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Dead mule deer (courtesy is one seriously gi-normous rifle rest. I mean, mule deer. The image arrived with a Steve’s Outdoor Adventures‘ email blast on their NW Colorado Trophy Mule Deer Hunts November – December 2013. “These hunts are available on our Ranching for Wildlife properties in NW Colorado, south of Baggs, WY and north of Craig, CO… we have multiple properties enrolled in the program for both elk and mule deer. The trophy mule deer hunts make this a top choice for hunters each season.” Hunters with wikkid deep pockets, that is. It’s $5,700 for a five-day guided trophy mule deer hunt plus $350 approx state license fees. Of course, something is worth exactly what someone will pay for it. Would you? Could you? With a gun? Just for fun?

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  1. NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    You know how much beef and hamburger you can buy for $6050! And have enough for more guns!

  2. For a quality hunt (which most of you folks from the northeast know little to nothing about), yes, there’s a large number of people who will pay those outfitting rates.

    • Just out of curiosity, and I swear I’m not being snide, what constitutes a quality hunt to you? I have an uncle who’s been taking deer in the forests and fields of Maine for thirty years and he’s loved every minute of it.

      • First and foremost, a lack of other hunters. Many of these outfitted hunts in the west happen on private lands (ranches) with no access by the general public unless they’re brought in by the outfitter(s).

        Having hunted plenty on public lands here in the west, I’m at a point where I’m about to dispense with public land hunts and start paying outfitters and ranches to get away from Bubba and Cletus (and their kids and their shrill wives who they’ve dragged along), and their goddamn ATV’s that make hunting very unenjoyable now. If there were one law I want to see passed across the west, it would be to ban ATV’s from hunting seasons. I’m fed up with ATV riders scaring all the game off into unaccessible areas and ruining my hunts when I’ve been stalking something all day, only to have some moron on an ATV come into my area.

        Second, the best habitat in the west is on private lands. In the west, water is life, and most reliable water and feed sources are on private land. This will be where the big animals congregate as winter comes – near water and good feed.

        Third, outfitters using horses can get into places where you’d need to be ultra-fit to pack out an elk or big mulie on your back. Unless you’re in the business of ranching, odds are you don’t have your own pack string for this purpose, nor are you competent to run a string of pack animals that can haul in your gear, food, fuel, etc for an extended hunt in the high country… and then haul all that, plus your deer/elk/sheep/goat on the way back out.

      • I think they more they pay for it, the higher the quality.

        But if you’ve got that much money to throw around, knock yourself out.

        But I think you’d get much more out of it if you simply bought me a Tavor. Name and address available on request.

    • I still find US deer and moose hunting strange, the tags and limits. I learned to hunt deer on our farm in another place. We have a quota of 26 roe deer and 1.5 (laugh) moose per year on the farm, which the nature department sets based on land details, habitat. No other hunters dare enter the place so hunting is very safe (contra some NE areas), and the quality of the animals can be carefully developed. It is rented out for 16 of the deer. Trophy hunts makes sense to me when traveling, and the price above isn’t outrageous. It depends what else is on offer (food, lodging, lesser game, and such). The value of novelty (game, landscape, folks) is worth something. The price for a Cape Buffalo hunt is much much higher (even more novelty up and down). Hunts like these are not, after all, something you do every month. At least not me. A ski trip costs as much or more, for the family.

      • Did they ever explain to you how you were supposed to harvest that 0.5 moose? *snort* *chuckle*

      • “Nature Department”? Sounds like an oxymoron to me.

        And avoiding getting bagged by a fellow Yosemite Sam? That’s half the thrill of it!

    • Around $1K per day? That’s a well provisioned, tents setup, nice grub kinda experience. Plus, new scenery, new game, and a guide who (damn well better) know the territory.

      Not my thing, as I could wander around blindfolded and hunt deer with a club where I live, but as an experience? Decent vaca money.

      • A club eh? I just kinda hope they don’t take out my front door someday there is usually a herd on my frontline everyday.

        • I see 6+ pointers walking my dog. BTW, Those damned things are destructive (possibly dangerous) if they get in your house. And they remain unfazed as my 100 lb dog barks at them.

          Even more dangerous if they are adrenaline-buzzed and rattling around in your car after they’ve penetrated your windshield.

          Scariest drive ever is ‘The Trace’ at night. Very truly hundreds of deer per mile of road. All just one jump from your hood…

  3. No, but then again people call me crazy for spending $10k on a car that will barely drive on the street and then spending $400 each time I want to bring it to the race track. Whatever floats your boat.

