Wake up and Smell the Coffee
“WHEW”…. A huge sigh of relief escapes my lips as I watch the last of our spring bear hunters pull out of the drive and head on home. We just finished up a video for Primal Adventures which will view on Verses and Wild TV sometime later this year. Trying to catch the attention of women hunters with a video of two women hunters being guided by my wife, Sabrina. Another area in which to try to market our business in this ever changing Industry, to another group of hunters. These last few years has left us as a hunting business with no certainty in a world of uncertainty. Industries such as the auto mobile sector laying off huge amounts of employees that have for many years thought that they could not be unemployed has me feeling the same way.
As we wander back into the house grab a coffee and sit and sort of reflect on the last couple of months. From a devastating year at the sportsman shows where we usually book out 1 to 2 years in advance, having hardly booked anything has left wondering how much more we as an industry can take and where do we go from here. I have some ideas that someone needs to voice so that all sectors of the outdoor and hunting industry better look at long and hard if we are to survive not only the next hundred years but the next 10 to 20 years. I look at my 7 year old son and wonder if this is the last generation of guide outfitters, and hunters and I probably am not to far off on this.
So everyone it is time “WE WOKE UP AND SMELLED THE COFFEE” Talk about being put on the endangered species list.
It may be hard to read and understand what I am about to say but I have never been one to hold back my thoughts and opinions on things, and if something needs to be said then I guess I can do it. Hunting basically has 2 sides the local resident hunters which we all are to an extent and then there are those of us that operate Guide and Outfitting businesses or the commercial sector; this is pretty much the industry in a nut shell. Then there are all those others that feed off of the industry to supply everything from guns and ammo to flashlights and out door equipment. There are the manufactures of these products and then there are the big box stores and smaller family businesses that sell all of the gizmos and gadgets that the hunters think they need. This has become an industry in it’s self and there are billions of dollars involved in this industry. Probably more spent on gizmos than on actual hunting.
Well in a time where it is getting very difficult to retail our hunting excursions because of a poor economy in the US and other parts of the world something has to be done to help the crippled hunting industry weather the storm until things get better.
This is where the other industry has to step forward and lend a hand. If the commercial sector of the hunting industry goes under guess what, there is no use for all the gizmo’s and gadget’s that all you people manufactory and all you big box stores that need this products to sell because there will be no more hunters out there to buy. It is up to you people to do a lot more to help the actual hunting industry if you want to be around for a long time, it’s time to give something back to the people in the hunting industry.
Some will say that hey do a lot already , and some probably do, thru donations to various organizations or supporting fundraisers of all types of guide associations etc, but what about the Outfitter, the people on the ground that provide the services to the hunters to get those awesome trophies, what about them. What can you do to help the down to earth people that provide the camps, the guides the livestock that work out in the hills and backcountry to ensure the success of the hunter, What can you do to help them, after all they are the Skeleton and the heart of the industry, without guiding and hunting there is nothing. Sure some of you can move into the non hunting sector of the outdoors and probably do already, but a lot of you depend on the hunters for your livelihoods some depend entirely on the hunters.
So what do you do to help, how do you do your share. Its pretty basic, start booking hunting trips with those outfitters will pretty much do it, it’s not rocket science, we need help from you people by booking more hunts, put a little bit of those profits back into the industry that has fed your families for so long, Talk to an outfitter about maybe a deal on a group hunt so you can take some of your clients on a trip for just being good clients. Fill up those vacant spots we have in our hunt schedule, there isn’t an outfitter out there that couldn’t use a half dozen more hunters for 2010 or 2011, by then maybe the economy will turn around and the retail hunters will be able start booking the hunting trip they have been dreaming of again, but most important maybe just maybe there will be a Guide Outfitter left to be able to provide that service for you , the hunters.