Editor’s Note: Mark Drury started working for Mossy Oak when in college. Then when he and his brother, Terry, started their video-production company, Drury Outdoors that now produces four TV shows and releases three new DVDs every year, their lives became hectic, and their schedules unbelievable. At the same time, Terry Drury’s son, Matt, was attending college. Like all young people, he was trying to decide what he wanted to be when he grew up. He knew he was born with a talent for art and was very creative. Once he took a course in college on video production, he knew what his dream job would be. Matt is a TV producer, but according to Mark and Terry Drury, he’s “The Boss” of Drury Outdoors. So, this week we interviewed “The Boss” to get an inside look at the Drurys’ outdoor lifestyle.
If you want to be a professional hunter like Uncle Mark and my dad, or if you want to find in the outdoor industry the better education you can get along the subject matters that relate to the outdoors, the more opportunity you’ll have if you work long and hard. For your best chance of having a career in the outdoors, I strongly recommend that young people attend college. I really didn’t know what I wanted to do, when I went to college. I’m often asked, “Matt, when did you know you wanted a career in the family outdoor business?” Every year, Uncle Mark and Dad had a big business meeting in St. Louis, Missouri, for our 25 teams of hunters and videographers (field producers) that helped produce the footage for the Drury Outdoors TV shows. At this meeting, our producers were given production tips and taught better ways to shoot video. A major part of that team meeting was the awards program for our producers which took place for the first time 11-years ago. I was in my last semester of college, but I came down to see that. After the show ended, I went up to Uncle Mark and said, “I think this is something I’d like to be a part of,” and the next day Mark offered me a job.
As you might expect in a family business, I was offered a very-modest salary to start. In college, I studied graphic design, and so did my sister, Kim, who is now the graphic designer for Drury Outdoors, creates our catalogs and does our DVD covers and our ads. I had taken many different courses in college, including computer animation, courses for an art degree, video-production courses and marketing. Marketing is important, because it crosses over into almost every phase of the outdoors, including how to get a TV show on the air, how to get sponsors, how, why, when and where to create ads, and how to sell yourself to a station manager, a sponsor and the public. Even if you are the world’s greatest hunter and the world’s greatest videographer, you still won’t make it in the outdoors as a professional hunter or an employee of an outdoor company, if you don’t at least understand the basic principles of marketing. I really enjoy editing video and marketing. But as I’ve been given more and more responsibility at Drury Outdoors, I really wish I’d taken some business courses while in college. Drury Outdoors is not just a TV show and a video company. We are a small, family-run business. All the business principles, practices and the logistics required to run a successful small business are required to continue to make Drury Outdoors successful. To become “The Boss,” I really have to take a business approach and use business principles and practices to be a professional outdoorsman or work for an outdoor company.
Here’s some of what I do at Drury Outdoors:
- I map out the deadlines for each of our TV shows, which for this year include 65-video episodes that will be seen in five TV shows.
- I help produce three hunting DVDs each year.
- I’m more or less the shepherd of the Drury video teams, consisting of 50 hunters/field producers from all parts of the country. I keep up with how-many bucks are harvested, who harvested them, and how big they were.
- I have 10 guys I keep up with on the “Bow Madness” team.
- I oversee our social-media platforms and website.
- I’m in charge of the ads, the marketing and the looks of each show.
- I handle the contract negotiations with our sponsors.
- I sign all of our contracts.
I now do everything that Mark and my dad once did 10-years ago and manage the details that relate to Drury Outdoors. We realized for Drury Outdoors to be successful, Uncle Mark and my dad had to be in the woods hunting every day of deer season. My main job is to take as much of the concern that they have about the business off them to enable them to do what they do best, which is hunt and video. When Dad, Uncle Mark and I get together, of course they have input about what we do.
What the outdoor industry needs is more men and women who can run the business side of the hunting and video business, because if you’re successful, your business will take up more of your time than your hunting will. Then your hunting suffers and getting the shows you need to get each year suffers. But of course, one of the favorite parts of my job is when I get to take my business hat off and go hunting with my dad and Uncle Mark.
To learn more about Drury Outdoors, you can visit www.druryoutdoors.com, https://www.facebook.com/OfficialDruryOutdoors or https://twitter.com/DruryOutdoors. Drury Outdoors is very active on all of these sites, and you can send emails, ask questions and get answers through the website. I read and answer every email I can. Also Uncle Mark, my dad, Taylor, my cousin and Uncle Mark’s daughter, and I try to answer all the questions that we get. We love to interact with the viewers who watch our TV shows and our videos.