Affordable Mule Deer hunts

bucketlist_turkeyThe whitetail, being the most diverse species, is found in most areas of North America. ($1, 850) up to $6, 000 in your Midwestern trophy states and southern Canada.

Mule deer hunt prices vary greatly by the trophy quality you are expecting. While most mule deer hunts are spot and stalk, there are treestand and ground blind hunts available in a few areas that produce good results.

When someone calls and wants a mule deer in the 180 to 200-inch range, it really narrows the field as opposed to someone who says they’d be happy with a 140 to 160-inch mule deer. It often depends too if you would rather see quantity of deer over quality of deer.

There are great mule deer hunts in the $3, 500 to $4, 000 range, and if you want to hunt locations where trophy quality is considerably higher, the majority of the hunts are in the $5, 500 to $6, 500 range.

Coues deer are a really fun species to hunt, and you can expect to spend $4, 000–$4, 500 on these hunts. Or you can do your research and plan a DIY hunt in Arizona in January for a fraction of the cost of a guided hunt, and you’ll learn a lot.

Success rates in general on DIY hunts are considerably lower than outfitted hunts. But the first year is a learning experience, and you go back the next year and you’ll have a lot more going for you.

10_alligatorColumbian blacktails on the West Coast will run you , 000–, 000, depending on who you hunt with. Some hunts are from treestands and ground blinds, and others are all spot and stalk.

Some outfitters have a , 500 hunt fee and a , 500 trophy fee, which makes the hunt more desirable. The Sitka blacktails in Alaska can be hunted on your own, but you’ll still have , 000 in travel and a lot of homework and gear to buy.

A guided hunt in Alaska will cost you $4, 000–$5, 000, plus your travel expenses.

There are, plus two in Mexico. You can find numerous hunts for Easterns, Rio’s and Merriam’s for around $1, 000. The Osceola is native to Florida, with a hunt price of around $2, 000.

The Gould’s species are mainly found in northern Mexico and along the southern border of Arizona. The Oscillated turkey is found on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, and those hunts range from , 500–, 500.

Caribou appeal to a lot of hunters, and for good reason.Alligator
There are in the South that can be found for , 500 up to , 500 for trophy gator hunts, and there may be an option to hunt hogs during the day, since the gator hunts are normally done at night.

These hunts are offered year-round, but September and October are the best months for taking a larger gator.


The interest in caribou is constant. There are five species of caribou in North America, with four of them found in Canada, which means you’re required to book your hunt through an outfitter.

Right now, guided caribou hunts including travel, tags, tax, etc. add up to $10, 000 pretty quick — the mountain caribou more like $13, 000 when you add it all up. However, if you have caribou on your bucket list, you can do a DIY drop hunt in Alaska with some proper planning for under $6, 000 all in.

There are drop hunts available on the North Slope for around $2, 000, and you can expect to have $1, 000+ in your travel and easily another $1, 000 to $2, 000 for proper gear, license, and tags.

You should have experience in wilderness DIY-type hunting, and if you don’t own quality gear, you will need a good tent, sleeping bag, bedroll, stove, freeze-dried food, fuel, etc. DIY hunts are often the most rewarding because of the amount of planning involved and the sense of accomplishment that you get when it all comes together.

If you have your heart set on moose, there are “affordable” options available.Success rates on DIY hunts are normally considerably lower than on fully guided hunts, but if a caribou is on your bucket list and outfitted hunts simply break your budget, get planning and get going!


However, if you look at hunts in Newfoundland, consider driving (which makes bringing 600 pounds of meat home a lot more affordable), or look for hunts that don’t require bush flights into camp.

If an outfitter offers a 2×1 guide ratio option, you can put together an “affordable” hunt. Some outfitters have drive-in camps where their overhead isn’t as much as camps where everything is . We know of one operation that is $3, 900 plus 13% tax (license included) for a six-day 1×1 hunt, and shot opportunity has been around 50% on bulls.

While these camps don’t always have as high a success rate as more remote camps, and in some cases offer smaller overall trophy quality, if you have someone sharing fuel costs with you for the drive to Newfoundland, for example, you can put a hunt together for under $6, 000 including guide tip, fuel, ferry crossing, etc.


Ok, now back to elk — provided we haven’t convinced you to try some other species first. You can hunt elk for a reasonable amount of money, but elk hunts vary greatly in price and type. There are treestand/blind hunts over water or travel routes that normally have a 2×1 guide ratio, which saves you money over 1×1 bugling, run-and-gun hunts.

Some guided hunts will take place from wilderness wall tents, some from a ranch house, and on others you stay in a hotel. Hunts range from $4, 000–$15, 000 depending on where you are hunting, tag costs, and your trophy expectations.

There are several states where you can execute a . Thousands of bowhunters head west on these types of hunts every year. With a lot of research, networking, planning and conditioning, these hunts can be successful and exceptionally rewarding.

Oftentimes the first year is a learning experience, and the second year you start to have things figured out. If you have never hunted elk before, we suggest not getting too hung up on the score.

Before you tackle an elk hunt, make sure you are ready for it. bucketlist_f To keep costs down for muleys, be flexible on antler size.
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