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Thread: Can't afford to hunt in Alaska???

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    Default Can't afford to hunt in Alaska???

    Howdy:
    I am a amazed at how much it costs to hunt in Alaska. I am a senior citizen and would love to go moose and caribou hunting but the prices are in the 5 figures and there is no way I can afford that even though I am still working hard. Is there a way to go hunting in Alaska without putting a second mortgage on my house? I am also one heck of a cook and maybe some folks will take pity on me in exchange for some of the best camp grub the will ever have.

    "Hunting is the total experience from the time you leave home until you return. Harvesting an animal is just a bonus."

    Kind regards,

    Russ

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    Member tboehm's Avatar
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    Default your abilities

    I'm sure that the powers at be would need a little more info about your experience and abilities all the way around. I know of an older gentleman that lives here and goes to alaska every year and works as a cook for 3 months and then he gets to hunt. I suggest that you supply alot more info as to what you are looking for and your physical abilities and then maybe start by contacting some of the larger guide services.

  3. #3

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    Being in my mid 20's I too have a tough time paying to hunt Alaska. I can make it work because I've always done it without an outfitter. I did a black bear hunt on the Kenai for only a few hundred dollars. Basically we got up there, split a rental car between a few people and drove to some national forest land and camped. We were there for 8 days, I believe my portion of the renatal car was $250 and the black bear tag and liscence was 300, so I did the entire hunt for under $600. I wanted to come back in the fall but my friend cancled on me at the last minute and I couldn't find someone else.

    Heck, if you pitched a tent near you're car at the end of some secluded dirt road you could have all the comforts of home and do the hunt for the cost of an airline ticket, rental car and liscence.

    Obviously that's assuming you feel comfortable with a DIY setup and have camping equipment. The other drawback is that you can't do a DIY hunt and expect to bring meat home. It has to be a bonus as you said.

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    Member Bighorse's Avatar
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    Default fly in the ointment

    Food? Fuel? Taxidermy? Gear?

    Probably the biggest consideration is Taxidermy.

    Next would be current airfare prices.

    It's expensive for a DIY hunt, period.

    Oh.....out-of-state tags are spendy too.

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    Default Off to a good start...

    1. Positive mindset: "Hunting is the total experience from the time you leave home until you return. Harvesting an animal is just a bonus."
    2. Good info source: this forum
    3. Potentially with something to offer: your cooking

    1. Prices go up. Don't wait.
    2. Best AK hunt success: caribou > moose > combo.
    3. DIY also means anticipating/managing risks on your own. Pitfalls I became wary about concerned safety, meat handling and hidden/cumulative costs.

    Still, one relatively inexpensive idea with reasonable chance for success might be a drop camp for two, possibly under $3,000 each (plus air to AK). Plenty of advice available on this forum once you settle on a draft proposal such as this. Good luck.

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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    heck i live here and the wife says i cant afford to go hunting anymore..... . fuel ( 80-100 gallons), food, etc.... its $500-800.00minimum each week long, trip, we take. we spend an average of 5-6 grand a year minimum.

    of course i always remind her..... i could take several weeks a year and go hunting, or take that time and stay home... and lay around the house..... ( that lasted ONCE!)
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

    meet on face book here

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    Hunting in Alaska is expensive. But... guided hunts everywhere are really expensive. I often here Alaska is so expensive, even in Alaska hunting seminars, but IMO it is coming from people that have limited hunting experience in other places.

    Some comparisons:

    Caribou vs. mule deer, whitetail, or elk, average caribou hunts are about equal to an average mule deer hunt or trophy whitetail hunt. Upper end mule deer hunts are significantly more expensive than the most expensive bou hunts with many over 10K now. Low end small bull elk hunts are about equivalent to an average bou hunt. I think all of the above hunts run in the 3-5K range.

    Moose vs elk, Ak moose have gotten very expensive but so have upper end elk hunts. A lot of elk hunts for 350+ bulls now run in the 15K+ range, very comparable to a trophy moose hunt.

