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Hunting is kinda spendy

I see, now, why it’s on the decline.

I’m going hunting tomorrow for the first time in about 15 years. Gonna go shoot some dove. Never been much of a hunter but it’s a good opportunity to spend some quality time with Dad (hi, dad). Today, I purchased a license ($30), shells ($24), a vest since I can’t find mine ($22), lease of the land ($30), and Dad says I should really pick up another 100 shells ($24). I guess he lacks respect for my shotgun ability. So, $130 for a one day trip that might net 15 birds. $8.67 per bird. Good thing Dad’s loaning me a shotgun.

That aside, should be fun. Any day spent shooting is fun. Any day spent with Dad is fun. Both together should be pretty damn cool.

ETA couple more things: As a resident, TN doesn’t have one day licenses for me. Odd. The license is $28 and $2 for migratory birds. I guess all birds are migratory.

24 Responses to “Hunting is kinda spendy”

  1. nk Says:

    Good thing Dad’s loaning me a shotgun.

    Ok. Snicker. Ask me why I’m snickering.

  2. SayUncle Says:

    Err, Ok. Why?

    I’m not much of a shotgunner. I think I’ve fired a shotgun once since my last hunting trip.

  3. countertop Says:

    Dove shooting is great fun.

    Plan on 3 birds per box, on average. I got 4 birds on 35 shells the other day.

    Pretty tough little critters. Well, willy.

    And that license actually is good all year. Hold on to it. We can go bird hunting when I head down this fall.

  4. SayUncle Says:

    3 per box? Zoiks.

  5. countertop Says:

    they are fast. and they have great vision. and they fly like an F-15.

    There were 10 guys on a field and we all opened on a bird the other day and he managed to weave in between all of our shots.

    Did I say they are fast? and very agile?

    But its good fun.

  6. DirtCrashr Says:

    #1. Glad to hear you’re spending quality outdoor-time with your dad! Apart from shooting at crows overseas I’ve never been hunting. I fired Chris’ shotgun at the last GBR, it seemed like a lot of work.

  7. countertop Says:

    no. not all birds are migratory. Its basically dove, woodcock, and waterfowl. there’s a couple of others. But something like quail wouldn’t be. Or if you have resident geese

  8. Dan Says:

    I love hunting, but unless you know somebody with land, it gets real pricey. That is why I stopped hunting. Is where you went to open to the public, or at least rentable by the public?

    Land is probably one of the biggest reasons hunting is on the decline.

  9. countertop Says:

    What Dan said ^

    I’m sort of lucky in that I finally have a job that gets me access to lots of great land around the country.

    But for others, if you don’t know someone with a farm, its tough.

  10. Bitter Says:

    Actually, access isn’t nearly as bad as hunters perceive it to be. The biggest reason access is cited as a reason hunters give up is because they don’t know how to find out about land that is available. There are a few efforts to try and document these areas, but it’s tough to get a good, all round, well known resource.

    I’m not arguing that access isn’t a problem at all. Obviously, it is to some degree. But when surveyed, it seems to be that most hunters don’t actually know how or where to find more hunting lands.

  11. Regolith Says:

    $30 for a license? That’s cheap, man.

    Last time I went hunting, I paid $75 for the license, and another $10 for an upland game bird stamp. That was for a single day of chukar hunting with my father and brother (who also had to shell out a similar amount). And we didn’t even see any chukar…

    The one nice thing is we didn’t have to pay for a hunting lease. We were in Nevada, where 80% of the state is BLM – and hence public – land.

  12. Regolith Says:

    Hmm…disregard my last post. I just checked the license and fees for Nevada hunting license, and it wasn’t quite as much as I remembered. It was $86 for both my brother and I, as the licenses are $33 a piece, and the upland game bird stamps are $10 a piece. For some reason I must have thought it was just for one instead of for both of them.

    In any case, at least you don’t have to pay for an upland game bird stamp, though having to pay for a hunting lease definitely sucks…

  13. Dan Says:

    Cannot argue with you, bitter. When I did research for hunting land round here, I got completly confused about where/what places I can go to hunt, etc.
    For someone like myself, especially, a first generation wannabe hunter in my family, I realize hunting is pretty much impossible to get into unless you are born into it or know people who are into it. Without somebody experienced to go hunting with, it is very hard to get into hunting.

  14. countertop Says:


    where are you located??

    I’m sure we can find someone to help you out.

