Are you really saving money by hunting? How much? (Not an attack thread)


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Saakee
September 12, 2012, 02:48 AM
I'm mostly looking for POV from OR, CA, and NY residents but anyone is more than welcome to chime in. I'm looking for some info for background.
Mostly looking for info about stuff like captive hunts (not sure if proper term but spending xxxx dollars to hunt farm raised buff/beef-alo and the like) as well as hunting for meat with tags (obviously a poacher is gonna be saving money since he's not paying for the right[correct term?] to harvest).
From looking at various tag prices it looks like money might be saved but what are your yearly outlays on perishable supplies (food for the camp, new urine for attracting and so on) or replacing nonperishables like tents or sleeping bags or fuel or repairs for your hunting cabin?

Also, a question that came up in a story I was working on. Can one member of a hunting party fill an other hunter's tag (person a shoots deer and they use person b's tag on it since person a has filled his limit)?

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Victor1Echo
September 12, 2012, 09:44 AM
I have saved no money since I have not harvested anything, big game that is. This season I got into archery, I spent about 800 on gear, and 300 on gas--roughly speaking. If I get another tag, then I will also be spending 200-300 on gas. But I am new to hunting, and I know plenty of locals where I live who go out on opening day, less than 15 miles from town, and are back by 11, with their deer. Just not me.:cuss:

ljnowell
September 12, 2012, 10:07 AM
Its cheaper to go buy burger at the grocery store, at least in my experience.

Captcurt
September 12, 2012, 10:09 AM
I have researched this a lot. I spend $400+ for license in 2 States. Have a grand or so in a gun. ATV ran $4000, truck $20000+", trailer $600, camping gear $400. Then there gas for 20 or so $30 mile trips. Then there is the butcher fee for processing my game. Around here it is about $100 per head. If I harvest 4 deer, and we are talking full grown animals, they cost me around $1500 a pound.:banghead:

newbuckeye
September 12, 2012, 10:10 AM
^^^^ +1

dab102999
September 12, 2012, 10:37 AM
5 years of hunting with my grandpa, 42 years of hunting with my dad (and counting), 20 years hunting with my children (and still counting), 25 years of hunting with my wife, and not in a year or two my granddaughter will be hunting with us. So yea absolutely every penny is well spent. And since I can't find deer meat at wally world $1500 a pound really aint that bad....lol

walking arsenal
September 12, 2012, 10:43 AM
My wife and I did the math. If I go all out I spend about $30 on a license, $20 on ammo, and 65$ on processing IF I don't process the deer myself. I usually do.

Call it $150 (I usually buy snacks and gas) that averages out to about $2.50 per pound for a 60lbs of meat off of an 80lb dear.

If we just bought beef burger at $3.00 per lb that money would buy about 50lbs of burger.

That's just an estimate of course and I've had to take a lot of other cost cutting measures to break it down to that price.

For instance...

I use my iron sighted AK for hunting since the ammo is so cheap.
I walk to my stand so that I don't have to own an ATV.
My "Hunting clothes" are just my normal old work clothes with some blaze orange over them.
I process my deer myself. Doing that knocks the price down to $1.41 per pound.

If I do that Venison is cheaper than buying beef, it's healthier, and it saves us money.

MrCleanOK
September 12, 2012, 10:44 AM
Can one member of a hunting party fill an other hunter's tag (person a shoots deer and they use person b's tag on it since person a has filled his limit)?

No, but it's pretty common practice.


Sent from my ADR6350 using Tapatalk 2

Art Eatman
September 12, 2012, 10:51 AM
When you look at the national numbers for money spent on hunting, it's pretty obvious that it's cheaper to eat at Ruth's Chris.

I don't care how cheap your shotgun shells are, dove meat is calculated in dollars per ounce. :D

When I hunted whitetail on my own ranch, it was free meat, for all practical purposes. Shooting and reloading had been hobbies for decades, so the only difference in additive cost was a particular target. However, the deer lease I was on wasn't a freebie deal.

roundball
September 12, 2012, 10:56 AM
IMO, unless somebody slips out behind the house now & then without a license, shoots a deer or three with a hand-me-down that's been in the family for decades, no way the cost of meat is cheaper from hunting...

walking arsenal
September 12, 2012, 11:33 AM
Can one member of a hunting party fill an other hunter's tag (person a shoots deer and they use person b's tag on it since person a has filled his limit)?

No, but it's pretty common practice.

False.

In Minnesota you can. It's called party hunting but all the members must have a license to participate in it.

Esoxchaser
September 12, 2012, 12:08 PM
Are you really saving money by hunting?

No, Not saving any money going fishing either. I do it because I love to. Time with family and friends, communing with nature. Worth the price of admission.

ghoster
September 12, 2012, 12:11 PM
I can write my own licence as a land owner :D We normally have a one buck limit but up to 3-5 doe allowance (either sex permit then doe only permits). I can simply take what ever is permited that year, so can my wife and kids.

When I step out the back door an drop does with the 50 cal and process it myself it is quite cheap definately cheaper than beef.

When I GO for a hunt else where, licence + expences = not even close to as cheap as beef. :eek:

CraigC
September 12, 2012, 12:30 PM
If you hunt your own property like I do, then it is VERY economical but then again, land is not cheap and that's kinda why we bought it in the first place. Who hunts to "save" money anyway??? I hunt, shoot and collect guns to spend money, not save it.

