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Why is cat hunting so expensive?
Trying to understand why cat hunting is so expensive? I run Bear, Bobcat, and Coyote here at home so I understand costs of keeping hounds and cost of equipment.
Our bear hunts have the highest cost to us with, bait and fuel for the trucks or ATV’s but you can find very good hunts for $1200.00 or less. I would love to do a hunt before I get much older but as a average Joe these prices are out of my league.
Every now and then we get a big cat here in WI. and I keep hoping to cut a track of one to run. We can’t kill them but the chase is most of the fun for me anyway.
Have ya looked into buying a license/tag in one of the Mnt. Lion states and just running your hounds to hunt?
Good luck, Robb
What do you consider high and what’s your budget? I know a really good Idaho outfitter that’s reasonable.
Supply and demand. The good outfitters can only take so many successful hunters a year and charge what the traffic will bear.
It’s expensive because guys are willing to pay it.
Mule Power I am looking for a cat hunt as well. Who is the Idaho Outfitter you recommend? Thanks in advance
Drop tine, friends here in Michigan take their bear, coyote hounds west to lion hunt on their own and do fine.
Mulepower, im with grasshopper. I would like that info as well
I paid $3000.00 for my lion hunt here in Colorado in 2001. Killed the lion on the second day in mid January. The hunts may be higher now. I know the guide had two subs looking for tracks he had to pay.
It's up to $7k now in Colorado in some places which is ridiculous.
Why would anyone charge less than the market will pay? Demand and completion dictate. No different than the price of eggs and milk.
I think it has it to do with population density. There are very few cats per square mile compared to other species
Have you looked at hunting trip costs lately....the Cat hunts are the only ones that are staying somewhat reasonable. $6000 for a Mountain Lion hunt is more than fair....and that is a high end price.
I can do 1200 just in gas looking for tracks between 2 rigs in a week of hunting
How much food does a hound eat per day? Multiply that by 365 and then again by how many hounds a guy has to keep his operation going.
Wear and tear on a vehicle. They aren’t driving paved roads in the Midwest.
Vet bills for the hounds.
Collars and GPS.
Helping hands or assistant guides.
I don’t think at anyone time I have had less than 12 hounds in the last 20 years. I have 16 in the kennel now. They aren’t free that’s for sure, it’s a full time job keeping them and doing them justice. That said 6 k for a cat hunt is good pay for weeks work and I don’t begrudge them getting. Something to keep in mind that they’re are plenty of outfitters who advertise cat hunts who hire a houndsmen, you paying a middle man in some cases. Personally Its a must for the houndman as the outfitter.
I did a ton of research before spending $5500 on my hunt last year. That included meals, lodging, top notch equipment, incredible dogs, three hard working guides and a great outfitter. I killed a great tom that was as big as many Canadian cats that guys pay more than twice as much to hunt, and did it on my first hunt. I'm not saying that $5500 isn't a lot of money but after seeing the prices for the high success hunts in Canada and hearing all the stories of guys having to go several times before killing a cat, I think it was a bargain.
Supply and demand. Boone and Crockett # 1 came out of my concession 40 years ago and it still stands. 1/2 of every cougar I kill makes B&C. I take limited hunters each year and my success is not 100% . A lot ofeople don't think twice at paying $15 000 to $30 000 for a world class elk, $20 000 for yukon moose, $6000 for a half ass whitetail hunt where they may have a chance at a P&Y deer. As far as $1200 bear hunts you get what you pay for. Look at some of the rats killed on those cheap bear hunts, I have hounds bigger then some of them. In the past I have treed up to 11 bears for a hunter before he pulled the trigger, I would say he got his money worth. I never send a person to the airport after a kill. they can choose to stay for the rest of their hunt, look for a second bear,or just hang out or take one of my trucks to the local fishing holes. Some areas are a destination trip not a drive in, stay at a motel it for a night or two and kill the first bear you see and head on home. Not much of a hunt if you ask me. Sorry for they rant folks, but supply and demand is a very easy subject and doesn't only happen in the hunting world.
Not only Cat is expensive, every hunt is expensive for a working man
I paid nothing for my cat hunts but I did have my own dogs if your dog run bears the will run cats bring them out west and get your cat diy. my place in Landusky I had one under my deck last week and you can buy a tag for $50 on the Fort belnap Rez
some of the best tasting meat at any price! And makes for a stunning mount.
Wife has taken a shine to my Utah cat she named him Freddie.
I am not to impressed with her holiday adornment . Though she insisted Freddie be up stairs in the living room rather than with the menagerie in the man cave.
We have 3 wild cats living in our barn, you are more then welcome to whack all 3 with an arrow for free......my hunk of honey wont let me.
good way to train your dogs is barn cats
Here is another point I would like to hear from the houndsman….what is your % of kills on your cat hunts. I would bet it`s a helluva lot higher than the 10-15% archery elk hunters have.
On the Lion hunt I was on we would water and feed the dogs every night before we ate. We went through a half a bag of dry food and a case of canned food EVERY night....and it wasn`t the cheap crap either.
As a dog owner that was shocking and to think that`s 365 days a year even when they are not making money during the season.
The first lion I killed one day hunt the second 3 day hunt the third 15 days .I work for a outfitter ( not for lions ) our time is worth something .days nights out looking so the cost is passed on
Why does a dog lick his balls? Same reason here.
Winter is brutal n Equipment and gear.
