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saving for my FIRST ever travel/guided hunt

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saving for my FIRST ever travel/guided hunt

Old 02-15-2020, 12:27 PM
Typical Buck
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 590
Default saving for my FIRST ever travel/guided hunt

Hey guys, well I had a friend that shot a moose this year, and I took a long hard look at my budget and realized that an awesome destination hunt is a realistic possibility for 2021 or 2022.

All of last week I looked into different possibilities, including newfoundland moose, and South Africa. I am really open to anything other than whitetail, as I hunt those for free.

I would like to find something that has a success rate on the higher end of the spectrum. Going after a record book animal is not really my goal, and I'd probably be happy with something that other people that do this every year would pass on. I just know myself and how frugal I am, and if I spent several thousand dollars and never felt like I was even close to pulling the trigger I will likely not be able to justify doing it again. I know hunting is hunting, but on my first trip I want to do something where it looks like my odds are at least 80%. Also, no high fence.

So, what suggestions do you guys have? Specific outfitters, or even just state and species recommendations are fine.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 02-15-2020, 12:59 PM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 2,744

well, if you want high success rates a guided bear hunt over bait is about the highest your going to get, most all GOOD outfitters will almost give you a 100% chance at a bear or get a second hunt free deal LOL

get to hunt in countless places and prices can be from fair to HIGH as you want to part with

next, I think Caribou hunts are also something SUPER high odds on getting, and if you time a hunt right, you can possibly add other critters if you tag out or, just want to make a trip have more options while traveling afar!
and again, hunts can cost pretty reasonable prices to HIGH dollar hunts

when you get into Moose, the eastern side of Canada maybe the cheapest, and have good odds, and again can add other species if wanted to(again some times you can even BUY tags after you tag out on main species to KEEP your hunting going, if you tag out on day 1 of 6 or7 day hunt!)
or again, can add fishing to MOST hunts too!

when you get into more northern and north western hunts for moose, prices can get a LOT higher REAL fast
but to some the scenery and dream hunt memories they can have are with every extra penny they costs, all the more so if you get good weather an fall colors!

NOW as for other species, ELK can be had pretty easy out western USA,, same for western Canada, prices can be from high to SUPER high, or reasonable, pending HOW you want the hunt to go, hike in, camp, have camp set up, horse back, argo's 1 on one guided, or with 2 on 1 guides
HOW you pick the hunt, matters on costs and maybe even experience
as will you be going alone, or with a buddy, that you know and DON"T mind hunting next to on a 2x1 guided deal!
1x1 normally increases odds for you, but adds costs!

NOW My main question here will be WHY have you NOT considered a DIY hunt
I know to many it can seem like a lot of extra work and all, but I have done them all over the USA for past 30+ yrs or so
and find there NOT that hard can be WAY WAY WAY cheaper, and if you do your part well enough can be just as successful and many times more rewarding IMO

to be honest here I think you need to really pick a game animal, and then plan from there
I don;'t do hunts out of North america anymore
too many rules shots and added steps I don;t care to take anymore
not saying there bad, just NOT for me any more, too many things here I prefer to hunt and not enough time or $$ to do them all as is , don't need to confuse my thinking adding in other possible species

just remember MOST of the work you PUT into planning a hunt , comes back to you,
check outfitters out hard ask every possible question you have and FACT check there answers and referrals
LOTS of folks get BAD hunts due to lack of THEM making the effort to know what there getting and then come on forums and blame outfitters, when many times its there own fault for not asking and knowinwg what all they were in for or getting or NOT getting!
and STILL some times asking ALL the right questions hunts can fail
from being lied to, weather, hunting pressure, just things changing from one yr to another, fires, and so on! things happen!

but more you know ahead of time and options on WHAT IF"S< better off you are!

pick a critter first and then location, and DIG deep with Q&A's LOL

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Old 02-15-2020, 01:02 PM
Nontypical Buck
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Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 1,780

You can book a plains game hunt in Namibia for about the same price as booking a shooting trip to the high fenced farms of South Africa. Some of the fenced farms of SA are very large, some are not. The SA farms will probably have a greater variety of game, as they import game to their farms from different countries in Africa. Namibia will offer most of the same game, but it will be native to the area unless you find a fenced farm similar to SA. Either trip offers high success rates and will fill your trophy wall for about the same price as a guided elk hunt.

The airplane trip is a pain but it is well worth it.
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Old 02-15-2020, 01:15 PM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 2,744

and don't forget a LOT of exotic animals can be had in Texas these days?? if you donl;t care about high fence hunting!
saving you a lot of $$ on shipping capes back and LONG plane ride!
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Old 02-16-2020, 08:12 AM
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Location: Northern California
Posts: 18,165

Maybe a DIY antelope hunt in Wyoming? Bocajnala just did one last year and everybody in his party tagged out.
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Old 02-16-2020, 10:33 AM
Nontypical Buck
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Location: Central VT/Big Horn WY
Posts: 1,502

Some questions to answer first would be 1. what is your budget? 2. what are you interested in? 3. what is your physical fitness? 4. what state do you live in? 5. what weapon would you want to use?