Patocazador
September 12, 2012, 12:55 PM
Since I started hunting in 1963 I probably have paid between $250 and $400 per pound of game meat. If I figure in a trip to Africa (you can't bring any meat into the country from most foreign destinations) it's probably more than $600/lb.

I must really like that stuff.

Kingcreek
September 12, 2012, 12:58 PM
I absolutely refuse to calculate the cost of hunting.
I enjoy it far too much to ever do that to myself.

ZeroJunk
September 12, 2012, 01:21 PM
I think I have about $1000 a pound in elk meat, seriously.

roundball
September 12, 2012, 01:39 PM
I absolutely refuse to calculate the cost of hunting.
I enjoy it far too much to ever do that to myself.
That's me...in fact, I haven't used any wild game in years...give it all away.
There are a few pretty needy families out around the area where I hunt that I've donated my game to for years now...and they're delighted to have deer / turkey / a few squirrels or doves dropped off. Win-Win all the way around...I get to enjoy hunting and feel good about helping somebody out, and they get some free groceries

Zoogster
September 12, 2012, 02:30 PM
In California you will not save money hunting something that requires a tag.

Especially deer.

The cost per tag, plus fuel, and ammo puts it at several dollars per pound of meat.
On top of that you are spending hours to get it, cleaning it, and transporting it. All costs already factored into commercial prices.
We won't even include vehicle costs or maintenance or firearm or other big item costs, and just presume you would have it anyways.
I won't even cover calls, scents, super duper tactical camo gear, and all the other stuff you can spend a fortune on to go shoot an animal.

If you look at the sales prices of various cuts of meat, the difference is even more signficant. You can pay 3x per pound for deer what you can get some decent cuts of beef for, and that is if you actually fill the tag.
In California some places have a lottery for tags, and people buy tags years in a row to be allowed to finaly get one. Other people get a tag and don't successfully get an animal for each tag they get, increasing costs further.

For example to compare I just looked at a big chain store ad.
Krogers has beef loin for under $3 a pound and chicken breasts for under $2.
This is not ground burger from who knows what part of the animal, this is good pieces of meat on front page of an ad.

Thats another thing when you hunt, you make use of a lot more of the animal, and to be perfectly honest many parts of it are not exactly that great. Lean dry game often requires even the addition of more animal fat to use in ground meat to make it decent.

http://www.dfg.ca.gov/licensing/hunting/huntdescrip.html

License and tag costs, plus fuel, and especially if you have someone else butcher the animal, cost more than buying meat.
That is even without the special things you can see on that like the ability to use certain types of land and hunting areas that increase the price further.


Walking Arsenal said "60lbs of meat off of an 80lb dear."

That is a spectacular harvesting percent. Do you gnaw on the bones and enjoy all the organs too?
A quick search for a realistic formula:
http://www.butcher-packer.com/index.php?main_page=document_general_info&cPath=36&products_id=331

Shows about 40% is more realistic, and with other factors one shouldn't count on much more than a third.
A third of the weight being harvested meat.
60 pounds from an 80 pound animal is giving you 75% meat yield, which is way too much.
A little over 25 pounds from an 80 pound animal would be a more reliable conservative estimate.

courtgreene
September 12, 2012, 04:15 PM
this question varies by state. In mine, I get a 40 dollar license that covers hunting and fishing (no federal stuff), and if I hunt public land or land owned by people who give me permission to hunt it for free, then I do save. Even when including the cost of the gun and such (which i already had) it still comes to about 1.00/lb (based on my average of 3 deer each season). If you have to pay to play, that's a different story. Also, if you process your own meat you save a BUNCH of money, and more importantly, can cut it the way you want to eat it. If you have to pay for someone else to process it, though, there's pretty much no way to save money. But if I was in it just to save money, I wouldn't love it... and since I love it, I don't care about savings.
Side note: compare game to the costs of organic meat. Hunting looks much better then.

Sniper66
September 12, 2012, 06:11 PM
Hunting is many things...a way of life, great fun, an engrossing hobby, and the meat is tasty, but is almost never a bargain. I know a guy who shoots an elk out his back door in Montana every year along with his friends who do the same. Then they work together to process the meat themselves. That's the only bargain I have ever heard of. Most of the time my pheasants cost me about $50-$100 each and those are wild ones...ouch. My recent prairie dog shoot cost my brother and me about $3.00 each, times 275...that's adding the cost of gas, motels, ammo, and incidentals. Plus it adds NOTHING to my freezer:)

brainwake
September 12, 2012, 06:35 PM
technically, all you really need is a gun and a bullet....and a license....the rest of the stuff we buy is more about obsession/hobby.......

we process our deer in the kitchen sink...

oneounceload
September 12, 2012, 06:54 PM
It's called "hunting", not "killing" - any animal for the pot is a nice extra by-product of the hunting experience

Texan Scott
September 12, 2012, 07:21 PM
License, ammo, and professional processing cost less than 100 ... if I bring home a hundred pounds or more, we're eating for less than $1 a pound.

Larry Ashcraft
September 12, 2012, 07:52 PM
It never occurred to me to think I was saving money by hunting.

"60lbs of meat off of an 80lb dear."
My understanding is beef will yield about 50%, hogs maybe 60% or more. A game animal will yield less since they don't have any (edible) fat on them. A 70 lb pronghorn might yield 20 lbs of lean meat.

