I would be very interested on my next safari to really concentrate on shooting some of the small cats (Caracal, Civit, WIld Cat etc.) I have a 22/250 which is probably way more gun than needed. After consulting Hornaday on best bullet for the job they recommend a barnes 52 grain or you will have nothing but pelt damage.
Last time there I just loaded some reduced hard cast bullet loads for my 30/06 and hoped just shooting straight through them would do the trick. Needless to say I only seen 1 caracal & no shot was offered. Or would one be better to just use the outfitters gun! I know the 22/250 would be great for jackal!
If some one has some info about hunting these cats I would like to hear from you!
Just make sure all cats are listed on CITES and you would need to have permits before you hunt them.
Check with your PH. As far as I know no more hunting and calling for small predators at night is allowed in South Africa....
The 22 250 will be to much gun for the small predators. I had lots of pelt damage with the 22K Hornet shooting 45gr SP if you hit bigger bones....
Most of these animals are nocturnal and might be more targets of chance than any thing els....
Thanks for the response! I didn't know it was illegal to hunt these cats after dark! We did on my last safari 2 years ago but things may have changed! I know my PH said a couple of them needed cites permits! Are the numbers that low or is the government sticking there noses into things!
Any recommendations on calibers or bullets!!!
Originally Posted by Calhoun
As far as I can remember all cats are part of either Cites I or II...
New laws was introduce in South Africa last year if I remember correct. Your PH should have all the updates...
And if need be apply for the permits for each species....
I would say use your 30 06 with solids...
It should not mess the up but the cats are soft bodied...
I have called in Cerval, African Wild Cat ect when calling for jackal...
I once had a caracal come in when i was calling jackal, but never got a shot at it. Was the first Caracal i have ever seen.
Hunting at night is not necessarily illegal in South Africa:
Originally Posted by Calhoun
"Trophy hunting may take place at night in all provinces and is allowed with artificial light, provided that the hunter was granted a night hunting permit. Unless the landowner has an exemption, this night hunting permit is only given on special request, after the hunter has clearly stipulated the reason for night hunting, in most instance Leopard hunting over bait at night. Rarely will they grant you the right to hunt at night for other reasons."
For a lot more information on South Africa, click here visit South Africa Hunting Information page.
Very often these cats are taken with a 12 gauge shotgun at close range with even a 7.5 shot shells but a lower number is much better especially if further away.
These small predators are found in Namibia as well and are not often seen during the day. There are a few things that can be done to increase your chances of taking one of these small cats, however most hunters who take them it will be by chance encounter.
In Namibia trophy hunting may take place from half an hour before sunrise until half an hour after sunset and no artificial light is allowed. This would be the times of day you would be most likely to have success especially in an area frequented by these animals. Any PH familiar with his territory will know of a few spots to stake out...
Thanks for the nice pictures... what are some of these things that can increase your chances?
Oliver.. in regard to your question.. I will give you my 2 cents worth! I'm not an outfitter but in my 2 hunts in Africa the 2 caracal I have seen were the result of kills we can across. On my first safari after seeing the Caracal we went in the brush & fiund a dead baby wildebeest. On the 2nd safari it was a dead impala .. The one Wild cat I've seen was a freak encounter during mid day.. Both Caracal were seen about 10:00 both near kills.
....I don't know if it's legal, but I wonder if the outfitters spread some bones with meat on near ablind if that would bring in the cats..a guy might have 1/2 a chance then if you care to sit for long hours! Although I would like a few of these different cats and anything to increase the odds would help!!
When I was in Zimbabwe, we were baiting for leopard, every day we found fresh tracks of small cats around the baiting tree. So in my opinion, when you shoot your leopard sit on the blind and wait for small cats. We shot a genet on leopard bait:
On my last hunt about five months ago I hunted with three different professional hunters over a month and small game/predators were at the top of my list. The only civet I saw had been hit by a truck and no serval, but we did track and shoot a very old caracal, this was very late one afternoon. I was also lucky enough to take genet, wild cat, jackal and porcupine.
African Wild Cat
I was shooting a .22 Hornet with 45gr solids. Shot placement was spot-on so all species went down at the shot. We put out carcasses to bring in the animals and checked for tracks daily and we also did a lot of calling. And a lot of driving.
We were stalking waterbuck when we bumped into the fresh caracal sign so when we got the opportunity I had to shoot him with my .300 Weatherby. I aimed for low midsection and will have very little stitching to do.
Also attached a picture of a jackal we called in one afternoon; I was too busy on the camera to even consider the rifle!
Any opportunity to go out for a hunt at night will be a lot of fun and add a new dimension to your safari. I headed out with my PH and he brought a couple of his mates along and we had a really great time, a lot of fun. Be warned though, it's addictive especially if you see game; you will lose out on a lot of sleep... and it's very cold!!
I will try a caracal the next year at Northerh Cape. Please recommended me a method for calling predators, manual or electronics records? any brand and model?
chago66, you might want to check out the thread Predator Hunting by clicking here. Although it starts about Jackals, there is a lot of discussion about calls and equipment and recordings to call...
..Nice photos there schembridan! The first time I was in Africa I wanted a Caracal & didn't know much about the other small cats. The 2nd time I went the outfitter had all different cats mounted in the main lodge. Caracal, civet , Genet, & Wildcat man what beautiful animals. Now I wished I had pursuedthem on my first safari as now some of them can't be transported to the state & cites permits needed. The way my outfitter acted & talked they shoot them on site. One would have thought there were a million of them around. Listening to him I never thought they would be protected!
Have hunted several of the small cats using dogs and have always had a great time with that. Some will run bushpig also and that is exciting.
So far have mostly done several caracal and a couple serval with dogs. Works good in areas where they have a good population of the small cats. I have mainly hunted the Free State where there are a lot of grain fields and good food with birds and rodents for the cats.
Caracal and Serval
I also have taken caracal in the Eastern Cape with dogs.
Many don't like to use dogs and prefer a spotlight at night and others like to use predator calls. Any way you do it can be a lot of fun!
Now starting to hear about some rules changing on night hunting, so check out the rules before you go!
I am sure there are several outfitters here on this forum that can put together a small cat safari !
attaching some photos of some of the small cats..
African Wild Cat
Cliff, those are some nice cat pictures. I'm happy you support all forms of hunting. Having tried night hunting and running bobcats here in the states, they both can be fun. I have had luck calling in foxes and coyotes where I live too.
I would like to do some small cat hunting too. Hopefully, the regulations allow shipment back by the time I can do the hunt. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Dept. is getting less hunter friendly by the minute. Can't import this....mentallity.
Cliff, that is a HUGE Serval! Safi sana!
Use close reed or open reed mouth callers or FX3 or FX5 from Foxpro for probably the best electronic caller on the market...
Originally Posted by chago66
Very fine cats you got there and a huge Serval wow!