I want to hunt for meat.


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Marlin60Man
November 13, 2011, 02:37 PM
Food prices are getting ridiculous, aren't they? I was thinking the other day that it would be cool to be able to go hunting and get a elk/deer or turkey or something--you know something with a lot of meat on it.

I've never hunted before and only have a .22. though, so that's a maybe for next season I think. I was just wondering if anyone here likes to keep the meat they hunt, how much it costs to butcher/process, whether it saves them any money on food, etc.

Is it really very practical to hunt for meat? How much meat do you typically get off of a deer or elk?

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dprice3844444
November 13, 2011, 03:05 PM
well,you could find a place to hunt hogs or find a fatchick on aol

buck460XVR
November 13, 2011, 03:08 PM
Lots of variables. All in all, price per pound of wild game is generally much higher than that of similar products found in the store. This is when one figures in cost of licenses, guns, ammo transportation costs, accessories and butcher fees if you don't butcher yourself. The meat is generally considered a bonus. These costs can be reduced if you can readily hunt game in your backyard and you process big game yourself. For someone that has to travel any distance, pay lease fees, buy new equipment and/or buy out-of-state licenses, plus pay to have your big game processed(around here about $80-$100 a deer) and you're only after the meat, you'd be better off buying beef and/or pork by the carcass. Now if you look at the cost of hunting as a hobby and any meat as an extra, it can be considered cheap.

juk
November 13, 2011, 03:15 PM
Once you get the proper equipment (gun, proper ammo, license, misc.), the hunting part can be done fairly cheaply. I hunt deer and duck. It would be hard to come out on the better end of the pound-per-dollar scale with ducks unless you get free shells, waders, and land access. You would be lucky to get a pound of meat off of a "big" duck.

Deer can be done cheaper if you hunt public land. The only problem with deer is that it can be a bit tricky cleaning them the first few times. In Alabama, the deer don't grow that large. Still, one good deer can fill up a freezer pretty quickly.

Another good option would be fishing. You can get a good bit of meat that way. We always have deer, duck, and fish in the freezer.

GooseGestapo
November 13, 2011, 03:18 PM
Depends on where you live.
With costs of licenses, permits, travel, ect., ect.... You will spend less at the supermarket than at the license offices/online or sporting goods store.

I live in a rural area and can hunt my own property. (even w/o a license). However, in 6yrs of owning the property, I've taken 5 deer off the property. Three this year. (my 6yrs of application of my Wildlife degree in college is paying off, finally.....).
However, I hunt in several states and will take 5-15+ a year, and give away the excess. It's a way of life for me..... My daughters grew up thinking that beef from the super market "tasted funny...".

You won't "save money" subsistence hunting, but you'll enjoy the fruits of your labor....
Unless you can excercise extream discipline...-Use a "mil-suplus" or old .30/30 rifle for biggame, and a .22 for small game (of course a shotgun is allowable if you own one..) Only shoot at game that is a "sure thing".
A box of .30/30 or such should last you several years, a box of .22's weeks or months, and a box of #6 shot for the 12ga a month's supply of squirrels....And don't forget the fishing rod. You need fish guts to properly fertilize the garden, you know...
Get the idea.....
And learn how to farm.... at least a garden. You'll need the carbohydrates, and vitamins and use the garden as a lure for the protein you intend to shoot. My parents grew up during the depression on farms where they subsistence farmed and hunted. My dad couldn't wait to join the army, even it it meant getting shot at... (he did, and lived, but wouldn't talk about it.) My mother was the one that made outdoorsmen out of me and my two brothers. She was taught to subsistence hunt and fish by a grandfather who was 1/2 Creek Indian, and his father fought on the side of the "RedSticks" in E. Alabama against StoneWall Jackson when he kicked the Creeks out of Alabama in 1812-13....... My mother could call up quail, squirrels, racoons, and could make the best coon hash you ever ate... (bear works real good in that recipe too, statute of limitations has run out on all her "escapades")...... She made an example of herself to me and my brothers and "made" a Alabama Game Warden write her a ticket for an expired license, however..... Meanest woman that ever lived......Her idea of a good fishing trip included "breaking in" a fishing rod on your backside..... didn't matter if you'd done anything wrong. Only she had to imagine that you did......
Subsistence living off the land makes you that way, if you are "sucessful"..... many will starve to death, however.....

Otherwise, shop at the local discount grocery store.....
By the time you buy fertalizer, fuel, and pump the water for a garden, you are "in the hole" again. Cheaper to buy than grow your own. But, you can't buy tomato's like I can grow, for ANY price..... And, I'm very, very "picky" about my game... I process it all myself.. cube my own steaks, grind the hamburger. I get the "beef fat" free from a local grocer that processes deer commercially....So I save $$$ on deer processing.... And people will eat what I cook.... not so from a lot of commercial processors. (it used to be part of my job to inspect the processors for game law compliance. Lucky for them I didn't enforce health code violations.......

You can't even "moonshine" and make your own "booze" for what you can buy it for, even with taxes, ect.......
But if you're looking for an enjoyable hobby...
Have at it... (hunting, that is...., though my younger brother even brews his own beer.... but we kid him about his "deer" gut.....)

sixgunner455
November 13, 2011, 03:19 PM
Well, you could certainly take your .22 and hunt squirrels and maybe rabbits in most parts of the country.

Many states require Hunter Education/Hunter's Safety classes before you are allowed to purchase a license and hunt. If you live in or intend to hunt in a state with that requirement, then you will need to find out from your DNR where and when a class will be offered. Most of the time, they are taught in the summer so the new crop of hunters can be prepared for hunting season. This is something you have to do to prepare ahead of time.

Making a friend in your local area who is a hunter is a very good way to start out. Having a mentor can save you time, aggravation, effort, expense, and so forth. It can also give you a buddy to go hunting with, which is usually a good idea.