DMH
September 12, 2012, 08:13 PM
It's a hobby. Like any hobby someone is involved in it is the fun, memories, enjoyment and hard work that keeps you evolved. The cost is no different than say someone who golfs or races dirt bikes. I think it is different if a family has to hunt for the food to supplement the families supply. The cost is going to be all over the place. Someone just starting out vs. a seasoned hunter. High tech gps, good glass .300 Winchester short mag type vs. 30-30 lever, compass type. Butchering your own and making your own sausage and jerky. Just being in the woods is worth every penny I spend on this sport.

DMH

wyohome
September 12, 2012, 08:17 PM
We pretty much break even. Wife and I both get deer the first day, 2 miles from the house, no processing fees, ~$35 each for tags.

LeontheProfessional
September 12, 2012, 08:20 PM
Honestly all you need to hunt is a weapon of some sort and since most of us have those hear I will avoid that cost. Then there is the hunting license. In VA a big game license costs $35 and allows you to take 8 deer, a couple of Turkeys, a Bear and several other things that I can't think of right now. Lets say all you hunt is deer and nothing else. And then lets say you only fill half of your tags, not even counting the bear. You are talking about 100 to 200 lbs of meat right there, for only $35.

Now given that many people spend an enormous amount on hunting gear like stands, decoys, dogs, blinds, camo, boots, etc. But in all honesty all you really need is a weapon of some sort.

dragon813gt
September 12, 2012, 09:03 PM
I don't care about saving money. I prefer to eat venison over beef. It's healthier and I look cooking with it better. I forget what I have to pay for my license plus archery privileges. But doe takes are $6.70 each and are unlimited where I live. I don't mind paying more per pound. I would gladly pay it at the grocery store if they sold venison.


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Pit4Brains
September 12, 2012, 09:20 PM
I always like this discussion when I have a freezer full of elk and everyone wants some. "You mind if I take a little of that?, After all, you got it for free."
There have been times when I almost didn't want to harvest a cow elk just because I was tight on cash for processing (this is AZ and hauling a carcass down to the hotter valley to cut up at home can lead to a big waste of meat).
To answer the question.. Heck NO, I have never saved a dime by harvesting my own meat.. Except fish.. but that's not hunting"

matrem
September 12, 2012, 09:42 PM
I think I have about $1000 a pound in elk meat, seriously.
Really..?
I think even shooting a calf would make me have to rethink my retirement plan..
I should have looked harder for that money tree.
Dang it!

ZeroJunk
September 12, 2012, 09:59 PM
Really..?
I think even shooting a calf would make me have to rethink my retirement plan..
I should have looked harder for that money tree.
Dang it!
I guess my math is off a little. I have been hunting with outfitters since the mid eighties somewhere in the Bob Marshall Wilderness in Montana. It's 20 miles in by horseback, about as remote as you can get. I like it there obviously. No way to do it on your own unless you live there and have the stock.

I think I have spent about $70,000 counting the $5000 this year. You could go for about $1500 when I got in to it.

I have probably brought home 3 or 4 hundred pounds of elk after it was divided up.

shiftyer1
September 12, 2012, 10:44 PM
If you can hunt your own property you can save money, if you have to lease land.....no way. Although I don't think ya'll would consider what I do hunting.....more like waiting on the porch or out in the yard.

My venison costs the price of a bullet or 2 and the license fee. Doves are more for fun than meat....I think the shell is worth more than the bird. lol My son brings lots of rabbits home also, they cost about 3 cents each. If I did canned hunts or leased land for actual hunts it would be more for entertainment than meat.

Pit4Brains
September 12, 2012, 10:55 PM
Some of this topic can boil down to local laws too. Some states allow you to stack deer like cord wood while here in AZ you only get one big game animal by species ( one elk, one deer, one javelina, one ram, one buffalo, etc) per year and on very rare occasions can you bag two big game animals of different species on the same hunting trip.

sixgunner455
September 13, 2012, 03:18 AM
Bird hunting is a hobby I do for the sake of getting to work a good bird dog. The meal at the end of a hunt where I actually bagged birds is ancillary, a benefit I get because I like eating quail and dove, not the point of the exercise.

Big game hunting, I've not been successful enough bagging animals to even consider the meat as the point of the exercise, but that doesn't stop me from hoping for it to be on my cow elk hunt next month. :D

If I lived somewhere I could hunt for more than the sub-one week hunts we get here, and if I could take does, etc, sure, I'd be in it to save money on meat.

kingcheese
September 13, 2012, 08:00 AM
Well, i just go for squirrel and rabbit, so i don't really save money, as far as filling another persons bag limit, in Indiana it is illegal, don't know about other states, the term is "party hunting"

Sav .250
September 13, 2012, 08:18 AM
Today most hunt for the sport and meat of course. Yester year was for food. Times change as do the reasons.

jmorris
September 13, 2012, 09:49 AM
Even if I hit every Dove I shot at, the fuel to get me out to the field and back home cost more than 20 nuggets at Mc D's. Doesn't taste as good or as good for you but it costs less.

If you really want to save or make money you have to raise the animals yourself or move so far off the grid nothing else is available without a plane trip.

