Barn Hunt is a rapidly growing sport. We are actively seeking clubs interested in holding Barn Hunt events, especially in areas of the country where the sport is just getting started.
Clubs must consist of at least 3 members and we strongly suggest you set out bylaws and a constitution, have regular meetings, etc. But for the purposes of Barn Hunt, the word "Club" encompasses groups of individuals, already existing clubs doing other sports (i.e., a USDAA or AKC club), or commercial entities such as a dog training business. Any group of enthusiastic individuals can become a Barn Hunt club.
There are some startup costs to becoming a Barn Hunt club but most of those costs are for inventory that will last a long time, such as Rat tubes, fencing, boards and ramps. Straw prices vary widely; in some parts of the country straw is $1 to $2 a bale, and in some parts as much as $7 to $8 a bale. Some of our clubs are actually able to rent straw at a reduced price. Straw, when properly stored, should last several trials. Rats are quite inexpensive. They can often be gotten from rescues or from breeders who also do Barn Hunt and are producing healthy, friendly rats who love the game. Of course proper housing, food, and care for your rats is essential and there are many groups to help with that including a great facebook page called Barn Hunt Rats.
Per event costs will include things like judge fees, ribbon costs, facility rental, etc.
There is a $25 annual fee to be a Barn Hunt club, but other than that the Barn Hunt office only charges for fun test and trial applications, as well as a per-run fee for trials. Details are found in the rules.
Most clubs make a moderate to fairly significant positive net income from Barn Hunt, especially after the first few trials. We work really hard to make sure clubs can do things right and still come out ahead; clubs who lose money don't offer events, and we don't want that to happen.
Before anything else, there are a few documents to read. The Rules of course; that's critical. Also under Resources on this site is the Trial Handbook which will be your bible to holding an event. The Register Guide will give you a blueprint of the back end database software that you will use to apply for club status, set up events, submit results, and pay along with other neat features.
The Club Application is on the Register, in the left menu. If you have not already created a login on the Register you must create a login before applying. You can access the club application without having registered a dog.
The Club Application will be reviewed after submission, and if it meets criteria the club will be approved to move to the next step. That next step is holding a Fun Test. Fun Test information and deadlines are in the Trial Handbook and in the Rules. New clubs may be required to hold more than one Fun Test or meet other criteria. If things continue to go well, clubs will then be licensed to hold actual trials.
At every step of the way the Barn Hunt office and others will help and mentor new clubs. Our goal is to help grow the sport, so making sure clubs are prepared and ready is of benefit for all.