An outfitter friend of mine from Maine called me Sunday night to tell me he had three hunters cancel on him for a bear hunt and wondered if I would like to take one of their places.
Since he already had their deposits he would just charge me the rest of what was owed. Normally, the six-day hunt is $1,200, fully guided, and I could hunt for $900. That is really a great deal on the surface, but let’s look a little deeper into the actual cost.
It is 1,336 miles from my door to his, one way, which is a 23-hour drive that takes two days at best. The cost of motel rooms for those two nights would be $200 plus food, an extra $100. Then there is the gasoline, which is another $600. Remember, flying is not an option. How could you get your bear back? Then of course the government needs its share, so add $320 for a license and another $100 for the cost of driving toll roads between here and there.
Just when it looks as if we have all the costs added in, we don’t. What about the tip for our guide, which is normally 20 percent? (Do you tip him on the real price, or the price you paid including taxes?) If you are like me, you have your oil changed every 3,000 miles, and you get it changed before you leave on a long trip and after you get back. Plus it is almost time to get your tires rotated.
Now you are asking, why not just get some of your hunting buddies and share the expense? The answer is that everyone I know either has the money and not the time, or the time and not the money. That is the reason I started going alone years ago. And my age, I have very few friends that are able to travel without taking an EMT along!
Well, that $900 hunting trip just went to more than $2000. I sure am glad he was going to give me a discount. I told him thanks, but I had to decline.