Indeed you can, if you’re careful — and not just in the culinary sense
Hunting and fishing have always been a part of the American tradition of self-reliance, right up to the present day. Despite the concentration of most Americans in cities, hunting remains a favorite sport, and fishing is more popular than ever.
But are they just money-sucking hobbies, or can you actually save money by fishing and hunting? Well, it depends on how you go about it.
As with any hobby, you can spend as much as you like on either activity, if you outfit yourself with the very latest gear, the perfect lures and baits, no-see-um camouflage, and scientifically optimized accessories. Some people spend thousands of dollars on such things.
However, all you really need are the basics. For hunting: a well-maintained weapon (be it rifle, bow, or blowgun), the relevant ammunition, and proper clothing is sufficient. As for fishing, anything beyond a sturdy rod, some line, the appropriate tackle, and a little bait is icing on the cake.
Licenses are required, but they’re not very expensive, and well worth the value if you make frequent use of them. Past that, you just need somewhere to go to carry out either activity. There are plenty of options, though remember: the travel expenses will be higher if you have to go a long way to get there.
It’s definitely possible to save money by hunting or fishing for the table, if you’re canny. Trading a worm that cost you a dime for a fat catfish is a pretty good deal, for example.
Ditto for stalking your own wild game, assuming you’re willing to process it yourself. Some hunters waste a fortune by having professional butchers process their larger game. Hunting just isn’t economical if you throw money away like that… unless you look at the endeavor as entertainment, as many people do.
The Entertainment Angle
There’s an old proverb ascribed variously to the Babylonians and ancient Koreans that goes, “The gods do not deduct from a man’s allotted span the hours spent in fishing.” All fishermen would agree, and most hunters feel the same way.
Many of us experience great satisfaction just from being in the great outdoors, even when the efforts prove fruitless. Yours Truly has spent many a cold morning shivering in a blind, waiting for the ducks or deer to show up, and not caring if they did; and furthermore, I’ve drowned many a worm with nary a bite.
Though when the getting’s good, things can be very exciting on both fronts!
If nothing else, you can save a lot of money on entertainment with hunting and fishing, because it’s often a lot cheaper than many other things you can spend your entertainment dollars on.