1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Save money on food?

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by InkEd, Apr 18, 2013.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. InkEd

    InkEd Member

    Oct 16, 2009
    Parts Unknown
    Aside from the recreational aspect of hunting, I was curious about the economics of it. How much money do you think you save by getting your own meat versus buying at the store?
  2. j1

    j1 Member

    Oct 17, 2011
    Figuring in licenses the cost of buying firearms ammo motels you surely are not getting free meat.:)
  3. Lizard1911

    Lizard1911 Member

    Nov 27, 2009
    Oakland Co. MI
    I got to go on a caribou hunt in Quebec once. Between all ther gear I didn't have, the license and lodge fees, the gas and food. I paid about $8.40 a
    pound, fileted. Not too bad for good 'boo.
  4. osteodoc08

    osteodoc08 Member

    Jun 23, 2005
    I pay $250 a year for my hunting club. Less than $50 in licensure. I'm allowed 10 white tails per year with only 2 being antlered. Average deer in NW GA are fairly small. I'm lucky to get 40-60# of meat. I was able to go only once last year and got a small doe. I process my own. Had I harvested more, the price per pound would have really fallen. It would be more economical for me had I had more time to invest in hunting. My fiancé doesn't like deer meat or really any meat that has a hint of gamey taste. My boys will eat it, but I'm not about to cook up 2 meals to just use up the meat. I have several people I know that ask for deer. I may not hunt much for me, but I will continue to hunt to feed the hungry in my area. Ill keep at least one backstrap for my time though ;-)
  5. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

    May 26, 2007
    With the cost of guns, licenses, ammo, gas, ATV's, treestands, boots, and other gear hunting is a costly hobby. I can buy meat at the grocery store much cheaper, but wouldn't enjoy it nearly as much.
  6. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

    Dec 22, 2002
    Terlingua, TX; Thomasville,GA
    No way it's economical unless you own the land and have a fair number of deer on it. For a fair number of years I guess it cost me less than a dollar per deer, on the old "home place".

    Otherwise? Way more than a grocery store.

    And lets don't even talk about doves or quail. :D
  7. Patocazador

    Patocazador Member

    Jul 8, 2012
    Central Florida
    I killed my first deer in 1969. I've been hunting ever since and if I figured out what I've spent over the years, I'd probably have a stroke. I estimate that the meat has cost me about $150.00/lb.
    Figure in licenses, guides, duck stamps, club dues, gadgets, gizmos, and "thermal deer finders" along with transportation, lodging, hunting dogs and training, guns, ammo, reloading supplies, boats, decoys and ......... ad infinitum!
  8. inclinebench

    inclinebench Member

    Feb 12, 2009
    Nice place
    I own my own land. I harvest four or five deer a year. I have spent less than one thousand dollars on all my guns and ammo for the last fifteen years of hunting ( I don't count my target and plinking guns). I did buy one treestand, built the others of scrap wood. I mostly hunt in insulated work wear. My license is my only real expense anymore. For me, deer hunting is an economical way to put high quality food on the table. I understand that I am in the minority here, but I know many others in a similar situation to myself. I also know guys that drop thousands a year for only 100-150#s of meat. To each his own.
  9. herkyguy

    herkyguy Member

    Jul 31, 2009
    Like anything else, you gotta invest heavily at the beginning. but there is something very cool about putting meat on your table that you harvested from start to finish.
  10. Bwana John

    Bwana John Member

    Sep 10, 2004
    I only know of one individual who saves money on food by hunting.

    He is a college student who grew up in a hunting home.

    His rifle was a long ago gift, he has all the extra bonus points possible, he has bought 1 box of 30-06 about 5 elk and 3 deer ago, and his dad still pays for tags.

    He usually get a deer and elk every season within 100 miles of where he lives (Flagstaff,AZ) and he processes all the meat himself.

    Kind of interesting- he doesn't really like firearms that much, that is how he saves money, he doesn't really shoot or buy new guns or ammo.

