State of the Hunting Industry | April 2010

[private_member]MEMBERS – Please view in .pdf form – State of the Hunting Industry Report | April 2010[/private_member]

Edition 6           A Publication of Hunting Business Marketing        April 2010

The Good News of 2010, But Looming State Deficits

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There seems to be a cautious wave of optimism sweeping the middle class in the US this past month.

Many industries are seeing a return of growth and prosperity. Some companies are growing and expanding their operations, even hiring new employees. When reading news such as this it brings a smile to the face of anyone. It’s positive and it’s encouraging for the future.

However, other news like the pension deficits in most states is troubling.

The public sector is draining the entire American economy of precious resources. This is good for a few folks during the interim short-term while harmful for the majority of Americans in the long-term.

State governments, like the federal government has promised more money than they are currently taking in. The difference with the state governments is they don’t have a federal reserve to print money when they run out. They are required by law to balance budgets.

Taxes are being increased on some states to make up for the differences in tax revenue. This may work in the short-term, but will be detrimental in the long-term.

States have been able to hide some of their shortcomings in the short-term with tricky accounting that plays shell games with the public in a desperate effort to make it through the next elections. The music will eventually stop in this game of musical chairs and those left with no place to sit will be taxpayers and the general public.

Underemployment continues growing in most states and cities around the US.

Folks are saving what they can, but pent up demand that has been building for the past year or so is leading to some consumer spending. Businesses are delighted by this as their sales are increasing over last year; increasing over one of worst years in history.

When the music will stop is anybody’s guess and t he only lifeline folks and businesses will have is savings to weather another storm.

Living a happy life with family and the things you cherish is important so take care of those things.[private_member]

Economic Trends

State Debt Woes Grow Too Big to Camouflage

From New York Times (March 2010):

California, New York and other states are showing many of the same signs of debt overload that recently took Greece to the brink — budgets that will not balance, accounting that masks debt, the use of derivatives to plug holes, and armies of retired public workers who are counting on benefits that are proving harder and harder to pay.

And states are responding in sometimes desperate ways, raising concerns that they, too, could face a debt crisis.

New Hampshire was recently ordered by its State Supreme Court to put back $110 million that it took from a medical malpractice insurance pool to balance its budget. Colorado tried, so far unsuccessfully, to grab a $500 million surplus from Pinnacol Assurance, a state workers’ compensation insurer that was privatized in 2002. It wanted the money for its university system and seems likely to get a lesser amount, perhaps $200 million.

Joshua Rauh, an economist at Northwestern University, and Robert Novy-Marx of the University of Chicago, recently recalculated the value of the 50 states’ pension obligations the way the bond markets value debt. They put the number at $5.17 trillion.

After the $1.94 trillion set aside in state pension funds was subtracted, there was a gap of $3.23 trillion — more than three times the amount the states owe their bondholders.

“When you see that, you recognize that states are in trouble even more than we recognize,” Mr. Rauh said.

With bond payments and pension contributions consuming big chunks of state budgets, Mr. Rauh said, some states were already falling behind on unsecured debts, like bills from vendors. “Those are debts, too,” he said.

In Illinois, the state comptroller recently said the state was nearly $9 billion behind on its bills to vendors, which he called an “ongoing fiscal disaster.” On Monday, Fitch Ratings downgraded several categories of Illinois’s debt, citing the state’s accounts payable backlog. California had to pay its vendors with i.o.u.’s last year.

“These are the things that can precipitate a crisis,” Mr. Rauh said.

Read the full story State Debt Woes Grow Too Big to Camouflage

Impact on your business

Tricky accounting and other shell games are allowing some states to postpone their inevitable collapse.

In the best case scenario, the states would declare a form of bankruptcy and let the public unions walk without compensation or the state governments would cut spending in other areas to pay for the union pensions and other liabilities – depending on what the citizens prefer in each of the states.

In the worst case and most likely scenario, states will receive the balance of the deficit from the federal government, which will have to borrow and print the money thus removing trillions more from the pockets of taxpayers – a few will prosper in the short-term and everyone will suffer in the long-term.

With commercial real estate struggling as we saw last month in the report and the buildup of unfunded liabilities in the states, the outlook is shaky at best in the general US.

Underemployment Rises to 20.3% in March

From Gallup (March 2010):

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Gallup Daily tracking finds that 20.3% of the U.S. workforce was underemployed in March — a slight uptick from the relatively flat January and February numbers.

These results are based on March interviews with more than 20,000 adults in the U.S. workforce, aged 18 and older. Gallup classifies respondents as underemployed if they are unemployed or working part-time but wanting full-time work. Gallup employment data are not seasonally adjusted.

A rise in the percentage of part-timers wanting to work full time (from 9.2% to 9.9%) is responsible for the March increase in underemployment. Unemployment saw a slight, but insignificant, decline in March.

Read the full story Underemployment Rises to 20.3% in March

Impact on your business

The interesting thing about the recent slight upturn in economic perspective has been that unemployment and underemployment have continued to rise; even if at a relatively slow place.

What we know as underemployment today used to be the official unemployment number up until the federal government made the change in the 1990s (in an effort to make the perception better). So when comparing today with the 1930s it’s important to use the underemployment number – this includes those who would like to have better jobs or are dissatisfied with their current jobs.

In the past few months we’ve seen folks revert back to spending. This is a natural reaction to pent up demand that had been subdued for awhile during the recession.

With folks still losing jobs or working at jobs they are not satisfied with it will be difficult for any kind of rebound or sustained recovery.

Economic Confidence Remains Depressed Thus Far in March

From Gallup (March 2010):

PRINCETON, NJ — Gallup’s Economic Confidence Index is -31 for the week of March 15-21, continuing a trend of depressed confidence that began three weeks prior.

Consumer Outlook Dimmer Since Late February

The Gallup Economic Confidence Index is based on Americans’ answers to two questions — one focusing on views of current economic conditions in the country and the other on the economic outlook. Both measures are in negative territory — meaning that more Americans express negative than positive sentiments on each dimension — and have been since January 2008.

The dampened level of overall economic confidence in March comes exclusively from a drop in economic outlook that began in the final week of February and has since held.

Read the full story Economic Confidence Remains Depressed Thus Far in March

Impact on your business

Confidence appears to remain subdued among Americans.

Most people in the US are smart and they understand that a recovery that saw a great deal of stimulus thrust into Wall Street and the stock market means little for actual fundamental economic recovery. Folks are still losing jobs and over 20% of workers in the US are working at jobs they are not satisfied with whether that is for pay reasons or something similar.

Folks have been spending some of the money they’ve saved for a rainy day over the past 18 months, but this is nothing more than pent up demand.

Americans’ Weekly Spending Hits New High for 2010

From Gallup (March 2010):

PRINCETON, NJ — With stocks at a new high for the year, pent-up demand from the snowstorms of prior weeks, and perhaps the arrival of some tax refunds, Americans’ self-reported spending reached its highest level of the year during the week ending March 14.

Prior to last week, 2010 consumer spending was adhering to the relatively conservative “new normal” established in 2009. The question going forward is whether this new spending represents the beginning of a new, higher level of consumer spending — somewhere between 2008 and 2009 spending levels — or simply a short-term aberration in the “new normal” trend.

Averaging $72 per day last week, consumer spending was up 20% from the prior week ($60) and 31% from the same week a year ago ($55), and at its highest level since the week ending Dec. 20.

Job Creation Not a Factor

If this is the beginning of a new spending trend, it doesn’t appear to have been inspired by job creation. While job market conditions have improved compared to a year ago, most of the change comes from lower percentages of employees reporting that their companies are letting people go; there has been little growth in the percentage saying their companies are hiring.

Read the full story Americans’ Weekly Spending Hits New High for 2010

Impact on your business

Pent up demand from 18 months of not spending much has started hitting the US economy. This is great news for the companies providing quality products and services to folks, but the truth is that incomes are not increasing and people are simply spending a little of the savings they’ve accumulated over the past year or so.

It’s a natural reaction to want to spend a little money; whether it’s for needs or wants it makes people more positive to spend money and enjoy life.

A true recovery cannot occur until the job market improves and folks are able to shrink debt levels and spend actual savings.

Industry News

Successful wolf hunt may not be profitable

From Idaho Reporter (March 2010):

Despite all the notoriety surrounding Idaho’s wolf hunt, it may not be a moneymaker for the Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG), according to a department spokesman.  Ed Mitchell said it’s debatable whether the hunt that led to 186 hunters killing wolves paid for itself.  More than 31,000 hunters bought tags to hunt wolves, which sold for $11.50 to Idaho residents and $186 to out-of-state hunters.

“We need that tag money for our wolf and other big game programs,” Mitchell told  He said the cost of wolf management programs, including tracking and tagging wolves, and the loss of revenues on elk hunting tags due to elk being killed by wolves has offset the more than $400,000 raised from wolf tag sales.  Mitchell said elk herds in several areas of the state have been declining, including the Lolo zone.  “The Lolo’s been studied so thoroughly,” he said, adding that other areas, like the Selway zone, may also have had large depredation.  “We just have more complete science on the Lolo.”  Both the Lolo and Selway zones are located along the Montana-Idaho border.

Read the full story Successful wolf hunt may not be profitable

Impact on your business

State departments will never be able to effectively manage wildlife or land.

Private landowners are the best equipped to handle the duties of managing their own land and the wildlife (property) that lives on their land. The wolf issue for me is not an issue that belongs to the state or it’s populace.

The pilgrims struggled to survive in the new world when their communities were centrally planned. Not until the pilgrims divided up their land into private plots for each person did they succeed and thrive as each person took care of their ‘own’ property.

In Africa, there was an issue with elephants. One country took the centrally planned route to poaching and tried to manage the elephant herd that way. Another country declared that all elephants were the private property of the landowners. The second country now has a thriving elephant population while the first is no better off today than in the past.

Online Trends

Top E-Mail Subject Lines Focus on ‘You’

From eMarketer (March 2010):

Polls show that marketers are aiming for personalization to make their e-mails stand out in recipients’ inboxes, and the rise of social media has made many consumers expect a more personal relationship with brands. And a look at e-mail subject lines suggests marketers are following that lead.

While in November 2008, subjects with “you” and “your” barely beat out “free” offers, usage of “you” to address recipients directly rose by 2009 to appear in more than one-fifth of e-mail subjects. On the flip side, terms such as “free” and “ship” decreased in importance.

Experian’s “2010 Digital Marketer” report said this reflected the growing savvy of marketing e-mail recipients. Consumers now expect free shipping offers, which makes them less of a selling point in e-mail subject lines.

Offers of savings in general, however, remained important, and with good reason. More than one-half of adults said they were likely to open an e-mail containing promotions or coupons, and 30% said they would forward such an e-mail to others, up from 28% in 2008.

Among multichannel retailers, for example, “save,” “off” and “% off” each appeared in about 12% of subject lines. Shopping and classifieds sites saw the highest share of traffic coming from e-mail clicks, compared with other industries, at 9%.

Read the full story Top E-Mail Subject Lines Focus on ‘You’

Impact on your business

Email is important for any successful business today.

