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How much $$ to hunt elk?

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How much $$ to hunt elk?

Postby Tigger » 10 04, 2018 •  [Post 1]

Some people think it is super expensive to hunt elk. Given the nonresident license costs, many people just assume it costs thousands and thousands of dollars. I think it would be interesting to see what people's actual elk hunt cost them.

My 2018 hunt was for 7 days of hunting staying at a forest service cabin. We ate well and brought home some extra food. Total cost $1221 including license and a hotel on the way home. Wyoming.
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Re: How much $$ to hunt elk?

Postby Jhg » 10 04, 2018 •  [Post 2]

I would have to figure in lost income, since I am self employed. That alone would make elk hunting look like a selfish indulgence. Hunting is generally a very inexpensive activity though, if you consider what a trip to any resort destination costs, - food, lodging, travel expenses.
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Re: How much $$ to hunt elk?

Postby six » 10 04, 2018 •  [Post 3]

$1500 dollars this year. This year was the most expensive mostly because there were just two of us to split the cost.
Elk are where you find em...
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Re: How much $$ to hunt elk?

Postby RAMMONT » 10 04, 2018 •  [Post 4]

Luckily I hunt where I live so the cost isn't as bad as it is for the non-residents. But that's why I moved here, for a resident the cost is about as cheap as you can find anywhere in the U.S. I have a lot of empathy and respect for the average guy that is saving up his pennies for a hunt that he can only do once every few years but none for the non-residents that are just buying their adventure so they can go home and brag about what their money bought them. For me and the people I associate with $1500 isn't cheap and it takes trading off between things that are necessary and the things that you just want, the things that are necessary usually win.
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Re: How much $$ to hunt elk?

Postby Jhg » 10 04, 2018 •  [Post 5]

Exactly. I work a lot of 12hr days to take Sept off. Costs for me are minimal aside from that- I own a 1972 truck camper to use as basecamp and this gives me a lot of leeway in how much huns cost.
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Re: How much $$ to hunt elk?

Postby MTLongdraw » 10 04, 2018 •  [Post 6]

If you kill early enough, you should be able to keep the cost per pound around $38 :lol:
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Re: How much $$ to hunt elk?

Postby Fridaythe13th » 10 04, 2018 •  [Post 7]

Tag: around $630
Gas: the best way to calculate is, if the price is 3 buck a gallon it cost around $300.00
Food: I shouldn't count, we eat when were not on a trip. $95.

That is for a 10 day trip 7 hunting 3 days driving from Minnesota.
Base camp is expensive we have around $6000 worth of stuff ( trailer, tent, mess tent, generator, shower, and a few other things). But divide buy 3 it's not so bad. This is the 6th year. $6000 ÷ 3=$2000 ÷ 6 years =$333.
Cheap but hard working vacation. $1000-$1400 per year.

Go to Disney world once, see what that cost 6 people for 10 days. $15,000???? Or more. Don't know not going. Lol
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Re: How much $$ to hunt elk?

Postby Lefty » 10 04, 2018 •  [Post 8]

Jhg wrote:I would have to figure in lost income, since I am self employed.,
:lol:

Gas up and back 5 times for 16 days, license. Lost small game arrows, worn out diaphragms. I told my wife it was cheaper than keeping me home. I did eat at restaurant three times

Gas for my truck and ATv maybe $300
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Re: How much $$ to hunt elk?

Postby Elkhunttoo » 10 04, 2018 •  [Post 9]

Lost income from being self employed can add up fast... the last 13 years I was self employed and had to pay a guy to fill in for me if a took a morning off.... 3 days was over $900 lost from what i would of made vs what I had to pay, at that rate it was hard to take days off
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Re: How much $$ to hunt elk?

Postby Indian Summer » 10 04, 2018 •  [Post 10]

Tigger wrote:Some people think it is super expensive to hunt elk. Given the nonresident license costs, many people just assume it costs thousands and thousands of dollars. I think it would be interesting to see what people's actual elk hunt cost them.

My 2018 hunt was for 7 days of hunting staying at a forest service cabin. We ate well and brought home some extra food. Total cost $1221 including license and a hotel on the way home. Wyoming.



Where do you live and what means of transportation did you use to get there? If you drove how many hunters split the gas cost?
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Re: How much $$ to hunt elk?