Depending on where you are, you can certainly save money on meat costs by hunting and processing deer and hogs yourself. Even elk and moose can be cost-saving quarry, if you live in the right area. For me, moose would not be cost-saving, because there aren't any here, so I would have to travel for the purpose of hunting them. Where I live, getting an elk tag is a rare event, but traveling makes it possible, though it adds significant expense.

Where I live, deer tags are given out in a lottery, and you don't always get a tag (yes, one, singular, tag). Our deer are small. They are fun to hunt, but they are not a large part of my food planning. The last season I hunted deer, the season was 4 days. The one I am doing this year is 7 days. That isn't a lot of time.

In other areas of the country, the deer are much more plentiful. Tags and seasons are much more generous than where I live. Living on wild game is a much more viable option in those areas. If you live in or can economically travel Texas and have access to hunting grounds, hogs can be a viable protein source. Other states have hogs, too. Florida is one.

Good luck!

Freedom_fighter_in_IL
November 13, 2011, 03:22 PM
Cheaper? Oh hell no! Just ask the wife! Healthier, better tasting meat, satisfaction that you did it yourself, got out of the house or office and got into nature, PRICELESS!

TexasPatriot.308
November 13, 2011, 03:26 PM
here in Texas, after you consider the cost of a deer lease, gas and expenses like food, beer, etc. deer meat is one of the highest price meats pound for pound anywhere. my deer lease is only 40 miles away and I can figure on spending $150 or more on each 2 day trip. glad I got 2 pastures locally I can hunt pigs etc. on.

cottswald
November 13, 2011, 03:38 PM
As mentioned above, your .22 is plenty adequate to hunt rabbits and squirrel. Skin and dress them in the field and your cost is a zip lock bag. As far as the quality of meat -- In most cases, these critters have been feeding on natures bounty, free of insecticides and artificial fertilizers. Likewise, the animal itself will be free of growth hormone injections and mega doses of antibiotics. Good eatin and good fer ya! Couple that with the experience of stalking and harvesting the animal yourself, and thanking the Lord before your meal will take on a whole new meaning!

Larry Ashcraft
November 13, 2011, 03:38 PM
Even hunting rabbits with a .22 rarely pays off. It takes a lot of rabbit meat to offset a $30 small game license. And doves, forget it. Doves probably cost me about $20 a pound. :rolleyes:

But just like my garden, the quality of the food you feed your family is miles ahead of anything you can buy in the store. We hunt, garden, can and freeze, and trade pasture for beef. Sometimes we'll pick up bulk pork roasts on sale and make our own sausage (we have a commercial grinder that me and my brothers and dad chipped in to buy). Sausage probably cost around $1 a pound, and is much better than store bought.

Of course, the skills to do all this came from my parents' generation, and is rapidly dying out. You can't just pick up a rifle and start hunting any more than you can buy a packet of seeds and a hoe and expect to have a successful garden. I would suggest looking for a mentor or two to get you started in hunting. Most hunters are glad to share their skills.

Friendly, Don't Fire!
November 13, 2011, 03:49 PM
I'm to the point where I should be able to live off the land that I have. When I look at my wife's garden plot that is about 25' x 12' in size and there are SIX DEER in her garden at 1am with my back floodlights lighting up the back lawn like daylight, it is wrong that we are illegal if we take one of those out for meat. I don't know how everyone else is doing economically, however, we are watching every dime we spend!

I suppose if I called a game warden I may get permission. With my varmint rifle I could easily take a head shot using a bipod and the back second-floor window and the deer (about fifteen yards or less down below me) would drop like a ton of bricks and would not even know what hit it!

Geno
November 13, 2011, 03:56 PM
I haven't set down to calculate the cost in many years. If one hunts as my grandfather did, his own property, the shotgun his father gave him, I assume the cost to be pretty low. He kept the same shotgun and little bolt-action .30-30 Win for about 50 years of hunting. His cost? Shells and a license.

For me, I would have the rifles, shotguns and pistols anyhow, so I don't bother factoring those into the equation...same with the ammo. As I would be going to visit the family anyhow, I can't really even count the gasoline. My only real (extra cost to be able to hunt) is the orange blaze clothing and the license. So, for me, a deer in the freezer, is about 95% (wild guess) profit.

My only suggestions for now, borrow a rifle/shotgun or whatever you need. Tag along with a relative who hunts or a friend who hunts. Most of use have multiple firearms that we gladly loan out to beginners. That experience will tell you what feels good to shoulder, and what amount of recoil you realistically want to absorb. By the way, Michigan (for example) gives a discount if you purchase a sportsman license or purchase multiple license at the same time.

Welcome to the world of hunting! Remember, the best reasons for hunting include, but are not limited to, companionship with others, being outdoors, helping control excessive populations of game animals, helping save farmers' crops of destruction, reduction car-deer accidents, and eating healthier (non-steroided) meets.

Geno

MCgunner
November 13, 2011, 08:33 PM
Only way you'll come close to coming out ahead is with a hog trap. Even then, there's the bait. Good luck with that. I think hogs are your best bet, though.

Ever thought of fishing? One can catch a lot of protein around here. I do. And, you don't have to lease the water.

My reason for hunting is because it's what I am. That's about the size of it.

altitude_19
November 13, 2011, 11:49 PM
Most hunters are glad to share their skills.
Riiiight up until you actually want to go somewhere. Then they don't want to share the space to actually SHOOT something. It's a dying sport and that's why. I can't believe people are even willing to pay to hunt. I'm just getting started, but I've already resolved that I will gladly go with unfilled tags the rest of my life before I pay some highway man for a "lease."

shiftyer1
November 14, 2011, 12:18 AM
I'm lucky, my deer hunting costs nothing but the liscense and a cartridge. We do out own processing and the deer stand is a 5 minute walk from the house. In Texas if you don't have your own land you normally need to pay for land to lease, you could buy a 3 year supply of beef by the time you tally up what your deer cost.