By answering these, you may get better responses. The western US and Canada have some incredible scenery and hunting. Itís one of my favorite places to go. Moose, Caribou, elk, mule deer, antelope, lion, mountain goats, black bear, and even sheep are all possibilities.
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Old 02-16-2020, 01:37 PM
Fork Horn
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Tug Hill NY
Posts: 420

I have twice been to Newfoundland for moose, and would go again in a heartbeat. The percentage is very high throughout, but it is hunting. in 2018 very hot weather our week limited activity, so opportunities were limited but we all got moose all had cow/moose tags, and passed on moose before shooting , saw a lot of beautiful country and had a great time. We went with Patey and Sons, who have been around along time and it is a fly in one on one hunt, very professional and well organized. I passed on a monster black bear (last day, didn't have my moose yet but got it later that day) and we saw caribou on a daily basis which was very cool. Cost was 6500. from the main camp fly in, licenses included, all food, rustic but cozy cabins, plenty of gut filling food (not fancy but good and plenty of it).
Be aware that caribou in eastern Canada have had a catastrophic collapse in the population and the season is totally closed in Quebec, Labrador and a lot of Newfoundland.
Next year my wife and I are going to SA for a four species hunt, Kudu, Impala, Blue Wildebeest and Zebra, for 10 days to be split roughly between hunting and tourist stuff (call it safari). From pick up at the local airport to drop off the next week, all inclusive except day trips and gewgaw, 5500.oo for both of us, including trophy fees. Amazing deals, but and its a big but....airfare will be a major cost (we book in a few months, planning on 3500-4500.oo) and the treatment, export, permits and shipping of the trophies is probably going to be at least what the airfare was. It is a once in a life time trip for us, and requires much more planning and paperwork.
My suggestion....if going by yourself or with a buddy, go for a Newfie moose, with maybe a stumble on bear tag (500.oo extra) or if you want to take your wife/ other, do SA.
And for moose, don't sweat having enough gun. They are not hard to kill....any 30-06 or similar cartridge will do just fine, just use a heavier premium bullet and be well sighted in.
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Old 02-16-2020, 01:59 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Eastern PA
Posts: 12,549

A relatively inexpensive hunt that is also a lot of fun is pronghorn antelope. If you're not after a record book animal there are a lot of options for a DIY hunt. And you may get to shoot a nice one in the process. The really big "goats" though are found through guided hunts where the outfitter leases a ranch and is very selective about the animals he takes. My first antelope hunt I was ready to shoot just about anything and we must have looked at over 200 buck before he found one he wanted me to shoot!.
Depending on your budget will determine the outfitter you get. Those that charge a premium are usually the ones that have the best ranches and the highest success. But it is still hunting so you may just end up coming home with an unfilled tag. I've been on 3 elk hunts that ended with no shots fired. Something you have to consider. Remember its the experience not the harvest that separates true hunters from those just wanting to kill something.
Just a case in point: I was on a Newfoundland moose hunt with my friend and there were 3 other guys in camp. Two of the "hunters", a father and son had purchased moose, caribou and bear tags for the 7 day hunt. Which is all well and good. But when they did not shoot anything they packed up and left 3 days into the hunt. Us remaining 3 hunters each shot our moose. The father and son must have thought the outfitter had the game tied up waiting for them.
PS: on that hunt, right before I shot my bull, I saw a huge black bear. I was all ready to shoot him too but I misunderstood the outfitter when he said it was only an additional $250 for a "stumble on" bear tag. I thought he had the tags on hand. Turns out you had to buy them prior to. The $250 was for getting the animal. No biggie but just something to think of. Make sure you know everything BEFORE the hunt.

Last edited by bronko22000; 02-16-2020 at 02:06 PM.
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Old 02-17-2020, 11:27 AM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 2,358

For success, antelope. Grab yourself some doe tag(s) in addition to the buck and go have fun. The hunting is about as relaxing as can be and you can set some guidelines to add/remove challenge. For example, you want to have to stalk them so nothing within 1/2 mile of the truck. Wife and I did that on our second hunt and we shot 4 antelope in a day! Private ranches have antelope that don't run at the sight of a truck., but you need outfitters to get on them. Often you can double the hunt up with a mulie/antelope combo.
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Old 02-18-2020, 06:27 AM
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 18

I sent you a message with some info about you might be interested in about a good hunt. Let me know if you got any questions
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