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A Poor Man's Sport

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A Poor Man's Sport

Postby Swede » 03 14, 2019 •  [Post 1]

How would you advise a young working person, that has no home State opportunity to hunt elk, to get in the game? Lets make this a little harder by saying he or she has a family. Also maybe this young person has a spouse that would like to elk hunt too. Based on your tips this will be the first elk hunt.
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Re: A Poor Man's Sport

Postby Elkhunttoo » 03 14, 2019 •  [Post 2]

It is hard and I'm in idaho where I can buy in state over the counter tags for my wife and I...4 kids and trying to find time for both of us to go is hard... for out of state, do your research on what states are charging and the total cost of the trip, save, budget, and plan when you can go... then by tags and not all of the new fancy gadgets that you can do without...you don't need $150 pants and $200 gaters and older bows work just fine too. I could go on and on about some of the new technologies that you can do just fine without that cost lots of money.

One of the best hunters I've ever hunted with shot a bull in 2000 with his bow. About 1 1/2 hours after shooting a mule deer buck with his bow. He was shooting a 15 + year old bow with tennis shoes, blue jeans and a $5 camo t-shirt. He used a $5 bugle tube, had 2-3 mouth reeds, and a coyote call that he used as a cow call (still one of the best sounding cow calls I've heard)... he had tags, and put himself in good spots by being a great hunter, not by spending $$$
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Re: A Poor Man's Sport

Postby Elkduds » 03 14, 2019 •  [Post 3]

Hopefully they have already started saving every month. Next step could be gathering a few points where they plan to hunt.
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Re: A Poor Man's Sport

Postby Indian Summer » 03 14, 2019 •  [Post 4]

Well... some things you cannot change. Those are license and travel expenses. Travel is what it is so my advice in that department is fill the vehicle with partners to split the cost.

To me achieving your goal eases the pain of the cost of hunting. Since a person in that situation probably isn’t hunting every year I will assume they have high hopes of bringing home some elk meat. That will also offset some of the costs since he can feed the family with it for awhile. So I wouldn’t play games picking a state to hunt. Drive a bit further and maybe pay a bit more for a license if you have to but set yourself up for success.

Speaking of licenses... does it have to be a bull? He can buy a Wyoming cow tag for $289 with a 100% chance of drawing it and a DAMN good chance of filling it. If it’s bull only buy points because also in Wyoming if you have enough points to draw in the regular draw it’s half the price of a tag in the special draw. That license is no more expensive than Montana, Idaho, or Colorado.

The only other thing I’d say is beg and borrow some gear. Camp at the truck. Be ready to butcher your own elk or have a friend do it because paying a processor means a few hundred bucks.

I never count the cost of food because you are eating whether you are hunting or not.
Keep it simple. All he really needs is that tag, a tent at the bottom of a mountain, a pair of boots and some time.

I guess I’ll add that an experienced partner with some gear means saving money among the other obvious benefits.
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Re: A Poor Man's Sport

Postby Lefty » 03 15, 2019 •  [Post 5]

my parents had a couple of huge Financial setbacks, they lost the house before the time of insurance and my dad still paid for and my dad was in a serious car wreck where a number people died and he was unable to work,
Our family vacations were fishing trips .My mom had relatives near Canada and in Canada that we were off and go visit during family vacations can be worked around hunting trips also.
As a side note President Obama said that a family vacation to Yellowstone was within everyone’s budget I think most people could make a hunting trip cheaper Yellowstone vacation.


As a youth and a young man I always thought it took a lot of money to hunt out west . Yet I knew a number of people working class folks that were hunting yearly in the west it was a matter of priority. Gas and tags are the greatest expense if archery hunting clothing is an as big of a deal
As a family we hunted doe antelope in Wyoming oos tags were cheap and it was a good long weekend break

Budget and priorities

My wife and I have never gone to a warm weather and climate vacation my kids of never been to Disneyland or Disney World however my kids of done a whole lot of things most other young adults never get to do
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Re: A Poor Man's Sport

Postby Lefty » 03 15, 2019 •  [Post 6]

I would extremely cautious and any man taking his wife and making her the keeper of the camp. When I hunted the desert there was another group of guys who often brought their wife and kids obviously weren’t wealthy but the whole family camp and hunted kind of crazy seeing a bunch of five-year-old kids running around the desert with their mom and their dad looking for elk I parked their minivan on the side of the last decent road built their camper one guy had a pick up they were all mode up in the back and on as a group
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Re: A Poor Man's Sport

Postby Lefty » 03 15, 2019 •  [Post 7]

i Would like to go back to it’s a matter of priorities

I have a trophy wife :shock:
When we married I knew she would be expensive (and worth it and hopefully who you marry is also)
Simple lifestyle adjustments as a family unfortunately it took my wife 30 years to adjust to reasonable spendi
A smaller home or less expensive, used vehicles no weekend parting like a rockstar
I’m not saying you need to go Dave. Ramsey but cut out the waste and unnecessary
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Re: A Poor Man's Sport

Postby elkstalker » 03 15, 2019 •  [Post 8]

