How Much Does It Cost to Hunt Big Game?


If you want to hunt big game, it’s good to know how much it will cost you. You might be going on your first-ever hunting trip, or you might be funding your hobby for a long time to come. Regardless, crunching the numbers before a hunting trip means you won’t run into any hidden costs.

Costs to Consider

To hunt big game, you’ll need the following things:

  • A Hunting license.
  • Pay Hunting permit fees.
  • Hunting gear.
  • Hunting clothes.
  • Hunting weapons.

Hunting License

First of all, you’ll need a license to do any hunting. What type of license you’ll need depends on what you’re hunting. Basic hunting, fishing, and combination hunting licenses are among the most common permits. 

Hunting licenses can fall into residency versus non-residency status, age groups, and how long the permit is good for. Pre-teens will pay less for their licenses than teenagers or adults—non-residents will pay more than residents. 

A permit can be good for anywhere from one to five years, depending on how much you’re willing to spend. 

Hunting Permit Fees

You might think these are the same, but permit fees are in addition to hunting licenses and hunting specific game types, like buck deer, elk, pronghorn, moose, bison, goats, bears, turkeys, etc. swan, and sandhill crane. 

Hunting permits are seasonal, so you’ll need to buy a new one every season unless you purchase an all-season pass. 

There are other fees you might also need to pay. For example, if you hunt reptiles or amphibians, you’ll need a special permit. The same goes for falconry, furbearers, and wood products like Christmas trees or firewoods. 

It might seem like hunting for anything that requires more than a basic hunting license would cost too much and not be worth the trouble. But if you hunt big game carefully, you can do it at an affordable price

Hunting Gear

While having your license to hunt game is necessary, you’ll need to outfit yourself properly, including having the right gear. Without it, you could get lost, eaten alive by mosquitos, or get a painful sunburn that makes you question whether the trip was even worth it. 

We recommend bringing the following gear when you hunt big game during the daytime: 

  • A map.
  • A compass.
  • A GPS.
  • A hunting pack.
  • A water bottle.
  • Blaze orange tape.
  • Decoys and game calls.
  • Scent eliminators.
  • Scent attractors.
  • A portable tree stand.
  • A game carrier.
  • A cooler.
  • Odorless insect repellent.
  • Sunscreen.

We recommend the following for overnight hunts:

  • A Tent.
  • A ground cloth or tent footprint.
  • A sleeping bag.
  • A foam ground pad or inflatable pad.
  • A flashlight, headlamp, or lantern.
  • A camping chair.
  • A water purifier or filter.
  • A water jug.
  • Food.
  • A camping stove.
  • A mess kit, utensils, and cooking supplies.
  • Garbage bags.
  • Webbing.
  • Camp soap.
  • A scrubbing sponge and washcloth.
  • A small shovel.
  • Toilet paper.
  • A bear bag with rope or cord.
  • A tent/tarp patch kit.

We recommend bringing the following gear for emergencies:

  • An emergency blanket.
  • A signal mirror.
  • Windproof matches.
  • Firesteel.
  • Supplies to start a fire.
  • A sewing kit.
  • Safety pins.
  • A multi-tool or knife.
  • A saw.
  • Pain relievers.
  • A phone.

For maps, we recommend bringing a physical one with you. Sure, they’re old-fashioned, and GPS is often much easier to use, but what if you lose signal in the woods? It’s not good to rely solely on technology when you hunt big game. It can be your primary go-to, but keep a map on hand if your GPS won’t load.

You can customize your hunting pack to your needs, but we recommend including food, water, extra clothes, and a first-aid kit on top of your hunting gear. Of course, if you’re going on a multi-day hunt, you should also include a tent and a sleeping bag. 

Hunting packs are designed for single-day use and multi-day use. A day pack is around 2,000 cubic inches, while a multi-day pack is between 3,000 to 4,000 cubic inches, which can certainly accommodate a tent. 

Hunting Clothes

You don’t want to skimp when it comes to hunting clothes, or you might be miserable when you’re hunting. Protecting yourself from the elements is key to a successful hunt. We recommend bringing the following clothing items to your hunt:

  • A jacket or convertible parka.
  • Pants.
  • A vest.
  • Boots.
  • Performance base layer or long underwear.
  • Moisture-wicking socks.
  • A Cap or beanie.
  • Hat (blaze orange).
  • Fingerless gloves or convertible mittens.
  • A face mask.
  • A belt.
  • Boot gaiters.
  • Spare clothing.

While some of these items sound like everyday clothes you would wear, you won’t want to grab them out of your closet for your trip. You’ll want to outfit yourself with hunting clothes specifically for hunting game. You can find these clothes at most outdoor/sports stores. 

Hunting Weapons

Finally, you need a weapon to take down the animals you’re hunting. The most common weapons include guns, muzzleloaders, archery, and crossbows. 

If you hunt with a gun or muzzleloader, you’ll use a rifle, a shotgun, or a handgun. You’ll want to make sure you have the proper ammunition for your barrel. 

If you hunt with archery or crossbows, you’ll choose between compound bows, longbows, and recurve bows, all of which vary in weight and you can use for different hunts.

R&K Hunting

Are you getting ready to hunt big game? It’s exciting, but as you can see, you need a lot to get started. The good news is this guide is comprehensive. You don’t need to own everything mentioned in this article to get started or hunt big game. 

If you’re preparing for your next hunt, consider booking your trip with R&K Hunting. We offer guided hunts at our ranches in Utah and Wyoming. 

We understand how stressful preparing for a hunt can be, so we take care of the permits and licenses for you so your trip can be more enjoyable. 

Once you arrive, wherever you hunt, you’re bound to have a great time! Contact us today to book your hunt.