Discussion in 'Before & After the Hunt' started by JPbowhunter, May 16, 2019.
It's called priorities. Lol!
Jack, good topic. Others have made great points, and here is my perspective.
I couldn't have afforded Africa at your age, pure & simple. I had two kids by 27; married at 23. Following school I wasted two years at uni, before starting a 20-year career in the timber industry. I work 12 hour days/nights on a 4 on/4 off roster. Worked my way up to manage a shift. On top of this and family commitments, I run my Taxidermy business. I work 70-80 hours a week, every week. Maybe more, I don't want to know really
I first went to Africa at 37, thanks in part to a good mate who'd been before. But by then I'd done several guided hunts in Aus and NZ. (Contrary to what others have expressed, you can get good value here in my opinion, I've never paid more than $4k for a hunt here including buff.) In 2020, at 41 I'll make my fourth trip to Africa with many more to come I hope.
I'm not a good saver at all. I have a decent mortgage and one car loan but have avoided credit cards etc and I drive a 25 year old truck. I probably should reduce my debt before doing these trips, but buggered if I want to wind up incapacitated or worse with a whole list of unfulfilled dreams. This is no dress rehearsal.
So I know I'm not a saver, but I'm OK at paying things off. So here's my theory to get to Africa... "bite off more than you can chew, then chew like f#ck!" Works for me.
Hence, I'll book a safari 18 months out and pay a deposit of $1-2k. Then 6-12 months out I'll book airfares, another $2k chunk done. On occasion I've transferred an extra payment to my outfitters a couple of months before the hunt, generally leaving only $3-5k or so balance on the end of the hunt.
Taxidermy isn't due till 6-12 months after the hunt, and you can mount them over a couple of years if need be. So you can see I stretch the whole expense out over say 3 years....
Find an outfit that will work in AUD so you don't have to worry about exchange fluctuations.
Last year my wife & I took our now teenage girls for a month of hunting and touring. My wife and I both worked our asses off for that. 12 months beforehand we started putting all our $2 coins in a coke bottle, even the kids. That gave us an extra grand spending money. It was a fantastic time, I'm still recovering financially really, but that hasn't stopped my chewing hard enough to go back this July and next. Africa really is great value.
I will admit though, sometimes a day off (or two) would be nice. Just smile and dream of Africa
gee,i thought you were serious,hu.
Best advice ever!!!
You never know what people think these days Edward! Lol. I wouldn’t want to offend anyone ha
When it finally comes down to it there are a lot of people that never can afford a hunting trip to Africa.
They just live through our stories and pictures and dream.
Some planning, some hard work, some patience and some luck. I certainly couldn't afford to do this type hunting before retirement. I never went into huge debt. I paid my credit card off each month. I never bit off more than I could chew and lived conservatively. I didn't blow money on bars and parties nor bling nor "shiny" objects nor fancy adult toys nor gadgets nor new flatbed pickem up trucks that make noise and blow smoke nor the latest side by side ATV nor Harleys nor hot snow machines nor flashy boats. I planned and saved. Ten years after I retired, I was completely debt free. I could finally afford to go to Africa. I'm lucky because I've had good health and have always been able to stay fit.
Unfortunately for some they may never make all the pieces fit together
at the right time. Young and healthy and not enough money (or too many toys). Enough money but too old and not healthy and so on. IMO, if you can find a way to plan to afford it in the next couple of years set the plan in motion then DO IT. Realistically, only you can decide on those priorities.
I wouldn't trade my experiences in Africa for anything... but I have been fortunate. Some I know waited too long and now will never go or can't go... not because of money but usually because of health. Or some never planned and will never have enough money. Oh well.
There is some great advice on this thread. Red Leg has summed it up here extremely well.
Very few members on AH hunted africa at your age. You still have plenty of time.
Your family is your priority. Take care of them first. Also get rid of your consumer debt. It is amazing how much easier life is without a vehicle loan. We haven't had one in 20, maybe 30 years. Get your house paid off. Amortize that loan as fast as you can. We haven't had one in maybe a decade. Without a house or a vehicle payment you start to have true freedom and with that options. Our youngest graduated two years ago and got married last year. College payments and weddings are over. I have never been a big income earner but have been a pretty decent investor. I am fortunate that both my wife and I are frugal. Your 40's and 50's will be your prime earning years. They are ahead of you.
I was blessed to hunt Tanzania in my youth, but that was due to circumstances beyond my control. It took me to age 47 to get back. Since then I have about 20 trips to Africa. The seventh hunting trip will be with my son to Mozambique in two months. Get out of debt first. Second, put money aside for retirement. Then you will have discretionary funds to take advantage of your dreams.
May your dreams come true!
Great post Von, but fess up, whiskey was involved...
Tell us more about these fancy adult toys...
330 with most of the big long haul companies
These are incredibly melancholy statements. I hope that one day you will have the opportunity to hunt africa and achieve self-actualization.
"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life..... " Thoreau
That sounds like “Walden”.....
I'm probably the oddball here because I hunt with money from my trust fund. I started hunting Africa 3 years ago after a lifetime of hard work and good investments. It took some sacrifices occasionally and now I can reap the benefits. I've hunted a few times Stateside and came to the conclusion that it is just not worth it. A hunt here may get me one species where in Africa I can get 5 or more for nearly the same price. This is figuring travel, lodging and taxidermy, too. A hunt here at home is a gamble. I may score and more often than not I don't. In Africa I know I will harvest everything on my list for that hunt.
Jack, you are a young man with a long future ahead to build a hunt fund. If you can, consult with a financial advisor and develop an investment portfolio. There are myriad plans that will give you a good return: growth, income, bonds, stocks, etc. and you don't have to put much money into them to get started. A solid portfolio will aid in your childrens education costs as well.
Good advice. When you are young is the perfect time to invest heavily and invest aggressively. You can take more financial risk and you stand to gain the most in the future.
Another factor in hunting Africa is the main cost of a plains game hunt is often trophy fees. I have found no connection with cost of the animals trophy fees and how fun or challenging they are to hunt. I have taken mountain Zebra, kudu, etc. But a good warthog and steenbok still elude me. Choose less expensive animals or one expensive and the rest not and get European mounts only. You can also talk to outfitters about what your price range is and they might find you a deal by fitting you in at a less busy time or in a hole in their schedul. I have found that if you are up front with a good outfitters about your budget, they will find a way to get you hunting or refer you on to those who can.
It is interesting you say that blacks, i find with many things if i try to save i struggle. But when I finacially commit to something it seems to happen a lot easier!
My wife basically forced me to commit in order to look-after myself in a pretty challenging set of circumstances, and I paid that deposit and have been chewing like hell ever since. Committing forced me to save. This will be my third trip and aside from a kudu I have picked some animals to pursue that may seem pretty humble but to me are absolutely incredible, including warthogs and impala. I’ll be bringing back skulls and horns only - for me, bringing skins back has been an expensive mistake in the past.
One of the things that stuck with me from a financial management course I took years back was pay yourself first. Have your account set up that it takes 50 bucks a month automatically and puts it into an investment account for you. Doesn't take long to add up. If you don't see it you won't miss it. Good luck.
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