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Caribou Hunt Prices
Fuel Prices Made Prices Go UP
If high fuel prices made hunts go up each year, will we ever see them come down at all for lower fuel prices????
I'd say it's unlikely. I feel like once a new ceiling has been established and these outfits learn that there's still demand at the higher prices, they have no incentive to lower them. As long as camps are full I wouldn't bank on any price drops.
Even though it should happen its not going to happen.
Hunt prices are not pegged to commodity costs but to supply and demand. If the price of oats decreases do you expect a pack in elk hunt to cost you less.
I also believe outfitter greed in some cases...For example, $40,000 for a stone sheep hunt, I'm pretty sure they could charge half that and make a good profit. Twenty five years ago you could have gone for ten.
Yea, commodity prices only come into play when they are on the way up, and they(outfitters) had no problem blaming gas/oil prices at the time to justified the increases....However now that prices have dropped, you can hear a pin drop in the silence.
Outfitter cost(s) may not be pegged to commodity costs, but I can show you countless threads where the outfitter(s) say exactly that: "…our increase in cost is a result of the rising fuel costs".
Economic theory and principles are only applied to guides/outfitters when it benefits them.
"I also believe outfitter greed in some cases...For example, $40,000 for a stone sheep hunt, I'm pretty sure they could charge half that and make a good profit. Twenty five years ago you could have gone for ten."
It's the old law of supply and demand.. The outfitter I hunted moose with last fall is booked for Stone Sheep for the next 5 years... Why should he lower his price? The goal for any business is to make as much money as possible... Why would any business say, "Well, I know I can gross $200,000 this year, but I really don't need all that money so I guess I'll charge half price for everything". ????
Bou, agreed, most prices aren't linked to commodity prices, BUT, and though it didn't affect me, I, and many others, saw numerous hunts get a surcharge tacked on, many at the last minute, when fuel prices increased. So given that situation, though common sense would dictate, with falling fuel prices would come lower product or service pricing, that will never happen.
However, I do understand the reasoning.
Nothing to do with caribou , but just a perfect example. If any of you go to maine bear hunting you know last year they had a referendum to ban bear hunting practices. The outfitter I used to use jacked the rates up from $1750 to $2000 because " they had to recoup the money they donated to fight the referendum . I'm not a cheap person at all but that's no diff than a grocery store raises the prices because a cooler broke.
Yep, and I think the new 50 thousand dollar pickup trucks could be sold for 25 but that's not going to happen....
Are you on the payroll of JHA or is it my imagination!!! Back when he offered the discounts to all TUTTILIK screwed hunters of the same amount he would of had to pay anyone to book his hunts you have been his spokesman!! Hope he pays you well!!
Not sure what you are talking about, but no need to clarify. Not interested.
Taximan -As for the stone sheep hunts for 30-40K........you know what the waiting list is on those.....it's years.
This is all supply and demand driven. There is not such thing as fair profit or unfair profit on items that are discretionary in nature. Only market driven profit and each person should get what they can get.
it's embarrassing when on man starts counting another's money. Either spend it if you can and want to or don't, but don't begrudge others who are in very different situations the fact they may or may not choose to act the same way.
I was able to do a hunt in Alaska on my own for 4500. That's for 2 bulls. There are ways around some high prices . Just have to work for it. Hunt
Not sure how anyone could do a price increase this year due to fuel? Oil dipped below $40/barrel and gas is expected to dip below $1.99 soon. Sounds like an excuse to me to make more money.
Prices on everything are up. Pretty sure a pound of beef is 5 bucks. Corns lower than ever.... Milks 4 bucks a gallon.... it aint just hunts kids.... Grandpa told me he used to go to the theater, get popcorn and a drink and still have change with his QUARTER....
Economic theory applies to everyone at all times. It's called supply and demand, and more specifically, elasticity. Outfitted hunts are pretty inelastic in my experience. That is too say large swings in have a relatively small effect on demand. Additionally, everyone not employed by the oil industry should have more disposable income thanks to lower gas prices, and this only increases demand. That's enough for today's economic lesson!!
I believe the OP was speaking tongue in cheek. And we all know the basics of economics. But the basis simply was, the cost of fuel drove up the price of MANY, rather probably MOST things, but now that fuel has dropped back to what I would consider a "normal" level, where is the rollback?
Most definitely, those who raised price due to fuel, and have had no problem getting their asking price, certainly aren't going to give up their extra earnings at this point in time - and I don't blame them.
At this time, the best we can do is be greatly appreciative that we have a few extra dollars in our pocket at the end of each work week, due to the lower fuel prices. Hopefully the lower fuel prices will at the least slow the exponential rise in these prices.
Since "9-11" hunt (outfitted) prices has gone up! I quit doing outfitted hunts after 9-11 .... disposable income NOW is the key factor in most budgets now I think. The high dollar of hunts now has priced out the small guy. But thank God there are still DIY hunts that almost anyone can do ... just do your homework!