    He does BBQ's a lot.
  11. adelbridge

    adelbridge Member

    Jan 30, 2012
    Last year I shot 1 buck in Southern IL, figure airfare hotel, rental car, lease, muzzle loader with ammo and range time was about $1600 for 40 lbs of meat = $40 per lb

    Also last season I shot 1 doe archery lease $500 maybe 20 lbs of meat = $25 per lb

    1 doe and 1 buck rifle lease $1100 donated buck ate doe = $44 lb (mounted buck $350)

    figure in another $600 for gas , $100 at least in ammo oh yeah and I go hog hunting about 1 time per month $100 session and I donate all the meat.

    Some guys spend more on golf.
  12. mgmorden

    mgmorden Member

    May 22, 2009
    Charleston, South Carolina
    Depends on how much you want to put into it. I know guys that hunt only on public lands and use an old lever action they've had for 30+ years.

    Considering $50 for a license and 10 rounds of ammo or so per year for 5 deer, it can save quite a bit of money.

    Very few people tend to go that extreme though. If you join any hunt clubs, or are getting a new rifle/scope every couple years, and/or always have to be decked out in brand new camo, and ESPECIALLY if you use a processor, then its probably not saving any money.
  13. MtnCreek

    MtnCreek Member

    Dec 8, 2010
    Georgia, Dixie
    $14 box of 28ga AA does not net much meat (but deep fried quail is hard to beat!). If looking to save money, I'd say most hunters are doing it wrong. Most of us could buy a shopping cart full of porkchops for what we have in all our hunting do-dads.

    Growing food is about the same. 600 lbs of 5-10-15, 100 lbs of 34-0-0, 1 ton lime (in the South), $50 worth of seed, $50 worth of spray and ~15 gals diesel makes for a nice ac of corn, but I could have bought it cheaper at Publix.
  14. DM~

    DM~ Member

    Jan 6, 2011
    upper mid west
    It doesn't have to cost a lot of money to hunt, people choose to spend a lot. You can buy a used gun, hunt public land and learn to process your game yourself!

    A used gun can be bought for $200.00 or less, and that gun will last many years. Deer liscense is 15 bucks here, and a box of ammo is less than 20 bucks, (30-30 or even 30-06) once it's sighted in, how many deer can you kill with 20 rounds?

    My family has killed a LOT of deer on public land, but these days i hunt my own property. I buy a license and i shoot a deer, it doesn't cost much...

    Some time ago i bought a pretty nice Savage single shot 22, it cost me $10.00 and if i wanted to stop right there, all my small game hunting would cost me, is a box of 22 ammo... Same with practiseing, it just cost a box of ammo...

  15. Rembrandt

    Rembrandt Member

    Feb 1, 2003
    Put nearly 300 pounds of ground deer in the freezer this year, with lean ground beef going for about $4 lbs.......that's roughly $1200 worth of meat.

  16. Ms_Dragon

    Ms_Dragon Member

    Dec 20, 2012
    It's expensive if you compare it against mass produced meat, kept in cramped conditions and pumped full of growth promotants.

    When compared to similar free range, organic *depending on where and what the animal is feeding on, article brought from a supermarket or butcher then the outlay to harvest out of the wild seems a lot more reasonable.
  17. splattergun

    splattergun Member

    Jan 12, 2012
    I suppose it depends on what/where you hunt and if/how much you kill. Some years a good size buck and a bunch of birds can make a good dent in my grocery budget. Other years... mehh, not so much.

    But hey, I get to hang out outdoors in weather fine and foul, carry guns and hang out with the pals! It's all good.
  18. hpluseleven

    hpluseleven Member

    Aug 19, 2009
    USAF dictated
    The theme of these answers seems to mirror the answers we see in the threads asking about saving money by reloading. It can be done, but most of us aren't hunting to save money. Most of us are hunting because we enjoy it - it's a hobby, like golf (as someone else pointed out a few posts back)

    I hunt my family's land and process my own meat. I buy ground beef to mix with the deer meat to make burgers, shoot pigs to mix with deer to make breakfast sausage and other than occasionally buying some chicken, I can't remember the last time I bought meat from the store.