There are a few steps in the email process that every business should focus on: 1) Opening 2) Clicking and 3) Buying. Work on getting your customers to open your emails, click you emails, and eventually get them to convert sales or your own version of conversion metrics by improving your email subject lines and content.

Email is being utilized by many successful companies, but there is always room for improvement and studies like the one above help with understanding what people are responding too in the marketplace.

Retail E-Commerce Resumes Double-Digit Growth

From eMarketer (April 2010):

eMarketer forecasts that after two years of subpar growth, 2010 US retail e-commerce sales (excluding travel) will climb to more than $152 billion, up 12.7% year over year. This follows the US Census Bureau’s release showing online sales in Q4 2009 grew by 14.6% over a year earlier—the biggest gain in eight quarters.

“In 2011, growth will go on at the same pace, as the economy continues to recover and consumers loosen their purse strings,” said Jeffrey Grau, eMarketer senior analyst and author of the new report, “US Retail E-Commerce Forecast: Room to Grow.”

“But by 2012, e-commerce will resume its pre-recessionary downward growth path because of the inevitable maturation of the online sales channel,” he said. “Still, there is plenty of energy driving e-commerce.”

This year, 162 million people in the US will research products online. Much of this research will lead to in-store purchases. Over 82% of online researchers, or 133 million people, will be online buyers. The percent of online buyers will rise as young Internet users, predisposed to e-commerce, replace older users.

Online travel sales are also set to rise. Sales will total $92.5 billion in 2010, a 4.6% annual increase and a positive development after sales plummeted by 6.7% in 2009. Together, online retail and online travel will equal $244.6 billion in 2010 and grow at a 9% compound annual rate from 2009 to 2014.

Read full story Retail E-Commerce Resumes Double-Digit Growth

Impact on your business

Online retail sales are back to growing, which is a good sign for folks with businesses in the online world.

As mentioned before, some of this is due to pent up demand. Consumers are spending some of the money they have been saving over the past year or so. This is fine and it’s a natural reaction to the negative effects of the recession.

I still see online retail sales growing in the next few years even if overall spending decreases. Online retailing has many advantages and continues to improve in efficiency as well as in the level of value it delivers consumers in the world markets.


There has been some good news in the economy lately…along with some news of reality for the long-term economic outlook.

The back to back stimulus extravaganzas from the last two presidential administrations and congress shoveled loads of cash into the stock market in an effort to benefit a few while the majority suffered in the long-term.

Folks that have continued to contribute to their retirement in 401Ks and in the stock market are a little happier today than they were a year ago since things have recovered significantly since the lows of a year ago.

Will stocks remain at their current level? Will they continue to increase? Will they crash again?

Underemployment, a relaxation of pent up demand, and other economic factors are saying negative things.

Strong businesses will thrive as they always do. Invest in those companies and make sure that you are running one of the successful, unique companies.

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Hunting Business Marketing

State of the Hunting Industry | March 2010

[private_member]MEMBERS – Please view in .pdf form – State of the Hunting Industry Report | March 2010[/private_member]

Edition 5           A Publication of Hunting Business Marketing         March 2010

Uncertain 2010 + Looming Commercial Real Estate Collapse


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Uncertainty rules the US consumer in today’s economy.

There is uncertainty in the way things are shaking up with unemployment. Millions are without jobs today and millions more are underemployed and not happy with the amount they’re making or the outlook for their financial future.

Employment and the cost of living have always been two of the biggest factors on the economy and the hunting industry is certainly affected by these two economic indicators. The outlook is not good for unemployment in the short and long-term future so it’s going to take a new level of innovation and expertise from entrepreneurs like you to succeed in the next 5, 10, 20, and 50 years.

Also looming on the immediate horizon in the impending crash of the commercial real estate bubble. Small banks are working feverously to make things work before, but their efforts appear to be on a crash course with reality.

Thousands of local and community banks are on the brink of collapse as their bets on businesses in the past 5-10 years are not panning out. Malls and offices sit vacant and without rent money coming in there is a buildup in supply while the demand for space is shrinking. Values of properties in the commercial sector will shrink and rents will likely plunge as well.

Many more jobs will be lost and things don’t look good.

The reality for businesses is that consumers are going to be prudent in their spending and it’ll take strong communication of benefits to convince people to make purchases for themselves and their families. It’s important for businesses to be open and transparent in the things they do daily to earn customer trust.

Building successful businesses is still possible and your business can grow and succeed in the future with the right outlook.


Economic Trends

Millions of Unemployed Face Years Without Jobs

From New York Times (Feb. 2010):

Even as the American economy shows tentative signs of a rebound, the human toll of the recession continues to mount, with millions of Americans remaining out of work, out of savings and nearing the end of their unemployment benefits.

Economists fear that the nascent recovery will leave more people behind than in past recessions, failing to create jobs in sufficient numbers to absorb the record-setting ranks of the long-term unemployed.

Call them the new poor: people long accustomed to the comforts of middle-class life who are now relying on public assistance for the first time in their lives — potentially for years to come.

Yet the social safety net is already showing severe strains. Roughly 2.7 million jobless people will lose their unemployment check before the end of April unless Congress approves the Obama administration’s proposal to extend the payments, according to the Labor Department.

Here in Southern California, Jean Eisen has been without work since she lost her job selling beauty salon equipment more than two years ago. In the several months she has endured with neither a paycheck nor an unemployment check, she has relied on local food banks for her groceries.

She has learned to live without the prescription medications she is supposed to take for high blood pressure and cholesterol. She has become effusively religious — an unexpected turn for this onetime standup comic with X-rated material — finding in Christianity her only form of health insurance.

“I pray for healing,” says Ms. Eisen, 57. “When you’ve got nothing, you’ve got to go with what you know.”

Read the rest Millions of Unemployed Face Years Without Jobs

Impact on your business

Millions of Americans are unemployed and millions more are working jobs that pay less or offer fewer hours than they have been used to seeing in previous years. It’s a difficult reality for most and emergency lifelines like savings, credit cards, and family loans are running dry.

It’s a difficult climate for any business trying to get started or trying to expand. Any economy depends on a strong unemployment rate where people are able to earn a quality living while seeing their cost of living expand as business innovate and prices drop.

Without an innovative sign in the market (such as the computer and Internet revolution) there is no telling when quality employment will come back to the US.

Brookdale Center Mall Sold at Auction for Big Markdown

From Star Tribune (Feb. 2010):

Brookdale Center went on the auction block at a sheriff’s foreclosure sale Friday, netting just one bid of $12.5 million from the shopping mall’s lenders.

The bid from Brookdale Mall HH LLC was well below the $51.8 million owed on a $54.2 million mortgage by the property’s owners, Brooks Mall Properties of Coral Gables, Fla.

A representative of the lenders declined to comment on the bidding or plans for the Brooklyn Center shopping mall. Other real estate experts said the low bid could make it easier for the owners to redeem or other buyers to purchase the property.

Brooks Mall Properties had agreed to a voluntary foreclosure, so the redemption period will be two months rather than six. Representatives of the firm could not be reached for comment Friday.

The foreclosure doesn’t mean the 47-year-old mall, the second-oldest of the Twin Cities’ “Dales,” is closing.

Brookdale’s struggles began well before the retail market meltdown, and its problems have worsened since then. Sears is its sole remaining anchor. In the last couple of years Macy’s, Barnes & Noble and Mervyn’s have all closed their stores. The mall also has lost other key tenants, such as Steve & Barry’s. Almost 60 percent of its space is vacant, according to recent figures from NorthMarq.

Read the entire story Brookdale Center Mall Sold at Auction for Big Markdown

Impact on your business

On top of the worsening employment situation in the US is the looming commercial real estate bubble that has yet to face reality.

Just as the billions, if not trillions of dollars in residential real estate brought the US economy to its knees two years ago, the bubble in commercial real estate finally appears to be reaching its breaking point.

Businesses are trying all they can to make thing work with lenders, but lenders are afraid of losing out on their investments in commercial real estate from the past 5-10 years. It’s a big problem and one that has potential to be bigger than the residential real estate problem.

There is good and bad news for businesses in the commercial real estate climate. The good news is that rents and prices for office space and other commercial space will likely plummet due to the overcapacity. The bad news is that more businesses will go under and the unemployment will likely climb further, which hampers all economic recoveries.

In D.C., more evidence that commercial real estate headed for foreclosure crisis

From The Washington Post (Feb. 2010):

A mortgage crisis like the one that has devastated homeowners is enveloping the nation’s office and retail buildings, and few places are likely to be hit as hard as Washington.

The foreclosure wave is likely to swamp many smaller community banks across the country, and many well-known properties, including Washington’s Mayflower Hotel and the Boulevard at the Capital Centre in Largo, are at risk, industry analysts say.

The new round of financial pain, which some had anticipated but hoped to avoid, now seems all but certain. “There’s been an enormous bubble in commercial real estate, and it has to come down,” said Elizabeth Warren, chairman of the Congressional Oversight Panel, the watchdog created by Congress to monitor the financial bailout. “There will be significant bankruptcies among developers and significant failures among community banks.”

Unlike the largest banks, such as Citigroup and Wachovia, that got into so much trouble early on, the community banks in general fared better in the residential mortgage crisis. But their turn is coming: Not only did community banks issue a higher proportion of commercial loans, but they also have held on to them rather than sell them to other investors.

Nearly 3,000 community banks — 40 percent of the banking system — have a high proportion of commercial real estate loans relative to their capital, said Warren, whose committee issued a report on commercial real estate last week. “Every dollar they lose in commercial real estate is a dollar they can’t use for small businesses,” she said. Individuals — who saw their home values drop in the residential mortgage crisis — would not feel that kind of loss, but, Warren said, a large-scale failure would “throw sand into the gears of economic recovery.”

In Washington, the number of troubled properties has multiplied at a phenomenal rate, with the value growing from only $13 million in 2007 to $40 billion now, according to CoStar Group, a Bethesda real estate research company. The region trails only South Florida and metropolitan New York in the per capita value of commercial real estate assets in foreclosure, default or delinquency, according to the research group Real Capital Analytics.

The threat is especially acute in the District, the firm said, where the catalogue of troubled commercial real estate properties has grown tenfold since April. Moreover, the region has $7.3 billion in commercial properties that are underwater — worth less than the mortgages on them — according to CoStar.

Read the entire story In D.C., more evidence that commercial real estate headed for crisis

Impact on your business

Many people saw this coming, but the trend in the past year or two has been to ignore the problem and simply not talk about it as there were more pressing issues in the short-term.

The reality is coming close today and most have to deal with the situation.

If you’re in the business of commercial real estate lending or if your customers depend on the income generated from the industry you are likely to be affected. In fact, most in the US economy will be affected due to the large scale of the issue.

The correct thing is for the situation to correct itself as the mismanaged businesses can be liquidated and apt businesses can pick up the pieces and form a proper recovery.

That business could be yours. See opportunity in the hunting industry and do what it takes to find the things people need and want in the new economy.

Commercial Real Estate Apocalypse in 2011-2012

From Mish’s Global Trend Analysis (Feb. 2010):

Inquiring minds are digging deep into a 190 page PDF by the Congressional Oversight Panel regarding Commercial Real Estate Losses and the Risk to Financial Stability.

