Contributors to this thread:
It Cost What??????
I was looking back through some old files of hunts from 25 years ago and what the costs were. Heck, I thought I was literally looking at "day rates" and they were full week rates! Mind blowing how things change.
What are some of the prices you paid for hunts from decades gone by?
2005 went to Newfoundland for a week and including caribou and moose permits the cost was about $6k. Now double that
This should be good Bou.......and depressing.
Not mind blowing but think I paid a little over $6,000 for a BC goat hunt 8 or 9 years ago. Babine was running their "bowsite special" plus the CAD/USD exchange rate was around 30%.
I remember hunting black bear in New Brunswick for 600.00 plus tip. This was way back in 1996. The whole week, including travel, lodging, food, and incidentals was under 1,200.00.
I also remember himming and hawing about and elk hunt in CO that cost 3,500.00, 7 days. Wish I had taken it now. Oh well, live and learn.
My first elk hunt to Colorado cost around $600.00 in 1993. That was a DYI bowhunt, gas,food, tags and meat processing (1 cow split 2 ways).
I used to use a outfitter up in Ontario for spring black bear, before the spring ban. $350 for 6 days with a cabin. Plus 450 if you shot a bear and 450 if you wanted to shoot another bear, that was about 1988ish..
Some place I still have a receipt from a Quebec outfitter for a 10 day archery moose hunt.. On your own, but came with a cabin. It was for around $300 USA funds. That was about 1984-85. Ed
I guided elk on a phenomenal CO ranch for a few seasons back in the early 90s. Cost was $3000, all inclusive except for the license.
My wife and I did our honeymoon in Colorado on an elk hunt - me hunting, her as an observer - for $1100 plus tip, it was the greatest adventure of our lives at that time! That was in 1993. Also did a musk ox hunt on Victoria Island in 2004 for $6500 Canadian.
In 1985, I was offering fully-guided 10 day spring grizzly hunts in the Alaska Range for $3,800!
In the mid-1990's, I had the winning bid at a RMEF convention for a Montana Mountain Lion hunt. $1,300.00
A combo mule deer / pronghorn hunt in a high quality area for $1850 in 2006. 3 times that much for the same place/ outfitter 2021
1984 Brooks Range, Alaska fly-in 10 day DIY caribou and moose hunt with my buddy...$2200 for everything including airfare from Denver. Arrowed one of each.
1986 Kodiak, Alaska fly-in 10 day DIY Sitka Blacktail hunt with two buddies: $1100 including airfare from Denver. Arrowed one.
1989 North Slope Brooks Range, Alaska, DIY moose and caribou with two buddies, transported up river 80 miles, moved location once....$3,500 including airfare from Denver. Arrowed a moose at one yard, had grizzlies sniff the tent and other interesting night time encounters with them...priceless!
I don't recall paying over $2500 for a successful 1997 caribou hunt to Newfoundland that was guided.
The 2000 caribou hunt for two bulls in Quebec cost around $3,000 as I recall with travel...with 9 buddies as we filled most of the 12 person camp. Wasn't guided but the camp guy dropped us off with a 23' freighter canoe in strategic areas each day. We filled most of our tags too.
I could go on and on about a $1,500 DIY NR NV Desert sheep hunt or similar priced NR DIY UT bison hunt or WY NR DIY Shiras hunt. Bottom line there was always affordable adventures waiting if you were willing to go take advantage of them and there still is!
My first Woodland hunt to Newfoundland was a short notice cancellation. Killed that first Woodland for $1500. Like Kurt, I think the "regular" price was around $2500. Four of us also used to go to Canada for Black Bear for $2000 TOTAL. $500 a piece. Included all license, boat for fishing and gas!
1992 NWT mountain caribou @ $2250 but had to pay for bush flight @ $650 iirc.
In 2006 I paid $2600 for a caribou hunt with Tuttulik outfitters. Unguided but had a camp guy for the boat and stuff. I killed 2 , one of them way over P&Y minimum.
1999 guided hog hunt in Florida. Cost less then $600, shooting two hogs, and back to WV.
2006, first diy elk hunt to Colorado from WV, with 5 guys cost me under $1000. Drove out. Following year were about the same.
2009 diy elk hunt in Colorado. Flew out and rented vehicle, pop up camper, generator, some camping supplies, etc... Everything but bow and personal gear. Cost $2400
Last trip out to Colorado in 2018 driving, cost me $2000 or so. Increased license cost and hotel rooms for two nights were the difference. Plus, I stopped in Columbia Missouri at hooters and ate 32 hot wings with a few beverages.