Certaindeaf
September 13, 2012, 12:09 PM
Many years ago, I heard bandied about (by fish and game biologists) that each salmon caught by a sportsman around here cost him about $300 all told.
Hey, it's a sport/pastime.. you could do worse.. you could put it all on red or black if you wanted to, and some do.. now that's fun! not

tnelson31
September 13, 2012, 12:35 PM
My dad, on serving us grouse nuggets: best $20 McNugget I've ever had.

Arkansas Paul
September 13, 2012, 12:59 PM
Considering the lease fees, camping, hundreds of pounds of corn put out during season, and everything else, no I don't save money. However, the thought of saving money has really never entered my mind as far as price per pound of meat. Hunting is what I love to do. That's why I do it. Eating the game animal is a great part of the experience. It can be a rather expensive hobby though.
If you're a person that buys into the gimmicks like the latest camo patterns, new calibers, new attractants and such, it can be VERY expensive. However, those things aren't necessary.

Certaindeaf
September 13, 2012, 01:06 PM
Road kill is cheap. Might have to factor in brake rotor and pad wear and need a pocket knife and maybe a plastic sack though, unless you drive a pickup.

adelbridge
September 13, 2012, 03:07 PM
I know a lady that runs a high fence ranch in the Texas Hill Country and she has a 65 acre pen where she runs "meat hunts" She charges less than $300 cleaned and quartered for red stag doe's that run about 400 lbs and up. I am not going to comment on the ethics and it is a perfectly legit business that sounds better than my desk job.

Texan Scott
September 13, 2012, 04:16 PM
CD, if you're slowing down before you hit 'em, you might be doin it wrong. ;) Initial investment in a wrap-around steel brush bumper and fuel for the truck are not inconsiderable expenses though. Then again, if you're figuring the cost of meat in dollars per GALLON, you might still be doin it wrong. :neener:

anothernewb
September 13, 2012, 05:37 PM
There's no way I'll ever recoup the cost of hunting vs buying at a meat locker or grocer. However, there's also no way I'd ever give it up. Hunting (for me) is a very relaxing and well needed mini vacation a coupe times a year. It's also a way to get types of meat just not available any other way. Keeps the diet varied all year round.

A few of us that hunt together also agree on one other thing - it's a good thing we hunt for fun, cause we'd probably all starve to death relying on our skills. Daniel Boone we aren't.. lol.

22-rimfire
September 13, 2012, 07:51 PM
There are other benefits to deer hunting beyond cost per pound. But I know some hunters like to think in those terms. For my part, I would rather eat beef any day of the week over venision. Hunting is a sport. Don't expect to save money by hunting unless you have your own place.

PapaG
September 13, 2012, 08:38 PM
If you are concerned about the economic return from hunting, and are not in the bottom 10 per cent income bracket, hunting is something you don't and probably won't u nderstand. I suggest you research people like Aldo Leopold, pope and young, and learn about the joy of the outdoors, pitting your skills against the survival instincts of the game, the rush of the sighting of game, the bittersweet feel of the harvest and the gratitude to our Lord for putting us where we can do this. It ain't about the money.

splattergun
September 13, 2012, 08:41 PM
I spend way more than I should for the privelege of using my truck to haul my trailer, gear, and my firearms out into the mountains in inclement weather for a week or so. But if I'm paying attention to my environment, the sights and sounds, I just might be able to fire 1 round at a deer. The bonus for one good shot is the free meat.

ApacheCoTodd
September 14, 2012, 02:30 AM
When we (family) would compare apples to apples; in that we were either putting up whole/half/quarter hogs or beefs and comparing that to hunting with guns already owned (and not just for hunting) vehicles not dedicated to hunting and time which would no doubt already have been spent in an outdoor endeavor the result was always a resounding yes in that we did come out ahead in roasts, steaks and grind/stew meat.

Now, you go GQing yourself al up the wazoo at Cabellas or the like in order to make the fashion/equipment status a part of "the hunt", well the expense is on you.

Funny how a fella used to be willing to use a 2-wheel drive car, surplus rifle, off the shelf "soft-points" and some careful and well thought out scouting to fill a freezer chest - being careful of the fish already there, mind.

Clean97GTI
September 14, 2012, 04:24 AM
Deer tag plus the expenses of getting to the area for the hunt here in NV make it more expensive than grocery store meat.

but I've always been of the mindset that an expense of a good time is worth it.
If it costs me an extra round or two at the bar for a football game with some buddies, big deal. You pay up and keep having fun. Someone else will get it next time around. I cost my dad a wasted fishing license more than once as a kid but we both agree it was time well spent and i will do the same with my toddler soon once he is old enough.

countertop
September 14, 2012, 08:58 AM
This comes up every year (or more) and the answers always show incredible diversity. Yes, hunting can be much cheaper than shopping at the store. But very few people hunt in a minimalist fashion designed to save money. Most money spent on hunting is for expensive guns (do you really need to spend $1500 on a new bolt action when you can get a used 20 guage for $150 at the Pawn shop), exotic trips, huge trucks (you need a truck for hunting??? Can't you tie the deer to the rood???) and asinine clothes (I hunt in jeans).

You ask about Californa, Oregon and NY. I can't answer the cost question offhand cause I don't live in those states. I did grow up in New Jersey though and have lots of family in NY and can tell you the answer is goign to vary alot by where you live. Folks in the NY City (and Long Island area) who are hunting for meat can kill incredible numbers of deer for little cost in extended archery seasons. Upstate, I don't think the deer numbers are as high.

I live in Virginia. I hunt in a number of other states but that is really more about luxury vacations (well, its a luxury in that I enjoy it).

