I have a chance to change up my hunt a little from a Blesbuck to a Caracal cat . If anyone has some input on the on type of hunt caracal is or if its worth it ?? new to this and have no idea it looks like a cross between our lynx and cougar and might be a fun hunt, any opinion any thoughts would be great.
I would much rather take a Caracal than a Blesbuck for the simple reason that most of the Caracal taken are by chance and you never know when you will have the opportunity of taking one again.
As for the hunt as a whole they are mostly hunted with dogs or like I said when you spot one.
For me personally the only drawback is the fact that you will most likely hunt the Caracal with dogs and shoot it with a shotgun once the cat is in a tree but each to his own it is merely a personal thing for me.
...As Louis said it's pretty much a chance encounter. In my 2 safaris I saw 2, but each was when you never expected it & bottom line I don't have one! They are very high on my list & I hope to get one some day!
I called in and shot two caracals at two different South African farms in about 1988 or 1989 when I went down there to collect specimens for SCI's museum. I used mouth-blown varmint calls. One came in at first light, the other came in after dark. No one I knew there had seen anyone use a call then, and I had trouble keeping my companions quiet. They'd giggle or laugh or start talking whenever I called. That changed when the first jackals and African wildcats came in. It's a different story now. Lots of South Africans have discovered varmint calling.
Before making that call you should ask your outfitter a few questions which I believe should help you in making that decision... Find out from your outfitter what are the chances of taking one (within your time frame), what does this hunt consist of (method of hunting, day / night hunt), will it interfere or take away from the priorities of your hunt or can it be nicely incorporated into the hunt. I would imagine also that you would not have to make that decision right now and that more than likely you could make it once on your hunting safari, at the start of your hunt or even further down the line, depending on the evolution of your hunt. A Caracal is certainly a great trophy to have...
Caracals, also called sometime African Lynx, typically weigh 13-18 kgs (28-40 lbs) for Males and 11 kg (24 lb) for females weigh about. It has a tail nearly a third of its body length, and both sexes look the same. The caracal is 65-90 cm in length (about 2-3 ft), plus 30 cm tail (about 1 ft).
Here below are a couple of trophy pictures of Caracals from AH members.
I am doing a hunt in August and one of my animals is Caracal . WE will be using Dogs.
My desire to hunt one sort of ebbed after meeting the camp caracal at Omaruru. She had the run of the place and loved nothing better than to curl up next to a guest for a noon siesta. She had been found as a kitten and raised by hand by a bottle. A truly elegant animal.
Collecting a really good blesbok is not going to be too difficult unless you go somewhere like Rhino Lodge in Mpumalanga and have to wait for them to stop running for a shot from 400m! That was quite tough! We have hunted blesbok in the Limpopo area twice and if we put our mind to it we can get a nice ram on foot in a couple of days, and probably nail another of the lesser species while we are out and about. We took a non-hunting friend on one trip and on a property near Rooibosbult, it took her an hour to get a very nice trophy which out-did all of my efforts. It was her second shot out of a rifle, the first was at a tin can the day before!
The caracal will most likely be hunted with dogs and trackers if that is the focus of your hunt. We were hunting plains game and my PH had organised for a couple of the workers on the property to get out into the bush with dogs and track one down. As soon as they were onto a cat we got a call and worked our way towards the action - it took a couple of hours of to get a shot at him as he didn't climb a tree like he was supposed to! It was a lot of fun and I really did want to bring home a caracal, but I don't have a great story to tell you and I have no desire to hunt them again.
Are these species add-ons to your safari or are they the reason for the trip? You could always go for a look around and see how you feel about the blesbok when you're amongst them, and if it doesn't get you excited go looking for caracal.
If you get out of the bakkie and hunt blesbok on foot, then I think you will work for your trophy and appreciate the animal and the experience that much more.
Milford, if you want to hunt a caracal the traditional way, that should be with a well trained pack of hounds supplied by a houndsman that is well known in the industry.If it will be a hound hunt insist that you participate from when the hounds are loaded up in the morning to where they are dropped off to start casting for scent trails.In most of South Africa you can't track a caracal visually, the areas they inhabit are mostly way to rocky and not even the best Bushman tracker would be successful in keeping a spoor.The Kalahari is an exception though,it is possible to track them by sight.
Predator calling works as well if you have the right equipment and lots of patience.They dont come in nearly as quickly as do a jackal or African wildcat.
My son Simon with a very nice and large East Cape Caracal male taken at night with the FoxPro Predator Caller.We offer the opportunity for these outings in conjunction with our hound hunts for smaller predators.
Caracal hunting is a year round process for Sparks Hound teams.We have heavy predation in our home range by these predators.We prepare our hounds on them prior to applying them to leopard.When not hunting leoprd we hunt caracal 5 days a week.It's an evey day chore for these hounds.
A caracal is a far more rare trophy to add to a collection than a blesbuck.Caracal normally price at around US$ 800.00 and blesbuck around US$ 400.00 , so if its a straight trade off one for the other you are getting a good deal.I am offering a seven day hunt including my hound teams and the caracal trophy at US$ 2100.00 each for two hunters.You can see my add in the great deals on hunts here at africahunting.com and see pictures in my photo's here at this site as well.Let me know if we can be of any help.Good hunting, Roy Sparks - Sparks Hounds.