    Dall sheep are a bargain, cheapest sheep around, assuming you're not one of the extremely privileged to draw a coveted tag in the lower 48. To book a rocky mountain bighorn, stone, or desert sheep hunt not requiring a drawing will start around 20K for bighorn, 30K stone, 75-100K desert.

    Ak mountain goat are a bit of a bargain. They are also rising in cost but not as fast as BC hunts. AK hunts are maybe 6-7K and BC hunts are probably 7.5+.

    AK Blacktail hunts I think compare favorably with say an antelope hunt in both cost and status. Similar in cost with whitetail.

    Ak black bear are on a par cost wise with most other northwest areas.

    I think Grizzly are on par with BC and the yukon.

    I have been on a lot of guided hunts (6 continents and numerous countries) and IMO hunting costs have risen faster than any other category, including health, education, housing, and maybe even gas. I'd say anywhere from 20% and up per year. Hunts that I took just a few years ago there is no way I could afford them today, my salary has not kept pace with the 20% per year.

    I continue to successfully hunt Alaska solo and unguided (except for 1 goat hunt). These are my cheapest hunts. I keep meticulous cost records for all my hunts and 1 week Ak hunts run me about 1000-1300. My airfare is free using frequent flyer miles and this does not include taxidermy, but it does includes everything else, air charter, license, tags, hotel in and out, occasional car rental, excess baggage, airport transfers, airport parking at home, all food, etc.

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    Member AK Troutbum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vince View Post
    heck i live here and the wife says i cant afford to go hunting anymore..... . fuel ( 80-100 gallons), food, etc.... its $500-800.00minimum each week long, trip, we take. we spend an average of 5-6 grand a year minimum.

    of course i always remind her..... i could take several weeks a year and go hunting, or take that time and stay home... and lay around the house..... ( that lasted ONCE!)
    I hear ya brother. Six months before I go on a big hunt I get b****ed at for all the money that I'm about to spend, then for six months after I get back I get b****ed at for all the money I spent. All I can say is "thank god for selective hearing".

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    Default

    The sad thing is you can hunt plains game in Africa cheaper than most guide hunts in this State.

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    what i have read about african hunts and they are cheaper but you have to look at the cost of bringing the hides and horns home and the taxi bill,i have read that some guy`s that got there animals there shipping cost and the taxi bill is 2-3 times more than the cost of there hunt,so if you would add up the cost of the airfare,hunt,tips taxi bill,crating and shipping of skulls and hides i think you pay more for a african hunt than in alaska.the plus side no pass port,out of country papers for guns and you can take all the meat.just my 2 cents

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    I actually teach a 2 hour seminar to local groups that I call "Travel Hunting". It is for planning a major hunting trip requiring travelling out of state or out of country. The general guideline I use is whatever the base price of the hunt, double or triple it for the actual all inclusive, its all over and paid for cost. Most often the difference between whether it is closer to double or triple is the kind of taxidermy you choose, shoulder vs full body, pedestal, european, type of thing.

    So Bowmaster you are right, there are a lot of extra charges for any international hunt. There are about a bazillion different kinds and ways to do an international hunt but some extra costs may be:

    Air charters of up to several thousand dollars in places like Tanzania. It is a wonderful old world style of tent hunting but pricey.

    Innoculations, a few hundred.

    Gun import, maybe a couple hundred

    Trophy fees based on animal, from lows like 300 on impala and warthog to several thousand on bigger and more exotic animals.

    Daily fees that average close to or well over 1000 per day "if" you choose a daily rated package.

    Import/shipping/clearance fees for a few animals will be over 1000, the bigger and more the higher the price, plan for at least 2000 for a handful of plains game.

    Airfares are climbing and I would at least plan for 2000, you may find a deal for 1500, some packages include airfare from certain cities.

    So a $3000, 5 day, including 5 animal plains package will probably run closer to 8000 all said and done. You'll probably shoot and pay for at least an additional 2 animals. It is expensive but a bargain and a great experience being able to take a different or multiple different animals everyday. On a remote hunt you literally never know what you'll run into at any moment. Everything in Africa is life and death, very little middle ground. Regarding the meat, personally I prefer tasting a lot of different kinds vs. bringing home a lot of one type, but thats me.