So my costs here as a resident in Virginia (to harvest as many as possible in the cheapest fashion) are:

Basic hunting license: $23
Big Game License (6 deer, 3 turkeys, 1 bear): $23

My bow is a Matthews. But you don't need to shoot a $1000 bow to hunt a deer. My go to rifle is a Remington 700 Mountain Rifle. In .280 Remington. Again, you don't need a $1000+ Rifle and odd calibers to kill a deer. My shotgun is a Beretta Silver Pigeon. Again you don't need a $2500 shotgun to kill a bird (or deer). A used shotgun at the pawn shop could do all that for you and would cost $150 (or less). Plus, the gun doesnt go bad and so its cost can be depreciated over the legnth of time you own it. I've had my Remington 700 for 10 years. So its cost is basically $100 a year to me, plus if I were to sell it today I could easily get $700 or more for it. The true cost, $300, over 10 years comes out to $30 a year (which is the number I'm going with even though I think over time, if your looking to do this in a minimilist way then you can pretty much figure no costs (or well, $10-$20) in costs for the gun. A box of ammo is $20. You should practice, but that's not necessary (and with a bow you don't need to buy new arrows every year). Still, lets total that cost up to another $40.

We are talking deer here - so the meat for the turkey or bear are just a bonus and won't factor into it.

If I go to the butcher, I pay $75 - $100 to get the deer processed. I actually spent $15 about 15 years ago on a hoist and gambrel to lift the deer up so I can process it myself. I have a food saver vacum sealer - that cost me $120. But I use that for all sorts of food. Still, lets figure it last 5 years, Thats $24 a year.

I have a bunch of fancy knives, but really any knife will do. Go to Wal Mart, get a hunting knife for $20. A sharpening stone is another $20. Both will last 40 years. And you can use that hunting knife to butcher the deer - you don't need anything fancy. You don't need a saw. You just need a sharp knife.

I am not including the cost of gas. Yes, I need to drive somewhere, but its not that far. And I can take 6 deer in a day If I want. Heck, if people heard I shot 6 deer every time I went out, I'd have hundreds of offers to hunt peoples land for free. There is no need to have to pay for a hunting lease. Just ask around. People with lots of land and crops want the deer managed.
This may be different in different areas. But is the case here around DC and is the case in the NY Suburbs too.

So total costs then is as follows:

Basic hunting license: $23
Big Game License (6 deer, 3 turkeys, 1 bear): $23
Gun:$ 20
Ammo: $40
Vacum sealer $24
Knife and sharpening stone $4

Total Cost: $134

Those 6 deer will get me somewhere between 240 and 320 lbs of meat. Lets say they are all on the smaller end and I get 240 pounds of meat.

That comes out to $0.55 per pound. Last I checked beef was somewhere around $6 a pound in this area (though in truth you can find it on sale for 1/2 the price right now. Look for the price to sky rocket - increasing 25-30% over the next year).

There is no comparison in the price. Hunting for food is so incredibly cheaper than purchasing it. IF, your focus is on saving money. If your focus is on making the Cabela brothers richer, or impressing your friends, or traveling to exotic locations (heck, I went to Oklahoma last week to shoot dove - I got 13 dove . . . airfare, car rental, meals, lodging etc, I don't want to think of the price per pound).

DMH
September 14, 2012, 09:17 AM
Countertop, that was a well written post! Great perspective, Happy hunting to you.

DMH

Loyalist Dave
September 14, 2012, 10:44 AM
It depends on your style of hunting and your personal logistics, and how far you must travel, etc,

Flintlock rifle, cost $900, bought ten years ago, cost per year now = $90.00
Flint for rifle for deer season = 2.00
Annual deer license, $24.50
Cost per each shot, .530 patched round ball and powder = .15 + .20 + .01 = .36 cents..., takes but one shot per deer.
So total is so far $116.86

Car gets 25 mpg, and with the "close" farm is less than 25 miles round trip, even if I take the deer to a butcher instead of home processing, and a 50 mile round trip to the "far" farm including a stop at the butcher, so for argument sake that's $4 - $8 gas cost if you use today's prices and don't adjust for gas prices per year from 2001-2011...

Farthest Scenario is now $124.86 for one deer.

Assuming I don't home butcher, butchering costs me $70, total is now $194.86
Two additional trips last, plus two more shots, and two more deer plus butchering = $156.72

Total is $351.58 150 lbs. of meat (3 deer averaging 50 pounds of meat when processed) = $2.34 per pound..., for last year's deer.

Now if you add in the other nine years that I have owned that rifle, taking into account the years that I only got one deer for the year, some years none, some more than one..., I find I get an average cost of $2.50 per pound.

NOW Compare that to..., Organic, Grass fed, Ground Beef from the local Whole Foods store... (Don't tell me folks have been comparing their organic venison to the cheapest ground beef available! :eek:)..., Whole Foods OGFB (Ground) = $3.99 per pound (ON SALE).

This is not accounting for roasts or steaks, just comparing it to OGFB ground and on sale...., so for others I cannot say, but for me it is cheaper. :D

When you compare it to the local cost of playing golf once a month on a public golf course..., it's cheaper still. :D

LD

brainwake
September 14, 2012, 11:46 AM
There are other intangible benefits too...like the value of knowing you could provide for your family if you had too...