Executive Summary

Over the next few years, a wave of commercial real estate loan failures could threaten America’s already-weakened financial system. The Congressional Oversight Panel is deeply concerned that commercial loan losses could jeopardize the stability of many banks, particularly the nation’s mid-size and smaller banks, and that as the damage spreads beyond individual banks that it will contribute to prolonged weakness throughout the economy.

Between 2010 and 2014, about $1.4 trillion in commercial real estate loans will reach the end of their terms. Nearly half are at present “underwater” – that is, the borrower owes more than the underlying property is currently worth. Commercial property values have fallen more than 40 percent since the beginning of 2007. Increased vacancy rates, which now range from eight percent for multifamily housing to 18 percent for office buildings, and falling rents, which have declined 40 percent for office space and 33 percent for retail space, have exerted a powerful downward pressure on the value of commercial properties.

The largest commercial real estate loan losses are projected for 2011 and beyond; losses at banks alone could range as high as $200-$300 billion. The stress tests conducted last year for 19 major financial institutions examined their capital reserves only through the end of 2010.

Even more significantly, small and mid-sized banks were never subjected to any exercise comparable to the stress tests, despite the fact that small and mid-sized banks are proportionately even more exposed than their larger counterparts to commercial real estate loan losses.

A significant wave of commercial mortgage defaults would trigger economic damage that could touch the lives of nearly every American. Empty office complexes, hotels, and retail stores could lead directly to lost jobs. Foreclosures on apartment complexes could push families out of their residences, even if they had never missed a rent payment. Banks that suffer, or are afraid of suffering, commercial mortgage losses could grow even more reluctant to lend, which could in turn further reduce access to credit for more businesses and families and accelerate a negative economic cycle.

Read the entire story Commercial Real Estate Apocalypse 20011-2012

Impact on your business

The commercial real estate issue is a very big problem. If some of the banks in trouble go under it will have an immediate impact on local communities and businesses.

Businesses will fail and it will be difficult for new and existing businesses to have access to credit at the rates they once had in the past 5-10 years.

It’s important to understand what it will take to be successful in the new economy: savings and quality ideas that consumers need.

Savings is key for the new reality in America. People that have savings will protect it with their lives and will only invest in sound businesses.

Make sure your business is one of the ones built with strong fundamentals.

Industry News

Programs Aim to Attract New Hunters

From Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (Feb. 2010):

Hunting is as natural to humans as eating. In fact our ancestors couldn’t do one without the other.

But while 21st century Americans display ever more gusto at the table, the food gathering is largely outsourced. Hunting has been in decline for decades.

The reasons are many, including urbanization, loss of wildlife habitat, changes in the way we spend our free time.

We are an increasingly sedentary culture, more connected to digital devices than the natural world.

The trend is reflected in many outdoor pursuits, but is especially marked in hunting.

According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the number of licensed hunters in America declined about 35% from 1975 to 2006.

Even in Wisconsin, where deer hunting is considered by many as a second state religion, only about one in eight state residents bought a hunting license last year.

The downward trend is troubling to wildlife managers, who rely on funding from license sales and excise taxes, but also to advocates of the healthfulness of a lifestyle that includes hunting.

The push to stabilize or even increase hunting participation in the Badger State took center stage last weekend when the Department of Natural Resources hosted the first Wisconsin Hunting Heritage Conference.

A banner at the conference featured a quote by Theodore Roosevelt: “Those of us privileged to take to the field are entrusted by fate and circumstance to hold and nurture the hunter’s legacy.”

Read the entire story Programs Aim to Attract New Hunters

Impact on your business

It’s great to see that acquiring new hunters to the hunting industry is a priority.

Hunting is big business and acquiring new hunters is the lifeblood of businesses like yours in the hunting industry. The benefits of hunting need to be expressed to the young folks in our population. Passions need to be passed along by parents and other mentors in the hunting industry if there is to be a prosperous hunting industry in the future.

It can happen and acknowledgement is the first step.

Online Trends

5 Sure Fire Tactics to Promote a Business Blog

From Online Marketing Blog (Feb. 2010):

Relevant, Consistently Updated Content + Flawless Technical Functionality & User Experience = Perfect Blog Launch

What’s missing from the equation above? You guessed it: blog promotion.

Creating a glitch-free blog with informative content means next to nothing without attracting readers.

Start promoting your blog today with these five effective tips:

1) Involve influential industry bloggers.

By linking to popular blogs, you can gain the attention of both the influential blogger and his or her readers.

But your blog won’t be the only one to benefit. You’ll be giving the other blog a little link juice – and be paying them a compliment at the same time.

Try out a few of these ideas for leveraging other blogs:

  • Create a post around an interesting concept published by an influential blogger: Be sure to attribute the information to the blogger and link to his or her post. And don’t forget to offer additional unique insight to make the post your own.
  • Interview an influential blogger and turn it into a Q&A post: That blogger is sure to link to your post, and his or her readers are likely to visit your blog as a result. Side benefit: Including the insight of a thought leader will help position you as a thought leader as well.
  • Create a list of influential blogs: Include popular blogs from your industry, and include a link, short description and even a screenshot. Online Marketing Blog has successfully done this with its BIGLIST of online marketing blogs. Publish a blog post each week highlighting one or two new blogs to promote the list and acquire another link to the list.

Read the entire article 5 Sure Fire Tactics to Promote a Business Blog

Impact on your business

A blog is one of the best ways for businesses to acquire new customers on the Web.

A blog built around attracting, educating, and selling customers on the things your business is how people are having success. Blogs have huge SEO value as the content posted reaches customers searching for general and long-tail keywords in search engines. Once visitors reach the site they are looking to research the products they are interested in purchasing and if a blog is captivating and intriguing they will subscribe and turn into long-term customers that will prove profitable for your business.

8 Reasons You Might Not Be Getting Many Comments

From Problogger (Feb. 2010):

No matter how big their blog is, every blogger loves and wants comments. When you’re just starting out, there are few bigger thrills than writing something and having people comment and give you feedback about what you’ve written. Veteran bloggers love comments and also know that the quantity and quality of the comments says a lot about the impact of the particular post in question.

But sometimes you write something that you think is awesome and the comment thread is like a ghost town. To say that this is discouraging is to put it too lightly. Not only does it suck, but it’s enough to make you start thinking that your writing sucks, and it makes it really hard to hit write and hit publish the next time, too.

Here’s the deal, though: just because you’re not getting a lot of comments doesn’t mean that your posts suck. Here are eight reasons why you might not be getting comments – and what you can do about it.

1) Your Posts Are Too Long

While it’s hard to say that long post always get fewer comments – there are a lot of different considerations at play – as a general rule, longer posts set a bigger barrier to commenting. I write a lot of long posts, and I’ve seen this bear out time and time again.

There are two things to keep in mind when you’re writing longer posts: 1) most blog posts are short(er) and 2) your readers are busy. If they’re used to reading 500 word posts on other blogs and then hit your 3,000 word post, they’re might be a bit overwhelmed. It’s not uncommon for them to bookmark your post for reading “when they have time” and move on to the next, shorter post, only to forget to come back and read yours. (For more considerations on blog length, check out Post Length ‚Äì How Long Should a Blog Post Be?)

Some bloggers manage to thrive in the long post format, but you’ve got to understand that you’ll be going against the current if you write in that style. That’s not a bad thing – just understand that you might not get as many comments as if you wrote shorter posts.

Once your post is published, it’s probably best to leave it, though. In the future, see if you can take a long draft of a post and split it into a series or discrete post. Also try varying the tempo of your blog by following a long post with a short post and vice versa.

Red the entire post 8 Reasons You Might Not Be Getting Many Comments

Impact on your business

Interaction is something all businesses and bloggers are looking for because most understand the benefits of having a strong customer base and readership that is engaged in the things your business is doing.

Follow the steps in the article to crafting blog posts that have potential to generate a lot of comments and you’ll start seeing your readers more interactive (and thus more loyal).


There is a lot of uncertainty in the world today.

Consumers are looking for security in the things they do on a daily basis. They want to make decisions that ensure their family and friends are safe and secure for the future and this is leading to more prudent saving and planning in the market.

It’s a change for most business models as businesses have to be more up front with their benefits to the customers.

Having an open and honest relationship that where you are transparent with your customers is going to make you successful in the next era of the US economy.

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This publication is NOT copyrighted by Hunting Business Marketing. All contents are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States. Please share the contents of this report via any channel you prefer with any hunting businesses owners you know who would benefit from receiving a copy. Please provide attribution to Hunting Business Marketing.

Thank you for your support!

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DISCLAIMER: The information, tools and material presented herein are provided for informational purposes only and are not to be used or considered as an offer or a solicitation to sell or an offer or solicitation to buy or subscribe for securities, investment products or other financial instruments, nor to constitute any advice or recommendation with respect to such securities, investment products or other financial instruments. This research report is prepared for general circulation. It does not have regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation and the particular needs of any specific person who may receive this report. You should independently evaluate particular business decisions before making any moves or changes in relation to any content mentioned in this report.[/private_member]

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State of the Hunting Industry Report | February 2010

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Edition 4           A Publication of Hunting Business Marketing        February 2010

Now is the Time to Prepare for the Fall 2010 Hunting Season


Image courtesy of Alex E. Proimos

With a mixture of positive and negative economic news coming out daily there is volatility and uneasiness amongst businesses and consumers in the US.

The stock market is up from its lows of over a year ago, but there is still uncertainty of whether the increase is due to actual economic productivity or the result of stimulus in the market from the US Government going back to 2007 when the presidential administration and Congress sent checks out to everybody.

An entire industry in the housing sector was blown up artificially by low interest rates in the early 2000s and once the artificial demand lost its stimulus there was a crash back to reality. Since then there has been even more intervention in the markets with attempts at artificial demand and the anticipation of more exhausted demands has consumers and businesses on edge when it comes to confidence in the future.

And while there is volatility in the markets and in the confidence of consumers, there is still real demand for real products and services – both needed and wanted.

And this is where the opportunity for growth is for aspiring businesses.


Americans are worried about their jobs (if they still have jobs they are satisfied with) and this has had an effect on discretionary spending for the past two or so years. And while there has been a retraction in spending, that doesn’t mean that demand for wanted and needed items does not exist.

Demand for items is infinite and companies that can find ways to fill consumer demand despite the discretionary spending retraction will be able to find areas in the hunting industry that are prime for growth and expansion.

Whether it’s extending credit to consumers when they are struggling to make the purchases they have become accustomed to or if it’s finding products to sell that may be a step down in quality and cost, but still fill an emotional need, businesses that are able to connect with the new consumer pains and frustrations will be able to grow and succeed no matter what the economic outlook is.

Opportunity exists and it’s there for you to take.

Economic Trends

Watchdog: Bailouts created more risk in system

From Associate Press (Jan 2010):

The government’s response to the financial meltdown has made it more likely the United States will face a deeper crisis in the future, an independent watchdog at the Treasury Department warned.

The problems that led to the last crisis have not yet been addressed, and in some cases have grown worse, says Neil Barofsky, the special inspector general for the trouble asset relief program, or TARP. The quarterly report to Congress was released Sunday.

