Carbon Express Arrows
Moose Hunt Prices
Moose
Contributors to this thread:
Tatonka 17-Mar-15
g5smoke21 17-Mar-15
Bou'bound 17-Mar-15
SDHNTR(home) 17-Mar-15
Aubs8 17-Mar-15
Stekewood 17-Mar-15
Foot Shooter 17-Mar-15
Rocky D 17-Mar-15
PAstringking 17-Mar-15
Rick M 17-Mar-15
Mule Power 17-Mar-15
BOWUNTR 17-Mar-15
arctichill 18-Mar-15
Jaquomo 18-Mar-15
arctichill 18-Mar-15
speedgoat 18-Mar-15
Halibutman 18-Mar-15
jdee 18-Mar-15
brettpsu 18-Mar-15
Tatonka 18-Mar-15
Woodsman416 18-Mar-15
Bou'bound 18-Mar-15
R. Hale 18-Mar-15
Mule Power 18-Mar-15
Tatonka 18-Mar-15
IdyllwildArcher 18-Mar-15
willliamtell 18-Mar-15
Stealth2 18-Mar-15
TD 18-Mar-15
DonVathome 18-Mar-15
Bill Obeid 18-Mar-15
Rayzor 18-Mar-15
Rayzor 18-Mar-15
Halibutman 18-Mar-15
Mainer 18-Mar-15
Mule Power 18-Mar-15
mixed bag 18-Mar-15
Mule Power 19-Mar-15
TODDY 19-Mar-15
WVarcher 20-Mar-15
Tatonka 20-Mar-15
jtelarkin08 20-Mar-15
Tao 22-Mar-15
Bake 22-Mar-15
Charlie Rehor 22-Mar-15
Liv2HntBigBullz 27-Mar-15
Jody Maddock 27-Mar-15
mixed bag 01-Apr-15
buck 01-Apr-15
ridgerunnerron 01-Apr-15
Tatonka 01-Apr-15
3arrows 14-Jun-15
Rockbass 14-Jun-15
Medicinemann 14-Jun-15
Zackman 14-Jun-15
Mule Power 14-Jun-15
'Ike' (Phone) 14-Jun-15
Mad Trapper 15-Jun-15
South Farm 15-Jun-15
Kdog 16-Jun-15
South Farm 16-Jun-15
Kdog 17-Jun-15
Southern draw 18-Jun-15
Allbirdies 19-Jun-15
TREESTANDWOLF 19-Jun-15
arctichill 20-Jun-15
Mike-TN 20-Jun-15
Mike-TN 20-Jun-15
Mike-TN 20-Jun-15
Mike-TN 20-Jun-15
Elkguide27 20-Jun-15
Mule Power 20-Jun-15
Tatonka 20-Jun-15
Elkguide27 22-Jun-15
Kdog 23-Jun-15
Charlie Rehor 23-Jun-15
bigguy 23-Jun-15
elkstabber 23-Jun-15
Elkguide27 23-Jun-15
BIGHORN 24-Jun-15
turkeyhunter 24-Jun-15
Mule Power 25-Jun-15
From: Tatonka
17-Mar-15
I put this under moose hunts, but it could apply to any species a person has to travel to do, pay an outfitter for, etc..

As someone who waited until I could afford a hunt, here's what I'd say to others who are younger, who think they can't afford a hunt, etc. Find a way to do what you want to do now. It might mean not buying the latest gadgets, owning a nicer vehicle, etc. I might even mean borrowing some money or finding a secondary source of income.. We never know what tomorrow is going to bring. I'm not saying to put a hunt ahead of your kids and family...they come first, but if you really, really want to go on a hunting adventure, find a way to do it now.

You'll find hunts for moose as well as most other big game (caribou, sheep, bear, elk, etc.) vary considerably in price from area to area.. Generally speaking, the lower the price, either the smaller the critters that are available, the numbers are low, or the hunt is for a shorter period of time. You won't regret paying a little more for a hunt with a top outfitter in a top area... You could pay for a cheaper hunt and either come home with an animal smaller than you were hoping for or none at all..

I always wanted to hunt sheep... I'd love to hunt a dall or a stone sheep, but they are expensive and I chose not to go when I was young and able. I could probably now afford a sheep hunt (it would still be a stretch), but physically I know it would be too much. I waited too long..

Hunts are not going to get any cheaper. Ten years or so ago you could hunt caribou in Quebec for under $4,000. Those prices have doubled (depending on what kind of hunt you choose to do). Unfortunately, licenses, air fare, etc. will continue to rise.

I see more and more hunters going out of state, to Canada, Africa, etc. to hunt. I don't know what the numbers are these days but I'm sure it's doubled in the past 15 or 20 years.... As more and more people travel to hunt, the demand increases and prices will go up. I know people here who have gone to Alaska, Canada, Africa, etc. who wouldn't have dreamed of doing one of those hunts 20 years ago...

From: g5smoke21
17-Mar-15
Tim You are 100 percent correct. Im 24. I dont have all the best things but have enough to get the job done. I make a modest living (i dont know what average really is but i would say im there) my job is blue color but gives me an awesome work schedule of 2 24 hr shifts per week. This also allows me to get a second job at scheels. Thats my hunt job. I take my earnings for that and use it for trips. I try to book hunts 3 years out to give me plenty of time to save up. I know if i dont do these things now i will regret it so im going to do whatever i can. If my girlfriend would be up for it i would move out of wisconsin to the west to go after more game. So for the other young guys who dont think they can afford it. Just set the goal and go for it! Plus you cant take your money with you when your dead!

From: Bou'bound
17-Mar-15
In life you can be a collector of "stuff" or experiences, but most people do not have the means ir inclination to do both.

You can collect "stuff" until the day you die but experiences and adventures, particularly the kind people on this site long for, are best enjoy earlier in life.

An outfitter I booked a hunt with 25 years ago had a tag line on his website "Do It Now While You Can Still Climb The Mountain". While certainly he was prompting people to get off the fence and send in their hard earned money on a deposit today.....which would be to his direct benefit....it really did resonate with me that some things actually should be acted on vs. over-thought.