Postby Indian Summer » 10 04, 2018 •  [Post 11]

Fridaythe13th wrote:Tag: around $630
Gas: the best way to calculate is, if the price is 3 buck a gallon it cost around $300.00
Food: I shouldn't count, we eat when were not on a trip. $95.

That is for a 10 day trip 7 hunting 3 days driving from Minnesota.
Base camp is expensive we have around $6000 worth of stuff ( trailer, tent, mess tent, generator, shower, and a few other things). But divide buy 3 it's not so bad. This is the 6th year. $6000 ÷ 3=$2000 ÷ 6 years =$333.
Cheap but hard working vacation. $1000-$1400 per year.

Go to Disney world once, see what that cost 6 people for 10 days. $15,000???? Or more. Don't know not going. Lol


You are talking all of your initial investments. I think he means annual cost after you have that stuff under your belt. What’s your figure considering that?
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Re: How much $$ to hunt elk?

Postby Indian Summer » 10 04, 2018 •  [Post 12]

This year my Wyoming cow tag was only $288. My partner is driving and I’m maximizing my hunting time while minimizing my time off of work by flying: $600. I don’t count food because I eat regardless of where I am. My only other cost would be meat processing for about $200. Grand total $1088.
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Re: How much $$ to hunt elk?

Postby Swede » 10 04, 2018 •  [Post 13]

I figure it cost me about $2,500 per year. I hunt in State. Costs include one scouting trip, equipment that I always continue to add, license/tags, etc.

I am not including the extra cost I have for a truck which I would have little use for if I did not hunt. This past year, for example, I bought a tent and supplies for it that set be back about $1,800 alone. The previous year it was a bow. Every year it is something. This next year I am going to be cheap.
I figure that on average I get about $600 worth of meat. The remainder of the cost I just charge up to entertainment.

I think I just need to do more hunting so it will be more cost effective. :D
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Re: How much $$ to hunt elk?

Postby Fridaythe13th » 10 04, 2018 •  [Post 14]

Indian Summer wrote:
Fridaythe13th wrote:Tag: around $630
Gas: the best way to calculate is, if the price is 3 buck a gallon it cost around $300.00
Food: I shouldn't count, we eat when were not on a trip. $95.

That is for a 10 day trip 7 hunting 3 days driving from Minnesota.
Base camp is expensive we have around $6000 worth of stuff ( trailer, tent, mess tent, generator, shower, and a few other things). But divide buy 3 it's not so bad. This is the 6th year. $6000 ÷ 3=$2000 ÷ 6 years =$333.
Cheap but hard working vacation. $1000-$1400 per year.

Go to Disney world once, see what that cost 6 people for 10 days. $15,000???? Or more. Don't know not going. Lol


You are talking all of your initial investments. I think he means annual cost after you have that stuff under your belt. What’s your figure considering that?



Yep: tag, has, and food. Around $1000
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Re: How much $$ to hunt elk?

Postby Indian Summer » 10 04, 2018 •  [Post 15]

Swede wrote:I figure it cost me about $2,500 per year. I hunt in State. Costs include one scouting trip, equipment that I always continue to add, license/tags, etc.

I am not including the extra cost I have for a truck which I would have little use for if I did not hunt. This past year, for example, I bought a tent and supplies for it that set be back about $1,800 alone. The previous year it was a bow. Every year it is something. This next year I am going to be cheap.
I figure that on average I get about $600 worth of meat. The remainder of the cost I just charge up to entertainment.

I think I just need to do more hunting so it will be more cost effective. :D



Swede are you a compulsive shopper? Haha

I haven’t bought a new tent woodstove bow gun backpack pair of boots knife headlamp gps etc in years. I think I will be buying a Vapex tent from Alaska Tents next year because a spike camp is the only thing I don’t have. But I’ll sell my Mafmot to offset a large portion of that investment. My elk hunting is cheap. Now a week in Key West living on seafood thats pricey!
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Re: How much $$ to hunt elk?

Postby Swede » 10 04, 2018 •  [Post 16]

Indian Summer wrote:Swede are you a compulsive shopper? Haha


I think that approximates a question I need to occasionally ask myself. I enjoy hunting. Maybe too much. It is ok that you reminded me of the need to watch my spending, and I take no offence.