“Even if TARP saved our financial system from driving off a cliff back in 2008, absent meaningful reform, we are still driving on the same winding mountain road, but this time in a faster car,” Barofsky wrote.

Since Congress passed $700 billion financial bailout, the remaining institutions considered “too big to fail” have grown larger and failed to restrain the lavish pay for their executives, Barofsky wrote. He said the banks still have an incentive to take on risk because they know the government will save them rather than bring down the financial system.

Read the entire article Watchdog: Bailouts created more risk in system

Impact on your business

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that a problem caused by over extended spending and extended credit couldn’t be fixed with more extended spending and extended credit.

When the deflationary cycle of consumer and business contraction took hold in 2007-2008, the US Government stepped in and attempted to create demand by handing out borrowed money. It’s an effective tactic in the short-term, but has negative long-term consequences as the end result is simply a worse crash than what would have originally occurred.

It’s a difficult economic climate for any business owner to succeed in, but those who are determined to look for opportunity despite the political influence in the market are the ones who succeed.

When I take a step back and look at the successful business owners that I’ve come in contact with they are often void of strong political affiliation as they simply use their time worrying about that which they control rather than wasting energy on worrying about what may happen in the political happenings.

So while it’s important for research, planning, and strategizing, political and economic happenings are out of the control of businesses and the ultimate focus needs to be on understanding what’s happening in the economy and crafting strategies to succeed in spite of those happenings.

Americans Leery of Too Much Gov’t Regulation of Business

From Gallup (Feb 2010):

At a time when the debate over the optimal role of government involvement in regulating business is a prominent policy debate, new Gallup polling shows that 57% of Americans are worried that there will be too much government regulation of business, while 37% worry that there will not be enough. Half of Americans believe the government should become less involved in regulating and controlling business, with 24% saying the government should become more involved and 23% saying things are about right.

While the American public may favor some of these initiatives [of the US Administration] on an individual basis, the current results underscore the degree to which the average American in a general sense is concerned about too much government involvement in business.

Read the entire article Americans Leery of Too Much Gov’t Regulation of Business

Impact on your business

There is uneasiness among Americans when it comes to Government intervention in business and economic markets.

Consumers and business owners are unsure of how intervention will affect their personal situations, but most Americans appear to be of the feeling that intervention in the economy and the markets will have a negative long-term impact on the economy as a whole.

Understand the uneasiness and remember that’s happenings are ultimately out of your control and there are still growth opportunities despite any political agenda.

Americans Agree: Quality Jobs Remain Hard to Find

From Gallup (Jan 2010):

As the Obama administration and Congress shift their focus to the economy and jobs after the State of the Union, Gallup polling suggests they need to consider quality as well as quantity. One in 10 Americans (9%) believe now is a “good time” to find a “quality job” — a situation that has persisted over the past year, and a huge deterioration in job-market conditions from January 2007, when nearly half of Americans (48%) expressed optimism about finding a quality job.

While Americans disagree about many things — and rarely reflect an overwhelming consensus about anything concerning the economy — their views about the lack of quality jobs are a clear exception; the total lack of optimism about the prospects of finding a quality job in January 2010 is consistent across ages, incomes, genders, and regions of the country.

Read the entire article Americans Agree: Quality Jobs Remain Hard to Find

Impact on your business

Unemployment and underemployment remains one of the most important issues facing consumers and business owners in the United States today.

Official unemployment is at around 10% while underemployment is hovering around 17-18%. Still others in the economy feel they are working harder and longer today for less pay. This group of individuals obviously has a mindset that is retrenched in contraction mode while others that have quality jobs still remain uneasy about their ability to have stability in the near future.

It makes for difficult marketing, but as mentioned before – demand is infinite and consumers still demand that which they need and want. Businesses able to find ways to foster demand whether it’s through credit, lowering of standards or creative marketing will find success in today’s economy.

Gallup Economic Weekly: Self-Reported Spending Declines

From Gallup (Jan 2010):

As the Dow Jones average plunged more than 400 points last week, consumers pulled back, with self-reported spending falling 24% from the prior week and 27% from the same week a year ago. This breaks the positive early January trend that saw spending running slightly higher than last year’s comparables. At the same time, economic confidence was about the same as the prior week and Gallup’s Job Creation Index showed that hiring remained essentially unchanged.

Impact on your business

The uneasy feeling amongst consumers stems from the volatility and the questionability in the current economy. Consumers are simply questioning the viability of any sustainable growth in the economy and whether they should be able to count on future stability that could lead them to make more discretionary purchases in the short-term.

As consumer spending continues to fall or flatten over the long-term, it will be difficult for businesses to maintain their current models.

Business models will have to change and it will become essential for businesses to find ways to tap into consumers’ demand despite the new variety of barriers that exist.

Industry News

Hunting License Sales Up By 3.5 Percent in NSSF Index of States

From National Shooting Sports Foundation, Inc. (Feb 2010):

In a year when one word, “fewer,” described life in America — fewer jobs, fewer home sales, fewer purchases — hunters were responsible for generating a welcome “more” category, as hunting license sales rose by 3.5 percent in 2009 in states that make up NSSF’s Hunting License Sales Index.

The 12-state index comprises several states from four main regions of the United States. Nine of those states recorded hunting license sales increases from January through December of 2009 over the previous year, according to Southwick Associates, a research firm that monitored the license sales information.

“Many factors such as weather and the economy affect hunting license sales in any given year, but in 2009 the economy likely had a more significant effect,” said Jim Curcuruto, NSSF’s director of industry research and analysis. “While the reasons for the 3.5 percent increase are speculative, past research shows that during slowdowns in the nation’s economy it is possible that people have more time to hunt and that hunters take the opportunity to fill their freezers with nutritious, high-protein meat acquired at lower cost than if a similar amount was purchased at the supermarket.”

States participating in the NSSF License Sales Index are New York and New Jersey in the Northeast; Florida, North Carolina, Louisiana and Tennessee in the Southeast; Minnesota, Indiana, Kansas and Texas in the Midwest; and Oregon and Utah in the West. States were selected for their ability to provide license sales data on a regular basis. The geographical selections were made to offset potential variation in license sales by region. As more states are able to provide necessary data, the number of states will be increased, said Curcuruto.

Read the entire article Hunting License Sales Up By 3.5 Percent in NSSF Index of States

Impact on your business

It was a disappointing hunting season in my home state of Wisconsin so it made me happy to read this report from the NSSF.

It’s good to see that there is some growth or flattening in the hunting industry. Hunters continue to want and need the best hunting equipment and the best land access in order to fulfill their demand for the best hunting experiences and the biggest trophies.

This demand will never cease to exist. New barriers may form like uncertainty, instability, and tightening financial situations, but this simply changes the business model for hunting businesses.

Find ways to break the barriers that exist for your customers and you’ll find success.

Online Trends

What Can SEO-Savvy Blogs Do For You?

From Fathom SEO (Feb 2010):

To blog or not to blog – if that is your question, then reading this post should help you find the answer.

Creating a blog for your company is an excellent way to implement SEO strategy. Many people do not realize the important connections between successful, regularly-updated blogs and SEO rankings. TopRank Blogging recently published a survey covering the “Impact of Blogging on Search Engine Optimization.” Of the 326 participants, 87.4% “successfully increased measurable SEO objectives as a direct result of blogging” and 94% “reported seeing measurable SEO benefits from blogging within 12 months.”

Of course, all statistics need to be taken with a grain of salt, but the overall impression you get from this data is that blogging positively impacts SEO functions. The bigger question worth asking is: Why does this happen?

Those who have spent time in the industry and seen the tangible results provided by SEO-friendly blogs can attest that these information creations serve several important functions. Blogging can

Read the entire article What Can SEO-Savvy Blogs Do For You?

Impact on your business

Connecting is an important step for businesses today.

Success will come for businesses that are able to break the barriers that now exist in their customer’s life. Blogging is a great way for businesses that put together a blogging strategy that works to fill a trust void or to break down a barrier in the customer’s life.

Look for the frustrations in your customer’s life and answer those frustrations with a blog.


It’s a difficult economy environment for businesses and consumers today.

Uneasiness and uncertainty exist throughout the demographic spectrum and things don’t appear to be changing as far as confidence and outlook go.

Businesses will find success by finding the new barriers that exist for their customer’s and finding ways for their customer to get past the new barriers. This could be extending credit to someone who may not have the means to make purchase or it may be by connecting with customers via a blog and building a trust that makes customers feel good about making a purchase today that will benefit them.

Copyright Notice

This publication is NOT copyrighted by Hunting Business Marketing. All contents are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States. Please share the contents of this report via any channel you prefer with any hunting businesses owners you know who would benefit from receiving a copy. Please provide attribution to Hunting Business Marketing.

Thank you for your support!

Subscriptions and Enquiries
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DISCLAIMER: The information, tools and material presented herein are provided for informational purposes only and are not to be used or considered as an offer or a solicitation to sell or an offer or solicitation to buy or subscribe for securities, investment products or other financial instruments, nor to constitute any advice or recommendation with respect to such securities, investment products or other financial instruments. This research report is prepared for general circulation. It does not have regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation and the particular needs of any specific person who may receive this report. You should independently evaluate particular business decisions before making any moves or changes in relation to any content mentioned in this report.[/private_member]

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State of the Hunting Industry Report | January 2010

[private_member]MEMBERS – Please view in .pdf form – State of the Hunting Industry Report – January 2010[/private_member]

Edition 3           A Publication of Hunting Business Marketing        January 2010

Now is the Time to Prepare for the Fall 2010 Hunting Season


2010 will be an interesting year for the US economy.


Image courtesy of ellienvanhoutte

Consumers and businesses are still reeling from the recession and wondering if the so-called recovery will continue and lead to sustained growth. It seems that ‘recovery’ for most businesses is defined as slowing the drop in business that occurred in 2008.

So while businesses have been able to flatten their trend in the past few months and consumers have been able to save more in the short-term while increasing their spending of late, there is still an uneasy feeling among most Americans going into the new decade.

The hunting industry is no different.


In some states like Wisconsin, hunters are feeling the poor effects of a slow hunting season. Not only are hunters reeling from the poor economic conditions of the past year, but they are feeling let down by the state of the hunting situation this past fall.

While it seems there isn’t much to look forward to in the hunting industry there are bright areas and even some opportunity to build your business’s value to set yourself up for success in 2010.

Value is going to be a big term in 2010.

Consumers are looking for value in every purchase they make. Value doesn’t always mean the lowest price, but it does mean the most for a given amount of money for a quality product or service. Customers are paying attention to the true competitive advantages businesses are offering.

So while your business may not be able to match the prices of your competition due to operational restraints, you may be able to compete through value-added services such as trusted customer service or via an informational blog on your Website.

Now is also the time to think about making changes to your Website and overall Web presence before the summer and fall hunting spending seasons kick off.

Align your goals for the upcoming year and begin implementing your strategies today so you’re prepared for a successful season.

Economic Trends

How The Recession Has Changed U.S. Consumer Behavior

From Forbes (Jan. 2010):

While the downturn has certainly changed the economic landscape, it may also have fundamentally altered the behavior of numerous U.S. consumers, who are now learning to live without expensive products. Many companies with strong premium brands are anticipating a rapid rebound in consumer behavior–a return to normality, as after previous recessions. They are likely to be disappointed.