I remember that little tag line a quarter of a century later, and while I would not use it as a justification to be selfish, reckeless, or fiscally irresponsible, I do use it as a reminder that adventures should be prioritized appropriately and the sooner you embark on them the longer you will have to remember them.

From: SDHNTR(home)
17-Mar-15
I'll go one further, do that stuff before you end up with a wife and kids! While money is an issue, time is a bigger one when you have a couple youngsters. I don't see any 2 week+ grand adventures in my near future unfortunately.

When you have the time, you don't have the money, and then when you have the money, you don't have the time, or health. Life's tough!

From: Aubs8
17-Mar-15
I've always subscribed to the "life's about stories" approach.

"Do a trip of a lifetime every year" - I heard first from Charlie.

"In order to experience fantastic things, you have to go to fantastic places" - I remember Bou recently quoting something like this.

"Seize the day."

I feel very lucky to have found Bowsite.com . Take care. Mike

From: Stekewood
17-Mar-15
Excellent advice all around. If you wait too long to go on your first "big hunt" there won't be enough time to go on the rest of them after you realize how important those experiences are to you.

From: Foot Shooter
17-Mar-15
There will alway be those that plan for life, and those that live it..... Most of us will never have enough money, or enough time and if ever we are lucky enough for one the other will be unobtainable.

I was very lucky to have been brought up knowing that if you want something you just have to make it happen. In my younger days it was motorcycle racing, now I am older and don't heal quite as fast so my hunting hobby has become my outlet. I will be in Africa this year, and northern BC next year chasing moose, elk, and mt. Goat. Started taking hunting trips in 2003, and have been able to do at least 1 big trip a year since then.

I am an electrician, so it takes a little to make this happen...... But there are choices to make if you want to live and do certain things. I hope more people get to actually do the things they dream of rather than hoping for some miracle to happen for them to actually chase a dream. Just decide on a trip, figure out a realistic plan, and do it!

From: Rocky D
17-Mar-15
Go on hunting trips but work hard so you can do more later. Create a lifestyle not a hobby would be my advice. A hunt for a 170 class whitetail is a trip of a lifetime, as is a quality elk hunt, and if you must pick that lofty animal and go after it. It may be once every three to five years but hunting close does not mean it is not an adventure. Personally I have not ever paid for a hunt but am not opposed to the thought. Two years ago I spent 21 days in montana and came home empty handed from turning down a smallish six by six but to spend three weeks in big sky country cannot be replaced. Get in the point game and have a plan.

From: PAstringking
17-Mar-15
A lot of my family think I'm crazy.... And my wife gives me some odd looks from time to time.... But they understand that I am in a position currently that allows me to travel and hunt. I hunted in Iowa, Hawaii, Newfoundland, Maryland, and Wyoming last year. Did it stretch my budget... Heck yea.... But I loved every second of it!!

Taking the wife to Africa in July.... Last big trip as a couple before the family starts!!

Get out and do it now.... Lock in prices and make payments!!

From: Rick M
17-Mar-15
It is a matter of priorities and balance. I have 2 young kids and a wife who understands. I give up time and extras all year to go on a hunt each fall. I don't hunt at home as much as I used too but that is fine. Going DIY exclusively helps a lot. The trade off is effort and some time to do the research. The most expensive trip I have ever been on was Alaska in 2012. We went 2 for 2 on good bulls for under $5000 each. My average elk hunt runs under $2000.00.

If you want it bad enough you can make it happen.

Good luck to all

From: Mule Power
17-Mar-15
"It is a matter of priorities"

Period!

From: BOWUNTR
17-Mar-15
Ditto.... Ed F

From: arctichill
18-Mar-15

arctichill's embedded Photo
arctichill's embedded Photo
I just booked a Yukon Moose hunt for 2016. This was a trip I was supposed to do with my Dad. We've been talking about it for years. Every year he would say, "Let's do it now...I'm not getting any younger!" My Dad died January 4th, 2014. He had just turned 65 years old. Although 65, he was a backcountry hunting machine! Few young men could keep up with my Dad. I refrained from committing to the moose hunt that was on his bucket list because considering my Dad's physical condition and lifestyle I assumed we had at least a decade to fit that in. I would always tell him, "Maybe next year."

As the sole income provider for my family it was tough to justify spending thousands of dollars on a hunting trip. I didn't seem to have any trouble justifying spending those thousands for the same trip so could carry a handful of his ashes along with me??? There is no sum of money I wouldn't pay to do that trip with my Dad right now!

This is a DIY trip that I'm now doing with a good friend. It was supposed to be a trio, but now it's a duo. I'm excited about the trip. I'm also struggling with the fact that I didn't do this sooner so my Dad could have ben with us. Granted, My Dad will be with me, but not in the way I wanted.

The doctors still don't know why/how he died. He was the poster-child for health and fitness. There are not words to describe the relationship my Dad and I shared. My life will never be the same. I would rather hunt cottontails with him than Yukon Moose or Bighorn Sheep without him.

I expected 20 more years afield with my Dad. I am unable to think in terms of years anymore. I simply want to enjoy and maximize the opportunity afforded to me each day with my family. I hope to accompany my 4 year old son on some of the trips my Dad and I enjoyed together. I expected those trips to include my son, me and my Dad. The problem with expectations is that many are beyond our control.

From: Jaquomo
18-Mar-15
Jesse, that is a heart-wrenching and terribly moving story. I'm sorry for your loss. Things like what happened to your dad happened to some close to me, too. Its exactly why I figured out a way to quit working early, before we planned, to live the rest of life to the fullest and hunt and fish as much as possible. Tomorrow may be the last day for any of us. Or the day after this hunting season ends.

"Next year" is only a hope, not a certainty.

BTW, thank you for helping my good friend Adventurewriter on his hunt this year. He couldn't speak any more highly of you, who expected nothing in return.

