Whether you’re a seasoned hunter or just dipping your toes into the game, building a realistic budget is critical to getting the most out of your great outdoor adventure without breaking the bank.
Don’t let mismanaged funds keep you from the next big hunt—instead, allocate your funds towards the necessities. Or, if you’re a bare-bones hunter, you can save up to put money towards high-tech hunting gear to up your game come next season.
Regardless of why you’re interested in budgeting your next hunting trip, scanning through the following guide may help pave the way toward financial savings.
Cut back on the number of hunts
Though it may be tempting to commit to trip after trip as hunting season inches, limiting travels throughout the year and saving for a few well-planned hunts can save you big bucks. That way, you can get your big game fix without wasting money on minor excursions throughout the year that may not be worth your hard-earned money.
Instead, focus your energies on a few key hunts to satisfy your buck fever. Ultimately scaling back will allow you to save money on both travel and equipment since you won’t need as much of it.
Choose your destinations wisely
The cost of a hunting trip can vary greatly depending on which locations you choose. If you’re planning on going out of state to hunt, research the different areas and find one that doesn’t have outrageous licensing fees.
Additionally, you can search for a location that offers lodging or equipment rental discounts, allocating saved funds towards unavoidable expenses. Another way to save money on your destination is to carpool with other hunters to split the gas cost.
Bring your own food
One of the most significant expenses on a hunting trip is food, with many inexperienced hunters spending a small fortune without careful meal planning. To save money—and trips into town—consider bringing easy-to-make food that can last a few days while in the outdoors.
Though sandwiches are an excellent option, you may want to switch things up mid-trip, so consider purchasing meals you can cook directly over the fire. For example, hot dogs, beans, and rice are inexpensive and easy to make, allowing you to take a break from a slapped-together sandwich each day.
Process the meat yourself
If you’re successful on your hunt, the next step is to process your kill. Many hunters take their animals to a professional processor, which can be expensive. However, many penny-pinching hunters often process the animal themselves, offering significant savings.
Though stripping your game requires extra work, especially if you’re a beginner hunter, it’s worth it if you’re on a budget. You’ll need to purchase essential equipment— like a meat grinder and sausage stuffer —which you can find at most sporting goods stores.
Save money on equipment
One of the best ways to save money while hunting is to buy high-quality equipment that will last you for years. It’s tempting to buy the newest and greatest gear every year, but this is often unnecessary and costly.
Instead, invest in a few critical pieces of equipment, such as a good pair of boots and a quality hunting knife. With proper care and maintenance, high-quality gadgets can last years, making them a worthwhile investment.
Though purchasing new may be worth it in some scenarios, like a tent or knife, consider purchasing most of your equipment gently used for massive savings.
Look for package deals on licenses and tags
Another sure-fire way to save on your next big hunt is by looking for package deals on licenses and tags. Luckily, many states offer discounts if you purchase multiple licenses or tags at once, so take the time to research deals near your site to save throughout the year.
You can also save money by investing in a hunting license that’s good for multiple years, as it’s often cheaper to buy long-term than renew each year.
As you can see, there are several ways to save money while hunting, from limiting short trips throughout the year to investing in used gear. By following helpful budgeting tips, you’ll be able to enjoy the sport without breaking the bank.