Are you talking about $3000 for the outfitters costs or total costs for the whole trip (licenses, travel expenses, butchering costs)?
You can DIY Elk hunt almost anywhere out west for under $3000 but most DIY hunts you'll usually end up eating your tag unless you're very lucky.
You can get a pack in wilderness hunt unguided for a reasonable price. The guide basically packs you in and out and you hunt on your own.
If you want better odds you can hunt antelope in WY or mulies in several states.
Licenses can run you from $300-750 for most deer or deer/elk. If you fly out you can count on $300-400 plus the cost of a rental. Other costs once you get out west are-food, gas butcher fees, shipping/transporting meat if you're flying.
In other words the total can really add up once you get all of the small things added in.
I meant $3000 more as a ball park figure. I am really just asking what hunts other people have done in the past that they considered a good "value". I realize $3000 is not a lot when it comes to hunting trips but I know you can do some for that price or less and I was just looking for some feedback from others with experience.
Alaska black bear by boat. Prince William Sound. Bears, halibut, fresh dungies, shrimp, salmon, while seeing orcas, humpback whales... If you do it in late september, you can add sitka blacktail to that.
We offer a bear hunt over bait in Sept. for $1495.00. The license is around $160.00. That is a far cry from $3000.00. We bait an entire township and so we can control the bear we take out of there. We kill around 80% that way. Our first week for the 2010 season is already filled and we are booking the second week to fill the 10 we want there. Then we are done for the season. Moose is a 100% hunt however you need to get drawn first. I get calls all the time for moose but I will not book a moose hunt until June, when the person knows they are hunting. Deer, is another story. We have some real good bucks here but it takes a dedicated hunter to get them. After being in PA and VA and MD for a week or so I can see why people get discouraged hunting deer here. The best time to hunt here is in the snow. Problem with that is our snow comes when you fellows are hunting in PA. If we can answer any more questions just click on the banner at the top of the bear hunting page.
I'm with you on that... Ive been on antelope in Wy Hogs in Ga Bear in Maine, Deer in Bama, Ducks/goose in Md and NY and quite a few others. This year was the year to wheel and deal since the outfitters and guides were willing to come down a bit.
Went on allot of hunts and never spent over $2200. Really can't afford to go any higher. Mostly all deer hunts.
A few years ago I won a 10 day elk & mule deer hunt on E-bay for $2500 on horseback in Montana. All toll, I spent around $5000 with airfare, (@$400rt), Outfitters License ($900) @$100 shared with two others for a motel for the day before & after the hunt. I shot a 5 x 5 elk & it cost something like $150 for the butcher & for every box of meat that was taken on the airplane was $75.
Now, I did do a DIY hunt for antelope in Wyoming for about $1000. We drove out from Philly on my suburban & stayed in a motel and hunted mostly BML land. We also hunted a few ranches for free or for a small trophy fee of $50 if you shot one. Some ranches right next door that we hunted wanted $500 for a week access.
DIY for elk in Colorado. You won't regret it and if you do your homework you WON'T eat your tag. It has NOTHING to do with luck and everything to do with preparation. We've been going DIY for awhile now and typically do better than with some outfitters we've been with. The entire trip including food, lodging, tags, butchering and travel will run you less than 2,000. We're already planning our trip in 2010.
Thanks for the replies. The Antelope and Elk DIY hunts were options that I was considering and it is good to hear from others that both can be done relatively cheap, and more importantly with some success. With every state having different tag fees and regulations it can be overwhelming trying to start at square one, so all this input really helps point me in right direction. Thanks.
A DIY elk hunt has a lot to do with luck AND hard work before and during your hunt. Part of the luck is finding someone who has been out there and laid boots on the ground. Bearklr-you said you have been doing it for a while. Did you do well your first trip out? Or did you go with guys who had been out before?
The original poster sounds like he's never been out west before and without some help or A LOT of pre-hunt preperation usually your first trip out is a learning experience.
Ive hunted 4 times out west for elk all DIY and everytime for right around $1,000.00. Of the 4 times, I killed once, and should of have gotten shooting 2 other trips, once with a bow. The bow hunt was a completely new hunt for everyone on that hunt. Search the State Fish and Game websites and the hunting messege boards. Theres a ton of info on the message boards.
We've done DIY for a few years now with 4 to 6 guys. Last time out with 4 guys we took a nice muley, a 5x5 elk and a 6x6 elk with 2 missed muleys. 4 guys, all with shot opportunities and three of them harvested. The first trip is always a learning experience. Heck, EVERY trip is a learning experience. The good thing is if you are willing there are PLENTY of resources to greatly improve your odds. Call local motels. "Hey, I'm looking to bring 6 guys out there to stay for 8 days but I need to know if there's any good public hunting around...any ideas"? They're usually more than happy to point you in the right direction seeing that if you pick their area you just decided to spend $2400 to stay there. Call a local sporting goods store. Once again, more than willing to help a potential client. Check out BLM maps. They give you gps coordinates to every single boundary of their public hunting land. Overlay their maps with elk migration routes and you just narrowed your area without even leaving your desk. Now, get out there on a Friday with Sat and Sun to scout. You just had two full scouting days to get your boots on the ground. If you've already preloaded your gps with the coordinates I mentioned above you could probably have a herd spotted before you heven load the gun. I agree, nobody said it's easy but if you put the legwork in before your hunt even your first trip can be a success. Not that some luck wouldn't hurt either lol.
This link gives you access to their big game hunting guides where you can find info on each unit, the type of hunting you can expect, hunters success rates per animal in each unit and links to state trust lands as well as state wildlife areas
This final link is the interactive map that can give you each area in detail both topo and arial, winter, summer and migration routes for nearly every big game animal in the state, access road info, land boundaries and GPS coordinates.
With this info you should be able to set yourself up with some pretty good starting odds. Like I said. There's a ton of prep and legwork but if you put in the time to do it you'll definitely be rewarded.
Bear, thats a lot of great info, insight and help right there. Good job helping out a bunch of other hunters with the info. Even if someone never does go by themself it would still be cool just to see what all the info is about.
Glad to help! Colorado is probably one of the easiest states for a DIY elk hunt. They have TONS of public land and bull tags are over the counter, Plus they have one of the largest elk herds in the country.
For the record, I did this hunt some years ago. At the time it cost about half what it does now. The boat captain is a great cook too. If you can't sleep on a boat, don't do this one. Oh, you ought to be in shape too. The mountains are not too high, say 3000 ft., but you climb the whole way up from sea level. This is not a guided hunt. You will buddy up with a partner and the two of you hunt together. I wrote a story about this hunt in my first book. If anyone is interested in reading it, I can email it in a Word file.