Budgeting for sheep

outdoorsman12b

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Sep 24, 2018
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Alberta
Hey All,

A few years ago I started hunting sheep here in BC DIY, my last 4 season have been spent chasing bighorns and this year I was finally "kicked out" on a solo trip into an area I've spent alot of time in. It's become a sickness like so many others have.

Anyway, my life dream is a grand slam. I'm blessed to say I can do 3/4 right in my home province, but along comes the 4th...

At only 25, I have alot of time to complete this but I kind of want to get peoples opinions. I plan to set aside 3K a year towards my Desert hunt. Now here is where I'm split on how to allocate that money. There's many raffles every year for desert hunts that could easily eat up 3K or would you think setting that money away in a separate account for the next 20+ years be better off? I'm guessing if trends continue though, finding a desert hunt at 60K will be unlikely.

Heres a pictures to give the thread alittle excitement aswell.
It’s my understanding you can hunt desert bighorn on general tag in sone areas of BC. Maybe check into that a little more first.
 

Gdavis3rd

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May 11, 2019
Messages
51
I think you are thinking california bighorn in a couple areas of bc not desert. California counts as big horn not dessert in slam. Like fannin does for stone.


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OP
Porthunter

Porthunter

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Apr 3, 2018
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BC
I don’t know what you do for work in the LML but the cost of living down there is nuts.
If you have job opportunities that will increase your bank account, lower your cost of living and increase comfort of living I would look at that route.

Stop buying unnecessary shit.
Every pay cheque allocate a set amount or a percentage.
Drive an old vehicle that doesn’t require you to have a payment
Get a side hustle and put the money in to the sheep fund

The move to the interior is looking better and better forsure, once the GF is finished school it may be my best option forsure(puts me alittle closer to sheep to).

Definitely need to figure out a side gig, great way to allocate extra funds.
 

JasonWi

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Jul 3, 2012
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Salem, Oregon
The best recommendation I can give to you is set yourself up a budget and be very strict with it. I utilize the "every dollar" app from Dave Ramsey..it's free. It's not fun having to write down everything (first time setting it up, then you can transfer the same items month to month and just change the dollar amounts.

Make sure to stick to it! By doing so it allows you to know exactly where your money is going and will help you cut that extra "fat" off. Then you can make your "sheep fund" as a bill and automatically put X amount monthly.

By doing what I've recommended -- I've eliminated all the extra fat, infact I became debt free (this month) and can now start chasing my own dreams.
 

Trial153

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Oct 28, 2014
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NY
Pretty sure sheep hunting has out paced inflation. It would probably be cheaper to take out a low interest personal loan a pay for a hunt at todays price the save for 10 years and pay 10 years of price increases. Especially if you can keep cash on hand an swoop in for a cancellation hunt
 

wind gypsy

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Dec 30, 2014
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Pretty sure sheep hunting has out paced inflation. It would probably be cheaper to take out a low interest personal loan a pay for a hunt at todays price the save for 10 years and pay 10 years of price increases. Especially if you can keep cash on hand an swoop in for a cancellation hunt

This feels like it should be bad financial advice, at least Dave Ramsey would say so, but it's probably true that the total cost would be cheaper doing it this way.
 

Lawnboi

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Mar 2, 2012
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North Central Wi
I just stay out of the sheep section. My wife would whoop my ass if I ever spent 20k+ on a hunt.

Iv decided it’s something that will never happen for me. I don’t even want to waste money on the points/draw game. Could I save and maybe do it? Maybe. I’ll just have to be happy hunting what I can afford to for now.
 

wind gypsy

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Dec 30, 2014
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I just stay out of the sheep section. My wife would whoop my ass if I ever spent 20k+ on a hunt.

Iv decided it’s something that will never happen for me. I don’t even want to waste money on the points/draw game. Could I save and maybe do it? Maybe. I’ll just have to be happy hunting what I can afford to for now.

Just looked at my sheep on the wall and thought about how I'm glad I did it before I get married this december :)
 

Blockcaver

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Sep 9, 2012
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BC
Porthunter, Great looking Bighorn!!! Congrats...1/4 of the way to your sheep slam!

Living in BC like you do...go get that Stone. Keep putting in for the Dall tag and get it done! Time is on your side to draw a Dall LEH here, you have 40 or more good years of mountain hunting ahead of you with any luck.

As per the Desert, I'd put in for draws in the states that offer NR tags, especially if you can do it without paying high application fees (like having to buy a NR hunting license every year). Someone will draw the tag, it could be you!

I'd also follow the good advice given on saving money as well as getting set up with a good career that will allow you to make enough money to realistically do a Desert hunt at some point.

Also when you have significant funds saved, get on outfitter and booking agents' cancellation lists and be ready to go on a moments notice. These kind of hunts come along once in a while.

