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Old 12-18-2014, 09:02 AM
 
Location: Chattanooga, TN
2,775 posts, read 3,691,247 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1AngryTaxPayer View Post
How expensive is it if you are a resident? It can't be that bad? Pretty much all out of State hunting is an expensive mess.
For me, it wasn't the license, it was everything else. Yes, I could get a $56 General Hunt/Fish + Big Game license, then drive 2-hours with my old Marlin 30-30 and a box of $15 ammo to the Cherokee National Forest (free public land) and try to locate a deer. But I'd be wasting my time and would probably p*** off a "local" by interfering with their unofficially claimed hunting area. If I lived closer to the CNF I'd be all over it, but I simply don't have the spare time to do any sort of scouting or setup that far away.

The only hunting I do now... I simply grab the Marlin (or borrow a gun from my brother) and hike out behind my parents' house during my visits 1-2 times during the hunting season. If I get a deer (very rare with only a few hours of hunting time each year) I borrow my brother's equipment to get it out of the woods and dress it out. I'm not really doing this to get meat; really it's just an excuse to get off by myself and walk in the woods while listening to the wind and squirrels. More of a zen thing than a meat thing.

I estimated that to get everything I wanted to hunt locally was going to cost me about $1500. I wanted a good scope for the Marlin; a few boxes of good ammo to sight it in and practice; join a local hunting lease ($500 plus two work-days, but it comes with an group of responsible fellow hunters who are organized to avoid interference, plus a pre-set-up and maintained series of roads, blinds, and stands); a cheap starter crossbow and muzzle-loader to extend my hunting chances; and $$$$ worth of misc. clothing and gear. Even little things that cost $10-$20 can seriously add up if you have to buy everything at once. I don't even have a skinning knife, much less a way to transport a bloody deer carcass from down in a gully all the way to a processor.

Anyway, it turned out that my work/travel schedule was way too crazy this fall to do any of this, so my checkbook was spared the hit. But I am starting the process now to get ready for next year.
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Old 12-18-2014, 11:27 AM
 
19,952 posts, read 13,005,644 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Threerun View Post
We just hunted a mess of geese this weekend. Goose pastrami is on the list of things to make this winter!
Now that might be a good thing to do with geese! I've never really cared for goose. Now I kind of wish I had a place to shoot them.
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Old 12-18-2014, 11:29 AM
 
19,952 posts, read 13,005,644 times
Reputation: 1957
Quote:
Originally Posted by jwkilgore View Post
For me, it wasn't the license, it was everything else. Yes, I could get a $56 General Hunt/Fish + Big Game license, then drive 2-hours with my old Marlin 30-30 and a box of $15 ammo to the Cherokee National Forest (free public land) and try to locate a deer. But I'd be wasting my time and would probably p*** off a "local" by interfering with their unofficially claimed hunting area. If I lived closer to the CNF I'd be all over it, but I simply don't have the spare time to do any sort of scouting or setup that far away.

The only hunting I do now... I simply grab the Marlin (or borrow a gun from my brother) and hike out behind my parents' house during my visits 1-2 times during the hunting season. If I get a deer (very rare with only a few hours of hunting time each year) I borrow my brother's equipment to get it out of the woods and dress it out. I'm not really doing this to get meat; really it's just an excuse to get off by myself and walk in the woods while listening to the wind and squirrels. More of a zen thing than a meat thing.

I estimated that to get everything I wanted to hunt locally was going to cost me about $1500. I wanted a good scope for the Marlin; a few boxes of good ammo to sight it in and practice; join a local hunting lease ($500 plus two work-days, but it comes with an group of responsible fellow hunters who are organized to avoid interference, plus a pre-set-up and maintained series of roads, blinds, and stands); a cheap starter crossbow and muzzle-loader to extend my hunting chances; and $$$$ worth of misc. clothing and gear. Even little things that cost $10-$20 can seriously add up if you have to buy everything at once. I don't even have a skinning knife, much less a way to transport a bloody deer carcass from down in a gully all the way to a processor.

Anyway, it turned out that my work/travel schedule was way too crazy this fall to do any of this, so my checkbook was spared the hit. But I am starting the process now to get ready for next year.
May I suggest you take up squirrel hunting? You'd be surprised how good the little tree rats are. It's not a lot of investment. You can shoot them with a shotgun, or a .22. It's a great reason to go out in the woods for an hour or two.
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Old 12-18-2014, 11:37 AM
 
Location: In a state of mind
5,998 posts, read 6,389,581 times
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LOL, so you guys are saying by the time I get all this hunting stuff I might as well just buy a good steak? . So it's like fishing. (Fishing = $20,000 to 2 million dollar boat, costly rod and reel, etc., lures that cost more than a nice fish dinner...)

Now I know why people just watch this stuff on TV. LOL.