Arkansas Paul
September 14, 2012, 01:20 PM
I know a lady that runs a high fence ranch in the Texas Hill Country and she has a 65 acre pen where she runs "meat hunts" She charges less than $300 cleaned and quartered for red stag doe's that run about 400 lbs and up. I am not going to comment on the ethics and it is a perfectly legit business that sounds better than my desk job.

That's not bad. It's not something I would want to do, but I certainly find nothing morally wrong with it. It's still probably better conditions than a slaughterhouse and he have not issues eating meat that came from one of them.

There are other intangible benefits too...like the value of knowing you could provide for your family if you had too...


Also, with wild game, you're not eating all the chemicals they used to preserve the meat. Look at the steaks next time you're in Wal Mart. How long do you think it's been since that steer was slaughtered? And it's still that red. Imagine what that's doing to our bodies. Fresh killed game = healthier meat.

countertop
September 14, 2012, 01:53 PM
Also, with wild game, you're not eating all the chemicals they used to preserve the meat. Look at the steaks next time you're in Wal Mart. How long do you think it's been since that steer was slaughtered? And it's still that red. Imagine what that's doing to our bodies. Fresh killed game = healthier meat.


That's not preservatives. That's because they keep it frozen, but also inject the packaging with CO2 to displace the oxygen so the meat looks more appetizing. The concept is not any different than when people (or restaurant's with salad bars) sprinkle lemon juice on apples to stop the appearance of oxygenation.

jmr40
September 14, 2012, 03:27 PM
I never considered it as money saving activity. But it is cheaper than golf in the long run. And much more enjoyable to me.

tarosean
September 14, 2012, 03:27 PM
Not at all...

However I might freak some shoppers out if I were to jump from isle to isle in camo, blaze orange and a bow and arrow (or gun) hunting for that fine delectable goodness in my local supermarket...

Carl N. Brown
September 14, 2012, 03:49 PM
Are you really saving money by hunting? How much? (Not an attack thread)

Ok, my uncles (on my grandma's side of the family) who lived and worked on the farm already owned .22 rifles and 12 ga shotguns to protect livestock from predators, and to protect themselves and their property from thieves or vandals who could be a threat to life, limb or livelihood. So hunting was basicly a morning or afternoon weekend walk in the woods for food for the table and fur or hides. They grew vegetables, and had chickens for eggs and raised hogs to have meat over the winter. Hunting game added variety to their diet, and saved livestock for the market. I suppose the ammo really did not count as an expense, because they would need to rotate their ammo supply anyway (yearly buy fresh ammo to replace the old).

For me, living in the city, hunting was a hobby in remembrance of days past, but cheaper than golf as a hobby. And the clothes were less embarrassing.

Patocazador
September 14, 2012, 05:52 PM
Are you really saving money by hunting? How much? (Not an attack thread)

Ok, my uncles (on my grandma's side of the family) who lived and worked on the farm already owned .22 rifles and 12 ga shotguns to protect livestock from predators, and to protect themselves and their property from thieves or vandals who could be a threat to life, limb or livelihood. So hunting was basicly a morning or afternoon weekend walk in the woods for food for the table and fur or hides. They grew vegetables, and had chickens for eggs and raised hogs to have meat over the winter. Hunting game added variety to their diet, and saved livestock for the market. I suppose the ammo really did not count as an expense, because they would need to rotate their ammo supply anyway (yearly buy fresh ammo to replace the old).

For me, living in the city, hunting was a hobby in remembrance of days past, but cheaper than golf as a hobby. And the clothes were less embarrassing.
I have never rotated ammo and some of it is 25 years old . It still works unless it's been soaked in water or solvents.

Art Eatman
September 14, 2012, 08:52 PM
Used my 12-gauge on a turkey, the other day. Created pandemonium in the meat market.

:D

Sorry. Just a character defect.

We've about run this one down to dead-hoss country...

matrem
September 14, 2012, 10:17 PM
All of the rabbits & squirrels you could get in a fall could be had for $4.50 in my neck of the woods when I started hunting. (Dad was buying the .22 & shotgun shells though)
Even today, the only difference is it's $19.00 per year & dad doesn't pay for the shells.
Hunting can still be inexpensive if bottom dollar price per pound is what you're after.

JohnKSa
September 15, 2012, 12:42 AM
This is just like the question of whether or not reloading saves money.

If you get into reloading with the idea of actually saving money you can save money by reloading. You won't be using the state-of-the-art progressive press and all the latest fancy equipment, and you won't be loading hundreds of rounds a night, but you can make it economical. Many, if not most, get into reloading as a hobby, or as a way to shoot more for the same expense--naturally that doesn't result in savings.

Same with hunting. If you get into hunting with the express purpose of saving money, you can make it work. You won't be buying ATVs, tree stands, high-dollar hunting rigs, out-of-state hunting licenses, you won't be buying your own property to hunt on. You probably won't be able to afford a game lease all to yourself and you won't be paying someone to process your game once you shoot it. You won't be hunting elk, and maybe not even deer, but you can put hogs in the freezer for cheaper than you can buy the meat if that's your goal.

newfalguy101
September 15, 2012, 01:32 AM
I hunt 11 miles from the house, using guns I already own, with ammo I would have bought anyway ( OR handloaded) AND I do my own processing.

Put two in the freezer last year, ended up with 125-150 lbs of meat total.

