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Well I have been doing some research on taking a once in a life time hunt. Sad to inform it an't happening in my life. Caribou hunt was a dream of mine. I had all but $100.00 to book the hunt in 1998 and held off cause I thought something might come up. Well it did and I never booked the hunt. The total cost leaving and returning to Little Rock was $2,800.00 in 1998. Now that the caribou herd is way down and cost has gone up the same hunt will top $10,000.00. So I thought how about a hunt out West with an outfitter. $3,500 to $6,000. plus travel and license cost. These are the cheep ones. It would be nothing to spend $12,000 to $16,000 on a combo hunt. My dream hunt will now be build points and hope for a public land hunt and hope I can afford the travel and license expense.

I can not understand the high cost of hunting. I assume it is from outfitters buying up land hunting rights. For crying out loud have you seen what most are charging for a 2 to 3 day turkey hunt 1 tom limit.
 

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Well I have been doing some research on taking a once in a life time hunt. Sad to inform it an't happening in my life. Caribou hunt was a dream of mine. I had all but $100.00 to book the hunt in 1998 and held off cause I thought something might come up. Well it did and I never booked the hunt. The total cost leaving and returning to Little Rock was $2,800.00 in 1998. Now that the caribou herd is way down and cost has gone up the same hunt will top $10,000.00. So I thought how about a hunt out West with an outfitter. $3,500 to $6,000. plus travel and license cost. These are the cheep ones. It would be nothing to spend $12,000 to $16,000 on a combo hunt. My dream hunt will now be build points and hope for a public land hunt and hope I can afford the travel and license expense.

I can not understand the high cost of hunting. I assume it is from outfitters buying up land hunting rights. For crying out loud have you seen what most are charging for a 2 to 3 day turkey hunt 1 tom limit.
Y Hunt:

I've been hunting western states for more than 25 years and I've hunted Alaska twice as well. If a guide or outfitter if not an absolute must for you, you can do a western hunt a lot cheaper that you're talking about. I don't have the totals on hand for my Alaska trips but I know spent less than $3,000 on each. Granted, I hunted public land, did not use a guide or outfitter, and shared the costs with friends, but I don't think my totals were unusual. I have never known a person to spend $10K on a caribou hunt. The last one I did we used an air taxi, got dropped off in some of the most remote country left in North America for 10 days, and all shot excellent bulls. It was a lot of work but very rewarding. If you are talking about fully guided, fully outfitted, other people doing the work for you, yes, that can be prohibitively expensive. And some states require guides for certain species, e.g., sheep, brown bear, goats, etc. But if you would like to have a quality hunt, with quality animals, and don't mind doing the work, you can have it in several states for not a lot more than the cost of travel, tags, food and meat care. Mule deer and elk are nice public land combos that aren't crazy expensive. Caribous is totally doable in Alaska for a reasonable price. Don't give up. Do a little research and you'll see things are not so bad, especially if you can get a group together to share costs. It's not cheap, but it's certainly possible.
 

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You might also consider a trespass fee hunt. Non guided or semi guided but you get access to private ground for a decent price.
 

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I have seen several out of state turkey hunts advertised for $450 for a three day hunt, including cabin. They show you the lay of the land, where the birds roost, and let you have at it. You supply your food. But, put that in perspective - if you stay in a motel for three nights it is probably going to cost you half that $450 - so the hunt is not really that expensive.

But, I also agree - fully guided hunts in the US are getting out of hand. It is almost to the point you can go on a 10 day African plains game hunt including air fare, with trophy fees for five or six animal, for the price of an average guided western hunt.
 

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It also looks like a lot of the states have gone up on non-resident licenses as well.
 

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I DIY hunting almost everywhere I go.

Anymore its more and more expensive. Example

2013 I drew a Colorado Antelope tag.

the tag was $360 I think
2000 miles roundtrip @ 16 MPG = 125 gallons @ 3.50 a gallon = $ 437.50 in fuel costs
add another $250 for misc supplies etc I always seem to buy

$ 1050 right there


I camped on public land in my SUV - so I really did it for $1100-1200 when it was all said an done.


I can do an elk hunt the same way for maybe another $300-400, bear, mule deer etc



Often I am hunting right near guided guys on public land - they're paying $3500-5000 to hunt the same animals I'm hunting
 

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One thing to note is the amount of public lands in western states . Contact the chamber of commerce in you desired location , most will have numbers to landowners that will allow huntung for free or for a small fee. I got a list from douglas Wyoming chamber when I got here and have made some contacts to hunt dogs , antelope and turkeys , most where free
 

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I do like trespass fee hunts

Guys I swear if I ever win a big lottery I'm buying a big ranch in Wyoming Mtns, and I'm going to do elk/muley/antelope/bear hunts .... by lottery system.

People will be able to have an excellent hunt at a fraction of the cost - by luck of the draw. That's a stupid lottery dream of mine - everyone should just once in their lives bugle in a bull elk
 

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I do like trespass fee hunts

Guys I swear if I ever win a big lottery I'm buying a big ranch in Wyoming Mtns, and I'm going to do elk/muley/antelope/bear hunts .... by lottery system.

People will be able to have an excellent hunt at a fraction of the cost - by luck of the draw. That's a stupid lottery dream of mine - everyone should just once in their lives bugle in a bull elk
You are a good man!! You are absolutely right, there is no way to describe the thrill and excitement of calling in a big bugling bull elk. Wish everyone that wants to could do it at least once in their life.
 

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I remember the first time I heard an elk bugle , I was working in Yellowstone park foe the summer and had ran outta gas late one night and walking back to our cabin a big bull jumped out in the rd about 50yrds from me and cut loose , needless to say I needed new drawers
 

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I DIY hunting almost everywhere I go.

