Hunting can be a great sport, but as with any sport, you need to make an investment into having the right equipment. While our ancestors may have gone at it with nothing more than a loin cloth and a bow and arrow, these days, hunting equipment is a bit more complex, and since we’ve moved past the point of relying on caves and rock slings, it’s safe to say that you will be spending a considerable amount of time trying to find the right equipment at the right price.
That said, you don’t need to break the bank to get the right gear. Before you start hunting bucks, you may want to spend some time hunting for deals. Luckily, there are more than a few ways to keep your spending low, and your yields high.
Clearance is King
Clearance sales have the strange psychological effect of either dissuading a purchase, or encouraging one that doesn’t need to be taken. The best remedy for this is to make a list of the type of equipment that you need, and to keep a close watch on clearance sales as they happen.
Not long ago, clearance sales were the domain of those who circled hunting and sports stores like a hawk to see which items were going to get stickered. These days, it’s much easier to get some pretty outstanding clearance deals, thanks to online vendors and auctions of overstocked goods.
Clearance items can be anything, from your hunting boots, to food that you might want to take along with you, and even down to rifles and ammunition.
Those in the latter category can’t be purchased directly online in the United States, but instead will be sent through trusted vendors and brokers that are licensed to handle firearms and ammunition sales online.
Although there may be an additional fee in these sales, you could save several hundreds of dollars on your firearms alone if you shop wisely.
Don’t overbuy, however. As mentioned, it can be tempting to just purchase anything that you may “one day need” because it’s now on clearance, but consider what you’ve actually used in the past, and you may find that some purchases are simply unnecessary.
If your current stand is functional, you don’t need to upgrade to something that’s shinier and seemingly a steal. Also be mindful of the human need for every single gadget and electronic out on the market; some of us are more vulnerable than others when it comes to being hypnotized by the shiny new thing on the block, so use your best judgment according to your buying habits.
Preserve, and Save
Another way to cut down on your costs? Make sure that you get the most out of what you hunt by having the right processing plan in place. Here are a few ways that you can cut down on your post-hunt costs as well:
- Get a good dehydrator. Depending on where you can find it, and clearance is again recommended for this, you can get a capable dehydrator for as low as $80. Dehydrating your game can mean making it far easier to store, and in some cases, can remove the need for dehydration in the short, or even long, term, depending on your preferred method of storage.
- Purchase jars and cans. Again, storage options are your friend, and by canning or jarring portions of your game, you can also give yourself more options as to how long you can actually keep what you’ve hunted. Canning and dehydrating your meat can help you to save a lot of money throughout the year on the food you plan to eat.
Once you’ve got a good dehydrator, you should find that making your own venison jerky, and other treats, is actually much easier than you would think. Pre-made spice and preservative mixtures can be purchased cheaply online as well, which gives you plenty of different ways to stretch your hunt without killing your appetite.
When in doubt, read reviews on products for preservation so that you know you’re making the right call for your dollar.