Author Topic: Hunting/Fishing/Gathering as expense reduction?  (Read 9215 times)

Arktinkerer

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Hunting/Fishing/Gathering as expense reduction?
« on: April 29, 2015, 08:13:57 AM »
Many of those on this board live in urban areas.  This is aimed at more rural types though I suppose it might be worth a drive out of the city to partake...

Curious how many here hunt, fish or gather in the wild for food or other requirements?  I have some rural family property but we use to hunt on public land and most fishing is public waters.  Not much of a gatherer unless you count wood but I haven't used a fireplace in years.

For me, hunting means getting a few deer every year.  Maybe a feral hog or two.  Some small game.

Fishing means more than just rod and reel-- I'm thinking trot lines and yo-yos. 

While these activities are somewhat relaxing and entertainment the main goal is food for the family.  I'm not after trophy deer (big guys are actually rather tough!).  A great year is a buck, doe, and young one.  Trot lines are certainly not "sporting" but they do catch a lot of catfish with minimal outlay of effort and time.  We do most of our own butchering as well.

Anyone else relate?

Gone Fishing

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Re: Hunting/Fishing/Gathering as expense reduction?
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2015, 09:09:04 AM »
Hunting, done right, is certainly some of the cheapest meat you can possibly get.

I put 4 deer in the freezer last year.  Out of pocket expenses were minimal other than gas to the hunting spot (2 gal per trip).  I did go ahead and drop the coin on a lifetime license since my hunting location seems pretty reliable. 

Feral pigs are on my list, but we don't really have them around here (which is a good thing!), so I will have to travel a bit.  Hoping to find a place where I can get 5-6 hundred pounders to bring home.

We've got 6 acres that I have planted with fruit/nut trees and berry bushes, and raise stock on.  Still needs time to mature, but I am hoping to increase my harvest significantly over time.  We probably grow 10-15% of our food at the moment but would like to be closer to 80%.  Right now firewood is probably our most valuable "crop".

Black walnuts grow well in our area, but they are a lot of work/messy to extract and I don't really care for them.  We have gathered a few bucketfuls to feed a domestic pig, though.  We also glean a neighbor's corn field and feed that to our pigs as well. 

I enjoy fishing very much but have never really been one to stockpile fillets.  Maybe I will feel more inclined once I ER.  I feel like most of our fisheries in the area are probably overfished when it comes to popular game fish, so it would have to be something like panfish or cats.  I'd probably put the big cats back between the mercury/pcbs etc and to give someone else a chance to catch them.

I've been reading a little on this blog recently, you might enjoy it...

http://starvingofftheland.com/       
« Last Edit: April 29, 2015, 09:13:31 AM by So Close »

Rural

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Re: Hunting/Fishing/Gathering as expense reduction?
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2015, 04:38:19 PM »
I do a lot of gathering for food and medicinals, and we eat venison, usually a deer or two a year. Not much regular fishing.


We could fill the freezer with wild turkey, but they're such a gigantic pain in the ass to process, and turkeys go on sale, already processed, for well under a dollar a pound every winter.




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Re: Hunting/Fishing/Gathering as expense reduction?
« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2015, 07:05:24 AM »
I'm pretty big on hunting and gathering, but when the hunting and gathering is slow it can be very frustrating.  Each year we generally need at least 100 lbs of deer between my wife and I, anything after that is just bonus that generally goes out to the rest of our family.  I stay very busy (work, house, family, side jobs, hobbies, exercise, etc...) so when hunting and fishing is slow I started viewing it as a waste of time because I have so many other things I need to do that I don't let myself enjoy hunting/fishing/gardening like I used to when I wasn't so busy.  It's especially frusting that Maryland keeps starting their deer seasons earlier and earlier and I generally can't get into the woods until the end of October or begining of November.  At that point the deer have been pressured/educated for a couple months and begin to go nocturnal, especially after the first muzzle loader stretch.  I'm very picky as well because I clean/butcher everything myself so it doesn't make sense to shoot little deer and spend 6+ hrs to just put 23 lbs in the freezer...so I wait for ones that will give me at least 50 lbs.  To date the most of gotten from a deer is 64 lbs (no bones, all cuts) from a 205 lb buck.  Same goes for fishing in the summer, if it's not at least 10 inches in length I'm ain't foolin with it (insert "that's what she said" joke).  While gardening, hunting, and fishing def saves us money it breaks down to the equivalent of being payed something like $4 an hr when all is said and done, 100 hrs hunting = 100 lbs of meat @ $5.25/lb, 45 hrs fishing = 80 lbs of fish @ $3.25/lb, 130 hrs gardening = 450 lbs of produce at $0.75/ lb...= $4.08/hr, minus expenses (gas, seeds, bait), PRIDE in living like this = PRICELESS.  If you're just starting out into these hobbies you really have to bring a lot home to cover the cost of fishing gear/boat/kayak, hunting gear, gardening tools, etc... but the good news is that start up cost gets cheaper every year, if you're not upgrading all the time like most hunters do.  Maybe this year I'll be scientific and do a real cost-benefit analysis.