I see some guys touting the DIY Alaska hunt on here as the cheapest and best route for a Caribou hunt.
I find that hard to believe if you are a lower 48 hunter. I can't imagine by the time you pay for a commercial flight up to AK and then pay a commercial airline the baggage fees it would cost to fly all your meat, cape, and racks back home that it would be cheaper than a JHA drive up unguided.
I dunno though. Are the AK hunts really so cheap that it makes up for all that? Not trying to start a war here, I am honestly curious what the costs are currently.
ElkStalk - I don't know either, but one thing I do know is that a JHA drive up is not feasible for many hunters - think Southwestern U.S. You could do it but it wouldn't make any sense.
A flight to Alaska can easily be had for less than $1k from anywhere in America. Heck Free if you get the credit card. All you have to pay for is a flight, tags, and gas. You don't have to get a shoulder mount. You don't have to fly home every last scrap of meat. You don't have to ship up a pallet of gear. These trips can be as simple or complex as you want. I pulled the trip off in 2013 for less than $2500 (granted I have a friend here which helped with a staging point before and after the hunt). $4-5k could easily cover everything imaginable for a DIY fly in hunt, including getting your rack home.
Just because oil prices are down doesn't mean everybody has more discretionary income. I work in the wood pallet industry which is directly linked to the oil industry and I'd much rather pay $1.50 more for gas and work 45+ hour weeks than buy cheap gas and barely work 40's. I just don't mind moderate gas prices if it means I can work as much as I want.
Was in AK just 3 weeks ago.
$800 commercial flight. $1900 Super Cub flight. $500 license and tag.
All other costs are optional and controllable. You can definitely hunt caribou in AK for under $4,000. Maybe the best part (for some of us) is that we're hunting complete wilderness instead of an established camp or lodge, and the chances of seeing other hunters is nil. Then there's the moose, grizzlies, etc. Finally, when you go to AK for a diy hunt you can stay as long as you want within reason. Five to seven days of actual caribou hunting for $5,000 to $9,000 (which doesn't include getting there) equates to a pretty expensive daily cost compared to $4500 for 10 to 14 days diy.
The market will sort it out. Outfitters are under no obligation to provide welfare to anybody who wants to go on a hunt. If they want to sell x number of hunts a year they try to set a price where they can fill x by a little, but not by a lot. If they underprice they will have too much demand. Certain high volume places are looking to sell as many as they can and they make up the difference in volume. When demand outstrips supply prices go up. If people quit going on guided hunts prices will go down until outfitters decide it's not worth it.
It's pretty simple basic economics. Every outfitter will have a different model, some will be exclusive and expensive and others will be cheaper and less exclusive.
Supply and demand, controls the prices, and nothing more thank God. So that means that those who hold the supply are greedy? Umm, nope, just means we live in a free market economy and outfitters are smart businessmen, just like anyone else who owns a business. If you'd prefer different market mechanisms, I'm sure there is a slow boat to China departing somewhere. Hop on.
ElkStalk, AK DIY is reasonable and a grand adventure. Success is high too. I just did it and didn't necessarily skimp. Commercial flight to ANC from Southern California cost me $550. Split cost of rental van was about $250, including gas. Bush flights, including meat haul out and extra gear load (optional) was $2900. Bush pilot tip of $125. Extra baggage fees cost me $150. Freezer storage in town was $25. License/tag was $450. And incidentals (which are totally controllable) maybe another $300-500. So $4750-5000 for the adventure of a lifetime! I'm sure JHA is great and I'd love to do a trip there sometime too, but it's a good bit more than $5000!
Hunt, Kevin and SDHNTR nailed it. A DIY Ak hunt can be had for much less but you have to do the work. Research and nobody there to help once on the X. We hunt elk every year for under $2000 and went 100% on solid Ak bull moose for under $5000 each. Bou should be under $4000 with good odds. Research is free. If you don't wand to do that then you have to pay the prevailing price. I would rather go on a trip of a lifetime every year instead of every 5 years.
I could probably afford a $60,000 truck, a couple side by sides, generators, etc.... But, I drive a $15,000 truck, I own a 18 year old 4 wheeler, a cheap generator, etc.... A lot of outfitters don't. And, that is their choice. But, we hunters are paying for their log cabins, their extended cab diesels pickups, their land, etc.... However, their hunt costs are supply and demand driven.
As fewer hunting opportunity's exist, cost are going to continue to rise. As long as people are standing in line to do it, we will see no incentive to drop prices from the supply side.
I don't particularly like it. Nor do I like elk tag costs or, anything "special" that requires an outrages tag fee. So, I don't go. The choice is yours to continue to fund the madness or stand for your principles. While I doubt any are what you would call rich, they do well. As that is the intended goal. God Bless
I'm in the oil & gas industry and can't wait to pay more at the pump. Despite the lower oil prices, the cost of goods has not dropped and some might agree that the economy is not reacting favorably due to the lower fuel prices. The only thing that I've ever seen go down was interest rates and the balance in my savings account. No matter how good or bad the economy is, there will always be hunters willing to pay whatever an outfitter is asking for a hunt. $4000 is a small fortune for some guys. For others, it's the equivalent of a $1 bill.