From: arctichill
18-Mar-15
Jaq,

Adventurewriter is one of the most exceptional human beings I have ever met. He forgot his sleeping pad at my house. I look at it every day before I leave for work. Sitting next to that pad is a red coffee mug that is the last coffee cup I ever saw my Dad drink from. Ted and I were shooting the breeze in my garage as he processed his Oryx. A few inches of snow had fallen the night before. My Dad cruised by on his ATV and shoveled some snow as he drank his coffee. My neighbor then stopped by on his ATV to offer to clear some snow. We were all enjoying each other's company as Ted processed his Oryx.

As my Dad rode away not one of us could have imagined it would be the last time we would see him performing as a strong and capable man. The fact that Ted allowed my Dad and I to accompany him on his Oryx hunt is priceless. That decision allowed us a few more days of doing what we loved together. I owe Ted...adventurewriter...more than I can explain. His friendship is immeasurable.

From: speedgoat
18-Mar-15
Jesse, I would like to thank you too for sharing that story. It is the best horrible story I have read in a long time. It is also the elclamation point on this whole thread. My son and I have a great relationship much like you and your dad. To this point I have ponied up the money to help him go on some of these hunts since he is still trying to establish himself and a career. This year he found it a little hard to let loose of the money for a Wyoming elk tag in a great area. I just hope it is as great an adventure as some of our past hunts. With any luck I will be posting a great story here come late September. Bowhunting for me isn't just a hobby, it's a complete way of life. Not a day goes by without me thinking of it in one way or another. I work many weekends and nights through the off season to be able to go on extra hunts and to make up for the time I take off during the season. Many of my friends think I am completely crazy for doing so, but they are also the ones who wish they could go on even one hunt a year. I may take it somewhat overboard, but it's worth it to me. The dreams of bowhunting new animals in new places keeps me going when I think of goofing off instead of getting something done. Enjoy all of your hunts this year, successful or not.

From: Halibutman
18-Mar-15
This is the best thread I've ever read here. Inspirational. Motivational. Heart breaking.

Reducing cost of living has lead me to some incredible experiences. I have deliberately chosen to spend my money on travel and hunting instead of buying "stuff" and hoping for some sort of capital appreciation as a result. My trips are all priceless. As mentioned, the cost of those trips often goes up over time. I think of it as an investment to plunk down my deposit years in advance and make installments to save several thousand dollars at the time I take the trip. So far, it's working out in my favor on a dollar cost basis.

Airline miles have sure been my friend along the way. Everyone should have a card that awards them. I use my alaska airlines visa to buy almost everything and even pay many of my bills. Amazing how fast they seem to pile up (the miles...and the bills...)

I love to hunt. I can't imagine life without the anticipation of my next adventure. The piles of maps in my office, the marks in pen and pencil, the journals and the antlers are all physical reminders of where I have been and what I have done. The memories are worth more to me than anything and cannot be taken away. I may be broke and destitute later in life, but I will have my memories. They are like a tattoo on my soul, and one I'm damn proud to wear.

From: jdee
18-Mar-15
I always thought I wanted to go to Alaska or Canada and hunt Moose. I would look at the price of a hunt for $12,000 to $15,000 for a week or two of hunting and just couldn't justify it. If the price was better I would, but I don't think it is worth it... IMO. I became friends with a Kansas rancher after hunting with him and now I hunt his big ranch every year also met an old NM cowboy about 10 years ago and became real good friends and he lets me buy his landowner tag (dirt cheap-great unit) and stay at his place all Sept. if he ends up with a bow tag.

I am so thankful for those two guys and love hunting there so much I really don't even think about the high dollar hunts anymore. These hunts don't cost much but they are action packed every year...Big bulls and Big bucks.

This kind of relates to this thread.... My wife and I, about a week before Christmas in 92 were at her parents house and ate dinner with them said goodbye and went home later that night out of the blue.... her mom had a massive heart attack and died at 53 years old.

If going to Alaska or somewhere else to hunt is something you think you need to do you better get after it because every day is a blessing and old age is not guaranteed.

From: brettpsu
18-Mar-15
My grandfather, who passed this January, had traveled all over the world and the last thing he said to me was "be sure to travel lots because when your my age all you have is memories"

From: Tatonka
18-Mar-15
These responses truly touch me.... Everyone here "Gets it"... Going to Alaska, Canada, Africa, etc. is about taking whatever animal you are hunting, of course, but for those who haven't done it, it's far more than that. It's the whole experience... It's seeing the country, meeting the people, and all of those things that are unexpected. For me, my last hunt for moose in Northern B.C., the little town of Atlin sticks out in my mind.. A town of a couple hundred people at the end of dead end road on an absolutely gorgeous lake. Wonderful people and the drive getting there is beyond words....

On my Manitoba Caribou hunt I was teamed up with an elderly gentleman from Oregon I'd never met prior to the hunt.. The stories he told are etched in my mind. He'd hunted all over the world and has a 16,000 square foot trophy room in his home....500 mounts and 300 of them are full body mounts! I never would have met him or heard his stories if I'd not gone on that hunt...

Families always come first, as I've stated as have others. The one problem with traveling to other states, provinces, and countries is that it can become very addictive!!!

From: Woodsman416
18-Mar-15
Great points! I just sent out my deposit to bowhunt grizzly on the Dietrich River in Alaska for exactly the reasons noted above.

From: Bou'bound
18-Mar-15
Someone said memories are priceless and that is so true.

The great thing about hunts is the anticipation and the recollections. We may plans for years and remember for decades and decades that which occurs in a short 5-10 day trip. The cost of that trip is exorbanent when amortized over a handful of days, but when ammortized over the time you anticipated it and remember it is is just a couple dollars a day.

If you plan for a $15,000 trip for 3 years and remember it for 40 the per day cost is only $0.95 (95 cents a day!).

Honestly I don't know that I would spend $10 to hunt my most fantasized about species if someone told me I would not know until the day before I went that I was going to go on the hunt and that I was going to die the day after the hunt.

From: R. Hale
18-Mar-15
The world changes rapidly. The hunting world changes more rapidly.