Arktinkerer

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Re: Hunting/Fishing/Gathering as expense reduction?
« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2015, 09:01:45 AM »
That link was pretty good!  Thanks!  I like the post about preparing their own ham.  I have made bresaola from venison and would like to do ham but will need to make a place to do the ageing. 

The first few years of hunting deer I could not connect even with moderate boyhood experience with small game.  After 3 years, things went very well except for last year when we got zero.   Didn't see many and the few we did we missed.  Should have spent a few more days on the target range!  Will have to get more fish and small game this year.  Luckily, hogs are open year around.


Bob W

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Re: Hunting/Fishing/Gathering as expense reduction?
« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2015, 09:12:29 AM »
I have considered trot line, well actually jug fishing at our lake in Missouri.   I think the rule in Missouri is you can put 32 hooks out on jug lines at a time.   I never see anyone do it. 

A little math tells me that on one of my weekend camping and kayaking trips I could probably net 40 pounds of mostly catfish on average.  8 camp trips a year and I'm at 320 pounds of fish.  Also would give me something to do besides just paddle around and lounge at camp. 

Two problems though ---- My wife and kids won't eat fish and  I just read that lake fish in the US actually have a higher mercury contamination that ocean fish.  Bummer.   So I'm sticking with canned Mackerel for fish for now.

I still may try it for fun though and keep my consumption below 1 lb per week.   

Arktinkerer

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Re: Hunting/Fishing/Gathering as expense reduction?
« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2015, 10:12:26 AM »
One thing about hunting/fishing/gathering/gardening is being in control of how you store the food.  Here in the US we have gotten very anal about food shelf life.  The idea of leaving meats out to dry and the thought of beneficial molds (other than cheese) seems to be almost horrific to many people.  I smoke some meats (haven't tried fish though one son loves smoked fish) but usually, even after smoking or drying we rush to put it in the freezer or at least the fridge.  A lot of home canning, following USDA guidelines, cooks the food to mush.  Then there are the warnings about canning meats.  How did our ancestors ever survive?

Cookie78

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Re: Hunting/Fishing/Gathering as expense reduction?
« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2015, 10:23:37 AM »
I started hunting a few years ago and it covers the large majority of my meat requirements. I go hunting with my family, who live about 8 hour drive away, so there is extra cost to get there but I get to spend time with them too. Also there is an abundance of game. The first year I went hunting I drove up on a Saturday, sighted in rifles for an hour, and had an hour left until last shot. Drove 20 min to a good spot that my brothers knew about and had my first kill just before last shot. Almost too easy. Elk are a little more tricky and therefore a lot more fun to hunt up there.

Recently I have been thinking about fishing to supplement and to add a little variety. Might try that this summer. :)

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Re: Hunting/Fishing/Gathering as expense reduction?
« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2015, 11:13:45 AM »
I've thought about learning to hunt and fish. I definitely like wild fish and game when I've had them.

For gathering, my kids and I are just learning the basics of wild edibles. Here in the city though, not much beyond wild greens, and except in my own lawn, I'm worried about contamination. Learning the IDs are a fun challenge, though.

I garden extensively, however. Still learning my site and what works but we definitely reduce our food bill even after costs. Plus I enjoy it - my favorite hobby bar none.

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Re: Hunting/Fishing/Gathering as expense reduction?
« Reply #9 on: April 30, 2015, 11:25:28 AM »
I used to hunt deer quite a bit when I was younger, but very rarely now. I would say that rare is the hunter who gets more value in meat than he/she spends on guns, licenses, and equipment. We used to get the best of both worlds when my father-in-law was an avid hunter. He would fill up his freezer in the first month of the year, and we would get enough excess to enjoy ground venison and sausage all year long. The last couple of years, though, he has slowed down considerably, and we haven't gotten anything. If I had a low-cost option for hunting, I might take it, but unfortunately all of my family (and their land) is out of state, which means I would have to spring for a license that would cost $100+, which would negate any benefit.

