How do you fund your hunting gear purchases?
There is no doubt the best stuff costs a premium, and also performs better in the field.
Here are some of the things I do.
1. Horsetrading: I use ebay a lot. Hunting gear holds its value quite well. I have bought stuff on sale, used it for years, and sold it on the bay for a profit. I have sold some stuff on forum classifieds and Craigslist as well.
2. Spread it out: I make an off-season list that is felxible and changes as I go. I then keep an eye out to find the best deals. Camofire, SteepandCheap, and other websites help a lot. I recently have taken a liking to Kuiu clothes, but they are hard to find used and almost impossible to find discounted, so I have bought one piece a month at retail prices (uuugh), as I can save the change.
3. Discontinued/Demo: This is a great way to save hundreds or even thousands on top-end optics especially.
4. Used: Forum classifieds, Craigslist, ebay all have some good deals if you are willing to look for them. I found a barely used Kuiu Icon 6000 backpack on a forum, and saved a substantial chunk of change.
5. Promotive: If you are a member of an emergency services group, professional or volunteer, you might be able to get into this pro-deal program, and get the best brand-new gear from top companies for discounts that range from OK to Holy Crap!
What about you guys?
Sierra Trading Post used to be great for super discounts, but now they are just ok.
I buy and sell a lot of stuff on Ebay.
LL Bean probably has the best discounts, but you have to watch their website like a hawk. I have soft shell clothing from LL Bean in Gore Tex and it is similar to other soft shell high end gore tex stuff from other companies. A couple years ago I was able to buy my father and myself complete soft shell goretex outfits head to toe, in 3 different colors for $120 per person. They do this 30% off, then 30% off, then 30% off, pretty soon they are like 80% off.
LA Police Gear is another great place to buy outdoor gear, but you have to watch their close outs like a hawk.
I get promotive access for being active military. Mountain Hardware has a similar program, as does Arcteryex.
Guns, you have to watch for close outs at big box stores. Even Cabelas will mark down a gun $400.
Dicks is probably the best big box for close outs.
I also look at German, Austrian, Swiss and English hunting supply outfits. They always have something at a super value.
Scopes are hard, the best thing to do in the optics world is look for close outs.
IN 2005 I bought a pair of Swarovski EL 8x42's for $1200. I used them in Namibia and sold them for $1200 on ebay.
I bought a pair of 8x56 SLC Swarovskis at Cabelas on discount for $650, and sold them on ebay for $1200.
Ebay has been good to me.
Speaking of which I have a pair of 90% XL Sitka pants that have been barely used. I am that "tweener" size. I need more length but they don't make them any longer. I have a 36" inseam. These may be available if anyone is interested. Used only 6-7 days in field for MO. Whitetail hunt. Just not sure the best way to do this because I don't have PayPal and I live in GA. Where most people wear RealTree and haven't even heard of Sitka or Kuiu.
I too, like BB buy one piece of clothing a month. Right now I am trying to get the whole set of Core4Element, the best and cheapest is to get them on Camofire. But they don't always run them everyday so you have to check back often and pull the trigger when it is on there. As far as my optics I had always wanted a pair of Swarovskis, finally was able to purchase with my 10 year bonus a few years ago. When I buy a new bow, I have to sell the old one first to come up with some of the money for the new one. With a family and the economy it gets harder and harder.
i always check camo fire sierra trading post always checkcraigslist and ebay frequently and im also a member of promotive so that really helps getting brand new gear at great prices
also forgot to mention check the local pawnshops i have picked a pair of swaro 7x30's for 400$ and sent them back to factory had to pay an extra 300$ for a couple repairs and to upgrade them 8 power and now they look like a brand new pair that would run you 1800$ for 700$ so always check the pawn shops
I also like EBay. I've picked up alot of gear at the sports shows too. They give alot of discounts at the shows. I also look at the end of the year sales at Sportsmans and Cabelas, we have both here to shop. I picked up all of my Russel gear last year at Sprotsmans for 1/2 price.
All good things to consider when shopping for high end gear. Im still developing a list of my needs and wants for the coming season.
I need to be better at looking for better deals and to be better about selling my older stuff that is in ok condition. To be honest in the past I've just not been a very good horse trader. I try and look around for the best deals that I can to at least find the lowest price though. I also just try and work a couple extra hours each day to save up some hunting money. It always helps to budget some extra money to put aside or at least it helps me. Hunting and the outdoors is important to me so I try and set something aside for it, kind of like layaway.
I need to be better about selling stuff to help to afford my upgrades. I'm not a very good salesman so I end up giving a lot stuff away to non profit groups on the stuff that I have not run in to the ground for the most part instead of selling it. That includes old clothes to even my car when it's on it's last leg and goes out on me. My stuff, when I'm done with it typically has seen a lot of years and or its been broken worn out and run into the ground though.
Thanks Bitterroot Bulls for this useful post. It's motivated me to go though my storage, get out of my comfort zone and start selling some of my old stuff. I'll feel better about affording and upgrading things like my 30 year old rifle and rifle scope to one that's a bit lighter and shoots a bit flatter, straighter and has a bit better optics for my tired old eyes. My goal in this hunting game it to make the most of it and while I still can.
Last edited by Kevin Root; 04-18-2012 at 11:01 AM.