Becoming a hunting outfitter or guide is a difficult, yet rewarding career choice. It requires a unique set of skills and knowledge that can only be acquired through years of hunting. It's more than just being a knowledgeable and skillful hunter, though. It's also about understanding other hunters and helping them on their own hunting endeavors. A true hunting outfitter is someone that fully prepares for the hunt and takes complete responsibility of any hunting situation they're presented.
If you're interested in becoming a hunting outfitter, you're in for a fulfilling and fun career path. Just keep in mind that it will be difficult, time consuming and oftentimes tedious, but it'll be well worth the effort and time spent preparing for one of the best career options in the outdoor industry.
First Aid/Lifesaving Training
The most important set of skills a hunting outfitter should have is first aid and lifesaving training. Most hunters who hire a hunting outfitter won't think about the â€˜what if' situations or safety skills required from their guide, but certified first aid and safety outfitters set themselves apart from the others. Some states require these types of skills, so if you're looking to become an outfitter, understand the laws for hunting outfitters in your state, especially if you're looking to get hired by a company.
Hunting outfitters need to be exceptionally fit in order to face any situation hunting has to offer. Sometimes these situations aren't even about hunting, but surviving. A physically fit hunting outfitter is seen as more prepared and more aware of his/her environment because they can face greater obstacles, especially in survival situations.
Anyone that hires hunting outfitters clearly needs them for their knowledge and expertise about hunting, the land their hunting on and legal advice in certain situations and/or areas.
- Hunting: Hunting outfitters have many years of expertise and have acquired a large amount of information over this time period. People who hunt with them take their advice to heart and use it as a guiding light on their own hunts.
- Legal: If you've hunted in an area for many years, it's not too difficult to know or remember all of the laws, rules and regulations of hunting. Oftentimes it's pretty straightforward, but what if you're new to an area? For instance, someone who's hunted whitetails in Missouri all their life now wants to take a shot at arctic foxes in Alaska. If the hunter's never hunted in Alaska, then a hunting outfitter would be able to provide all of the legal knowledge necessary for a specific hunt.
- Survival: Another benefit of using a hunting outfitter when hunting on unfamiliar territory or in another state is their knowledge during emergency situations. They know the land, the dangers of that area and are more likely to have previous experience of survival situations.
When someone hires a hunting outfitter, the most important things they look at are the skills they carry. Their skills fall in line with their knowledge as they both complement each other and define their expertise, professionalism and overall success as a hunting outfitter.
- Hunting: An outfitter's hunting knowledge usually goes hand-in-hand with their skills. Their skills grow as their knowledge does. They work together as an outfitter figures out what works and what doesn't.
- Communication: Communication is very important for outfitters and their clients. Outfitters need to converse with their clients on a regular basis; prior to any hunt to properly prepare and while on hunts to provide a sense of comfort and understanding. This gives the hunter a better understanding of what to expect and how to prepare accordingly.
- Relationship Building: Outfitters need to be good at building relationships. If they're not, those long hunting trips will be quite the struggle. This goes with communication, since communication is a sign of bonding and sharing information. If outfitters and their clients are always on the same page, that's a sign of successful communication and a great start to a strong relationship.
If you want to be a hunting outfitter, you have to be like Bear Grylls; patient, tenacious and willing to do what it takes to succeed. That might seem a little extreme, but sometimes that's what it means to survive or at least make a hunting trip a successful one.
Joseph Otto writes for KT’s Trophy Hunts in Missouri. With over 7500 acres of private hunting land, visit ktshunts.com and find out why they're some of the best hunting outfitters in Missouri.