Eventually, I would like to own a place out in the country, and at that point, I'll probably get back into hunting.

BBub

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Re: Hunting/Fishing/Gathering as expense reduction?
« Reply #10 on: April 30, 2015, 11:57:46 AM »
I hunt and fish, but I don't really gather.  I do have a garden, which meets our veggie requirements for about half the year.  And we have several varieties of fruit trees and shrubs, which provides an abundance depending on the season.

We eat a good bit of wild fish and game. I'd estimate close to half our meat is wild - it's significant.  As far as the cost.. I doubt we come out ahead, but it's such an enjoyable hobby that I will never give up.  IMO, there's no comparison between hunting/fishing and running down to Sam's to buy a jumbo pack of organic chickens.  I don't care that it costs more because it's not about the money for me.  Same with gardening.  I've had the same rifles & shotguns for over a decade, don't really have a need to upgrade my gear.  But after factoring in the occasional gadget purchase, gas, boat, land lease, licenses, lures & line, ammo, oil and solvent, etc.. it all adds up.

Coming out ahead financially would require a different setup than my current one.  I could see it working out if I lived on a plot of land with water access.  I currently live in a city & must commute to get to my special places.

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Re: Hunting/Fishing/Gathering as expense reduction?
« Reply #11 on: April 30, 2015, 12:22:36 PM »
I'm heading out tomorrow to try and catch my favourite food fish. If I get a 25 pounder (average size around here) that works out to about $180 worth of delicious fillets (according to market price at Pike Place Market).

Considering that my license was $28, and that I don't even need to use our outboard (I can row to fishing hole) and that I'm using tackle purchased years ago...well let's just say that this makes MASSIVE financial sense to catch my own food - and I haven't even mentioned clams, crabs, or even prawns yet. Giddy up! :)

Arktinkerer

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Re: Hunting/Fishing/Gathering as expense reduction?
« Reply #12 on: April 30, 2015, 02:30:44 PM »
I would say that rare is the hunter who gets more value in meat than he/she spends on guns, licenses, and equipment.

Most of the money spent on hunting is really waste if you take a MMM view.  I have a number of "hand me down" rifles but reality is a good used rifle can be found for under $200 and ammo for $20 per year.  A couple kitchen knives for skinning/butchering and you're all set. 

People, myself included, buy scents, camo, decoys, calls, stands, etc.  I've gathered these over time (almost all used).  The stand did help I think.  Still, the majority of my deer come from sitting down somewhere, reading a book and looking up at the end of every page.  The scents, calls, decoys, and other garbage may or may not help.  Its time in the woods and keeping my eyes open that seems to matter for me.

The family farm does help over public lands.  I personally wouldn't spend the money some people do for private game leases though.  On public lands I haven't had trouble seeing deer.  I go there for bear and other game that isn't on our property.  I think the reason I see them is because most people don't seem to want to go more than a couple hundred yards off the road.  Small game is everywhere once you get away from the roads and easy to reach spots.

Arktinkerer

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Re: Hunting/Fishing/Gathering as expense reduction?
« Reply #13 on: April 30, 2015, 02:34:31 PM »
I'm heading out tomorrow to try and catch my favourite food fish. If I get a 25 pounder (average size around here) that works out to about $180 worth of delicious fillets (according to market price at Pike Place Market).

Considering that my license was $28, and that I don't even need to use our outboard (I can row to fishing hole) and that I'm using tackle purchased years ago...well let's just say that this makes MASSIVE financial sense to catch my own food - and I haven't even mentioned clams, crabs, or even prawns yet. Giddy up! :)

Our combo hunting/fishing license is $35 and covers 4 deer/a turkey/a bear/small game/ and most fish except for trout--you need an extra stamp for that.  You also need stamps for ducks.  You don't need anything but permission for hogs.  Other places charge more and a lot of states charge high for out of state hunters.  If you have to hunt out of state I can see it would be a lot less economical.

BBub

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Re: Hunting/Fishing/Gathering as expense reduction?
« Reply #14 on: April 30, 2015, 04:13:52 PM »
I'm heading out tomorrow to try and catch my favourite food fish. If I get a 25 pounder (average size around here) that works out to about $180 worth of delicious fillets (according to market price at Pike Place Market).

