Starting a new hobby or sport can be intimidating. For a prospective woman hunter, terms like cull, broadhead, high-brass, or choke tube can sound like a foreign language. Add the ever-increasing cost of equipment, the potential to encounter a rattlesnake or large predator, and a societal aversion to firearms, and it's easy to see why many women choose a scrap book over a tree stand. However, in my opinion these initial challenges are also what make being a successful hunter so rewarding. Welcome to my site and happy hunting!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Tips and Tricks for Hunting on a Budget

It's no secret that the economy has everyone watching their pennies lately.  But just because disposable income has become as scarce as a big buck on opening day, it doesn't mean you have to stay home this season.  I've found a few ways to help cut down on the cost but still have fun in the field.
  • Contrary to what advertisers want you to believe, you don't need the newest, latest, greatest hunting gadgets to be successful. Twenty years ago, we didn't use range finders, heaters, mechanical broadheads, trail cameras, or fancy feeders and we still managed to find deer.  If you're just starting out, the sensory overload of a Cabela's or Bass Pro Shops trip can be discouraging for your mind and your wallet.  Depending on what you're targeting this season, all you need is your gun or bow and yourself.  You have years to accumulate all the paraphernalia of a hunting junkie. 
  • Time it right.  At the end of the season, retailers are trying to rid themselves of old inventory to make room for summer sports equipment.  This can be a great chance to score camo, shooting accessories, calls, and other hunting-specific gear at a big discount
  • Use your email.   Many hunting gear and clothing retailers offer discounts when you sign up on their mailing list.  Womens' specialty camo sites SHE Safari and Prois both send emails to members offering sales and discounts. 
  • Make it a group effort.  Network with other hunters so you can combine funds and gear.  For hunting trips out of town, fuel, guide fees, and hotel rooms can get expensive fast.  Sharing your passion with other hunters can help cut down on these traveling expenses.  Some guides will even give you a discount if you book a certain number of friends with you on your hunt.  You also get the added bonus of sharing your experiences with good friends.  
  • Go public.  Guided hunts and leases can be expensive.  Though it takes a little more work, hunting public land can be rewarding and make you a much better hunter.  Make sure to read up on your state's public hunting regulations as they can change frequently.  
  • If you do want to hunt with a guide, hunt during the week.  Some outfitters will offer a discount to hunters who will hunt during the week or un-popular weekends.  As an added bonus, hotel rooms can  be cheaper during the week.  
  • Craigslist, garage sales, and estate sales can be a great place to find good gear at huge discounts.  For bows or firearms it's a good idea to take someone along who knows what they're looking at, but used gear can be a great way to try out different hunting and camping equipment without draining your wallet. 
With a little time and planning, you can accessorize like a pro without eating ramen five nights/week to pay for it.  Happy Hunting!

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