The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

November 26, 2012

Gear for new hunters can cost $500 and up

By Rick Dandes
The Daily Item

McClure — Hunting for beginners can be an adventure — both in the woods and at the checkout counter.

 Just to begin outfitting yourself with the proper equipment can cost about $500.

And how long would it take to get a return on that initial investment?

“A couple of years,” said Dale Davidson, of Davidson’s Meat Processing in McClure. Of course, the total value of the catch depends on the size of the deer, Davidson said.

“On average, you can figure a deer is worth anywhere from about $50 to $150,” he noted.

The most common cuts requested by hunters include ring bologna, steaks, roasts, jerky and kielbasa.

So it would take a beginner three or four years, at least to make back that initial investment, Davidson figured.

According to the Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association, a typical breakdown of costs is as follows:

n $300 for a low-end new or middle-of-the road used firearm, but doable for less

n $25-$50 for hunting and pre-hunt practice ammo

n $75 for camo clothing — and this is generous

n $50 weapon cleaning stuff and cheap lockable gun case

n $25 for a decent, compass and book to learn to use it

The license is an addition, of course. Pennsylvania adult residents, ages 17-64, pay $20.70 for a license; seniors pay $6.70. Residents, archery deer, age 12 and up, pay $16.70; muzzleloader deer, $11.70.

Military personnel pay $2.70 for a license. The season, which began Monday in central Pennsylvania, runs through Dec. 8.