posted on February 07, 2011 08:44
By Mike Handley
Benjamin Landry of Louisiana is the latest deer hunter to wrap his hands around one of nature’s rarest whitetail racks. The palmated antlers of the buck he shot on Jan. 22 might not have exceptionally long points, but there are several, and the last two circumference measurements on each side should nudge this rifle harvest into our record book.
I heard about this rascal from Greg Hicks, who pens many of the stories at bayoubucks.com. Benjamin tells this one in his own words, however, which reminds me: Wouldn’t YOU like to be paid to write hunting stories?
Landing the Dream Job
Once or twice a year, I receive an e-mail from someone who wants to know how to become a “professional hunter.” They want to parlay a love of hunting and the outdoors into a career.
My advice to anyone looking to earn a living in the hunting industry is to decide exactly what you want to be in this industry: writer, editor, cameraman/videographer, graphic artist, advertising salesman, etc.
There is no place in most organizations for someone who simply likes to hunt. You must be skilled in a particular job first, and then let your love of hunting pull you into a position that accommodates your expertise as well as your passion for the outdoors. Even then, you’ll need a great deal of luck to land the “dream job” that’ll enable you to hunt.
For example, I started deer hunting at age 9. When I went to college, I had no real clue as to what I wanted to do afterward. Truthfully, the only reason I went to college was to be able to hunt deer at our hunting club 10 miles down the road from the campus.
Sort of by accident, I got involved in journalism and became a weekly newspaper reporter. I soon graduated to editor and then publisher. Because I loved the outdoors and was a good writer and editor, I landed a job as the outdoors editor for a daily newspaper. From there, I moved on to become a magazine editor here at Buckmasters.
They didn’t hire me because I was a great deer hunter. They hired me because I had 18 years of newspaper experience and was very good at editing and writing stories. As a result, I’m able to hunt around the world … though I always end up right back here in front of a computer, writing my own stories and making other writers’ stories better.
To sum it up, make plans now to go to college (even a junior college). Keep up your grades, and look for a school that offers the kind of classes that’ll help you become the best at what you want to do. The grades you make in college aren’t nearly as important as what you learn there. If you want to write, who really cares if you barely pass math? Just do your best and pour yourself into the classes you adore. If you have no interest in writing and want to pursue graphic design, find a school that’ll help you master all the latest design software.
Heck, if you or your parents cannot afford a four-year institution, you can find specialized classes at a fraction of the cost. You might not have a degree to show for it, but if you’re really good at what you do, you might not need the degree to be hired. If I had two applicants for a job, I’m going to hire the one who can do the best job for me – regardless of education or work experience.
So the decision is yours. It’s not unlike harvesting a monster buck. It’s going to require talent, skill, time and luck.