by Cori Hilsgen
Many hunters like to escape from their occupations to go hunting. Fifteen-year-old Sartell resident Brian Avery, owner of Northern Waterfowl Outfitters, has found a way to create a career from his passion.
Avery and his professional hunting staff guide waterfowl day hunts for ducks and geese. They mainly hunt around central Minnesota. Occasionally, they also hunt in southern Minnesota.
The idea of being a hunting guide came to Avery when he and his friends were hunting one morning and his friend, Shane Miller, asked him if he had ever thought about being a guide. The hunters discussed the idea the rest of the day and the rest of the hunting season.
Avery began researching about how to be a hunting guide and how to start a business. He discussed the idea with his parents, Nancy and Brett Avery, who thought it was a good idea. Avery and his brother, Ken, 16, who prefers fishing but is also an avid hunter, discussed the idea extensively. Both have dreamed of guiding since they were very young.
Nancy, who Avery says has always encouraged him to follow his passions and pursue his dreams, helped him register his business with the state of Minnesota. She also helped get his email address and domain name for his future website.
Avery is home-schooled and is able to adjust his schedule to work with his business. This allows him to hunt during the week.
The family is turning his business development into one of his home-school electives. Currently, Avery is working on his comprehensive business plan.
Avery attended two weeks of intensive waterfowl training offered by the Minnesota Waterfowl Association, as well as four other week-long trainings on upland bird and waterfowl hunting. He holds Minnesota Department of Natural Resources safety certifications in firearm, advanced firearm, bow hunting, all-terrain vehicle, boating and snowmobile.
Besides Avery, Northern Waterfowl Outfitters’ professional staff includes Miller, 16, from Cambridge; Logan Cordell, 18, from Clear Lake; Tyson Erdmann, 17, from Big Lake; and Raleigh Krecklau, 17, from Monticello.
Avery’s professional hunting staff, who are also the hunters who encouraged him to start his business, helped get the business going. All bring a different set of skills to the business. Cordell has great communication skills. Erdmann is the goose caller and photographer. Krecklau handles the goose decoy spreads or placement of the decoys. Miller is also a good caller and an amazing scout who knows where to find the birds.
“Everything is more fun with friends,” Avery said. “We all have a great work ethic, a passion for the outdoors and have a ton of fun hunting together, making it a great group to hunt with.”
Having staff from around the region gives the business a better grasp on where birds are located and the hunting patterns that will work well with those flocks.
“We usually all hunt together,” Avery said. “We are just able to scout more locations by living farther apart.”
Avery’s Northern Waterfowl Outfitters service includes watching the migration patterns, where the birds are, securing locations for hunts and obtaining permission to hunt on private property, setting up decoy spreads and calling in the waterfowl to help ensure successful hunts for clients.
Migratory birds will usually use the same routes each season. It is important to watch the factors that affect their migration to help ensure the business can set up at the most successful locations.
Avery said hiring an outfitter is the perfect way to hunt if your schedule doesn’t allow you time to scout fields, set out decoys, or contact land owners. He and his staff will take all of the labor-intensive work out of the hunting experience so clients can enjoy the hunt without the work.
“Anyone who wants to get into hunting, this is probably the best way to see if you enjoy it,” Avery said. “A great crew to hunt with, funny and definitely great guys.”
He added that hunting with an outfitter is also a great way to experience water-fowl hunting for the first time to see if you enjoy it before investing in the equipment needed for successful hunts.
“We are a great group of outdoor enthusiasts and love helping people enjoy successful hunts,” Avery said. “We love what we do and we want to share that love and appreciation for the outdoors with others.”
Avery said he and his professional staff have encountered great land owners in the Sartell, St. Stephen, St. Joseph and Sauk Rapids areas who allow them to use their private land for hunting.
Northern Waterfowl Outfitters offers hunting experiences from September through December, which are the Department of Natural Resources regulated hunting seasons. All hunters need proper licenses and required waterfowl/migratory bird stamps before they hunt.
For additional information, contact Avery by phone at 320-200-4435 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.