My favorite old tent was over 42 years old, and rotten when I pitched it in the garbage. I had some emotional attachment to it, as it reminded me of so many past hunts and family outings. The back up tent is not big enough to live in and store gear for three persons. It is 58 years old and I have had it for about 33 years. I have a lot of old things I take on my hunts. I do upgrade as it seems important to me. I benched my Alaska frame pack as it is very uncomfortable, heavy and hard on my aging body.
I count every camping and hunting thing I have and use, that is not reasonably attributed to other needs as a cost of elk hunting. Realistically cost per mile for travel with a four wheel drive truck is above $0.60 per mile. A dozen arrows with broadheads are over $150. My range finder, gps, packs, special foods and some clothing, boots and more are all elk hunting expenses. If I really hunted other critters more than just on a lark every few years, I could attribute some to those hunting experiences. At least I do not have to add loss of earnings.
I do not think of myself as a compulsive shopper, but I generally buy good equipment. I have bought things I just don't like the way I thought I would. I don't go for the most expensive, and I will shop thrift stores for used clothing at times. I prefer things with few, or no excess bells and whistles. What ever happened to the simple old style trucks we had for so long? I miss them, and wish Ford would resurrect an F250 from 1974.
One thing I have become aware of is how few future hunts I have left. I may not be dealing with that well. I could settle for lower quality replacement gear and stretch the use of what I have. I suppose, it would suffice. I don't expect to buy much this next season, but I still look forward to scouting and hunting.
Elk hunting is my main recreation. I don't, bowl, golf, go to ball games, fish or much else, so all my recreation costs are for elk hunting. About $2,500 per year. I expect to keep my cost down below $1,500 this next year. If I get an elk, then my meat bill will be rather reasonable. :D
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Re: How much $$ to hunt elk?

Postby saddlesore » 10 05, 2018 •  [Post 17]

I don't want to think about it.The cost alone for a truck/camper big enough to pull a horse trailer, pack saddles, riding saddles, other tack, keeping two mules at about $1200 each per year, keeping facilities all year to house the critters is staggering. So far this year,I have put $5300 in my truck for repairs. Then add up cost of rifles ammo, hunting gear/clothes.

The hunt itself is about $200 for food, $150 for certified weed free hay, $100 for diesel fuel, $50 for an elk tag, ad another $20 for miscellaneous crap.
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Re: How much $$ to hunt elk?

Postby Indian Summer » 10 05, 2018 •  [Post 18]

Indian Summer wrote:This year my Wyoming cow tag was only $288. My partner is driving and I’m maximizing my hunting time while minimizing my time off of work by flying: $600. I don’t count food because I eat regardless of where I am. My only other cost would be meat processing for about $200. Grand total $1088.


I stand corrected! Saddlesore reminded me of my cost for using horses. $350 each. I usually have 2 of my own which is $700 plus hay at about $70. Delivery another $75. Also ammo for the .300 Ultra is $90 a box if I don’t reload. All of the sudden my original estimate doubled! But not everyone uses horses.

I’m still doing it for under 2 grand and doing it right with horses. I prefer to look at it as $38.46 per week. So if I eat elk 3 times a week it’s $12.82 per meal. I can divide that in half if I take leftovers for lunch. Sounding better! :roll:
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Re: How much $$ to hunt elk?

Postby BrentLaBere » 10 05, 2018 •  [Post 19]

PP, License/tag, Bow License, Gas, Butcher, Inreach
This is a list of the needs I have for an elk hunt. This year would be just under 1500$. I certainly dont consider food. I would be money ahead if I did.
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Re: How much $$ to hunt elk?

Postby Fridaythe13th » 10 05, 2018 •  [Post 20]

BrentLaBere wrote:I certainly dont consider food. I would be money ahead if I did.



Very true. I probably spent $60 on 2 meals this week. And it was taco's and burger. Not steak and pork chop like I devoure out west.
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Re: How much $$ to hunt elk?

Postby Tigger » 10 05, 2018 •  [Post 21]

IS, We had 7 guys in 2 trucks share our gas costs from MN.

Adding gear costs gets complicated as I use mine for more than elk hunting.
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Re: How much $$ to hunt elk?