If you really want to save money you need to process yourself. With your .22 you can hunt squirrels and rabbits, i've heard possum tastes good bbqed? That would be the cheapest way to get your feet wet and see if you really enjoy doing it.

It is nice to know you can put meat on the table if you really had no choice.

ZeroJunk
November 14, 2011, 04:28 AM
Most people spend way more on hunting than they need to. I'm as bad as anybody. If I had kept the first Model 70 I paid $153 dollars for new in the box and the Redfield 3X9 I paid $70 for new in the box I would have killed just as many deer and elk. Resident hunting licenses aren't much. A box of ammo can kill a lot of deer. In the old days hunters felt bad if they used a cartridge and didn't kill anything with it. It wasn't that they didn't have much money, they hardly had any money at all. Biggest thing is finding a place to hunt where you can be successful.

1911 guy
November 14, 2011, 04:29 AM
I agree with pretty much everyone so far. By the time you figure the money for a license, a box of ammo, even minimal gear and the time, game meat isn't cheap by any stretch.

HOWEVER:

I'll not be giving it up any time soon. I spent a day in the woods and fields Saturday and got nothing other than a rabbit someone gave me because they didn't want to clean it. It was a very good day.

You'll find, too, that if you have a highly productive piece of land, it soon won't be if you rely on it for most of your meat.

inclinebench
November 14, 2011, 10:09 AM
Initial investment might be a bit high, but the long term can work out well for most folks. I have about four hundred invested in my rifle, and another 250 in my muzzleloader. I hunt my own land, and harvest anywhere from 100Lbs to 300Lbs of deer meat a year. I pay a processor about 60 bucks per deer to process them, and it is well worth it for the quality of work he does...no meat wasted. I dont buy a bunch of fancy, latest newest coolest hunting clothes and equipment. So for $650 in arms, I will be able to hunt for many years. a few hundred in processing fees....beats the daylights out of buying meat, and the quality of wild deer is far superior to supermarket beef in my opinion.

So, it can be worth it.

On the flip side, I have a buddy who buys the newest of everything every year, pays money to hunt leased land, misses work to hunt, and might harvest one or two deer a season. He is in a money losing proposition, but he loves to hunt, and he loves to eat what he has killed.

It all depends on what your situation is, as well as what type of investment you are willing to make.

Leverb66
November 14, 2011, 10:46 AM
Gotta say the biggest cost involved is the cost of gas. I've spent several hundred dollars this year on gas for my car while hunting, and have yet to kill anything! It's never going to be cheaper than buying in the store, but it will always be better.

RevGeo
November 14, 2011, 11:09 AM
Subsistance hunting is a hard way to go. People invented agriculture for a reason.
Hunt because you want to hunt. I eat what I shoot, but I sure wouldn't want to have to depend on what I harvest for survival.

Hunting is now a sport with the additional benefit of providing food.
The last spike buck I got yielded maybe 40-45lbs of meat (I didn't weigh it) and the last turkey was much smaller and leaner than a Butterball. Tasty but a little tough and if I wanted to feed the family at Thanksgiving I'd want two of 'em.

USAF_Vet
November 14, 2011, 11:55 AM
Considering I butcher and process my own kills (or pass it on to the Father in law to do), it doesn't cost me anything but time and gas money and the cost of beef tallow.

Last deer I got was in '09 and it a smaller doe. but being the end of the season and no luck, I filled my doe tag and went home happy. She dressed out at a little under 100 pounds, and I figure I got a good 45-50 pounds of vension. A decent size doe or buck could easily double that. Go to your local grocery and see how much you'll spend for a 50 pound mix of burger and steaks. I paid $15 for the tag, and an afternoon of my time to process it. A gallon sized bag of beef tallow (to mix in with the burger) cost maybe $10. Then there was the cost of fuel to get to my hunting location, cost of ammo for my shotgun. Really, all told, I spent well under $50 for that 50 pounds of meat.

Now, if you have to buy the gun, gear, processing knives, meat grinder, etc. along with your tags and ammo, then yous, the initial expense will be vastly higher than any grocery bill. But it's a one time expense for most of it, tags and ammo are cheap enough not to really even consider, and you'll have the set up for years to come. You might even be able to make a little on the side from people who didn't put forth the expense.

I live in the sticks, and if I can't hunt within walking distance, it's only a few miles drive. so I'm not too concerned about gas money.

Your situation will be unique.

countertop
November 14, 2011, 12:32 PM
Lots of variables. All in all, price per pound of wild game is generally much higher than that of similar products found in the store.


That's just ridiculous. Sure, if your hunting for trophy deer the cost is higher. Or flying around the country to hunt. But if you just want to go kill some does in your own state, on a resident license, the cost isn't high at all. Especially on the East coast where a resident big game licensee is going to include 6 or more deer tags with it. Butcher the deer yourself (ask someone to show you how) and you'll have plenty of meat to go around, for next to nothing.

now, of course, you also need to factor in the cost of a gun (go to a pawnshop, or buy a used mil surplus gun - an SKS is an excellent gun for hunting), ammo, and the practice rounds. As well as gas, sure. But you need not travel far to find deer. And if you tell folks your just hunting for meat, not antlers, most farmers will quickly give you permission to hunt for does.

Here's a cost breakdown, for me in Virginia.

My resident license small game and big game license cost a total of $46 (I also have a muzzleloader and archery tag, but I'm not inlcuding that here).
It comes with 6 deer tags, 1 bear tag, and 3 turkey tags. And we can shoot turkey's with a rifle.