PS squirrl hunting should be done with a single shot .22, like we did as kids. And you'd better have a squirrl for each shot you spend!
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Old 12-18-2014, 11:50 AM
 
19,952 posts, read 13,005,644 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamies View Post
LOL, so you guys are saying by the time I get all this hunting stuff I might as well just buy a good steak? . So it's like fishing. (Fishing = $20,000 to 2 million dollar boat, costly rod and reel, etc., lures that cost more than a nice fish dinner...)

Now I know why people just watch this stuff on TV. LOL.
I do not pay for processing. I do it myself. I estimate that I get about $200 of meat from each deer I shoot. Last year I invested in a grinder for $150, and I figured it was paid for after the first deer.

The nice thing about guns is that if you maintain them, you will get your money back when you sell them. My rifle cost me $250 a few years ago. I shot 3 deer with it last year, and I've shot 2 so far this year. It's paid for.

My muzzleloder cost me $55. I took one with it last year. It's paid for.

My deer tags cost me $30 and I get to shoot 2 antlerless deer on each one. I did buy a buck tag--$30 for one. But that buck gave me 25% more meat than the big does I shot.

I did purchase a crossbow this year for $250. I got one deer with it, so the next one I get, it's paid for.

I don't really get into all the other accessories. I wear my regular heavy coat and insulated bibs that I wear for outdoor work in the winter. I do have an orange vest that I purchased 15 years ago to hunt pheasants. I also have a $5 orange stocking cap. The only other thing I bought was a tree stand that I paid $100 for at Walmart. I've taken 2 deer so far from it. I expect several more years of hunting from it.
Quote:
PS squirrl hunting should be done with a single shot .22, like we did as kids. And you'd better have a squirrl for each shot you spend!
I agree. I have a single-shot .22, but it doesn't have a scope and I can't hit anything with it. It has been a good gun to teach the kid gun safety and introduce her to shooting. I'd love to pick up a .22 with a scope but I can't justify spending the money just to harvest tree rats.
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Old 12-18-2014, 12:01 PM
 
Location: Lost in Montana *recalculating*...
10,978 posts, read 14,642,354 times
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You really don't have to spend a ton of money on this. When I was a teenager I hunted with an old Marlin .35 caliber lever action, wearing my jeans, a plain coat and a $2 orange vest. My dad lived in Fredericksburg VA, so for cost of lisc and a $10 fee to hunt Continental Can timber land I was off and running.

Can't recall how many deer we got, but it was a plenty.

I think too often we get hung up on the glitz and 'bone' shown on the hunting channel.

Now I'm older and I like to bird hunt. Yes- it is expensive. My two dogs cost $900 each not to mention the training time and materials I've put in. Upland birds- not so expensive- just invest in a good pair of walking boots. Waterfowl? EXPENSIVE. Decoys, blinds- you name it. I estimated that it cost me (currently) $65 a bird, lol.

But birding is now my passion and I'm willing (and capable) of spending some money on it. The family enjoys it, we spend time together and that's what counts!
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Old 12-18-2014, 05:17 PM
 
Location: Chattanooga, TN
2,775 posts, read 3,691,247 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Threerun View Post
You really don't have to spend a ton of money on this. When I was a teenager I hunted with an old Marlin .35 caliber lever action, wearing my jeans, a plain coat and a $2 orange vest. My dad lived in Fredericksburg VA, so for cost of lisc and a $10 fee to hunt Continental Can timber land I was off and running.
That's about what I spend when hunting at my parents' house, but again I use my dad's and brother's gear. Between the two of them they have everything from land (owned outright) to "orange" to ATV's to skinning pulley systems to freezers. I'm sure when you were a teen your parents or other relatives provided those things to you. I currently have none of those things at my house... yet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Threerun View Post
I think too often we get hung up on the glitz and 'bone' shown on the hunting channel.

Now I'm older and I like to bird hunt. Yes- it is expensive. My two dogs cost $900 each not to mention the training time and materials I've put in. Upland birds- not so expensive- just invest in a good pair of walking boots. Waterfowl? EXPENSIVE. Decoys, blinds- you name it. I estimated that it cost me (currently) $65 a bird, lol.

But birding is now my passion and I'm willing (and capable) of spending some money on it. The family enjoys it, we spend time together and that's what counts!
I wasn't talking about glitz and bling. I don't need calls or fancy climbing stands or scent on drag rags. I'm talking about the basics; things I have access to at my parents' house, and things you have, but I don't have in my house in a subdivision. Everything from a good dressing knife; to a place and equipment to hang the deer for skinning; to an additional freezer to store the meat; to a water-proof (blood-proof) tarp to lay in the back of the 4Runner for transport; to a hunter-orange vest and hat. Everything, ranging in price from $5 to $200, that you have at home that you've built up over years that a new hunter would need.

That, and the high price point I quoted was everything I might possibly get, including a new crossbow (plus bolts, targets, scope, etc) and muzzle-loader (plus powder, bullets, etc.). I tend to estimate worst-case for budgeting purposes, so maybe my estimate was way high. In reality the minimum base price would have been about $700 (lease, no crossbow or muzzle-loader, basic ammo, no scope, minimal equipment, etc.). Also, if I lived closer to public land I'd definitely take that route.

