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DaveT

How much is a big buck worth?

28 posts in this topic

So,

I paid the state of Iowa $530 for the opportunity to bowhunt in their fine state. I know a huge percentage of you guys think it's crazy to pay that much to shoot a deer, and I agree. However, because of the unbelievable things I witness each time I hunt there, I am willing to pay that much for the entire experience, because those experiences and memories are worth every penny. To look at it from a little different angle, a 150 class whitetail rack in good condition and attached to the skull plate is worth anywhere from $300 to $500 on [YouNeedAuthorization]. The real giants are worth much more. I would never consider selling one of my bucks, but they do have value, and people put prices on deer every day. I really have a hard time getting angry at Iowa for raising money for themselves by charging a high premium for a superior product. The state of Iowa obviously feels like the product they're selling is worth $530, and when they sell out again this year, the market will prove they are right.

How many tags would MN sell at that price?

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Interesting point(s) and thoughts. For me, it's not about what I might be able to sell the rack for on some auction site, it's about what I'm willing to pay for the experience. For me, what someone might offer me for the rack when I'm done is totally irrelevant.

...and yes, they'll sell all their tags again this year, demonstrating that people commonly feel it's worth it to hunt there.

Your last question is provacative and will cause a nice combo of interesting responses and inappropriate comments!

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I also agree it has come down to how much a hunter will pay to hunt.

I'm of the opinion that if I know that I have a great chance at a true trophy and a memorable hunt to boot, I will pay the fee even though I do not care for it at all.

I know some will state that if we all would quit paying the fee's, then the states that charge more would need to drop what they charge but that I doubt will ever happen.

Yes, one day I will not be able to afford those out state hunts as they will get to be too much.

I have hunted in Montana and the fees there have gone through the roof for me so I just hunt somewhere else.

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Well you could also look at it this way too. If I were to sit down and keep track of all the gas money I spend every time I head to the woods to bow hunt in my home state I would bet that I pay a pretty price for the game I harvest. That game I harvest might only be a doe too some years. So the price to go over to Iowa and harvest a monster verses to stay in my home state and travel to my hunting grounds 15 to 20 times a year and maybe shoot a lesser deer in some peoples eyes is almost a wash. Like I always tell the wife a person must pay to play!

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I would still buy my MN tag out of convenience to hunt here and most likely have the woods to myself until the hunting got better and more people realized it.

I don't mind paying to play. I will keep paying for out of state tags as long as I have a place to hunt that provides a good opportunity to harvest deer. I would actually hunt more states if I had more places to hunt but for now I will not pay an outfitter to hold my hand. I will pay for opportunity though and that is what you are buying when you are out of state with a place to hunt, not a deer.

None of mine would ever be for sale unless it was enough to retire so I could hunt more or pay off my house and that is not going to happen.

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I've always said (Even in MN)You pay way more per pound for wild game then you do just going to the store to buy it. I know I have said on other posts that I like to hunt for meat but that doesn't mean that its cost effective. I think that if you pay a price for a hunt and come out of it feeling as though you got your moneys worth then... Well it was worth it. The thing I worry about is hunting becomeing a rich mans sport. To many other things have gone that way in the last 20 years. But like said above I doubt that even if people quit buying the tags the price would go down.Although I think there will be less hunters in the woods...

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soo 550 for a tag 100 bucks a day for motel 200 bucks to get down there. is a world class buck work 1000 dollars when all said and done? Then you might not see; Get drawn; Miss; Bad weather. Or you can take a 1000 dollars and do some major hunting in the state you live....

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Iowa is appealing to the entire country for it's trophy potential. It even has international recognition and appeal. I'm certain they will sell their quota of tags and maybe even raise them again next year. The question "how much is a big buck worth" is a relative one. The state of Iowa sure knows how much they're worth.

Hey Dave, if you're successful, I can mount it for you for $30 less than you paid for the tag : )

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Code-Man,

I think his point is that even with all the issues you brought up, the odds of scoring on a big buck in Iowa are much better than in MN. And I do believe that says something about both states.

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You can also look at it this way. Pickle farmer fears it will become a rich mans sport. Which without a doubt will happen in certain areas with the cost of tags rising. That means more than just rich people hunting it means less people hunting. I do beleave there will be less people in the sport with less opportunity. This is bringing it to the extreme but with less people in the sport leaves less people fighting for the sport. This will change the sport and probably not for the better. The anti's will have the numbers in ther favor. Will the rich have the time or conviction to fight for the sport? I for one can't afford to take my boys to Iowa for a hunt. I will keep it local and get them in the woods instead of going to Iowa by myself.

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Did anyone read in last month's Outdoor Life Magazine the article about the "Spider Bull" I believe it's name was. It's the new world record bull elk. The guy paid 200,000 for a Governer's tag then hunted this elk for 13 days and paid guides to track it so he could try to take it. He took it with a rifle where everyone else was strickly restricted to Archery. Guess money can buy you a world record bull.

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He must be really proud of himself. This is who would be defending our sport

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Oh yes, the Spider Bull received tons of attention all over the net- both before and after it was shot. It was an unbelievable circus surrounding that poor critter! Mr. Austad paid almost a quarter million dollars for the Moosback crew to find him. Obviously an extreme example, but a sad statement of what hunting has become to some.

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I agree, a value shouldn't be placed on one animal. It should be fair game for the people in that zone or area. What a pitiful excuse of a world record bull!!! Amazing animal but it should have an * next to it in the books. Kind of like Bonds' homerun record.