Personally, hunts that can be driven too aren’t really that more expensive outside of high demand, low opportunity lower 48 hunts. Sheep, moose, bison, etc..... Most of the increase on common game comes from tag costs and fuel prices differing. Because if you are frugal, time is the limiting factor. Not money.
The trip to CO flying was so much more expensive because I had to fly my meat hone versus driving it with the group. It gets expensive getting a dead animal cut up, packaged, and flown to your residence too.
In 1968 l went on a grizzly hunt in B.C. for 21 days at $60 a day. Went back for Stone’s sheep in 1979 for $140 a day! In 1971 my goat tag cost $2.00, my grizzly tag was $10!
How do the prices compare to inflation
1980's not sure the year, 1 week fully guided elk/Mule deer hunt with horses in unit 61, $2000.
I think it was $2,300 for a full week of Sitka blacktail on Kodiak with Homer Ocean Charters in 2006.
Prices for high-demand hunts like Sheep, Brown & Grizzly Bear, Yukon Moose, and others, have gone up more than the CPI. From a baseline of 1985, inflation has increased the value of 100.00 to about 250.00 now. That'd mean Pete's 3800.00 griz hunts from '85 would now cost about 9500. But in reality, a similar hunt with a high success rate on big bears, now starts at a minimum of 20k. Alaska Dall sheep hunts have seen roughly the same price hikes. And there's been even more escalation in YK and NT, where hunts for white sheep are pushing 35k now. I'd assume all of this has happened because demand for all of these hunts has gone up so briskly, while the "supply" has remained about the same.
Price trends for some of the more "routine" hunts like black bear, whitetail, elk, etc, seem to have followed standard inflation, more or less.
89 Iowa NR was $80, no pts, 2000 Iowa NR $325 the last time I bowhunter and it was where I was born and raised, just went else where for unrestricted hunt. 79 Alaska $1200 moose, $1500 Dall Sheep, times have change. Now a sheet of OBS board is $41, only the rich my apply.
1999 two of us did a fly-in caribou hunt, fully guided to Quebec for 2000.00. We both shot nice caribou and my buddy’s made P&Y.
Both Quebec caribou hunts were less then 2000.00 1999 and 2003. In between 2001I did a Newfoundland gun hunt for moose the last week of there season for 2200.00. I filled my tags on all of them. The good old day's.
Baited brown bear three years ago, $14,500. Now it $20 grand plus.
!979, my best friend and I did a DIY, Colorado mule deer for 2 weeks from Oklahoma, including all gas and meals cost less that $180.00 each total round trip. Put that in your pipe and smoke it! My water bill cost more than that each month now! LOL!
my colorado NR elk tag was $90.00,,,,,,,i think that was in the mid 1980's
Don't dwell on it too much, it will ruin your next hunt! Enjoy every day and every hunt as it were your last, and thank god you have it to spend or borrow! HAHA!
2006 7 day dry ground archery lion hunt $2,000. It was a discounted short notice hunt. Killed the last morning.
And yes I was able to bring back the lion. No issues.
There you go, memories, Priceless!
my first fully outfitted 6 day bear hunt in maine back in the mid 90's was 600 bucks. great hunt.
Yesterday is "water under the bridge!"
Absolute best value? Hunting hogs in FL with Matt Cates. Just stupid how much fun 4 archers had in a couple days' time. I believe my first bear hunt was $1,200.00. Maine. It was a booking factory but we got lucky, chose an outpost hunt and had a really good time.
Yet many of you say you wish tag prices would go up? When people say resident prices are too high, many of you say you wish to pay much more? Be careful what you wish for.
Went to Brooks range for moose and caribou and my dad paid for it
Maybe if everyone would just say that's enough and quit paying whatever states and guides want to charge something would change , but no one will , so get over it or quit going. Sad but true .
1994 hunted at Humani Ranch in Zimbabwe 10 days, $4000.00 USD package including day rates for hunter and non-hunter, and trophy fees for Kudu, Warthog, Impala, Wildebeest, and Zebra. Now I wish I'd booked 20 days!!
"Maybe if everyone would just say that's enough and quit paying whatever states and guides want to charge something would change , but no one will , so get over it or quit going. Sad but true ."
Birdman, there were 41 posts above yours and not one complained, they only compared which was the intent of the thread. Not sure what you are talking about, but the same could be said for anything. If we stopped paying $2.55 a gallon for gas those damn oil companies would eventually take the prices down to 0.49 gallon like 1968. that would show them! But nobody will so get over it or quit driving. Sad but true .
I was considering a baited brown bear hunt when it first came out at $8,000. Wish I would've!
