View Full Version : How do you afford all this nice hunting stuff?

Bitterroot Bulls
04-18-2012, 05:34 AM
How do you fund your hunting gear purchases?

There is no doubt the best stuff costs a premium, and also performs better in the field.

Here are some of the things I do.

1. Horsetrading: I use ebay a lot. Hunting gear holds its value quite well. I have bought stuff on sale, used it for years, and sold it on the bay for a profit. I have sold some stuff on forum classifieds and Craigslist as well.

2. Spread it out: I make an off-season list that is felxible and changes as I go. I then keep an eye out to find the best deals. Camofire, SteepandCheap, and other websites help a lot. I recently have taken a liking to Kuiu clothes, but they are hard to find used and almost impossible to find discounted, so I have bought one piece a month at retail prices (uuugh), as I can save the change.

3. Discontinued/Demo: This is a great way to save hundreds or even thousands on top-end optics especially.

4. Used: Forum classifieds, Craigslist, ebay all have some good deals if you are willing to look for them. I found a barely used Kuiu Icon 6000 backpack on a forum, and saved a substantial chunk of change.

5. Promotive: If you are a member of an emergency services group, professional or volunteer, you might be able to get into this pro-deal program, and get the best brand-new gear from top companies for discounts that range from OK to Holy Crap!

What about you guys?

04-18-2012, 05:42 AM
Sierra Trading Post used to be great for super discounts, but now they are just ok.

I buy and sell a lot of stuff on Ebay.

LL Bean probably has the best discounts, but you have to watch their website like a hawk. I have soft shell clothing from LL Bean in Gore Tex and it is similar to other soft shell high end gore tex stuff from other companies. A couple years ago I was able to buy my father and myself complete soft shell goretex outfits head to toe, in 3 different colors for $120 per person. They do this 30% off, then 30% off, then 30% off, pretty soon they are like 80% off.

LA Police Gear is another great place to buy outdoor gear, but you have to watch their close outs like a hawk.

I get promotive access for being active military. Mountain Hardware has a similar program, as does Arcteryex.

Guns, you have to watch for close outs at big box stores. Even Cabelas will mark down a gun $400.

Dicks is probably the best big box for close outs.

04-18-2012, 05:44 AM
I also look at German, Austrian, Swiss and English hunting supply outfits. They always have something at a super value.

Scopes are hard, the best thing to do in the optics world is look for close outs.

IN 2005 I bought a pair of Swarovski EL 8x42's for $1200. I used them in Namibia and sold them for $1200 on ebay.

I bought a pair of 8x56 SLC Swarovskis at Cabelas on discount for $650, and sold them on ebay for $1200.

Ebay has been good to me.

04-18-2012, 06:29 AM
Speaking of which I have a pair of 90% XL Sitka pants that have been barely used. I am that "tweener" size. I need more length but they don't make them any longer. I have a 36" inseam. These may be available if anyone is interested. Used only 6-7 days in field for MO. Whitetail hunt. Just not sure the best way to do this because I don't have PayPal and I live in GA. Where most people wear RealTree and haven't even heard of Sitka or Kuiu.

04-18-2012, 06:55 AM
I too, like BB buy one piece of clothing a month. Right now I am trying to get the whole set of Core4Element, the best and cheapest is to get them on Camofire. But they don't always run them everyday so you have to check back often and pull the trigger when it is on there. As far as my optics I had always wanted a pair of Swarovskis, finally was able to purchase with my 10 year bonus a few years ago. When I buy a new bow, I have to sell the old one first to come up with some of the money for the new one. With a family and the economy it gets harder and harder.

04-18-2012, 07:59 AM
i always check camo fire sierra trading post always checkcraigslist and ebay frequently and im also a member of promotive so that really helps getting brand new gear at great prices

04-18-2012, 08:08 AM
also forgot to mention check the local pawnshops i have picked a pair of swaro 7x30's for 400$ and sent them back to factory had to pay an extra 300$ for a couple repairs and to upgrade them 8 power and now they look like a brand new pair that would run you 1800$ for 700$ so always check the pawn shops

04-18-2012, 08:27 AM
I also like EBay. I've picked up alot of gear at the sports shows too. They give alot of discounts at the shows. I also look at the end of the year sales at Sportsmans and Cabelas, we have both here to shop. I picked up all of my Russel gear last year at Sprotsmans for 1/2 price.

Jon Boy
04-18-2012, 08:33 AM
All good things to consider when shopping for high end gear. Im still developing a list of my needs and wants for the coming season.