Tag $30
gun paid $150 cuz I liked it AND the price was right, it also happens to be a good deer round ( 7.5 X 55 )
The war wagon gets better than 25 MPG
Ammo was just under a buck a round

So YEA, hunting saves us money.....................Deer hunting anyway.........small game hunting, not even close ( LOL )


As far as one person shooting anothers deer, check YOUR state regs, they vary by state, in Nebraska, taint legal....still happens though

HOWARD J
September 15, 2012, 03:07 PM
I shot 22 deer over the years.
Let's see-------started with station wagon---tent----pop-up---26' trailer--
motor home----46 guns----2 million dollars wort of ammo, gas, etc.
I will let you figger it out---------------------------------:):):):):)
H

Saakee
September 15, 2012, 11:28 PM
Nice replies all, I got a fair bit of information that I can now use for background info and myself.

Any one have any experience on large game hunts? I.e., paying 1500-2500 for a hunt of bison (prices I've seen, not including cost to get there and back and transport meat home). You walk away with say 500 pounds of meat at $3-5 a pound (Which is a bit less than I pay in store for beefalo) but not including processing fees and all that.

Zoogster
September 15, 2012, 11:52 PM
Well I have no experience with cooking bison. However I will venture a little info:
I know most beef is killed fairly young, much younger than most would think for steaks. Animals that remain at large and cannot be rounded up on time can often get 30% or more larger and actually be worth less wholesale because as they get older they are less suited for many quality cuts (and they cost more per pound to grow past a target weight, it is all calculated for profit.)
For example compare what an average full grown bull/steer weighs to what the average weight at slaughter is:

http://www.beefusa.org/beefindustrystatistics.aspx


It takes more research to get breeds and proper averages, but I can tell you they can grow a lot larger than they do.
2-3x the size they are slaughtering them at.

The marbling in beef is also fat, and most domestic beef are finished in a way that increases that white fat on the meat before slaughter.
This fat makes it more tender and moist.
They gorge them on grain before slaughter to create this.


A full grown Bison that is lean and massive is going to be meat of a type likely very different than what you are used to in beef.
It is going to be harder to cook tender. There of course is still plenty of great ways to prepare it, just need to have realistic expectations. A lot more slow cooking variations taking hours that break down collagen rather than marbled steaks you can cook to typical rare/medium/well done etc are the likely result. Trying to use it like a normal piece of beef is more likely to give you some dry tough results.

jrdolall
September 16, 2012, 08:08 PM
No way. I own my land so I don't need a license to hunt on MY land. I bought a lifetime license a few years ago for $500. If I was Dan'l Boone and used the same gun to kill everything I ate then I might save money if my family ate everything I put on the table. They don't! I probably eat 50-75 pounds of whitetail every year. If I live for 300 years and eat 500 pounds per year I would not come close to paying for my land.

I hunt a lot in other states, often for free other than the license. If I kill an elk for "free" it will cost $1000 to process and ship it back home.

Heck I could probably not even shoot my cows and save money.

JRWhit
September 16, 2012, 08:30 PM
Farm tags=$0
bullets = $1.05 at two total
gun= doesn't count cause I'd get it anyway
processing for two deer=$124 with summer sausage

After all is said and done, 160lbs of meat for about $.78 per LB.
It would cost $1.05 but I'd prefer the processor. I don't have the time.
No bucks, doe taste better.

Dr.Rob
September 16, 2012, 11:30 PM
It's like driving a Ferrari full of Hi-test to Whole Foods for an organic sushi sampler and wiping your mouth with 100 dollar bills.

Is it practical or cost effective? Certainly not to start. Is it rewarding anyway? Yes.






Of course you don't 'have' to drive a Ferarri or run on high test and no matter how they slice it of you're land locked you're eating thawed fish. There ARE cheaper ways to have that same meal, or one even better.

Those of you that are going to say, "Sushi? that's bait where I come from" may now return to eating your plate of fried squirrel.

TexasPatriot.308
September 17, 2012, 12:41 AM
in Texas, hunting aint cheap, so that goes out the door real quick unless you own your own land, I figured with my deer lease and expenses, deer meat is abot $300 a pound.

sixgunner455
September 17, 2012, 01:38 AM
Like the man said, in Texas, hunt hogs.

BigN
September 17, 2012, 05:28 AM
No, I don't save any money. But I didn't plan to when I started so actually I'm not out anything.

inclinebench
September 17, 2012, 10:20 AM
I save money by hunting.
I hunt with a 30.06 I bought for under $300.00 twelve years ago, and a pawn shop scope and rings that ran about $30.00. I own my own land, and I pay a processor $60.00. I wear work clothes for hunting, plus the cheap blaze vest I figure cost about $8.00 twelve years ago. I have built all but one stand with scavanged wood, and the one stand I didnt build was a gift. Organic beef is way over $6.00 a pound for the cheap cuts, and deer tastes much better to me. I get three or four a year, and after processing fees, and gas, and snacks...big savings. I also dont lose money from missed work, as I hunt Saturdays, and use paid vacation time when I am able for another day or two of hunting.

If Virginia ever comes out of the dark ages and lets us hunt Sundays, I will probably have a couple more deer every season. Lets hope that happens.

T.R.
September 17, 2012, 11:58 AM
I drove my Ford Explorer with V-8 down to Maryland on Saturday. But after 5 hours sitting in a tree with my crossbow it was almost dark and time call it a day. No deer were observed.