Assuming you just shoot deer (and don't take a turkey or a bear) - it comes out to $7.6o per deer shot.
I figure the average doe around here will get me 40-50 pounds of meat. Lets go on the light side, and say its 40 pounds of meat. That comes out to $0.19 cents a pound. For venison.

Now, of course, your gun is going to have a cost. As will the ammo. But like I said, look for an old milsurp rifle, or even better, a shot gun. You can put slugs or buckshot in it and take deer - and then hunt turkeys with it in the spring with turkey shot. Assuming you spend another $150 on a used gun, that adds $25 to the cost of each deer shot (again, we are assuming you only take deer with it). And that's the cost for one season. After that, it is paid off and basically free in subsequent years. And it will last a long time.

$25 + $7.60 = $32.60

Again, assuming 40 pounds per deer (smaller does) is $1.23 per pound for venison. And that's a fully paid off gun in a single season. Most businesses would depreciate the cost of the gun over at least 3 years. And its not including the value of having a gun (protection, entertainment, fun) or the resale value (which should likely be what you paid for it, or more, assuming you don't misuse it).

Ammo, of course, has a cost. Maybe .25 a round (which is high). And so does travel (gas and time). But your not going to need to travel far, and presumably, those are costs you would have already incurred day to day anyway.

You can get a decent Buck 110 knife at Wal mart for under $30. That is all you need to gut and butcher your deer with ease.

MCgunner
November 14, 2011, 12:37 PM
Riiiight up until you actually want to go somewhere. Then they don't want to share the space to actually SHOOT something. It's a dying sport and that's why. I can't believe people are even willing to pay to hunt. I'm just getting started, but I've already resolved that I will gladly go with unfilled tags the rest of my life before I pay some highway man for a "lease."

Maybe you should take up leather working or something. Just sayin'..... At least stay out of Texas. Here, there is no public land to speak of except east Texas and I want a neon suit walking around in THOSE woods. :rolleyes: I've also had bad experiences with young hunters trying to mentor them, poor gun handling, just flat dangerous to be around. Before I will take someone hunting , I'll take 'em to the range and observe their gun handling and safety practices first. I have no desire to be shot in the head.

I will take you duck hunting, if ya wanted, public land and 48 bucks a year to the state buys you access, but my land costs me 500 bucks a year in taxes and I sorta am protective of MY honey hole as there ain't much land there to hunt in the first place. I couldn't afford the king ranch when I went shopping for land, not on a working man's budget. It's huntable by two and it's damned good hunting and it's for sale right now if you're interested as I wanna relocate.

And, can you blame someone who's put iin the time and effort scouting his honey hole and finding it if he doesn't wanna share that hard earned knowledge with you? If you hunt public land, scouting is 99 percent of hunting. The knowledge gained is earned by days afield.

Bottom line, for most of us, it's not about the meat in the freezer, it's about the experiences afield. If all ya want is meat, we have an HEB and a Walmart within a mile of the house. If you wish to hunt for food, consider relocating to Alaska. Maybe our poster Caribou can help ya out.

Virg461
November 14, 2011, 12:46 PM
I guess we're pretty lucky, but since I own my own land, my only real expense is ammo and vacuum seal bags. In NC you can hunt your own land without a license, though you are required to tag and report your kills.

People who say deer meat is expensive are those that have to lease hunting land and drive long distances, or pay for out of state licenses. Yep, that's expensive. I'm not sure, though, whether the cost of a weapon should factor into the calculation, no matter what the wives say. I have always believed that my rifles are the only investments I've ever made that never lost value. Particularly my milsurps. Can't say the same of the stock market.

I harvest about 4-5 deer a year for the freezer, and do my own butchering. It's not hard. There are several websites and good books that will show you how to bone out the major muscle groups into top round, bottom round, sirloin, etc. You don't need a $1000 electric butcher saw, or a $500 meat grinder. I have a $50 hand-crank meat grinder from the hardware store that the scraps go in for burger, and I think we paid about $100 for the Foodsaver vacuum sealer (and excellent thing to have).

We're not particularly strapped for cash, but I do like the fact that we have about $2/pound in the beef in the freezer (when you factor in the butcher costs) and next to nothing for the venison. We haven't bought red meat in years, unless we're dining out.

I second the notion about the quality. I like knowing where my food comes from. I really like that the meat we serve our family was raised withing a stone's throw of my back door. No antibiotic residues or cleanliness issues. I went to high school with the guy that processes our beef. I know how he works and I trust him. And I know really well the guy that butchers the deer. ;)

I guess my point is that you can do it cheaply, and it's well worth it.

dragon813gt
November 14, 2011, 12:58 PM
6 tags or more with one license on the east coast? What state is that because I don't know any that allow that many. A doe tag for a PA resident is $6.70 per tag. In some areas you can't get them while in others they hand them out over the counter. I've gotten one so far this year. The land lease is free but it's about $12 in gas round trip. Then the broadhead and bolt were destroyed so that was around $12. I processed most of it but still had to pay $15 to have hamburger, sausage and bologna made. Then figure in the cost of the license, doe tag and archery license. It works out to be a lot more than the grocery store. But it is on par with the organic store where the meat is better. I don't have the time to hunt enough to survive off of it. But the meat it does supply keeps total cost spent at the store down quite a bit.


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ColtPythonElite
November 14, 2011, 12:59 PM
If you truly want deer meat to eat and don't want to spend the time/money to get it on your own, give the local LEO's a call. Many agencies will give you auto struck deer. They generally make a call out list and call up the next guy on the list when one comes available.