At the rate the quality and availability is going down and the price is going up, most of us either need to do it now or find another interest. Open to suggestion on other interest.

Tried to book a relatively expensive hunt last year and was offered a contract. Among other things, one of the conditions was that if the outfitter did not make the hunt happen, for any reason, he did not owe me a refund. Another nice one was that the outfitter retained all rights to photographs of the hunt. Both his and mine.

I guess people actually sign things like that. I don't.

From: Mule Power
18-Mar-15
As an outfitter I've seen my share of sad events. From the ones where guys waited until retiring to book their first elk hunt... which they were no longer physically capable of enjoying... to a father son hunt gone down the tube after the dad passed from brain cancer during the summer. Then there are the job losses. Divorces. Injuries.

But the single most common reason for not living life to the fullest is not trying. A moose hunt does NOT have to cost 15 grand or more. As a matter of fact one that runs 5 or 6 grand on your own will be as enjoyable and more rewarding than the high priced one. PLUS... if you really take a liking to it you can go back instead of having it be a once in a lifetime hunt. 1 guided hunt equals 3 DIY hunts. Maybe 4.

Since you are already on Bowsite you are a 3rd of the way to coming up with an affordable DIY hunt plan. Look at the homework and research as paying yourself 10 grand to plan the hunt.

My plan is to have enough campfire stories to tell when the day comes that I cannot realistically consider hunts like that. Now is the time to make those memories! The last thing I plan to do is sit in a rocking chair saying I wish I did this, I wish I'd done that. Instead I'll look at those shoulder mounts and euros and say you can take me now Lord because I've seen what this world has to offer.

From: Tatonka
18-Mar-15
"Tried to book a relatively expensive hunt last year and was offered a contract. Among other things, one of the conditions was that if the hunt did not take place due to any reason, the outfitter did not owe me a refund. Another nice one was that the outfitter retained all rights to photographs of the hunt. Both his and mine.

I guess people actually sign things like that. I don't."

Wow!! That's unbelievable! On my moose hunt last fall with Cassiar Stone Outfitters the agreement stated I would receive a refund of the deposit if anything unforseen occurred with either party... Here's what I copied from the agreement:

"Refund the deposit in the event of cancellation due to uncontrollable circumstances by either party."

Not many outfitters offer that....

18-Mar-15
You must spend 5 digits to have a good hunt in the west. Start saving folks.

From: willliamtell
18-Mar-15
It's taken me 10 years to save up to where I can put in for 30 or so high-quality hunts in the west annually. It may not be the drop a large chunk of change to pay an outfitter to put you in front of a (large)animal, but I have and will continue to see and experience awesome things along the way.

I'm going to start another thread about personal mileage tipping points for DIY azzkicker hunts.

From: Stealth2
18-Mar-15
My 1979 Caribou bowhunt...total cost with bringing back meat....$1200. My 1982 Moose hunt in BC was around $3600. Thank God I bowhunted the western states and Provinces when they were "affordable".

From: TD
18-Mar-15
A great thread. Some heart wrenching wisdom/experience in it. Great stuff.

Life's truths and hard cold facts. Life doesn't care, it just keeps on spinning. It is the individual person that has to steer and drive his life down the road he wants as best he can, with so much of it out of our control.... a road you never know what is around the next bend. And few in their youth realize the road will run out, end at some point.

Can't argue with anything above. Only thing I could add is to use your drive for the hunt... for the adventure... to keep your health and fitness to the highest level you can, as long as you can. You will extend your hunting life and your passion for it. Honestly, if I didn't have hunting, the obsession to go after the physical hunts... I would likely be 30-40lbs overweight and my biggest excitement would be planning a cruise on a boat where I eat and sleep my way to oblivion. I can't imagine another passion great enough to physically work that hard at it.

It gets harder and harder to do as you get older, have to commit and seriously work on it. When you relax and slide down the hill, what you lose is harder to get back, if you ever do. Have to work harder and commit more every year. I do not intend to age gracefully or peacefully. It is a fight I know I will lose.... but will fight the good fight all the way, all I can.

Everybody hits that wall at the end of their road. If I can... I'd like to hit mine hard enough to leave a dent.....

From: DonVathome
18-Mar-15
A hunt with a good chance at a big moose is very pricey, big moose are really hard to come by. You are paying for a LOW supply.........

IMO the hardest hunt to find a good chance at a trophy animal vs. all other game readily available. Meaning sheep are not common many places, moose are.

From: Bill Obeid
18-Mar-15
16 years ago I was about to turn 40. I was taking a hunting trip once or twice a year and spending about 2,500$ a year on hunting. When I was a young man I had done a lot of mountaineering and had lived for high places .

My wife and had attended the sheep show and I decided it was time to start my sheep hunting. The only problem was I couldn't afford it. I hatched my strategy at that show. first,I had already been applying for bighorn points in Wyoming. Hoped to draw one day. ( I'm sitting on 19 points )

Second,I started applying for desert sheep in all available states.

Third, I canvassed the show and found a Stone sheep outfitter that would take payments. At the time Stone sheep hunts were 12,500-13,500 dollars. Astronomical .i gave him my 2,500$ that was set aside for my elk hunt as a down payment........ Because he offered to take payments until my hunt was paid for AND hold the price. 4 years later I shot my first sheep.

Finally, I booked a Dall hunt , the year after my Stone hunt , but I booked it 3 years out and started chipping away.........I think back then Dall hunts were about $9,000.

Those two hunts stretched my budget , but......."the places I've been & the people I've met. "

I'm 100% draw now in Wyoming for bighorns , and honestly I don't care if I do or don't ever draw a desert sheep tag. It would be nice but three sheep hunts in my lifetime was 3 more than I ever thought I'd get.

Hope my story encourages one young hunter to just get started.......life does speed up as we get older.

