Small Game Hunting can offer a big adventure at an affordable price.
Many of us think of Big Game hunting when we think of the great adventures that have inspired us to spend, well big money. I will not separate myself from the legions that dream of the Northwest Territories, Alaska, Labrador, New Zealand or the hundreds of other destinations we could list. What many of us have done (myself included) is think of all these destinations as strictly big game destinations not for small game hunting.
The thought process changed for me on a trip to Africa to do some private film work (Watch Spell of Africa) . Although I was fortunate enough to experience some big game hunting while I was there, I dedicated most of my free time to bird hunting. Maybe my revelation was a bit slow but at some point, it eventually dawned on me that the scenery (of small game hunting) was no less awe inspiring than when I was big game hunting.
Not to mention that the bird hunts themselves were new, exciting, and full of a lifetime of memories. The other thing we realize relatively quick is that the terrain is no less forgiving. Africa in the dry season proves to be a place worthy of necessary preparation for a safe day afield even on abandoned farm lands.
The bottom line to this lesson is the cost of adventure. Not all of us are wealthy people, despite a culture like upland hunting getting that upper-class reputation. When we start to pin down the numbers it becomes evident really quick that a small game hunt in some of the most exotic places can be done for under $1000 a day. As where big game hunts come at a much higher cost of daily operation. Add in the dreaded “trophy fee” and things get expensive quickly.
For those of us that like some more extreme adventures. We find that the world of upland hunting is a lot more user friendly for DIY hunts. Many foreign countries (even states) require a guide on many if not all big game animals. Although some countries to require a guide for even small game hunting it is far less common. Makes that first-time packing trip to Alaska an exciting and cheap dry run for those of us that may still aspire to hunt big game on our own in the future.
Turns out Ptarmigan do not have a $20,000 trophy fee like Brown Bear. It is also a lot cheaper to get a full mount done. Add in all sorts of small game hunting diversity and next thing you know you may be doing an “upland slam”.