The true cost of venison might not be what you think it is.
We all know that hunting is becoming more and more trendy every year. The sustainable/hormone free/organic free range crowd has been slowly joining in, looking to fill their freezers in a healthier way. We all like to say how cheap venison is in the long run, but how much is the real cost of venison after everything is added up?
Hunting is rather expensive. A lot goes into it when it comes down to it. Now that my freezer is full from the buck I took this past October, a year’s worth of wonderful meals await us.
But I calculated some of the costs it took me to get that deer, and it really got me thinking about money. Perhaps you won’t give away as much venison after you learn what I did.
To start off, a group of buddies and I all throw down $500 each to pay for our food plot and also some acres we rent off of a farmer to plant it. On top of the $500, our hunting ground is also 62 miles one way to get there. During the season, I hunt every weekend from October on. I stay overnight for free where I hunt, but still, I’ll be conservative and say I make eight round trips (eight weekends), and drive 992 miles. For me, that’s 41 gallons of gas, equalling $123 at $3.00 per gallon.
Of course, I buy a license. Every year I pay for a $60 bundle license for three deer across all seasons, and normally take two deer. This year I took one since I still had venison left over from last year.
This year, I bought new arrows and broadheads. There’s another $100. I also purchased all new camo. There went $500 (bibs, vest, 3-1 parka, and boots). Since I was lucky enough to take a deer, there went a $120 processing charge, which resulted in 80 pounds of meat in my freezer.
Add that all up, and it’s $1,403! It’s fair to say I bought other “necessities” during the season that I’m not including out of forgetfulness, but I would bet it adds up to another $100 easy from start to finish. Just to keep it simple, let’s use a nice round number like $1,500.
So now, when the math meets my freezer, I paid $1,500 over the course of the year to get 80 pounds of venison. That makes my venison about $18.75 per pound. Dang.
Of course, take off the camo charge and the cost for the food plot, we are looking at only $6.25.
If you’re honest with yourself, you may be surprised after adding things up.
So, how much was the cost of venison for you this year?