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  •  elk is very tasty (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ban nock

    but hardly cheap.  Even assuming you get lucky and draw an elk tag, unless you are already outfitted like Grizzly Adams, hunting is expensive, as is the cost to have the meat processed and packed.  Around here, CWD is also a concern.  Chronic wasting disease is the elk equivalent of mad cow.  Not something you really want to risk.

    "None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free." - Goethe

    by jlynne on Sat Jan 14, 2012 at 11:31:30 PM PST

    •  Hunting pays for itself over time (4+ / 0-)

      It is an investment to start hunting, but if you're frugal as Ban Nock says, it will pay for itself over time.   There is a saying from a well-known outdoorsman:  "buying one good gun and learning to shoot it well is a smart thing to do.  Buying lots of guns and shooting them all is a fun thing to do".  I would add take care of the gun, keep it clean, and it will outlast you.  Plus, hunting is a good way to spend leisure time.  I understand Colorado will refund elk licenses if you have the carcass tested for CWD and it tests positive.  

      You need to learn to butcher animals yourself.  It will save $ and make you a better cook by understanding the different cuts.  It gives you a sense of satisfaction to process your own meat.

      I travelled from MN and hunted elk in Colorado for the first time this past fall.  I was unsuccessful, but it doing it without a guide and carrying everything on my back into the wilderness made it somewhat reasonable.  It was good for my health.  I saw lots of other great wildlife.

      I have mixed feelings about those high licenses for non-residents, but that money is an important source of support for wildlife agencies and rural communities.

      To make up for the expense, I came home and shot a couple whitetails 90 miles from my house in Minneapolis, it's been feeding my family of four for about 8 weeks, and it will last probably another month.
       

      •  well, if it works for you (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tobendaro

        that's great.  I'm just not equipped.  Even if I had a rifle, I've never been very good at shooting living things.  Either buck fever or Bambi remorse will guarantee that I blow the shot.  

        I know how to butcher, but it's very low on my list of preferred activities, and an elk is a damn big project.  Just gutting it and hauling it out is more work than I'm probably able to do.  If the choice was starving . . . but, I'm not that hungry yet.  ;)

        Then there is the problem of loading the carcass in the Corolla.  Kind of like how many football players will fit in a VW?

        Interesting about the tag refund for a positive CWD test - I didn't know they were doing that.  

        "None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free." - Goethe

        by jlynne on Sun Jan 15, 2012 at 05:03:15 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Size of car is a big issue. There's a guy who (0+ / 0-)

          wrote a book about low budget hunting for food who suggests a big plastic cooler. Debone everything in the woods. He teaches hunting and hunts all the time, has always owned a small car. He hunts white tail in Virginia mostly.

          Guns are problematic in that it is more involved than a day at the range. I shoot a $20 BB gun most. Into an open coffee can in the yard.

          "Slip now and you'll fall the rest of your life" Derek Hersey 1957-1993

          by ban nock on Sun Jan 15, 2012 at 05:29:12 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  No need for luck, there are unlimited tags sold (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jlynne, Polly Syllabic

      "over the counter". So anyone who wants one can get one.

      Luck you make. A couple weeks ago I was driving with a friend, he always saw game before me. By the time we drove an hour, and drove back he'd spotted animals 12 times, every single time seeing it before me, and he was driving. I consider myself pretty good at spotting animals. He is obviously a lot better.

      CWD unlike mad cow can't transfer from ungulate to predator, like lion, wolf, or human. It's like scrapie in sheep that we've been eating for 500 years. Ninety five percent of people here never get animals tested. I'm much more concerned with influenza and global warming.

      Besides hunting I also enjoy hiking, backpacking, animal watching and observing, snow shoeing, used to x-country ski, canoeing, car camping with my kids, target shooting, and who knows what else. All these activities take the same clothes, backpacks, and so on, I bought them centuries ago.

      Butchering is an enjoyable chore, like tending one's own garden or carting in wood for the fire. It takes two of us twelve long hours just for the cleaning, trimming, and packaging of one animal. Another two for the initial skinning and deboning. My wife and I like working together and seeing all those neat packages of meat wrapped and labeled in butcher paper going into the freezer is satisfying. No processor could ever take the care and time we do on all that meat. We like knowing what we're eating.

      "Slip now and you'll fall the rest of your life" Derek Hersey 1957-1993

      by ban nock on Sun Jan 15, 2012 at 05:19:39 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  where are you? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ban nock

        there are no over the counter tags here.  There are strict limits on the number available and the area they cover.  We have tag "lotteries."

        "None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free." - Goethe

        by jlynne on Sun Jan 15, 2012 at 05:25:59 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Colorado, we also have limited areas, lotteries, (0+ / 0-)

          left over tags, late season crop damage tags, all kinds of different ways to go hunt.

          If you wanted to you could have a chance to get two deer, two elk, one pronghorn, and one bear, every single year. Goose season lasts forever, still going on probably out on the plains.

          "Slip now and you'll fall the rest of your life" Derek Hersey 1957-1993

          by ban nock on Sun Jan 15, 2012 at 05:33:55 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  All the ones in yellow you can just walk into any (0+ / 0-)

          outdoor or big box store and buy a tag any time up to and including during the season. No limit.

          http://wildlife.state.co.us/...

          "Slip now and you'll fall the rest of your life" Derek Hersey 1957-1993

          by ban nock on Sun Jan 15, 2012 at 05:49:14 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

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