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Thread: New hunting/outfitter rental business, hunters please comment!

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    Member billy jack's Avatar
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    Default New hunting/outfitter rental business, hunters please comment!

    Hey guys, I need your feedback and comments on my new business idea, ALL feedback would help. Me and a friend or 2 are seriously thinking of going into business together. Our plan is to start up an outfitting business, not guiding but strickly hunting equipment and supplies rental. We got the idea after our last Haul rd Caribou hunt while staying in my new wall tent. After living in total comfort w/ a wall tent, cots, wood stove etc, I could never go back to sleeping on the ground in a plain tent for any extended ammount of time, like moose and caribou hunts. Purpose of this post is to put some feelers out there to see what king of equipment hunters would like and or if you think that there is a strong need for such a business etc. Plan is to mainly outfit moose and caribou hunters or anyone who needs an outfit while building a cabin in the bush or mining, whatever. Gear from what I can come up with will be basic initially to include: Wall tents w/ aluminum frames, Cabela's guide tents, wood burning stoves, Coleman stoves and lanterns, cots, Cabela's pack's w/ frames.
    I figure that's a good start, would have too see about pricing and depostis, but I figure I've spent thousands of dollars and years accumulating all of my gear. I hunt alot and spend alot of time in the woods so I can justify spending that ammount of money on this stuff, but for the occasional hunter, out of stater, military or anyone who doesn't want to drop that kind of money on gear and for party/group hunts who will split the cost of it, I think that a outdoors outfitter/renting business would do well in the MatSu Valley, seasonal of course. I've done some research and haven't found anyone else doing such a business, if they are let me know.
    Thanks again Billy Jack

  2. #2

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    OK, I don't know if the law has changed, because I no longer stay up on Guide Outfitter issues. But it was if You are going to do what you want to do, that you had to have a Registered Guide Outfitter License.

    Again the law may have changed. Infact it was that you could NOT even use the word "Outfitter" without a Guide/Outfitter License.

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    Member rimfirematt's Avatar
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    Alaska Raft Connection rents all of that stuff. Their business model is real similar to yours, but uses rafts,kayaks, and zodiaks as well as the repair business there as the main attraction.

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    Member homerdave's Avatar
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    someone will correct me if i am wrong (heck, i get corrected when i'm right <grin>) but i think the crux of the issue is whether you provide services "in the field".
    so for example if you are renting gear in anchorage it's one thing, but open a store in coldfoot and you are likely considered "in the field".
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    Member martentrapper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by homerdave View Post
    but open a store in coldfoot and you are likely considered "in the field".
    "in the field" can be a little gray, but there is a legal definition of such. Communities, regular residences, are not "in the field" My take would be that Coldfoot, Deadhorse, would not be "in the field". The road in between those points would be.
    I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
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    I guess the other issue would be liability. If the camp stove flares up and someone gets burned, or the whole camp is burned up, the renter get frostbite, and has feet removed, because defective stove burned up sleeping bag, etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AGL4now View Post
    I guess the other issue would be liability. If the camp stove flares up and someone gets burned, or the whole camp is burned up, the renter get frostbite, and has feet removed, because defective stove burned up sleeping bag, etc.
    YUP. Altogether a really really bad idea. Unless you have nothing to lose and then it would be OK. In Alaska Case Law, there is no way to indemnify yourself against liability, short of setting up an LLC. Even then the amount invested in the LLC is at risk with every transaction. "Use at your own risk" clauses mean nothing in Alaska Law.
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    What if the rented it to someone who used it to cook "METH" and brought back the equipment, and you rented it out to the next renter and he got sick from the toxic fumes.

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    Member B&C 04's Avatar
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    Besides all the other "questionable issues" that have already been pointed out, the first thing that got my attention is "going into business with FRIENDS". Always sounds like a good idea and then one or the other dosen't agree with an idea or direction the buisness is going and
    then the crash and burn effect takes hold. Just my .02.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AGL4now View Post
    What if the rented it to someone who used it to cook "METH" and brought back the equipment, and you rented it out to the next renter and he got sick from the toxic fumes.
    Are you kidding or serious?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rutting Moose View Post
    Are you kidding or serious?

