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Guessing age of Forest Elephant as you hunt it

This is a discussion on Guessing age of Forest Elephant as you hunt it within the Hunting Africa forums, part of the HUNT AFRICA category; How can you judge age inside the jungle when pretending to shoot a forest elephant, is there a fast way ...

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    Default Guessing age of Forest Elephant as you hunt it

    How can you judge age inside the jungle when pretending to shoot a forest elephant, is there a fast way to do it?

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    If you are just pretending you can just make up any age you like, pretend elephants are all 120lb+ and as old as the hills. I think I am missing something with your question???
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    i am not sure on any fast way to age an elephant in a jungle...with out first spotting him and having a look see..
    James Grage - New Mexico
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    Default Let me clarify my question!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jorge Garcia-Segovia View Post
    How can you judge age inside the jungle when pretending to shoot a forest elephant, is there a fast way to do it?
    I have hunted Cameroon before and got very nice bongos, dwar f buffaloes,forest sitatunga and duikers. I am going again next year to hunt for forest elephant and giant forest hog. I have been reading a lot about hunters killing young immature forest elephants, so besides the size of the tusks, is there another way to tell age or at least guess it fast enough not to loose the animal or get stomp?

    I got an 80 pounder in Botswana but there in open ground you can judge them easily, the problem is the jungle!!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jorge Garcia-Segovia View Post
    I have hunted Cameroon before and got very nice bongos, dwar f buffaloes,forest sitatunga and duikers. I am going again next year to hunt for forest elephant and giant forest hog. I have been reading a lot about hunters killing young immature forest elephants, so besides the size of the tusks, is there another way to tell age or at least guess it fast enough not to loose the animal or get stomp?

    I got an 80 pounder in Botswana but there in open ground you can judge them easily, the problem is the jungle!!!!
    I agree, the jungle is the problem.
    Getting close enough to see them without getting stomped. Yup, that would be a problem.

    Perhaps Christophe or Erik can jump in on this one.
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    OK, you are planning to actually shoot one. The pretending to shoot thing had me thrown. Must be a language barrier there, something lost in translation. Sorry. Cant help but sounds like a challenging and fun hunt.
    The journey is the reward.

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    On this one, I would rely on the expertise of my PH.

    Suerte !

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    Jorge Garcia-Segovia,

    In my humble opinion, estimating more or less any animals age or size in the thick rainforests can be a huge challenge even for the trained eye.

    If you take a look at some of the elephant trophy photos from Cameroon, you will see that they do shoot some quite young animals but also a fair amount of old ones. I do believe it is important to take into account what could be described as the "rain forest hunters mentality". Basically meaning that when you're in the middle of all that thick stuff, and an opportunity presents itself, decisions will have to be made rapidly. If it looks good at first sight you take the shot rather than letting a hard-earned opportunity slip away. I think most people that have hunted the rain forest can recognize this way of thinking.

    As with any other animal, there are a few ground rules that ought to be kept in the back of ones head during the pursuit. When it comes to the elephant, they never stop growing throughout their lifetime so the sheer size is a good indicator of age. Now, since you're going to hunt in the rain forest you should probably work on the supposition that you won't be able to see the whole animal. It might just be a small patch of grey among the leaves or a bit more if you're lucky.

    Any good PH that is somewhat familiar with the area he is hunting in should be able to point out the different clues that tells him whether the animal is a good trophy or not. If you've seen a lot of elephants in the forest you know what a big one looks like in comparison to a small or medium-sized one. Its tracks too can tell us a great deal about what the animal we're following is like.

    Does the track and the pattern on the soles look worn down? How does the elephant behave while moving through the forest? Does he stop and urinate a lot? Does he stop to check the wind often? How well can he chew his food? How torn are his ears? Are his tusks really pointy or blunt etc etc...

    These are only a few things that I could come up with now, just to give you an idea about what to take into consideration when trying to estimate an elephants age under tough conditions. I bet your PH will have quite a few tricks of his own to show you too :-)

    Enjoy your hunt and be careful!

    Regards/ Erik Nyman

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