    I don't have any opposition to store bought meat, I just like hunting and get a fair bit of satisfaction by processing it myself. So do I save money on food? Maybe. But I make up for by spending more on ammo for range time (not necessarily on my hunting gun)...
  19. Loyalist Dave

    Loyalist Dave Member

    May 5, 2006
    People's Republic of Maryland
    I don't know about that. Most folks don't properly figure the equation. Venison or other large game meat are not "equal" to local supermarket beef. Price organic, free-range beef and you have the equivalent of venison.

    For some it is a pastime. It is for me, too, and I pay about the same for my meat as I do for hamburger at the market.

  20. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

    Apr 24, 2008
    Hot and Humid FL
    Deer is a lot cheaper than Southern quail, especially on one of those nice Georgia "plantations". Three days there, running about $3,000 for about 36 birds that weigh ounces...........

    But then it IS called "hunting", not killing.......
  21. Texan Scott

    Texan Scott Member

    May 2, 2012
    The Texas Hill Country
    Wanna know everything there is to know about the Manly Art of Hunting? Six magazine subscriptions, piles of catalogs, and plenty of hunting forums to prepare you for your $4,000 guided hunt in the Canadian Rockies.

    If you want to shoot meat cheaper than you can buy it, learn from a fat old hillbilly woman with a gingham dress and a .22 who never gave 'manliness' a second's thought ...

    She may make you learn to pluck and gut chickens (first animal i ever shot- a rooster, with a .22). I butchered my first deer in an old bathtub (it has a sanitizable non-porous surface, large holding capacity, and a convenient drain hole for blood, you'd be surprised how well it works).

    She might also make you clean her house, but if you're really lucky, you'll also learn a bit about cooking, canning, and maybe quilting into the bargain.

    'Course if you're third or fourth generation big city, you might be stuck with Field & Stream and Pinterest.

    Edit: grown man nearly came to tears a moment ago when he realized why he likes Cracker Barrel so much... it looks and smells like a child's memory of Meemaw's house. I guess that how they get you.
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2013
  22. Ankeny

    Ankeny Member

    Jun 27, 2003
    Last year I shot 3 elk and my brother shot 2 elk. I would imagine we spent somewhere in the neighborhood of $525.00 for licenses, gasoline, and junk food. We also shot 5 rounds of ammunition.
  23. Sniper66

    Sniper66 Member

    Jan 22, 2012
    NE Kansas
    When it comes to eating wild game, I'm a small game hunter. mostly pheasants, squirrels, and doves and an occasional duck or goose. For fun, I shoot a lot of prairie dogs which are fed to coyotes and vultures. I figure the meat I harvest and eat costs more per pound than Beluga caviar, but probably tastes better:) For me, hunting is about hunting, not harvesting. That said, I surely wish I could shoot an elk. The elk I have eaten is delicious. You guys who live near elk hunting are really fortunate.
  24. caribou

    caribou Member

    Sep 12, 2008
    North West Alaska
    A chicken in our Village store is 20$ while a steak is 15$ a pound, but Caribou are 10 minute drive and 20 minutes of work, than home before the hours out and another 5 minutes to skin, 15 to basic butcher and put up in the cache.

    Gas is 8$ a gallon, ammo a buck a shot for the cheap stuff, but 150 lbs of meat for 20$ investment and an hours work aint bad ata ll, and its all natural as can be, we even get to choose our own while on the hoove :D
  25. Mobuck

    Mobuck member

    May 25, 2012
    In my specific case, the $$ savings is significant. I own a farm and get 6 free landowner deer tags(3 archery and 3 rifle) plus the Mrs gets a similar number(she doesn't bowhunt) so that makes 9 free tags. It's no problem to fill most/all of those(in fact we donate several deer per year to Share the Harvest). For the last 4 years, I've been cutting all the deer meat inhouse. After the first season, the only cost has been freezer bags and vacu-seal rolls. We provide frozen venison to all 3 kids' families so a typical season puts 6-7 deer through my "processing station". Last year, I did all the cutting alone with help from Mrs in grinding and packaging. Usually the kids help with skinning/cutting/packaging.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page