    SADLY.......100% serious.

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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    actually if you could get around the liability issues... a 4x4 truck with camp in the box would prolly be a good rental several months out of the year for the haul road... and their liability insurance would/should cover rental expenses or damages..
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

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    Member ret25yo's Avatar
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    start with a rough business plan, then go through project management, that will lead you straight to the "risk assesment" then you can decide if it's worth it.

    grab a copy of PMBOK and see where it takes your "plans"

    the PMBOK will run you through..


    1. Project Integration Management
    2. Project Scope Management
    3. Project Time Management
    4. Project Cost Management
    5. Project Quality Management
    6. Project Human Resource Management
    7. Project Communications Management
    8. Project Risk Management
    9. Project Procurement Management

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vince View Post
    actually if you could get around the liability issues... a 4x4 truck with camp in the box would prolly be a good rental several months out of the year for the haul road... and their liability insurance would/should cover rental expenses or damages..
    I agree, if I were to look into this it would be with a fleet of 4 door ford rangers @ ~$250/day including a SPOT messenger and basic camp. I would run it out of FBX and make sure that I had a F250 and a good solid trailer to be able to haul up a "spare" truck if they broke something. A 1K deposit for abuse would be taken before they stepped foot on the gas pedal. I would expect to be able to keep them rented pretty much all summer through about sept. I would also put some sort of a GPS tracker that kept record of the speed. If you are running 70mph along the haul road and break my truck that definitely constitutes "abuse"! All that said who has the cash to outfit 5 or 6 trucks to even get started? Oh and then there is the needing to live in FBX.... yuck!

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    Member billy jack's Avatar
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    I'm totally aware of the liability, hell someone could trip in my yard and sue me and win. My question is would YOU guys be interested, you being hunters and outdoorsmen. LLC, agreements, contracts etc are a no brainer. I'm just looking to see if there is a need, a want for such a business. Anyone else renting such gear? I'd not be doing guiding or giving advice, strictly renting quality outdoor gear.
    Thanks for the lots of posts so far. Billy

  16. #16
    Member Vince's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by billy jack View Post
    I'm totally aware of the liability, hell someone could trip in my yard and sue me and win. My question is would YOU guys be interested, you being hunters and outdoorsmen. LLC, agreements, contracts etc are a no brainer. I'm just looking to see if there is a need, a want for such a business. Anyone else renting such gear? I'd not be doing guiding or giving advice, strictly renting quality outdoor gear.
    Thanks for the lots of posts so far. Billy
    i thinkk your market would be 3 year military and NON residents for the most part
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    Member ret25yo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vince View Post
    i thinkk your market would be 3 year military and NON residents for the most part
    I thought military was 4 yrs? ,, dang I been out awhile .. and Vince nailed your target market..

    If you cant stand behind the troops in Iraq.. Feel free to stand in front of them.

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vince View Post
    i thinkk your market would be 3 year military and NON residents for the most part
    Yep, I already have all that stuff and likely better than any rental agency could either afford or at least better than their customers would make it after a few trips out.

  19. #19
    Member Vince's Avatar
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    Not sure if Walt is still on the forum... from North west out fitters??? he sold his stuff and moved to Glenallen or there abouts... but he would be a great informational resource... he provided rafts, camps and kitchens.
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

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    Member AlaskaTrueAdventure's Avatar
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    To answer your question in post #15.....I do not believe it would ba a profitable business if done part time, or most of the time during the season. If you devoted a full time effort (during the season) you might turn a profit. But keep in mind you are starting up with competition already in place. Three of the competing businesses sell rafting gear all year. On second thought, I do not see it as being a real money maker. You would probably make more money and work less hours doing anything else. Just my opinion, based on.....nothing, really. So prove me wrong and i'll refer client/hunters toward you when they make return trips to AK on "solo", unguided trips (which many do).
    I agree with Vince that you should seek Walt for guidance and his experiences in this rental market.
    dennis

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