From: Rayzor
18-Mar-15
I spent 20 years trying to talk my friends into joining me on hunts. They want to go but always seemed to have other priorities for their funds. In that time some of the hunts that were once affordable to me climbed out of my reach and many of the ones I could still afford I'll likely never be able to do now due to various ailments. I finally figured if I was ever going to be able to experience any of these hunts I was going to have to quit waiting around on everyone else and just go. I wish I had done that a long time ago because now I keep having these crazy thoughts like for the cost of a couple of those hunts for the animals of my dreams, I could quit working a year or two earlier, hunt more closer to home home and maybe spend a entire winter or two somewhere with different game to chase than what I have around here.

From: Rayzor
18-Mar-15
I spent 20 years trying to talk my friends into joining me on hunts. They want to go but always seemed to have other priorities for their funds. In that time some of the hunts that were once affordable to me climbed out of my reach and many of the ones I could still afford I'll likely never be able to do now due to various ailments. I finally figured if I was ever going to be able to experience any of these hunts I was going to have to quit waiting around on everyone else and just go. I wish I had done that a long time ago because now I keep having these crazy thoughts like for the cost of a couple of those hunts for the animals of my dreams, I could quit working a year or two earlier, hunt more closer to home home and maybe spend a entire winter or two somewhere with different game to chase than what I have around here.

From: Halibutman
18-Mar-15
Waiting on a companion to accompany them on the hunt is the most common reason for not going that I hear. I've crossed oceans alone more than once, been flown in alone in alaska at least 3 times, and met strangers in about a dozen airports that loaded me up and guided me to animals and adventure. Guess what? Along the way I met a ton of like minded individuals. Now I've got plenty of potential hunting partners.

From: Mainer
18-Mar-15
What? "You must spend 5 digits to have a good hunt in the west" You must be joking. I can travel solo from Maine to the west and back...depending on gas prices for $1000 tops. Don't need a motel. Have the tent etc for years. Bow is 12 years old and still works. Eat normal meals just like I was home with no eating out. Get and elk tag $650 wish, deer $350, antelope $350, and hunt for over a month all inclusive for under $3K.

From: Mule Power
18-Mar-15
Don "A hunt with a good chance at a big moose is very pricey, big moose are really hard to come by."

I'm surprised to hear that from a methodical planner like you. Everyone here has seen some great bulls taken by people here on DIY hunts. I'm hunting an area with a history of 60+ inch bulls and my cost door to door will be 5 grand. Mixedbag kept his to 4K because of Alaska Air air miles.

Halibutman "Waiting on a companion to accompany them on the hunt is the most common reason for not going"

Soooo true. I don't hunt with any of my friends that I sped time with the rest of the year. My hunting partners are an entirely different circle of friends. Mixedbag and I have yet to even meet each other! Just two hunting fools sharing a dream that met on an online dating website known as BOWSITE. haha

Where there's a will there's a way to make it happen with proper planning.

From: mixed bag
18-Mar-15
A moose partner is the toughest to find,trust me.It took me 3 years to talk mulepower into it.I had 2 back out for various reasons before signing on the dotted line so to speak,and a lot of tire kickers.Like mulepower said, my costs will be at 4k with hotels and everything mixed in.I got my flight from Philly for $11.90 with my air miles so that saved almost a grand.Pay all your expenses with your credit card each month then pay just the card in full by check each month and your miles build quick.I still got20k miles left over for next season. Transporters are the biggest expense.I tell people to put away $50 each paycheck and they are in Alaska hunting within 2 years;unguided of course.I don't see a reason to pay a moose guide and certainly not for caribou.I just wish I could diy grizzly or sheep.The transporters will always put you on good spots or find your own. I hunt with new people almost each year and have no problems with that.I can deal with anyone for 2 weeks,and its really not hard dealing with another hunter.

From: Mule Power
19-Mar-15
"I can deal with anyone for 2 weeks"

OK folks... you heard it in writing right here on Bowsite. Stay tuned.

Did I mention I snore like a freight train and my digestive system has a bad reaction to Mountain House meals? bwaahahaha

From: TODDY
19-Mar-15
Rick M is spot on to what I am experiencing. I have two younger kids and I hunt less in my home state to allow me blocks of time to hunt out of state, one or two trips a year (not sacrificing family time). As for the funds to do it: Rather than an expensive first hunt somewhere, I accumulated what I needed for gear for DIY hunts. Now I just go more times for less money. The research for the out of state hunts is half the fun. Personally, it had been harder for me to find guys to go with that share the same passion and style of hunting that matches mine. TODDY

From: WVarcher
20-Mar-15
This is a great thread... I've always hunted but it wasn't till the last few years that I got the urge to head out west for adventure. 3 trips later I was starting to learn the ropes....then my health took a downward spiral and I wished I had begun sooner doing the things I want to do now but cant. I'm only 39 and will probably never get the chance to chase my wild adventures.. point is, do it while you can, money can be made again but your health is something you may never ever be able to get back. Wvarcher

From: Tatonka
20-Mar-15
One thing I'd like to emphasize is to not to cut too many corners when going on a hunt. I know that most of us are not rich and if most of you all are like myself, you were brought up pinching pennies, but don't cut yourself short when it comes to going on a hunt.. Save a little longer, sell something you own, or whatever but you'll not regret spending a little more to do whatever hunt you want to do the way you want to do it.

From: jtelarkin08
20-Mar-15
I am one of the ones who was always trying to get friends to go on hunts and putting them off because of that.> but not anymore. Luckily im still only 29 and hopefully have alot of healthy years left. Im starting my solo hunting life this year in BC.. Cant wait

From: Tao
22-Mar-15
My point of view as a guide. Over the last 25 years of bringing bull moose to within bow range for clients. Almost all of them say they should have started sooner to collect their memories. There are some that after some life altering event like a heart attack , stroke, cancer, loss of a leg, etc..... have decide to now go after those dreams. With all their challenges have done it........ My very first client to harvest a bull, a fellow +70 years old, has told the outfitter he wants to book every year for him and his sons until he passes away, plus one so his boys can bring him out to be on his stand with us.

From: Bake
22-Mar-15

22-Mar-15
Eventually we come full circle and a back 40 hunt for whities is just as good as it once was! Life is very interesting, enjoy your ride!

