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Have you talked to older generations that didn't have a lot of money? They would say if your leaving the woods at dark your doing it wrong and bet your butt they were not buying tags let alone goochi camo, $1200 bows and $60000 trucks.
 

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Venison is the most expensive meat on the planet. Don’t pretend to let anyone ever tell you they hunt for cheap meat.
That's an overly general projection. If you're a weekend warrior taking your rutcation to chase big antlers, and only tag one or two deer per year, tag soup in some years, then yes I agree venison is supremely expensive. If you book a $15K guided elk hunt then yeah venison is expensive. But not everybody is doing only that.

Using myself as an example, I do all that above. I spend a boatload of money on adventure hunts, equipment, traveling, etc. One out of state deer I shot last year was a two year chase. I can't count all the times I traveled back & forth, running cameras, planting plots & other habitat work, all focused on that one deer. That meat was expensive.

However, my local regs allow me to harvest 3 does/day all season long, all without buying tags. It's included with my license. And it's not a stretch to say I could tag out a lot of days, and rare that I can't tag at least one deer every day. Last season alone I made 150lbs of summer sausage, 50lbs of jerky, and had some dish of venison at least twice per week until I ran out of meat last month. If I told you I hunt for cheap meat, it's not pretending. And it's not limited to venison.

Right now we're enjoying doves & squirrels. Ducks & geese will be off & on all season. This week or next I plan to gather a bucket load or two of bullfrogs. Half of my freezer is loaded with a variety of fish. Last night we had pawpaw & blackberry smoothies. In a couple weeks it'll be persimmon & maypop smoothies. We use huckleberries in July. I often spice up the meals with spicewood, wild ginger, wild onion, or wild garlic. I gather hickory nuts & black walnuts for pies or just to snack on. We eat ramps in spring. And there's some type of mushroom to forage pretty much any time of year. My point is that it's a lifestyle. We're hillbillies. It's how we've always lived. It used to be out of necessity. I carry on the tradition because someday it might again be a necessity. And quite frankly because some of the stuff I've mentioned is a flat out delicacy that cannot be bought at the grocery store. My house eats quite well, and I'd compare grocery & hunting bills with anybody.

Yes I spend a fortune on my out of state hunts. If I were comparing that cost with the price of beef then yeah that venison is expensive. But the does I kill for filling the freezer all come from within a few miles of my home and cost nothing but a hunting license & arrows. That venison is absolutely cheap compared to beef.
 

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Here in NC we don't have a huge amount of deer tags. I grew up hunting and at 51, just recently took up bowhunting.
I just shot my first archery buck with a longbow. Most expensive meat I have ever had!

Although I do have all the equipment now, stands, feeders, clothes, gear, and more bows than I can ever use, it was worth every dime!

Now to start filling those tags and driving the cost down.

Fortunately my family raises beef cattle , so we put a beef in the freezer as well.

Can't wait for squirrel season! Ready for some squirrel gravy!
 

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My license for hunting all game cost me 5$ on the “senior” discount. That includes a 6 deer limit. I already have bows, stands, guns, equipment…
I’ll get my venison at a reasonable price.
 

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Hoyt CRX 32, PSE EVL 34
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Again not arguing..we all hunt for the shear enjoyment of the outdoors and the hunt… just saying you can’t rationalize hunting based on the cost per lbs of meat that argument just doesn’t hold up.
 

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Well I hunt in TN and you don’t have to buy tags just a license you can get 4 deer per season with one license so after years of hunting the stuff pays for itself and then after that it’s pretty much free meat
 

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I like elk!
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Again not arguing..we all hunt for the shear enjoyment of the outdoors and the hunt… just saying you can’t rationalize hunting based on the cost per lbs of meat that argument just doesn’t hold up.
But…it does for some, is the point.

Your thinking in a very broad way, and for many you’re correct…but many also obtain venison very cheaply per pound compared to store bought protein.

My recent elk scenario would cost less than a dollar per pound.
If I kill a Whitetail this year in Illinois, it’ll be about $15 per pound lol…

Just totally depends on the individual.
 

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Probably some more hunters hitting the woods this season looking for red meat
All is not a what it seems. China basically owns all the pork in the USA, or at least the processing end ,, same diff. . They are buying up beef farms by the fistful. It won't be long till they have a controlling interest in American beef. Im not all caught up in the current vaccine politics BS battle, but I do look at things like this.. Washington is pulling the wool over your eyes on this one.

 

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That's an overly general projection. If you're a weekend warrior taking your rutcation to chase big antlers, and only tag one or two deer per year, tag soup in some years, then yes I agree venison is supremely expensive. If you book a $15K guided elk hunt then yeah venison is expensive. But not everybody is doing only that.

