manufacturer's - Connecting with the most popular brands in the hunting industry is important because they are the ones that will put products on your shelves.
Most product manufacturers have a minimum wholesale purchase threshold.
You can negotiate net terms and receive your products upfront but just starting out you may need to pay for your wholesale order before receiving your products.
- Decide on Website Hosting Services - Since the turn of the century, every new business needs to have a well-kept website even if you own a brick-and-mortar storefront.
It is very important to understand the terms and conditions of your website host.
Most website hosting services do not allow the sale of ammo, weapons and firearms online.
- Open your Business - It's the part we have all been waiting for.
It is officially time for you to open your new Hunting and Accessories business.
Make sure your friends, family and all your social media networks know you are ready to take orders.
On average, 98% of your first 10 customers are people you know.
Pro Tip: Many brands in the hunting and outdoor industry have a heavily enforced MAP policy. This Manufactures Advertised Price (MAP) policy is put in place to protect the value and integrity of the products and brand. It is very important to know and abide by this policy to protect your company from losing access to these products and brands.
5. Hunting and Outdoor Photography Business
Some people simply have a better eye for photography than others.
This keen sense of angle, lighting and staging can give you the ultimate advantage when it comes time to start a hunting and outdoor photography business.
With much less of an upfront investment than other ideas on this list you can be well on your way to capturing the sights, sounds and passion people have for the outdoors.
Since the introduction and explosion of social media outlets like Facebook, Instagram and YouTube this industry has carved its own very profitable niche.
The Hunting and Outdoor photography industry is a rapidly growing and evolving field.
With the best photographers taking advantage of this market with elite marketing skills and leaning more towards the freelance business model.
Sometimes using as little investment as possible like a smartphone camera.
The Hunting and Outdoor Photography Industry: Let's Talk Money
The photography industry as a whole is expected to reach $58.41 billion by 2030.
If you can find a way to carve off just a sliver of that amount for your hunting and outdoor photography company, you will be well on your way to financial stability.
The introduction of Artificial Intelligence (AI) into this niche will be a key driver of innovation, growth and turnover rate.
Take advantage of this and separate your work from your competitors by offering better quality work and faster delivery.
Building a business model that is flexible and in line with modern trends will allow you to charge first to market pricing while keeping you innovative in your workflow.
Leaning more towards the freelance company model will allow you to create how you want to and run your new business how you see fit.
Pro Tip: Watermarking your social media content not only protects your copywrite but also drives business awareness for people to recognize your brand and the ones who are interested in your services know who to look for.
Steps to Start a Hunting and Outdoor Photography Business:
Use this list and its links as a general guide to help you begin your journey to Starting a Hunting and Outdoor Photography Business.
- Create a Business Plan - Your new business idea needs a plan, and it requires you to write out your vision and document the direction you intend to travel step by step.
- Further your Education - Attending photography school can further your knowledge of the industry and open doors to a broader range of client opportunities.
Although it's not required, it shows that you've had formal training, practical experience and critical assessments.
Learn how to handle your customers' needs professionally and with the highest of quality control and technical support.
- Create a Logo/Brand Identity - This step is important for every business idea on our list because it is the face of your company.
Create a high-quality logo for your business to deliver a great first impression and portray your true brand identity.
Make it memorable, relatable and relevant to your niche.
- Form your Business Entity- This step will need to be completed to make your new company a legit business.
Forming an LLC is the most common method of obtaining a legal entity.
There are freelancers who specialize in helping you finish this process if you need help in doing so.
- Buy Camera Equipment - This is the most important tool in your toolbox.
- Practice - The practice step is important for learning your new equipment and getting familiar with how it works and the capabilities it possesses.
Try new places, zoom in close, change the lenses and test your limits.
So, when it comes time to shoot for your clients you have the confidence to deliver exceptional work that they will love and recommend to others.
- Launch your Business - Here you go, off like a rocket ship, confident, legal, branded and ready to build your portfolio as an entrepreneur in the Hunting and Outdoor Photographer industry.
Pro Tip: Leverage your social media accounts and use relevant hashtags to drive more traffic. Set a specific posting schedule like posts per week, per day and stick to it. Always watermark your work and keep the content quality high.
The hunting industry as a whole contributes over $26 billion annually to the US economy.
Through the sale of hunting gear and trips, wildlife management, and conservation.
The hunting industry value is projected at $869.5 million for 2023 and expected to increase to $883 million by 2026.
As the popularity of hunting continues to increase, these top 5 hunting niche ideas in high demand will be a great business to start.
Creating one of these business ideas could be a lucrative venture for you and your family or partners.
Starting today is easier than you might think with resources around the web that can help you develop and design every aspect of your new business.
Below we will offer you a bonus list of general resources to help you hit the ground running.
Help with your logo design, business plan, bookkeeping, forming an LLC and much more.
Dive in and start your journey to successful entrepreneurship.
Bonus List of Useful Resources and Links to Help you Get Started
Create your New Hunting Business Today
- Graphics & Design
- Programming & Tech
- Digital Marketing
- Video & Animation
- Writing & Translation
- Music & Audio
- Business & Legal Services
- Data & Analysis
- Photography Education
- AI Services
*Disclaimer - It is always a good idea to seek legal and professional help with any parts of creating a business you may not fully understand. This article is intended for informational purposes only and is in no way intended for or portrayed as professional legal advice on how to start a business.