27-Mar-15
Chalie, that is an interesting point. Especially from someone who has a lifetime of adventures under his belt.

I have logged a bunch of great western hunting adventures, but it is time for me to head northward into BC and Alsaka before its too late.

From: Jody Maddock
27-Mar-15
This is an impressive group, really enjoyed this thread. I am 57 and 7 short of all 29 North American species. Need a stone sheep, Polar bear and Tule elk in that 7. Those would be fun but I just can't justify the cost and two new grandchildren are a great new priority. I will stay after the other 4 and hope the body hold up. Took my 3 sons to BC and Alaska 7 years ago to be sure I got that in.

Knee replaced last year. Family first but by all means find the balance and do what you can now. Good luck to all.

From: mixed bag
01-Apr-15
I was always told your health will go before your money when it comes to hunting.Don't push off your dreams!!!!

From: buck
01-Apr-15
do it when you are young i always wanted to go on a moose hunt i thought i will go when i am a little older,well hell now i could do it ,financially ,but not physically ,bad knees,bad disk in back ,i cant barely walk a pheasant field anymore,my mind says ,i am 21 my body says 101 go while you are in good heath,life is short

01-Apr-15
Great thread, great comments and views here posted... Try to make it happen ASAP...If a guy wants it bad enough, it is possible to make it happen.

From: Tatonka
01-Apr-15
When my Mom turned 80 she said she couldn't believe she was that old....that when she looked in the mirror it was like looking at someone she didn't know at that in her mind she still felt like she was 21....

The song "Time"..

"When I was young, I dreamed of being older.. Now that I'm older, I dream of being young. I dreamed of a time, when there was no time at all, Now I wonder, where the time has gone..

When I was young, I dreamed of how I'd spend my life. Now that I'm older, I spend my life in dreams... The things I planned I never did... The things I did, I never planned.. And All the while it's later than it seems..

"Time, you're no friend to me... As you go ticking by, I can hear the enemy.. Each day you add a number to things I'll never be.. Oh time, you're no friend to me...

A few of the verses....

From: 3arrows
14-Jun-15
When I was 21 I spent 200.to go on a Bear hunt.Guys at the club said I was crazy and could not believe I paid another 150. for the Bear rug.Now we eat breakfast every week before we shoot 3d.That was 46 years ago,1 guided hunt and many DIY hunts later.Guess who has the biggest smile.

From: Rockbass
14-Jun-15
Wow...great thread! One of the best to bring a range of emotions as you read the different experiences and views. Thanks to all for sharing.

My friends and family (including the Loans Manager at my Credit Union)thought I was crazy when I would go on some of my adventures alone to all parts of the world. I consider myself extremely lucky being a blue collar worker and have hunted some of the more expensive animals: Brown, Polar, Moose, Elk, Muskox, Walrus, Cape Buffalo, Hippo, Elephant and several more.

I still drive a very sad looking, tired vehicle but I am happy with that because it is paid for and in the last 2.5 years have over 15,000 in my hunting fund instead of car payments (Yes...I live in Canada and vehicles are more expensive up here!) I have been lucky in that once I have a plan on where I would like to go I do my research and then with some patience I have purchased some great deals on cancellation hunts and auction hunts through WSF and SCI.

I still hope to draw a Sheep tag one day and a top notch Elk Tag and apply every year and part of what drives me is the dreaming and the planning. Bowhunting turkey with a friend of mine who is starting to slow down at 75 is now one of my highlights each year. It is all about the memories and it can all be taken away in a split second so enjoy it while you still can.

Reading all the great stories and adventures and seeing the fabulous photographs shared by fellow bowsiters definitely helps.

P.S. This thread motivated me to ask my 82 year old father to do a fly-in fishing trip to Northern Ontario with me. I have the money and I still have my dad. When I called him he said he will think about it but my mother said just book it and he can think about it when he is sitting in the boat! Arctichill I am sorry for your loss of your father but thank you for kicking my ass.

From: Medicinemann
14-Jun-15
Great thread....thought provoking....

From: Zackman
14-Jun-15
Nice thread. My entire life has been spent bowhunting and I can thank my dad for that. Throughout my teens and 20s, I hunted all over the western U.S. with both my parents. When I turned 30, I decided I didn't want to wait any longer to visit places and have experiences I had dreamed about since childhood. Over the next couple years, I will bowhunt moose, mountain goat, antelope, brown bear, sheep, caribou, mountain lion, coues deer, sitka blacktail and others, as I begin traveling to more exotic places.

However, each year I make sure to do at least one hunt with Dad. He even went to Kodiak with me last year! Even though dad won't be with me on each hunt, he is the reason I am there. And it makes each hunt we do together even more special as we share the one thing that has always bonded us together...no matter what is happening in our lives

From: Mule Power
14-Jun-15
I have to add: I'm sure that most have heard the saying "Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day... but teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime"

I realize that some hunt require an outfitter no matter what. Canadian hunt, certain species in Alaska... or hunts overseas. BUT.... there are some incredible DIY opportunities here in the states. Don't try to plan a high success hunt of a lifetime right out of the chute. Just get started. Take small steps. In the long run you can experience success as good or better than on guided hunts. Also... when you do decide to take friends you won't have to talk them into a high dollar hunt and if you want to take kids you won't have to break the bank.

An outfitted hunt can be a great way to start. But even then you should look at it as an education... an investment in future DIY hunts. When you do eventually have a few places where you are happy with DIY hunting you can hunt for a lifetime with family and friends.

One interesting fact is that right here in the lower 48 one of our premier big game animals which is elk offers the most public land to hunt and licenses aren't that big of a deal. So go get your feet wet and start learning to fish!

14-Jun-15
Awesome thread...

From: Mad Trapper
15-Jun-15
TD x 2

From: South Farm
15-Jun-15
I would add try to go before you get married and have kids;)

From: Kdog
16-Jun-15
Shared a camp with an gentleman in his 60's. He told me to do it, even if you have to borrow the money!

