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First Timers Expectations

This is a discussion on First Timers Expectations within the Hunting Africa forums, part of the HUNT AFRICA category; Hunters, This being my first adventure to Africa I have had many questions and concerns. Fortunately, for me I have ...

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    twf
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    Hunters,
    This being my first adventure to Africa I have had many questions and concerns. Fortunately, for me I have found this forum and had most, if not all of my questions answered. But the question posed below has not been answered on this forum in the past. First, the details. I am booked with J.P. Kleinhans Safari in the Eastern Cape for the last week in May and the first week in June 2012. I will have 11 total days of hunting not including the day of arrival and the day of departure. I will be hunting 1X1 most of the time, but do have my brother joining me on the trip and will be hunting 2X1 sometimes just for the fun of it. I will be taking a day or two off to spend time with my lovely wife and join her on a couple of tours. I will be hunting strictly plains game on several of farms owned and used by the Kleinhans' operation. I would like to take up to 15 different species starting with Cape Kudu, Cape Bushbuck, and the four Springbok subspecies. This being said I do not want to shot the first representative species I see. J.P. and I have had several conversations about trophy quality and my expectations thereof. Of course, I don't expect every animal taken to make SCI bronze but it is my goal. I do have a few animals on the list that I do not wish to take unless they are SCI gold or close. The questions is, how many animals of trophy quality can I realistically take during an eleven day safari? The total wishlist is as follows: Cape Kudu, Cape Bushbuck, Springbok X4, Impala, Blesbok, Grey Duiker, Steenbok, Kilpspringer, Red Hartebeest, Gemsbok, Bushpig, Baboon, Cape Grysbok, Vaal Rheebok and one of the following Cape ELand, Waterbuck, or Nyala.

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    You have a full plate. Probably best to save the nyala and waterbuck for a more Northern trip.

    Work on the common ones in the first days, you have a lot of animals that are taken on opportunity rather than "hunted." Bushbuck is a hard one to get during daylight hours, can be done but night hunts are better. The same with bushpig unless they are chased by dogs. We are almost 200 this year with dogs, and they are getting big, most 100kg+. Baboon are fairly easy, need to get between food and home at first light. A lot of the animals are open field sorts they will be easier.

    With dilligence your PH will get 1/3 to 1/2 your list with good animals, maybe a bit more if properties are good. A word of advise, scores are less important than the experience.

    Have a good hunt.

    Quote Originally Posted by twf View Post
    Hunters,
    This being my first adventure to Africa I have had many questions and concerns. Fortunately, for me I have found this forum and had most, if not all of my questions answered. But the question posed below has not been answered on this forum in the past. First, the details. I am booked with J.P. Kleinhans Safari in the Eastern Cape for the last week in May and the first week in June 2012. I will have 11 total days of hunting not including the day of arrival and the day of departure. I will be hunting 1X1 most of the time, but do have my brother joining me on the trip and will be hunting 2X1 sometimes just for the fun of it. I will be taking a day or two off to spend time with my lovely wife and join her on a couple of tours. I will be hunting strictly plains game on several of farms owned and used by the Kleinhans' operation. I would like to take up to 15 different species starting with Cape Kudu, Cape Bushbuck, and the four Springbok subspecies. This being said I do not want to shot the first representative species I see. J.P. and I have had several conversations about trophy quality and my expectations thereof. Of course, I don't expect every animal taken to make SCI bronze but it is my goal. I do have a few animals on the list that I do not wish to take unless they are SCI gold or close. The questions is, how many animals of trophy quality can I realistically take during an eleven day safari? The total wishlist is as follows: Cape Kudu, Cape Bushbuck, Springbok X4, Impala, Blesbok, Grey Duiker, Steenbok, Kilpspringer, Red Hartebeest, Gemsbok, Bushpig, Baboon, Cape Grysbok, Vaal Rheebok and one of the following Cape ELand, Waterbuck, or Nyala.

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    How do you want to hunt ? You can get all of them and the also the quality you want if the enclosures are small enough and you have enough money.

    You can construct a shopping list or plan on hunting 5-6 really good PG species over 11 days with no guarantees. As this is your first trip I would recommend you use it to get a feel for what is achievable.
    Time spent in Reconnaisance is never wasted.

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    Quote Originally Posted by twf View Post
    ....... Of course, I don't expect every animal taken to make SCI bronze but it is my goal. I do have a few animals on the list that I do not wish to take unless they are SCI gold or close. The questions is, how many animals of trophy quality can I realistically take during an eleven day safari? The total wishlist is as follows: Cape Kudu, Cape Bushbuck, Springbok X4, Impala, Blesbok, Grey Duiker, Steenbok, Kilpspringer, Red Hartebeest, Gemsbok, Bushpig, Baboon, Cape Grysbok, Vaal Rheebok and one of the following Cape ELand, Waterbuck, or Nyala.
    Plan your return trip now.

    21 Animals in 8 or 9 days. Not going to happen even if you shoot the first thing you see. Even if you were actually hunting 11 days that is slightly under two per day.

