Love to head out for a hunt but don't think you can afford it? American Hunter thinks you can
While taking in all that springtime in Pennsylvania has to offer, American Hunter's Kyle Wintersteen runs through a variety of hunts created to fit almost any budget
Outfitted Hunts for any Budget
Each year, guided trips put hunters within sight of their dream animal. That said, budgeting for such an adventure—and finding an outfitter that you can reasonably afford—isn't always easy. NRA members may now have someone there to provide a helping hand, though.
Unlike much of Europe, hunting in the United States is really not all that cost prohibitive. Sure, there’s the expense of a resident hunting license, shells, a gun and a little gas to get you afield, but the average American has the means to enjoy the outdoors.
A guided hunt for elk or another dream animal? Well, that can be another story. A quick Internet search turns up outfitter fees ranging from a $3,000 archery elk hunt in Colorado to a $10,000 rifle hunt in a prime area of Utah. And that doesn’t include license/tag fees or transportation!
So, what’s a working man to do? Not long ago, closing your eyes and dreaming of elk hunting was the only realistic option, but then along came NRA Outdoors (NRAO), a partnership between the National Rifle Association and the Outdoor Connection. NRA Outdoors is affiliated with a multitude of outfitters (all vetted), and can help a hunter find an the right fit, based on how much they want to spend, what they want to hunt and where they want to hunt (a vast number of fishing trips are also available). A quick search for elk reveals hunts starting at $1,950. Best of all, a portion of that fee goes directly to NRA—you’ll hunt, save money and defend freedom all at the same time.
Hunts for Any Budget
The “quick search” module at the NRAO website is fast and rather addicting. Hunts are available for practically every big game species—even African dangerous game—plus upland birds, waterfowl and all six turkey subspecies. A search across five price ranges turned up some intriguing hunts from the database:
$500 or less
Indiana waterfowl: $150
Western Kansas pheasants: $170/day
Florida whitetail: $150/day (plus $500 trophy fee)
Arkansas waterfowl: $200/day
Kansas predators: $200/3 days
Maine whitetail: $495/5 days
$500 to $1,500
Florida quail: $500/day
Texas wild boar: $600/2 days
Oklahoma Rio Grande turkey: $700/2 days
Ontario whitetail: $950/3-5 days
Montana antelope: $1,200/3 to 7 days
South Dakota pheasants: $1,200/3 to 5 days
Ontario black bear: $1,450/5 to 7 days
Read the rest of American Hunter's look at the perfect hunting trips for any budget