Plus, its still business, Outfitters need to make some profit.
Nate, too funny dude! LOL I know a houndsman/moutian lion hunter personally, he is a good friend and I know what he has in his dogs, mules and equipment and it would blow most of you away what he pays a year to keep them in top hunting shape, and high dollar dog foods is only a fraction of it. He has lost 4 dogs over the last few years to close encounter with Mountain lions. His vet bills for his tore up dogs and for his mules just blow my mind and he does a lot of his own veterinarian work where he can. Most of his clients are doctors, dentists, lawyers and such and most wouldn't bat an eye at his charge to get a cat but believe me, he isnt rich by any stretch of the imagination.
Drop Tine give Paul a call. You’ll never find a harder working outfitter. He’s licensed but usually just run lions for fun after a long Montana elk season. He’d be glad to sell a hunt or two and unlike guys who book the hell out of them he won’t be burned out on finding cats. Good luck.
Outfitters that run hounds and take it seriously have high costs, and even more (and constant) investments of time. I hunted with Doug at Skinner Creek for bear and to say he takes it seriously is an understatement! The best value bear hunt out there without a doubt. I had no idea just how much work and fun it would be until I did it myself. Everyone should do a good hound hunt at least once.
I see it opposite. I often wonder why cheap operation cost type hunts (many mule deer, whitetail, elk, antelope hunts fit this bill) fetch as much or more than cat hunts which have extremely high year round time and money investments to keep going in dogs/gear.
My favorite was a few years back had a hunter kill a lion on day one of a 7 day hunt. He had the balls to ask for a portion of his money back since the outfitter didn't incur the expenses.
TEmbry, you nailed it. Cat hunts are still among the best value when you consider the time & effort an outfitter puts in all year. I believe these guys do it more for the love of the hunt/chase, than for trying to enrich themselves. Unlike many other types of hunts which have escalated in price, outfitted lion hunt prices have been stable for years.
The cat I caught night I been paying for for 16 years
On another note the warm weather and rain is making me say home from going north to run cats tomorrow and Sunday....guess I will have to run yotes instead.
Because they can get it, you are always going to be those that will pay the frieght.
The guy who I think is the very best in Colorado charges $4,500
The houndsman I look at as the model for a cat outfitter charges $5500 for a cat hunt. He puts you up in a hotel for $100 a night for 5 nights
He has two tracked four wheelers for clients and himself to ride
He has anywhere from 8 to 12 dogs at any given time that go between 50 to 75 lbs of food a week at $30 per 50 lbs
Has one or two sub guides working which he pays $500 for the week a piece.
Feeds his clients three meals a day. $50
Will drive to the best conditions anywhere in the state so his fuel varies greatly but figure minimum $500 for fuel in a week.
Now add in incidental costs like tires, breakdowns, vet bills and broken collars.
IMO it’s amazing how some of these guys even turn any profit on some of these hunts and it is one of the few outfitted hunts that the price makes perfect sense.
I think the hound owners earn every dollar they make. The hunts are not overpriced IMO.
So I have bird dogs, I have way more in my dogs than $6000.00 each!!!! If I was going to guide for bird hunts, I would probably charge 3-4K for a week. that's meals, lodging, travel in the field and guide service for 5 days. After fuel, expenses, my food and food and care for my pups, I might make net $250.00 or $300.00 a day clear. That's close to 12-14 hours days. That isn't very much, and that's why I don't do it! although, I do take my friends for free. Hunts cost what they cost, either pay for it or don't. But never complain about it.
Oh, and I have a rule while bird hunting with my friends... If you shoot my dog, I get to shoot you... #7's hurt like a M.F. at 50 yards!!!! it makes them think twice about risky shots when the dogs are close!
A lot of the "cheap" operation cost hunts, aka Whitetail, as referred to above....do require leases or land ownership which is not cheap at all. Either way, both types will go to what the market will pay. Most of these hunts are doable if you budget and plan. Even on a modest salary. You have to make it a priority though. I'm gonna go on a cat hunt for sure. It's the only way to do it as far as I know. Money in the bank aint nuthin but money in the bank! Bowsite is full of guys that make hunts happen on limited resources, guided and unguided alike simply by passion and drive. IF there's a will there's a way. Just go hunting!
Have you priced a GOOD hound dog lately? From 3 grand on up to sky is the limit. And it costs that much to raise and train one not to mention the time.
Good hounds arent for sale ...
That’s a fact. The guy in my picture couldn’t have been bought. I got to much pleasure hunting him. If the race blew up and he could hear me I could call him out. Truck to tree and always in front.
His only fault was loading up. Could never get him to jump in the truck. Always had to lift his arse up.
A LOT OF WORK IN THOSE DOGS... Period
Nice cat Doug and great wife
I'm with Paul on this one...….
I paid $2,500.00 when I got mine via Cabela's hunts/Colorado and it was Inclusive for 7 days
He was #6 for many years, then all those 'uge Toms out of BC/Canada took over the Scoring Records.
I even got a Mag article for the Longhunter Records Book
Good luck, Robb
Old School Round Ball and Wad .58 caliber Front Stuffer
Old School Round Ball and Wad .58 caliber Front Stuffer
Heading to Carney hunts in Eckert Colorado in the morning. Great outfitter! Any info on the show out that way? G
If ya mean Snow instead of Show-------->
We got hammered most all wknd/Monday so it is going east to Colo!!
Have fun and keep us posted
Good luck, Robb