Postby RAMMONT » 10 05, 2018 •  [Post 22]

To my way of thinking you have to include food costs because the cost of meals on the road and camping are more expensive than home cooked meals. Also, if you have a family they are still cooking the same way that they've gotten used to so they pretty much spend the same amount on food while you are gone but you've had to buy a second meal for your use.

Do you use propane while you are camping? You might fly but you have to get to the airport somehow and if you drove then you'll have parking fees to pay. What is the cost of shipping your meat home? Do you buy chemical hand and/or foot warmers? What did you forget to bring with you that you had to buy (orange vest, maps, etc.)? What broke that had to be replaced or repaired?
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Re: How much $$ to hunt elk?

Postby Swede » 10 05, 2018 •  [Post 23]

Tigger wrote:Adding gear costs gets complicated as I use mine for more than elk hunting.


Here is the way I would decide on what is an elk hunting cost:
Would you buy that gadget if you were not elk hunting?
If you would buy it anyway, what part of the wear and tear is due to elk hunting? Eg. If you need a compass for work, and the wear and tear on it during an elk hunt is negligible add $0.00. If you lose or break it elk hunting, add the total cost to the hunt.
If you have horses, you just have to love horses, so you are excused from counting the cost. Besides they are so expensive when you look at the whole picture. Using them on a hunt is a side benefit. You buy the gear like panniers just to get them exercise and out for a hike.
ATVs are a big cost item too.

I would have a pickup as a second vehicle anyway, but elk hunting has been the reason I went for a newer, larger, better one. Add $4,000.
Here is another thought: Sharing gas costs is almost always a great deal for everyone that does not provide a truck. All of the costs of ownership, and the work of cleaning and servicing are left to the owner. Only once in my hunting life has anyone offered to take on any more. One fellow once bought all of the food we used on a 6 day hunt to offset the additional truck costs I had incurred over several years.
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Re: How much $$ to hunt elk?

Postby saddlesore » 10 05, 2018 •  [Post 24]

I have two mules, not horses,but I have to figure them in because without them ,I would not be able to elk hunt due to several physical limitations.No way would my back with stand packing one out and walking more than 3/4 of a mile is out.
When I quit elk hunting in a few years, I won't keep the mules.
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Re: How much $$ to hunt elk?

Postby Lefty » 10 05, 2018 •  [Post 25]

saddlesore wrote:,,,,,When I quit elk hunting in a few years, I won't keep the mules.

May need to read Swedes tree stand book!
My dad was in pretty rough shape his last year. He got a disable permit. The farmer let corn stand so he could hunt from the truck, the local CO gave him a cross bow to use. Against everyone wishes he started trapping on a lake, then he gained strength. We didn't expect him to make it until Thanksgiving,.. he made it until almost the opening of fishing
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Re: How much $$ to hunt elk?

Postby Elkhunttoo » 10 05, 2018 •  [Post 26]

I agree with Rammont on the food, my family still eats when I'm gone, and I always buy extra snacks when I go hunting I don't buy when I'm at home.

This is just my opinion and I'm sure some people won't agree, but my family grew up as meat hunters and many of them still are and spend very little on gear/extras. Yet it always puzzles me when I run into a guy up hunting that has a $50,000 pick up and a $35,000 camper with $25,000 dollars in atv/side by sides in camp. Wearing $500 boots and $800 worth of other top of the line clothes and in conversation you find out he has a doe tag because he hunts for meat and can't stand people who trophy hunt or pass up on game ???? (I failed to mention that they have over $2000 more in rifle, scope and rangefinder and $1000 binoculars) crazy thing is is that lots of the guys I talk to that are like this example are several days into there hunt and haven't found a deer.To each there own but I will NEVER understand that. We need meat this year and my wife knows it. I just changed jobs for a way better lifestyle and am in the process of starting my own business this year so funds are tight, yet the last day my wife could hunt she watched a cow walk 5-6 yards right in front of her and never even thought about drawing her bow. Her theory is that she loves to hunt and that every cow she passes on has the potential for a calf next year. In the past 24 years of hunting I have shot several cows and passed on several cows. But, I probably won't ever shoot another one unless it is mandatory to feed my family.

My wife's theory. Idaho elk tag $33.50, deer tag $18.50, archery stamp $20, hunting license and fees around another $25...for a total of $97(not to mention every time we go to the hills it's $65 of fuel) ...in our local grocery store last week we could of bought 70 lbs of boneless pork chops for $97 packaged wrapped and ready to go in the freezer.