Considering that my license was $28, and that I don't even need to use our outboard (I can row to fishing hole) and that I'm using tackle purchased years ago...well let's just say that this makes MASSIVE financial sense to catch my own food - and I haven't even mentioned clams, crabs, or even prawns yet. Giddy up! :)

Our combo hunting/fishing license is $35 and covers 4 deer/a turkey/a bear/small game/ and most fish except for trout--you need an extra stamp for that.  You also need stamps for ducks.  You don't need anything but permission for hogs.  Other places charge more and a lot of states charge high for out of state hunters.  If you have to hunt out of state I can see it would be a lot less economical.


Big time.  I have a lifetime license in my own state, but I buy a fishing license in 3 other states every year.  I know that's probably grounds for a facepunch, but all the gulf coast states are pretty close and I end up fishing in all of them every year...  Loiusiana is mecca for inshore fishing.  Mississippi has some awesome barrier islands that my friends & I camp on several times per year.  Plus, if coming from the east by boat you have to pass through MS waters to get to LA - which requires a fishing license if you have fish on board.  AL is just awesome, and I fish there alot.  FL is too, and I have a few good friends down there with boats.  So, there you have it.  If you actually added up the dollar value of all the fillets I produce, there may be a math case to be made that I come out ahead.  But I usually eat fresh fish only, and I give away a lot of fillets to friends & neighbors.  I'll freeze enough to use for the next several weeks, but no more.  I go so often there's rarely a shortage.  I'm kind of a fresh fish snob & always have been.

On the multiple licenses, I actually met with my congressman about a year ago to pitch the idea that he could collaborate w/ the neighboring gulf states and try to set up a Gulf of Mexico multi-state inshore license to avoid this.  I'm certainly not alone in buying multiple licenses every year.  I think a lot of people would be interested, and it may even serve to increase revenue for the various states - and it would certainly curry political favor for the congressmen who got it done.  I obviously don't have enough pull to make anything like that happen, but what the hell, at least I threw the idea out there.

AnotherEngineer

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Re: Hunting/Fishing/Gathering as expense reduction?
« Reply #15 on: April 30, 2015, 06:24:06 PM »
Alaska residents can dipnet, which is more gathering than fishing. You wade into a river with several thousand friends and wait for  a 8-10 lb wild sockeye salmon to wander into your five foot diameter net on a twenty foot pole. Pull in, bonk, cooler, repeat. With our second child, our limit just went up to 55 fish per year. With borrowed gear, we only need gas and a fishing license. We get 100 lbs of filet in the freezer with 2-3 days work dipping and processing. Wild Alaskan sockeye is $13/lb even in Alaska, so that is $1300, though is must be for personal use and not sold or given away. I smoke some of it too, which doubles or triples the value (and tastiness).  There is also essentially zero mercury in it. The challenge is finding ways to fix it so you empty the freezer before it is time to fill it again.

The hillsides and tundra fill with blueberries and low-bush cranberries every fall. Watch out for bears as they have the same idea.

Lots of folks hunt moose and caribou here as well, but the logistics of city folks getting to the isolated hunting sites are challenge.

G. Thomas

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Re: Hunting/Fishing/Gathering as expense reduction?
« Reply #16 on: April 30, 2015, 06:55:16 PM »
If you have access to amazing fishing or good big game hunting that is close to home then yes.   Once you start leasing land, going out of state, or taking guided hunts there is almost zero chance you are coming out ahead.  Any type of bird hunting except rare cases can you break even for the meat earned.

Track how much you spend for an entire outing, I was surprised.  Not a cheap hobby for me.

Gone Fishing

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Re: Hunting/Fishing/Gathering as expense reduction?
« Reply #17 on: May 01, 2015, 02:13:25 PM »
If I had a low-cost option for hunting, I might take it, but unfortunately all of my family (and their land) is out of state, which means I would have to spring for a license that would cost $100+, which would negate any benefit.

Be sure to check out the rules for private land hunting in the family's state.  Here, we can hunt on private land with no license if a lease is in place.  If this is the case, see if they will lease it to you for $1 and hunt away!

GuitarBrian

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Re: Hunting/Fishing/Gathering as expense reduction?
« Reply #18 on: May 03, 2015, 12:16:21 AM »
So my family (4) have become pretty avid hunters. In Colorado, where we are residents.

Licenses last year were $462

We hunted Sept., Archery for Elk. Then Oct. 1st Rifle, again for Elk, then 2nd Rifle, for Mule Deer.

