By | May 12, 2022
Exotic Animal Hunting

Inside Texas’s $2 Billion Exotic Animal Hunting Industry

Inside Texas’s $2 Billion Exotic Animal Hunting Industry in 2022 – Narrator: Barbary sheep are native to North Africa. Exotic Animal Hunting  But this one was hunted and shot in Texas. Just stuffing and mounting the animal costs anywhere from $700 to $5,000. Kristen: You can go crazy on those things, but it’s going to be a lot of money. Narrator: Still, that’s only a fraction of what hunters spend on tracking down and killing the animals. And we’re not just talking about Barbary sheep. You can spend thousands on the chance to take a shot at animals like zebra, cape buffalo, and even giraffe. But what makes the world exotic.

Game hunting in Texas so expensive?

Inside Texas’s $2 Billion Exotic Animal Hunting Industry in 2022 – Kristen: I have been doing taxidermy for about 10 years. My father actually started this shop in the same location in 1975. So it has been around for a while. Narrator: Kristen’s business has doubled since she took over from her father six years ago. She now takes in around 650 animals a year. Narrator: Since the 1950s, Texas ranchers have built an entire industry out of breeding and hunting exotic animals and selling their meat. Today, that industry brings in around $2 billion in annual revenue in the state and employs more than 14,000 people.

Kristen: I call this the taxidermy bible. Narrator: A relatively simple head mount for a Barbary sheep like this starts at $725. Kristen: It could be endless, and now if you want it to go on the wall, and you want it to be open-mouth, and you want a bird, then that’s just extra on what you want. Narrator: It’s a long process. Tanners cure and prepare an animal’s skin over a five-month period. After that, the taxidermy process begins. Casey: I’m not a hunter, I’m not a fisherman, I’m just in it for the art.

Narrator: It takes about a day to mount the animal. Casey: I take a knife, and I just cut along the seam all the way until the ears, I can turn them completely inside out. Narrator: Casey prepares the skin and puts it on a mold in the shape of the animal. And sometimes it doesn’t quite fit. Casey: Let’s stretch the side of the cape, too. Kristen: Can you hold right here? I don’t want to cut your stitch, because that will ruin everything. OK. Casey:

Animal Hunting Industry

Inside Texas’s $2 Billion Exotic Animal Hunting Industry 2022

I’m going to cut this out, and we’ll tuck that. Narrator: Then, Casey fits the horns to the mount. Casey: Pretty good size. Narrator: After setting the horns, they place the eyes using plaster, then form the facial expression. And sew up the back. At least 5,000 ranches in Texas raise exotic animals. Brian Gilroy breeds over 60 different species of non-native wildlife on his 1,750-acre ranch south of San Antonio. Most of the wildlife is originally from Africa, but we do have some Asian species, as well as a few European species. Narrator: He sells them on to other breeders, hunting ranches, or investors. Brian:

Cape buffalo went from $90,000 to $300,000 in a matter of a year and\ra half to two years. Narrator: The more exotic, the higher the price tag. Zebra, gemsbok, and dama gazelle sell for thousands, too. There is an emotional connection that we have to wildlife, but it is very much financial as well. This is a real investment. Narrator:

His main expenses come in personnel, animal care, and fencing that can cost up to $30,000 per mile. Still, Brian says he’s expecting to bring in $25 million of sales in 2021. Hunting is big business, too. Exotics like kudu can cost $17,000 to track and kill on a private ranch. Kangaroos go for around $7,000. Chris Leland has been guiding hunts for Barbary sheep for about 10 years.


Exotic Animal Hunting Industry in 2022

He charges $3,500 per person for a three-day guided hunt on his 25,000-acre ranch, where his guests can track free-roaming animals. Chris: This is not high-fence hunting. This is either low-fence or no-fence, free-range, fair-chase hunting. The sheep’s got just as good a chance as anybody else does. And we don’t call it killing, we call it hunting. Narrator:

Even though clients pay thousands to hunt, they can still go home empty-handed. They’re going to spend probably five grand on their travel, their lodging, their food, their hunt, and then depending on the degree of taxidermy, up to another $1,200 to $1,400. Narrator: At Kristen’s taxidermy shop, she adds the finishing touches to the Barbary sheep.

One of the final steps is to paint and airbrush in the details. Kristen: It gets stressful because it’s art. Narrator: Hunters can wait up to a year for their trophy. It’s not to everyone’s taste, but for them, it’s time and money well spent. visit

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