My wife and I were at a convention and they gave a Grand Slam award posthumously to a guy that had passed away the previous October. I remember he was 53 years and had a heart attack. My wife leaned over to me and said go book your hunt. I kind of looked at her like she was nuts and she said do you want to do it while you can enjoy it or you want to wait till your to old to even think about climbing a mountain. Long story short I went, finished my FNAWS ( Grand Slam) and never once regretted it! Do it while you can.
I think the answer mostly depends on your financial situation.
If it won’t put you at financial risk and you want it badly enough - then do it.
If either side of that equation doesn’t work for you, you probably shouldn’t. Sounds like you probably have both sides of the equation covered to me.
Something to bear in mind is that Stone sheep hunts are not guaranteed affairs. There were several guys going for their 2nd and 3rd times who did not get their ram on previous hunts on the plane when I took mine back in 2006. Something to consider. Good luck with your decision.
I don’t have fancy cars or anything but two weeks after I get home from these hunts it always hits me and that is I’m back to normal life and I relish in the memory I have just taken in, the different world the different flowers and animals and this is why I spend the money I do, life goes by so fast that if we don’t go on these adventures we never get to leave our normal lives.
And to top it off a year after my big dollar hunts I find myself looking for the next one as now a whole year has gone by and work is the same except in a year older, live it up my friend cause time waits for. No one. Have a great season and there’s no better feeling then knocking a ram down especially a stone ram.
I’ve got one hunt right now thay a guy had to move and it’s ina. Great area with a great outfitter for 36000$ it will be 39000$ all in with everything for the hunt.
Most sheep hunters I have met are financially able to spend 50K with zero impact on their family or even lifestyle.
The ones for which 50K is indeed a sacrifice are willing to make the sacrifices needed to pursue their passion without negatively affecting their families. In other words, I have found those passionate enough to want to hunt sheep are also responsible enough to not risk their families’ future to do it. Because they are by and large great people.
Sorry if I come off as lecturing, but IMO that comment was flippant and unfair. Lots of guys driving $50K + pickups down the road and are in debt up to their eyeballs.
Like Nedly, I had the "opportunity" to do four archery Stone hunts between 2015-2017, Finally getting my one shot after 44 days.
I have always tied my sheep hunts to a net income goal for my company. If we reached it, I booked. If we didn't achieve, I didn't hunt sheep...that simple.
Let me know if I can help
I went on a short notice (just 6 days) Stone hunt in 2015 and hunted hard for 12 days. We saw several sheep but only 1 for sure legal ram on day 11 that I was given the green light on. It was a tough shot but I rushed it and missed. I was sure that was my 1 and only chance. On my last day, day 12, at literally the 11th hour, my guide and I made one last chance climb and stalk on a far away ram spotted from camp. Just at sunset the ram was standing at 58 yards away facing us on a ridge, but he was back-lit and we couldn't age him for sure, so we had to let him walk. It was a tough pill to swallow but the experience was awesome. I kept a good attitude and didn't complain about anything weather, lack of legal rams, none of which an outfitter can really control. My guide and I gave it 110% every minute of everyday we could and the outfitter saw that.
This summer I got a cal from the outfitter and he said "I have a late cancellation can you make it back up here?" I told him I needed to check with my wife since I needed to leave in less than 3 weeks and would miss our anniversary . Knowing how much it meant to me she said yes. I was back in a BC sheep camp before opening day. I filled my tag with my rifle, which was the plan all along on day 6 with a beautiful full curl ram. PM me if you want a recommendation on a great outfitter. GO! Sandbrew
I cannot justify spending that kind of money when I could be using it to invest in my family's future or doing things with/for my family. While I could do it without impacting my family's well-being and everything else, it's the principle of it all. If my wife took off and spent 50k on a vacation for just herself, can't say I'd feel all warm and fuzzy about it.
Is the trophy different or the experience, since we are doing a cost analysis.