Cost me about $27.00 in gas. My non-resident license and permit cost over $200.00. Typically, I kill 4 deer in Maryland each year. Fuel cost is too high.

TR

ZeroJunk
September 17, 2012, 12:27 PM
A man could easily save money around here if he set out to do it.

You could buy a single shot 12 gauge and a box of buck shot and kill all the deer you could eat for several years. I don't even need a license on my own property which has too many deer anyway.

But, who wants to do that.

countertop
September 17, 2012, 01:46 PM
Incline,

where abouts in Virginia are you?

T.R.,

I almost purchased a PA non resident deer license (I've purchased small game licenses before to grouse hunt). Friend invited me to come up and hunt his farm in Lancaster. But I was shocked to find out I could only take one deer. Would much rather get a Maryland license for about the same price and take 10 (plus have access to fantastic waterfowling).

CraigC
September 17, 2012, 02:09 PM
How many of us are hunting because we have to, rather than because we want to??? Probably not many, if any. If you lived on land that you inherited (still pay property taxes) and with a rifle you also inherited, fired one shot for each dead critter, processed your own critters and used every part possible, I could see saving some money.


Look at the steaks next time you're in Wal Mart.
That is some freaky looking stuff!


It's like driving a Ferrari full of Hi-test to Whole Foods for an organic sushi sampler and wiping your mouth with 100 dollar bills.
That's a good analogy!

silicosys4
September 17, 2012, 02:33 PM
I get up early, pick up the gun I already own, jack in a few shells I already own, and ride the bike that I already own, to nearby public land that is free to access. I realize not everybody can be so thrifty, but come on....you don't need that $6k ATV, that $20k truck, that $2k weatherby, and that $800 worth of "gear". If you are going to take a vacation and go hunting, you are taking a vacation, and hunting is what you are doing for your vacation. If you are going hunting, you get the rifle you most likely own, pay for the tags, and go.
Whats a tag and 3 shells cost? Thats what I spend. Some years I have not gone hunting, but had the gun, gas, and shells anyways. Having that stuff around is part of being a gun enthusiast so I don't count it in the cost of going "hunting".

627PCFan
September 17, 2012, 02:54 PM
I consider myself more a target shooter that hunts just to fill my freezer and meat for friends on occcasion. It takes 6 medium to small deer to fill my freezer. Costs me 46c per bullet, plus 1/2c per primer and 24c for powder, free brass :) Liscence $80?? 6 rounds = $84.23 for six deer. I dont count my rifles and scopes since I have them for target practice anyway and gas since I would be driving there for fun:)
That being said my household doesnt buy meat except for when we have visitors. We are a venison and goose family year long.

inclinebench
September 17, 2012, 05:25 PM
Countertop, I am in the Blacksburg area.

TexasPatriot.308
September 19, 2012, 10:56 PM
when it comes to hunting for me, I got a 1,000 acre lease I share with 2 friends. last year, one guy showed up one full weekend, the other showed up 1 day, the rest of the time I had it to myself. thousands of hogs, lots of deer, game all over. I love being alone out there. cant wait for this coming hunting season....so good.

MCgunner
September 19, 2012, 11:09 PM
Not in Texas where leases are ever escalating. I own my own land, but hell, I have to pay ever escalating taxes on it. :rolleyes: Like most, I really don't do it just for the meat. The meat is a nice bonus.

My hog trap is my friend. Corn for bait is a lot cheaper than pork and with the density of the population now days, don't take a few days to trap one anymore.

BBQLS1
September 20, 2012, 05:09 PM
I don't save money. I really hunt for other reasons as much as anything.

If I wanted to strip it down and hunt as cheap as possible, I could save a bunch of money.

MCgunner
September 20, 2012, 05:12 PM
This is just like the question of whether or not reloading saves money.

I don't cast and handload specifically to save on HUNTING ammo. I shoot BETTER ammo in my rifles, for sure. However, reloading doesn't really save me any money. It does, however, allow me to shoot a lot more for the same amount of money.

JohnKSa
September 21, 2012, 12:45 AM
Right. And most people don't hunt specifically to save on meat. They hunt for other reasons, just as you don't reload specifically to save on ammo, you reload for other reasons.

People COULD hunt to save on meat, just as they COULD reload to save on ammo, but they would have to start out with that goal in mind and it would limit their options in many ways.

Ridgerunner665
September 21, 2012, 01:02 AM
Lets see...

My wife has decided to hunt this year (1st time for her)

boots....$120
insulated bibs...$140
coat...$140
rifle (270)...$400
scope...$200

A few years back my oldest son got big enough to hunt...

boots...$150
coveralls...$100
gun...$750
scope...$200

In a few more years...my youngest son will be ready to go...the following is adjustred for the going rate of inflation, LOL.

boots...$400
insulated bibs...$500
gun...$1,500
scope...$600

And then there is me....I have bought the following in the last 2 weeks, ordered it all while I was ordering the stuff for my wife.

new boots...$220
new bibs...$140
new coat...$140


Then there is the $1,900 I have spent building my rifle...and a few hundred $$$ on brass, bullets, and powder.


So NO...I'm not saving any $$$ by hunting and I do hunt private land within 15 minutes of home.

All that said...its $$$ well spent...the happy thoughts of the time I spend in the woods are the ONLY thing that gets me through the rest of the year with my sanity (thats a true fact)

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