how to save money on hunting gear

Photo Credit:  Camron Stover / Hunting Gear Deals

Buying Hunting Gear on a Budget

Have you priced hunting gear lately?  If you’re not careful, you could easily spend a couple of paychecks in a hurry at your local sporting goods stores.  The prices of hunting-related items continue to rise, just like inflation rates it seems.  However, Hunting Gear Deals has several suggestions to help your dollar go further this hunting season.  Whether you’re new to hunting and this is your first year buying gear or it’s time to upgrade your current hunting arsenal, can help you save money and get more gear for your buck (pun intended).

Below are some suggestions for buying hunting gear on a budget

  • Sign-Up for the Daily Deal Email List
  • Create a Hunting Gear Budget for the Year
  • How to Determine Your Hunting Gear Budget
  • Avoid the Big Brands
  • Buy Used Hunting Gear
  • Avoid Peak Buying Seasons
  • Buy When the Price Is Right
  • Sign Up for the Manufacturer/Retailer Emails
  • Buy Last Year’s Model
  • Maximize Gifting Season to Get What You Really Want
  • Find Something That Works and Stick With It
  • Only Buy the Necessities
  • Sell Your Old Hunting Gear
  • Borrow and/or rent hunting gear
  • Make the big purchases count (quality and warranty)
  • Multi-season gear
  • Be realistic
  • Don’t cut safety corners

Sign Up for the Daily Deal Email

Let’s get the sales pitch out of the way.  Go sign up for the Daily Deal email.  Each day, we deliver a list of hunting-related deals, sales, and coupon codes directly to your email.  Savvy shoppers will learn just how valuable of a resource Hunting Gear Deals can be because we are here to save your money, not take it. In fact, Hunting Gear Deals doesn’t sell any of the items you’ll find on our website, we simply show you where you find the best deals from across the web.

Sign up here for free.

Create a Hunting Gear Budget for the Year

Before you can start spending money, you must first know how much expendable cash you have available to invest in your hunting gear.  I say invest because your hunting gear should enhance your hunting experience.  Many of us are on a tight budget, so buying a new bow on a whim just isn’t an option.  However, if we plan ahead and combine the steps found within this article, we can maximize our dollar.

When you set a budget, stick to it.  If you find yourself dipping into your savings account to buy the latest broadheads, chances are you need to evaluate your spending habits.  If you prefer cash, find a way to safely store money throughout the year.  One way to build up your cash savings is by withdrawing $5 to $20 each time you use your debit card to make a purchase.  Utilizing the cash-back method is only one method.  More serious savers and budgeters will create a bank account specifically for hunting-gear and set up an automatic transfer each month to slowly build up the account over time.

There are plenty of ways to save money, the goal here is to set a budget and stick with it.

How to Determine Your Hunting Gear Budget

This is tricky and will vary for each person due to income status, current debts, and personal savings goals.  I can’t tell you how much to save each year for hunting gear but you need to make a list of your expected expenses.  Don’t forget to factor in your hunting licenses, travel costs (including gas and hotels), hunting gear needed for the upcoming season, and hunting gear wanted for the upcoming.  There’s a big difference in needs and wants.

Once you know how much money you anticipate spending this year, add a safety factor of 10%.  This cushion helps you out if you get into a bind.  For instance, you need to replace your bowstring midseason because a broadhead blade nicked the string.

Avoid the Big Brands

This is by no means to diminish the idea of buying expensive hunting gear from the industry leaders, avoiding the big brands will allow you to buy more hunting gear for the same amount of money.  For instance, you can buy the Sitka Fanatic Jacket and Bibs for nearly $1,000 or take that same $1,000 and buy everything you need from a brand that won’t cost you an arm and a leg.

Brands like Blocker Outdoors and ScentLok have some great deals throughout the year and saving up to 75% off sounds great to me.  It’s not just clothing either, you can avoid the fancier brands with high markups in all aspects of hunting gear and still have everything you need to succeed.  Store brands, such as Guide Wear, Redhead, or Game Winner all have great products for much lesser than the more popular name-brand items.

You can always upgrade your hunting arsenal later, but it’s best to cover the basis first and then slowly build up the hunting gear collection that you desire.

Buy Used Hunting Gear

If it weren’t for used hunting gear, I wouldn’t have had anything growing up.  There are plenty of options on the used sporting goods market, so spend time scouring FaceBook Marketplace and eBay before buying new.  Even yard sales are a great way to save money on hunting gear.

