Author Topic: Deer hunter looking at vehicle options  (Read 4720 times)

remjroth

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Deer hunter looking at vehicle options
« on: July 22, 2014, 11:06:21 AM »
Right now I live near my dad in VA. We hunt together. I transport deer in the back of his truck after a successful hunt. I'm moving several hours away because of a new job. I drive a small car. I should stress I hunt a lot - over thirty days last year. In a good year I'll take as many as four deer; a bad year might leave me with only one (or none.) I drift between two ideas:

1. Keep my small car. Most of the time I use it to move my butt. It does that well. I'm concerned because I can't move a deer from the woods to my garage for butchering. I could butcher deer in the woods and move it home in coolers in my car. This is more difficult and has limitations. Hunting hours end just after sunset. I could get stuck butchering a deer after dark in the woods. Access to hunting properties presents another problem. Seldom is four wheel drive necessary for me; but not having it when you need it is less than ideal.

2. Buy a small truck. You are well acquainted with the problems here: gas mileage and cost primarily. Additionally, If I go this route I need to also decide whether to go with four wheel drive or not. A two wheel drive truck seems to have less issues with hunting access than a two wheel drive car.

I'm more than open to suggestions. Thank you.

mlipps

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Re: Deer hunter looking at vehicle options
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2014, 11:14:31 AM »
How many miles do you typically drive per year? How many of those are for hunting? This will make a big difference on how much the difference between the car & truck cost you.

TrMama

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Re: Deer hunter looking at vehicle options
« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2014, 11:16:58 AM »
What about a trailer for your small car? I've seen moose being hauled on a flatbed trailer hitched to a Toyota Echo.

Cheddar Stacker

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Re: Deer hunter looking at vehicle options
« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2014, 11:20:45 AM »
I'm a hunter but my stats are: 5 days/year and 1 deer/year. Plus I hunt on the same 40 acres every year and we take care of everything on site. So while I'm not the ideal person to answer this question, I do understand the complications a bit.

I would go with option 1 and spend a few dollars on the tools/equipment you will need to get this done, including the following:

1) Lighting. Find a good battery (or propane?) powered light source. You will need it for that sunset harvest.
2) A sled or something similar to get through the less access-able areas.

You don't need to take care of all the butchering in the field, you just need to field dress and quarter it. I would also get some game bags to preserve everything during transport.

You will have to put out some cash, but you don't need to put out thousands in the purchase of a new vehicle, the gasoline, and the maintenance on your main mode of transportation.

gimp

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Re: Deer hunter looking at vehicle options
« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2014, 11:40:05 AM »
Hmm. 30 days of renting would get expensive - probably $1500, maybe a thousand with some discounts. (Trucks tend to rent for more.) Maybe you know a better source.

Alternative: Rent/borrow from a friend.

Alternative: Buy a beater truck for a thousand bucks, drive it once every two or three weeks so it doesn't sit, use it for hunting. After the initial outlay, your yearly costs would probably be like fifty or a hundred bucks for insurance, maybe five or ten bucks a month for gas to keep it not sitting idle, and some maintenance (still gotta change the oil once a year even if it's synthetic). Probably cheaper than renting from a rental shop.

Better yet: Go halfsies with a friend on a beater truck. Half the cost to you, and probably not much inconvenience.

remjroth

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Re: Deer hunter looking at vehicle options
« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2014, 11:45:23 AM »
8000 miles per year is a healthy overestimate of my driving. At the moment, I'm using my dad's truck for hunting. He generously covers that cost, but he's usually along for the hunt too. He isn't the mustachian type and balks at the idea of not driving a full size pickup (to each their own I suppose.)

I'm relatively new to the forum here. I didn't know how in depth I should get, which is why I left it at "butchering." You're right. I would only need to field dress and quarter the deer to fit it into a car.

I haven't considered a trailer. I'm concerned that might make access to hunting land trickier. I also don't know if that's viable with my car. I will look further into this.

Renting also isn't something I've considered. I agree it probably wouldn't be a cost effective solution. My first vehicle was a 1989 F-150 bought for $1000 and fixed up for another $500. I don't know if I would want to own multiple vehicles though.

Cheddar Stacker

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Re: Deer hunter looking at vehicle options
« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2014, 11:48:12 AM »
Welcome to the forum, good luck with optimizing what you actually need to get this done.

Jack

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Re: Deer hunter looking at vehicle options
« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2014, 11:53:41 AM »
Your small car isn't a convertible, right? In that case, strap that sucker to the roof!

Or keep borrowing your dad's truck (reimburse him if you like, especially for times when he's not along for the hunt), or get a trailer.

Denarius

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Re: Deer hunter looking at vehicle options
« Reply #8 on: July 22, 2014, 12:06:23 PM »
how big is your trunk? fold down rear seats? have you considered something like 'the buck bag'? http://thebuckbag.com/

rebel100

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Re: Deer hunter looking at vehicle options
« Reply #9 on: July 22, 2014, 12:06:59 PM »
Your not applying yourself. :)

shotgunwilly

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Re: Deer hunter looking at vehicle options
« Reply #10 on: July 22, 2014, 12:14:25 PM »
My vote is to buy a cheap old toyota tacoma with 4 wheel drive. Those things are just about indestructible. Would be a great hunting truck. 30 days a year is quite a bit.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xnWKz7Cthkk

Jack

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Re: Deer hunter looking at vehicle options
« Reply #11 on: July 22, 2014, 12:22:50 PM »
My vote is to buy a cheap old toyota tacoma with 4 wheel drive. Those things are just about indestructible. Would be a great hunting truck. 30 days a year is quite a bit.

Everybody knows they're indestructible... so even old ones aren't cheap (especially if you also want the most efficient version, a 4-cylinder with a manual transmission). When I was buying a truck I had to settle for a Ford Ranger instead, and even then it was $3,000. : (

remjroth

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Re: Deer hunter looking at vehicle options
« Reply #12 on: July 22, 2014, 12:24:54 PM »
You're right shotgunwilly. If I pursued option two, an old Toyota Tacoma would be my first choice. Jack is also right though, they aren't cheap. It would really depend on what I could find.

Denarius, that buckbag looks interesting. If it truly doesn't leak, then it could work out well for me. I'm nervous it would spill blood onto the carpet of my car though. Besides the aesthetic issue with that, blood starts to smell awful if it isn't cleaned up. Since I'm the optimistic type, I would also be concerned I couldn't fit the monster deer I might take someday. I'll look more into that.


TrMama

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Re: Deer hunter looking at vehicle options
« Reply #13 on: July 22, 2014, 01:21:59 PM »
Your not applying yourself. :)

Aha! I knew there was a way to make use of the roadkill I pass on the highway . . .