Does Africa ruin you for North American game?
This is a discussion on Does Africa ruin you for North American game? within the Bowhunting Africa forums, part of the Hunting Forums - Hunting in Africa category; This topic is mostly for bowhunters but it applies equally to our rifle toting brethren. I don't mean this as ...
05-01-2012, 09:47 AM #1
Does Africa ruin you for North American game?
This topic is mostly for bowhunters but it applies equally to our rifle toting brethren.
I don't mean this as a slam or negative towards our NA game in any way. However, after you have had the opportunity to see multiple animals in multiple shooting opportunities in a day in Africa, it makes sitting in a treestand or ground blind for a whole archery season for maybe a couple good opportunities at a mature animal seem lackluster.
Don't get me wrong, for this year I still have a great western Kansas Mule Deer bowhunt (assuming I get drawn, fingers crossed) and a south Texas hog and exotic hunt. That's a lot of hunting to look forward to this year. But when compared to the pure numbers of animals experienced in one week of a safari...it really spoils you.
Does anyone else feel this way? Am i starting to get jaded by Africa and her powers?
I will always hunt in North America and for sure on my family farm here in Missouri, but for the pure numbers and opportunity Africa is hard to beat.
Anyone else feel this way?Tom
05-01-2012, 09:59 AM #2
- Member of SCI, SHAC, RW Guild
- Hunted Norway, Sweden, Poland, South Africa
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Well I do for sure. But of course, it is two different games. You just have to see the challenge in hunting for more scarce animals.
I think its even fewer animals around my part of the woods than in NA. Perhaps not counting reindeers wich there are a lot of around here up in the mountains.The best hunt are the one in your dreams, the next best are the one in your memories.
05-01-2012, 10:37 AM #3
- Member of NRA,Missouri hunters ed, SCI, Owensville Gun Club, Quail Forever
- Hunted USA, South Africa, France
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Agree with Wolverine, I cut my teeth on Squirrel hunting, eastern Missouri has plenty, then Whitetail. Whitetail have made a huge comeback here, but nothing as far as numbers say in Michigan (deer per sq. mile). Rifle hunting I usually see around 20-40 animals per 10day rifle season. Africa spoiled me, after seeing approx 200 head of animal within the first hour. Deer season was NOT the same this year. I started out discouraged, but after a couple of days hanging onto the side of a tree I got back into things. Bow season itself I see a lot more deer, big and small, because of the length of the season. Jaded not, spoiled possibly, just another reason I'm/we're going back..."That which does not kill us makes us stronger" Friedrich Nietzsche // That which does not kill me, better run like hell" Scott Smith
05-01-2012, 10:59 AM #4
- Member of NAHC Life Member, NRA Life Member,SCI, Buckmasters
- Hunted USA(from Coast to Coast and Alaska), Germany, South Africa, Canada
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Tom It is a totally different thing its got to do with the challenge, in Africa you see a lot of game and a shot is almost expected you just have to decide if its big enough or not. Here in Alabama our deer head count is estimated at over 4,000,000 animals in a state that is about the size of some of the African hunting farms seeing deer is not a problem getting the monster buck that you are after is the challenge besides its got to do with being in the outdoors not just what you get to shoot.Enjoy life now -- it has an expiration date.
05-01-2012, 11:23 AM #5
- Member of KZN Hunters Assoc
- Hunted Namibia (Otavi, Ozandjache) South Africa ( LP, KZN, NC, EC) Botswana (Ghanzi) Canada (BC, AB, SK, MB, Ont, PQ, NS) USA (MT, WA, SD, CA, CO, WY, KS, MN, NC, VG, UT, HI)
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Hunting in Africa screwed me up at the start of the season last year for sure.
When you have been used to ONE hunting season for your whole life it changed things. Hunting season was over when we got back. It took a while to rev up again and realize there was more hunting to be done.
Once the license was purchased and the bow was ready and the Mule Deer Buck spotted, the stalk was on and Africa was a distant memory.
Sneaking in on your hands and knees getting into 30 yards without them knowing. Just does not matter where you are hunting.
I have a very hard time sitting in any stand, no matter where I am hunting. Maybe that is the issue for you.
05-01-2012, 11:27 AM #6
- Member of Northeast Wisconsin SCI chapter, Lifetime member of NRA,RMEF
- Hunted Namibia, South Africa (East Cape, Guateng and Limpopo)
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I think once you have hunted Africa. North America is very disappointing. A good hunt in Namibia or RSA can't really compare to most of the hunts in NA. Some areas of the USA are better to hunt than others but once you go to Africa, I have a hard time justifying spending money on NA hunts. They just are not the same. The quality of the experience in Africa is awesome. If it wasn't for the plane ride and ticket cost, I'd go every year.