2001 I went on a Woodland Caribou Hunt in Newfoundland for $2,200.
Went on a 14 day horseback hunt in the Yukon in 1978 for Dall sheep, moose, caribou and grizzly for $2,800 including fly in to camp. Yukon hunt for moose and caribou in 1989 for $5,500.
Was offered a trial hunt in a new area in alaska for moose / griz combo with a guide I hunted with on kodiak. Offer was last year for 10k. Should have taken it.
1983 NWT successful Dahl Sheep hunt $4500, 1985 DIY Alaskan Moose/Caribou hunt $3500 all inclusive from my door until I returned, years later Mountain Caribou around $2900, many more.
In the mid-80’s most Saskatchewan bear hunts were in the 600- 800.00 range for six days. I was managing a fly-in fishing camp and offered bear hunts there fior 2250.00. Other outfitters told me I was dreaming; no one would pay that much for a bear hunt! I wrote an article for Bowhunter magazine detailing my remote style of hunting. It didn’t take long and I was a busy boy.
I've never paid for an outfitted/guided hunt. But I remember a time when deer and elk were considered nuisance animals by some landowners, especially if they were growing crops and livestock. They felt hunters were doing them a favor, and they gladly welcomed us onto their land free of charge. Imagine that.
In 2001 we did a 5 day fly in/drop off diy Alaska Caribou hunt for $800 each. It was basically a 200 mile (each way) float plane ride. The guy who owned the operation (5 planes) grew up in the same small town here in northern WI. His family owned the a flying business in town. He had a Pilot license before a drivers license. He gave us a "hometown/friends" discount. Cost at that time was $1000. Now it's over of $4000. Hunting lic was $85 & a Caribou tag was $350. Now $160 & $650 for the Caribou tag.
Yes, we both shot a Caribou and ate grayling from the lake we camped on. And if my brain is working a wolf lic was $50 and there was a limit of 1 PER DAY.
I would like to add this!! There are some still great valeus out there. I do not mean guided hunts but if you DIY and do them right, hunting is still a great value. I hunted Nebraska and Iowa this year for 18 days and if I take away the 1000 bucks for licenses, the whole rest of the trip cost me less than 1400 bucks and that is driving a big diesel truck 3000 miles round trip. That is total cost, lodging, food, ice, fuel and tolls.
2000 went to RSA and hunted for 10 days, 4 animals included, not counting airfare for $3400.00. Ken Moody still has some good hunts, but I hear trophy fees have more than doubled...
It would have been circa 1996/7......a bear hunt in Ontario for either $400 or $600...everything but the tag....no bear.
Around 2000 or so a bou hunt with Safari Nordik I think was in the $3200 range by the time we got thru haggling. Got two....bow and rifle.
Sadly....those days are over.
I have never been on a guided hunt. I do however have a stash of old outdoor life magazines. Bow hunting was just making a come back in the early 1970 time period. A good rifle would set you back $160 -$200. I was early in to my full time work carrier. I figure A new rifle was three week's pay. I suspect a guide would have felt rich if he got three weeks pay for a single week of helping someone get a trophy. We all know this fellow would have worked hard for weeks before season to make the hunt memorable for another hunter. I expect guides and outfitters work as hard now as they did then. The real change is the value of our money has decreased over the years.
My first bear hunt in Quebec 1975 cost 200. Guys at work couldn't believe i paid so much.Since the bear weighed 400# i spent another 150. for a bear rug.Memories last longer than money or guys at work.
As a few have already mentioned the price surges on hunts certainly haven’t been uniform. High demand / restricted availability have gone up the most in recent years, especially sheep and mountain game.
A few examples (I’ll keep it to this century):
Stone Sheep - though my buddy was nuts when he spent $15k back in 2002, now $65-75k
Dall Sheep (NWT & YK) - 2017 = $19k; 2020 = $25k; 2023 = $35k (another increase expected later this year)
Alberta Bighorn - 2007 = $15K; 2015 = $26K; today $50-60K (not always a high success hunt)
Altai Argali - $110-120K; a buddy of mine who’s done a ton of international sheep hunting said he paid less than 1/5 of that (10+ years ago).
One thing I’ve noticed is when a premium species has a huge price spike it puts heavy demand on the species just below that and the prices on those shoot up as well. Example, within a year after BC cut Stone Sheep allocations, Dall Sheep prices also shot up although their allocations were unaffected. Once the Dall Sheep prices spiked, then Mountain Goats soon followed. In other words, if I now can’t afford a Stone, what can I get for what a Stone used to cost, in short order that becomes a Dall, and so it goes.
Feel everyone’s pain on this one and very happy I’ve already accomplished most of my bowhunting goals - certainly couldn’t do it over again. But I’m already priced out of many things that were once on my dream hunt / bucket list.