I was very fortunate to arrow two bighorns DIY in CO over 35 years of applying and drawing 6 ram tags. Really fortunate to draw a NR tag and arrow a desert bighorn in NV...the first year I put in! My buddy had drawn the same tag the year before and rifled a ram. He went along with me to and I got a ram the 8th day of the hunt.

Life took a turn when i had a great job opportunity in BC and moved here. I did 8 backpack hunts for Stones before I arrowed one.

With 3 legs of a GS, I decided I wasn't getting any younger, and had yet to draw a BC Dall, so booked a 2017 hunt in the NWT where the hunting area had been sold to a new outfitter and had openings that year. Luck was with me and I arrowed a nice ram a week into the hunt, completing my archery sheep slam, 37 years after my first sheep tag and hunt in CO. (Note...I went on a cheap 2 on 1 Dall archery hunt with a crappy outfitter in Alaska 23 years ago. It was a total waste of money and 2 weeks of my vacation time. Research your outfitter and the area they hunt.)

I'd like to draw a BC Dall and have a complete DIY archery sheep slam, but its a race whether I draw a Dall tag before I'm too old to climb the mountain! And BC Dalls are tough enough with the rifle, much less a bow based on discussions I've had with Dall hunters here!.

Good luck and hope to see you at some sheep counts and WSSBC events when C-19 tails off!
 
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OP
Porthunter

Porthunter

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BC
Porthunter, Great looking Bighorn!!! Congrats...1/4 of the way to your sheep slam!

Living in BC like you do...go get that Stone. Keep putting in for the Dall tag and get it done! Time is on your side to draw a Dall LEH here, you have 40 or more good years of mountain hunting ahead of you with any luck.

As per the Desert, I'd put in for draws in the states that offer NR tags, especially if you can do it without paying high application fees (like having to buy a NR hunting license every year). Someone will draw the tag, it could be you!

I'd also follow the good advice given on saving money as well as getting set up with a good career that will allow you to make enough money to realistically do a Desert hunt at some point.

Also when you have significant funds saved, get on outfitter and booking agents' cancellation lists and be ready to go on a moments notice. These kind of hunts come along once in a while.

I was very fortunate to arrow two bighorns DIY in CO over 35 years of applying and drawing 6 ram tags. Really fortunate to draw a NR tag and arrow a desert bighorn in NV...the first year I put in! My buddy had drawn the same tag the year before and rifled a ram. He went along with me to and I got a ram the 8th day of the hunt.

Life took a turn when i had a great job opportunity in BC and moved here. I did 8 backpack hunts for Stones before I arrowed one.

With 3 legs of a GS, I decided I wasn't getting any younger, and had yet to draw a BC Dall, so booked a 2017 hunt in the NWT where the hunting area had been sold to a new outfitter and had openings that year. Luck was with me and I arrowed a nice ram a week into the hunt, completing my archery sheep slam, 37 years after my first sheep tag and hunt in CO. (Note...I went on a cheap 2 on 1 Dall archery hunt with a crappy outfitter in Alaska 23 years ago. It was a total waste of money and 2 weeks of my vacation time. Research your outfitter and the area they hunt.)

I'd like to draw a BC Dall and have a complete DIY archery sheep slam, but its a race whether I draw a Dall tag before I'm too old to climb the mountain! And BC Dalls are tough enough with the rifle, much less a bow based on discussions I've had with Dall hunters here!.

Good luck and hope to see you at some sheep counts and WSSBC events when C-19 tails off!

Thank you! The stone is definitely next on the list and next years 3 week trip is already in the works, I'm excited to get after thinhorns for the first time.

Thank you for that, I'll definitely be at all the upcoming WSSBC events when things get going, so maybe we can chat abit more about the Desert applications/best way to go about it(I havent looked into it much other than accumulating points for Montana Pronghorn) definitely will be now.

I hope you do draw that Dall, I've heard much of the same when it comes to the actual hunt, especially depending on what side of the highway you're on.
 

Mt Al

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So much great advise on here I wish I would have taken more seriously years ago.

Thoughts on a few, from my view with blinders on:
Priorities change: so true, especially with wife and kids. My dreams just had to go on the back burner to help my kids get ahead. Sadly, their hobbies were pretty expensive...
Health/loan/go now: Totally agree with taking out a loan and going now and paying it off if you can service the debt. No one's future, or future health is guaranteed. If you take out a loan now, you won't have a choice to blow your money on new trucks, multiple guns and optics, paying more for brand names vs. stuff that works perfect. Life is about choices, and not following the crowd is one of the best choices you can make. One simple injury to a knee, back, and you're struggling to get up a hill. Can happen any time.
Dave Ramsey: YES. (but go now if you can! THEN pick up Dave's processes). Dave R has saved so many people's futures, marriages and helped create more personal wealth and freedom than anyone I can imagine. His processes are gold.
Maximize income: so critical. You can only save so much money, but there's no ceiling on what you can make. To heck with the sheep hunting part of this, this is critical to your future no matter what you do. Overnight successes often take 15 to 20 years. Very good friend quit driving for FedEx, started a custom interior company, almost went broke five or six times, seriously, now he's fishing Patagonia, Alaska, etc. Only took 16 years and tons of misery to get there.