I'm not one to put down anyone else for going on super expensive hunts, but sometimes it's spun in a way that leaves me scratching my head. Chasing after a different trophy isn't a bad thing to admit.
My first sheep hunt was for a Fannin. Why? Because I wanted to see the north country and loved their coloring. I might go on a dark Stone hunt in the future for the same reasons.
Without a doubt. We both work hard and when it all comes down to it we're a team just like everyone else on here. I'm reading a lot of guys write out how the wife is actually the intsigator of many of these types of hunts. If you know that it'll make him/her happy, why not? Many of the best marriages I've encountered have a foundation in working for the other person's happiness and I strive to make that my primary goal in life. Sometimes it gets in my way, but in the end I know that she's working just as hard for my happiness.
So yes, I would be more than happy to send her out into the world with $50k to blow if we could afford it.
There was a commercial on TV a few years ago where a girl said, "Daddy always says, money don't spend itself". My favorite saying is, "it's only money, and there's more where it comes from". If you can afford it, no need to justify it. You won' be disappointed.
Many would have to add the costs of doing something similarly expensive for your spouse in addition to the actual costs of the hunt, possibly doubling the costs of an already expensive hunt.
The point of my post wasn’t to question guys going on these hunts, just why they spin it as an experience for the cost instead of admitting it’s because of the species. It’s okay to trophy hunt fellas!
1. Not many people regret the decision to go once they've decided to bite the bullet and pull the trigger.
2. Like some guys voiced, it's family first, regardless of everything else. If my wife said no, then it'd be a no. But, nurturing a good relationship where the varied, and sometimes conflicting, interests of both partners are equally considered usually avoids the "no! absolutely not!" response and rather opens the opportunity for discussion and compromise.
3. Not many guys answered the original "what if" question. Even with the above comment about equal, respectful marriage relationships, it would still be tough for me to be "fair" if my wife wanted to go on a trip equal in value to match each of my hunting trips. I would definitely think twice before writing the checks for my hunts if I knew I'd be doubling it every time.
4. As for the comment about spending my "family's future", I think it would be foolish to compromise my family's financial stability now or in the future just to go on a hunt. Saving, budgeting and making it work--absolutely, but never if I'm going to have to stress about it putting us on the brink. BUT, that being said, I don't know about you guys, but I am NOT working so that my kids don't have to. Sure, I'll help with college, etc, but they can get their own jobs and support themselves without relying on me or any money they're thinking I'm going to be leaving them. Selfish? Not in my book--I'm raising my kids to take care of themselves. My wife is a different story, but that's what life insurance is for (in case I die on a sheep hunt! 8)
Ultimately, it's a personal decision that each person is going to have a different answer to, but I do enjoy hearing how different people approach the same decision!
We’d never be in this situation because my wife is frugal and never dream of spending that kind of money. Now, we’re setting ourselves up to be in a great spot in the future. Maybe at that time this conversation would be totally different.
I’d expect my wife to say the same thing to me if I wanted to do the same thing. She’d probably look at me like I was crazy and flat out say no! Ha ha ha!
FYI - No diamonds other than the first one have ever been exchanged....
Things that really make a difference day to day aren't that hard to do - Put down the toilet seat. Do a load of laundry and fold it! Do the dishes, including emptying the dishwasher and putting everything away in its correct place....I still have trouble with this one. Make a nice dinner and clean it up.
My relationships with my wife and kids are the foundation of my happiness-in fact, our relationships with each other are the foundations of all our happiness. And we are very happy and have been for over 30 years now.
That means that, in all things, we make/teach responsible decisions coupled with support for one another. For us as a couple, that means that neither me nor my wife are going to make descisons that undermine our financial stability. That being a given, we support each other in each other’s things that make us happy.
Again, no one on here has any basis to advise others on what is right/works for them unless you walk in their shoes. And no one on here does.
I'm not rich but I plan on hunting sheep in the next 3 years. I'm putting money in an account weekly to pay for my trip. It will be dalls as that is my dream. If it was stone... if I'd be saving longer... lol though honestly I look at the money I'm gonna spend and think of how many trips I could do for other things.
