Plane tickets, trophy fees, daily rates, taxidermy, gun permits...The thought of hunting internationally can be daunting to the hunter on a limited budget. Do not let all the details bog you down. You do not have to be rich and famous to hunt internationally. Just a few simple tips and the process becomes an achievable goal rather than a bucket list dream.
First, determine your priority. What is most important on your list? Sure you want to hunt a red stag in New Zealand and a water buffalo in Australia and a lion in Africa and… the list keeps going. Focus, which is your priority, which location or species do you want to accomplish first. Determining your priority will make it easier to set your goals and do your research.
Banteng, Australian Outfitters, Northern Territory, Australia
Father/son chamois hunt, Southern Mountain Adventures, New Zealand
Once you have set your goal animal or location, research is paramount. Know what to expect. There is great power in online investigating. Look up several outfitters to get baseline prices. Talk to others who have hunted and get their opinions on quality and incidental costs. This research will give you a starting place for your budget.
Now it is time to use your resources. If you are a member of a hunting organization, go to the banquets or conventions and find out about auction hunts. Friends of the NRA, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Wild Sheep Foundation, Safari Club International, all these organizations have hunts up for auction at both the local and national levels. Get involved. Many times these hunts go for a fraction of the listed cost.
Finally, go as a group. As the old adage states, the more the merrier, but it can also mean the more the cheaper. Bring a friend or two with you. Most outfitters give group discounts on either trophy fees, daily rates or both. Plus, it is always good to have someone else involved to motivate your savings plans and celebrate in your accomplishments.
Two friends from Hawaii at the tahr cabin, Central South Island Hunting, New Zealand
Hunting internationally might seem financially impossible, but there are many ways to achieve your goal. At the end of the day, after you have climbed the snow-capped mountain, or watched your best friend stalk their dream animal or braved the outback wilderness and you look up into the heavens to see billions of stars winking at you through the blackest of night skies and you think to yourself, “Man, I can’t believe I made this happen,” it is worth every penny.