New McKinsey research found that, in any given category, an average of 18% of consumer-packaged-goods consumers bought lower-priced brands in the past two years. Of the consumers who switched to cheaper products, 46% said they performed better than expected, and the large majority of these consumers said the performance of such products was much better than expected. As a result, 34% of the switchers said they no longer preferred higher-priced products, and an additional 41% said that while they preferred the premium brand, it “was not worth the money.”

For companies attempting to address the change in consumer behavior, understanding the economic theory that explains why it is now shifting can help to inform decision making. Textbook theory posits that changes in the relationship between how much consumers are willing to pay, on the one hand, and their perception of the value they are receiving, on the other, underpins behavioral changes. As the exhibit shows, if consumers perceive enough value in a premium-brand product (Product A), they will favor it over the product of a more basic brand (Product B), despite the premium product’s higher price. In a recession, though, consumers become less willing to pay more–the slope of the demand line flattens, and the preferences of some consumers begin to shift from Product A to Product B.

Read the entire article How The Recession Has Changed U.S. Consumer Behavior

Impact on your business

Consumer sentiment has definitely changed in the past 18 months. Consumers are looking for value with all of their purchases – both necessary and for enjoyment. The important thing to remember is that consumers are not simply looking for the lowest priced item in any competitive market. Consumers are looking for the best value at any level of the price chain as it makes sense for their purchasing ability. Consumers are willing to spend more money today on an item they know will last long and provide value for the longer-term.

In your marketing efforts in 2010, work to show your customers the value in the purchases they make from your business. Don’t worry about the prices your charge if they are higher than your competition. Focus your email and Website copy instead on the value for your customer.

What will make your customer feel good about their purchase?

Marketers: Expect A Return To Core Brand Value–And Values–In 2010

From Forbes (Jan. 2009):

Consumers want brands with four ”goods”: Good taste, good for health, good for the wallet and good for the planet.

Call it 2010. Call it twenty-ten, or even 2K10. No matter how you refer to the last year of the first decade of the 21st Century, everyone in the marketing is wondering what the past few sobering years will mean for brands and consumer behavior.

It doesn’t take a seer, or even a branding professional, to declare that consumers will continue to demand value, no matter which direction the economy goes. Consumers have learned–some the hard way–that financial discipline is a must. They will also demand that the values practiced by the companies with which they choose to do business are good and honest and trustworthy. And lest any company thinks it can put one over on anyone, a text, a blog, a YouTube video or a Tweet will quickly prove otherwise.

While I’m on online trends, I believe we’ll see a survival-of-the-strongest scenario in social media sites. The only bet I’m willing to make is the continuing growth and popularity of Google  ( GOOG –  news  –  people ) and Twitter. My sense is that before the end of the next year we’ll see some jump-balls between a number of other well-known social networks. People are busy. Consumers will become more selective, looking for digital brands that offer unparalleled usefulness and connectivity, along with rich content and multiple relevant applications. On the business side, I expect that more and more companies will rely on social technology to encourage collaboration between employees, and collaboration with customers. And they’ll turn to sites and applications that provide them the same usefulness and efficiency.

Read the entire article Marketers: Expect A Return To Core Brand Value–And Values–In 2010

Impact on your business

While financial discipline is a must for consumers and businesses, the mindset of consumers is always to consume within their own comfortable levels of risk. The triggers for emotional rationalization will change in 2010 as consumers look for different reasons to make purchases for items they need and want.

Consumers are saving their money more while still looking for ways to make life enjoyable. While consumers tighten their belts on some of the big purchases and look to cut back on some debt, they’re still looking to make purchases where they perceive there is value.

This added value will likely come in the form of a sacrifice by your business. It may mean that you’ll have to discount a price on a guided hunting trip or that you’ll have to find a way to manufacture your hunting products more cost effectively while making your customer feel like they are getting great value for their money.

Industry News

Tourism Industry Still Dealing With Cautious Consumers

From Gallup (Dec. 2009):

While half of Americans foresee no change in their travel spending in 2010 compared to 2009, a larger proportion plan to spend less in the coming year than say they will spend more. That deficit is particularly high relative to air travel and hotel stays. However, even the percentage of Americans saying they will spend less on vacations in general exceeds those saying they will spend more by a slight margin, 27% vs. 22%.

In addition to broad changes in vacation spending, nearly 3 out of 10 Americans — 29% — plan to spend less on airline flights specifically in 2010 than they did in 2009, while 16% say they will spend more, and about half say they will spend about the same. The same pattern is seen for hotel stays, with 30% planning to spend less and 16% planning to spend more.

Read the entire article Tourism Industry Still Dealing With Cautious Consumers

Impact on your business

Travel and tourism mirrors the hunting industry. Hunters often travel many hours to their hunting camps each year or travel around the country and world for a chance to take a guided hunt at trophy game.

It’s good to see that Americans are looking to continue spend money on travel and leisure in the coming years. It’s not unexpected that Americans are looking to spend less – they’re looking for trips and vacations that offer value. People want to have a good experience for the money.

If your hunting business can perceive value, you can attract these consumers.

Web Design Trends

Web Design Trends for 2010

From Web Design Ledger (Nov. 2009):

1| Oversized Logos/Headers

2| Sketch/Hand-drawn Design

3| Slab Typefaces

4| Typography

5| One Page Layouts

6| Huge Images

7| Change of Perspective

8| Interactive/Intuitive Design

9| Modal Boxes

10| Minimalism

11| Oversized Footer

12| Retro

13| Intro Boxes

14| Magazine Layouts

Read the entire article Web Design Trends for 2010

Impact on your business

If you’re thinking about redeveloping your hunting business Website for the 2010 hunting season then now is the time to start the process.

The process for a redevelopment takes a few months to implement and you’ll want to have all the bugs worked out in plenty of time for the summer spending season when hunters are spending money in anticipation of the fall hunting season. You’ll also want to be prepared for the spending in the fall as hunters purchase the gear they will need for their hunting strategies.

For more, please see 50 Best Hunting Website Designs for examples of quality hunting Website design.


Today’s customers are looking for trust around every corner.

In 2010, you’ll want to show the emotional value that will allow consumers to rationalize purchasing your products and services. Will your business leave your customer feeling positive about their purchase today and for the long-term?

Consumers are saving and changing their spending habits, but their desire to consume remains. Communicate with your customers today and earn their trust as a valuable resource and they’ll reward you with their hard-saved dollars.

It’s a new consumer market, but the dollars are still out there to be had.

Copyright Notice

This publication is NOT copyrighted by Hunting Business Marketing. All contents are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States. Please share the contents of this report via any channel you prefer with any hunting businesses owners you know who would benefit from receiving a copy. Please provide attribution to Hunting Business Marketing.

Thank you for your support!

Subscriptions and Enquiries
Hunting Business Marketing

DISCLAIMER: The information, tools and material presented herein are provided for informational purposes only and are not to be used or considered as an offer or a solicitation to sell or an offer or solicitation to buy or subscribe for securities, investment products or other financial instruments, nor to constitute any advice or recommendation with respect to such securities, investment products or other financial instruments. This research report is prepared for general circulation. It does not have regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation and the particular needs of any specific person who may receive this report. You should independently evaluate particular business decisions before making any moves or changes in relation to any content mentioned in this report.[/private_member]

Purchase Now | $10

Add to Cart

January Edition $10

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State of the Hunting Industry Report | December 2009

[private_member]MEMBERS – Please view in .pdf form – State of the Hunting Industry | December 2009 [/private_member]

Understand how the state of the economy is affecting the hunting industry

Edition 2          A Publication of Hunting Business Marketing           December 2009

Opportunities for companies expanding focus on the Web


Image courtesy of woodleywonderworks


The holiday season is important for the US economy. Each holiday season brings families out to retail and online stores to spend the money they have saved on items for their family and friends.

When it comes to hunters, places like Gander Mountain, LL Bean, Orvis, and of course Cabela’s are favorites. Friends and families of hunters frequent these stores looking for the perfect gifts for their beloved hunters.


The holiday season usually falls right in the middle to end of the fall hunting season so hunters’ appetites are whet for the latest gear for their hunting adventures. This makes it easy to know exactly what equipment will be needed for next season’s hunt. Hunters are in the prime of their fall hunting season so they know what is making them struggle and they know what gear they’ll need to better their chances next season.

Hunting businesses depend on the holiday demand season for much of their sales each year. Businesses, large and small, depend on the year-round saving and holiday spending to provide the sales and cash that hold them over until the late summer and following holiday season.

With Holiday 2008 being an extremely frugal one for families, hunting businesses struggled and some had to cease operations as cash ran out.

As you can expect, the 2009 holiday season is extremely competitive for all hunting businesses as they struggle for the attention of hunters and their loved ones. The struggle to gain attention, trust, and eventually sales forces margins to come down in an effort to tilt hunting customers in favor of purchasing gear and services.

With the deflation of the US Credit and Debt Economy (2001-2008), there is now a more frugal aspect to deal with for hunting businesses. The businesses that have been able to survive to the 2009 holiday season will continue to have to fight for every sale and every hard-earned dollar that the American Hunting Consumer is willing to spend.

The new reality of the hunting economy is a frugal consumer that does more research on products, equipment, gear, outfitting services, etc. as they want to get the most return for their dollars.

Successful hunting businesses will want to focus on every detail of the purchasing cycle while working to establishing trust with consumers as an individual level.

The Web will play a crucial role in building trust with consumers as communication barriers are broken down and business leaders can interact and help consumers with their problems and questions on an individual level. Use the Web and its technologies throughout 2010 to begin building trust for the 2010 Holiday Season.

Economic Trends

Lack of Money/Wages Top Family Financial Problem in U.S.

From Gallup (Nov. 2009):

When asked in an open-ended question to name the most important financial problem facing their families today, one in six Americans (17%) say low wages and a lack of money. Healthcare costs are next, at 14%. While the mentions of healthcare might be attributed to its prominence in the news, the issue of low wages may reflect another aspect of the job crisis in America today.

Read the entire article Lack of Money/Wages Top Family Financial Problems in U.S.

Impact on your business

With consumers having little confidence in their income, there is a realigning of priorities with any disposable income. Today, consumers are using the extra money they have to pay off debt from the Deb and Credit Economy days of 2001-2008 and to save for future rainy days.

The best thing for business owners to do is recognize the new frugal reality in the American Economy and foster to the needs of the mindset of consumers.

Starting a blog right now is a great way to begin building the trust with your consumers heading into 2010. Do a little research on keywords and interests in your particular niche in the hunting industry and begin building trust with your customers.

Economic Indicators

Christmas Shopping Forecast Reverts to Record 2008 Lows

From Gallup (Nov. 2009):

Americans’ estimate of the total amount they will spend on Christmas gifts this year has fallen precipitously over the past month, sending the figure back to last year’s record lows. Americans’ average Christmas spending prediction is now $638. This nearly matches the $616 recorded in November 2008, amid one of the worst holiday retail seasons in recent memory.

Read the entire article Christmas Spending Forecast Reverts to Record 2008 Lows

Impact on your business

The Gallup poll represents the changing US consumer economy as families are spending less this year and in coming years on gifts for loved ones over the holiday season.