I worked the first 12 years of my career at GM. I watched literally HUNDREDS of guys in that time who worked 30-40 years and finally retired and they were DEAD within a year. I vowed not to wait until I retired to do the hunts I want to go on. I doubt I will be able to retire ever but if I do have to work one more year to pay for the hunts I’ve taken, I am good with that! As a bonus I’ve had a beautiful 10 1/2 old Stone ram to look at every day for the past 16 years to remind me of the most incredible hunt and wilderness I will ever see.
I’ve hunted bighorns on a CO draw and will hunt them again in Wyoming soon. I’m never going to be able to hunt Deserts unless I draw. I am having trouble justifying a Dall hunt (or a brown bear hunt) so I get my fix deer hunting DIY on Kodiak; that I can justify.
Do the hunts you can do as soon as you can do them. Prices never go down and the longer you wait the less time you have to enjoy those memories.
Theres plenty of adventure to be had for a lot less. While my kids are at home, my money and priorities will be spent with them while I have their interest. Lots of that time/money will be spent hunting, camping and fishing with them. When they are out of the house, I am scheming some other hunts. I don't plan on retiring ever, just working less hopefully. I make a good living and am a saver but I'm self employed and you never know what each year will bring. Long story short, I don't think I'll ever go on a hunt like that but it's also not a huge priority for me I guess. Happy to do all the hunting I get to do in MT and starting to stretch into some other nearby states to extend my season right now.
As far as my wife goes, she gets what she wants when she wants it and we go where she wants to go on Winter vacations. She is not a hunter, and doesn't even try to understand my passion, but has no problem with it. When she wants to put in new flooring for the third time in house that we built 15 years ago, I bite my tongue and say "yes dear, of course we need new flooring", or when we tear out all of the counter top in the kitchen after 5 years and replace it with granite I say "yes dear of course we need new counter tops"... :)
If you want it, you'll get it. If you don't really want it, you won't.
This hunt cost me over half a years take home pay. I will NEVER regret it.
You can use money many ways. You can start fires, wipe your ass, invest, spend, or bequeath it. I'm not afraid of what the future holds, nor do I aspire to achieve great wealth. I want to be happy, and hunting makes me happy. I plan to do it as often as possible for as long as possible. Hopefully, I'll get to take my as yet unborn son to visit my favorite places.
Do what you want. Beware of regret and endeavor to live your best life. After all, you only get one try!
Elroy Jackson, Sr. in “The Last American Hero”
PM me and I am happy to visit with you over the phone.
My legacy that I leave to my kids is more the deer skulls on the wall that they shot with me than it is skulls I killed on extravagant hunts. When they take over my business or sell my business, I want the to walk into the shop and say "remember when we all got bucks at the cabin that on year? I think it is those three over there." I have no desire for them to say "remember when dad went on the 14 day 50k trip and shot the sheep, he was so happy, there it is over there"
If I could put out 200K and the kids and I could hunt sheep, and mamma could go spend her 50K, I would. But #$%^ will freeze over before I have 200k of discressional income to spend.
One can say "well if you really want it, you could divorce your family, work like an animal, and go into debt the rest of your life, so you can sheep hunt today." True, a person could maybe do that. But I'm not considering the average guy throwing his life away so that he can hunt sheep. We need to be rational about this. A $50,000 vacation is something very very few people can financially absorb. And that's OK. We don't get everything we want in life and that's OK. There's a ton of hunting a guy can do for $1,000 or less. I am very thankful for those opportunities. For most people, not being able to hunt sheep in a lifetime is OK. If you want the sheep type experience, there are other high elevation hunts that can be done for very little $. No I know, it isn't a sheep hunt experience, but it can be a lot of the same enjoyments.