I completely understand that that is not wild game meat that we take by ourselves to provide for ourselves. But I also don't feel like a person can truly spend thousands of dollars a year and claim to be a meat hunter that has to have the meat for there family to survive. I do truly believe there are some "meat hunters" out there but I think they are becoming fewer and fewer because of costs of living and how much hunting has changed since the mid to late 1900's.

I hunt because I love it!!!! I love the time spent in the mountains!!! Time spent and memories made with those I hunt with!!! I love the meat!!! And I love horns :D ... like I have said this is jmo and to each there own but if I was to tell someone this year I was a "meat hunter" I would be a lier because even with a tight budget and buying almost nothing knew for this year my costs of going to the store and getting meat vs hunting for meat I would still be In the hole.
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Re: How much $$ to hunt elk?

Postby saddlesore » 10 06, 2018 •  [Post 27]

A little different take.Just because a person shoots cow elk/doe deer doesn't mean he /she is just a meat hunter. I get a ML cow tag every year because I want to hunt every year and I can get a ML cow tag and then an OTC bull tag, giving me 18 days of hunting season. I never pass up a legal elk. Although I hunt for enjoyment it gives me, I'm out there to kill and elk, not to watch them. At my age I want to hunt at every opportunity as next year,I might not be able.

I also draw a doe deer tag every year that is a ML hunt . All whitetails and those things breed like rats. Here we have 300+ doe antelope tags still left in our hunting unit. I Buy two of those .The season is all of December.

I drive a 20 year old pick up which certainly isn't a $50,00 pick up, My camper cost $2000 and my horse trailer is a 2002 model. my rifle is a pre 64 Model seventy, given to me and my ML is $300 gun.Neither are in the $1000-$2000 class. My binos are 1981 vintage.

Given all this, I could go out and buy a 1/2 beef for the money I spend on hunting.
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Re: How much $$ to hunt elk?

Postby saddlesore » 10 06, 2018 •  [Post 28]

Lefty wrote: May need to read Swedes tree stand book

I tried that last year deer hunting. Scared the crap out of me being that high of the ground. :lol: I'm not the most agile person anymore and I could see myself falling 20 feet
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Re: How much $$ to hunt elk?

Postby Elkhunttoo » 10 06, 2018 •  [Post 29]

I completely understand your way of thinking saddle sore, and I hope I'm able to hunt as long as you have been able too. I have horses and a trailer that used to get used for more stuff but now it's mainly just hunting. It's just that I run into lots of people hunting that seems like if they don't fill there tag there family is going to starve. And in some situations it may be true, but I really wish we could change the term "meat hunter" to, "hey, I'm out here to hunt and love it"
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Re: How much $$ to hunt elk?

Postby Swede » 10 06, 2018 •  [Post 30]

Elkhunttoo wrote:I really wish we could change the term "meat hunter


You make a good point when we consider the cost of hunting. It probably never really pays to hunt for meat. I think there are two types of people that enjoy hunting. Some we call "trophy hunters". I am not too thrilled about them as it seems that are competing for bragging rights. They seem to be trying to sell us on buy my thing and you will have a big bull like mine. It just seems too commercial and even phony. It misses the point of why I hunt.
On the other hand, folks that act like they will starve if they don't get one, would be better off working, and buying some good home grown beef. Somewhere in all of this hunting, that has become too competitive, is the sportsman that loves hunting, and feels a calling to the wild every elk season. He or she does not have to cheat to get one, and can go all in for the love of the hunt.
I am very disappointed when I come home skunked, but it does not last long until I am ready to go again.
I remember hunting when I was a kid. We hunted as a family, and we were all in it to the end. There were big bucks and little ones. It hardly mattered even though the guy with a truly large one had something to be proud of, but only in the family. It was not broadcast or commercialized. The buck dad most wanted was a 2 1/2 year old three point. Hunting was fun. Camaraderie, and being out in the field camping was a great time. It also meant a week away from school. :D
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Re: How much $$ to hunt elk?

Postby Magic » 10 06, 2018 •  [Post 31]

Travel expenses will be ~$1100, ~$650 for license, so the total cost will be about $2,000. Not bad when I consider that my Son and I will spend two weeks together.
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Re: How much $$ to hunt elk?

