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cowgal's picture
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What do you spend on avg for hunting each year?

You can't really put a price tag on hunting, fishing or any outdoor rec. If you do or say things like its just for the meat, then you're looking at it all wrong. Sure we all need to stick to budgets and be reasonable within our own income levels, however we all know if we don't spend it on some healthy outdoor endeavor, we may spend it on something else. Same for our time - if we don't spend it enjoying the outdoors, what's the alternative? Sitting in front of the tube?

When finances were tight, we did budget every penny, but we also seemed to somehow manage to get that new bow or rifle if we were careful. Its all about priorities. If the bills are paid and kids are fed, and there's some extra cash, I say its better to spend on hunting/fishing/camping than to spend on booze or just "stuff" you may not even need.

Over the years I've never regretted the "investments" we've made. Heck a few years back, I even got on a kick to find a cushy camper (got tired of tenting and the ancient popup we had!) and my husband and I thought an airstream would be ideal. Little did we know how costly they are, until we started shopping. I lucked out and found a used one (online!) several hundred miles from us. It turned out to be a steal and is excellent for a hunting or fishing camp! People have criticized us for buying something so frivolous simply to go camping, but I still think its one of the best "toys" I've ever bought.

So my theory is, if you're not going into debt to hunt - then go for it and enjoy it! You only live once and you gotta do what brings you joy! Big smile

I like Critter's savings plan. Its similar to what we've been doing for years. However in our case, we typically hunt locally and travel for fishing. But still the same idea, need a budget and plan to do the things you enjoy.

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Location: Eastern Colorado
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Lifestyle choice - that's what it comes down to...

I was thinking about that, and about my friends who are passionate about horses, motorcycles, shopping, travel, even cooking. They drop thousands and thousands of dollars into showing horses - (Absolutely not knocking horse people out there, I am one too, but just using our show friends as an example here) and do they ride them for work? Nope. Do they eat them? Nope. Could they use them to survive? Maybe.
How about the motor heads? Thousands of $ spent on Sturgis, trips, new gear and it is totally a lifestyle choice for them.
Now, consider our friends who love to shopping - I am sure some of your wives fall into this (especially the ones who are keeping track of how much you spend on your hunting and fishing trips!). They are surely spending hundreds of dollars on QVC or the mall on new handbags and shoes and jewlery, and the in clothes for the kids etc. I, personally, find it much easier to spring for ammunition or a good pair of boots or a scent blocker hoodie that I only use a fraction of the year, than a new dress or pair of shoes that I only wear a fraction of the year. Lifestyle choice.
So, yeah, we could buy a side of beef for what we typically spend on one hunt, for a much smaller amount of meat, but it is the experience that makes us richer for it. . And... my family enjoys and appreciates the experience as well - too many of us don't get out to witness wildlife and the great outdoors - and even in my lifetime this is changing and they're fewer and available in more limited locations. Not to mention that hunting is an outstanding excuse to get away from the mundane and get your thoughts and or priorities straight! Yes, I agree - a few things like a nice air stream camper are worth it, when this is your lifestyle. Ok, sorry - Back from the sidebar, I spend 3K (I'd like to go and spend more) a year, but I live where I hunt and like others above, travel to fish. Thumbs up

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Joined: 01/22/2007
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What do you spend on avg for hunting each year?

This year is a tight year, so I'm not spending hardly anything. I've got a collections of guns, Don't need to buy a new one or work up a load. Plenty of reloads left over from the past couple of years. Wall tent, stove and other camp items have long been paid for. I pulled out my old clothes and gave them a fresh washing with some old no smell soap.

So my only cost will be the deer and elk tags, some gas to haul the horses up. (I'm going to ignor the cost of taking care of horses, because I'd have that expense regardless of whether I went hunting or not)

So $100 for license and tags,
$300 for gas for a couple of weekends spilt with my buddies. In fact they usually pay the gas since I brink the horses.
$100 for food. A few cans of chili, doz or two eggs, a couple of candy bars and a bag of jerky. A few apples off the tree in the back yard.

