Building a Hunting 401K

AKSafariClubEarlier this year I attended the annual Alaskan Chapter of SCI’s banquet. Saturday of the banquet is usually full of free seminars and skill clinics tailored to hunters. Due to a variety of things I arrived later than I had anticipated. As I wandered the halls looking for the “sheep seminar” I happened to glance into a room and see a great bow shot at an amazing bull elk. It caught my attention and I stopped to watch more. As the film rolled, and the speaker began talking, I was drawn in.  Before I knew it I was sitting in a chair hearing all about elk hunting opportunities in Arizona.

The history of elk in Arizona is a great example of Conservation in Action. I highly encourage you to read more about it here:

The presenter for the seminar was Dan Adler of Diamond Outfitters of Arizona. Dan is an engaging presenter, and despite having never considered hunting elk in AZ before, I really enjoyed the presentation; and left with a newfound respect for Arizona elk. Furthermore, this Alaskan, recognized that a L48 elk was not as expensive as I thought.

However, this article is not about elk hunting as much as it is about a new idea (at least to me) that Dan was discussing.  He referred to this as a “hunting 401K plan.” As an analyst for my day job, and being analytical by nature, I wanted to find out more.  I walked up to Dan after the presentation and asked if I could call him for more info.  A week or so later our calendars magically aligned and I spent about a ½ hour or so discussing the “hunting 401K” with Dan.

Dan offers a unique service to help you plan the Arizona Elk hunt of a lifetime. To get started you pay a $500 deposit. This deposit is good toward a future hunt with Diamond Outfitters. It also is the start of a relationship with Dan that dives into all 13 huntable species in Arizona. Dan keeps your credit card on file, and each year gives you a call to talk through your dreams and desires. He then takes care of all your applications in Arizona.  This includes a license and your specie specific desires. Annual licenses are $160 for an adult, $5 for a child.

I could not find specific species prices online, but according to Dan it runs around $35 a specie.  If a guy wanted to build points for a desert sheep tag and a trophy elk unit, it would cost around $230 a year. However, if your child wanted to do the same, it would be $75 a year.  One of the benefits of working with Dan is that your $500 deposit covers both you and your kiddo!  So, $500 bucks down, $230 a year for you, and $75 a year for your minor.  If you started this when he/she was 10 years old, by the time they graduated from High School they would have 8 points in Arizona!

Those 8 points open a whole world of exceptional hunting opportunities. Diamond Outfitters has hunts that start a $3500, so with 10 years to save, a father son / father daughter could have an amazing graduation experience together.  Dan refers to this process as building a hunting 401k. Rather than interest toward retirement, you are building points toward a trophy hunt. Working with Dan you pick the years you want to build points, vs. the year you want to actually hunt.

Dan’s services are a pro-active strategy (aka portfolio) process for hunting opportunities. During my conversation with Dan he did state it was possible to do this on your own as well. However, it’s easy to miss deadlines, and for this Alaskan, it’s hard to keep up with my own state’s every changing regulations and draw process, much less Arizona’s.

As I ponder this option I see a great opportunity to include my brother and my nephew in this process. What an amazing memory building experience it would be to share such an adventure with my brother, my son, and my nephew! Who knows maybe I will even find a way to get a chance to hunt Desert Big Horns!

If this article intrigues you, please reach out to Dan. He is a great guy to talk with and can tailor a hunt to fit just about every ability and desire.

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