Businesses can also expect that people will spend their money with more thought and consideration as they do their due diligence to make sure the gifts they are buying with their money provide the most joy and return for the gift recipients.

Address this extra due diligence by providing your customers with the knowledge they need in order to feel like they are making the best purchase this holiday season and into 2010. Blogs, videos, and guest articles discussing products and doing product reviews are great ways to build a trust and comfort with consumers that will allow them to feel like your business in the place where they can expect quality and good return.

Hunting Industry News

Hunt for the Hungry grapples with tough economy, declining deer harvest

From Post Crescent (Nov. 2009):

With the number of families seeking help from food pantries in times of a poor economy and high unemployment, the 10th anniversary of the Hunt for the Hungry takes on even more significance, organizers said.

The increased need for the food pantries also comes at a time when the state Department of Natural Resources said the deer harvest from the opening weekend of the gun season was down 25 percent from last year.

Monica Clare, director of operations for St. Joseph Food Program in Menasha, said her pantry got about 900 pounds of ground venison from the program last year, enough to give nearly each of the 1,000 families a week served by the pantry a pound of meat.

That’s an important commodity because otherwise the pantry gives meat to clients only once a month, she said.

“We don’t get very much donated meat anymore,” although one donor does give the pantry turkeys to distribute at Thanksgiving, she said.

Read the entire article Hunt for the Hungry grapples with tough economy, declining deer harvest

Impact on your business

One of the difficult things about the new frugality in the US economy is that consumers and businesses need to cut back on their charitable giving to account for themselves. It’s not that businesses and individuals do not want to help others; it’s just that when things get tight some difficult expense cuts need to be made.

If it’s possible, continue donation your time and money to quality charities and conservation organizations. As mentioned above, in the new consumer economy people are looking to build trust with companies. A great way to establish this trust is to show that you and your business care about others by cutting back in other areas while still providing support for quality causes.

Giving back to charity and other causes may not have immediate return toward your bottom line, but the impact is seen in the long-run as trust is established with consumers who become long-term customers.

Hunting season a bonanza for many area businesses

From the Marietta Times (Nov. 2009):

You can buy anything from camoflauged gloves to pink guns at the Southeastern Trading Post in Waterford.

“We have four daughters, so we sell some pink shotguns and rifles that are designed to help get girls interested in hunting,” explained trading post owner Ted Offenberger who opened the store three years ago.

“Business is up this year, and we’ve been busy since before bow season began in September,” he said. “We expanded our inventory and sold a lot more bows this year than last. But we’re also expanding our gun inventory a little.”

Read the entire article Hunting season a bonanza for many area businesses

Impact on your hunting business

An example of a way businesses have been able to adapt to the new consumer economy is to do research and expand product and service offerings.

Consumers will still spend their money on things they need and things they want, but they’ll want to spend it with companies they trust. If you can establish a trusting relationship with your customers you’ll be able to expand into new products and services and grow in the new economic environment.
Hunting Industry Trends

New Year and New Websites for Hunting Businesses

Something to look for heading into the New Year is for businesses to begin making changes to their storefront or to their Website as they look for ways to make the relationship with their customers more valuable. Even simple changes to design and functionality can make for added value to your customer as they become more trusting of your business.

Please see 50 Best Hunting Website Designs for examples of quality hunting Website design.


The state of the new hunting industry centers on trust as consumers are looking for companies that are truthful in their marketing and effective with their products and services. Businesses that focus on ways to build a long-term trusting relationship with customers on an individual level will not only find success, but will find opportunities to grow and expand.

Copyright Notice

This publication is NOT copyrighted by Hunting Business Marketing. All contents are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States. Please share the contents of this report via any channel you prefer with any hunting businesses owners you know who would benefit from receiving a copy. Please provide attribution to Hunting Business Marketing.

Thank you for your support!

Subscriptions and Enquiries
Hunting Business Marketing

DISCLAIMER: The information, tools and material presented herein are provided for informational purposes only and are not to be used or considered as an offer or a solicitation to sell or an offer or solicitation to buy or subscribe for securities, investment products or other financial instruments, nor to constitute any advice or recommendation with respect to such securities, investment products or other financial instruments. This research report is prepared for general circulation. It does not have regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation and the particular needs of any specific person who may receive this report. You should independently evaluate particular business decisions before making any moves or changes in relation to any content mentioned in this report. [/private_member]

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Hunting Business Marketing

Use Bounce Back Offers to Get Repeat and New Business

Thank you for your order. Please take 15% off your next purchase.

Levenger Sketch Book

A major form of revenue for businesses is the bounce back offer. Many companies today are using this strategy to build stronger repeat business with customers who have recently purchased. For example, the other week I purchases a holiday gift for a loved one (don’t tell) from Levenger and in the box was a printed sheet offering me 15% off on my next purchase.

I wasn’t insulted by the offer and felt quite good about receiving the great item I had purchased as well as a valuable offer for my next purchase. And believe me – there is plenty more I’d like to purchase.

I’m sure this is the case with your current customers as well.

Let’s take a deeper look at the impact a bounce back offer can have for your business… [private_member]


In today’s economy, customers are looking for businesses that offer value and quality. This includes quality products and services at competitive prices. Customers are also willing to pay a little more for a higher quality product or service if they know the product will have lasting quality as well as purchase services they know will having lasting impact on their personal enjoyment or advancement.

In short – customers are looking to be loyal to quality businesses they can trust to provide value to their lives.

A way businesses can offer value is by showing their appreciation for each customer’s loyalty. In return, a strong bounce back offer is essential to show your customers that you want their businesses again. It shows that you’re not just after one sale. It shows that you are willing to offer value for their next buying decision.

There are many ways to offer value with a bounce back offer and it doesn’t always need to be an offer (although many consumers are looking for this today). A couple ideas that come to me off the top of my head for, say, a waterfowl outfitter include:

Sending a follow-up email (or print mail package) to clients with pictures, thank you letter, sticker, and an offer to hunt again next season (with up to five friends) for 20% off this year’s rate

Since most hunting seasons take place in the fall, send a follow-up email or print mail packages to your customers from this season giving them a discount on next year’s hunt as well as an offer to allow them to give a hunting package as a gift

Send an exclusive, preferred customer, email to your clients from this past season (and other seasons) for an exclusive, first chance offer on a new hunting package you have in store for next season (customers love when they get first dibs on something special)

Send an email to this season’s hunters thanking them for their business and offer them 20% off next season’s hunt if they purchase before the end of the year

Build loyalty and long-term relationships with your customers this season by sending them something valuable as a bounce back offer when you thank them for their purchase with you this season.

New Products and Services

In one of the examples above, I mentioned that you can market your new products and services in bounce back offers to your existing clients.

If you have done some research for new products and services your business can provide, one of the logical places to begin marketing that new item is to your existing clients. By sending them a valuable bounce back offer that introduces your new product or service, you’re likely getting your new item in front of them when they’re at their peak excitement of their original purchase. Chances are high that they’ll be satisfied with their original purchase that they’ll feel good about purchasing more from your trusted company.

For example, think of getting a new tree stand in the mail from Cabela’s and being so happy with finally being able to touch the product that you almost miss the offer in the package for 10% off your next order for new tree stand attachments and accessories. You think, “I love this tree stand. Do I want to buy the hand rail attachment so I can steady my aim when that trophy buck walks by? Yes I do!”

Are you offering new products and services in the future? Think of using bounce back offers to introduce these items to your existing customers at a time when they are likely to feel emotionally connected to your trusted company.


Bounce back offers can also work for companies willing to work together to market their products to each other’s customers.

Lots of companies offer package insert programs so other retailers can insert printed offers into the outgoing packages. Some companies have taken this strategy to the Web with transactional emails they send to their customers.

Are you an outfitter looking for a way to expand your reach next season?

Try testing a few email ads on the transactional emails or a printed item in another company’s outgoing packages.

You could try asking a gun shop for an opportunity to exchange bounce back offers to each other’s customers. You could offer a 10% discount to their customers who purchase new shotguns or hunting rifles.

“With your order of your new Remington 870 Shotgun, take advantage of 10% off guided, guaranteed waterfowl hunting in Wisconsin”

There are lots of ways to take advantage of bounce back partnerships.


Bounce back offers have been around for a long time because it’s a strategy that works for businesses.

Think about ways you can offer value to your existing customers at a time they feel emotionally connected to your business – as they’re receiving your product or service or just after they have received the product or service.

Can you think of any other ways you could take advantage of bounce back offers?

Please share your ideas in the comments below.


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image credit: BitchBuzz

State of the Hunting Industry Report | November 2009

[private_member]MEMBERS – Please view in .pdf form – State of the Hunting Industry | November 2009 [/private_member]

Understand how the state of the economy is affecting the hunting industry

Edition 1           A Publication of Hunting Business Marketing        November 2009

Opportunities for companies expanding focus on the Web

Elk Mount

image credit: blhphotography


The past 12+ months have been difficult for the entire world economy including businesses in the hunting industry. Hunting business owners have seen decreases in revenue and profit across the board and many have had to cut their staff or go out of business completely.

As companies have cut back on their discretionary spending, outfitters have seen their rate of corporate bookings drop dramatically from just a couple seasons ago. Like corporations, individual hunters have cut back on their discretionary spending. This has meant that a hunter may have passed on purchasing a new bow or a new tree stand this year in favor of saving money to pay off debt or to save for another rainy day.


Times have been tough as consumers retrench and get their spending in line with a more sustainable economy. Hunting businesses have had to admit to this change in consumer mindset.

But while sales have been difficult to come by over the past year, there are opportunities for companies that are determined to expand their focus on the Web.

The businesses that have been able to weather the drop in spending are looking for ways to expand their customer base by focusing on what hunter want and need to fulfill their passions. Quality hunting businesses will always have the benefit of providing products and experiences that play into the passions of hunters. While a hunter may cut back on spending on big spending items, they may look for new parts so they can fix up their major hunting equipment.

Also, there is opportunity for quality hunting businesses to step into vacant spots left by businesses that have gone by the wayside. Hunters will still look for companies they can trust to provide for them. A business that can successfully move into new product and service offerings can expand their own business while the overall economy flattens.

Part of the opportunity for hunting businesses lies with online marketing – businesses that are able to successfully find ways to connect with consumers through online contact methods will find that they are able to build a trust that will provide long-term customers.

Is your business looking to expand its focus on the Web? If you’re not, your competitors probably are and they’ll be there to scoop up the void left by struggling businesses.

The Web

The Web is the opportunity is for businesses expand. Businesses that seem to have weathered the economic downfall the best in the past 12+ months seem to be the companies that build trust with their customers.

Connection channels such as blogs, forums, contests, video, photo galleries, and other forms of connection with customers are ways successful companies have been able to maintain their loyal customers while other businesses have lost their sales due to lack of commitment to their customers.

What is your business doing online today that will create trust between you and your customers that will lead to growth in the future?

