A while back, I wrote a post on the costs I incurred while going halibut fishing in Alaska. When I wrote the post, I was relatively unsure of the street value of the fish, and was pretty sure that I was getting soaked in the deal. Even though I used a pretty high price point, it looked like I came close to breaking even in the end, and I have some great memories from the trip to boot.
After I wrote that post, I figure it would be interesting to do this with all of my adventures getting my own food, so here’s the next chapter.
A while a go, my fiancee’s friend mentioned that he wanted to come up to Wyoming and hunt antelope and I offered to take him with my future father in law. Unfortunately, the dates didnt work out and I was at fincon during the only weekend available, so I was unable to go. After he got back (he was successful) he invited me to go duck hunting with him. I’ll be the first to admit that I know nothing about ducks, duck hunting or anything like that. Along with that, I’ve only even eaten duck once in my life. Even so, I decided I’d go.
I already had a shotgun, so I didnt need to buy one of those. What I did need was ammo, license, a state duck stamp and a federal duck stamp. Most of the stuff I still have left and can be used again within a certain time frame. I believe the federal duck stamp is good for the season, and the state duck stamp is good for 45 days. Here was what I paid
- 2 boxes ammo ~$22. I can use this again, because I think I shot 3/50 shells.
- Federal Duck Stamp/State Duck Stamp (State good for 45 days, federal for a year): $20
- 1 Day waterfowl hunting license , non resident. $11
- 1 Tank gas ~55
Unfortunately, this was a bit of a slow day out on the pond. Of course, I’ve never been before so I didnt know, but the guy I went with said that usually he bags out and gets 6 ducks. Unfortunately, we only shot two. He was nice enough to let me take home both ducks as I assume his freezer is already full of them. As I found out when I was processing the animal at home, there’s really not much to a duck. You basically just want the breasts to eat, and some people save feathers if the make files for fly fishing (I don’t, and the guy I offered them to at work didn’t want them). I didnt really know what to do with the rest, so I just got rid of them. I’d like to find something to use what’s left of the animal for, but I dont know anything. If you’ve got ideas, leave them in the comments 🙂
All in all, I think that I got meat for about 4 meals out of it, but I could have gotten more. One of the duck breasts was compromised during the trip and had to be discarded. So this was kind of an expensive trip at a cost of 108, and a cost per meal of $27. Of course next time I go, It will only cost $11 for a duck license and whatever I use in gas. This may not have as high of a return as my fishing trip did, but once I go a few more times I’ll have (hopefully) staggeringly lower cost per meal. This may not best return, but it a good time – not nearly as bad as my dad described it “standing in a freezing ass duck blind at 5am”.
Readers: Do you hunt? Are you interested in hunting? If so, why? Would you like a natural source of meat, a cost effective source, or do you hunt so that you can get back to the land and know where your food came from?
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