Is Getting Your Own Food Cheaper, Part 4

Now that it’s fall, hunting season has started and it’s time for another entry in the series of getting your own food.  For those new here, I write down what I spent on hunting and how much meat I got in the end (sometimes it’s none), and determine a cost per pound of what I got.    One of the reasons that I do this is because I really am interested in and care about where my food comes from.  I dont really trust the people who prepare food for the grocery store, and what they did to it while the animal was living and while the animal was being cleaned and processed.  Hunting and fishing for my own food is a reasonable way for me to make sure what the animal went through during its life (or what I assume) and how the animal was processed and what was used to do so.  For the record, I dont do anything to the meat I get other than rinse it off, pat it dry with paper towels, wrap it in foil (but H and I did get a food saver for a wedding gift that I’m hoping to use) and toss it in the freezer.

This is the fourth time that I’ve done this (and hopefully not the last this year).  If you’re curious, I talked about Halibut fishing, Duck Hunting and Elk Hunting.

Typically in the fall, I go with “the in-laws” (still weird saying that) out for an antelope hunt, which I had planned on writing about.  Unfortunately due to some oversight, we were unable to  access the area we normally went for antelope hunting, and went grouse hunting instead.  Here’s what it cost:

  • Guns:  I used the 12 gague that I got for christmas a few years back, so this was free.
  • Ammo: $46 dollars for 2 boxes of steel shot, and I think I shot about 5 shells.  I’ve still got most of them left, so I’ll be able to go again for free
  • Game bird tag: $20 – This is good until the end of the calendar year, I believe.
  • Conservation Stamp: $0 – Last year, I bought a lifetime conservation stamp.
  • Gas: I didnt have to drive, and we only were out for 1 day.

Total Cost $66.

For this hunt, we hit the bag limit before lunch (Even after 2 terrible shots from me first thing in the morning), and then went back to town and decided to go after a different species of grouse in the afternoon.  Unfortunately, we were unable to find any grouse in the afternoon, so we headed home.

Cleaning the birds is much less work than cleaning the elk, because they are so much smaller.  The downside of that is that you dont get nearly as much meat.  With my bag limit of 3, I ended up with 3 grouse breasts, each weight at most 1 lb.  This gave me a total of 3 lbs, for a total of $22 per pound.  Clearly, not a price I’d be willing to pay in the store under any circumstance.

The benefit of this though is that I can go again for basically free, which I may end up doing while I’m out on other hunts.  That will further drive down my costs, but it’s not always a winning proposition.

I’ll continue to update this as the year winds down, but as of right now, I dont have any specific plans for heading out grouse hunting again.

Readers: Do you think grouse hunting is a fools errand based on my calculations?  Would you still give it a try?  

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4 thoughts on “Is Getting Your Own Food Cheaper, Part 4”

  1. The cost of your time isn’t factored in here, is it?

    This is a similar argument to “Is making your own clothes cheaper?” and it’s not. However, I see sewing and hunting as hobbies. You enjoyed your time out there, yes? I enjoy my time at my sewing machine. No, it doesn’t save me any money at all but that is not the reason I do it.

    Also, you can’t put a price on the bonus that you know exactly where your food came from and how it was handled from beginning to end!

    • There are a lot of things here that are tough to value leslie. For one, I like to go out into the mountains and hike, even if I didnt come home with any birds. It’s something I would do anyway, so I dont really see it as a loss of time. Even if I had come home empty handed I still would have enjoyed myself and not felt like I was wasting my time.
      The food argument is something that i’ve approached in the earlier posts, and thats something that I put a high value on. I dont have a whole ton of people touching my food, a ton of chemicals washing over it to kill bacteria, and I know where it came from!

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