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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AK Trout bum View Post
    I hear ya brother. Six months before I go on a big hunt I get b****ed at for all the money that I'm about to spend, then for six months after I get back I get b****ed at for all the money I spent. All I can say is "thank god for selective hearing".

    hence the ol addage....


    every day i live with pain and suffering...................


    every fall i leave her to go hunting....
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

    meet on face book here

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    Member tccak71's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AK Troutbum View Post
    I hear ya brother. Six months before I go on a big hunt I get b****ed at for all the money that I'm about to spend, then for six months after I get back I get b****ed at for all the money I spent. All I can say is "thank god for selective hearing".
    Yup. Can't come home with new equipment without an "how'd you afford that?" or "where do you get all this money".....Uh I budget and save for it?

    My biggest issue with hunting up here is the lack of hunting partners. I've only got one real good friend/partner to hunt with and he's up for only one long hunt and a few short weekend trips a year as he's working on his Master's degree. The closest my colleagues at work have come to hunting is kayaking down a river and watching a squirrel chase a nut.

    Tim

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    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    Default maybe

    you men need to learn how to catch the right woman.

    My wife hunts with me - trust me it is more expensive - as I have to get her gear as well as my gear - but there is no complaining - and I have a reliable partner that I get to share sleeping bags with!

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    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    Yep, for sure, i sleep warm and guilt free at night on hunts as well!!
    plus i get a cook while i'm guiding sometimes too!!





    Www.blackriverhunting.com
    Master guide 212

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    [QUOTE=BRWNBR;356057]Yep, for sure, i sleep warm and guilt free at night on hunts as well!!
    plus i get a cook while i'm guiding sometimes too!!

    You sir have it rough. If it wasn't for the fact that mama likes wheelin and campin, I'd be SOL and payin for my hobbies on my own.
    We do not go to the green woods and crystal waters to rough it, we go to smooth it. We get it rough enough at home; in towns and cities; in shops, offices, stores, banks anywhere that we may be placed

  17. #17

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    Hard work or hard dollars... However, with the right gear you can get er done on the cheapo... Check out this guy! <$200 and he got a moose...

    http://www.24hourcampfire.com/ubbthr.../1#Post2497870

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    Default Not as bad as it appears

    Russ,

    You're looking at all the wrong places! There's plenty of ways to come to Alaska and hunt for less than 5 digits. You're off to the right start by looking on this forum.

    I don't have the figures in front of me but your biggest cost is the airfare from where you're at to here. I just took a Oregon resident moose hunting in September and he had just over $2000 in the entire trip. Included airfare, license and basic costs (We split the fuel and food). He wasn't successful but he did have the time of his life. A lot of the costs depend on what you want to hunt and where you want to hunt them. If you just want the experience and see some of the best nature has to offer, then anythings possible for a really reasonable price. If you want a monster trophy moose or to see thousands of caribou then it might hurt your feelings or bank account a little...

    Take care,

    Doug

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    Member Phil's Avatar
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    Default To 1911-MW

    I'll guarentee he wasn't a non-resident (which I believe the person who posted this thread is).

    For a non-resident, hunting is getting more expensive every year. Part is because we hunters are willing to shell out a greater percentage of our income on hunting than (for example) snowmobilers or hikers. As long as someoneis willing to pay, the price will continue to escalate.

    Still, the allure of hunting in Alaska is something that isn't easily extinguished.

  20. #20
    Member tccak71's Avatar
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    My annual moose hunt costs me about $350 + meat processing and 3 days of lost pay, but its well worth it . The 24hourcampfire story is an anomaly in my opinion. My only <$200 hunt was a cow I took with a permit locally.

    I don't know how/where a non-res can cheaply and successfully hunt. Moose/bou tags are $300-400+/-, airfare, transportation, etc. Whew!

    Tim

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