The fact that you're young and thinking this way makes me think you're doomed to success no matter what. Most people your age are maxing credit cards on the next cool rifle, lift kit, light bar, spotter, etc.. Nothing wrong with that other than the regret in the future of those purchases. Good on you for thinking this way at this stage of your life.
 

Terrence M

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Mar 2, 2020
Messages
8
After taking my first dall sheep I looked into putting in for raffles and draw hunts. Even though I’m your same age realistically I could put in for the rest of my life and never draw any sheep tag in the lower 48. I decided to use the money I would have spent on the raffles and draw apps to just do fly outs and other adventures in my home state of Alaska. Living in BC you are in one of the best places in the world to hunt and unless your heart is set on a desert I’d be more tempted to do a lot of back country trips there.
 

Nomadx2

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Jul 9, 2020
Messages
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Location
S Central WI
A tip on saving money ...

Years ago I started having my work check direct deposited to my bank. That is pretty common.

The best move I made was I created a 2nd direct deposit bank account at a separate bank. This account had no checking or ATM access. Basically I had to drive to the bank to get money during bank hours. Started with 5% of my paycheck and now we deposit my whole check there and live on my wife's paycheck. We pay cash for our vehicles (turn them over every 6-8 years) and have paid off mortgages on 2 properties in 8-9 years each. We also max out our 401k's.

Most folks will spend whatever they receive in their paycheck and then spend beyond their means with credit cards. We learned to live debt free before Dave Ramsey started his thing, but I really enjoy listening to him.

Find a way to save money where you don't have instant access to it and still max your 401k. You'll been on your way to being able to do more than you ever thought you could and develop saving habitats that will let you retire early.
 

wildwilderness

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Mar 1, 2017
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CO to AK
I just stay out of the sheep section. My wife would whoop my ass if I ever spent 20k+ on a hunt.

Iv decided it’s something that will never happen for me. I don’t even want to waste money on the points/draw game. Could I save and maybe do it? Maybe. I’ll just have to be happy hunting what I can afford to for now.
20k may still get you an Alaska Dall's but isn't anywhere near a Desert price! $50-$75k for those. Same for Stone sheep :eek: You also have to realize that these are still Hunts and no guarantee you will actually get a sheep o_O
 
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Nomadx2

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S Central WI
20k may still get you an Alaska Dall's but isn't anywhere near a Desert price! $50-$75k for those. Same for Stone sheep :eek: You also have to realize that these are still Hunts and no guarantee you will actually get a sheep o_O

Talking to a friend the other day in his trophy room about his sheep slam. Said the ones he has to get there was a $200k investment and he finished his 2-3 years ago.

Like many of these wild beasts we chase, they require an old man's wallet and a young man's knees! 😲
 

mtnhntr

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May 10, 2017
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Michigan
There is definitely not a plateau. A buddy of mine manages a ranch in Stonewall, Colorado and they just auctioned their tag off at a cool $125k up form $100k last year. Guys were lined up at 125k too so that number will increase next year. That was for a Rocky Mountain, but desert are even more sought after.

If you're in the lower 48 the CO auction tags are the way to go. The prices fluctuate from year to year - as low as $65k to up over $140k some years. Just don't buy that new truck and finance your sheep hunt. When I had the disposable income, I blew it on hunting. With more limited income, I get a new truck every 4 years instead of 2 and finance my hunts on the off cycle. It's winding down the old habits that's hard to do! With good credit and this low interest rate environment you'd be crazy not to.

And you don't have to make gobs of money to do this either. I do well, but not 300k per year and am able to live very comfortably, save for retirement, and have a 15k-30k hunt spend per year. The first few years of my career I ran very lean to become substantially debt free, and I do work in the investment space for large insurance organizations so managing capital is my forte. It all boils down to cashflow. Keep your real debt-to-income low and available credit freed up for when opportunities arise, then you can strike. I'm looking to pick up the CO auction tag in the next 2-3 years and that will be hopefully my last rocky mountain bighorn hunt - I'm gonna get one with my bow come hell or high water. I've been on 3 unsuccessful archery hunts for my bighorn and decided the auction tag is just the way to go. Like I said above work it out into your off-cycle for normal larger expenses and you'll never know it's there. That's what I am doing with my desert in 2026 - it's booked 6 years out and the cashflow will have it there.

And make sure you pick a good spouse - my wife puts up with all my nonsense....she just asks where she gets to travel to next and enjoys the trip as a non-hunter/packer. My two 6 year old's are not quite big enough to be packers, or I'd have them along too! :ROFLMAO:
 

HunterEng

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Dec 15, 2015
Messages
61
Learn to invest an set up an account. If I would have set up.my investment account and learned to invest 8 years ago, instead of my savings account....I would have 2 sheep by now. Instead now just finally have the money for one.
 
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