MCgunner
November 14, 2011, 02:52 PM
I guess we're pretty lucky, but since I own my own land, my only real expense is ammo and vacuum seal bags

Do you pay taxes on that land? The taxes I pay amount to about what a decent lease would have cost in Texas 20 years ago. Now, ain't a drop in the bucket compared to lease prices IF you can find one. I saw this coming a long time ago, why I bought land in the first place. It was cheap when I got it, ag exempt, 10 bucks a year. I lost the tax exemption, went up to 40, then 80, then.....now at 500 a year.

You think I'm gonna GIVE hunting rights away on that? And, you can bet that if I caught someone in my stand that wasn't supposed to be there and they survived, it'd be a lot more costly for THEM. Hard to butcher if you're a paraplegic. :rolleyes: In this state, trespass is a serious thing. If I have to pay 500 bucks a year to the government just for the right to own my land, I'm going to be real protective of it, put it that way. Out of staters don't seem to understand this ethos, think they should have hunting rights to MY land for nothing. It don't work that way.

Sorry for the rant. Every time I think of taxes, it tends to light my fuse. :D

Freedom_fighter_in_IL
November 14, 2011, 03:23 PM
Sorry for the rant. Every time I think of taxes, it tends to light my fuse.

Try living in a state where your property tax exceeds your mortgage payment every month! :what:

MCgunner
November 14, 2011, 04:05 PM
Dang, and you all have a state income tax, too! Always could be worse, i guess.

What I hate about the tax thing down here is it's stacked against you. Sure, you can go protest it, but you might as well just beat your head against the wall for all the good it does. :banghead: Reason and logic are NOT applicable in a tax protest. Perhaps if I were rich, the one thing that might work is a large contribution to a county judge's re-election campaign, but hell, that's for the rich.

And, THEN, you got some loafer that thinks he ought to be able to hunt your land for FREE...occasionally on these boards, not the present situation, just sayin'. These guys are usually from the NW where they have all kinds of public hunting and no sense of private ownership reality. :D the attitude that "I'm not going to PAY to hunt...." just sort of hit that nerve on this thread. But, the OP is new and has an excuse for his lack of knowledge of how the real world works. :D

ZeroJunk
November 14, 2011, 06:51 PM
6 tags or more with one license on the east coast? What state is that because I don't know any that allow that many.

NC for sure. For $40 I get six deer tags, two boar tags, one bear tag, and two turkey tags. If I kill the six deer I can buy some more tags. Not sure what they cost, I haven't sen a need to kill more than six.

Virg461
November 14, 2011, 06:53 PM
6 tags or more with one license on the east coast? What state is that because I don't know any that allow that many.

NC has four regions, with different seasons and limits. In NW NC, the limit is six. All six can be antlerless. Only two can be antlered.

Virg461
November 14, 2011, 07:00 PM
Do you pay taxes on that land?

I certainly do pay property taxes, but like the cost of my rifles, I really don't think that directly factors into the price of the meat. Just like the rifles, I would own this farm no matter what, it's been in my family a long time, and we do "enough" farming on it to qualify for ag use on our taxes. There are plenty of landowners around here that don't take advantage of harvesting the tasty venison, all the while griping about how the deer tear up fences, eat their crops, etc.

I do share your short fuse when it comes to taxes, MCgunner....

MCgunner
November 14, 2011, 07:54 PM
NC for sure. For $40 I get six deer tags, two boar tags, one bear tag, and two turkey tags. If I kill the six deer I can buy some more tags. Not sure what they cost, I haven't sen a need to kill more than six.

We get 5 deer, 2 bucks, 3 antlerless, in my home county, but we can kill all the hogs we want and trap 'em and run 'em down with dogs, and now, we can run 'em down with helicopters. I was reading about some new law they passed for that. Hogs are NOT game in Texas, they're pests, right up there with Starlings and such. Take what you wanna eat and leave the rest to rot. :D

I certainly do pay property taxes, but like the cost of my rifles, I really don't think that directly factors into the price of the meat. Just like the rifles, I would own this farm no matter what, it's been in my family a long time, and we do "enough" farming on it to qualify for ag use on our taxes. There are plenty of landowners around here that don't take advantage of harvesting the tasty venison, all the while griping about how the deer tear up fences, eat their crops, etc.

Yeah, depends on the reason for the property. Farmers earn a living off it. Me, I bought mine specifically so I would have a place to hunt. So, the tax is in lieu of a lease for me. Down side is I have the same old stand every season, up side is I always have a place to hunt and leases are stupid expensive now days.

Another way to look at the land, though, is as an investment. It's on the market now, and I'll probably have to take a bit less, but for 4 times what I paid for it and the tax evaluation is 5 times what I paid for it. Now, I don't even wanna remember what happened to my stock investments over the same period, like in Y2K and 2008. :rolleyes: I look at it as an investment I can actually enjoy. When Merrill Lynch sends me those investment reports every month, they just go in the trash. I can't even fondle the stocks as they're in mutual funds. :rolleyes: Now, LAND, OTOH, I have fun with....:D

I ain't completely bitter about the taxes, just that I cannot stand the thought that the government thinks I owe 'em something for the privileged of owning it. :rolleyes: I paid the stuff off and yet I have to keep paying the gubment for it. Sucks. But, for me, it IS a direct cost of hunting. If I didn't care so much about hunting, I'd have bought land I might wanna build on or something. No one in his right mind would build down there, have to live off the grid unless you wanted to pay to have electricity run over a mile and have an all weather road built to match that distance. It's a friggin' swamp when it rains (if it ever does, again) and the skeeters and rattlers and bobcats, and hogs, and, well, it's better for hunting than living on, put it that way.