Kevin Root
04-18-2012, 09:01 AM
I need to be better at looking for better deals and to be better about selling my older stuff that is in ok condition. To be honest in the past I've just not been a very good horse trader. I try and look around for the best deals that I can to at least find the lowest price though. I also just try and work a couple extra hours each day to save up some hunting money. It always helps to budget some extra money to put aside or at least it helps me. Hunting and the outdoors is important to me so I try and set something aside for it, kind of like layaway.

I need to be better about selling stuff to help to afford my upgrades. I'm not a very good salesman so I end up giving a lot stuff away to non profit groups on the stuff that I have not run in to the ground for the most part instead of selling it. That includes old clothes to even my car when it's on it's last leg and goes out on me. My stuff, when I'm done with it typically has seen a lot of years and or its been broken worn out and run into the ground though.

Thanks Bitterroot Bulls for this useful post. It's motivated me to go though my storage, get out of my comfort zone and start selling some of my old stuff. I'll feel better about affording and upgrading things like my 30 year old rifle and rifle scope to one that's a bit lighter and shoots a bit flatter, straighter and has a bit better optics for my tired old eyes. My goal in this hunting game it to make the most of it and while I still can.

04-18-2012, 09:04 AM
My family knows the only thing to get me for birthday or Christmas is sporting goods gift cards - typically Cabelas as our kids school gets a kickback from Cabelas for selling their gift cards...I save up B-day and Christmas until late Jan-Feb when Cabelas runs their clearance of current year gear and typically save 20-40%. Have also picked up some items on Ebay ($31 for good GPS) and Amazon if you watch prices.
REI has been running a promo if you sign up for their Visa you get a $100 gift card...just got mine - that will go toward pair of backup hiking boots...and last week had 20% off any one item and free shipping no min order.

I keep it pretty simple as I'm nearly 100% bowhunt and have compiled most gear I need over last few years...it's the 4 kids I'm raising that will be tricky to keep in correct sized clothing/boots:)

04-18-2012, 02:22 PM
Promotive is a good place, I use eBay, Craigslist, I have only bought a few things on forums classifieds but I alway look. Also, my favorite is rei garage sales! I spend a lot of money quickly there!

04-18-2012, 06:09 PM
Another good spot, is ksl.com. It is the classifies for Salt Lake City and Northern Utah. This is what most use rather than Craigslist. Granted it is nice if you are close to SLC, but most of the guys selling outdoor stuff are willing to ship if you pay for it.

They also have it broken down into sections such as rifles, optics, archery, clothing, tents, etc... I have scored some serious deals on this sight. Give it a look.

www.ksl.com and click on the classifieds top near the top right corner.

04-18-2012, 06:11 PM
Shop year round. I check different sites a few times a week to stay up on whats on sale. Buying things here and there and not all at once helps with the shock of the cost on a lot of gear. I also work as much overtime as the possible.

Buying the previous years model has worked very well for me as well.

04-18-2012, 11:42 PM
Great thread Bitteroot Bulls!
1. I use ebay alot which helps me save a lot of money.

2. I have recently been keeping an eye out on camofire which was reccomended to me by you and I have been very impressed!

3. Discontinued items are also great!
pretty much like your list but these are good tips.

04-19-2012, 04:36 AM
I try to buy in the off seasons. I buy winter stuff now and summer stuff in the fall when things are marked down 25-40%. Also I look for gear that isnt mainstream.
I just found a folding pocket saw at home depot for 4 dollars that weighs half (after I stripped off the bulky rubber handle) of what my Gerber bone saw does. The teeth are fine, perfect for bone, and I can tell no difference in quality. Saving on stuff like that spreads the funds for the essential, hard to get discount, items.

04-19-2012, 06:15 PM
A couple of my friends asked me the same question last hunting season. They both make quite a bit more money than me and they couldn't figure out how I was always picking up new gear. For me besides the tips listed above, the biggest thing is not spending money outside the box.(HUNTING) I do have other intrests I just don't spend any more money on them than I absolutely have to.

Muleys 24/7
04-19-2012, 10:33 PM
I , just like almost everyone else , trys to find great deals online and soforth.

When I first got into hunting I thought how could some buddy afford all top gear? I started off with gear I could afford and then started saving to upgrade one item at a time, the gear I wanted to upgrade to wasn't going to be cheap so I put alot of OT hours in and before I knew it....a little hard work pays off. I wasn't born with a silver spoon. It'll take years to get all the top gear I want...but I just set goals and work my a## off to achieve them. I am a ture believer of, you get what you pay for.

