Americans love the outdoors, whether hiking, hunting or fishing, boating, horseback riding, or camping. Outfitters can provide equipment and guidance for many outdoor activities, as well as accommodation and meals for their guests. The U.S. hunting industry is estimated to be worth almost $900 million. This figure is expected to increase over the next five years. You can turn your passion for hunting into an outfitting company and get a piece of the market. While helping others make unforgettable memories and have amazing adventures, you could also be a part of this market.
Before you put out the ammunition, it’s essential to understand how to start and run a business. This step-by-step guide will provide all the information you need to get started and make your outfitter a success.
What does it cost to open an outfitting company?
The startup costs of an outfitting company range from $70,000 for guests who plan to camp to $430,000 if you want to build a lodge.
You will need to lease private land and ensure it permits outfitter permits. Although you’ll need 600 acres to hunt, the average size of leased hunting property is around 900 acres. You can’t lease national forest lands for outfitting. However, you can purchase an existing outfitting company on protected land.
An outfitters school in your area may offer the necessary courses. You may need to meet specific requirements to obtain an outfitter’s license in your state.
You will need to have a few items to launch an outfitting business successfully.
Hunting and fishing gear
Tents and other camping gear
Equipment for the kitchen in the lodge
Furniture and other furnishings for the lodge
What can you make from your outfitting business?
Outfitting trips cost between $2,000 and $10,000 per person. The trips typically last three to five consecutive days. Your profit margin should not exceed 30% after food, labor, and overhead. These figures assume that each excursion will cost $6,000 per person.
You could run six trips per year for five people in your first or second year, earning $180,000 annually in revenue. If you assume a 30% margin, this will translate into $54,000 in profit. You might be able to host 15 5-person outings per annum as you build your reputation. A $450,000 annual income would make you a handsome profit of $135,000.
There are four main categories of hunting: big game, small game, migratory birds, and other animals like raccoons or feral pigs. The sport is most popular with big game hunters. 11.6 million people spent 212 million days hunting. This led to $16.9 million in sales. According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, hunters must purchase licenses yearly to be allowed to participate in the sport. However, not all hunters need to purchase licenses every year. Only 35% of residents hunter buy a license every five years. According to the NSSF, it might be easier to encourage hunting among people who already enjoy the sport than to market to those interested in learning.
According to the U.S., participation in hunting has been declining since 1980. Fish and Wildlife This trend can be attributed to the increasing level of urbanization in the country. There is a continuing trend in the industry to offer programs to encourage hunters and children to hunt by providing lower license fees and free seminars to improve skills. Although some wildlife lovers continue to question the ethics and legitimacy of hunting, the industry is a significant contributor to wildlife conservation efforts. According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the sector contributes over $1 billion annually to wildlife conservation through hunting licenses and taxes.
What is the average salary of a hunting outfitter?
Hunting Guide Salary Average Salary Weekly Top Earners $52,500 $41,500 $798 On Average $37.709 $725 25th percentile $26,000
How much should you tip a hunting outfitter?
The simple answer is to tip your guide at least 10% of the actual hunt price. If your adventure costs $5,500, tip at least $550. But it isn’t that easy. A good guide will rarely ask for directions. It’s up to the guide to accepting it.