A bad economy is a great motivator for trying to save money on hunting gear, but bargain hunters have been around forever and I just happen to know a few of the kookiest ones on the planet. Before I spill the beans on my cheapskate friends, please know that I do not endorse some of their methods, and I am hopeful that you will easily recognize the bad example that I am referring to.
One of my hyper-cheap friends is a good person and a very caring family man, but paying full price for any hunting gear is his kryptonite. He just can’t do it. It would be funny if it were not so pathetic the way he abandons all his personal ethics and practices to save a buck. He is famous for buying several nice, second tier ground blinds before every deer season, only to somehow find flaws with them after hunting season and they all seem to get returned for the purchase price from his favorite retail store.
Yes, ‘sir saves-a-lot’ buys new hunting blinds every year and returns them every year. I do not endorse that practice at all and I have even tried to encourage him to find an alternative method of saving money, but no dice. I have faith that the store will one day stop him from doing this one day but until then, he will enjoy the newest and latest blinds for his hunting pleasure.
Another friend lectures me on how buying guns is like buying cars. His repetitive chant sticks in my head every year like a bad song, “Never buy a new car or a new gun.” I cannot afford new cars, but I do like new guns occasionally but I buy them in secret and cross my fingers when I tell him of the great deal I found on whichever gun I manage to pay full price for. I think he believes me, but I also think it motivates him to find even better deals. He did however teach me to us Gunbroker.com to get good deals and I often use that site to not only buy firearms, but I also use it to learn about the latest guns.
Another cheap friend is just annoying. I have no doubt that he pays full price for whatever new hunting gear he desires, but he saves money in other areas that are downright scandalous. He is famous for buying expensive guns and asking to borrow a gun case or a sling from his small pool of gullible friends. Naturally, we never get those items back unless we threaten him with some other action that will cost him money.
He is also famous for never remembering to bring his wallet when we meet for breakfast. And then there are the times that he lifts every fuel hose into the air so he can drain the last remaining drops of fuel from the many pumps at whatever gas station he goes to.
One ethical and satisfying way I like to look for items is to use craigslist.com and sometimes ebay.com. I also belong to a few hunting forums which are great places to barter and trade gear with other hunters around the country. Looking for sales and coupons is a gimme, but I also subscribe to a national outlet that sells surplus or discontinued hunting gear.
I hope you can use some of these tactics to help you save money on gear, but I also hope that you too can have colorful friends to help remind you how normal you are.