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I have a friend who has 6,000 acres of prairie dog towns to shoot on and he is trying to offer guided prairie dog hunts on this land. He provides the hunters with transportation to the area, shooting benches, and he sits with them and spots for them. He has taken several people and they are averaging over 300 shots per day. The people he has taken are all pleased and are coming back next year but he has not got near the number of clients he was hoping for. He is charging $150/gun. Do you think this is a reasonable price? Do prairie dog hunters typically pay to go places, or do they normally have their own free spots to go to? If you were going to book a trip what would you look for and where would you lok?


I am in no way affiliated with his operation and have nothing to gain from it. He is just a friend who from what I can tell is offering a good thing, but is having a hard time reaching customers. I am not posting this here with any of his info as I am not trying to spam and get him business. I am really looking for advice that I could give him to help make this successful. The way it is going now it does not look like he will take enough people to pay for his land lease.
 

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what is a fair price on guided prairie dog

$150.00- $250.00 per gun, per day is about right if you're not providing lodging and meals. If you're providing transportation and equipment like benches or spotting scopes etc, I'd say you need to be up around the $250.00 end.

Going out and leasing 6,000 acres before you have a decent client base isn't a very good idea though. My advice to him is to talk to the landownders and set up some kind of deal where he pays them a set amount each time he uses their pasture. Then when he gets a decent client base built up, and knows that he will have a certain amount of business each year, he can think about leasing the exclusive hunting rights from the landowner.

Does he offer any other type hunts? He's going to need something to bring in money during the winter also in order to make this thing pay off.
 

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what is a fair price on guided prairie dog

Wow, didn't know people charged for varmint control. I've heard of giving the landowner a bottle of brandy or the likes but $200 a gun/day is crazy.
 

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what is a fair price on guided prairie dog

If he is close to transportation (airport) and he provides the space and benches and takes them to the spots then I think he is a bargain. If he provides an ice chest with beer and a few sandwitches then I think he could bump it up a few bucks. Larry
 

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what is a fair price on guided prairie dog

Buckskin said:
Wow, didn't know people charged for varmint control. I've heard of giving the landowner a bottle of brandy or the likes but $200 a gun/day is crazy.
That's what it's coming to nowadays Buckskin.

Most all of the landowners that I know of that USED to let me hunt for free on their land, now are looking to lease the hunting rights out. If I'm leasing the land, I'm going to try to make some of it back, plus a little extra if I can.
 

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what is a fair price on guided prairie dog

Thanks for the replies.

To answer some questions the hotel that people stay at(they pay for the room) gives free shuttle service to and from the airport. My buddy picks the people up at the motel, takes them to the hunting spot and stays there with them all day and spots for them, and drives them around throughout the ranch and sets up his bench for them at each spot. He brings along a icechest with bottled water and soft drinks. They take a break at noon and drive 5 miles to town for lunch at a local restraunt (you pay for your own).


His lease is just for prairie dogs I think. There is realy nothing else to hunt on this property except maybe dove. The county it is in does not have any kind of big game season, and I have not seen anything else out there but praire dogs, and rabbits. His lease is not free, but it is not as high as many are as it is for pdogs only.

Sounds like form what you all are saying his price is reasonable, I guess he just needs to advertise better. He does some advetising but most everything he has done is in things that are mainly geared toward deer hunting. What would be a good place to advetise to target pdog hunters?
 

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what is a fair price on guided prairie dog

I normally take a meal or two, all my own snacks and drinks.....that way my sister doesn't charge me anything. Sometimes she even makes me work on misc. farm equipment and take her kids out shooting.
When my BIL found out people were payin $300 / day per gun to shoot prairie dogs...he kinda gave me one of those looks. Actually $150 /day sounds pretty fair for a stranger to shoot on the property. I just hope my BIL never reads this thread.....................................
 

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what is a fair price on guided prairie dog

bdog, I guess I'm a little independent but so far I haven't paid a guide for anything. I have shot 5x5 elk, 14 inch antelope and 120 inch whitetails on public land in Wy, Co, and Ar. If I had the money and that was the only way to get a trophy prairie dog I guess I would pay a guide. I'm heading for Mt. this year for elk and deer and of course with no guide. The reason I don't elk hunt in Wy is because they require a guide in wilderness areas. I don't need anyone to hold my hand while hunting and I'm sure not going to give away my limited funds for nothing. I expect someday a trespass fee will be required but hopfully I will be too old to hunt.
 