You’ll certainly want to be careful when buying used gear, so inspect it well before making a purchase.  Improperly stored hunting clothes might be ruined with scented laundry detergent or other contaminants like cigarette smoke.  I say ruined because I’m a freak when it comes to scent control, so much so that I prefer not to even buy my hunting gear off the rack when I’m at Cabela’s.

When buying used hunting-gear, I like to save at least 50% and pick up items that are like new.  Most brands, not all, do not have a transferrable warranty, so keep that in mind.

Avoid Peak Buying Season

There’s no better place to talk about the power of than right here.  If you wait to the last minute to buy your hunting gear, chances are you’re going to have to pay full price or even worse, settle for something you don’t want also.  Utilize your hunting budget all year long to ensure you’re maximixing your dollar.

For instance, if your budget is $1,000 for the year and you paid full-price, you’re only gettign $1,000 worth of gear.  However, if you purchased the gear you need for next year at the end of this season, you might be able to get everything for half off.  That same $1,000 could yield you $2,000 worth of gear.

Sales and discounts rarely occur during the peak buying season for the hunting activity of choice.  However, my favorite time to buy hunting gear at discounted prices is during Black Friday!

Buy When the Price Is Right

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve listed a great deal on trail cameras or camouflage on and people choose not to take advantage of the deal when it’s available.  Honestly, it hurts my feelings a little bit to see people miss out on a great deal, only to pay full price for it when they’re ready to buy.

If you’re putting money aside for hunting gear all year long, this should never be an issue.  When the item that you need goes on sale, jump on it because chances are, it won’t be on sale when you get around to buying it the day before the season begins.

This trick alone will save you a ton of money.

Sign Up for Manufacturer Emails

I’ve talked to you about signing up for the Hunting Gear Deals Daily Deal Emails, so if you haven’t already done so, make sure you do.  You’ll also want to sign-up for the manufacturer and/or retailer’s email list as well.  If there’s a product you’re wanting to buy, you’re just waiting on a discount code or sale, then sign up for their email list.

Another trick is to add the item to your cart and start the check-out process, just don’t finish it.  Some retailers will entice you to come back with a discount code or reduced price.

Buy Last Year’s Model

The first thing that comes to mind is bows.  Buying last year’s model is a great way to save money, especially when that item has been discontinued.  Chances are, they only made slight adjustments to this year’s model and it’s not a big enough improvement to keep you from taking advantage of a good deal.

Clothing, boots, trail cameras, and archery gear are all items that are heavily discounted when a new model hits the market.

Maximize Gifting Season to Get the Good Stuff

Remember that list you made of hunting gear that you want/need for the upcoming season?  Share the list with your friends and family that are looking to buy you something for your birthday, Christmas, Father’s Day, or Anniversary.  I keep a list in my phone at all times that I can quickly and easily share to my family.  Would you rather receive high-quality Darn Tough socks for Christmas or some cheap cotton socks?

The items that cost $25 to $50 are perfect for gift ideas.  Skip the gift cards this year and get what you really want!

Find What Works and Stick With It

Finding hunting gear that you can utilize season after season can be tricky, but it’ll save you a lot of money through the years.  Many of the high-end hunting products that I’ve purchased through the years have seen several seasons.  For instance, I’ve been using the same Tight Spot quiver on my bow for nearly a decade.  To buy one new, it’ll cost you $150 but that’s only $15 per year if you use it for 10 years.

Finding products that are worth the investment can be difficult, but the blog post hyperlinked in this sentence will help you get started.  Once you find a product that works for you, consider sticking with it.  My buddy has been using the same hunting broadheads for every bit of ten years and each time either of us finds them on sale, we grab a pack because why fix something that’s not broken?

Only Buy the Necessities

Remember when I told you to make a list of products of needs and wants?  Consider purchasing only the hunting gear you need instead of buying things on impulse. It’s easy to get caught up in marketing campaigns or fancy labeling designed to attract hunters like you and me.  Personally, I struggle with this one.  I know that I don’t need new arrows or a release this year, but part of me wants to try something new.  Finding the balance is key and when money is tight, it’s best to stick with what you already know.

Sell Your Old Hunting Gear

One thing you should do to increase your hunting gear budget is to sell your old hunting gear.  If you’re going to upgrade your old gear, try selling it first so that you’ll have more money to invest in your next purchase.  The quicker you sell it, the more money you’re likely to make off it.  However, most people aren’t buying hunting gear all year long (you should be though) so it’s a good idea to sell it close to hunting season to get the greatest return.  You can try selling it to a buddy, on FaceBook Marketplace, and eBay.  There are plenty of other options, but those are the most common.

