I’ve hunted before but never experienced a true hunting season. When we were kids, we would take sticks and go in the fields by my house and beat against the rabbit mounds hoping they would run out and we could hit them. I never got one. I don’t know what we were thinking. The Flash wouldn’t have been able to catch a rabbit in an open field.
We went hunting hogs a couple of times as a family thing. I recall three or four of us being in the back of a pick-up truck with shotguns riding through the palmetto woods of Florida looking for wild pigs. We would see signs of them rooting around. I think we heard one once, but no one ever shot one. I don’t know whose plan it was to drive around the woods looking for hogs to shoot. It doesn’t sound like a good hunting technique to me now as an adult. We didn’t even have dogs and I’m not too sure about hunting wild bore with scatterguns.
The only thing I really remember about those hog hunting trips was my mom. We were in the back of a truck with some other guy and he was holding his shotgun. My mom told him that he needed to break his gun while we were riding for safety. He replied to her that his gun’s safety was on so he didn’t need to break it. “Break that gun before I break it over your head” my mom exclaimed. He quickly broke his shotgun.
MY FIRST DEER HUNT WAS IN MY FORTIES
Through the early and middle part of my life, hunting was never a thing for me. This isn’t to say that I am against hunting. Over the years I have enjoyed the fruits of my hunting friends and absolutely love venison and other wild game. Engaging in the skill of hunting for food can fill a primal need. It will connect you with nature like nothing else, and give you confidence for your own survival should the power go out everywhere or when the AI becomes self-aware.
Certainly, though I’m somewhere in the middle when it comes to hunting in our modern age of overabundance. I have many yoga friends who are dead set against hunting and don’t understand any draw someone may have towards doing it. I accept and get why they feel that way, but that’s not me. Personally, I have a few issues with most regulated hunting. Now, I’m pretty sure I would pass on the opportunity to go over to Africa and shoot some giant elephant or lion or something just for the sake of doing it. Overpopulated or population control for deer is a different story.
A few years ago, I was invited to go hunting in south Georgia for deer and hog and I went. It was great to get out of the traffic and crowded city and go sit in a tree waiting for it to either get light or get dark. During those couple hunting sessions, I only saw one deer. She was too far away and I couldn’t get a good shot anyway. Plus she had a baby with her. So I probably wouldn’t have dropped her even if I had a good shot.
I also heard a very loud hog grunt that echoed through the woods which got me excited but I never saw him.
I got invited to go a couple more times but couldn’t make it. It was about a four and a half-hour drive up to that hunting land and I was too busy to go.
MY FIRST HUNTING LEASE
A couple of months ago, I was offered to get in on a hunting lease on a property in the middle east part of Georgia. My buddy Jamie found out about it from another friend of his and it sounded pretty good. The lease total was five thousand dollars. So if ten guys got together and went in on it, then it would only be five hundred apiece for the year. Needing some other guys to get in on it and knowing that I might be interested, Jamie asked if I wanted in.
The land is in a small town in the middle of nowhere called Gibson. The track is about five hundred acres. It attaches to tens of thousands of Georgia acres which makes it good deer hunting grounds. After thinking about it for about three minutes, I decided to go for it. For $560, I was one of nine guys on the lease.
THE COST OF DEER HUNTING SEASON
I am in no way a rich man. My job is really fucking tough and I have to work hard to pay my bills. I’m also not some country boy who spends all of his money on cool redneck shit like giant four-wheel-drive pick-ups, airboats, fishing boats, four-wheelers, expensive firearms, and hunting gear. Most of that Cowboy Way shit isn’t a priority for me but I do have a pretty nice truck, a couple of pairs of Costa sunglasses, and maybe own a few guns.
Hunting season isn’t cheap. I’m not even an urban country boy. Deciding to drop a stack of hundys on hunting for food wasn’t a slam dunk yes. Where I live, there are five Publix supermarkets, Whole Foods, Trader Joes, Fresh Market, and a Walmart Market within a three-mile radius of my house. Finding food is not an issue for me and a thousand dollars buys a hell of a lot of meat. Needless to say then, getting food wasn’t a big part of buying into a hunting lease.
Obtaining quality meat was a consideration though. About ten years ago, I read this book called Animal Factory by David Kirby. It opened my eyes to what I was eating. For a small while after reading it, I tried to avoid factory-raised meat. Eventually, I gave up though as it’s hard to be a meat-eater in America and not consume factory-raised food. The book made me appreciate any food my hunting friends harvested.
The thought of supplying myself with a year’s worth of non-factory meat and maybe being able to provide friends and family with some is definitely at the forefront against the cost and time it’s gonna take for me to hunt.
In the world of hunting leases, this one is cheap. But the overall cost of hunting will add up. Here’s a list of what it will cost me:
- Hunting lease – $560.00
- Georgia non-resident hunting license incl. big game – $327.50
- Used climbing tree stand – $100
- Prepping and seeding various feedlots – $50
- Quality .308 ammo for practice and hunting – $30
- Cost of gas for approx. eight hundred mile round trip to lease – $125
- Shared motel stay per night – $25
I already own a .308 rifle and good hunting boots. There are always other things that could be purchased to make hunting better. Some things I won’t have to buy because I am grouped up with hunters and they already have things that I can use. For the most part, the fixed cost of my deer hunting season will be about a thousand dollars. It will also cost about two hundred bucks each time I make the trip plus three days each of my life.
Please read my next article: My first visit to the hunting lease.