Anymore its more and more expensive. Example

2013 I drew a Colorado Antelope tag.

the tag was $360 I think
2000 miles roundtrip @ 16 MPG = 125 gallons @ 3.50 a gallon = $ 437.50 in fuel costs
add another $250 for misc supplies etc I always seem to buy

$ 1050 right there


I camped on public land in my SUV - so I really did it for $1100-1200 when it was all said an done.



I can do an elk hunt the same way for maybe another $300-400, bear, mule deer etc.





Often I am hunting right near guided guys on public land - they're paying $3500-5000 to hunt the same animals I'm hunting
X2 on our Wyoming muleys hunts, only we rent a cabin for bout 150$ a week! If you do a little lookin it won't cost you your retirement funds..
 

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I think right now for the best bang for buck would be going to Colorado or a western state muley hunting with a bow .... you'd see a lot of game, have fun fun FUN spot and stalk, ... spot and stalk pronghorn maybe but the Rockies are just brilliant.

Go alpine for muleys, go mid-range, go low country ... lots of deer I think right now, a few hundred bucks less than an elk tag too.
 

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I usually do 3-5 out of state trips per year - tags are from 150$-$300. Hunt public land or get permission for private if possible- stay in a cabelas outfitter tent with wood stove. We pack food and cook each evening on a camp stove. Folks say we rough it but truth be told my xl cot is comfortable and the tent is toasty warm on the cold nights. Only sketchy thing is bathing- some streams I've ended up in will take your breath away. I've been traveling for 9 years and have found some great places- killed some trophies- met some great folks along the way. I get a lot of satisfaction out of DIY hunts -
 

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Y Hunt and others;

Probably going to make some people mad but I have to comment; I used to be like the majority thinking & complaining about the prices of hunts & not ever thinking I was going to be able to hunt anywhere but Arkansas; then one day an old hunter who was well past his prime, sat me down & gave me some of the GREATEST advice that could ever be spoken; he came right out & told me that it was apparent that I just didn't want it bad enough & my complaining was nothing more than a weak excuse; after thinking that he was a little hard & blunt, he kept on talking; when he was younger, the money was never there for him to go hunting, then one day he just told himself that he was going hunting ANYWHERE he wanted & nothing was going to get in his way; he told me that he worked 2 jobs, & took on any side jobs people offered; he bought NOTHING extra & watched every penny that he made; he planned, he worked his backside off & he started going hunting; now, some 45 plus years later, he has hunted in 40 different states, 2 different countries & has killed just about every animal he wanted to hunt; his trophy room was just plain amazing;

Now, where do I fit in this story? I started listening to him & tho he was rough & wasn't scared to tell me exactly what he thought, he got thru to me; I started watching EVERY penny I made & how I was spending it; it's amazing how much I spent foolishly; cokes, candy bars, chips, eating out all the time, buying junk food at convenient stores paying twice as much for them, things I paid no attention to until I really took a step back and looked at it; IN ONE YEAR ALONE I quit buying junk food, took my lunch EVERYDAY to work, stop buying soda, (made sweet tea instead) stayed home on weekends, no movies, mowed yards, washed cars, done some fencing for some cattle farmers, & in 12 short months I saved OVER 7 THOUSAND DOLLARS!! now you talk about some huntin' money, brother I had it and that year alone woke me up BIG TIME; I started practicing my Turkey calling skills, got pretty descent, NOW I take 3 weeks of my vacation and guide for 3 different outfitters in 3 different states, I get to stay at their lodge, eat their food, guide for their clients, and get to kill my turkeys for almost nothing while making GOOD money guiding for them;

I am sorry if I ruffle any feathers here but simply put, ya'll just don't want it bad enough; hunters buy these new gas drinking 4 wheel drive trucks that the monthly payments alone is enough to scare anyone; why not buy used and buy trucks that are easy on gas? if one watched EVERY penny that was spent it would amaze you how much is spent on junk; a dollar here 2 dollars there, break a 20 dollar bill to buy a 4 dollar soda/candy bar, then spend 10.00 @ Wendy's on ONE hamburger when that 10.00 can buy enough burger to make 6 or 7 at home; we buy these exspensive hunting clothes that cost a ridiculous amount when the same clothes can be bought for a third of the price, 1500.00 shotguns, 1,000.00 bows, 8,000.00 plus 4 wheelers, ect, ect ect; all I'm saying, just like that old hunter who sat me down & told me how the cow ate the cabbage but in all, told the truth; and now I hunt 5 different states for deer and turkey, I Pro staff for 6 different companies that provide me equipment and accessories...FREE....and I still don't buy junk food anymore, cut out soda's, still mow extra yards and fence for different cattle farmers, haven't went to the movie house in so long that I can't remember when the last time I did go, don't run around on weekend, (usually working them) and save every penny I can ( 8 to 9 thousand plus a year) and when hunting season comes around, I have plenty to hunt on; I hunt more out-of-state than I do in state now and am having a blast;

If ya'll want it BAD ENOUGH, you WILL find a way to make it happen; I did and you can too.

Barry James
 

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Barry, You make some good points, But I already do not waist money,(buy nothing but gas at the station, do with out lunch, and also drink tea) work 50+ hours a week, dirve a 11 year old 2 wd truck, and have a wife and 3 children with one in college. No hunting toys and fish out of a 12 ft flatbottom. I am just part of the growing working poor in Arkansas.

I reckon I could throw away this insulin pump that cost me about $8,000.00 a year after medical Ins pays and be money ahead, but would not live long enough to make many hunts.
 
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