Part of the advantage of a do it yourself hunt is that you can have some control over expenses. I am not adverse to spending money, but there are things that I feel are more worth the money than others. I am going to attempt to set a budget for my trip now. Hopefully I can save enough between now and then to off set most of the expenses.
The first expense has already come about. My license cost $554 dollars. There is no way to change this, so I bite the bullet and move on. This cost is for a non-resident Colorado elk tag. The prices vary from state to state, but for an out of state license, this is typical.
The next expense largest expense I anticipate is the travel. I plan out hunting out of a tent camp, so my large amount of gear requires that we drive. The trip will be between 3200 and 3600 miles round trip. The pickup truck we are taking will probably average 18 mpg. That means we will need approximately 200 gallons of fuel. The way things look gasoline will be around $4.00 per gallon. That is an $800 expense. My group was originally planned for three hunters, but is now down to two. That is $400 per person for fuel. I will also be on the road for two days. I will figure $30 a day for meals, $60 total.
The other main expense is meals while on the hunt. Since we are camping the meals will tend to be simple. We will need enough food for eight days in camp. That means 24 meals, dinner being the most elaborate. Lunches will typically be something that goes into the pack to be eaten on the trail. I am going to set this at $200 for the two of us.
The last category is gear. This is by far the hardest one to pin down. It will also vary wildly from person to person, depending on how much gear they already own. I have done this twice already. Most of the camping and hunting gear I already own. There are things I would like to buy, but few I have to buy. I am going to set this number at $200. This is not going to include the incidentals that come with weapon preparation, practice, etc. that I will accrue through the summer. We have plenty of time to discuss and arrange gear.
Let’s summarize our budget:
· License - $554
· Fuel - $400
· Travel meals - $60
· Camp meals - $100
· Misc. gear -$200
That totals to $1314. The only expense I did not include that may be needed is handling and processing of a kill. In my case, I have a friend in the area that will allow me to freeze meat before travelling home. Not everyone is this lucky so keep that in mind if you are budgeting you own trip.
With my license already paid for that leaves $760 dollars in out of pocket expense. It is 21 weeks until I leave on my trip. My goal is to save $40 a week between now and then. That should be easy, but with gas prices….. Anyway, my no soda diet plan should be a start. That is probably five to ten dollars a week I am saving right there. I also set aside a piggy bank and make sure all my change goes in it. It is surprising how fast that will add up. I am going to keep this money separate. The only time money is allowed to be taken out are for trip related expenses. I will track these so I can revisit my budget if it needs revised.
Up next….. shooting practice!