  4. After all the gun control measures, only the wealthy and our overpaid, millionaire royalty (our politicians) will be able to afford this.

    Now where else is this the case? Oh yeah! Great Britain, the country that has three classes of people. Victims of crime, criminals, and royalty.

    • the country that has three classes of people
      At first I thought you left out the divorce lawyers and tax-collectors. Perhaps you thought you had already covered those?

  5. No, I’m afraid would not pay that amount. When I saw the prices on some of these critters, that’s when I decided to go hunt South Africa for the same price. And instead of one animal, you can get 6. Of course, the taxidermy bill is higher. ;D

    • And the flight cost more. With 6 days of lodging, food, and four plains game that would be a very good price, no?

      • Admittedly, the flight isn’t in the cost of $6K but I’d bet getting to the location for this deer wasn’t either.

        In the plains game package that I got a couple years back, it was a 9 days hunting, 1 hunter per PH (2 hunters per PH is cheaper), 6 animals, room/food/drinks included, transport to/from airport for $6800.

  6. I love to hunt.

    I might – one day – we’ll see. Probably not as I like to hunt mostly for food and traveling to shoot a trophy ain’t generally my style.

    Plus – to me – the HUNTING is the thing. Not the shooting. If I just want to shoot – I pick up my .22.

  7. Nope.I fill my freezer to save money, I don’t fly to freaking Nebraska to buy beef either. I think trophy hunting is asinine myself, and certainly not the best method of population management, but try taking your lady friend to some resort for a week and you’ll find that nice vacations all cost about the same ridiculous amount of money.

    • Yep. It was better back in college. Backpacks, sleeping bags, cheap trains to Canada, tents, and the lady friends were…. younger. Me too.

    • Nebraska is generally lousy flavorless grain-fed beef anyway.

      Free-range-grass-fed-moo-meat is the way to go when you can choose.

  8. I note that the question posed raises a painful question for individuals, and a foresight question for the firearms industry: How much does a family man on a budget spend on defensive firearms and training versus hunting. A five-day trip to Gunsite or Thunder Ranch is much cheaper that the Mule Deer Hunt, above. I think I’d rather pay for 5 days at Gunsite and stick to forest and field hunting of the usual animals with friends. Analogous to “Surf and Turf,” I’d call that shooting year “Friends and Enemies.”

  9. Puh-leez!

    In south Texas, there is an entire industry devoted to breeding big whitetails, a $15,000 hunt is not uncommon. Several years ago a hunt was sold for $35,000.
    The oilfield money that has recently started flowing down there doesn’t hurt things a bit!

    • Exactly.

      The truly huge money for guided hunts in the US is for any species of bighorn sheep. The sheep guys are over-the-top insane on what they’ll spend to get a ram.

      • I was just talking about deer, but you’re right those sheep queers (friendly jab, I tend toward being a deer queer myself) can get just about fanatic. I know one guy that paid around $40,000 to hunt a Tahr in New Zealand, not to mention his past sheep and goats hunts in Spain, Portugal, and Hawaii.

  10. cant barely afford ammo much less a hunting trip.. but it would be nice seeing since i havent hunted anything in my life. that and a sahara trip to hunt lions. thats my dream right there

  11. Sure, I’d pay that much money if I had such spare money and passion to spend on such a hunt. The fee is no less high relatively than the price that gun featured earlier today was going for.

  12. Yes, I would and do pay for quality hunting. The experience is where I place the value.
    I like fine rifles, SxSs, watches, etc… its a short ride gents, buy and do the things you enjoy.

    • Have you seen what beef goes for these days? Thanks to the damn ethanol mandate, the price of feed has gone through the roof, and the price of meat is following.

  13. In my youth when I huntede I couldn’t afford a hunt like that. Now I would take that money and take the wife to Canada and ride the steam train and stay in the lodge. The money would be well spent either way.

  14. Paying money just to pull the trigger on a trophy just doesn’t seem like it would be very rewarding. I’m sure there is some effort involved but, having a guide do all the work and walk you out to where the animal is, well it’s sorta like taking credit for someone else’s homework.

    Not that I’d never pay for a vacation/hunt. I just don’t think I’d pay for a trophy hunt.

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  16. Just came back from one of these so called trophy hunts. Save your time and more importantly your money. These guys wil tell you whatever they think will sell you a hunt. Small broken parcels over hunted and over grazed by livestock.left 18 year old guides with broken down equipment. In short it’s a rip off they push through 160 hunters a Season on these small parcels.

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