He was an understated guy, a farmer. As I got to know him I found out he had killed a 63" moose, and grizzly on the same hunt. Later I found out he had killed 20 elk, and I am not sure how many bears and other animals he had taken. Great guy.

From: South Farm
16-Jun-15
Don't be fooled, today's farmers are a lot richer than they look. LOL!

From: Kdog
17-Jun-15
No doubt South Farm, the gentleman I am referring to in my post is probably in a good place financially. I would never borrow money go on a hunt, but he made a good point. He specifically told me that a hunt he went on 10 years ago cost 15k. He shot a 63" moose and a grizzly bear. Now the same hunt with the same outfitter runs 25-30k.

To put it another way. My wife is a doctor. When she was younger and doing her internship I can remember her telling me about an older couple. They made a point to tell her to "travel and do thing things you want to now, while you are still healthy and able to." They said they always saved their money. Finally when they were able to retire, they had so many health problems they were not able to travel and do the things they always wanted to. They were not specifically talking about hunting, but I think the point still rings true.

18-Jun-15
Moose hunts are for sure not getting any cheaper, I just recently had a go around with the better half and my story was, my Truck is paid for and our house will be paid for in less than 3 years, by no means are we well off, but you have to do it when you can! And guess where ill be come late Sep- mid Oct in BC hunting moose if successful or not I will say, i have never looked back on the cost of a hunt and said I should have saved the money and not gone. And dont be fooled and think Outfitters are getting rich there is a ton of costs that we as hunters dont even think about.

From: Allbirdies
19-Jun-15
This is exactly the approach I have to hunting outside of my home state of Texas. Luckily I will be going on an nice elk hunt this year with my uncle (less than 3 months now!!!). I'm 36 and still would like to do a moose and sheep hunt. Somehow I just have to convince my wife. I want to go the mountains she wants to go to the beach!! Go figure...

19-Jun-15
Jesse your story is very moving, Thank You for writing and sharing it.

There are so many guys out there that need to read this thread, so much great advice.

I waited for so many guys that finally I had enough. My inspiration and mentor Ridgerunner Ron gave me the kick in the butt I needed and I will do everything I can to enjoy traveling and hunting. I've met the most amazing people and wouldn't trade a minute of it.

From: arctichill
20-Jun-15

arctichill's Link
Thank you all for the support and encouragement both on this thread and via PM.

Attached is a link to a short story I wrote recently that some of you may enjoy reading. The story is titled "Tree of Life" and begins on the first page.

Also, in the spirit of Father's Day, I would strongly recommend reading the cover article, written by Carl Abrams (smarba on Bowsite). I was very fortunate to have been able to follow the incredible year that Carl's writing was based on play by play as he kept me informed along the way. Every time he shared another story of his daughter's hunts with me the first thing I did was call my Dad to spread the great news.

There's no question in my mind that parents and kids sharing the passion that is hunting creates one of the most special bonds that could ever exist.

Happy Father's day (a wee bit early) to all the Dad's on Bowsite.

From: Mike-TN
20-Jun-15

Mike-TN's embedded Photo
Mike-TN's embedded Photo
Anyone reading this thread and getting ready to spend a bunch of money on a hunt that will be a financial stretch needs to go back and read Mule Power's post just a few post back. He is dead on. There are lots of opportunities out there that don't cost a fortune. For example.... Start out hunting elk OTC in CO while you build points for other species in other states. I turned 50 this past year and and started hunting out west about 20 years ago... I have been on one guided hunt for elk (unsuccessful) during that 20 year period but already have a lifetime of memories from the DIY hunts I have done with my friends. My first hunted started with a buddy saying "I have a cousin that lives in CO, we should go bow hunt for elk.....I said let's go". Not all with a bow but here is what I have experienced over those 20 years Elk - approximately 15 bow hunts in CO, WY, UT, AZ... The first 5 were unsuccessful but I finally figured it out and have killed 8 now. I Moose - AK and MT.... Have a tag for CO this year Caribou - AK Oryx - NM on the white sands missile range Mule deer - AZ , CO, NV Mountain Lion - MT ( met a guy on my moose hunt that helped me get a lion). You will meet some great folks out there I still have se work to do as I would like to go after antelope bear goats and sheep. So I would echo what others have said... Just Do It!!! But it can be done on a shoestring and it makes the success so much sweeter! Mike -TN

From: Mike-TN
20-Jun-15

Mike-TN's embedded Photo
Mike-TN's embedded Photo
A few more pics from DIY trips

From: Mike-TN
20-Jun-15

Mike-TN's embedded Photo
Mike-TN's embedded Photo

From: Mike-TN
20-Jun-15

Mike-TN's embedded Photo
Mike-TN's embedded Photo
Enough but there a plenty more along with a ton of great memories

From: Elkguide27
20-Jun-15
Well said! I started guiding at 20yrs old out west and the majority of the clients I took where double my age and everyone of them said if they could go back and do things different they would have figured out ways to go on those trips when they where young. I guided for 6-7yrs and now go on some sort of hunt every year. Even if its just a meat hunt out west with some buddies. Buy a few OTC doe tags for antelope or muley and go on a hunt for $500. Its a blast just being out there. You don't need to spend 10k just to go on a trip there are a ton of affordable hunts out there especially if you are willing to DIY and put in a little extra effort! I went to Wyoming last year again and killed 5 animals, I hunted for 2 weeks and my whole trip was under $1,000 1 Buck muley 1 doe muley and 3 doe antelope tags plus gas and I stayed in my tent on national forest and brought most my food out with me. It was a awesome hunt and very inexpensive

From: Mule Power
20-Jun-15
And.... you don't have to bite off more than you can chew from the start.

I started my hunts out west with antelope and mule deer. On public land in Carbon County WY I quickly found out that 3 of us could all kill antelope bucks in 2 days... 3 at the most before the mule deer season started. Then we would venture into some mountains to hunt the mulies.

I would stumble across elk in the mountains and also way out on the sage flats.... which puzzled me. Pretty soon it became obvious that I could have killed some nice bulls if I had the tag.