Using myself as an example, I do all that above. I spend a boatload of money on adventure hunts, equipment, traveling, etc. One out of state deer I shot last year was a two year chase. I can't count all the times I traveled back & forth, running cameras, planting plots & other habitat work, all focused on that one deer. That meat was expensive.

However, my local regs allow me to harvest 3 does/day all season long, all without buying tags. It's included with my license. And it's not a stretch to say I could tag out a lot of days, and rare that I can't tag at least one deer every day. Last season alone I made 150lbs of summer sausage, 50lbs of jerky, and had some dish of venison at least twice per week until I ran out of meat last month. If I told you I hunt for cheap meat, it's not pretending. And it's not limited to venison.

Right now we're enjoying doves & squirrels. Ducks & geese will be off & on all season. This week or next I plan to gather a bucket load or two of bullfrogs. Half of my freezer is loaded with a variety of fish. Last night we had pawpaw & blackberry smoothies. In a couple weeks it'll be persimmon & maypop smoothies. We use huckleberries in July. I often spice up the meals with spicewood, wild ginger, wild onion, or wild garlic. I gather hickory nuts & black walnuts for pies or just to snack on. We eat ramps in spring. And there's some type of mushroom to forage pretty much any time of year. My point is that it's a lifestyle. We're hillbillies. It's how we've always lived. It used to be out of necessity. I carry on the tradition because someday it might again be a necessity. And quite frankly because some of the stuff I've mentioned is a flat out delicacy that cannot be bought at the grocery store. My house eats quite well, and I'd compare grocery & hunting bills with anybody.

Yes I spend a fortune on my out of state hunts. If I were comparing that cost with the price of beef then yeah that venison is expensive. But the does I kill for filling the freezer all come from within a few miles of my home and cost nothing but a hunting license & arrows. That venison is absolutely cheap compared to beef.
Every season I spend average $1100 on just archery/bowhunting related "stuff." That's for my son and I, on average, over the last 5 years. This is specifically just in equipment/tackle/tools/clothes/stands. Does not include truck/gas/license/tags/hotels/food etc.
I'm sure there are those out there that are the exception to this and hunt on the cheap with their blue jeans & trusty bear whitetail from 1990, but, I think the rule is 80%+ of us spend about $40.00/lb for our "venison"


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After retiring I work part time at my son in law’s meat locker- butcher shop. The big meat companies are setting the meat prices with their monopoly. The producers are not to blame nor getting rich over the outlandish prices.
 

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Hoyt CRX 32, PSE EVL 34
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But…it does for some, is the point.

Your thinking in a very broad way, and for many you’re correct…but many also obtain venison very cheaply per pound compared to store bought protein.

My recent elk scenario would cost less than a dollar per pound.
If I kill a Whitetail this year in Illinois, it’ll be about $15 per pound lol…

Just totally depends on the individual.
I really hope I don’t come of like a trolling dickhead here. It is honestly not my intent but…..

did it really cost you $1.00/lb????, you bought a tag$50 you put gas in your truck to go $100you bought boots$150 you had camo on $200 you have a weapon guessing in the $1000.00 range, you bought arrows $100, you bought broad heads $50 maybe a cow call $20, bull bugle$50. How many days did you hunt???. You bought knives to butcher $100, maybe a meat grinder $200 must of had a pack frame to haul out your meat $100
If you had not gone hunting and just stayed home and went to work how much money would you have made and how many lbs of meat could you have purchased at the grocery store.
You get where I’m going with this right. Even for the minimalist there is still a cost. And I get that you can amortize gear costs etc… just saying even to get the basics of equipment and hunt close to home…. game meat ain’t cheap!
I know you know all this and so do I. Was your elk hunt worth it?..I have no doubt that it was! and there is no amount of money not worth your experience. But if you do the real math I doubt your elk meat was $1.00/lb. for any hunter that uses the argument that they hunt for cheap meat to them I say “LMAO sure you do!! ME TOO! wink😉
 

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I really hope I don’t come of like a trolling dickhead here. It is honestly not my intent but…..

