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John's Journal... Entry 159, Day 1


The Trophy Buck Calculator

EDITOR'S NOTE: Regardless of where you live, how much money you make, how much you hunt, and how few bucks you've taken, you can find and harvest a trophy buck. But unless you have the very best of luck, you'll probably have to pay to hunt a trophy buck. The less you pay to take a trophy buck, the less likely that you'll discover one. The more you pay, the more likely that you'll bag that buck of your dreams.

"I won't pay $2,000, $3,000, or $10,000 to go on a hunt to take a trophy buck," most hunters will say. However, you may in fact spend more money than that to unsuccessfully try to take a trophy buck when you add in all the costs you incur. Look at this Trophy Buck Calculator, and see what hunting a trophy buck actually costs you.

* Clothing and Equipment -- Before the season begins, keep a log of what you spend for clothing and equipment to hunt deer.
* Wear and Tear on Your Vehicle -- Using a depreciation scale of 35 cents a mile, figure how many miles you've put on your vehicle, including your 4 WD, automobile and truck to hunt deer.
* Hunting Club Dues -- If you belong to a hunting lease, factor in this cost.
* Miscellaneous -- Calculate the money spent from the time you leave your house to the time you return to your house for a day or a weekend of deer hunting.
* Hours of Lost Earnings -- Log the hours that you spend traveling to your hunt site, whether a hunting lease or public lands, hunting and returning from hunting. If you work that same number of hours, how much pay will you have received for the time you've spent hunting? Make sure to include work days, club meetings, scouting trips, etc.

Once you've used this Trophy Buck Calculator to add up the expenses you've incurred while attempting to take a trophy buck every season, you may see the benefit of spending $2,000 to $10,000 one time to harvest that buck of your dreams.

Money Versus Hunting

Some hunters prefer to pay with their time rather than with their money, while others pay with their money instead of their time. Some hunters do both -- paying in both time and money -- to consistently have the opportunity to hunt a trophy buck every season. You can use three different methods to pinpoint and harvest trophy bucks. Let's look at the price you'll pay for a trophy buck, starting with the least-expensive way and ending with the most expensive.

Can You Find A Cheap Trophy to Hunt?

To find a trophy buck to hunt, you simply need someone to tell you where a trophy buck lives and then obtain permission to hunt that trophy buck. However, regardless of what you read in any magazine or newspaper article, see on TV or watch on a video, you can't take a trophy buck where a trophy buck does not exist. To bag a trophy buck, you must discover a mature buck to hunt. Although you may not believe you've spent any money out of your pocket while searching for your deer, in fact, you have spent gas and time to find this buck. If your time has value, then the time you've spent looking for this trophy buck represents a loss of earnings if instead you'd worked this same amount of time. (See Trophy Buck Calculator).

To learn this information about a big buck, you must talk to the people who have the opportunity to see a trophy buck. Meet and talk to ...
* landowners. Because they work their lands, they'll often know where trophy bucks live, although they may not see them but once or twice a year.
* deputy sheriffs. Police officers who work the 3:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. or 11:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. shifts drive on county roads and in rural communities at night and may have the chance to see trophy bucks when they move. Also the highway-patrol officers who work these night shifts often spot trophy bucks as they patrol highways after dark.
* barbers. If a barber lives in a hunting community, more than likely the barber has heard of trophy bucks in the area and will know who owns the property.
* sporting-goods dealers. By talking to the men behind the counters at sporting-goods stores, you may learn about a trophy buck because these men hear all the local hunting tales.

Once you gather your information and determine where a trophy buck lives, you may or may not gain access to hunt that buck for free. However, you still haven't taken the buck, and you've still had to spend time scouting, waiting, looking and hoping for a chance to bag that buck. Even though you may have the occasion to hunt this buck without having to pay cash out of pocket, you'll still have to pay a price in time, gas and wear and tear on your vehicle before you have the opportunity to bag this big buck.




Check back each day this week for more TROPHY BUCKS: TO PAY OR NOT TO PAY ...

Day 1 - The Trophy Buck Calculator
Day 2 - Hunt The Invisible Trophy Buck
Day 3 - Raise Your Own Trophy Bucks Every Season
Day 4 - Hunt Where Trophy Bucks Live
Day 5 - Other Tactics For Bagging That Trophy Buck

John's Journal