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Here is the real question " If he had guides tracking this bull why then did it take 13 days to finally kill him. "

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I think its kinda funny that were all sitting here talking about Iowa and all the huge bucks they have; and if we think it is worth the price to get to hunt one. Especially since we(in MN) could have the same outcome if we managed our herds better. That is what it boils down to...Management. It actually makes me a little sad that we look so highly to the corn state below us when we have far more hunters that I would hope care enough to push for the best management opportunities, and conservation possible. Its just sad because MN is a beautiful state, and has more than enough potential to the same thing that Iowa has done...

And Yes, I think a hunt like that is totally worth every penny. The experience of just knowing what caliber of animals enhabit that area is exilharating!

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A buck is only worth what your willing to pay for it. I think that your also paying for a bit of peace of mind and the experience of hunting new territory. Like it was stated earlier just cause you pay for a higher liecence and all that goes with it doesnt mean that you bag your trophy but you can come away with knowledge,experince,new friendships and a host of other things. weather you self guide or pay for a guided hunt it still going to cost you the same maybe not in terms of cash but in time and the knowledge of the area.

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Say DaveT, what part of Iowa are you planning on hunting? I am returning to Iowa this year to deer hunt with family and friends. I am getting a doe only tag (230 bucks yikes) but to me it is more than the meat, it is hunting with family and friends.......

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People make it sound like there are no trophy bucks here in this great state. If people want to spend an arm and a leg to potentially shoot a large buck down in Iowa, then more power to them. I think it is more of a challenge to score a big boy here and if you can do it for the price of a tag here, then I guess you will have lots of money left over for that spectacular mount. Just flip through the pages of any Minnesota Outdoor News and you can see the potential we have here. Big bucks don't get big by making them selves seen. You have to work for them. So to asnwer the question, I would have to say that a big buck is worth $26. The price of an archery tag in Minnesota.

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No doubt, there are huge bucks harvested in our state every year. But like Picks said it is not all about big antlers, although it is a plus. I also have family in Iowa that I like to spend time with.

My uncle owns over 1000 acres in southeast Iowa and it is nice walking out the back door to your stand. I do not own any land in Minnesota and it is getting harder and harder to get onto private land in Minnesota. I know we have a lot of public land but I have been hunting that for 20 years and had many bad experiences. It is nice to know that you are the only person on that tract of land.

So I guess for me it is the opportunity to hunt private land and enjoy time with the relatives. The new fees will not stop me from going but might limit me to every other year.

Here is a sled that I found on my uncles land this spring. I can not wait for December!

A007-1.jpg

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I haven't looked it up yet but I will.... I wonder what the hunter numbers in Iowa are vrs Minnesota.

Also I wonder what the Iowa DNR income from deer hunting is vrs MN(as well as the local economy). The only reason I ask is that if the hunter numbers are not there but the same money is there then maybe they have something (something only the rich can afford, but non the less something).

On the other hand, I know that MN hunters can afford a reasonable hunt and the same trophy quality (if they hunt for it). So on the same lines of "How much is a big buck worth" question. How much is a hunt with your 12 year old son/daughter shooting a doe as well as having a chance at a world class buck worth? Doing so with over 1/2 million other hunters anually?

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Priceless is you can harvest yourself, on your own land and with no ones help.

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As an Iowa resident that hunts deer here in Iowa and also hunts Nebraska with a non resident Nebraska deer tag; I am embarrassed by the price the Iowa DNR charges non residents. I would like to harvest a big buck just like the next guy but in reality the Iowa DNR is profiting off of every Iowa farmer who plants crops and each landowner who practices Quality Deer Management. It is like a dominoe effect, each state pushing each other's prices higher. I fear the price for my children will be too high to ever hunt out of state when they get older.

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Dave, how'd you get the discount? I think my app cost $560, and the kid's preference point a non-refunadable $53. Someone mentioned hunting becoming a rich man's sport - it already is in case you haven't noticed. That's why there's such a big interest in do it yourself hunts, the way a lot of guys have always done it. Apply for everything, your biggest expense is the tags/licenses and travel to get there, but then you're on your own. And that can be more satisfying than an outfitted hunt. We pony up for the Iowa tag, but then sleep in the truck, live on water and bread and hot dogs. The payoff for me is not the killing - I've hunted Iowa a lot of years and killed one buck, missed a couple others. Of course my standards are higher, 140 or better, so I've passed quite a few P&Y bucks that I would have attempted to kill elsewhere. For me it's the experience - natural movement during the rut, chasing, coming to calls, etc. Harder and harder to get that in Minn. My only hope is that it weeds out some of the less committed and we can get drawn more often!

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Picks

In the past we've hunted about 20 miles from Dubuque, this year we are trying an area west of 35 ( That's all the security clearance you have, I could tell you more but I'd have to kill you ). We knocked on doors for a weekend last year and got permission ( free ) from 4 different landowners on more acres than we could ever hunt. Other than the tag and gas, expenses are the same no matter where I hunt. No guides, no leases. We will make a trip down in August to scout and hang some sets and come back in November to hunt. We have 3 pref points so the tag is guaranteed this year, plus we have Kansas too. I'm starting to get excited. Will definitely post pics again after the hunt. To everyone who continues to insist that you can kill big bucks in MN, I know that. I have killed big bucks in MN. But the fact is I have probably spent 100 hours hunting MN for every 1 hour I've spent hunting other states, and I have killed more out of state big ones than I have MN bucks. That is the sad truth. I've said it before but it's worth repeating: Go hunt Iowa, Kansas, Illinois, etc. and then form your opinion, I have done this, therefore I have experiences to base my opinion on. I have yet to see anyone who has deer hunted in those states say anything positive about the hunting here in MN. It simply doesn't compare. This thread wasn't meant to stir up the QDM carp again, but I did want to point out how much money the DNR is leaving on the table by not getting with the times. There's a lot of MN hunters like me spending their hard earned dollars in other states.

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