Hunting package deals?
Interested to know how people feel about hunting package deals. Some I have seen mean you would have to shoot a couple of animals each day, is this realistic on a normal hunt when I see a lot of the safari operators on here allow up to 2 days per animal. Is this because the client wants to relax and have a holiday ? Myself if I make it over there I will be coming to hunt and couldn't care less about sightseeing, relaxing etc, so maybe it is realistic or am I better to not have a list of animals and take what comes running the risk of not getting anything I actually want. Would be very interested to hear opinions on this as it is having a big impact on my decision as to whether I commit to a trip or not.
Great question with no real cut and dried answer. Lots of things that it depends on. Last trip to RSA my best friend did a package and added one extra animal to his list. His first trip. My second. They didn't have a package that had what I wanted so I hunted off of their price list. I have been looking to go back and a BIG sable is at the top of the list. Not too many packages with a really good sable in them so I'll pay the daily and go off of their trophy list on my next trip. Packages are great when they have good discounts. Look back at some of the discounted hunts offered and you'll see what I mean. Packages become useless if they include animals that you really don't care to shoot. When I go to Africa I have a list of primary animals and a list of secondary. That is best sent to your PH before the hunt. Then have a discussion with him before you start. Some packages are so cheap its hard to not take them up on it.
You also asked about how many animals per day. Package offers usually include animals that a particular area has in abundance. 1 animal a day is usually not out of line. 2 animals a day is pushing it in my limited experience. especially if you want better than average trophies. If you want better quality trophies then 2 or even 3 days per animal may be the norm. Talk to your PH as he will know best. That is also a great question to ask his clients from recent hunts. ALWAYS check references. That is the type of question to ask. Good luck. Bruce
My first piece of advice is to commit to a trip to Africa! You will not regret it! The first question you need to ask yourself is what animals do you want to hunt? So as gillettehunter suggested make yourself a "wish list". How many days do you want to hunt? A rule of thumb for the farm/ranch type properties is expect to have a chance at a good animal every 1 1/2 days (if you shoot straight). Some days you will do better some days not so much.
Plan to hunt hard but you will soak in the sights and sounds regardless......make sure to stop and smell the roses.....err bushvelt! Its all part of hunting in Africa.
A package deal could be right for you if it contains the animals you want to hunt, I would leave the option open to take an animal that wasn't on your list if a excellent opportunity presents itself. Do some research on the animals you might find one that you didn't want to hunt turns out to be one you do want to hunt. So make your list and report back and we can continue from there........
When I was there in May (my first trip there) I went on a 7 day 5 animal hunt. I shot 5 animals in 5 days, and spent the last 2 days trying to get a good warthog. It is possible to shoot 2 animals a day there if you are not too picky & can shoot straight. I would have done better if I hadn't missed a few times.
Stay on the back of the hunting truck on a small property and you'll get everything put in front of you. Get off and walk and time blows out. You have to strike a balance if asset rich and/or time poor.
The best hunting is on property where you are constrained by legal property boundaries but the animals are free to come and go. It seems to me, everyone makes much more of an effort and it is all taken much more seriously.
Originally Posted by Hoddy
First of all, package hunts should be your cheaper hunts (little benefit) as to hunting them directly of from the trophy list. I for instance will have species in a 5 day hunt which i know is possible / easy huntable in that time factor. Taking spesific species; one animal per day is in most of the packages premitted for, but it happens that you can shoot more than one specie per day...This will also depend on the hunters capability with a rifle...if he is not a 'straight' shooter then 5 days on Blue Wildebeest, Blesbuck, Springbuck, Red Hartebeest or Eland can be very loooooonnnnng.
Take South Africa for instance; has many environments like semi-desert, savannah areas, Sub-Tropical, Karoo and Bush areas, all providing their own challenges...so hunting Blesbuck, Springbuck and Red Hartebeest in The Free State province will be much easier than in the Limpopo / North West bush areas, thus providing less / more days to your package...(To the other guys, dont crucify me, i am only using examples)
Nothing wrong with package hunts, just speak to your Outfitter in creating the best package that you require and add a clause at adding extra animals on the package once that opportunity prevails.
