Catering to Hunter-Athletes

Boost your bottom line and appeal to the hunting/fitness craze with these tips.

Catering to Hunter-Athletes

Serious hunters know the value of trading before the season starts. Is your shop a place where they can find nutrition products, seek workout council and possibly purchase workout programs?

Here are some interesting stats to consider. The average American, according to a survey completed by MyProtein (, will spend $112,000 dollars on their health and fitness over a lifetime. That’s an average of $155 per month, and it was discovered that over 60 percent of the population spends more than $40 each month on supplements like protein, vitamins and the like.

In 2017, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service conducted a survey that showed 101.6 million Americans participated in hunting, fishing and wildlife activities. I’m no Einstein when it comes to crunching the numbers, but it’s fair to say that a solid percentage of these outdoorsmen and women, based on the stats from MyProtein, shell out hard-earned coin when it comes to their overall health and fitness.

It’s a trend we’ve seen growing. Pioneered by Western hunters looking to get in better physical shape in order to boost their backcountry efficiency, the trend correlating hunting and fitness has exploded. From treestand sitters waiting on a thick-necked whitetail to Western wanderers chasing muleys in unsullied alpine basins, the fit-to-hunt craze is booming. Jump on board.

One of the fastest ways to boost profits in your retail store is to stock products this crowd craves. Here are a few to consider.


Offering an array of products covering everything from help-you-sleep Slumber to Ammo Whey Protein meal replacements, MTN OPS has it going on. Backed by research and focused on constant development, this nutrition/health company is engrossed in helping hunters train, recover and stay focused and energetic during their time in the woods. While their list of to-carry products is long, some of their craved-by-hunters must-haves include Ignite and Enduro drink mixes. These products are offered in powder tubs as well as trail packs. Ignite contains a scientifically formulated blend of amino acids, L-citrulline and L-arginine, as well as MTN OPS’ proprietary Brain Blend of nootropics to better improve cognitive function. I’ve used Ignite for years and can attest to the 20-plus hours of long-lasting, jitter-free energy it provides. Enduro was designed to work with the body’s cardiovascular system to increase hydration and performance during intense physical activity. Both of these drink mixes are offered in an array of palate-pleasing flavors. A quick breeze through MTN OPS’ website will reveal throngs of other products you may want to consider stocking on your shelves.

Wilderness Athlete

I love the name. I also love their products. While Wilderness Athlete has drink mixes that help with recovery, energy and the like, countless hunters are experiencing the true advantages that stem from using the manufacturer’s Altitude Advantage. Designed to help hunters adapt to and perform at high altitudes, this supplement helps reduce fatigue, inflammation and frustrating lactic acid buildup. A potent blend of natural antioxidants, Altitude Advantage is ideal for both the seasoned Western hunter and those making their first trip into the high country. Another possible to-stock Wildeness Athlete item is Green Infusion. A blend of greens, fruits, vegetable extracts, adaptogenic herbs and probiotics, this powder reinforces proper digestion while supplying the body with a dose of six servings of fruits and vegetables. According to longtime Wilderness Athlete user and fitness/hunt fanatic Tim Kent, Green Infusion helps promote gut health. “It really, really helps with stomach health and digestion. The product has really worked wonders for me, and I’m a big believer in it. I hate getting bloated on and before hunts. This product really helps with uncomfortable bloating.”

For many, training to hunt has become a lifestyle, and this crowd depends heavily on supplements to help them fight fatigue, recover and gain energy.
For many, training to hunt has become a lifestyle, and this crowd depends heavily on supplements to help them fight fatigue, recover and gain energy.

Offer Them Something More

In addition to carrying the nutrition products today’s hunter-athletes demand, you can also put more greenbacks in your account by stepping outside established norms. I currently know of a couple of retail outfits that have partnered with local gyms, running clubs and the like. It’s nothing more than local businesses helping one another grow. It works like this: Your retail shop partners with a local gym. While at your shop, hunters can sign up to get a discounted gym membership as well as pen the dotted line for an array of fitness classes offered by the gym. What’s the gym get? More bodies. Running clubs work in much the same way. You offer your customers a special discounted sign-up rate, and the running club gets more members, members they can expose to different races, tailored training programs and the like.