To throw in an example of hunting price creep: My son wanted a "real" bow for Christmas. I'm not a bow hunter and I don't know any local bow hunters, so I had to buy everything to get started. I originally estimated about $100 for a kid-sized (not hunting-grade) "real" bow plus accessories. The bow was only $60 (Barnet Tomcat), but final tally was $160 including bow, case, arrow rest, target (square foam, not a fancy 3D deer), arm guard, extra arrows, tax, and shipping. I can make additional free targets out of cardboard, old towels, and/or carpet if needed, but "Santa" is bringing a real target.

The little stuff really adds up fast if you have to buy it all at once.

As for tree-rats, it's been a while but squirrel dumplings is quite a treat. I may have to pump up my pellet gun and sit out on the back deck... there were six of the little beasts chasing each other around the hickories and oaks this past weekend. If I were really hunting them in the woods I'd probably use a .410 or 20GA; I used a .22 as a kid, but I've learned things about how far a .22LR bullet can travel when fired into the air. That said, see if you can install a decent peep site on that .22 instead of a scope. That's the option I elected to go with on my Marlin 30-30, and I'm not regretting it. I still may get a scope in the future, but the peep site was the best $45 upgrade I've ever done to a firearm. I'm going to get more for my other guns next.

Last edited by jwkilgore; 12-18-2014 at 06:08 PM..
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Old 12-18-2014, 07:51 PM
 
Location: so cal
1,110 posts, read 1,853,483 times
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Hunting should not be about money, although in this day and age I understand. Don't get get caught up in the hype on the outdoor channels. Just get out in the woods and learn about nature. I'm always shocked at how ignorant my friends are in the woods. Last year in the eastern sierras one of my friends turned to me and said what kind of bird is that. It was a Robin
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Old 12-18-2014, 08:10 PM
 
Location: Lost in Montana *recalculating*...
10,978 posts, read 14,642,354 times
Reputation: 11420
No seriously- All we had were a few rifles and knives. We had a chest freezer but we didn't use any fancy skinning knives or pulleys. Heck we didn't have a gambrel. My dad would tie a rope around their neck/jaw and we hoisted it over a rafter or a limb. We skinned from the head down...

I'm not joking- literally just wore my jeans, a flannel shirt, a jacket, an orange vest and a pocketful of shells. If we shot a deer, we drove the truck as close as we could, dragged it out and that was that.

I operated like that until I was about 30, and then I sort of bought a better jacket, some pac boots, a muzzleloader, a bow.. I started to expand my collection. But in all honesty- I could have just made due with what I had been doing all along.
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Old 12-18-2014, 10:16 PM
 
Location: Not far from Fairbanks, AK
16,178 posts, read 27,504,633 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Threerun View Post
No seriously- All we had were a few rifles and knives. We had a chest freezer but we didn't use any fancy skinning knives or pulleys. Heck we didn't have a gambrel. My dad would tie a rope around their neck/jaw and we hoisted it over a rafter or a limb. We skinned from the head down...

I'm not joking- literally just wore my jeans, a flannel shirt, a jacket, an orange vest and a pocketful of shells. If we shot a deer, we drove the truck as close as we could, dragged it out and that was that.

I operated like that until I was about 30, and then I sort of bought a better jacket, some pac boots, a muzzleloader, a bow.. I started to expand my collection. But in all honesty- I could have just made due with what I had been doing all along.
You are correct about not having to use expensive skinning knives and things like that. I hunt moose, and have a few expensive knives, not because I needed them, but because I wanted them The skinning knives I use the most are quite cheap. For example, about 15 years ago I bought two skinners that are made by Victorinox and back then cost around $12.00 each. The knives are now sold at Smokey Mountain Knife Works (something like that) and called "butcher" knife instead of skinner; it also costs a lot more, too. The skinner has a black synthetic handle that resists bacteria growth, and the 4" blade is of a very thin surgical steel that requires a sharpening angle of 15-17%. With a sharp edge I can skin 2 moose with one of these knives. This year while buying some car parts at NAPA I saw a small Old Timer skinner with a drop point, and since the price was $12.00 I bought it. During the moose season I used that little knife to help my friends skin a moose, and it was quite handy.

And I will tell you about something else that should work very well to open the hide of perhaps elk, and certainly moose: an utility knife that allows for replacing the blade without removing the screw in the middle. Buy a small pack of the Stanley utility knife blades that have a small hook at each end. You just have to be careful not to sink the hook into the flesh below the skin. Lift the hide, press the blade down to poke though the skin, and then pull the knife as it unzips just the skin. Don't need fancy knives, just one to open the hide, and then a small and sharp skinner.

The .338WM rifle and Leupold scope are long paid for since I bought them years ago when the price was low. The truck, ATV, and everything else except for food and gasoline have also been paid for long ago.
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