    Generally speaking, Realistically, you are not planning on hunting 11 days. You are hunting less with "days off", so now 8 or 9 days.
    Then to add to it 2x1 hunting you reduce your chances more.
    What if you wound something in your haste. More "lost time".

    Pick your TOP 6 to 8 and hunt them hard. If you manage to get them, then add another on.
    These better be good trophy properties too, to pull it off.


    Good luck.
    Practice whispering before you leave for Africa!
    A Legend in my own mind!

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    The one advantage your list gives you is that since there are few animals that are not on it you may be successful on more species simply because you have an open book as far as coincidental sightings goes (ie. spotting Impala while hunting Kudu). On the other hand when you are 2 on 1 that is a huge disadvantage since your partner will want to shoot you after a few days of you shooting everything you guys see.

    I thought I had a huge bag planned! 12 days, 15 animals in daylight and a couple more after dark (Calling cats and Jackal). While I hope to fill it I do not expect to especially with animals like Vaal Rhebok and Bushbuck on it.
    The journey is the reward.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Diamondhitch View Post
    The one advantage your list gives you is that since there are few animals that are not on it you may be successful on more species ....
    Good point.
    Practice whispering before you leave for Africa!
    A Legend in my own mind!

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    twf

    Have you talked to your PH to see what you odds are? Your Trophy list is very aggressive, and to be honest with you it is to aggressive... 11 days - 5 to 6 primary animals with 5 to 6 secondary animals (ones you stumble across).

    I suggest you pick a top 5 and then add ones that you bump into.

    Bush pig hunting is at night...and could take a few night to obtain. In the days you are checking the bait loactions and maybe looking for bushbuck, wildebeest or kudu.

    Nyala could take days to find a nice one...again early morning and late afternoons. using the middle of the day to look for impala, blesbuck,

    Bush buck are early morning and late evenings... maybe evening night hunting.

    Red Hartbeest again picking a good one could take a day or more to find a good one...

    Kudu again could take days to find a good one...

    If you catch the drift you see it takes some time in the field to get a good to very good animal.
    (unless you have them in a fenced compound for your shooting)

    So if you are on the trail of a good Kudu (54 to 56 inches) and a real nice impala walks by are going to pass or shoot The impala? Decision time, because if you shoot the impala the kudu will take off and if you do not shoot the impala could spook the kudu. What are you going to do follow the advise of your PH and Shoot or hold out and possibly come up with nothing.
    James Grage - New Mexico
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    If you find a place where you can kill that many animals in 9 days, let me know,as far as all of them being medal size, not going to happen. Adjust your list and expectations, enjoy your time, take large animals as you get a chance. Most of all, enjoy Africa, and all the game you will see, and people you will meet, especially your Ph and his staff. Brian

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    I would say your going to miss alot of the fun on your trip thinking you need to take all them in that time.You would need alot of hunting luck on your side with no missed chances in that time.Pick your must have animals and if you come across others on your list as your stalking then you must decide which is more important to you.Only way i think would be to add days of hunting and do the side trips after.I would say 14 days of hunting and you could do it with a little luck.

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    Methinks all of the above is good advice. Be reasonable. Its not impossible to do what you are thinking of, but highly unlikely.

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    twf
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    Gentlemen
    Thank you for all the advise and now I must prioritize my list, shoot straight, and pray alot. I look forward to sharing my experience with forum. I did quite a bit of research and check several references on my PH, but find it strange that he is not been mentioned on this forum. JP Kleinhans has come highly recommended and is extremely likeable man. Fortunately, I have had two opportunities to meeker with face to face. Does anyone have anything to add on the Kleinhans operation.

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    Craig Boddington things pretty highly of him which should be enough recommendation for most.

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    Quote Originally Posted by twf View Post
    Gentlemen
    Thank you for all the advise and now I must prioritize my list, shoot straight, and pray alot. I look forward to sharing my experience with forum. I did quite a bit of research and check several references on my PH, but find it strange that he is not been mentioned on this forum. JP Kleinhans has come highly recommended and is extremely likeable man. Fortunately, I have had two opportunities to meeker with face to face. Does anyone have anything to add on the Kleinhans operation.
    If it is all the same with you, I would let your PH decide which animals to pursue from your list. He will know which ones you will have the most likelyhood of taking quickly and easily and which are likely to be bigger trophies in his area. Once he has made his reccomendations then choose if you like his plan or if something very important to you has not made the list then get his opinion of what it will take to be successful on that species. That should maximize both the body count and size of trophies.
    The journey is the reward.