I'm not trying or pretending to be the "dream-killer" guy, but the reality is you can't always be ANYTHING you want to be (tell that to a young man I recently hired who couldn't be a military jet pilot because his vision isn't nor would ever be good enough even with surgery) and you can't necessarily DO everything you want to DO. But if a person takes the right mental approach and the right attitude, EVERYONE can be content with the life they are living. Sometimes as a really driven person I struggle with that one. I WANT to have it all. We need to stop telling ourselves we can have it all, because very few can. Telling yourself you can have it all, and then not being able to sets yourself up for a long run of disappointment.
As for the OP, maybe you can, maybe you can't. No one knows but you and it's what you value in life. If you are balancing being able to do things in your retirement vs one sheep hunt today, it's always easy to take the today route. Being cash-strapped for all of retirement doesn't sound great either. Everyone here marvels at how Charlie gets to hunt whitetails across the midwest every year, and that he's put himself into that situation is great. Well $50,000 invested wisely and used could prob allow a guy to whitetails nearly unlimited every year for the rest of his life. There's a lot of options for $50,000.
I know you can donate plasma for 400$ a month. Add those things you don t need to live with and an extra 400 a month, you have 7800 a year. 3 years later you can sheep hunt.
It's no different then anything else in life. You will have to sacrifice one thing for another. Obviously no one is saying sacrifice from family to go hunt but this stuff shoulda been thought of long before marriage!
APauls, how have you afforded your hunts? Hard work and desire? I'm assuming they weren't given to you.
caribou77 it's OK to disagree with me, I respect and value your opinion. When I refer to people being able to have whatever they want, I think like you do. Yes a person can most likely save every year and over 10-20 years most anyone could save for one sheep hunt. But I am guessing that same person is going to want many other things other than that sheep hunt. My point - maybe poorly illustrated is that you can't have everything you want. Which of us would want to hunt sheep at the cost of hunting nothing for the next 10-20 years? For a lot of people, the sacrifices to accumulate an extra $50,000 are simply too great. I've also built financial stability into my assumptions which includes paying your house down and saving for retirement. That's what I mean. Can anyone do it with enough determination and discipline? Sure. But for a lot of people that might mean, no elk, no other out of province hunts, no new gear, and if you've got to cut out cell phone and gym, dare I say you're at the point you can't afford gas for whitetails. But yes, you can put that one sheep hunt down in 10 years. But you can't have it all. That's what I tell myself so I can stay content so don't burst my bubble!! ;)
A Dall hunt is $20-25K. A Stone’s hunt basically twice that. Those are achievable goals if one wants to sheep hunt badly enough. Both less than a new tricked-out pickup.
Now, I’m not saying everyone does or even should want to sheep hunt enough to make that sacrifice. But, by the same token, no one else has the right to say that others shouldn’t want to make that sacrifice or their choice to do so is somehow wrong.
My first sheep hunt was a significant financial cost. But my wife and kids supported me 100% with my dream. In fact, they were ecstatic for me when I was able to make it a reality. Just as I have supported them with helping their dreams becoming realities.
Again, not everyone is in the same financial boat. And, again, not everyone’s priorities are the same.
And, to put it bluntly, those things are not anyone else’s business.
I think it's great for everyone to have these dream hunts in life. They make you work harder and improve every part of their life to achieve them.
It is also the reason I don't have an African lion, as $50K for that hunt is truly bargain basement for a free range hunt, and most are closer to $100K. As with all things in life and money, it is about what you could do instead. Other hunts are just one of the options.
And to answer the original question, my wife has been asking for several years for a swimming pool that will cost substantially more than a stone sheep hunt. After using all the rational arguments to say NO (and Hell NO!), the excavator will be at my house tomorrow. Not a vacation for her, but it is HER priority, not mine, and after spending more on multiple hunts for many years, it only seemed fair to give her what she wants.
And yes, I don't take these type of expenses lightly. It may even crimp my hunts for one year, maybe not. After all, I prioritize my hunts, and book hunts that I think are worth their price tag.
Being a pensioner, it won't be easy, but I've been working a few days lately at my old job. That way I don't have to take the $80, otc tag out'a the regular budget :)