Another option, and one that really appeals to the public-land DIY hunt/fitness crowd, is to pay an expert dietitian, nutritionist or physical trainer to develop a number of diet/fitness programs that customers can purchase from you at your store or download for a fee off your website.

I’ve always said that one of the best ways to move bows in and out of your shop is to have your souped-up rig hanging in a very visible area. The same holds true for moving nutrition-type products. If you have a water cooler set up and a tub of MTN OPS or WA available next to the cooler with some small cups, customers can try it out. In addition, you should be using the products and supporting the hunting/fitness lifestyle. Offer morning running groups, evening lifting groups, and the list goes on.

They’re Specific

The hunting/fitness crowd is a specific group. They invest oodles of time getting their bodies ready for a physically demanding season, and they demand gear, especially clothing, that offers an athletic fit and feel. If you’re not currently carrying this type of hunting apparel, you should be.


They have it all, and they’ve perfected the art of building quiet, comfortable, durable gear that promises an athletic fit. Their arsenal is rich — loaded with multiple layering systems designed for Western hunters as well as for those who prefer to hang 20 feet up a hardwood. Gear for early-, mid- and late-season pursuits is offered, and each piece features specific, purposeful design features that make it ideal for the particular season in which it’s being used.

Three distinct camo patterns are offered for big-game enthusiasts inside the Sitka line. Western hunters often lean toward the Subalpine and Optifade Open Country patterns, while whitetail enthusiasts prefer the Elevated II pattern. Sitka gives hunters options, and when it comes to moving gear off your racks and out the door, options help — a lot. 


Not just a pack company anymore, Badlands has expanded into the clothing arena, and their gear is quickly being accepted by hunter-athletes around the globe. Staple camo patterns include Approach, which is favored by the Western crowd as well as those hunting early in the season when the vegetation has yet to be sucked of its color. Whitetail hunters, and those chasing other late-season big-game species, will lean toward the FX Approach pattern. This pattern features a fall-schemed color arrangement; like the original Approach, it features Adaptive Coloration, a technology that allows the pattern to adapt to the surroundings as well as the current lighting conditions.

Like Sitka, Badlands offers multiple systems to ensure proper layering is achieved. In addition, like Sitka, Badlands offers lifestyle clothing. This is important. The hunt/fitness crowd is a loyal group. For them, hunting and fitness is about a lifestyle, not about taking part in a seasonal activity. They love to show their loyalty, and if they can pick up some branded lifestyle gear at your shop, they typically won’t hesitate.

Designed to look and feel like an actual bow, the AccuBow is adjustable from 10 to 70 pounds and has zero letoff, which means it will condition and develop the necessary muscles required for archery.
Designed to look and feel like an actual bow, the AccuBow is adjustable from 10 to 70 pounds and has zero letoff, which means it will condition and develop the necessary muscles required for archery.

Yes, You Want To Carry The AccuBow

A true training partner, the AccuBow is gaining traction in the retail world. Why? Simple. The AccuBow has zero letoff, which means it will condition and develop the necessary muscles required for archery. I’ve seen guys with monster chests and backs struggle to pull back the bow when set at its max weight of 70 pounds.

The good news is the bow is adjustable from 10 to 70 pounds, meaning you can drop or increase weight based on your desired goals and training. This bow features the durable AccuBand, specifically created to withstand stretch and snap. That’s right, you can dry-fire the heck out of this thing — so not only are you training your muscles, but you’re also perfecting your form. Testing by AccuBow has shown that shooters are able to simulate shooting 90 arrows in just 20 minutes. Try doing that out on the range — it’s not going to happen.

Designed to look and feel like an actual bow, the AccuBow comes with a laser sight and allows for the addition of a stabilizer. Strategically located shock absorption on the bow reduces the kinetic energy wallop and allows for virtually unlimited dry-firing.

There you have it. Something new and something fresh — some tips that could truly help boost shop sales. This is a growing segment, and with the reach social media is capable of and the number of hunter/fitness fanatics posting daily pictures and updates to their daily stories, it won’t be a passing fad. Take advantage. Jump on the bandwagon and offer your customers more while putting a little more in your pocket.


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