I might get away this year spending as little as $300 to $500

HeavyC's picture
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Location: Greeley, CO
Joined: 07/19/2008
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Re: Lifestyle choice - that's what it comes down to...
bynightlight wrote:
I was thinking about that, and about my friends who are passionate about horses, motorcycles, shopping, travel, even cooking. They drop thousands and thousands of dollars into showing horses - (Absolutely not knocking horse people out there, I am one too, but just using our show friends as an example here) and do they ride them for work? Nope. Do they eat them? Nope. Could they use them to survive? Maybe.
How about the motor heads? Thousands of $ spent on Sturgis, trips, new gear and it is totally a lifestyle choice for them.
Now, consider our friends who love to shopping - I am sure some of your wives fall into this (especially the ones who are keeping track of how much you spend on your hunting and fishing trips!). They are surely spending hundreds of dollars on QVC or the mall on new handbags and shoes and jewlery, and the in clothes for the kids etc. I, personally, find it much easier to spring for ammunition or a good pair of boots or a scent blocker hoodie that I only use a fraction of the year, than a new dress or pair of shoes that I only wear a fraction of the year. Lifestyle choice.
So, yeah, we could buy a side of beef for what we typically spend on one hunt, for a much smaller amount of meat, but it is the experience that makes us richer for it. . And... my family enjoys and appreciates the experience as well - too many of us don't get out to witness wildlife and the great outdoors - and even in my lifetime this is changing and they're fewer and available in more limited locations. Not to mention that hunting is an outstanding excuse to get away from the mundane and get your thoughts and or priorities straight! Yes, I agree - a few things like a nice air stream camper are worth it, when this is your lifestyle. Ok, sorry - Back from the sidebar, I spend 3K (I'd like to go and spend more) a year, but I live where I hunt and like others above, travel to fish. Thumbs up

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Location: Boise
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What do you spend on avg for hunting each year?
Critter wrote:

Depending on your age you need to do what I did 35 years ago and plan for the future or your future hunts. I set aside $1000.00 dollars each year for 20 years into a mutual fund that is now paying me back to go hunting.

What a great idea!

All said and done I'll come in around $700 for the year. For my budget, right now, that's a lot of $$.

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Joined: 10/01/2009
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What do you spend on avg for hunting each year?

I also don't keep track, that would just add stress to everything. I enjoy getting out and into the sport of hunting. I spend what I can, and sometimes that means new toys and other times it means working with what I have.
Public land, resident tags and a 4 hour drive to some hot areas add to the savings. I have collected some great gear over the years and since I only use my hunting gear for hunting it tends to alst a while.
This year I did get a new GPS and bought an old travel trailer for base camp, but that's really the only major expense and I won't have to get another one of either for several years.
My 7mmWSM works great for knocking 'em down, my same 'ol knives still work for cuttin 'em up and my back is still working good enough to haul 'em out of the woods. Big smile Don't need a whole lot more than that to fill the freezer.

SoCoKHntr's picture
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Location: Pueblo Colorado
Joined: 12/18/2006
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What do you spend on avg for hunting each year?

A farging lot. Laugh But, it's worth it. I've got gear in regards to clothes, equip, trucks, but would like to have more money to invest in higher dollar binos, scopes, and more guns period, even though I pretty much got what I need to hunt anything in Colo. But, you know how it goes I'd like to try the 204 for yotes, get a 270 WSM for big game, a higher dollar shotgun for yotes and birds, and on and one and on. We are selling a house this year and if and when that gets done it'll open up some funds for more 'stuff'.

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Location: Colorado
Joined: 10/05/2004
Posts: 126
What do you spend on avg for hunting each year?

I have all my equipment and have been hunting elk about 1/2 hour from home, so the costs of driving all over creation is minimized considerably. This year will be different; put in for points for antelope and muleys, BUT will be hunting whitetails, turkeys and waterfowl in Nebraska. Those out of state tags can add up in a hurry, plus with the additon of processing fees, it can get a bit pricey. I imagine that I'll drop about $1500-$2000 on hunts this season.

WesternHunter's picture
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Joined: 05/05/2006
Posts: 2363
What do you spend on avg for hunting each year?

Costs me the tags I draw. Costs me the gas to get there, drive to some areas to scout, and drive back home. Costs also the food each of us conributes in camp. Once you acquire the gear you just are not spending that much to hunt.

I estimate an average biggame hunt costs me about about $100, more or less. I try to combine deer and elk into the same hunt, and do a seperate pronghorn hunt, but sometimes do a seperate deer hunt as well. Of course for just the tags it's a total of about $114 with the cost of 3 seperate tags paid for a few months in advance. Then take into account the gas bought when heading out for each hunt. Doing everything yourselves keeps the cost way down. I'm not taking into account costs of target practice, reloading, gun care, time spent processing the meat, etc.

Average waterfowl or upland hunt costs me more because I drive to another state, sometimes we pay for lodging. Between the four of us, that comes to about $92 per person, plus about $80 per out of state liceanse.

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Joined: 04/25/2009
Posts: 18
What do you spend on avg for hunting each year?

Non Res Archery Tag $550
Gas Money $300
Food $100
New Gear $400
Spending Cash $100
Non Res 2nd Season Cow $255
Plane ticket $200
Car Rental $150
Food $100
Spending Cash $100

Total for 2009 $2255

Wife that understands my passion for elk hunting in the Rockies=Priceless Thumbs up

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