Postby Indian Summer » 10 07, 2018 •  [Post 32]

As we add up all of the costs to figure out how much elk hunting costs us so far nobody has mentioned subtracting costs. I eat elk meat a lot. If I didn’t I would spend somewhere around $100/month on beef. So don’t you guys agree that most of us can subtract about $1000 a year from the costs associated with hunting elk.... as long as you kill one?
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Re: How much $$ to hunt elk?

Postby Swede » 10 07, 2018 •  [Post 33]

Swede wrote:I figure that on average I get about $600 worth of meat. The remainder of the cost I just charge up to entertainment.

I think I just need to do more hunting so it will be more cost effective. :D


That is what I had estimated the meat value per year an average would run, but I may be too low. I am still averaging 90% annual kill rate. I think that needs to be a part of the hunter's equation too.
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Re: How much $$ to hunt elk?

Postby Indian Summer » 10 07, 2018 •  [Post 34]

I never tried to figure out what my meat is worth. There are only two of us so it lasts all year and all I know is I’m not keeping the cattle ranchers in business.
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Re: How much $$ to hunt elk?

Postby Tigger » 10 08, 2018 •  [Post 35]

Great point Joe. that should certainly be factored in at the end. I only get 1/7 of an elk this year as we split ours among the group.

My point of this thread was to show that elk hunting is not too expensive. Sure, it costs money, but for most people, it is manageable given time to save up. Looks like the average nonresident costs run between $1,000 and $1500 and resident costs about $100. Lots of variable for sure, but that gives people some idea.

As for the term meat hunter, it could simply mean they don't value antlers and want (not need) meat. They may know it isn't cost effective, but they like elk meat so they shoot anything. I don't think "meat hunter" means "subsistence hunter". Two very different things.
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Re: How much $$ to hunt elk?

Postby ElkNut1 » 10 08, 2018 •  [Post 36]

Ha Ha, spot on swede!


"I figure that on average I get about $600 worth of meat. The remainder of the cost I just charge up to entertainment.

I think I just need to do more hunting so it will be more cost effective. :D"
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Re: How much $$ to hunt elk?

Postby Swede » 10 08, 2018 •  [Post 37]

Tigger: You are about right on what a "meat hunter" means to me. I don't need more antlers and don't much care if I get them or not. If I had a fat cow and a large healthy bull standing side by side, I would choose the bull to shoot. If I had a rag horn and a large fat cow, in that situation, the cow is going down because there is more meat on it. If the bull is off in the brush nearby, as was the situation this year, the cow gets shot and the bull runs off.
I think your estimate of hunting costing only $100 for the resident, is way low, even counting the value of the meat they get. I hope people that hang our here on the forum are doing better than the 10% average for the general hunting population. If they are not doing better, forget the added value of the meat, and just consider it a bonus if and when you get one.
When my daughters were in their teens, one said to me, she was not going to marry a hunter. She realized it was more than a regular sport with my son and me. It is a passion. I replied, "every man has something they are involved with more than just work and hanging out at home. What will your husband be doing?" I got no response. Still, husbands are expensive if they are hunters. Fishermen are worse. :D
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Re: How much $$ to hunt elk?

Postby Cram369 » 10 08, 2018 •  [Post 38]

Hey guys, first post. Been reading for awhile now. Hunted elk for first time this year in Colorado. Tag, fuel, and food was around $1000. The gear was the real investment, but can reuse it every year. And much of it for can be used for whitetail.

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Re: How much $$ to hunt elk?

Postby Swede » 10 08, 2018 •  [Post 39]

Welcome as a member to the forum Cram. How did your elk hunt go?
I cannot remember all of the times I have had people say something about all the free meat I got. I just roll my eyes and offer them some steaks and hamburger. You should not hoard free meat, ya know. :D
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Re: How much $$ to hunt elk?

Postby Cram369 » 10 09, 2018 •  [Post 40]

Thanks Swede. Hunt was fun, but too short. Learned a lot for next trip.
Also need to figure in savings from not eating fast food for lunch, no antibiotics or hormones in meat, processing your own meat, and long term health benefits of staying in shape for the mountains.
Mostly enjoy being in the woods bow hunting, and wife says get what you need to fill the freezer.