did it really cost you $1.00/lb????, you bought a tag$50 you put gas in your truck to go $100you bought boots$150 you had camo on $200 you have a weapon guessing in the $1000.00 range, you bought arrows $100, you bought broad heads $50 maybe a cow call $20, bull bugle$50. How many days did you hunt???. You bought knives to butcher $100, maybe a meat grinder $200 must of had a pack frame to haul out your meat $100
If you had not gone hunting and just stayed home and went to work how much money would you have made and how many lbs of meat could you have purchased at the grocery store.
You get where I’m going with this right. Even for the minimalist there is still a cost. And I get that you can amortize gear costs etc… just saying even to get the basics of equipment and hunt close to home…. game meat ain’t cheap!
I know you know all this and so do I. Was your elk hunt worth it?..I have no doubt that it was! and there is no amount of money not worth your experience. But if you do the real math I doubt your elk meat was $1.00/lb. for any hunter that uses the argument that they hunt for cheap meat to them I say “LMAO sure you do!! ME TOO! wink😉
Again, I get where you’re coming from, but if you knew the ins and outs of how it works for some people, I believe you’d think a little differently.

The amortization is something else you may not have fully considered..
Yes, I have gear, but I use the chit out of all of it, all the time, and not just for hunting.
Every time I blow my bugle, it’s like getting money back!
I think it owes me at this point.
 

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Hoyt CRX 32, PSE EVL 34
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Again, I get where you’re coming from, but if you knew the ins and outs of how it works for some people, I believe you’d think a little differently.

The amortization is something else you may not have fully considered..
Yes, I have gear, but I use the chit out of all of it, all the time, and not just for hunting.
Every time I blow my bugle, it’s like getting money back!
I think it owes me at this point.
I’ve hunted long enough that I know it can cost some people much less than others.
( just never cheap lol)
and I get amortization when I kill a rabbit with my grandfathers shotgun it’s cheap as compared to trying to stick a deer with my brand new compound.

Thank you for your polite reply’s also…I wanted to be clear that I feel for 95% of us we covet the experiences we have while hunting and the expensive meat is an added bonus and worth every penny.
PS: most all of my game calls owe me too!
 

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Due to unfortunate family health issues my freezer is still pretty jam packed with Venison. Sometimes things work themselves out for the better, sometimes not so much.
I used to process my own Venison, but even taking it to the locker these days I consider it relatively affordable as if I'm not the president of the "tighter than the skin on a golfball club", I'm definitely on the executive board. All I need is a tag, already have my 2015 model $1000 bow that I purchased brand new last year for a third of the sticker price, I generally don't buy anything for hunting except license and tags. Not everyone buys into the trail camera, food plot, habitat improvement, fancy Korean camo, new bow, new gadgets, and the associated equipment that goes with such. I buy stuff that works, and I use it while taking care of it. Heck I just bought my first range finder a couple years ago, flagging tape and a yardage reel had served me well for years. A country boy can survive, and I thrive on doing more with less.
 

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I think maybe I should add some context to my opinion. So here is a situation I found myself in quite a few years ago.

I was on an annual shotgun deer hunt with friends and family. We were doing a deer drive ( legal) . We had permission to push and small timber block. Provided one other hunter that was given permission on the same property wasn’t hunting on the parcel at the time we were. We communicated to the other hunter the time and day we would likely be hunting and he agreed he’d be hunting elsewhere that day and time.

So off we go to run our deer drive appx 10 hunters 5 standers 5 drivers If my memory is correct. Well not five min into the drive we here shooting in the center of the block of timber???? Weird but ok lets finish the drive.

Well our drivers get to the center of the timber block where the shooting was and call off the drive. WTH And so we all gather up.

It appears that the other hunter that had permission for the property was the one doing the shooting. Even though he had told us he would be else where and not be hunting that day. And just to add some more confusion he dropped a big doe but had no tag for the deer.

So after 10 mins of blathering he states he shot the deer even though he had No legal tag for the animal because he figured we all wanted the meat. (Party hunting is legal in Ontario )

We all took a vote to either prosecute or pity this guy ( some in our group knew him personally ) the vote was pity, Then we drew straws to see who got to burn their tag to save this goof.

My deer hunt that year cost me $400.00 cabin rental $100 gas $100 food, $35 for a tag. $1000 or more for gun, tree stands, camo etc. And I was the lucky guy that drew the short straw to use my doe tag on an illegally harvested deer. “ for the meat”

I forfeit my late archery season that year “ FOR THE MEAT”

Now perhaps that adds some context to why I seem a little stubborn in my opinion that game meat is expensive.
I do understand the this is a one off. And for most it doesn’t work this way but when you boil it all down my 1 week of deer gun deer season cost me appx $650.00 for an ******* to illegally shoot my deer.
 

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One thing I know is it's gonna cost way more in expenses to hunt this year than it did the last four years. Tryin to squeeze in the budget for a few 2x8's at the camp, huge increase in gas costs, hunting ammo has skyrocketed, and it's a kick in the shin to the working guy.
 
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