Growing Up Drury (Part 2) by John E. Phillips
PSE’s Matt Drury Tells How to Become a Professional Hunter
Editor’s Note: Thirty-two-year-old Matt Drury is the son of Terry Drury of Drury Outdoors (https://www.druryoutdoors.com/) fame. For 10 years, Matt has been the man behind the scenes of Drury Outdoors. For 2 previous years, he interned at the family business. When Matt went to college, he didn’t really know what he wanted to grow up to be, although he knew he wanted to use his creative mind and art talent to take raw video and create masterpiece hunting TV shows and CDs. According to Matt, “I was making Edit Decision Lists when I was in high school.” Today, according to brothers and well-known outdoorsmen Mark and Terry Drury, “Matt is the man in charge.” His official title is Drury Outdoors Brand Manager.
Being in the professional outdoor world, we get a lot of questions from hunters here at Drury Outdoors. By far, we’re most often asked, “How can I become a professional hunter like Mark and Terry Drury?” Most people really don’t understand that job opportunities in the outdoor industry aren’t limited to simply being a professional hunter; there are many careers available if you’re driven. Despite popular belief, growing up in the Drury family didn’t automatically guarantee me a job working for Drury Outdoors. I had to prove to my family that I took my education seriously and was willing to work hard to make myself an asset to the family business.
Whether you strive to be a professional hunter or a behind-the-scenes person, more education, especially being educated in matters related to the outdoors, is the key to opening doors in the outdoor community. The more time and effort you’re willing to put into becoming a professional outdoorsman, the better your odds will be for getting your dream outdoor job. For your best chance of working in the outdoor industry, I strongly recommend that young hunters attend college. After I graduated high school, I was gearing up for college but didn’t really know what I wanted to do with my life. Like many college kids, I couldn’t identify where I was going to land, but I really wanted do creative work. I took a lot of different courses in college, including computer animation, graphic design, art and my most favorite, video production. When I learned what was required to take raw footage and make it into a TV show, I decided, “This is for me.” I found out I had a talent for video production and realized I’d use that as a basis for my future career.
Every year my Uncle Mark and my dad gather 25 teams of hunters and videographers, known as field producers, to help produce footage for the Drury Outdoors TV shows. At this meeting, our producers are given production tips and are taught better ways to shoot video. A major part of that team meeting is an awards presentation. The first award show for our producers was 11-years ago, my senior year of college. As I watched the different teams being awarded for videos they had shot the previous year, I got really excited. After the show was over, I went up to my Uncle Mark and said, “I think this is something I’d like to be a part of,” and the next day, Uncle Mark offered me a job. As with any family business, I was offered a very modest starting salary.
Drury Outdoors’ social-media sites often are bombarded with questions like: “I want to be in the outdoor business, where do I start? I’m going to college, and I want to be a professional hunter. What classes should I take?” Unfortunately, collegiate counselors don’t have course lists for a B.A. degree in Hunting Professionally, but there are courses that will help you in your journey. If you want to get into the video side of the outdoors, find courses that teach video production and the operation and mastery of video equipment, generally found in journalism departments. New cameras with new features are coming out every year; being able to know new technology will make you a benefit to any outdoor operation. Courses in photography also will be appealing to future employers. Do you know what aperture is, and how it works or the importance of shutter speed? What does ASA mean? If you don’t know the answers to these questions, take photography courses on lighting and framing.
However, always remember that hunting is primarily about shooting. Our field producers, the lifeblood of our hunting trips all over the world, are both hunters and videographers. Some days they are in front of the cameras, and on others, they’re behind the cameras. So, if you’re serious about becoming a part of the outdoor business community, you need to be as good, if not better, with a video camera as you are with a bow and conventional and blackpowder rifles. In college, professors teach students how to be videographers in 4 short years, but learning how to be a true outdoorsman requires more time.
To get John E. Phillips’ Kindle ebooks, “The Most Dangerous Game with a Bow: Secrets of the PSE Pros,” “Bowhunting the Dangerous Bears of Alaska,” and “Bowhunting Deer: The Secrets of the PSE Pros,” click on each. Or, go to http://www.amazon.com/kindle-ebooks, type in the name of the books, and download them to your Kindle, and/or download a Kindle app for your iPad, SmartPhone or computer.