Why anyone would even talk about a discount is surprising to me and must not have been on many a hunt and realize all that's really involved on the extreme hunts. Your at the mercy of the outfitter prices and count yourself blessed if you can afford to go. If you can't pay then you don't get to go or should you be wanting to go then and just dreaming maybe.
Now with that said there are deals out there to and as one pointed out you have to hunt for them. If you want the outfitted experience you can go to Banquets and see whats being offered they have hunts that are given to them to help out the chapters like the Safari Club, Sheep Foundation, Elk Foundations just to name a few.
You can get some incredible breaks really reasonable but on the ones that are popular then those hunts are going to go pricey but maybe theres an opening for their next season to get in or they might book several years in advance.
Then you can book a hunt a few years down the road and save for it as well too so there are ways. Even the rich hunters don't like to pay big prices but its the money men who drove prices up not the outfitters they just got smarter and became businessmen.
No matter what you pay if you had a good trip then it softens the expense sting.
Don't wait till to get older either you won't enjoy it as much maybe if your broken down aging or from injury's so keep those things in mind and figure a way to get out there regardless of the cost you will be happy you got to do it when you are young.
The "waiting list" for stone sheep is NOT years. You can easily go hunting for one next year, or even this October if you want. The guys with long backlogs don't have much quota most of the time, and they tend to offer higher success.
The element that adds cost to a particular hunt is just that....success and size. Throw in some added comforts (cabins, horses, etc) and you have a higher price. In my mind it's really an apples and oranges scenario.
I'm going hunting for fannin sheep in BC for less than 50% of what some stone hunts cost. No horses. no cabins. just boots, tents, and legs....thus, less cash.
All that said, caribou hunting has felt the heavy hand of government affect pricing more than most of the 29. I'm hopeful that the NWT will reopen and allow some of those operations to resume hunting. That will surely reduce the cost for a CCBG caribou, which is my last of the 5. I won't hold my breath...
What do some of you do for a living and under what conditions would you plan on getting paid less for doing it?
Likely the same conditions for them as well.
I have often thought that some hunters expectations that outfitters operate under some less than capitalistic supply and demand driven model so that they can go on more trips for less is attributable to one thing.............
to hunters hunting is a pastime, a vacation, a fun activity, a release, an escape from day to day reality and drudgery of their lives. as people we kind of expect those types of things to be affordable and accessible on our terms.........because to us what the heck..........it's all fun and games and fun and games should not cost real coin. to outfitters hunting is a vocation, a job, their work, the way they feed, shelter, and educate their families. to them it is their day to day reality and they (rightfully so) treat it as such. hunting is what they do to be able to afford to get a vacation FROM.
we really don't expect the guy who replaces our transmission to do so at a discount or under market value. would not expect the same of the guy painting our house or sealing our driveway.......
but some expect an outfitter to make their personal dreams and downtime relaxation activities affordable like it is some reasonable expectation thought they have no such delusions about the guy at the transmission shop.
I never really got that mindset....
I have had zero luck getting UPS, FedEx, Delta, etc to lower their prices since fuel costs have decreased.
This is a rope which you only climb up...not down. It works that way for consumers and most small businesses.
Any news yet as to how the price of oats will effect the price of hunts for this season?
Limited impact except for the outfits that bait the caribou with oats in which case the futures price on oats will have a nominal impact on hunt costs. beware of any outfitters that bait them anyway.
there is no Right to hunt caribou, or sheep or elk or anything else
like a fancy car, a fancy house, fancy vacations etc if you want to do them, you have to earn them
I didn't choose a path in life that led to me having bunches of money ... a guy I went to school did. He killed a huge Dall Sheep last year, my dream hunt. I'm jealous in a way, but not in the way of envy at all. Great for him, glad he could do it.
Are prices too high? Maybe - but the logistics of setting up outfitting camps and everything that goes with it .... I imagine its not simple stuff for the really high class ones and if we all knew exactly what work was involved for the $$$ you get from it, we'd maybe never even consider trying it!!
Canada has a new "Liberal" government, they already pay way more for fuel (taxes) than we do, those prices (taxes) will increase. No hunting prices going down anytime soon.
On my last Quebec caribou hunt the outfitter asked for a $100 fuel surcharge at the Montreal hotel before we flew in to the camp. Then after the hunt they refunded it because fuel prices had dropped during that week.
A far as the price of hunts, it's called the "willingness to pay threshold". We tested it a few years ago at the private trout fishery I manage, raising daily guest fees by almost 50%. Our daily guest numbers actually increased. Go figure.