We got 2 bull elk, and 3 deer (1 buck, 2 does). Processed ourselves on the mountain. When we were putting it in the chest freezer, it weighed out to 750lbs of meat. It is the cleanest environment you can get better than any organic farm. So I value the meat at organic beef prices. Ground hamburger is $10 a pound. It is possible to buy Elk, but not practical to value as such, since I would not buy it. At $10 a pound that is $7500.

We spent $4,200 in gear. All but 1,000 of this was due to it being our first time Archery hunting, so bows (4), targets, arrows, broadheads, camo clothing, etc. The last 1k was a new rifle for my brother, who had been borrowing a friends rifle, which was not available this year.

There are more expenses... travel, storage for hunting trailer/truck... It is an expensive hobby. But, we do spend a solid 2 months in the mountains (Aug 25-Oct 26) so we try to maximize the $$ spent.

This year will be much cheaper gear wise. Licenses are the same. Since we spend so much time we always get animals.

Murdoch

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Re: Hunting/Fishing/Gathering as expense reduction?
« Reply #19 on: May 04, 2015, 03:21:58 AM »
Here in Australia there are no license fees for fishing or hunting in my state which is nice. Distances to travel and equipment certainly add up though. There is also a learning curve, and it's hard to be bringing home consistent produce when you start out. I don't do any land based hunting at present, but fishing, and specifically spearfishing, is my favourite past time.

Researching, finding the perfect equipment to optimise my time in the water, maintaining that equipment so it lasts a lifetime, catching/filleting/storing fillets, getting from home to the shore/reefs etc... occupies a lot of time, effort and money.

The time and effort don't need excusing. The activity of, and surrounding duties, for a successful fishing trip are healthy, thought provoking, social, and skill building tasks.

The money spent perhaps requires more explanation. For myself, I will happily spend on the best equipment that I know will last if well maintained. I have used the same equipment for 3 years now, and have certainly caught and cooked more than enough quality fish in that time to have paid it off. Even if I hadn't though, the fact that I cannot be drinking alcohol the night before, or during, a fishing trip, and need to be fit and well rested to perform at my best, means I have saved a huge amount of money that would otherwise have been spent socialising or on less healthy past times.

The money I have spent so far, whilst paid off in spades, unfortunately pales in comparison to what I intend to spend on a boat one day. One day perhaps soon. I could excuse this with the fact I don't pay rent, electricity, water, transport etc.... but the fact is, it is a passion I would try to pursue even if I were broke because it brings me so much joy.

Murdoch

kindviking

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Re: Hunting/Fishing/Gathering as expense reduction?
« Reply #20 on: May 04, 2015, 08:16:18 AM »
I've found that fishing is profitable in the long run, after you build skill and knowledge, but it takes time to get there. I think it really only makes sense to get into hunting/fishing if you actually enjoy a few hours outside or in the rain in a beautiful place, but return empty-handed.

Axecleaver

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Re: Hunting/Fishing/Gathering as expense reduction?
« Reply #21 on: May 05, 2015, 12:25:03 PM »
As a kid, my family of four lived off what my Dad hunted and fished, plus a large vegetable garden and fruit orchard. The only thing we bought at the store was milk, and 50# sacks of flour from the co-op. We harvested about 2000# of honey a year from 30 hives. Augmented the income with raccoon hides. It was a nice way to grow up.

As an adult, I traveled for work for many years, so I don't have the time to hunt like I used to when I was young. Used to get squirrel, rabbit, and pheasant, but the pheasant are all gone, now. I have a bass pond and use that for fish over the summer, whenever I like. We also have lots of small trout streams in the area, and if you know what you're doing it's easy to get a few days worth of trout whenever you want.

Balancing time between all these things is tough, but I find it relaxing and I guess it does save a few dollars. The leisure time doing it is enough reward for me.

Alternatepriorities

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Re: Hunting/Fishing/Gathering as expense reduction?
« Reply #22 on: January 10, 2020, 11:18:09 PM »
Our freezers are currently filled with moose, caribou, black bear, sheep, halibut, there kinds of salmon, two kinds of wild blueberries, and raspberries... So it would seem like we do, and it helps a lot to have friends and family who already know what they are doing. But, if Iím honest with the numbers itís still more cost effective to work those hours and buy food. The thing is Iíd much rather spend all night on the banks of a river dipping for salmon than sitting at my desk playing CAD monkey. The moose was road kill and processing it was an enjoyable evening with friends. The sheep is worth more than $200/lb considering I skipped a full week of work to help my friend get it... On the other hand, hiking around the mountains of Alaska with a good friend is among my favorite activities.

