Eastern MT was a fun hunt the times I have gone and i killed a nice old buck one year on block management. But recently with the price going up for deer and elk, deer numbers down, wolves in the areas I hunted elk, and antelope numbers way down and the draw odds so much lower from the tag cuts I feel WY and ID are better options for me.
I do very similar thing to what MM is talking about with stocking up on food and water ahead of time when things are on sale or i have the few extra bucks i can put towards it at the time. The instant potatoes and canned goods are good for items for dinners. Peanut butter sandwhichs are great for the field for lunch and I make my own trail mix for a side and snacks. I put Peanuts, cashews, dried blueberries, dried cranberries, raisins, dark chocolate m&ms, and pecans or walnuts. I normally buy the items from the mix at sams club or costco and max large batch and use my food saver to seal them up and take as many as i need. I normally bring water jugs for my water and some powder gatorade or powerade to give me some electrolytes if its a early season hunt when its hot.
Saving on gear and stuff i try and watch for clearance stuff during the off season normally really good right after the season is over( right now). for example i just picked a pair of Cabelas's Goretex Rainwear pants for 70 dollars on clearance normally 200 bucks. There are always little tricks you can use to save money most of them involve doing a little bit of planning ahead of time to make sure you can get good deals on things. Hope some of these ideas are helping.
I have really got to liking campbells chunky soup and ranch style beans for dinner on hunts later in the year when I am using the wood stove in the tent. Start the fire, open the can and put it on top of the stove, stir it a few times and in a few minutes your eating like a king! If camping at the truck where weight is not a concern you can get buy pretty cheap. I take mostly pop tarts, crackers, trail mix, canned chicken and tuna, soup, stew, beans, ect. Prob the most expensive thing I take is cliff bars and I like foil packaged tuna for lunch when Im out hiking. If Im backpacking I take mountain house and single serve instant mashed potatoes for dinner because the canned food is to heavy but that is about all I really change. I always take plenty of extra food in case I get stuck there or snowed in or something. I think some of my canned food has been on at least 3 or 4 hunting trips already. lol
It's too bad there isn't a way to get tags cheaper or fill the truck up without breaking the bank! Dang fuel just kills me on trips! Does anyone hunt where there aren't giant areas to hunt that you can spend all day or multiple days in? That is the problem that I'm running into here in Kansas. It seems like there is a lot of acres to hunt, but they are all small and fairly spread out. I end up burning more in fuel than anything.
Now therefore, please take your weapons, your quiver and your bow, and go out to the field and hunt game for me.
Genesis 27:3 (NKJV)
Fuel is a killer these days. I tried taking my car on a sept hunt once when money was tight because 39 mpg is alot better the 18 in my powerstroke, but I will never do that again because I couldnt get to some areas I really wanted to get to. Im was a ML tag I drew 2nd choice and kind of a scouting trip but still regret not taking the truck.
Another option for Utah is you can hunt the extended archery units later in the year giving you a great rut hunt in November for some great mule deer. The country is steep but is a great hunt.
All these ideas and noone has mentioned mine.
If you send me your $1000.00 budget, I will promise to do the hunt, take pictures, write a story and then let you know which hunt was the best. The catch is, I need three seasons to offer a quality assessment of value for your investment!
I hunt because......
To save money, take old-fashioned oatmeal (in the cylinder-shaped box) in a zip-lock bag for breakfasts - its cheap, light and keeps me so full I sometimes don't need a mid-morning snack.
A high-quality breakfast cereal like Mueslix is also cheap and light and could be a meal with powdered milk mixed with water, and not just for breakfast. Pour the contents of a box or two into a gallon-size zip-lock bag. It also works for snacks because of the sweetness from the dried fruits.
Kale for a snack or salad is also really cheap, light and has more nutrients than any other food you can eat. I know, I could get my man card revoked for that, but who cares? It's nutrients you need, not volume.
You can also buy less food and skip the beer. It's OK for most guys to lose some weight on a hunt as long as you don't get weak. Or, convince your wife to take your food costs from the household grocery budget instead of from your limited hunting funds.
If you're hunting from a truck camp, have your wife cook extra and take leftovers for meals. Keep them cold with a quality cooler and those freezable plastic blocks.
Last edited by hoshour; 02-02-2014 at 12:32 PM.
You can draw a lot of good antelope areas in Wyoming with 0 preference points. You can also get a mule deer tag or a general season elk tag without any points. Take a tent or sleep in the truck on your chosen unit and have at it. It doesn't take a lot of money to be hunting, especially if you have a buddy to share the gas. I think you will find that a lot of people with limited funds are hunting the West and having good success.