04-20-2012, 06:25 AM
I use the same methods as Bitteroot and have for several years. One thing I hadn't seen mentioned was using a Cabelas Visa. I use one for fuel, tags, and bills and pay it off every month, so points build up toward future purchases. I like to let them build for quite a while so when I get something with them it's worth getting. As long as I pay the card off each month it's free gear.

On optics I have been using SWFA's 110% price match to get their list price down to the lowest I can find online and then trading with them. They have been good to deal with and it lets me get some value from older optics to afford higher end ones.

04-20-2012, 11:31 AM
Shop around, ebay etc. If I get interested in something and think I really need it I will search for a week if I have to .

Example ..I needed GOOD packable rain gear( I got soaked in NM last year) so I started spending alot of time looking for some quality stuff and after about a week I came up with a brand new Sitka packable Gore Tex rain jacket for $140, they sell for about $300+ and I found a like new pair of matching Sitka Gore Tex rain pants for $100 they sell for $200 + .

I was going to spend alot of money that I didn't want to for good quality rain gear and then I found this stuff and saved alot of cash. Sometimes you can't find what your looking for and sometimes you get lucky.

04-20-2012, 01:57 PM
I try to save as much money as I can when I buy what I need. I have a good friend who works for a major sporting retailer and gets a good discount. I try to get things thru him but we are different sizes, so he has to be careful about buying things that aren't his size. Sometimes you just have to pull the plug on an item you want and pay full retail.:( Camofire is a good site, as was Sierra trading post ( not as good as they use to be). If I had to put a calculator to all I have I would probably start to cry. Hunting and horses are my only vices. I don't golf, I cant imagine what that costs w/ green fees included.

04-20-2012, 01:58 PM
I use most of the istes you guys are talking about as well. I also frequent the backpacking websites and have picked up a few light wieght items. www.backpacklight.com is a good one for used gear and they have a section for gear deals. Members post links to other websites that are running discounts.

04-20-2012, 02:23 PM
Birtday and Christmas are all usually hunting items, or money for hunting items.

Tax return


Buy used online

And as of the last couple years, been selling a lot of my older stuff I don't use anymore. I never really sold much of my older gear until I realized how easy it was to do a couple years ago. Online forums are great for selling your used stuff you no longer have a use for.

Muleys 24/7
04-20-2012, 06:47 PM
I claim 0 through out the year for income taxes......thats kinda like a forced savings account for hunting ,tags, gear, etc. also use a rewards credit card as much as I can, It adds up after a while.

04-20-2012, 09:45 PM
I claim 0 through out the year for income taxes.......

I'm with you here....Probably THE biggest factor I didn't list. If/when the time comes to claim some dependents, I'll likely be in for a rude awakening. :) Hope she has a good job to support my butt!!!

Musket Man
04-20-2012, 10:14 PM
Another good source for cheap gear is army surplus stores. Its not the latest, greatest, lightest there is but it is durable and functional and you can get setup to go backpack hunting pretty cheap with it!

04-21-2012, 07:07 AM
Aside of the 5th item that pretty much could have been me writing, in fact, I had to even show my wife the post:) Just last month, I had a let it go craigslist post and sold over $800 in older hunting stuff, it's crazy of well used hunting equipment sells for.

The only thing I would add to the list is planning hunts WAY in advance, I won't show you guys how skitz'd out I am but I have a 10 year plan for hunting trips. New Zealand was planned 18 months in advanced and right now I'm working on Alaska for 2014. I slide in smaller trips, Idaho, Wyoming, etc. in the "down" years. It is pretty amazing how fast points build up when you have 8 states or so and 3 animals per state or even more on some states. It is a very cheap way to take good quality animals and have great experiences.

Nice thread.

04-22-2012, 10:49 AM
I'm a male prostitute on the side. :)

Colorado Cowboy
04-23-2012, 06:29 AM
I'm a male prostitute on the side. :)

I'm too old and ugly for that!!!

Bitterroot Bulls
04-23-2012, 12:05 PM
Sometimes opportunity knocks.

Check out the Lightweight forum where I posted a big sale on awesome GoLite brand gear.

Kevin Root
04-23-2012, 12:38 PM
Opportunity just knocked for me Bitterroot Bulls. I got one of those Shangri-La 5 Tents as well. Our family tent was seeing better days and we have a trip coming next month to try the new tent out. Thanks again for the sale tip.