SITKA Gear

Are there any economical drop camps

nhn2a

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I've been extensively researching DIY, Drop Camps, and Semi-Guided mule deer hunts out west. I've come across several forums on here and other websites that say drop camps are worth it financially since they only cost $1500-$2000 and the outfitters put you in good areas (hopefully). Every drop camp outfitter I have found charges around that price but its per person. If it was just me then it would be reasonable but I have a group of 4 and we all want to hunt together and cant justify paying $6-8K for a drop camp when we could do a DIY for significantly cheaper and buy/own a lot of equipment for that amount. I would have thought a drop camp would charge the same amount regardless of how many people you put in it since its the same amount of equipment and its really the users problem to figure out sleeping if they bring too many people. I could even see charging a surcharge for the transportation of each person and additional cots but not a separate $1500 for each.

Am I missing something and if so, can anyone recommend a good economical outfitter for a mule deer hunt? I'm leaning towards Colorado but not tied into a specific state yet, still researching so feel free to recommend outfitters anywhere. Thanks in advance for the advice!
 

Topgun 30-06

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Welcome to HT! I'm not aware of any outfitter that does as you mentioned. They have a lot of money tied up in equipment, stock, people doing the work to set up and break down the camps, cut firewood, liability insurance, etc., and to do one charge regardless of the number of hunters like you have stated just wouldn't be profitable enough for them in the short seasons they have to work with. It sounds to me like you guys may want to rent some pack stock and DIY if you have the necessary equipment like you stated.
 

hank4elk

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$1k-2k PP is going rate, depending on who and where you go I think.
I know one outfitter who's daughter runs supply line for him and she only charges me $600 to take my gear into the Gila Wilderness. Just the pack in & out. Not "Outfitter or Guide service.
 

Rooster52

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Look into a pack service. They will pack your gear and food into a good area and pack out ypur animal when successful at a fraction of the cost of a drop camp.I have done this in Colorado befre.The cost was $150 per horse or mule needed .
 
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nhn2a

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Look into a pack service. They will pack your gear and food into a good area and pack out ypur animal when successful at a fraction of the cost of a drop camp.I have done this in Colorado befre.The cost was $150 per horse or mule needed .

Thanks for the advice. I hadn't looked into that option before but definitely sounds like a good plan. If you don't mind, could you PM me the info for who you used in CO?
 

Randy11

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Out of curiosity, why the need to go with a drop camp? With elk I get it, but there really isn't a whole lot to pack out on a mule deer, especially with 4 guys in camp.

Use that money to invest in quality backpacking gear, and do it every year.
 

nhn2a

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Out of curiosity, why the need to go with a drop camp? With elk I get it, but there really isn't a whole lot to pack out on a mule deer, especially with 4 guys in camp.

Use that money to invest in quality backpacking gear, and do it every year.

That was kind of my point. I've read a lot of forums where people recommend a drop camp but I struggle to understand the reasoning behind paying that much for a drop camp when I could purchase all the equipment for less. I posted this thread thinking maybe I was missing something about the drop camp and their pricing but based on the responses it sounds like a DIY is definitely the way to go. Even on an Elk, with 4 of us we could pack it out.

Thanks again everyone for the responses.
 

havgunwilltravel

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Just go self guided and fly camp, accumulate quality gear secondhand if you have to, split it between the four of you, (like two tents), research areas and get into it. There is no guarantee that an outfitter will drop you in a good area anyways, it is wise if he does, but if he has guided hunters in camp and non guided drop camp hunters, who do you think he will be putting into the better areas? I used to work for an outfitter who did drop camp hunts, i can tell you, unless you were going into a wilderness area with limited access where an outfitter with horses was going to give you an edge in an area, then the locations for the drop camp hunts he set up were far from ideal. Simply put, a good keen fit hunter with prior time on google earth and reading unit boundaries could have done far better then relying on the integrity of an outfitter in his choice of location for you.
In general drop camps are way over rated in the lower 48 if you ask me.
 

Jim/Wa

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We've used a packer before in Colorado. You pretty much need to have all your ducks in a row as far as equipment and the specific location you want to be packed to. They just take you from point A to point B. Normally we just backpack in/out although after using Llama's 2 years ago I see myself going this route whenever possible. Another detail to work out -- more for elk than mule deer -- is what the expectations are once an animal hits the ground. Does everyone stop hunting and start cutting/packing? Is it everyone for themselves? Because backpack elk hunts are so labor intensive, the 3 of us in our group have always agreed that hunting stops until the animal is at least packed back to camp. To make it worthwhile, we'll split the meat so that the shooter always gets half with the remainder split between the others. Whatever you decide, make sure you all agree before the trip or there will be problems.
 

belly-deep

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Out of curiosity, why the need to go with a drop camp? With elk I get it, but there really isn't a whole lot to pack out on a mule deer, especially with 4 guys in camp.

Use that money to invest in quality backpacking gear, and do it every year.

The level of comfort in a wall tent versus a backpack camp isn't even comparable.
 

hank4elk

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I hunt alone, so it has been a good option for me in past to save hunting time for me in rugged or new places to go.
The only deer hunt drop camp I have done was 20 mi in @ 12k ave. elevation. Took 3days for me to get a deer and my camp back out when I packed in solo and a week of extra time total in & out.
I would have never gotten an elk out of there.....
Wall tent or cabin w/fuel,hot water vs my backpacking gear is also a factor at times.
I would rather hunt than spend time doing camp chores when hunting....I wind up eating very late most nights.
 
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