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

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by Saakee, Sep 12, 2012.

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  1. Saakee

    Saakee Member

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    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)?
     
  2. Victor1Echo

    Victor1Echo Member

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    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:
     
  3. ljnowell

    ljnowell Member

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    Its cheaper to go buy burger at the grocery store, at least in my experience.
     
  4. Captcurt

    Captcurt Member

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    I Crunched the Numbers.

    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:
     
  5. newbuckeye

    newbuckeye Member

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    ^^^^ +1
     
  6. dab102999

    dab102999 Member

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    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
     
  7. walking arsenal

    walking arsenal Member

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    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.
     
  8. MrCleanOK

    MrCleanOK Member

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    No, but it's pretty common practice.


    Sent from my ADR6350 using Tapatalk 2
     
  9. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    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.
     
  10. roundball

    roundball Member

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    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...
     
  11. walking arsenal

    walking arsenal Member

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    False.

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

    Esoxchaser Member

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    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.
     
  13. ghoster

    ghoster Member

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    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:
     
  14. CraigC
    • Contributing Member

    CraigC Member

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    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.
     
  15. Patocazador

    Patocazador Member

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    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.
     
  16. Kingcreek

    Kingcreek Member

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    I absolutely refuse to calculate the cost of hunting.
    I enjoy it far too much to ever do that to myself.
     
  17. ZeroJunk

    ZeroJunk Member

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    I think I have about $1000 a pound in elk meat, seriously.
     
  18. roundball

    roundball Member

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    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
     
  19. Zoogster

    Zoogster Member

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    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
    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.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2012
  20. courtgreene

    courtgreene Member

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    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.
     
  21. Sniper66

    Sniper66 Member

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    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:)
     
  22. brainwake

    brainwake Member

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    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...
     
  23. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    It's called "hunting", not "killing" - any animal for the pot is a nice extra by-product of the hunting experience
     
  24. Texan Scott

    Texan Scott Member

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    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.
     
  25. Larry Ashcraft

    Larry Ashcraft Moderator Staff Member

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    It never occurred to me to think I was saving money by hunting.

    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.
     
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