A Look Forward

Let’s look at a few economic articles and see how the happenings today will affect your business tomorrow…

Economic Trends

Upper-Income Consumers Pull Back Their Spending

From Gallup (Sept. 18, 2009):

Despite a $2 trillion increase in U.S. household wealth last quarter, upper-income Americans’ self-reported average daily spending in stores, restaurants, gas stations, and online is down 37% in the first half of September from September of a year ago. This decline — which is worse than the 28% decline in spending among middle- and lower-income Americans, and is worse than the August upper-income decline — is not good news, especially for upscale retailers and big-ticket-item sales.

Consumer Spending Sept. 2009

Continue reading the full article Upper-Income Consumers Pull Back Their Spending

Impact on your business

With many outfitting customers being upper-income consumers as well as upper-income businesses who purchase group outfitting packages, the fact that this group of individuals are not spending more this fall hunting season may prove for a difficult sales season for hunting businesses.

The importance of creating trusting relationships with your customers is even more important during slower economic times as customers put more focus on their overall spending. Customers will look to do business with companies who offer trust along with quality products and services.

Today might be an opportunity to work on providing an email newsletter campaign that keeps you in touch with your customers on a regular basis. Include things like related articles written by your team, new photos from this season’s hunts, etc. Try doing things that let your customers know you care about them and their spending money.

Economic Indicators

Americans See Little Hope of Finding a Quality Job

From Gallup (Oct. 2009):

Gallup finds 10% of Americans feeling that now is a “good time” to find a quality job, reflecting no improvement since February, and less than the 33% who held similar views as the recession began in January 2008 and the 14% recorded as the financial crisis hit the economy in full force last October.

Finding a Job

Read the entire article Americans See Little Hope of Finding a Quality Job

Impact on your business

Jobs drive savings in any economy and savings drive spending.

If your company depends on hunters spending having and spending discretionary income then unemployment is a key economic indicator for your business growth in the future. Watch the unemployment rate and look for news articles that indicate that companies continue to cut back and not hire or for any reverses in the current employment trends. This will be a good indicator for your corporate and individual consumer growth.

But as with anything, there are advantages available for those who are observant…

For an interesting trend please read Consumers Spend More on Weekends, Payday Weeks

Hunting Industry News

Direct Strong For Cabela’s Despite Cutbacks (Web traffic up 14.9%)

From Direct Magazine (Oct. 2009):

Cabela’s Inc., generated $624.3 million in revenue during its most recent third quarter, up from $611.8 million a year ago. The company’s net income jumped from $9.7 million to $18.8 million between the quarters. The most recent quarter ended Sept. 26.

During an earnings call, CEO Tommy Millner said the company would not be as aggressive in reducing catalog pages as it was in 2009. But it is going to continue to shift spending from paper catalogs to electronic channels. Traffic to the company’s Web site jumped 14.9%, Millner said, and he does not anticipate this slacking anytime soon.

Continue reading Direct Strong For Cabela’s Despite Cutbacks

Impact on your business

Cabela’s has long been one of the best run companies in the hunting industry. They provide quality products and services to hunters and those hunters continue to use their discretionary income to make hunting-related purchases from Cabela’s because Cabela’s has built up a trust.

Over the past year it seems that Cabela’s has reorganized its business for the future of consumer spending, which will see consumers reorganizing their own spending habits. As consumers begin to save again, they’ll only use financial services for big purchases from companies they trust (Cabela’s). These customers will also spend wisely on products of high quality that will last longer rather than looking for the lowest cost, lowest quality, and lowest lifetime.

The future will be about quality. The companies that provide quality products and services through trusting connections with consumers will thrive in the new hunting industry paradigm.

Hunting Industry Trends

Will the Economy Hurt Whitetail Deer Hunting This Year?

From (2009):

There’s one very big money-saving benefit to hunting whitetail deer, though.

Spending too much on food these days? The whitetail deer hunting season might be just the solution you’re looking for. Deer is a great addition to the diet and is healthy and tasty.

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department isn’t sure, but Randy Curtis did tell that “more people may hunt this fall to save money on groceries.”

Sure, saving money on our families’ food probably isn’t the primary reason we hunt, but if it gives us another reason to get out in the fields this year and bag ourselves a nice deer, I’ll take it.

Continue reading the full article Will the Economy Hurt Whitetail Deer Hunting This Year?

Impact on your business

While hunters may look to the woods for food during the economic downturn, hunting is still an expensive passion. The article above does a great job of exploring both sides of the argument. Hunters who have lost their jobs as unemployment continues to rise will have to cut back in some places in order to get by with only what they need and a little bit of what they love.

Where will hunting fall in the list of priorities for your customers?

Notes from Kevin Paulson of Hunting Life (2009):

“I think the state of the Hunting Industry has been filled with a year of ups and downs right along with the economy.  This has been a year of strong cut backs for many hunters who just have not had the money to spend.  Those hunters are still hunting but they are hunting much closer to home for the most part. Outfitters and lodges have seen a dramatic drop in the number of calls coming from new hunters.”

“Dedicated hunters are still pursuing their passions of hunting and conservation. Corporate bookings are almost non-existent this year, but there are still companies offering them to select customers.”

“Most hunters this year have kept to purchases that are essential versus the wants that most hunters have.  This year I kept my bow instead of upgrading and spent a few extra dollars for really nice arrows.  As well this year, I have worked with a lot of individual companies purchasing items direct versus using the big box stores because I knew I was helping out a small manufacturer versus big business.”

For more from Kevin Paulson and Hunting Life check out Twitter @HuntingLife and Facebook.


Times are tough in the hunting industry, but there is always opportunity. (For one last story on opportunity, see Surrounded by Job Losses, Montana’s Firearms Industry Thrives).

Unemployment will likely remain flat or even continue falling as companies cut back to remain profitable. Until something comes up in the future that will drive jobs again, consumer spending will remain at reasonable levels. It’s unlikely we’ll see the outrageous consumer spending of 2002-2007 every again.

While these boom times are gone, there is still great opportunity for hunting businesses to expand and grow.

Consumers, including hunters, are going to look for companies they can trust to provide the best quality products and services. While consumers will remain cost-conscious with their spending, they’ll be more long-term focused, which means that spending a little more today is all right as long as the product or service is the most beneficial option for the long-term.

There is also great opportunity for hunting businesses on the Web.

Customers are looking for the businesses that are willing to reach out and connect on a meaningful and valuable level and the place they’re looking is online. Start a blog, become active in online communities and on your own Website. Engage your customers and look to provide value to their hunting passion.

The companies that provide long-term value for customers will find success in the future hunting industry.

Copyright Notice

This publication is NOT copyrighted by Hunting Business Marketing. All contents are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States. Please share the contents of this report via any channel you prefer with any hunting businesses owners you know who would benefit from receiving a copy. Please provide attribution to Hunting Business Marketing.

Thank you for your support!

Subscriptions and Enquiries
Hunting Business Marketing

DISCLAIMER: The information, tools and material presented herein are provided for informational purposes only and are not to be used or considered as an offer or a solicitation to sell or an offer or solicitation to buy or subscribe for securities, investment products or other financial instruments, nor to constitute any advice or recommendation with respect to such securities, investment products or other financial instruments. This research report is prepared for general circulation. It does not have regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation and the particular needs of any specific person who may receive this report. You should independently evaluate particular business decisions before making any moves or changes in relation to any content mentioned in this report. [/private_member]

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November 2009 Edition $10

Created by Dayne Shuda

Hunting Business Marketing

How to Choose a Hunting Business Directory

What do you want your potential clients to see?

Yellow Pages

image credit: How can I recycle this

Looking for an online hunting business directory is something each business owner or manager does when they’re looking for a way to market their business on the Web. One of the ways to grow your own audience is to pay to borrow the attention of someone else’s. For more see Grow Your Followers Like a Country Music Singer.

Online hunting directories are like the hard copy of the yellow page ad book you may still receive on your door step every year. However, most online hunting business directories offer much more quality exposure and branding for quite a bit less money than your average yellow page classified.

Finding the correct online hunting business directory is essential to increasing your exposure, traffic, and sales. Let’s take a look at ways you can ensure you choose the right directory listing for your business…


The Basics

Every site should have some basic features that make it stand out and catch the eye of the hunters who are visiting the site for information on hunting businesses. The authority of the directory rests solely in the hands of its visitors. The great thing about the Web is that the people ultimately decide the Websites that are most important.

Follow hunters on the Web and you’ll find the best hunting directories for your business. Here are a few things to help you follow the hunters on the Web…

Size of the Directory’s Audience

The reason you’re looking for an online hunting business directory is to expand your audience and increase your quality customers. One of the things you want is the opportunity to expand your business brand to the largest and most relevant audience on the Web. (More on relevancy in the next section).

There is a simple way to determine the size of the audiences on the hunting directories you’re researching.

Let’s take a look at the popular term ‘hunting outfitter’. A quick trip over to use the Google Keyword Tool gives some info into the traffic and competition for the term.

Hunting Outfitter Keyword Research

As you can see, it’s a popular term. So the sites that rank high for this term should have some quality traffic they pass to the businesses who list in their directories.

After doing a quick Google search for ‘hunting outfitter’ I saw these results (your results may vary slightly – Google personalizes your results):

Hunting Outfitter Google Results

Now, you can visit and compare the unique visitors to the top few sites.

It seems that HuntingNet is in a league of its own yet the site specializes in many more things than just being the best directory. It’s good to have lots of traffic yet it can also be good to find a directory that specializes only in converting sales for outfitters in its listings, which may include having fewer features in order to focus on the directory. It’s a trade off and it’s something to consider for your business.

Target Market

Another consideration when choosing your hunting business directory is your target market the audience of each particular directory. You want the audience of the directory to match yours as closely as possible so the traffic your listing drives will have a high likelihood of converting to an eventual sale.

One tool you can use is Quantcast. As you can see here on the profile for, since the data and traffic for the site are relatively small, Quantcast provides estimates of relevant audience information. Demographics

For sites with a slightly larger audience and traffic there is more information on visitors. Use tools such as Quantcast to verify that the audience you’re chasing is in tune with the audience and customer you’re targeting.

Design and Functionality

Something that can often overlooked when considering choosing a directory to list your hunting business is look, feel and ease of functionality.

How do you want your business and brand to appear to first time viewers? As you expand your Web presence to new audiences, the directories you list your business on will be partly considered by the hunter who is searching for a quality hunting business.

Make sure the look, feel, and ease of functionality are in tune with your business brand.

The Directory’s Own Success

Earlier we looked at the search engine result page (SERP) for the keyword ‘hunting outfitter’. The directories that were listed near the top are the directories that Google found most relevant for the search term.

Consider the relevance and authority of the directories you are looking to list your business with. Think about a few of the keywords your potential clients will search for when looking for directories to find your business and see what directories Google and its clients (most Web users) find relevant.

Essential Features Only

I’m a big fan of sites that are simple with a lack of features beyond those that are most valuable. One of my favorite sites is Zen Habits. Very simple, effective, and valuable.

In the following video, Kevin Rose, founder of Digg discusses some of the things that he finds essential for attracting large audiences on the Web. One of the points he discusses is that when he was growing Digg he would test features and listen and watch users’ reactions. He would then determine what features were actually beneficial and what features should be removed. He didn’t fall in love with features and he was willing to let go. He kept it simple.

Taking your Site from One to One Million Users by Kevin Rose from Carsonified on Vimeo.