When I first started elk hunting I lived in Montana so I had that advantage, but other than that I was a broke college student and on top of that I was already married with one kid. I picked up a used 7mm for pretty cheap, bought an inexpensive camo raincoat (and layered up underneath it), got some cheap army pants (that I still use), and pieced together the rest of my gear. You don't need expensive equipment to kill elk. A lot of my camping gear was acquired over time, so I had a sleeping bag and tent and a lot of other gear, I would assume someone wanting to get into elk hunting would have much of the same. The biggest hurtle will be tags and travel costs. Schedule out when the trip is going to be (a year, 2 years, etc.) and save accordingly.
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Re: A Poor Man's Sport

Postby six » 03 15, 2019 •  [Post 9]

Elkhunttoo wrote:
One of the best hunters I've ever hunted with shot a bull in 2000 with his bow. About 1 1/2 hours after shooting a mule deer buck with his bow. He was shooting a 15 + year old bow with tennis shoes, blue jeans and a $5 camo t-shirt. He used a $5 bugle tube, had 2-3 mouth reeds, and a coyote call that he used as a cow call (still one of the best sounding cow calls I've heard)... he had tags, and put himself in good spots by being a great hunter, not by spending $$$


Sound advice
Elk are where you find em...
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Re: A Poor Man's Sport

Postby Swede » 03 15, 2019 •  [Post 10]

Remember guys, this person has never seen an elk in the wild, let alone being compared with some great anything. His chances are in the low single digits for bringing home any elk unless he has some extra ordinary good advise. I have killed elk wearing blue jeans, a white tee shirt and Romeos. Our kid is not there yet.
I read some great ideas here. I think there are more, so lets work on this. Thanks
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Re: A Poor Man's Sport

Postby Lefty » 03 17, 2019 •  [Post 11]

Sometimes there are more important obligations.

The one extreme. A friend with his young family moved to a part of Iowa with his sole purpose of continuing killing lots of Pope and Young whitetails. The number of record deer and bear he killed before he was thirty would make Chuck Adams scratch his head and wonder.
Nearly everything he purchased was used.

In many ways the hunt would need to be a warmer weather hunt to reduce the problematic logistics

Never shot an elk or seen one! But wants an elk. Wife and kids can be in on the action, stay in 2 -3 man cabin Utah CWMU unit August cow elk hunt.
Or early depredation hunt
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Re: A Poor Man's Sport

Postby jmez » 03 18, 2019 •  [Post 12]

If you have hunting equipment and some basic camping gear you are set on that front. The expense will be tags, travel and some food. Those are fixed costs you can't avoid. Everything you own for hunting at home will work in the mtns. You will need a good backpack to get meat out.

Young kids are also an issue if you both want to go. Grandparents or farm them out to friends. The elk mountains are no place for kids, especially your first trip. If you plan on taking the kids, save the cost of the tags and go on a mountain adventure with the family. If you are not planning on hunting this year do some research and pick an area you want to hunt. For the first year or two, take the family and head to the unit for a vacation. Go camping, walk around and learn the country. Use it as a scouting trip. You will be way farther ahead when you decide to actually go hunt.
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Re: A Poor Man's Sport

Postby Lefty » 03 18, 2019 •  [Post 13]

Keep it simple. All he really needs is that tag, a tent at the bottom of a mountain, a pair of boots and some time.
:mrgreen: :mrgreen:


jmez wrote:,,,,,,. The elk mountains are no place for kids, ,,,,,,,.

This is one, in my opinion comment I completely disagree. Late season pack in I would say no,.jut too much effort. but anything else is more doable.
Each of my daughters were on remote hunts and fishing trips of all sorts every year of their young lives before their first year. It can be done and in my mind should be done.
Yes it changes the way you do things. And the expectations for a kill is different
In education over the years there were so many students, kids so disappointed being unable or left behind by their parents,.. the heartache Ive witnessed; maybe its a hunt, or a ballgame doesnt matter.

My daughters were all in backpacks before they could walk.
We have some great family memories being together,.. None of those memories are at the movie theater, or Disney land

A neighbor built his bear stand for the sole purpose of having both his young toddler sons in the blind with him and his wife

Ive mentioned this before. My father-n law took his four oldest daughters 2-7 years old on a remote hunt( he was able to jeep to the location over 50 years ago) Set up camp on a saddle and was able to kill his deer and elk from camp. Just him as the adult. and his four daughters.

My daughters dont remember all the early "stuff" but that's where they got their woods smarts or common scene unique love for the outdoors. The gratification of hearing your own kid sneak down the stairs early moring hours because they "want " to go along. When older the envy of all the hunting boys

A hunts dynamics are completely different with kids along. But it is a family hunt. a family vacation hunting is easily doable, even more so with two adults.
My daughters often sat on hillsides with me deer hunting. Nope; never killed a deer while reading a book to them,.. We completed a lot of homework-sitting in a goose or duck blind.
Some memories are incredible. The results of your kids in grade school to the outdoors will be different.
Hearing a three year old say " Coyote ears" while on your back
Or "Dad!!! biiig buck " ( when its a raghorn elk at the sports store) Had the owners and customers rolling on the floor

Our finances and choice of budget hasnt got us on guided or ranch hunts,.. but my daughters were doing things most kids never experience and were willing to do when peers hadn't had any experience.

I enjoy hunting with my middle daughter. I still know she "cost" me a number of elk
Im retired, my daughters still take a lot of my time. And I love it. Our life would not be the way it is if we hadnt taken them on all those hunts, checking traps and making supper together.
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