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what is a fair price on guided prairie dog

buckskin - My family and I have been in the farming business basically forever. I can assure you we do not look at it like "a bunch of strangers with guns" are somehow doing us a favor by shooting pds. I still contend that if the ground is good enough to farm we can clear it of all pds with a bucket full of pellets and an ATV.
There is no doubt that from the requests that I get to go shoot prairie dogs and the volume that I know is there that my family could get $150/day/gun and more. None of us trust strangers with guns that much...........
 

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what is a fair price on guided prairie dog

What would be a good place to advetise to target pdog hunters?
How about rat here on GBO? We have over 13,000 registered members and most weeks the total traffice exceeds 50,000 folks visiting to read and/or post.

Have him contact me and we'll discuss possible advertising options and costs. 256-435-1125
 

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what is a fair price on guided prairie dog

Not worth the money in my opinion, for either party. And my family also has been farming for generations.
 

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what is a fair price on guided prairie dog

What is wrong with taking your trailer onto public land and shooting prairedogs? There must be even public land and prairedogs that you don't have to pay for shooting them? $200 a day to control them is nuts.
 

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what is a fair price on guided prairie dog

hum - In eastern CO that is not possible. Prairie dogs are protected and can only be 'controlled' on private land by 'agents' of the property. It is kinda nuts because the little creatures inhabit every highway island and trek of cleared land up and down the front range. The law is the law tho .............
 

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what is a fair price on guided prairie dog

skb2706
When I vacationed thru the mid-western states in 2000, the critters stood out on the hwy waiting to be run over. They were everywhere...they aren't an endangered species! If I started a business hunting groundhogs here in Ontario and charged people to hunt them, they would think I was nuts.
They are just glad that we hunt them for the farmers... they don't have the time to hunt them themselves.
I think they should reveive this law in CO and come to their senses. That is why they call them VARMINTS! :D
 

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what is a fair price on guided prairie dog

skb2706 said:
hum - In eastern CO that is not possible. Prairie dogs are protected and can only be 'controlled' on private land by 'agents' of the property. It is kinda nuts because the little creatures inhabit every highway island and trek of cleared land up and down the front range. The law is the law tho .............
which is why I moved fom "Greeny" land.

why would anyone pay to hunt varmints?
 

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what is a fair price on guided prairie dog

What state is he in--that seems to make a lot of difference in costs associated with hunting?

M
 

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what is a fair price on guided prairie dog

I guess I wouldn't "pay" for a guide to shoot prarie dogs especially since a good forest service map has the towns marked out. In my state outfitters/guides can not operate on public lands. Here the ranchers are still more than happy to let you shoot them for free.
 

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All you can get...

I'm poor and I hunt public land or family land, Wyo mainly, so... Speaking about what I have heard from others and business training... You need to do a web search first for all p'dog shooting options. Compare prices. Compare service. The higher prices are for "packages." The package includes lodging, meals... [ How happy are those shooters to take an hour off to go for lunch? Bet it works out to 2 hours usually with travel time. Bring sandwiches, even peanut butter and keep shooting...-- I would rather be shooting.] Motels usually have a good margin of profit. There problem is keeping the rooms filled. He "works a deal" with a motel or B&B or ??? and gets a cut of the take there... Nicer vehicle to haul, higher prices...
Then, advertise. Deer hunting magazines are an o.k. start, but many deer hunters will be planning to go out in the fall, little late for p'dogs, although many Wyo guides offer p'dog hunting to those who have filled deer or antelope tags... THEN make up some professional looking brocheures and "get the word out." Maybe you could have them included in the state game dept package they send to hunters inquiring about deer hunting. MAYBE. Maybe the motel owner has an association... there are organizations of varmint shooters... Talk to Chamber of Commerce... Then there is the bench rest crowd, and other competitive shooters... magazines... basic marketing. Offer coupon/discounts to current customers for referrals. (And send current customers a Xmas card soliciting a booking for next year with "seasons wishes"... I never cease to marvel at the boobs who miss that... "he knows where I am..." LUCK
 
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