My first trip to RSA was a package hunt and there was nothing wrong with it at all. We did 10 days and I took 7 trophies. It was a great time.
As mentioned, you *must* go to Africa. ;D And you won't go only once, like most folks we were planning our next trip on the flight back. Hopefully, we'll be going again in a couple of years.
Hi neil I myself have only done package hunts I prefer to know what my budget will allow as I am a blue collar worker and I need to know what my pockets can afford. Now I can't speak for all outfitters but a package is not limited to what they have as a package you can give your list of animals to the outfitter or agent and ask them if they can do a package to fit you and the animals you want for the amount of days you want to hunt, it may not be as deep discounted as their package but it would still have some good up front discounts. As I said I prefer package hunts but it always seems I get there I add one or two more but knowing what my main package is going to cost allows me to plan for that as well. Good luck with your planning. Bob
I went on my first hunt in RSA in May. I elected to pay for a package hunt as it saved me a few thousand dollars over paying the daily rate with trophy fees. In the 9 days on the package I was able to get the 12 animals (8 trophies and 4 mgmt animals) in 8 days. I was there an extra two days due to flights and collected an extra 3 trophies. It can be done!
While I agree with code4 in principal would you know that a 20 000 acre property is fenced or not would fence lines come into play... I doubt it.... I would be weary of generalisation SA as any other country in Africa has great areas to hunt, unfortunately as code4 has indicated there are sausage machine or meat factories... As him I am not a fan of put and take operations, I for one as a hunter would not care if a 60" Kudu was brought in and dropped off for me to be shot just because I indicated that it is a life long dream of mine to hunt one...
Originally Posted by Code4
In this case I would much rather settle on a 51" bull I hunted on foot on a decent size property. Package deals are usually made up of species that are readily available and that good numbers are present, hence the reduced price, or for outfitters to get feet in their camps during slow months... for example April, May and late September- October.
There are very good packages available but make sure to enquire with regards to flexibility as well as to enquire as to whether you would be charged for species IN THE PACKAGE if they are not harvested or wounded...
Also be sure to enquire even if you are on a package hunt, as to the particulars of such a package, IE.
A breakdown on the daily rate and each trophy fee (in the package) this helps if for instance while you are on safari and move away from the package that you are able to make an educated decision as to whether you would like to trade species or not, and could and will potentially avoid any unexpected surprises come billing time..... (Mostly package rates on days and species are not the same as pricelist rates)
Assumption is the mother of all screw ups... :)
I am pretty sure though, that no matter which way you go package or A La Carte (if you will), that you'll have an awesome time.......Most outfitters are serious about what they do and look after their patrons very well...
My very best always
Big thanks to everyone for your input. I must say the more I dig into this the more complicated it gets and its starting to get bloody confusing at times. Seems as tho opinions are divided with some saying packages are not the way to go and some saying they are excellent. I am not after world record heads just good representative trophies maybe slightly bigger than average so maybe it would work out brilliant for me. Anyway thanks again and I will keep investigating.
I have seen some great package deals on this forum.
For some they are perfect, for others they are far from perfect even if the price is great.
It all depends on how you want to hunt, what animals you want, how good shot and hunter are you and how important is it for you to shoot BIG trophies.
Some places it might not be a problem to shoot 2 or more representative animals a day, but as soon as you want a minimum trophy size, species that are harder to hunt or/and choose a more challenging way of hunting, the days can run very fast without filling the skinning shed with animals :)
About a week ago, I finished some days of hunting in Eastern Cape where I tried to stalk animals with my bow on rifle hunting properties.
I got a few animals, but I far from filled the skinning shed, so I need to save up some more money to go back and try to get the animals that got away :)
I agree, a good way to look at the whole package!
Originally Posted by Jaco Strauss
Yup, it seems a bit overwhelming on your first trip. Just keep doing your research and it will all come together. I was less worried about our PH and critters compared to getting all gun paperwork squared away, Customs paperwork filled out and stamped, invite letter, and a meet and greet ready for us when we arrive. After all of the anticipation and anxiety, when you are actually on the way and in the air, overwhelming *excitement* will take over.
Originally Posted by Hoddy