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Re: How much $$ to hunt elk?

Postby elkstalker » 10 09, 2018 •  [Post 41]

Depends, being that I live out west my costs can be quite a bit cheaper than most. But this year I drew out of state elk and deer tags, extra $700. Also, I'm looking for quality bull and mulie, so I have passed on bulls I normally never would. That means more gas, more time, more food. So this year I'm looking at at least $1500 when you count all the costs.

Now...On a typical year... I can buy a sportsmans license package in MT for about $100. That gets me a deer and elk tag. If I kill a bull and deer relatively quickly I may only spend 1-200 on gas, then ammo $50, food, $1-200. So I'm really only into it 5 or 600. At that rate I can almost pay for my hunting with the meat I am getting out of it. Of course there can be tons of variables that change the equation... and I have most of the gear that I need already.
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Re: How much $$ to hunt elk?

Postby Old school » 11 07, 2018 •  [Post 42]

Costs me a total of $2,000 - that's for me and my 2 sons(youth tags).

My first guided hunt back about 20 yrs ago, I tagged a 5x5. I got it home and we got it cut up and I weighed the meat just to see how much it totaled up to. My wife then asks me how much I spent on the hunt and we did the math for a price per pound - if I remember right it was about $35 per pound. I told her she was one lucky woman - who else values his wife so much that he would go and pay $35/lb. for food for her. Some cheapskates go to the grocery store and only spend $15/lb on Ribeyes.

lol

--Mitch
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Re: How much $$ to hunt elk?

Postby ishy » 11 08, 2018 •  [Post 43]

I can usually hunt for a couple hundred buck locally, 300-400 if I hunt the other end of the state. I've been a total bargain guy for years everything I own is clearance, bargain barn, thrift store, yard sales...etc. I did Ironman on a ten year old $500 bike and loved passing everyone with bikes that cost x10 that much. My son was Herbie the love bug fanatic and my family has all adopted the thinking that heart matters more that equipment (except boots!). Just kidding my last two pair were $20 and $37 respectively and have performed great.
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Re: How much $$ to hunt elk?

Postby scubohuntr » 11 09, 2018 •  [Post 44]

Elk hunting is not too expensive for me. I work for the state, which is a drastic cut in salary from consulting, but now I can save up vacation time to hunt and not feel guilty about taking it. I had six weeks of vacation time saved up this year, but couldn't afford the gas to hunt that long. Gas at $3.00 a gallon is the biggest problem for me. This year, I bought probably $400 worth of stuff before season (tent, sleeping bag, pack stove, spotting scope), all cheap crappy Midway clearance gear but it will all last me several years. Old beater truck that I drive to work every day. My boots are 30 years old. Bow and rifles likewise. Direct costs are about $250 in gas so far, lunch at Hardees once for five bucks (most of the time I pack a lunch from home), $65.00 for licenses (deer, elk, small game, fishing combo), $45.00 for arrows, probably fifty for miscellaneous that I'm forgetting at the moment. One grouse to show for it to this point. Maybe next year I'll just get a unicorn tag instead; they seem to be about as common as elk. Hunting elk wouldn't be so expensive, if there were a chance of actually tagging one. LEARNING to hunt elk by trial and error is expensive, even keeping a drastic limit on costs, and it gets tough to keep a positive attitude. Once I actually see an elk it will be much easier to stay positive, I hope.
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Re: How much $$ to hunt elk?

Postby >>>---WW----> » 11 10, 2018 •  [Post 45]

Hey Joe, you forgot to add in the $200 bucks you just shelled out for that pair of fancy britches in the classified adds. LOL!

Just think about it guys. Hunting doesn't cost any more than other things you do for good times and entertainment. ( Golf (aka: pasture pool), bowling, skiing, or what ever other fun hobbies and things you do!
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Re: How much $$ to hunt elk?

