How much does it cost to go elk hunting? Elk hunting may cost anything from $2,000 to well over $10,000. The locale, hunting style, bull quality, and accommodations all have an impact on how much you will pay. For example, elk hunting in Alaska or Wyoming can be very expensive because of the cost of transportation and lodging. In contrast, elk hunting in Idaho or Montana is less expensive because there are no accommodations or transportation costs.
When looking at how much does it cost to go elk hunting, you need to take into account not only the direct expenses such as license fees, guide fees, and lodging but also the value of your time. It's important to remember that elk hunting is not like other sports where you can shoot one animal and then move on. Rather, you are trying to find good habitat for these large animals to live in so that they will attract other wildlife.
Most cow elk hunts cost $1,000-$2,000, depending on location and trip duration, while a 5-day trophy bull elk hunt costs $5,000 and above. Trophy goat hunts are less expensive at $500-$750 for five days of hunting.
Tags along with other big game animals such as bear, buffalo, caribou, moose, and deer can be sold for cash or traded to other hunters for other trophies. The price of these tags depends on the species being hunted and how many remain in the herd/tree stand. For example, a tag that would cost $10,000 if sold individually, can be traded for a tag worth $20,000 in combination with another tag or animal.
A trophy fish hunt costs between $200 and $800 per day, depending on location and size of the catch. A smallmouth bass harvest limit of 10 is available in West Virginia and South Carolina. A great white shark harvest limit of three is available in South Africa. In Canada, trophy deer hunts cost between $150 and $600 per day, depending on location and number of animals harvested. Moose hunting is also popular in Canada.
The high cost is one of the main arguments they provide. Nonresident elk tags are, without a doubt, more expensive in elk hunting states. A few hundred bucks for a piece of paper allowing you to hunt is nothing to scoff at. However, if you are cautious and plan ahead of time, your tag might be your most expensive hunting equipment. Tags can run up to $500 or more in some states. In others, they can be as low as $50.
When you add in other expenses such as license fees and lodging, it can become quite the investment. Still, many people say that the return on their investment is worth it. If you're able to harvest an elk, then you should be able to use its meat to feed yourself and your family for several months straight. There are people who make a full-time income solely from hunting seasonally tuned up their vehicles buying and selling used equipment.
Some people argue that nonresident elk tags force poor farmers out of business because only rich people can afford them. While this is partially true, it also has a lot to do with where you live in a state. Some rural areas are completely devoid of any kind of industry other than farming. If there aren't enough hunters to supply all of the demand, then these farmers will go broke. On the other hand, states like Wyoming and Montana have plenty of jobs in tourism and oil drilling.
Elk may be purchased for $300-400. The lower end consists of only cuts, while the higher end includes elegant sausages and snack sticks. Of course, high-volume sites will be less popular for hanging. Because of the hassle and novelty, a random butcher may charge $50 or more or flatly reject. An honest local meat market should be able to provide a quote after viewing the animal.
Butchering an elk is not like butting a cow. It requires expertise and special tools. Even so, an average person can butcher an elk if they take their time and follow instructions carefully. It's not difficult, but it does require some effort. A basic electric knife will get you started, but you will need additional equipment for certain tasks such as cutting up the liver or removing the head. You will also need a cooler to store the meat until it's time to package it for sale or use.
In general, butchering an elk is expensive because of the skill required and the amount of work involved. However, if you are selling the meat locally, then the expense may be justified. A large elk can make enough money to cover its costs, although it might take several sales to do so. If you are planning on eating the elk all yourself, however, then you would be better off not buying one in the first place.
Idaho has long been one of the least expensive states for an NR to shoot elk in, and an archery elk license/tag is still just $586 for the rest of 2020. However, the same chance will cost NR $913 next year, a 56% increase! It's not clear if this is because of new regulations or not, but we can say that Idaho has the lowest overall price for an elk hunt out of all the US states.
In addition to being an affordable option, Idaho also offers some of the best elk hunting in the country. There are five national forests spread across the state, each with plenty of public land where you can go hunting without a permit. On top of that, Idaho is also home to Shoshone National Forest, which has some of the most exclusive private elk hunting on earth. There are only about 1,500 permits available for this forest, and they're usually given out to Native Americans or former military personnel.
The best part is that there are still more than 1,000 unclaimed permits available every year, so there's always a chance you could get one too. Of course, if you want to have any kind of shot at getting one, you should probably plan your trip to Idaho early enough to secure your spot before everyone else does. The last time I checked, there were still unclaimed permits available from previous years' hunts.