Throughout my years in the hunting industry, I have heard a lot of people ask, “How can I get paid just to hunt full time?” The simple answer is, you can’t. Yes, I know you see people hunting on TV who seem to make a good living, but truthfully, there are only a handful of hunters on TV who actually make good money hunting, but none get paid just to hunt.
Pick any outdoor personality and I promise you that he or she does not get paid just to hunt. To make money, they have to be a spokesman for a product or a member of a pro-staff. Most of the high profile hunters make around mid-four-figures from any given pro-staff fees, but that also includes required appearances and possible video commercials or photo shoots. The key to making a living is to have multiple sponsors and of course, a prominent TV presence.
So, we have established that nobody really gets paid fulltime just to hunt, but can you make money in the hunting industry? Of course you can, but you might have to start off at the bottom of the hunting ladder.
For instance, many of today’s TV hunting personalities started off as camera operators and their hard work and good attitude helped get them in front of the camera. If you want to get a position as a camera operator, pick up the phone and actually call some of the big shows you are interested in and ask them what you need to do to get an entry-level job with them on a production team. I promise you that every show is always looking for someone that they can use at least part time.
If you are eager and relentless, you can make it happen. If you don’t know how to operate a camera, then go straight to Youtube and learn for free. It’s all there for you to use and a real go-getter can use that knowledge to go places.
There are other ways to make it in the hunting industry as well. You can write articles and submit them to magazines. You will need a good editor and a decent camera though, since most magazines only buy articles with photos and they need to be good. Writing and photography can be learned online for free also, so again, it all depends on your motivation and your goals. A savvy, hungry person can make almost anything happen.
Finally, if you can learn specialized skills like video editing or graphic design, you will have more to offer any potential hunting product company or TV show. The real secret to getting your foot in the door is absolute determination. Owners of businesses are determined people themselves and they like to see reflections of themselves in their employees.
Anything is possible, so if you want to make a living in the hunting industry, do it.