does hunting cost less than buying meat from the store?

i've been antelope hunting with my family and it's got me thinking, is that actually any thriftier than buying it at the store? it costs hundreds of dollars for the tags, but one antelope = a lot of meat. when you get into big game like elk or buffalo, that's probably 3 times the total yield easily. my dad shot an antelope 8 years ago and we still have meat from it in the freezer. i assume hunting costs a lot less in the long run, but i don't really know the economics on it so i'm not sure. if anyone has an educated answer, go for it.


edit: the 8 year old meat was from a buffalo, not antelope.

14 Answers

  • SM
    Lv 6
    7 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    I'll give you my side of this, typical deer lease in my area averages $1300 a person. Yes some are cheaper and some much more expensive but on avarage $1300 is about midrange.

    Then to drive 90 to 200 miles to hunt is very common so lets take 140 miles as an average.

    Then a basic license is $32 dollars, add to that food, clothing, drinks, misc items, box of ammo. Even if you just fire one round you still have to buy a whole box. So thats close to another $200, then if you use a local processor there is a fee for that. In my area a basic cut is $85 for a deer.

    If I get lucky and take a 200 pound mule deer and get 120 pounds of processed meat back then I can figure out how much per pound my hobby cost. So spending approx $1623 dollars for that first deer, dividing that by the pounds of packaged game, and I'm paying close to $13.50 a pound for that deer.

    There are folks who get to pay less and there are folks who pay a lot more, but for me it's more about being with family, friends, and building traditions with them than worrying about the cost of lifelong memories.

  • Going to depend on specific conditions like where you live, the availabilty of game etc... Where I live right now going hunting for anything larger than rabbits means a road trip along with the cost of the ammunition, hunting license and possible trespass fees if hunting on private land. When I was living in Alaska I still had to have my hunting license and tags but it was also more of a spur of the moment thing, meaning some of the folks I lived and worked with in the Village would come by and say lets go hunting or fishing.

  • ?
    Lv 7
    7 years ago

    Depends on if you are buying an entire pig, cow, sheep, etc worth of meat at the store compared to hunting and butchering an entire deer, hog, elk, moose, etc and getting the same poundage as you got in the store, vs what you hunted.

    MOST people buy a few pounds of meat at a time. Hunters get several pounds of meat to freeze and turn in to burgers, sausage, jerky. I know when I have had half a cow, pig and several chickens in the freezer, I got tired of steak and burgers pretty quickly, but could eat venison for months. In both cases I would have BBQs and friends over dinners and most (the non hunters), enjoyed the wild meat options over the store bought fair more.

    But in the end, I'd rather have a well stocked freezer of both, quality beef, chicken and pork, as well as my venison and other wild options.

  • Carl
    Lv 4
    7 years ago

    Do you really think it if fair to price store meat to hunted meat.

    Drive to store pick out the meat, go to counter, pay, all the cost of getting the meat to you. from the farm to the counter. and take that meat home, cook it and flop on your butt until next week.

    Yes wild meat is higher priced than store bought. The cost of the hunt includes a great trip to the woods, by truck or by foot. Seeing nature at its finest. After some time finding your prey, walking, stalking, reading the land and the area around you, breathing clean air, no crowds, and let us not for get the cost of your hunting gear and permits, your time, the good things a walk can do for you, if you get a large animal. You need to drag it to the truck. Take it home prepare the meat for the cook, and then do the chores that a man or a lady hunters has to do.

    You can never put a price on that.

    Source(s): long time hunter and store shopper
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  • Anonymous
    7 years ago

    I t might, it might not, as others mentioned, the cost of hunting is dependant on your situation. if you live hundreds of miles from the hunting area and you need tags, lead free bullets, etc to hunt, no it's not cheaper than buying the cheap meat from a store.

    On the other hand, if your backyard is the hunting area and you can just go out and hunting food it may be cheaper or may not be cheaper than buying at a store. it also depends if you prefer regular steak from food 4 less or you only buy high quality dry-aged steak from whole foods...

    for me, if i take small game/non game animals like hog and coyote, it is probably cheaper to shoot them buy, since when i buy meat i only buy the best available and it's like $25/lb at whole foods. When i make meat I don't see a point laboring for hours over a hot stove or grill cooking some cheap dollar meat that i got fro mthe food 4 less. (grilling/cooking meat is like a hobby to me and i put alot of effort into it)

  • Mr.357
    Lv 7
    7 years ago

    Lets see: $40,000 pickup, $1000 rifle, $500 clothes, $300 accessories, $30 license, $30 deer permit, and 100 lbs of meat. I would guess NO. But it is more fun than a week at a Disney theme park.

  • chris
    Lv 7
    7 years ago

    Well no of course for the antelope so here it is all about the expirence. But for other species like elk or wild pig it is definately cheaper to get your own by hunting.

  • 7 years ago

    it depends on afew things how far you have to travel accomedations tag fees etc. i buy a tag cost of shot 50cents fuel in quad to bring it back. i hunt on my own place. mics bags, wrap, tape, marker. but the meat is clean an i butcher it myself. when i hunt other places i don't look at costs because it's a vacation. my last hunt away from home cost me alil more cuz i had the bison hide made into a full length coat. if all you see it as food supply then for most it would probably cost alot. if you include fuel tags eats accomedations entertainment ammo for hunt and sight in clothes butcher etc.

  • 7 years ago

    Depends on how you do it. I drive about 3 miles to shoot a deer, 1 dollar in gas. I pay 30 bucks for a tag. I shoot one bullet. 1 dollar. I butcher it myself and pay about 60 cents a pound to have it turned into burger. The steaks are free because i cut those myself. If you divide the 32 dollars up between all the pounds of meat. It comes out to about 68 cents a pound for all natural, free range, organic venison. Compared to 9 bucks a pound at the whole food store, I think I come out smelling like a rose.

  • 7 years ago

    Probably but there is still a cost in the area of ammo, gasoline, a butcher if you need there services like myself (I get a discount though as he is a friend of a friend) and of course time but that could be objected to being out of doors away from people. Mostly.

    The problem is pinning down costs the amount in the variables fluctuate and cannot be given an average.

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