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How To Pay for Hunting Season

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Find out how to pay for hunting when it’s seemingly more expensive by the year.

There’s something about hunting season that most of us don’t remember to think about until it’s too late, and that’s that, once deer season closes, we might get a week or two before tax forms start arriving in the mail from our employers. Add in holiday gifts and travel – especially if you have kids – and it’s easy to look back on the last several months and wonder, “Where did my money go?”

If you’re not careful, you can move from one hefty expense to another, and if you aren’t good about planning ahead, staying frugal, and setting money aside for different things, then hunting season could turn into a major dollar sign that ignites fights with your spouse and a difficult couple of months for bills and taxes.

Of course, if you have a successful hunting season, there’s a decent chance that your days out in the woods and your hunting licenses could have paid for themselves. A day or two of golden shots, a freezer full of venison, and you could have just effectively slashed your grocery bill for several months to come.

But if you missed the shots you took and walked away empty-handed during 2013’s deer season, then you could find yourself in a bit of a monetary hole come the end of the year.

RELATED: The United States of Hunting Infographic 

It goes without saying that every dollar we spend on hunting season is an investment. We purchase our resident hunting tags with the goal of filling them and accumulating a nice food reserve for the winter months. We buy new hunting gear with the thought that every gun, clothing item, and gadget we spend money on will only enhance our chances of success.

Add the checks you wrote for out-of-state hunting licenses, rent and utilities for the wooded cabin you use to host deer camp for your buddies, and veterinary bills for your hunting dog who can’t seem to stop hurting himself in pursuit of the hunt (it’s hard not to admire his spirit and dedication), and it’s easy to realize, too late, that you went way over your target expenditures for the year’s hunt. And that’s all without even considering how much you spent on gas in all of your drives to and from hunting properties.

Still, no matter how much you spend on hunting, your kids are still going to expect Christmas presents, your bills are still going to need to be paid every month, and tax payments are still going to be due in April. So plan ahead.

Just like with everything else, hunting is a hobby and a pursuit that needs to be governed by responsible spending. Outline a budget for yourself early in the year and make a vow to stick to it.

There are some things you won’t be able to control – like the cost of gas or ammunition – but you can control how much you splurge on gear you don’t really need or on expensive hunting trips that may or may not yield success.

By being realistic about how much you can afford to spend on hunting, you can be better prepared for all of the other expenses life throws your way.

Look for other money-saving methods, like second-hand stores, used gear and free or low cost hunting properties.

In the long run, your bank account will thank you for any and all efforts made to save a little scratch when hunting season comes around at the end of this year.

RELATED: Apply for These Tags Now

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How To Pay for Hunting Season