Budget Birds: Non-Resident Turkeys on the Cheap

Hunters love adventure, and few things offer more of it than hunts in faraway lands. That’s what makes out-of-state turkey hunts so attractive to hunters nationwide. They want to hunt somewhere new. But can you do that on a budget? Absolutely.

Budget Gear
Some hunters realize they need some gear, and turkey season is almost here. While other gear is great to have, and a vest might be considered as a must (especially for carrying out dead turkeys), you really only need these seven things to hunt turkeys:

•    Hunting license, tags, permits, stamps, etc.
•    Shotgun or bow
•    Ammo or arrows/broadheads
•    Camouflage (jacket, shirt, pant, hat, head net, and gloves)
•    Boots
•    Turkey call
•    Binoculars

Other things are good to have but aren’t completely necessary. These include additional turkey calls, locator calls, decoys, vests, etc. Regardless, if you’re needing to save money on much-needed gear during the pre-season, consider purchasing used gear that’s still safe and in good condition.

Ways to Reduce Cost
There are certain ways that hunters can reduce the cost of the overall trip. Consider utilizing these tips if you’re trying to complete a successful turkey hunt on a budget:

•    Hunt adjoining states to your own
•    Hunt in a group (reduces the gas bill)
•    Sleep in a tent, camper, or other makeshift option
•    Don’t drive a gas guzzler
•    Gas up wherever it’s cheapest
•    Bring groceries in a cooler
•    Knock on doors for private land access
•    Hunt public lands

Cheapest States
While it’s generally cheaper in total to hunt a nearby state than to travel a great distance to far-away lands with cheaper prices of admission, here are some of the cheapest turkey hunting states with licenses and tags under $175 (approximated numbers):

•    Alabama: $143.65 and up
•    Arkansas: $55 and up
•    Florida: $171.50 and up
•    Kentucky: $135 and up
•    Maine: $70 and up
•    Massachusetts: $108 and up
•    New Hampshire: $144 and up
•    Oklahoma: $150 and up
•    Vermont: $140 and up

Reminder: Check with your state of choice before purchasing licenses and tags. Some states still aren’t permitting out-of-state hunters due to covid-19. Also, contact state wildlife agencies and DNRs to verify hunting license and tag requirements and prices, as these might have changed.

All things considered, it’s possible to hunt turkeys on a budget. You just must get creative and plan everything out. Do that, and you’re well on your way to a fun but affordable out-of-state turkey hunt this spring.

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