Caribou Gear

Do any western states?

backsmasher23

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Feb 9, 2015
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Hudson, WI
Do any of the western states for elk give first time license buyers a break? For example, even non-residents in WI get a 1st time buyer-either gun or archery discount for being their first time hunting in the state. Wisconsin non-resident deer is 160 bucks, but the first time buyer discount is $79.75. Just curious, as it would be a nice perk getting into western hunting.

Justin
 

MT_elk

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I am not aware of any 'deals'. However, there are some states that give young hunters a break on their licenses.
 

jryoung

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Something you can consider is a cow tag. They are far cheaper, you have a better chance of success, they typically eat better, and are a great way to get in the game and see if you like it.
 

LopeHunter

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When I was a kid I could hunt the farm on a $15 annual license and with $10 of ammo put a lot of rabbits, squirrels and a some years deer in the freezer for less than the price of packaged meat at the grocery store. Today, most of my hunts are out of state and I could fly in fresh lobster and buy dry-aged steak for less per pound than any big game animal I have harvested in the last decade. Especially when factor in the annual application costs as a part of each tag drawn. And I eat tag soup, too.

In the past 20 years, I have only had a couple of tags (each around $2000 range) where the tag was more than 25% of the door-to-door cost for an out of state big game hunt.

I track my costs related to a hunt. Cost of maps, new cooler, gasoline, new boots, etc. Usually fuel costs more than the tag.

I expect to spend around $2500 door to door if drive to a hunt which is my normal approach and closer to $4000 if fly to a hunt since will be rental car, baggage, shipping fees, etc. I usually have 15-25 hours roundtrip driving for a hunt. Would be more for fuel but I never scout in person before arriving for the hunt. I have had great success networking with hunters that had the tag in prior years and using Google Earth to virtual scout. I mostly do Euro mounts now so my costs are less than when mostly did shoulder mounts.

I also spend about $2500 a year related to applying for around 70 big game tags in around 12 western states after the dust settles. About 50 of those tags have tough odds of 1 in 100 to over 1 in 1000 odds of drawing. I draw one of those "dream" tags about every other year. I do get stressed when have around $25,000 sitting out there on tags I could possible draw but I am not so lucky would draw 50 tags. Not sure what I would do with a half dozen sheep tags, several goat and moose tags plus elk and deer tags in the rut in my back pocket! I would be willing to take on that challenge.

About 20 tags I apply for have 1 in 10 to 1 in 25 odds and are "fun" hunts. I often do "points only" for these tags yet still draw a tag or two most years.

Big game hunting was always more expensive to get gear and tags for than small game. Hunting was always more expensive than fishing. Hiking is less expensive, too. I enjoy doing all those things. Certainly is not an inexpensive hobby to go out of state and big game hunt.
 

LCH

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Something you can consider is a cow tag. They are far cheaper, you have a better chance of success, they typically eat better, and are a great way to get in the game and see if you like it.

X2.

NR hunting doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg. If you are out for the experience and a chance for some meat in the freezer, it can be done for well under $1k, especially if you have hunting partners to split fuel costs. Chasing glory unit tags and record book animals is where it gets expensive real quick..
 

2rocky

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Jul 23, 2010
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Both Wyoming and Colorado offer reduced price cow tags for certain units.

When I was in College the only hunting I did was resident tags. The exception was an elk hunt in neighboring Oregon on a weekend that my Dad paid for so we could hunt together.

I seriously doubt I could have spared a week of missing classes and Labs in September and stayed academically solvent.

Just a thought though...Spring Bear Tags in a Western State still have open seasons after Finals in a Semester School. You might find an Archery Season for deer in August if your classes start later, or an Antelope hunt.
 
Joined
Oct 7, 2014
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No doubt out of state western tags get pricey, but think how many deer hunters in the Midwest spend 3k a year to lease hunting ground or buy $12,000 UTV's to haul deer 1/2 mile back to the truck with $17 tags. Never mind the kind of money duck hunters spend.

I feel like the cost is easily worth it because usually you are buying access to huge tracks of land and you are buying a far cooler experience than hunting the back 40 down the road.
 

hank4elk

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Jan 8, 2015
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SW NM
I agree with the above posts.
It's nothing like when I 1st hunted,$25 for deer and elk over counter......but a good used truck was $500.
Go for a cow hunt 1st.They are not that easy with all the eyes,but the experience and the meat will have you hooked for sure....................and also apply for none prime units.
 
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