Monday, August 22, 2011
The cost of a little fun
I woke up this morning "shoulding" all over myself! Things were going through my head like, "You should have a better deer rifle! You should have already decided exactly where you're going to hunt next month! You should have already scouted a lot more than you have!" There are a few more "shoulds" that I thought of that I'll keep to myself for dignity sake, but all in all I started the day worrying about my readiness regarding deer season. A very wise woman once told me that we are not supposed to "should" all over ourselves. I try to live by that advice, but sometimes I look down and see that I've stepped in a great big smelly pile of "should".
So here's my current situation. I've budgeted right around minus forty dollars for myself to spend on deer hunting this season, so I need to do a little refiguring of exactly how I can do everything as cheap as possible. I have an idea. I'm going to challenge myself to keep total track of every dollar I spend toward deer hunting until my freezer is filled with venison, while keeping the expense as absolutely low as humanly possible. I want to find out exactly what the price per pound of meat will be when all is said and done. Will it be $6 per pound, or $60 per pound? So let's see here. Where do I start the list of expenses that will incur from cradle to grave throughout this hunting season, or more appropriately from field to freezer? Here's a question. Do I include the cost of my hunting license? I know I'll include the deer tag itself, but since I buy a hunting license every year for bird hunting, I'm not so sure I should count it as a deer hunting expense. So I've got the cost of the tag for sure, thirty dollars. Then there's the ammunition. Do I count all the expenses of getting my shooting dialed in? And what about the price of the box of bullets or just the cost of however many bullets it takes to bring down a deer? Hopefully it'll just take one! One shot, one kill, right? Ooh Rah! We'll see if I can uphold that old Marine Corps saying, otherwise all the talk in my first post about being an expert rifleman will be out the window. What about the cost of gas that I'll burn driving to scout? Maybe I could waive half of it if I combine scouting for deer with dove hunting if I hunt in the same place for both. Hmmm, I think I'm onto something there. But wait! What if I waive it, then I don't deer hunt there after all? I think this has just become a job for Microsoft Excel! It's time for a serious spreadsheet! So here we go. This is when the nerd in me gets revealed. But seriously, if I'm going to truly find out how much my venison will cost per pound when all is said and done, I need to do this, right? I know a lot of you are probably thinking that I should lighten up a little bit and put more thought into actually bagging a deer instead of creating spreadsheets and playing banker. But before I heed that sort of advice, let me ask another question. What happens if I don't get a deer this season? I guess that will mean that next year I'll carry this year's expenses over and add them to the cost of next year's venison, if I'm successful then. If I'm not, then each year's expenses will keep carrying over until I bring home some meat. I think that if that happens, which I realize 100% that it very well may happen, this venison could honestly reach the $60 per pound price! WOW! If that happens, anyone who might find themselves dining upon the aforementioned venison at my table, better damn well know that I consider them a Super V.I.P.! And God help anyone who leaves any of it behind on their plate! You think the fines in Singapore are steep for wasting food? For now I'll keep my sights set on bringing home a buck this season. (Pun intended).
So, back to my "shoulds". I'm not going to worry about any of that stuff. I'll use the gun I have. I'll scout as much as I can, and I'll hunt wherever I hunt! I like the challenge that I made for myself regarding the cost of deer hunting, but I just hope that it doesn't spoil the overall enjoyment of the whole experience. Don't get me wrong. I know that a HUGE part of this whole thing is for the experience, the sport, and the adventure. I just think that in the beginning if I know exactly what my investment adds up to, I might find even that much more satisfaction if I can indeed do this for far less money than one would initially expect. Cheers!