Culling in Africa
Good day everyone
I am a culling operator or game harvester or whatever you want to call a person taking large amounts of game animals for their carcasses instead of trophies.
I am not a hunter. I am a harvester and have been for the last 12 years. I will be posting a few pictures of this practise on this site. I will post them under "other pictures" as the animals were not hunted, they were culled. If anybody wants to make any comments, or want to know more about harvesting practises, I will explain it fully.
Harvesting equipment for culling
View from freezer truck to field abattoir for culling
1800 Litre stainless steel watertank with hotwatergeyser, stainless steel basins, gasbottle and pressurepump
Springbuck on field abattoir
Culled Springbuck on field abbatoir
We have the same (regulated) practise here in Australia for kangaroos (under a tag system). When a population reaches excessive number, tags are issued to licensed shooters who can then cull the excess kangaroos which are them processed. Nil waste.
Payment is per kg for the prep'd animals which are stored in a central 'chiller' for collection.
we will be looking forward to your future post...
What is done with the culled animals...
Werdus, post away. Look forward to learning about it.
It is part of the process to keep the critters under control.
I would like to get in contact with an Australian game harvester for interest sake. Is there an overseeing organisation I could contact who can put me in touch with someone doing the harvesting?
Welcome to the forum, Werdus !
Animals are evicerated on the vehicle, usually about 30 minutes after been shot in the brain and jugular severed. When the vehicle has about 30 animals on it, they are taken to a spot near the field abattoir where heads and feet are removed. These are taken away by the landowner usually. The carcasses are then loaded on the field abattoir where further eviceration of the heart and lungs, rectum and oesophagus takes place. the carcasses are then weighed and loaded into the chill truck. We usually shoot about 150 per night between 3 vehicles and the truck runs to an export abatoir every second day with 300 animals. There they are processed further for export to Europe mostly. The prime cuts are deboned and vacuum packed and put in a freezer container. These containers take the meat of 1400 animals at a time. We usually fill 4 of these containers in a season lasting 40 shooting days. Shooting is strictly regulated and done only at night when its dark moon. Distances range from 150 to 250 metres on average. Powerful spotlights are used together with silenced rifles to minimise stress. Stress heightens the adrenaline levels of the animals which causes the meat to toughen up.
Harvesting vehicle with culled animals (32)
Springbuck on field abattoir
It looks like some research has gone into it...so what caliber of rifle do you use?
I was thinking 22 rifles...copper jacket 40 grain solids...right between the eyes....
a silencer now who would have thought...
I use a 6 mm BR, Remington 700 action, Macmillan thumbhole stock, Krieger 1in 12 twist heavy barrel, Leopold 8-25x50 mark 4 scope with 85 grain Sierra hpbt bullets. Second rifle is a stock Sako 75 Varminter in .223 with Leopold 6.5-20x50 LRT scope using 55 grain Sierra Blitzkings. For Oryx I use a 7mm Rem Mag , also with bull barrel, Leopold scope and synthetic stock. All rifles are fitted with high quality aluminium silencers. An extra bonus of the silencers are that they take away 70 percent of the recoil, so you can see bullet hits through the scope and one doesnt have to wear noice cancelling earmuffs all the time.
Welcome Werdus Smith to AH, those are some nice gun, scopes and bullet selections.
With the 6 mm BR I have stuck to the same bullet, powder and primer combination for the last 7 years. I have shot around 8000 animals with that rifle alone in that time, so, Yes, the combination works. Sierra Bullets has made quite a bundle out of me, I should have a share in the factory by now.
Welcome to AH Werdus! Nice to have you as part of our community and looking forward to learning more about culling. Great pictures, thanks for sharing.
Werdus, that is an incredible operation and process.
How many people in the crew to get the job done in one night?
Thank you Jerome
I will do my best to give interrested parties some insight into the culling business.
We have Three vehicles with a shooter and two light operators each. We shoot from the front of the vehicles through a modified windscreen that folds flat, so the shooter drives the vehicle himself. At the field abattoir I have four people. The right equipment makes it so that the workload is handled by only that amount of people. Everybody is extremely good at their jobs and have been with me for quite some time, so that helps too.Sometimes we have an extra vehicle with its shooter and two light operators, but usually just three vehicles. So, all in all, between 13 to 16 people.
It is my understanding that a true cull takes a certain percentage of both sex, age, etc. IS this true, or are the majority of the culling limited to females and immature males?
Your choice of a 6mm seems universal. My neighbour (who is not I.T. literate) runs the local chiller and uses a down loaded .243W with bulk 80 grain projectiles over 30 grains? AR2206/BLC(2)/S321 ?. The 6mmPPC is also popular and like you, the rifles are bull barreled and often used single shot with the empty cases carefully conserved.
Beginners start with the .223 but in wind or over longer distances it is not as effective.
A good Kangaroo will weigh 35-50kg, about the same as a Springbok. We of course, have nothing to compare in size to Gemsbok.
I'll try to get some photos.
Werdus, i would appreciate any info you could provide on your shooting vehicles.
They appear to be all-terrain capable, something I have been researching for quite some time.
Did you purchase them or have them made.
Thanks in advance.
I can only tell you what my experience is . To my reckoning about one third of animals culled will be mature males, one third will be mature females and one third will be juveniles above a certain cut-off weight of either sex. We have to shoot animals above a certain weight and this we judge by horn size of either males or females, but we do not tend to only shoot the big ones, juveniles making the weight will be culled too.
The vehicles I use is one born out of necessity. No modern vehicles seemed to be able to take the punch so to speak of driving in our terrain . So about 20 years ago my father started building his own version of a vehicle that he thought would be able to make the grade. The vehicle is called "URI" and farmers over here use them extensively. The vehicle does not have a chassis, but rather a monocogue pipe frame, covered with sheetsteel, and a good drivetrain, usually sourced from vehicles that were in accidents. The result is a somewhat unorthodox vehicle of allmost bulletproof nature. Some of the guys working with me would use normal vehicles like the Land Cruiser which I`m sure are popular with Australians too, but even though the drivetrain lasts a very long time, the bodywork will start falling apart from the constant hammering after 2 years or so. When that happens we use that vehicle as a donor to bold an URI, which will then last as long as you have a welding machine that works, because, EVERYTHING is welded to it; the pipe and sheetsteel is of thick enough guage to allow that.
My son, Solomon and Me loading an Oryx taken for the house