Alternatepriorities

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Re: Hunting/Fishing/Gathering as expense reduction?
« Reply #23 on: January 10, 2020, 11:33:11 PM »
Iíve also kept out thermostat at 55 this winter and use firewood I cut to keep the house a comfortable temp. In the current house with natural gas Iím earning less than minimum wage in my gas savings but I enjoy the exercise. A few years back when we lived off the road system I was saving about $4k a year in heating oil. That exercise felt particularly satisfying.

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caleb

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Re: Hunting/Fishing/Gathering as expense reduction?
« Reply #24 on: January 11, 2020, 10:25:19 AM »
If you have access to amazing fishing or good big game hunting that is close to home then yes.   Once you start leasing land, going out of state, or taking guided hunts there is almost zero chance you are coming out ahead.  Any type of bird hunting except rare cases can you break even for the meat earned.

Track how much you spend for an entire outing, I was surprised.  Not a cheap hobby for me.

I think it's a pretty small % of the hunting population in the lower 48 that comes out ahead financially in practice.

If you don't travel more than a few miles, don't buy (or justify) any motorized and/or floating toys, and stick to just the basic necessary gear without ever upgrading, then it can work.  It did when I was a kid. We never went more than about five miles to hunt, used hand-me-down gear, and shot around 10 deer a year for a family of 5.  Licenses were $10-20.

I imagine the math works pretty well for moose or caribou in Canada or Alaska.

But around here now, leasing has become more common, and the deer herd has declined so that we now have a mostly bucks-only season.  I think I heard this fall that hunter success rates were < 50%.  For deer, it's not simple anymore to go out and fill a deep freezer like it used to be.

The guys I know who are still hunting for meat are going out to shoot geese.  We can shoot a pile of Canadian geese, and I think snow geese might be without limit.  There's also a spring season sometimes.  Shooting dozens of them in a morning would be a pretty good payoff, and I imagine a bunch of fun.  I understand access is also easy since people understand that they're overpopulated and destructive.

sixwings

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Re: Hunting/Fishing/Gathering as expense reduction?
« Reply #25 on: January 11, 2020, 10:36:03 AM »
I do a fair bit of fishing and it can be worthwhile if you do it a lot. There's usually a relatively high equipment cost to start, so you need to factor that in. If you do it a lot and buy stuff that will last a long time, it could be financially worthwhile.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2020, 10:47:24 AM by sixwings »

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Re: Hunting/Fishing/Gathering as expense reduction?
« Reply #26 on: January 11, 2020, 01:41:03 PM »
Deer are all over my property which is in a deer zone  so I can legally hunt them if I want to.

There are plenty of quail and doves.

Turkeys come around once in a while.

Hunting for food is WAY too much work for me.

I think of the deer as "my pets."

If a black-swan cataclysm necessitated hunting animals for food I'd hunt them.


Fishindude

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Re: Hunting/Fishing/Gathering as expense reduction?
« Reply #27 on: January 15, 2020, 01:18:16 PM »
I'm a hard core hunter, fishermen & gatherer.    We live rural and can do most of this stuff right out the back door, but it's also a serous hobby of mine, so I travel to many places to enjoy these activities.
Have already put (4) deer in the freezer, shoot a few squirrels and rabbits, some years a turkey, some years a couple wild hogs or an elk, always have lots of fish, gather mushrooms, rasberries, blackberries, etc.
Processing, preserving and eating what you harvest is a big part of the fun for me, and it's some of the best, most healthy food you are going to get.   We eat what we take, or we don't take it.   

Add a big garden on top of this and we eat pretty good.   We also provide supplemental heat for the home and shop with firewood I can easily procure on the back forty.

Now the bad news ...... I would be lying if I told you that we did this to save money on the grocery budget.   I'm sure we could be eating prime rib and crab legs cheaper when you factor in all of the expenses including; owning the farms, travel, licenses, food plots, tree stands, boats, tackle, firearms, ammunition, clothing, motels, trespass fees, gasoline, wear on vehicles, etc.

seattlecyclone

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Re: Hunting/Fishing/Gathering as expense reduction?
« Reply #28 on: January 15, 2020, 01:54:17 PM »
No hunting for me, but I did can a few gallons of jam from our plum tree last year. Given how many peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are consumed in our house this is going to be a pretty significant money saver.