In this talk from FOWA London ( Kevin shares the secrets to and explosive user growth. He covers nine unique strategies that turn passive users into passionate advocates.

You’ll learn:

1. How to encourage users to tweet about your app

2. The concept of “The Circle of Life” in web apps and how it affects you

3. Growing your userbase: What worked and what didn’t for digg, WeFollow and Pownce

4. And more …

Look for hunting business directories that keep things simple and focus only on features that are beneficial for converting sales for your business.


Some directories offer features that allow hunting businesses to create their own Web page within the directory. Some of the directories offer varying levels of interaction with their site. These levels may range from a simple text link to your actual Website to a full-blown Web page with photo galleries, contact forms, coupons, etc.

Depending on how far into your Web presence initiative you are, you may want to look for a directory that offers some options that allow you to scale your involvement with them. For example, you may want to only list your basic description, contact information and logo in the initial listing. This way you can test out the directory for minimal monetary investment. If the initial investment proves profitable, you can work with the directory to scale your involvement to potentially increase your exposure on their site and with their audience including their search traffic.

Most directories will work with you to make sure they create the best package for your specific business.


Choosing a hunting business directory is one of the first places hunting businesses look when they want to expand their Web presence. It’s a smart place to look as expanding into other established audiences is vital to growing your business.

Look for the basics when doing your due diligence before you start inquiring about the specific services a directory can offer your business. Use the available free tools to determine the amount and quality of traffic each directory has and make sure you give your business and the directory listing the best chance for success.

Look for a directory that focuses only on the features that are essential for converting sales for you. Don’t let yourself get caught up in features that may be useless and potentially distracting when it comes to getting customers to contact you eager to purchase your services and products.

Lastly, look for directories that offer ways for you to try out their services in a way that has little risk of monetary investment on your end. Look for directories that offer opportunities to scale your involvement.

Find the right directory can mean quality sales for your hunting business. Doing a little bit of research today can mean more money in your pocket with more sales and less expense tomorrow. Take some time to do the research and you’ll appreciate the work later when you’re bringing in more business on the Web.


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The Sports Bottom Line Ticker Strategy

ESPN knows how to keep your interest

Multiple Computer Screens

image credit: totalAldo

I’m not sure if ESPN was the originator, but the world’s most popular sports news network knows how to keep their viewers’ attention even when their current segment isn’t that interesting.

The bottom line sports ticker was a great way to keep viewers’ attention with updates even if a particular set of the audience isn’t interested in the main story being addressed by the sportscasters.

The strategy worked well with sports fans as most only want updates on their team. If the main story being headlined had to do with anything other than some viewers’ team, those viewers were likely to look to other sources for updates on how their team was doing. With the sports ticker, those fans could stay tuned to a particular staying waiting for their teams’ update and score to scroll across the bottom. It was a great way for sports stations to keep viewers by providing a value-adding service.

Online Websites are starting to take notice to the bottom line sports ticker of TV stations like ESPN by broadcasting updates and promoting other content with a ticker or some kind of update section while the main content is still being headlined.

Let’s take a look at a few of the sites that are taking advantage of the ticker update and look at a few ways you can take advantage of the ticker strategy for your own blog or Website.


One Site Using the Ticker

Some Websites understand that keeping the attention of visitors is important to driving revenue. As a result, these sites are using strategies to that add value to what a visitor may value even when the interests vary from person to person.

National Football Post

The National Football Post entered a competitive arena when they started providing expert commentary and news updates for NFL fans on the Web.

The site has had impressive growth since its launch due in large part to their unique expert commentary from various experts and view points in the world of the NFL:

* Player Perspective – Matt Bowen – Former NFL Safety

* Executive Perspective – Michael Lombardi – Player Personnel

* Executive Perspective – Andrew Brandt – Contract Negotiator and Salary Cap Expert

* Agent Perspective – Jack Bechta – NFL Player Agent

About a year after the site launched they did design overall and introduced their version of the update ticker.

National Football Post Ticker

The bottom line ticker of the National Football Post scrolls through the news updates that the site updates regularly with news from around the NFL. The ticker is always at the bottom of every viewer’s screen (unless the viewer closes the large version of the ticker). As I mentioned before, NFP provides expert articles and podcasts for NFL fans and these articles are their main attraction. For an example read:

The High Cost of Concussions

However, certain NFL fans are going to visit the site looking for news related to their team. While the biggest news of the day is usually covered in the headline section of the site and while other important news is highlighted to the right of the page under Hot News & Rumors there are still updates that certain viewers want to see.

This is where the National Football Post implements their bottom screen ticker. Fans can come to the NFP, read their articles while watching the bottom ticker for news updates on their favorite team.

Ways to Take Advantage

Every blog and Website can become a source of news and updates by shaping their own form of the bottom line ticker.

The ticker doesn’t have to be at the bottom of the Web page and it doesn’t have to be as up-to-the-minute as the ESPN ticker. What your site’s version of the ticker has to provide is short snapshots of content that your viewers will find valuable.

One of the easiest ways to do this is to use embed the Twitter Widget on your site. If you regularly provide valuable updates via your Twitter feed, you can embed your update widget on your site. This way, while your visitors are reading your headline content, they can see what your last few Twitter updates have been. Perhaps the main article just isn’t of interest to them as they get deeper into the article (it happens and it’s alright), but they see that you’ve highlighted an article from your archives on Twitter and their interest is again piqued. Perhaps they’ll click on the link from the embedded Twitter feed and go to the archive.

There are lots of ways to highlight content on your site while your readers are reading your current content. You could have an area to the side of your blog posts that continually scrolls through your archives, popular posts, most commented posts, etc. You could have a bottom line ticker like the National Football Post has, but yours could scroll through the best comments on your site. This would be a great way to highlight your readers.

The only limit to what you can do is your own imagination.


The benefit of using something like a bottom line ticker is to provide value to your visitors when they may not be interested in the current content you’re highlighting on your site.

ESPN has used their bottom line ticker to provide updates, including scoring updates, to their viewers so that viewers don’t change the channel when all they want is an update on their favorite team.

The National Football Post has taken this cue from ESPN and implemented their own version of the bottom ticker on their page. The NFP version provides hot news and rumors from around the NFL so that while visitors are reading the in-depth articles written by the expert staff they can still stay updated on what’s happening around the NFL including news about their favorite teams.

You can use the bottom line ticker strategy for your own site. Visitors won’t always be interested in your current highlighted content, but don’t lose their interest completely. Highlight your content in other ways to keep their attention.

Keeping interest will lead to growth with your site while providing value to your visitors.


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Opportunity for Hunting Product Manufacturers

Can a Trend in Home Furnishing Mean Opportunity for the Hunting Industry?


image credit: Roy Montgomery

An article on a recent trend in the home furnishings industry sparked some thought on a potential opportunity for manufacturing companies in the hunting industry.

Even in today’s difficult economic times there seem to be opportunities for entrepreneurs to expand their product and service offerings to fulfill the needs of audiences throughout the US and the World – this includes businesses like yours in the hunting industry.

If you read the news or if you know someone in a business or profession involved with the housing industry you know that that particular sector of the economy has been struggling of late compared to the prior five years or so. Whatever the reason for collapse in demand for housing in the US (and we all have our arguments about the US economic collapse), it’s generally understood that opportunity for growth as a housing industry business is not looking good.

However, the article I read today proved that there is always opportunity where most see demise.

Let’s take a closer look at that article and discuss a potential opportunity for your business…


Trend in Home Furnishings

The article I read was:

Multi-Generational Design The Hot Trend at home.

Multi-generational design is one of today’s fastest growing trends in the housing industry. As more and more people understand the benefits that smart planning affords to those of all age groups and abilities, a demand is being generated for products that combine style, safety, beauty and comfort with practicality and versatility. In fact, it’s what good, smart design should be.

Please read the entire article. It is a quick read and is well worth it.

What I liked most about the article was its positive outlook as the author described a genuine opportunity for home industry businesses to capture a growing trend. It’s always important to look past the difficult news put in front of us each day and sees the opportunity to provide quality products and services for customers willing to pay a fair price for things they need to improve their lives whether it’s through necessity, escape, or other enjoyment.

Just because the housing market may never again reach the peaks of 2003-2005 in the US it doesn’t mean there aren’t opportunities for businesses in the housing industry.

The article mentioned above looks into the growing trend of multi-generational homes and the article looks specifically at the potential for companies to design products that are not only beautiful, but functional for extended families and households.

One example of a product the article mentions as being functional for family members of all ages includes simple and elegantly designed hand-held shower heads. This product makes it easier for people to clean their body while also making it easier to clean hair.

It’s important to remember that just because the paradigm that the US consumer was used to in the past may be changing, but it’s not always a negative situation. Changing times always provide opportunities for innovators to create products to fill new voids and needs in any marketing.

And there may be a new opportunity in the hunting industry as well.

Opportunity for Hunting Product Manufacturers

After reading this article about making products for the home that are functional for customers of all ages I thought about a few products in the hunting industry.

Specifically I was thinking about tree stands (because I have just put a few up this year for some bow hunting). Each year I struggle to put up my hang-on stands so I can get close to some nice whitetail deer. The stands I use are heavy and difficult to hoist up to the spot on the tree I see fit for hunting. I use hang-on stands and hang-on ladder steps that have straps that go around the tree and cinch. Each time I move a stand or put one up each fall I end up being exhausted from all of the work that goes into the process. Not to mention the fact that I have to do some tightrope-worthy work to get the stand up to the spot on the tree.

It’s a little dangerous and while I consider myself to be in good shape, I believe the process is too difficult and I’m sure others feel the same way.

There has to be a better way to accommodate tree stands so hunters can get keep the mobility of a hang-on tree stand while being able to easily hang and take down the stand.

Would it be possible to create a tree stand that was easy for hunters of all generations (child, parent, grandparent, man, or woman) to hang and take down each time they wanted to increase their chances of hunting a trophy?

Is there a way to create a tree stand that used a pulley system where the hunter could connect a smaller piece to the tree, climb back to the ground, and use a pulley system to pull the hang-on stand into place?

After doing a quick search, I found this video from Pine Ridge Archery where they actually do have a pulley system. Would it be possible even for them to take this a step further and allow for the tree to somehow snap into place when pulled up to the base on the tree?

I’m not sure, but perhaps it’s an opportunity.

The article mentioned above discusses the increase in multi-generational homes, but there is an opportunity for hunting product manufacturers to take the same approach with product design. Focus on functionality that is simple and functional rather than complex.

It’s not easy to create simple products, but with a focus on making products that are functional and useful for all ages it can open up new creative thought.


Because customer needs change in the market there are opportunities for advantageous businesses to step up and create products that meet the new demand.

While the housing and related industries are probably not going to see the same peaks as they did a few short years ago, people will still live in homes and they’ll still want to create a comfortable and functional place to live for their families. This is the opportunity the author of the article mentioned above addresses by describing the increase in demand for multi-generational products that are elegant in design and functional and useful for all generations.

There may be the same opportunities in the hunting industry for hunting product manufacturers to create products that are functional and useful for all generations of hunters.

What do you think?

Any product ideas that could benefit multi-generations of hunters?


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