Cutting costs this year?

brown dog

Member
I live in Omaha and while I am fortunate to have a bunch of private farms in Iowa they are all 2 hours from home. Last year instead of taking 2 trucks we took the ranger to save our legs. This year I will be leaving it up there vs trailering it each time and getting 8-10 mpg...i'm hoping that helps out some. I'm up in the Dakota's 10-15 times from April-Sept guiding walleye trips, but when the calendar turns to fall I am on my own for bird hunting and the expenses that come with it. I wish I could find reliable hunting buddies, but it always seems when the time comes no one either wants to go or chip in for fuel. I will still hunt Iowa a bunch this fall, but as others have said I might cook while there or take pre cooked meals and cut costs that way.
 

Birdman2

Active member
Well I have started staying at Airbnb houses. My motel, hotel days are over. I got tired of drunks coming in at 2-3 slamming doors. Then the duck hunters would slam their doors at 4. My hunting buddy and I cook up some great food. Very nice to come back to camp, take our time, do some grilling and sipping some good Irish Whiskey and talk bs. We save all that eating out, except an occasional breakfast out. Way more convenient eating at the house.
 

Mosby

Member
I go elk and deer hunting out of state, along with bird hunting. Price of tags is getting really expensive. To save money and time my wife pre makes most of my meals. Egg and bacon casserole, Chili, chicken spaghetti, goulash, hamburger soup, ham and bean soup and some spiral ham for sandwiches. Peanut butter and jelly is also on the menu. Normally gets me through the week. I don't eat out much at all. I hunt by myself most of the time, especially for deer and birds and don't really like eating in crowded restaurants by myself anyway.
 

gimruis

Well-known member
90-120 miles from the western ‘burbs gets you to lots of decent MN spots

This is me. West burb house, about 65 miles to good pheasant hunting, all on private land. Except I don't go west like seemingly every single other pheasant hunter on the planet does. A lot of hunters heading to Iowa or SD drive right past some pretty decent hunting for a fraction of the cost and distance. Quite often, I spend more time driving to my hunting spots than I do actually hunting because I can fill a 2 bird limit relatively quickly.

High costs of gas, food, lodging doesn't really affect me. I don't stay anywhere other than my own house and I don't eat out when I go hunting. The only cost is gas in my truck, which I think will go down after Labor Day. If I had to drive across two states and hundreds of miles to hunt like some people here do, then I might re-think my plan or budget.
 
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Mosby

Member
Mosby, I like your choice of meals. Good luck Elk hunting this year. Wow those tenderloin are fabulous.
Thanks. I didn't draw an elk tag this year in Colorado but I did draw an Iowa deer tag for the second week. I can get 2 deer in Iowa so I should be able to fill up the freezer pretty well.
 

Matt D

Active member
All this discussion about costs got me thinking. Going to MT in September and our usual almost 2 weeks in SD in November. Lodging in MT is free although we will Have some gifts and do some other stuff for our hosts. It still cheap when compared to hotels. For SD lucked out and found some lodging that is cheaper than we have been paying. We always cook our own meals. With late start for pheasant no issue cooking a big hardy breakfast. Dinners we eat darn good and again cook our own mainly just so we can plan accordingly and does help to save a few bucks. Lunch is sandwiches in the field. Nothing changing there for this year. I did some math on fuel costs for 2000 mile round trip at both 17 and 21 MPH trying to mimic faster versus slower driving at $3,4 and 5 dollar fuel and also at the total number of driving hours at each speed. Picture below of what I came up with for those that may be interested. The take home is our trip will be more expensive overall but when dividing the fuel in half it isn’t gonna break either one of us so we will still be going.

A37B27DA-CD2D-430C-8A34-E7F33888C542.jpeg
 

kick them up

Active member
I be doing a few things to help me and the dog crew maintain our normal fall hunting routine from KS to the Dakota's.
1) I decided not to make as many random trips to our farm this summer to fish.(too damn hot here in KS anyhow).
2) I am asking my employer to sponsor some of my personal hunts for media content photos.
3) Took a week off work and refinished the deck and painted the exterior trim to please the wife so she wont bitch about gas money this fall. 😂

Got two young dogs Maggie the Lab and Etta the GSP a long with Lizzie of OZ that need lots of field time this fall
 

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Lefty76

Member
$5 gas won't stop me. If it pushes towards $10, my plans for a couple out of state hunts may have to wait. I'm an Iowa resident with a lifetime Nebraska small game permit. I hunt a lot of public land in Iowa. My parents have a couple hundred acres of good pheasant ground in Nebraska that is a 70 mile round trip for me. I consider myself fortunate to be able to hunt so close to home.
 

Dakotazeb

Well-known member
what are gas prices in the Sioux Falls area today?
Here on the IL/WI state line they average $5.50
According to the GasBuddy app prices in Sioux Falls are about $4.59. Here in Watertown, SD we are at $4.69.
 

brown dog

Member
All this discussion about costs got me thinking. Going to MT in September and our usual almost 2 weeks in SD in November. Lodging in MT is free although we will Have some gifts and do some other stuff for our hosts. It still cheap when compared to hotels. For SD lucked out and found some lodging that is cheaper than we have been paying. We always cook our own meals. With late start for pheasant no issue cooking a big hardy breakfast. Dinners we eat darn good and again cook our own mainly just so we can plan accordingly and does help to save a few bucks. Lunch is sandwiches in the field. Nothing changing there for this year. I did some math on fuel costs for 2000 mile round trip at both 17 and 21 MPH trying to mimic faster versus slower driving at $3,4 and 5 dollar fuel and also at the total number of driving hours at each speed. Picture below of what I came up with for those that may be interested. The take home is our trip will be more expensive overall but when dividing the fuel in half it isn’t gonna break either one of us so we will still be going.

View attachment 3445
I get 12 mpg....dammit Jim. If I didn't get such a steal on a new truck last year I would be trading it in. Gas was like $2.60 when we got it....and it has a 38 gallon tank. Fill ups hurt!
 

westksbowhunter

Well-known member
I am picking up a Ford Expedition tomorrow. Looks like I will be burning a lot of gas. Gas will eventually drop, they are just trying to scare and panic people.
 

BritChaser

Well-known member
I retired a couple of years ago financially comfortable, praise be, after being broke a few times during my adulthood. My attitude is now YOLO -You Only Live Once - so, no, I am not cutting back on my outdoor activities. Fortunately, upland hunting and fishing are far less costly than some other hobbies.
 
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reddog

Well-known member
I cut my expenses dramatically by moving to South Dakota a year and a half ago. I'm not in great bird country, but it's not far. 1 hour to great hunting, 2 hours to the cabin at Chamberlain, compared to previously at 3:45. My lodging expenses are amortized out over 12 months x .5 because I have a 50/50 partner. Other than food and gas being higher, not much has changed for me.
 

brown dog

Member
I cut my expenses dramatically by moving to South Dakota a year and a half ago. I'm not in great bird country, but it's not far. 1 hour to great hunting, 2 hours to the cabin at Chamberlain, compared to previously at 3:45. My lodging expenses are amortized out over 12 months x .5 because I have a 50/50 partner. Other than food and gas being higher, not much has changed for me.
Where in SD are you reddog? We're trying to fid some land up around Platte to put a little shop with an apartment in it....it has been difficult to say the least
 
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