Now, if you inherit land, that's a different story, but for the OP, well, he wants to hunt and I assume he has no land or he wouldn't be beggin' to go with someone. Perhaps I should re-read the OP. If he's offering ME to hunt HIS land just to teach him how, and his land is good, well, now, that's a horse of a different color!!!! :D

ZeroJunk
November 14, 2011, 08:15 PM
I'm not sure what the bear and boar tags are good for in my case. I've never seen either. Of course, if I take a notion to go to another part of the state I'm covered.

MCgunner
November 14, 2011, 08:19 PM
Ha, well, you're lucky. I've been thinkin' of gettin' a AR15 and night optics, even though I don't care for tacticool rifles, just for destroying as many pigs as i can hit in one sittin'. Might even take a mag change some nights just lookin' at the game camera photos. LOL What really peeved me off last year was when the beggars knocked down and destroyed my feeder. But, the new one I got is a lot better, so I guess they might have done me a favor. LOL!

Bear would be neat to hunt. I could see driving across the state for that. :D

Virg461
November 14, 2011, 09:01 PM
I think it would be fun to hunt hogs sometime, but I sure don't want to bad enough to wish for them around here........I've seen what they can do to your land down there in TX when I've visited. No thanks! You can keep 'em!:neener:

35 Whelen
November 14, 2011, 11:51 PM
Is it really very practical to hunt for meat? How much meat do you typically get off of a deer or elk?

If you have to pay very much at all to hunt, the meat gets expensive. Here in Texas, it's fairly easy to "buy" deer meat. Check out your local game processors for game that hunters didn't pick up. Pay the processing fee, and viola', you have meat. I've done this many times when I didn't get enough venison for the family or we ran out. Works out pretty good in that you typically get 40-50 lbs. of processed meat for under $100 (bare-bones processing). That's a couple o' bucks per pound.

35W

sKunkT
November 15, 2011, 01:03 AM
Not only is it practical, but it is tasty and overall awesome. To realize the meat cost savings, you must process your own- which is not difficult. I prefer to butcher my own because a) I don't have any money, and b) I am more particular about my cuts than the processor is. I raise a hog every year to mix with a couple of deer, it works great. The only meat I buy from the grocery store is the occasional porterhouse or NY strip when it's on sale, and hamburger when I feel like. There is nothing like the satisfaction of putting something on the table that you took every step in getting it there. Especially when paired with vegetables from your own garden. It is worth every penny of guns, ammo, camo, bows, arrows, broadheads, licenses, treestands, blinds, etc., etc.

I definitely advise you to try hunting for some meat. Turkey, rabbit, and deer are delightful. Good luck and happy hunting!

caribou
November 15, 2011, 01:26 AM
Hunting to supplement your diet is an excellent way to get excercise, lowfat natural foods and vast ammounts of good experiances.
Besides the investment into the tools and transpo, walking on the land dont cost too much.....

Just to encourage you , you sould know that You CAN make a living, as a subsistance hunter.

From what I see and with the way lands use and hunting is being commercialized down in the lower 49, Im thinking you gotta get to the Ends of The World and work.......and I am in the Arctic.
What you need is alotta land you can can follow the aniumals as they roam, generouse seasons and L o w Human populations.Humans taking over habitate is killing the world.

Fences Roads and Humans we have not, here in Northwest Alaska, but 375,000 in the Western Arctic Caribou Herd (WACH) alone , Moose, 3 kinds of Bears, Wolves, Otter, Beaver, Muskox, ect....That we have plenty of.........a Game Unit larger than the State of Indiana, 200 miles of roads TOTAL inthe region, no fences.

Boats, dogteams planes or snowmachines get you from here to there.

gas is 8.89$ a gallon,stove oil the same, so we hunt trees and heat with blood sweat and wood...... so you still gotta work hard for every penny, but the experiance is worth it, every day.

Go to it.....one day a year, every day of the year,either way, you will be a Hunter, a Man among Men and its quite natural, healthy and Human, so go and have fun!!

altitude_19
November 15, 2011, 02:03 AM
the attitude that "I'm not going to PAY to hunt...." just sort of hit that nerve on this thread. But, the OP is new and has an excuse for his lack of knowledge of how the real world works.
Your over crowded state is not representative of the "real world" as a whole so don't go looking down your nose at someone who just happens to be from a different walk of life. Most every body taking game in this part of the country does so without paying for it. One can hardly be considered insane for refusing to contribute to the trend of hunting becoming a rich man's sport. I sure won't have a hand in it.

Marlin60Man
November 15, 2011, 05:45 AM
There is a lot of federal land around here that is about a 10-20 mile drive, maybe more. I guess if I learn to process in the field I can even fit my score in my hatch-back that gets 20 mpg. So for one spot in particular I know of, it would be about $8 in gas.

I could get my Deer/Elk/Cougar/Bear tag for $93, Deer/Elk for $80 or just Deer and Elk individual for $40 and Bear and Cougar individual for $20. I can also get my Small Game license for $22 with any Big Game license, or for $40 without. Any centerfire rifle over .24 caliber is legal.

Turkey is only legal to hunt with No. 4 or smaller, bear/cougar 10-20 and anything else 10-12. Turkey requires a small game license but also $17 for tags.

So to be able to hunt everything would be about $115 for license, and around $40-$60 to get my small game license and just one of the other licenses.

I could get a good shotgun for $100-200, and a good mil-surp or used hunting rifle for $300-$400.

So maybe that will make my situation more clear.


Also, noticed that coyote was legal year round year. They get pretty big around here... Is coyote meat any good?

nathan
November 15, 2011, 10:10 AM
Cost of hunting is like a high end sports. Not if you live local and own your own property but still it cost money . I could just drive to my HEB meat market a mile and half down the road every day and get a freshly cut prime steak for $12 a pound and back in the house quick. Fired up the grill and be enjoying the uicy steak in less that two hrs of my time.