Retireatee1

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Re: Hunting/Fishing/Gathering as expense reduction?
« Reply #29 on: January 15, 2020, 02:42:52 PM »
I've been hunting a few times.  I'm "that guy" who would own the most expensive shotguns, rifles, pistols, and accessories...and then come home empty-handed from each and every hunt.

It would still be worthwhile as a fun retirement activity.  I love blasting lead harmlessly through the forest.

firstmatedavy

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Re: Hunting/Fishing/Gathering as expense reduction?
« Reply #30 on: January 17, 2020, 12:21:50 PM »
I live on a boat docked at a suburban marina. Just moved to the south so we can stay on board year round. We're going to get crab traps this year, and a community garden plot to grow things like tomatoes, cucumbers and winter squash.

ixtap

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Re: Hunting/Fishing/Gathering as expense reduction?
« Reply #31 on: January 17, 2020, 12:33:46 PM »
I live on a boat docked at a suburban marina. Just moved to the south so we can stay on board year round. We're going to get crab traps this year, and a community garden plot to grow things like tomatoes, cucumbers and winter squash.

We once had a marina neighbor create a floating garden in an inflatable dinghy/raft within their slip.

YttriumNitrate

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Re: Hunting/Fishing/Gathering as expense reduction?
« Reply #32 on: January 17, 2020, 12:54:15 PM »
Every time someone brings up hunting as a way to reduce costs/save money, I think of this Jeff Foxworthy video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJa8kxPfPoU


ChpBstrd

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Re: Hunting/Fishing/Gathering as expense reduction?
« Reply #33 on: January 17, 2020, 01:35:15 PM »
Where I live, it is not uncommon for people to spend $2k/season for a duck hunting club membership, a couple hundred more for ammo and stamps, $2k/year for a dog, maybe $500/year for the latest fashion in camouflage, and the added ownership costs of a truck and four wheeler or boat.

I estimate wild duck meat costs about $2k/pound with labor at $0/hour. Caviar served on French truffles is cheaper.

Bass fishing is similar: $40k+ boat, $300 rod and reel,...

So itís more like a consumerist hobby/obsession subculture than a legit food production technique. As a sport itís on par with golf. But as the OP says, using trot lines instead of bass boats and minimalist hunting instead of using ATVs and gucciflauge and shit could reduce the cost substantially. Still, itís never going to be as productive a use of time as, for example, raising hogs or getting a part time job to cover the entire grocery budget. The most economical ways of harvesting wildlife, such as deer snares or electric fishing, are banned for the sake of sport hunting/fishing.

Fishindude

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Re: Hunting/Fishing/Gathering as expense reduction?
« Reply #34 on: January 17, 2020, 01:50:45 PM »
Where I live, it is not uncommon for people to spend $2k/season for a duck hunting club membership, a couple hundred more for ammo and stamps, $2k/year for a dog, maybe $500/year for the latest fashion in camouflage, and the added ownership costs of a truck and four wheeler or boat.

I estimate wild duck meat costs about $2k/pound with labor at $0/hour. Caviar served on French truffles is cheaper.

Bass fishing is similar: $40k+ boat, $300 rod and reel,...

Dang !   Sounds like somebody is getting a bargain.
My last guided elk hunt was $6800 + $500 licenses, tips, travel, motels and meals enroute, etc.    Probably totaled out around $9,000 and I got 200 lbs of processed meat, so about $45 per pound.
No guilt about it, it's what I like to do.

caleb

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Re: Hunting/Fishing/Gathering as expense reduction?
« Reply #35 on: January 17, 2020, 02:01:00 PM »
Where I live, it is not uncommon for people to spend $2k/season for a duck hunting club membership, a couple hundred more for ammo and stamps, $2k/year for a dog, maybe $500/year for the latest fashion in camouflage, and the added ownership costs of a truck and four wheeler or boat.

I estimate wild duck meat costs about $2k/pound with labor at $0/hour. Caviar served on French truffles is cheaper.

Bass fishing is similar: $40k+ boat, $300 rod and reel,...

So itís more like a consumerist hobby/obsession subculture than a legit food production technique. As a sport itís on par with golf. But as the OP says, using trot lines instead of bass boats and minimalist hunting instead of using ATVs and gucciflauge and shit could reduce the cost substantially. Still, itís never going to be as productive a use of time as, for example, raising hogs or getting a part time job to cover the entire grocery budget. The most economical ways of harvesting wildlife, such as deer snares or electric fishing, are banned for the sake of sport hunting/fishing.

