It's tough to determine a fair price to charge people for deer hunting in Kentucky. Not all land is the same, nor are the guide services. Things in life are “relative” and I’m going to break down reasons why costs are what they are in the state of Kentucky.
#1) How large are the deer - This is probably the most common factor both paying hunters decide on what grounds they want to harvest a buck. The logic is sound, but slightly flawed. For example, Western Kentucky deer hunting, generally speaking, will produce largest whitetail because of both the better farmland owned out west and the large property owners managing the habitat. If you were to base a hunting trip in Texas upon the size of the deer, you’d probably be paying $100 bucks to an outfitter if you were comparing them to the average central Kentucky property owner. So, because of some property lines created by rich politicians 100+ years ago defines “Kentucky”, is it fair to judge outfitters based upon the size of deer? Of course it is; it’s your money, but this is just a thought.
#2) Lodging/Amenities - Paid hunts often include lodging and sometimes pre-made food. Most of us outdoorsman love buying all the camping and food supplies and “roughing it” for a week, but let’s face it, being pampered by a high-end lodge with included home-cooked meals is nice too.
#3) Supply / Demand - If you’re booked up 6 months in advance, you’re price is simply too low and this isn’t your real source of income. It’s possible some outfitters make so much money, that they don’t mind not maximizes their profits in order to save the headaches of marketing their product. If you’re only like to sell 5 hunts per year, then you can probably charge $5,000 per hunter no matter where you are. That’s just customers to located from the 1,000’s that search online every month for the perfect outfitter.
#4) Quality of your property – I personally spend a lot of money on liming, fertilizing, studying the best possible food plot for the location/time of year/ and soil, etc. Hinge-cutting, mineral site development, predator protection, etc. If I could only price paid deer hunts around $500 per hunter, I simply wouldn’t sell hunts and just use the property for recreational use for my friends and family. Pricing hunts for sale is a value judgment. It’s an interesting type of guide service where the owner/operators are addicted to their own product. We enjoy “working” and would do it for free. That’s why our properties tend to produce larger deer than just random people with the same amount of land.