One of the reason s i go for high fence hunting is the cost. I want meat to bring home and counting on gas and other stuff the cost of getting game is not cheap. Either way you have to spend money from license , gas , food, game access , etc.

MCgunner
November 15, 2011, 12:52 PM
Your over crowded state is not representative of the "real world" as a whole so don't go looking down your nose at someone who just happens to be from a different walk of life. Most every body taking game in this part of the country does so without paying for it. One can hardly be considered insane for refusing to contribute to the trend of hunting becoming a rich man's sport. I sure won't have a hand in it.

If I lived where you do and hunted the way you do, I could still buy beef cheaper. :rolleyes: Justify your hunting how ya want, but I figure Caribou is one of the few on this board that hunts economically for subsistence and part of THAT is that he ain't got a grocery store down the street with chicken for 50 cents a lb.

My main point is that I hunt for OTHER reasons than subsistence. Sure, I like the meat, had some mighty fine sausage last night I stuffed the day before. But, if I add the cost up, and I hunt my OWN LAND, don't need no stinkin' public land where a hunter is shot twice a week by "accident" and everyone wears orange, I still spend more for meat than I can get beef or chicken at the store. I don't mind that. I don't like going to the store. I love hunting. It's not JUST about the meat. To justify the cost, it CAN'T be just about the meat.

Hell, where do YOU hunt, granola cruncher country? (left coast, for those in Rio Linda) How far is it from home? How much gas you burn? How about your licenses? How about gear? How about ice? I could make a spread sheet, but you should understand what I'm saying. I bet YOU hunt for the same reasons I do. The meat is just a bonus treat. :D I'm just guessing about that, but every one on this board hunts for more than just the meat, I'm betting, even Caribou. :D

So long as you're not suggesting that you have a right to hunt MY land for free, I don't think we have a problem. That was the crux of my "real world" rant. There are folks that think that, some probably marching on Wall Street at the moment. :rolleyes:

Sav .250
November 15, 2011, 01:25 PM
I`d say you`ve got a lot to learn before you live off the land............

USAF_Vet
November 15, 2011, 04:48 PM
Also, noticed that coyote was legal year round year. They get pretty big around here... Is coyote meat any good?


I would not recommend eating yote, or any other varmint animal unless I was really that desperate.

caribou
November 15, 2011, 05:41 PM
"every one on this board hunts for more than just the meat, I'm betting, even Caribou. "

Yep!!
Fur and skins, bones, antlers and Ivory can all be had from the "meats" and made into something and used personally and to make $$/trade to get more bullets and gas, and other things.
Gotta keep the ball rolling!!!
Man cannot live on Meat alone :D

Besides, weather you make meat or not, theres the 'experiance', riflemanship, the exercise, th eadventure, and all the other things that go into hunting.

Hunting is a wide encompassing labor that is very rewarding, despite the costs, and NOTHING good is free.
Have at it!

Marlin60Man
November 15, 2011, 05:53 PM
I think my intentions were confused somewhere along the line... I'm just interested in it as a way to supplement my current food budget, not replace it or try to make any kind of living doing it. I don't think "subsistence" hunting is really what I'm after here.

If I could spend $200 for each trip ( let's say that includes the licenses, processing fees, and gas, so maybe that's even a little over ) for 50 lbs of meat... That's still $4 a pound, or only a little over half the current cost of ground beef.

Then as has been said if I do my own processing it could work out even cheaper.

To me it seems like it could get me a lot of extra food and for a lower cost than what I would be getting it at the grocery store at, and it will get me into an activity I've always been interested in so even if I didn't get any meat, it wouldn't really be money wasted.

ScrapMetalSlug
November 15, 2011, 06:44 PM
Subsistence hunting is hard, especially if you are trying to do it cheap. There's a lot of reasons to hunt, and everyone has their own, but you can't buy meat in the store that is as good as what's wild for any amount of money.
First thing that you don't want to be without for subsistence hunting is a .22lr. Ammo is cheap, they are easy to shoot, marlin 60 or ruger 10/22 can be found cheap used, and it is one of the most useful all around calibers ever made. For the most economical way to hunt big game, at least here in east, is with a 12 gauge slug gun. You can find used mossberg or remmy pump, even a single shot 12 gauge, reasonably priced fairly easy. With the initial investment of a .22 and shotgun, that covers most everything in the lower 48. A shotgun can hunt anything from squirrel to deer or black bear with the right ammo selection.
Also decide if your goal is to get enough meat to live off the land in general, or do so only hunting. Hunting is a big part, but do not overlook trapping to consistently put meat on the table. The cheapest way would be to practice snaring or building figure four dead falls if legal in your state. You could probably find used steel traps if you did not want to try to make your own fairly reasonably priced I'm sure if you looked around.
In most places small game has much longer hunting or trapping seasons than big game does, which means more opportunity before and after deer season. Squirrel, rabbit, ground hog, raccoon, and pheasant are all delicious and fairly abundant in a large portion of the country.
Do not be afraid to think outside the box either. If you live in an area which gets fairly cold in the winter and deer are abundant, some good meat can be had from deer/car collisions. I know in some areas, the local sheriff will call individuals who wish to be contacted in the event there is a deer hit by a car and the victim of the accident does not want the meat. It's not hunting, but it is making use of good meat all the same.
I hope some of the things I wrote here will be useful. The best way to learn and get proficient is spend more time out in the woods. You'd be surprised what you will see sometimes just sitting still for 20 or 30 minutes. Sometimes it may be frustrating, but not getting discouraged will pay off in the long haul. Before long, you will start to identify what "good areas" look like. The more effort put into it, the more proficient you will become. Good Luck.

