(Editor's Note: This Retro Realtree article was originally published in February of 2012.)
When a fellow hunter finds out what I do for a living, he or she often asks me, “How do I get a job in the outdoor industry?”
Honestly, there’s no specific recipe or formula, but determination and willingness to do what it takes certainly helps. What does it take? Well, that depends on what type of job you want in the outdoor industry. There are plenty of opportunities and possibilities, but the competition is heavy. Usually, it takes more than just luck.
After graduating from college, I decided to merge my writing ability and love for the outdoors into a career. To get a foot in the door, I apprenticed for outdoor freelance writer John Phillips for three years. During that time, I not only learned how to become a freelance writer and run my own business, I met the people in the outdoor industry who would eventually help shape my career path. When my apprenticeship ended, I took a contract job as PR Coordinator for Realtree while continuing my freelance writing business. I now own a successful media relations business specializing in the outdoors.
I love working in the hunting industry, but I don’t get to hunt as much as many people assume. Honestly, my job and young children keep me too busy. Dodd Clifton, public relations director for Realtree, says you shouldn’t try to get a job in the outdoor industry expecting that you’re going to be hunting for a living.
“Some people get the idea that hunting TV show hosts have the average job in the outdoor industry, ” Clifton says. “Actually, the outdoor industry, just like any other industry, offers a variety of job opportunities. You can be involved in anything from sourcing, to building product, to distributing product, to managing SKUs (Stock Keeping Units), to retail, to promoting product, to accounting, etc. None of these jobs lend themselves to frequent hunting trips. Even hosts of TV shows spend much of their time managing sponsors, their businesses and attending events. But if you’re a passionate hunter and want to be around people who share your interest, then the outdoor industry is a good choice.”
Marketing and PR
Clifton says when it comes to getting a marketing or PR job in the hunting industry, education is the key.
“Hopefully you took your education seriously and started building your resume early, ” Clifton says. “If not, there's no time like the present. Start studying and take any marketing job you can find, even if it's marketing vacuum cleaners. Even if you have every degree available, continuing your education is more critical than ever. Marketing evolves constantly. So, the short answer is hunt, fish, camp, hike ... then study and work hard.”
To the person who has a marketing position in another industry, but would like to move over to the hunting industry, Clifton says persistence is the key.
“Do all the standard stuff - network, knock on doors, start your own business, freelance, do contract work ... try sending an actual letter to a company through the USPS. You must show commitment beyond just desire. Companies are looking for more than just passion; they want to employ people with existing skill levels and some experience. Do what it takes to stand out among others with similar attributes.”
What It Takes to be a Realtree Pro Staffer (as posted on Realtree.com)
What does it take to be Realtree Pro Staff? Above all, you must be an authentic/ethical hunter. Next, an influencer. How? Write magazine/newspaper articles. Blog. Build a website. Be on YouTube. Facebook. Be on TV. Give seminars at shows. And, most of all, be good at it all and have lots of people who want to watch you do it.
Do these things then check back with us. Thanks for your interest in Realtree!
One of the best ways to break into the hunting industry and get general job experience is through retail, especially while you’re in school. A retail job teaches you about sourcing raw materials, importation, distribution, sales, etc. These skills translate to other jobs in the industry. Bert Moore agrees. Moore, the southeastern regional manager for Russell Outdoors, says it took many years to work up to the position he has now, but his years spent in retail were most valuable.
Moore opened a small outdoors-themed gift and specialty shop when he graduated from college. He stayed in business for four years and closed it once a nice profit was made. He then went to work as a buyer for Mark’s Outdoors in Alabama.
“I worked for Marks for seven years gaining experience and contacts before moving on to other careers in the industry, ” Moore says. “I tell people to be prepared to work at a lower entry-level job and then pursue opportunities to advance.”
Moore says college students who want a career in sales should consider getting a general degree in business, marketing or communications. He says after graduation, a short career in outdoor retail is the best training someone can receive.
“To excel in sales, you have to understand the end retail consumer, as well as the retail account that you will be selling to, ” Moore says. “People often try to break into this industry from other industries just because they like to hunt and fish. If they have no knowledge of this industry, they are bound to fail. You have to understand your end consumer from the ground level up. Remember to separate business from pleasure. A widget is a widget regardless of the industry.”
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Why would there be no rental hunting companies in an area? | Yahoo Answers
Drive around and look for places to let or check out
What is the JD Hunt company.
J.D. Hunt is a Construction company. They are located at 105 Commercial Place in Schertz, Texas 78154. Phone: (210) 659-9021. on!