So I booked a guided elk hunt knowing that I had lots to learn figuring a guided hunt would be somewhat of an education. It was! My guide sucked. We got lost. Didn't even see that many elk IN AN AREA THAT I NOW KILL LOTS OF NICE 6 POINT BULLS! haha

So right away I was like.. "I can do this on my own". So we did. Hunting up and down the entire west side of Montana my brother and I burned through some partners which taught me that although we thought elk hunting was the best thing on earth... it is NOT for everyone.

15 years later I had gone from a kid from Pennsylvania chasing antelope to a full blown horse and mule packing elk, mule deer, and lion outfitter punching my own elk tag every year. You can do it! Just take it one step at a time. Set realistic goals. Be sure of your partners. Take the time to make detailed hunt plans. And listen to your fellow Bowsiters!

There is nothing wrong with outfitted hunts. But I honestly believe that you can do just as good on your own, hunting from the truck, and be way happier having done it on your own and spending less than a 3rd of the money.

A quality guided Alaska or Yukon moose hunt: 15 to 18K plus licenses, airfare, processing etc. Try finding a partner to commit to that once let alone yearly.

My moose hunt in the exact same area as one of the top outfitters: Less than 5 grand door to door. And I had fun putting the plan together. PLUS... I can go back every year if I want and I have people beating my door down to be a partner.

From: Tatonka
20-Jun-15
Alaska is really the only option for anyone who wants to hunt Moose or Caribou without a guide... The odds of drawing a moose tag in the lower 48 is out of sight...sure people do it (someone has to draw just like someone has to win the lottery), but odds are very good that a person may never draw a tag..

$10,000 is a lot of money, but then again it really isn't. I'm not a rich man by any stretch of the imagination.... I still think gas should be 50 cents a gallon and bread should be 25 cents a loaf, but it is what it is. Try finding a decent pickup for under $10,000. Shoot, people spend a lot more than that on their toys (boats, campers, etc.).. You can't even buy an older pickup in decent shape with 100,000 miles on it for $10,000..

DIY hunts are great if you are young and in shape, have the time, etc. but for us older farts it's a tough challenge.. I remember when I was in my early 50's and in good shape I thought the older guys I knew were just lazy and out of shape.. By the time I hit 55 or so the body started to balk at what my brain wanted it to do.. Things hurt that never hurt before..Hills got steeper and the trails got longer. I began to understand what my older friends were dealing with..

I really have no problem paying a good outfitter for a quality hunt... I could not have killed my moose and caribou without an outfitter and they were two of the best adventures of my life... I thoroughly enjoyed every penny I spent. Odds of killing what you are after increase dramatically with a good outfitter...it's money well spent in my opinion... The outfitters and guides I've hunted with earned every cent...

From: Elkguide27
22-Jun-15
^^^ Tatonka I completely agree I get asked all the time how I afford to go on hunts every year and it comes down to that's what I love to do more than anything. My wife and I don't drink, smoke, we don't go out to dinner very often as it gets expensive no energy drinks or and probably the biggest is we decided years ago we didn't want any kids, but even with kids Most people can afford guided hunts every couple years if its something they really want to. It comes down to being able to give up certain things for a year or two to do it. I see people day in and day out stop in my store and buy 2 energy drinks some soda and snacks and its $10-$15 bucks a day. Cut all that out for a year and that's close to $4,000 right there which you can do some great hunts on that alone and that's just giving up snacks and soda for a year

From: Kdog
23-Jun-15
Great information Mule Power and Mike-TN. Interesting to hear another perspective, thank you for sharing it. You make some really great points. I have been on some guided hunts and they were great. I definitely have more planned for the future, but the DIY hunt has a different appeal and I will be looking into this more in the future. Especially as my son gets a little older. They key thing I take away from everyone on this thread is just to get out there and do it!

23-Jun-15
Arctic: Since I can't go hunting with my Dad any more I go with his spirit and my son! Twice as nice! He's there every moment and it is powerful!

Take a trip of a lifetime (or 2) every year!

From: bigguy
23-Jun-15
I have been on a lot of special hunts over the years but as pricing continues to climb, I simply cannot justify the costs. Having said that, I can hunt Whitetails, mule deer, elk, moose and black bear with an over the counter license relatively inexpensively. The memories from a mule deer hunt with my sons is just as good as the stone sheep hunt memories are. When my sons are at the stage of their lives that they can afford to go on a distant hunt, I may change my mind and once again be one of the guys spending big dollars on memories.

From: elkstabber
23-Jun-15
This has been a great thread. Tons of great advice here. We all will run out of health before running out of money.

I've been hunting elk and mule deer for the last ten years even though I have to drive all the way from Virginia to do it.

Moose is the one that has eluded me. Like others have said, it's hard to find a solid hunting partner. I've been hunting elk and deer solo but I think that a moose would be too much.

Are there any ideas for how to hunt moose solo in Alaska? On the cheap if possible...

From: Elkguide27
23-Jun-15
I agree on hard to find a solid partner. My wife has become the most reliable one I have, the only problem is now all the trips cost double!!! but watching how excited she gets when we have a successful hunt together is priceless!

From: BIGHORN
24-Jun-15
I love it when I can hunt with my son. Actually, I like to sit back and watch him just to see what he has learned over the years. The biggest problem is that my wife likes to go with me on my hunts. This year my son and I will hunt elk together again and, next year my wife will be with me on a moose hunt in Manitoba. Not too many hunts left in this old body. I have a white-tail hunt this fall, hopefully, a Mtn. Lion hunt next January and I really want to have another shot at getting a bighorn ram.

From: turkeyhunter
24-Jun-15
With the increase in License fees in Newfoundland this spring so does the price for the hunt increase. If your planning a trip for moose to Newfoundland take it in the next 5 years, as prices are increasing. Take as many hunting and fishing adventures as you can, we are only passing through.

From: Mule Power
25-Jun-15
Hoo needz all those big game aminals when ya'll can jist kill one of the mostest elusif criiterz on errth right here in alamaba? Fur free two!

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