1stmarine
November 15, 2011, 06:48 PM
It depends on where you live and what are you willing to eat.
Get a recent book on hunting regulations that you should be getting with your license anyway and make sure how much you can hunt and talk to folks to see how much is the cost. Most states will not let you hunt dear with a 22 rimfire. It can be done but not recommended and definitively not legal.

Strykervet
November 15, 2011, 06:49 PM
If you hunt 21st century Outdoor Channel style, then yeah, it costs a fortune. That is rich man's hunting. Lodges, four wheelers, Gucci camo, whatever. They look like clowns to me, when they say they've killed 150 deer this season, I think "Why?" You know, the permits and licenses should be based on quanitites --the first two deer should be free. Each one after that is just a sport and should be taxed as such. One family can't eat 150 deer in a season, but feeding your family shouldn't be a government hassle. Most hungry families can't hunt anyway, it is a lost art and they think food comes from stores, so the numbers won't change much.

I learned to hunt with a single shot 12ga., blue jeans died in Rit, and a surplus army shirt. I did pretty well. I was taught to stalk game like my family taught for generations before white men showed up and changed the game. I've hunted for food and my family hunted for food as normal up until the 70's or 80's. I've gone years eating only meat killed in the wild by me or someone I knew.

As for the paperwork? That depends. I'll fill it out and play by the rules on good days, and those were certainly good days compared to these, but you play politics with our wealth and wreck my nation's economy and starve out its children, then I'll kill, skin, and eat MY game, and I'll use THEIR paper to wipe with afterwards. And when I get drug into court to explain, I'll simply point up to their "One nation under God" and remind them the true meaning of Moseic law, perhaps they can explain it to me. Then I'll go eat my free taxpayer provided meal in peace and catch up on my reading.

Then I'll walk out and go right back and do it again. If you need food, call the Wildlife Management, they usually do good things. You can get it free from them. If they give you a hard time or blow you off, do what you got to do to feed your family. They come first, when everyone else blows you off, your family won't.

Poaching is bad, some forms worse than others, but killing an animal to feed your family isn't poaching to me, just like wrecking our economy and cooking the books wasn't stealing for the banks.

sKunkT
November 15, 2011, 10:49 PM
Poaching is stealing. Stealing from landowners and honest hunters. If you can afford the internet, you can afford to not steal your food.

1stmarine
November 15, 2011, 11:02 PM
Poaching is illegal. I hope they get much tougher on those laws. Traditional hunters are loosing this wonderful privilege due to the wrongdoings of a few goons. Personally I will report anyone doing anything is not legal. The ethics is a different story, some have none.

ridgerunner1965
November 15, 2011, 11:42 PM
im with virg and in a simliar situation.we are landowners and can get 6 deer between me, my son and my dad.my sons mom dont want no deer meat, he does take sum and cooks it himself.my mom wont cook it either so i get the most of it and i love it.if yu bow hunt yu can get a few more.for less than 50 buks we get all the deer we can eat.

Davek1977
November 16, 2011, 01:44 AM
That's still $4 a pound, or only a little over half the current cost of ground beef.
???? Where on earth are you living where ground beef runs $8 a lb? Thats more akin to steak prices than ground beef, which is typically closer to three bucks a lb, making your "cheaper" meat hunted meat still more expensive than buying burger from the store. I'm not trying to discourage you, but its best to have realistic expectations.

MCgunner
November 16, 2011, 11:55 AM
Marlin....get a .22 and start small game hunting. Might get a shotgun, instead, but sounds like you already have the .22 by your handle. :D I grew up shooting squirrels and mom making squirrel dumplin's. I learned a lot about hunting, stalking, marksmanship, at an early age. I took an occasional rabbit, too, and without a dog. You will get hooked on the experience, then you'll wanna go afield, regardless, and you'll understand that bumper sticker.."worst day hunting is better than the best day working". :D

Besides, weather you make meat or not, theres the 'experiance', riflemanship, the exercise, th eadventure, and all the other things that go into hunting.

Hunting is a wide encompassing labor that is very rewarding, despite the costs, and NOTHING good is free.
Have at it!

Now, see, that's what I'm hitting on. :D Now, I toss the hides off in the trash, but if you want 'em, I could ship 'em. I'm afraid the dry ice wouldn't last that long, though. LOL Probably take 2 months for UPS to get it up there. :eek:

tahunua001
November 16, 2011, 12:52 PM
now these are just the prices at my local region but
hunting tag $10-35 for resident tags
rifle $400-600
ammo $10-20
gas/diesel $4.00+ a gallon we'll say about $60 round trip
for the cost of initial outfitting it is not worth it to start hunting to try and save money by hunting. if you already have the rifles and ammo and you have a truck/SUV that gets semi decent gas mileage and you do all the butchering yourself then it does cut costs by quite a bit. however game has a lot less fat content than domestic meat so it requires different preparation methods from what you would use for beef.

newfalguy101
November 18, 2011, 03:11 PM
The only critter I hunt for meat is deer, because its the only critter I hunt that provides enough meat to off set the costs involved.

I do my own processing, saving me a minumum of $75 ( this seems to be what a basic cut and wrap runs around here ).

Now, keep in mind, I ONLY have steaks and burger, no frills. If I want jerky, or sausage, I will have to make it.

I do enjoy hunting bunny and squirrel, but, frankly, its more for enjoyment than sustinence as there just isnt a whole bunch of meat there. I DO eat what I kill, but, the time spent is for enjoyment, NOT trying to put meat on the table.

If you bone out a deer, figure about 25-30% of live weight in cut/wrapped meat.

My approach, doing my own processing, saves us BUNCHES on our food budget.

Oh, and the sooner I fill my tag, the less cost/pound the meat is!!

Cost:

$30 - tag
$20 - gas
$00 - processing

I do NOT include costs for gun and ammo as I am a shooter and handloader, so those are already in my possession and would be whether I hunted or not

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