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    The total wishlist is as follows: Cape Kudu, Cape Bushbuck, Springbok X4, Impala, Blesbok, Grey Duiker, Steenbok, Kilpspringer, Red Hartebeest, Gemsbok, Bushpig, Baboon, Cape Grysbok, Vaal Rheebok and one of the following Cape ELand, Waterbuck, or Nyala.
    My two cents: Try to take animals that are native to the area: The springbok, steenbok, cape bushbuck, cape kudu, duiker, blesbok, impala, cape grybok and vaal rhebok. My experience hunting baboons has not been good...terrible smart and they keep a country mile distance from you! Bushpig hunting could be hard. Same for cape grysbok. Klipspringer could be easy...depends on the property hunted. Red Hartebeest ( I love them), but they can be hunted in alot of places. Unless, I saw mature eland, waterbuck or nyala...I'd skip it. Oh there are places that have huge eland, nyala and waterbuck...depends on how much time you have.

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    tap
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    If you want all those animals and put 100% into it you will get them. Call me non-ethical but spotlighting is not legal in the USA and that very reason makes it extremely attractive to me. I love riding around shooting things at night simply because I can't in the usa. Pull out a good spotlight and run through an alfalfa field a 1am and you can get silver medal kudu, bushbuck, and nyala as well as a dern good impala as the impala usually don't run when their blinded. I laugh as I write this but it is quite fun. ask your ph to take you on an impala kull hunt at night. Thats a blast. Also at night you will have a great chance at taking a caracal or african wildcat or such. the blesbok are a breeze as they stand in the wide open all day usually. The little animals are easey also if you just run them down in a truck and shoot them once you pull up beside them. J/K. However in one night you can take quite a few animals then you can slow down and just hunt the day light hours and enjoy yourself. On a serious not though you will have to spotlight several animals over a few nights if you are going to squeeze that many animals into such a short safari. It absolutely can be done but will most definitely require hunting day and night which is not necessarily a bad thing.

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    Nighthunts after nocturnal animals like predators and bushpig are for sure exciting. Cull hunts from a vehicle at night just sounds not appealing to me, and I wouldnt consider it, at least not for trophy hunting. Such a kill would not be worthly calling a trophy to me. But that is only my opinion.
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    Very little chance to legally spotlight in SA. Bushpig for sure as it has been classified as vermin. Every Provence is different but in KZN a special permit is needed and can only be used by direct members of the landowners family.

    Having said that I can say some great times have been had doing this.

    Quote Originally Posted by tap View Post
    If you want all those animals and put 100% into it you will get them. Call me non-ethical but spotlighting is not legal in the USA and that very reason makes it extremely attractive to me. I love riding around shooting things at night simply because I can't in the usa. Pull out a good spotlight and run through an alfalfa field a 1am and you can get silver medal kudu, bushbuck, and nyala as well as a dern good impala as the impala usually don't run when their blinded. I laugh as I write this but it is quite fun. ask your ph to take you on an impala kull hunt at night. Thats a blast. Also at night you will have a great chance at taking a caracal or african wildcat or such. the blesbok are a breeze as they stand in the wide open all day usually. The little animals are easey also if you just run them down in a truck and shoot them once you pull up beside them. J/K. However in one night you can take quite a few animals then you can slow down and just hunt the day light hours and enjoy yourself. On a serious not though you will have to spotlight several animals over a few nights if you are going to squeeze that many animals into such a short safari. It absolutely can be done but will most definitely require hunting day and night which is not necessarily a bad thing.

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    Since this is your first trip and you are interested in just about everything, my advice is don't try for anything in particular, just take it as it comes. Once you have some animals in your collection, you can focus more on what is missing.

    One of the great things about Africa is a completely different sense of time from what we have here in the US. As my PH told me, "in Europe, they have a lot of watches, but not a lot of time. In Africa we don't have many watches, but we have plenty of time." If you don't experience that, you have missed an awful lot of the charm of Africa.

    Don't approach your first trip to Africa as if it were your last. Use your first trip to learn about what you like. If you can afford that many animals and the taxidermy thereof, you can afford fewer animals and a second trip. The latter option will be far more rewarding. Take things as they come and enjoy it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tap View Post
    ...... It absolutely can be done but will most definitely require hunting day and night which is not necessarily a bad thing.
    But he can't afford to buy his wife off with a Croc hunt. He has to take some days off!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by BRICKBURN View Post
    Plan your return trip now.

    21 Animals in 8 or 9 days. Not going to happen even if you shoot the first thing you see. Even if you were actually hunting 11 days that is slightly under two per day.

    Generally speaking, Realistically, you are not planning on hunting 11 days. You are hunting less with "days off", so now 8 or 9 days.
    Then to add to it 2x1 hunting you reduce your chances more.
    What if you wound something in your haste. More "lost time".

    Pick your TOP 6 to 8 and hunt them hard. If you manage to get them, then add another on.
    These better be good trophy properties too, to pull it off.


    Good luck.

    Veeerrrrryyyyy Well said Brickburn.
    You don't want to be running around chasing numbers( with SCI standards also still in mind), because in doing this, you will be so caught up in the quest to tag out that you will forget to enjoy the experience.

    15 Animals in 9 days are very possible. But, concentrate on your top 6 or so over the 9 days and take the time to take it all in, and get some great animals.
    Is the enjoyment not what hunting is all about int he first place?

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