05-01-2012, 12:48 PM #7
- Member of NRA, RMEF, NAHC. LSBA
- Hunted USA, New Zealand, South Africa
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With the way we generally hunt in TX, even with spot and stalk, in a simple word as far as Africa affecting or ruining hunting here, YES! Generally in a lot of places in TX the only way to bowhunt and to actually see or get close to deer is over a feeder. Were I have a lease, there are no particular bedding or feeding areas, they eat where they want and bed where they want and it is not always in the same spot. Even with feeders where I am at, it is not always a gaurantee you will see a deer. Yes, you can plant a food plot, but it will have to be fenced in because of the cows on our place and since we get very little rain (severe drought here) you can sure waste a lot of money doing so, feeders are the cheapest and best way to get deer into an area. I get bored sitting at a feeder, except when the feral hogs start hitting them and then it gets fun as we have no season or bag limit on the hawgs and it is all out war.HCA Speed Pro, 70#'s @ 29", 560 grain Gold Tip XT Hunters tipped w/100 grain Smoke Ramcat.
Haven't be able to realize the African experience yet. I have spent my whole life hunting NA and I throughly enjoy the challenge that it offers. Not seeing a lot of game makes me hunt even harder, testing my patience and resolve. Multiple shot opportunity's are not a reality, because of lower animal numbers, although normally one has a single animal tag so your not anticipating killing numerous animals. Then there is the affordability factor. The only fully guided hunt I ever took was an Alaskan grizzly bear hunt. All my other hunts are do-it-yourself or drop camp type. This allows me to spend many days hunting and scouting, (about 70-80 day a year) at a minimal cost. Only a wealthy person could afford to hunt Africa for this many days. This time spent interacting with nature along with the challenge of the pursuit is of great value to me. I would look at hog and exotic hunting on some of the leases in Texas as somewhat like Africa. You may not see as many animals, however you can sure shoot as many as your budget will allow. I can see why so many are addicted to the allure of Africa. Seeing and shooting at so many animals seems boundless and will surly feed the fire to return. I sure hope Africa doesn't ruin me. My hope is that I don't compare the two but rather recognize it as another variegated chapter in my hunting experiences.When I am not hunting, I am thinking about hunting....I think I'll go hunting.
05-01-2012, 01:30 PM #9
- Hunted Norway, Sweden, England, South Africa
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I have never been to NA and hunted yet, but I hope I will one or two years from now.
But if I compare Norway and SA, then it is almost impossible to compare. Specially the area where I live now. We are not exactly run down by game here....
Unless you talk about fox, lynx, wolf and bear.
We have very much fox here now and I will start on a hard hunt on them as soon as the season starts on them to try to get the numbers down.
They are together with lynx devastating the roe deer and hare population.
Last season I saw 3 roe deer and no hares(not even tracks) in 30+ hunting days. And I know the area like my own pocket.
I really like hunting to be challenging, but not day after day without seeing game at all.
I don't go to Africa for an easy hunt. But the variety and number of game is very exiting and it gives you lots of stalking opportunities.
The chance for many difficult stalks is what I am looking for
Has Africa ruined my hunting in Norway?
No, but I have decided that I need to go hunting more in other parts of Norway with more game than to waste my time in my home woods.
pardon my french but I'm SCREWED! I'm like a crack addict when it comes to hunting. I take every spare penny I have and hunt with it. I've been an avid elk hunter for many years. Lets not forget muledeer, elk, antelope, etc for some time. Here's my problem. the seasons here are getting extremely expensive if you can't draw a tag. (BTW I'm a major rifle hunter) Now IF you get a tag drawn its once every few years. Before I could afford to buy private tags I had to really plan everything out carefully. I definitely didn't want to go out day 1 and get buck fever and shoot the first thing i shot? why? because then my hunt was over in a few hours and it may be years before I got to hunt again. Now that I can afford to buy the hunts its not much different. Now I don't want to shoot an animal because I've spent so much money and again I don't want the hunt to be over.
Now lets go to africa. You can step out 1 hour into your first hunting day and get buck fever. Its ok, let that bullet/arrow fly? why? because you can enjoy getting that buck fever. 1 hour after photos you can be enjoying buck fever again, and again, and again etc. Also I hunt out west in America. Sure I see many animals per day but on average you get to spot your muley at first light and last light. Theres a lot of time filling in between. In africa you get that adrenaline rush all day long every day. Theres simply animals everywhere and the excitement level cant even be compared to that in North America. I can honestly say I could care less to ever hunt in america ever again and has led me to start looking for my own place to buy in Africa. I've been totally taken over by the african bug.
05-01-2012, 03:13 PM #11
Although I thoroughly enjoy Africa the hunting is so different as to be almost incomparable to NA. If I could only hunt 1 or the other for eternity it would be NA. Yes the game is more scarce and the variety of huntable animals is less but for me the satisfaction is far greater when hunting at home.
Even here when the population gets really high, as it did until the real Canadian winters kicked back in, in 2006, it just isnt the same. I had the opportunity to look over hundreds of Mule deer each day and didnt give 170 class bucks a second look during the boom in the Peace country. There were enough 200"+ bucks coming out of there that it was a realistic goal to kill one and eventually I did. Looking at these deer every day, day after day changed the way I looked at them, it changed the hunt for me completely. I am no fool and spent my time wisely during this phenomenon that I am likely never to see again and pursued giant bucks but in reality I get far more satisfaction out of killing any hard earned mature mounain muley than any buck I might have taken in the Peace country.