    If you head to The High Road – there is a thread on hunter mentors (sadly, you have to go to the old High Road as there just seems to be no traffic at Oleg’s new site . . . I do hope he recovers control)

    As others say, the best way to find land is to ask around. Of course, if you don’t live in a rural community, then you probably don’t know folks to ask, and its sort of intimidating to just pull over and go up to a farmer you dont know and ask if you can hunt his land.

    I searched for years for land – and hunted public land that sucked for years – so I know where you are coming from. And old time hunters can be sort of irritable and grumpy and – like many folks I run into at gun clubs – there is a definite attitude that repels eager newbies trying to get out and learn.

  15. Dan Says:


    Thanks for the link. I wonder if the offers are still valid.

    I live in La Vergne, south of Nashville. I know there are good spots around here, but a bunch of books about field dressing is not going to beat seeing the real thing.

    When I was doing my hunter safety course back in NY, my instructors made it a point that they never hunt public land. But of course, that is the only option for people that have no access to private land. That advice was pretty intimidating.

  16. DirtCrashr Says:

    And if you’ve never hunted, by the time you’re over 50-something it’s unlikely an invitation will be forthcoming, people get set in their ways and with whom they do stuff.
    Regolith – coming to the Gunblogger’s Rendezvous in Reno? 🙂 We aren’t gonna hunt but we will go shootin’.

  17. nk Says:

    Shooting a shotgun is a learned skill that is forgotten without routine practice. If you need to borrow a shotgun after fifteen years ….

  18. countertop Says:


    As far as pub lic lands, my guess is the guys teaching the course were being fuddy duddys.

    They were just “too good” to hunt it.

    I’ll show you how to dress a deer. Not sure about land in Nashville area though I can ask around. If you can get to Chattanooga, I can take you out. I’ll be there over Xmas.

    I’ll be in Memphis the week prior to Thanksgiving too.

    And as far as I know, that thread is still active and the offers for the most part are still open.

    Dirt, same goes even for the folks over 50.

  19. PawPaw Says:

    We hunters need to cultivate new blood into the sport. It’s just a matter of hooking up with the right person. Any good range is a good place to ask about hunting. Generally the folks there will steer you in the right direction.

    As for public land, it’s a great asset and a great place to start. Do your homework and have fun. It really doesn’t take much more than an appropriate firearm and the proper licenses.

  20. Dan Says:


    Thanks for the offer, I would definitely take you up on it. Whatever time works with you, I can work around it. Is there an email or something I can reach you at?

    I am not afraid of going on public lands, just doing so with my current level of experience.

  21. countertop Says:

    Of course, in order to dressd a deer, we need to shoot one first.

    that’s not guaranteed (they tend to try to avoid getting shot, LOL).

    If you have private land, without much pressure, you can usually know where the deer are and almost guarantee a shot (especially on a doe).

    Public lands its a bit tougher. I’ll check out the map. I know that BF Goodrich has a huge tract of land between Nashvegas and Choo Choo Ville that they donated to the state.

    Your best bet is to get out on the land and start scouting for deer.

    Look for signs such as bedding areas (lots of droppings), deer trails, scrapes on the forest floor, and rubs on trees.

    If you can pattern their movement, you really increase the odds of a kill.

    W Tennessee has some monster deer, btw.

  22. DirtCrashr Says:

    I’ve never had much luck with THR of any sort. After five pages there’s still nobody in NorCal, and in 2007, “10 Months since my last post. Still no mentor in Southern California.”
    Around here with all the nature and legal restrictions it’s a lot easier for me to kill a dear with my truck or on a motorcycle – they’re protected everywhere and breed like rats.

  23. Chas S. Clifton Says:

    I see from the state web site that your basic small game/fishing combo license is $28. That’s less than a tank of gas. Big-game licenses are fairly cheap too.

    Your hunting-ed class is a one-time fee. It amortizes.

    Do we need mentoring programs? of course. But the actual dollar cost of hunting is pretty low, all things considering.

    You could spend more at a baseball game.

  24. countertop Says:

    What we need Chas is more opportunity to hunt prior to taking the class.

    Those classes that are offerred are not always convienient, and require a pretty substantial investment in time for someone who hasn’t hunted before and doesn’t know if they will take it up.

    Better mentoring programs, indeed organized mentoring programs, would be very effective and a good way to teach actual hands on hunter safety.

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