If you are considering a western hunting trip to chase bugling bulls in September, now is the time to take the plunge. There are several states that offer Over the Counter (OTC) tags where you can hunt public land with no applications or point systems. If you are looking for more detailed information on picking a unit in a western state check out our DIY Unit Choice (Click Here) where we help shed some light on picking a unit based on State reported data. With that said, let’s look at the states that have Non-Resident OTC tags available so you can hunt elk this year.
This list is current, and there are ways to hunt other states such as Wyoming and Montana, but we can cover that in a separate post. Over 65% of land in Idaho is public land so hunting opportunities abound. As of this morning, there are still Non-Resident tags available so get them now. For future reference, Idaho tag purchases open in December normally so mark your calendar.In our DIY Unit Choice Page (Click Here), we picked Idaho to dig into the unit selection data so let’s stay consistent and look there for a representative cost.
For Budgeting purposes, plan on $700 for license and tag fees.
As part of our Elk Hunt Checklist (Click Here) we put together a Budget File (Click Here) to help you prepare for your 1st Western Elk Hunt. It is an easy to use Microsoft Excel file where you can plug in some simple numbers based on your situation and the file will provide an estimated cost associated with your planned hunt.
Note: All cells highlighted in yellow are for you to input.
There are 3 basic numbers to input for you to get started using the file:
Once you have the 3 basic inputs loaded. Review the gear list and mark off any of the gear you already own. Once you have the gear list section updated, the Hunt Planner Budget file will calculate for you a High and Low estimate based on the information you provided. This is the top section of the file. One really cool aspect of the file is that it will provide you with the amounts you need to save each week to make your dream hunt happen.
This brings up a point I am passionate about, DO NOT GO INTO DEBT for this. You can save the cash you need to make this happen; you may have to sacrifice some Friday night beer, but you can make it happen. It is worth it, and you don’t want the debt of your hunting trip to follow you home. The only thing you want to bring home is memories, meat, and antlers!Start now, save a little each week, find a side hustle, sell junk out of your closet on eBay, do whatever it takes to generate the cash needed to fund your dream hunt!
Until next time, get outside!