If you can’t sell it for a decent price, maybe consider donating it to someone who needs it instead of selling it for pennies on the dollar.  There are a lot of aspiring hunters out there that could benefit from free hunting gear to get them started.

Borrow or Rent Hunting Gear

If you have a hunting buddy that would be kind enough to let you borrow some hunting gear, that would certainly save you money.  Maybe they have an extra trail camera that they’re not using or some old camo that they’ll never use again.  This is a great option for new hunters and experienced hunters are eager to help the new guy get started.  As much as the hunting community fights and quarrels, we’re still a family.

Renting hunting gear is also an option.  For instance, you can rent high-end optics made by brands like Pulsar can be rented for a couple of hundred bucks instead of buying your own for thousands.  There are other options that are rentable, such as kayaks, ATVs, campers, and much more.  Renting is a great option for deciding whether or not you really want to buy a product and spend that kind of money.

Make the Big Purchases Count!

The more involved you get in hunting, the more likely you are to realize that high-quality hunting gear is worth the investment.  For instance, a high-end hunting backpack from Mystery Ranch for an elk hunt will run you several hundred bucks.  However, if you take care of it, it’ll last you a very long time.  Guns should be considered a lifelong investment, so take care of them.

When it comes to large financial investments, such as optics, be sure to do your homework.  For instance, do they come with a lifetime warranty or just a few years?  If the cost difference and quality are close enough, you’d be crazy not to buy the product that comes with the better warranty.  This goes for electronics as well.  You won’t find a lifetime warranty, but brands like Exodus Outdoors offer an industry-leading warranty that helps ease the burden of spending more money.

Finally, do your research.  Gear reviews are common online, so utilize those resources and be sure to read/watch as many gear reviews on that product as possible. has a large number of gear reviews on hunting products but if you can’t find it here, maybe you’re the perfect person to review the product after your purchase and share your experience with our audience.

Buy Multi-Season Gear

Many hunting-related products are marketed toward a specific pursuit, such as turkey, elk, or whitetail.  Finding gear that can be utilized universally across multiple seasons isn’t hard.  Personally, I utilize the same clothing for turkey hunting (Sitka Gear Equinox Guard Pant and Hoody in Sub-Alpine), as I do during early whitetail hunts.  I could also utilize this outfit for warmer western hunts too.  This isn’t the cheapest option on the market but I maximize the amount of use I get from it by using it throughout the season.

Clothing isn’t the only option for multi-season gear.  Guns are a great way to spend money but if you can utilize them throughout the season instead of just one hunt per year.

Be Realistic with Your Purchases

It’s easy to spend an excessive amount of money each year on hunting gear.  Then factor in hunting licenses, tags, travel, lease dues, and outfitted hunts, and it might make you rethink hunting altogether.  (Just kidding, don’t do that).

However, you must be realistic.  You shouldn’t spend more than you can afford but figuring out how much is too much isn’t easy.  Setting realistic purchasing goals is key.  For instance, do you really need a new bow this year?  Is your current camouflage hunting apparel that much different than the new stuff?  How many trail cameras and treestands does one person need?  Are climbing sticks that cost $100 more going to make you a better hunter because they’re half a pound lighter?  These are all questions you should ask yourself before making your next purchase.

Safety First!  Don’t Cut Corners

The final item on my list is a public safety reminder.  Don’t cut corners when it comes to safety.  Whether it’s a treestand safety harness, hearing protection, or treestand, don’t be cheap and tell yourself that “it’ll last one more year”.  Falls from treestand are typically the result of two things, not wearing a safety harness and utilizing old treestands.  Rusty cables can and will fail, sending you roaring to the ground below if you’re not careful.

Inspect your equipment before use and remove treestands after the season to reduce corrosion and lessen the likelihood of failure.  Buying use safety-related equipment isn’t recommended.

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Hi, I’m Camron the owner of Hunting Gear Deals. I’m an avid bowhunter with a knack for finding good deals on hunting gear and love to help you save money on hunting gear.  I’m also the owner of the popular Bucks, Bulls, & Bears email newsletter that’s built to educate and entertain hunters.  If you haven’t subscribed, you’re missing out!  Last but not least, I’m proud to say that I work for Whitetail Properties as a Land Specialist in Ohio.  If you’re in the market for hunting property, shoot me an email and I’d love to help you find your dream property.  

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