I've heard it said more than once that wild bobwhite quail meat from a west Texas lease costs more than its weight in gold.  I don't doubt it.

Rural

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Re: Hunting/Fishing/Gathering as expense reduction?
« Reply #36 on: January 17, 2020, 03:27:26 PM »
But it can be super cheap. For us, the cost of venison has historically been ammunition ( no license needed here to hunt on your own land, just keep a log, which is free). I think I'm going to insist someone else process the meat in the future though- it's awfully heavy work and we're getting older. Still going to be super low cost if we do it, though.

ice_beard

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Re: Hunting/Fishing/Gathering as expense reduction?
« Reply #37 on: January 21, 2020, 12:04:17 AM »
I have put at least one deer in the freezer each of the last two years.  However, I have to fly to the Midwest and buy an out of state license.  So it's not cheap.  But it's something I get to do with my dad at the house I grew up in and it's the time of year I miss now that I'm living in out west.  I have not done the math, but I think I brought back like 35 lbs this year, so it was expensive on a per pound basis.  For my dad, the cost is very minimal.  He needs maybe a new tree stand every few years and he likes to put out fancy things like game cams too.  Everything else is already covered pretty much.  Only problem is no one in his family now will eat the meat.

I do a fair amount of fishing too.  SF Bay is chock full of fish in the summer months, but you really need a boat.  Halibut, rockfish, lingcod, striped bass and right now lots of dungeness crab and surf perch (outside the Bay for those).  The reservoirs are stocked with trout and catfish too but that fishing is not that exciting for me but can be productive for the freezer. 

I lived in Anchorage for several years and the wild game is top notch up there.  Dipnetting is quite an experience.  Smoked red salmon is incredible.  Moose meat is also wonderful but can be a LOT of work to get home into your freezer.  I really miss Kenai River red salmon!! 

I have had a small garden too the past few years but might pass this year.  Water is expensive here and in limited supply.  Growing vegetables here really kind of sucks.  The soil blows so everything is in a container, everything has to be irrigated and the yields are not that great.  I'd love to have consistent tomatoes at least, but even those don't seem to do that well on our primarily north side of the hill property.  More time for fishing I guess!   
« Last Edit: January 21, 2020, 12:10:13 AM by ice_beard »

JSMustachian

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Re: Hunting/Fishing/Gathering as expense reduction?
« Reply #38 on: January 21, 2020, 12:20:50 PM »
I'm able to take a few deer a year at my parents place in Central Texas. I usually get 70-100 pounds of meat for the cost of the license. I used to take the meat to a processor and pay $200-300 to make it into sausage. Now we do all the processing ourselves and the extra meat really helps keep the grocery budget in check.



pressure9pa

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Re: Hunting/Fishing/Gathering as expense reduction?
« Reply #39 on: January 23, 2020, 08:20:09 AM »
I need to do this again, but one year I went crappie and catfish fishing right about the time gun season started in my area.  I posted on FB that I would trade fillets for deer meat, and had a few friends trade a few pounds each.  I ended up with plenty of catfish, plenty of crappie, several deer steaks, and a lot of ground deer sausage.  I raise both mealworms and earthworms, and I use a castnet for shad so bait wasn't even an expense. 

MishMash

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Re: Hunting/Fishing/Gathering as expense reduction?
« Reply #40 on: January 23, 2020, 03:41:12 PM »
We are huge into hunting fishing and gathering (particularly edible mushrooms).  We moved this year so it's a wash but the last 6 years DH was on a year round crop damage permit so for the 50c cost of a bullet we could get a deer.  This was a fluke though as in the DC area everything was a 2k+ a year lease so we were lucky.  The guns were free (inherited) and our best friend is a gun smith so he modded all our weapons for the cost of parts, and is our go to for ammo, way cheaper then the store. 
Now we don't have a place to hunt here in FL but we make a yearly stock the freezer vacation out to TX to a buddies property that is riddled with deer and exotics.  This year DH got a trophy sheep.

Fishing, damn...well to say we are obsessed is an understatement and that is NOT a cheap hobby even though I buy most of the stuff second hand.  The only time DH is at peace is when he can't see land, so I guess that's cheaper then long term PTSD therapy though....