Postby Swede » 11 10, 2018 •  [Post 46]

The good news was that Joe only paid $200 for a pair of britches. The bad news was that he paid $200 for a pair of britches.
I find it interesting that they still talk about layering with the new high tech stuff, the same way we were taught to dress 60 years ago. The new fabric does better with wicking away moisture, and minimizing scent. It weighs less, but I have a tough time comparing the wool stuff I wore for years with a ball and chain the way it was described on the equipment forum. After all, wool is still one of the most advertised fabrics offered by the high tech kids. Wool wicks away moisture and retains warmth very well.
Over fifty years ago while I was logging, an older man on the crew told me, "I don't care how wet and cold you are, if you are wearing black wool underwear, you are always warm and dry." I understand what the older man meant. I don't care how wet and cold you are, if you are wearing wool, you are always warm and dry. I can wear black wool underwear, but I need a layer in between me and it. :D
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Re: How much $$ to hunt elk?

Postby lilshootergirl » 11 11, 2018 •  [Post 47]

No price for seeing things others will never see! Meeting new people and sharing stories priceless! Tags $844. Gas $300. Truck & a tv. Rv spot $240. Average for out of town vacation, this is my vacation! I look forward to it every year! Oh! Scouting cabin divide by 2, $400.00 gas $300. Viewing spring flowers blooming on mountain side priceless! Being chased by a 5' 6" rattler a night mare! :lol:
If you can't find me, I'm not lost. I'm hunting!
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Re: How much $$ to hunt elk?

Postby Swede » 11 11, 2018 •  [Post 48]

Shooter, I think you are more accurate than most, but did you get all of your hunting equipment free? Is your RV and other camping equipment all in the $240? What about any special hunting clothes including boots?
I did not pick on the $200 kids. They are so far out from reality that there is no explaining the costs to them. Hunting for them was just three arrows this year, tags and gas.
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Re: How much $$ to hunt elk?

Postby scubohuntr » 11 13, 2018 •  [Post 49]

Swede wrote:Shooter, I think you are more accurate than most, but did you get all of your hunting equipment free? Is your RV and other camping equipment all in the $240? What about any special hunting clothes including boots?
I did not pick on the $200 kids. They are so far out from reality that there is no explaining the costs to them. Hunting for them was just three arrows this year, tags and gas.

The title of the thread is how much to hunt elk. I have all my basic hunting equipment already, and had it before I ever moved to a state where I could hunt elk. Hunting elk out of state is a non-starter for me. If it was how much to hunt, full stop, I'd have to calculate in thirty years of depreciation on rifles, boots, bow, optics and other stuff.
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Re: How much $$ to hunt elk?

Postby Swede » 11 13, 2018 •  [Post 50]

Scubo, I guess we can calculate our hunting costs anyway we want to. I choose to include everything I use out hunting, and scouting in my elk hunting costs. It is more than just depreciation on equipment including cost to vehicle use. We buy items for the hunt, we restock things that were used, we repair or replace items.
For example, say I buy a $40,000 pickup and drive it 8,000 miles per year including 2,000 miles for elk hunting and scouting. One forth of the cost of ownership goes to elk hunting, and not just the gas. Special or extra groceries, and clothes are used on the hunt and for scouting. in my way of accounting, that is not necessarily a freebie I should pass off as nothing for the hunt. I don't call it something else. I do not include regular food items or socks I would use at home, but that too is arguable. Even most of my hunting license is attributed to elk hunting since I am mostly an elk hunter.
I guess what I am saying is that we can account for our costs anyway we want, but I proportion all of my costs into my elk hunting calculations.
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Re: How much $$ to hunt elk?

Postby Tigger » 11 13, 2018 •  [Post 51]

Caution: If you have a wife who is not a hunter, use extreme caution in how you calculate your elk hunting costs. For this reason, I do not include depreciation on my socks and underwear!

I think I mentioned this, but I don't include gear as it gets used for other things. Most people want to know how much money out of pocket directly related to the trip....travel, license, etc. Food is debatable, but if you are going to include it, you really should make sure you deduct the value of the meat at full retail as well. For our trip costs, I don't even follow my own advice. I include license, gas, lodging (if any) and groceries. Include any propane or that type of thing as well. Most of the time we end up between $1100 and $1500.
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Re: How much $$ to hunt elk?

Postby Fullabull » 11 15, 2018 •  [Post 52]

Since I pretty much have all the equipment I need now. Because I'm old and have been collecting it for years. Out of state tags. Gas, pre cooked meals and what ever else. I can get away with about 1,000 for two weeks of hunting. Costs are split between two of us.but it's probably more like 1,200 since we go into town and eat a few times
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