To me this is what Africa would become if I only hunted there, shooting whatever I wanted whenever I wanted would get old. It might take awhile but it would. Even passing on anything that didnt make R&W would still be far more productive than hunting here and would also get old, where do you go from there? I love Africa, love hunting Africa, love seeing the game in huge numbers and love every minute I spend there and if I had the time and money I would spend alot more of both there but I realize that to really be fulfilled in the long run, eventually, I would have to come home.
For those who doubt it imagine never hearing the scream of a rut crazed elk bearing down on your position or feeling the whole forest shake as an enraged Moose tears it apart with his massive palmated rack followed by the look in his eye of a mass murderer on the prowl as he rocks back and forth grunting with every step until he is almost right on top of you. Yes Africa has alot to offer but so does NA.
On that note, in just a week and a half I get to be a kid in a candy shop for 12 days!!! I promise I wont tire of it in that time!!!The journey is the reward.
05-01-2012, 03:21 PM #12
- Member of NRA Life member, Nature Conservancy, Dallas Safari Club
- Hunted Zimbabwe, South Africa, Canada, Mexico, Louisiana
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If you just mean the number, variety, and quality of animals available for hunting, you bet it ruins you. If you mean the attitude of the local populace, the quality of the service, the scenery, non-hunted animal variety, the unusual birds, and the value for money spent? Hell yes it ruins you.
So, in summary, yes it ruined me.
05-01-2012, 03:49 PM #13
On a side note I should mention that as far as NA guided hunts, Africa has absolutely ruined me. There is absolutely no comparison to the level of service from here to there, none whatsoever. I was literally shocked and amazed.The journey is the reward.
05-01-2012, 08:49 PM #14
- Member of SCI (Sioux Falls, SD) RMEF, NWTF, NRA, NTA, BCSC, SDTA, NDTA, P&Y,
- Hunted Canada (Ontario,British Columbia,Manitoba), USA (Colorado,Montana,Wyoming,Texas,South Dakota), Africa(Limpopo,NW Province, East Cape, Kwazulu Natal,) Namibia
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Being ruined from hunting Africa! NAH! But it sure beckons me back for more. Why, because it is a dream relived all over again each and every time I visit the Dark Continent. Pinch me, is this real? When I was a kid, two things I wanted to do, hunt Africa and do a bear hunt. Now that I've done both each and every hunt are bonuses. I'm not waiting for retirement, I am spending my kids inheritance now. LOL!
We may not have the quantity of game here in NA or locally in South Dakota, but I can hunt most anything, just not bear or moose. And with archery, rifle, muzzleloader, East and West of the Missouri River and from Aug. to January, Nah, I'm not ruined.
Good hunting to all who are leaving/returning before me. I'll watch for the pic's and stories.
05-01-2012, 09:11 PM #15The journey is the reward.
I think it is akin to fishing offshore in very good waters with a huge amount of species then coming back to the fresh water where there's only trout or Bass! It takes a little time to slow down again to the mundane-ness of being back home and in your own back yard constantly!
05-02-2012, 07:17 AM #17
I agree with all of the above posters. Ole Bally described it pretty well. I still LOVE hunting at home, but for sheer opportunity with a bow, Africa is tough to beat.Tom
05-02-2012, 08:45 AM #18
- Member of SCI
- Hunted Australia ( Northern Territory), New Zealand ( both the North and South Island), Namibia, RSA, England, Scotland, Argentina, Canada (Northwest Territories, Quebec, Alberta, Ontario), United States (WA,AZ,CO,NM,WY,NE,TX,OK,KS,SD,LA,MO,IL,KY,MI,OH,PA,NY,MD,NC,FL,AK)
I don't know...I am ruined by both places and a few more that haven't been mentioned (Australia and New Zealand, for example). Each continent is unique and certainly each has its associated trials and tribulations. If I had to pick one over the other, let say in 25 year blocks, I would do North America first and save Africa for later. I think youthfulness in NA has it's place (based strictly on all the DIY hunts I've had).That's not to say youthfulness wouldn't be as important in Africa, but I think it's not as important (again, based on experience).
I like the things Stretch said...
I also agree with Tom's last statement. Then again, sometimes "sheer opportunity" isn't as important to me as unique opportunity. Nothing in the World compares to stalking/hunting bulging elk at timberline in September.The will to succeed isn't nearly as important as the will to prepare to succeed.
05-02-2012, 09:01 AM #19
- Member of RFEC, RFETO
- Hunted Finland, RSA ( KwaZulu Natal, Limpopo, North West ), Spain
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Yes, Africa has definitely ruined my european hunting.
05-08-2012, 07:57 AM #20
- Member of NAPHA, DSC, SCI
- Hunted NAMIBIA, AFRICA.
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