I'd prefer the fair-chase places like colorado, Montana, Utah or Arizona, but money just seems to be the big killer. I did the DIY approach in '07 and saw one elk between 3 guys. One guy had a heart condition that limited his waking distances, so it didn't work out quite well for us. Couldn't really make the most of it. I want to go back but it would probably be alone. Friends don't have the money, dad might be able to go, but the cost alone can range from $3500 to $7000 (add in processing and shipping the meat back home, and transportation (whether by truck or plane, there's another $1000 - $1500.
So I started saving. Have about $2200 saved so far (which covers 3-5 days hunt, processing, meals and lodging, + another $600 for the mount) and had been planning on shooting a 5x5 in a 300 ac. high fence enclosure on a 1600ac. ranch - 40 minutes from my house.
Can't bring myself to make a decision. The more it costs to go out west, the more my wife thinks I'm nuts (and we really need to pay off some bills). Desperately want to go west but no "guarantee" on getting an elk, even with a guide. And then she'd really be mad! Close to home and guaranteed sounds nice and convenient, but high fences? And convenience? I'd like to camp out and have it be somewhat challenging.
We've also got the State elk hunt (draw) and I'll have one preference point this year. But the chances of drawing 1 of about 350 tags out of 40-50,000 applications...not exactly good odds. And it's another 8 months away.
Also, I went on a Canadian white tail hunt last year. Sounds great, huh!? We saw 5 deer between 6 guys, all small no shooters - till the last day rolled around. They (not me) shot 3 small 7 and 8 pts. Could've got those at home.
So 2 trips and $4500 later, no elk, no deer.
I don't need a huge trophy, just a nice 5x5 will do. And hopefully I can regain my sanity (and maybe a little pride) back.
I've been battling with the this for more than a year now. I just started bow hunting and I'm hoping that getting my first white tail with a bow under my belt will at least lesson the elk craving I have going on. I think I know a little better how drug addicts and smokers feel now.
I'm 42, my wife and I are trying to foster/adopt kids, so I doubt I will realistically have an opportunity to go again, if I don't do something soon.
Looking for advice, please...
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