Does Africa ruin you for North American game?

Discussion in 'Bowhunting Africa' started by TOM, May 1, 2012.

  1. M. Egan

    M. Egan AH Senior Member

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    I tend to agree with diamond hitch on his earlier comments. Personally, if I could only hunt one animal, it would be a bull elk with a bow in September. When I have been lucky enough to hunt Africa (3 times so far) It has been an experience that I wouldn't trade for anything.
    There are many and varied reasons to hunt. We all have our own ideas. Seeing or killing lots of game is more important to some than others. We each take satisfaction in different parts of our hunting experiences and to different degrees. The hunt that I truly love the most is the one I am on or the one that is coming up next.
    I find it easier to stay inspired in Africa because of the number and variety of animals, but easier is not always better.
    I love egg salad sandwiches. Eating filet mignon does not spoil me for eating egg salad. They are both something that I like to eat. They are the same in some ways and vastly different in others. My own experiences hunting here in Canada and in the US have been wonderful and memorable. Less animals per hour (seen or shot) does not take away from my experience. I would not trade my NA hunting experiences for more opportunities in Africa, but I also would not trade my African experiences for more other hunting opportunities.
    I hope that I am conveying my feelings clearly. I do tend to ramble
    my three cents (much too long for two cents)
    Mike
     
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  2. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch AH Legend

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    Well put. A good hunt doesnt need to be a long hunt but it also doesnt need to be a successful hunt either. Success is the cherry on top of a sunday, whether it is there or not you still have the entire sunday to enjoy.
     
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  3. kal

    kal AH Veteran

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    Bored at work so I scrolled through the archives. Just had my first Africa safari this year, in some ways it has spoiled me. Not as much in the hunting but more so when I am planning other hunts. Just last night done friends and myself were talking about the upcoming year and what to try and do. Every NA hunt we talked about ended up drifting back to Africa. "How about elk? " would get everyone going but every time we would get back to "but we can do so much more in Africa for the same amount". I also missed being able to just drop off the animals at the skinning shed as I butchered my deer this fall.
     
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  4. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    I'm getting excited about that Elk hunt right now. But, we have to think about all that fun stuff that goes along with it.

    Having your own skinning team here sure would be nice!
     
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  5. Spooksar

    Spooksar AH Veteran

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    I hunt both without any problem, in Africa I depend on Ph and trackers to get me on game, the stalk is more of a challenge because of the number of animals. At home I depend on my skills and knowledge of the game and area. In lots of ways I'm a better hunter at home from watching and listening to the PH and trackers, then using that knowledge at home
     
  6. Velo Dog

    Velo Dog SILVER SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    Hunting in Alaska - my home state is as follows:
    Glassing and hoping, while it is either blowing rain and snow sideways on you or, you are wearing a head net to keep from inhaling clouds of mosquitos and evil biting gnats (aka "Northern Vampires").
    Day after day of waking up in a cold/wet tent, to another delicious breakfast of Mountain House brand freeze dried scrambled eggs, just add water and heat it on your Peak brand, butane fueled pocket stove - oofdah.
    Lunch - sardines and crackers, or jerky and crackers.
    Supper - Mt. House brand freeze dried macaroni & cheese or chili with beans, etc., or Ramen noodles - yum.
    Hit the sack in your cold wet tent and then repeat again tomorrow.
    Your hunting partner complains non stop for days on end, until you feel like bitch-slapping him.
    This is not to mention cheating death by flying to and from the hunting area, in a "Super Cub" (lawn mower with wings) when the demons of carburetor ice and 60 mph or more clear air turbulence try their best to slap you from the sky.
    While your plane is sputtering and being flipped in every attitude except right side up and forward, you think you actually saw The Grim Reaper himself in the rocky cliff below.
    Instead of his scythe, he had taken up a small flag in each hand, like deck crews on aircraft carriers use and was trying his damndest to guide your pilot into the bloody cliff, at 80 mph, upside down and backwards.
    You pray to The Almighty to forgive you for wanting to kill his wonderful animals, as well as everything you've done wrong in your life, plus every bad thing you can even imagine and everything you ever heard of, even if you've never done any of those things and probably never would.
    Your expert Alaskan Bush Pilot prevails, in spite of the odds so, you pay him a well deserved large tip.

    At home, you fall to your knees, thanking God for having spared your miserable little life, but all the while you're hoping he won't actually hold you to the part about wanting to bag a game animal now and then.

    Hunting in Africa:
    Each morning, you ride to the hunting area in a pickup truck (aka: "bakkie") or Land Rover, while discussing last minute details with your incredibly interesting PH who, is probably a former Game Warden or Wild Life Biologist or both, before he opened a Safari Company.
    Bakkie parked, some walking, glassing and drooling (over the abundance and diversity of game), while you're wearing a short sleeved shirt, short pants and sun hat.
    No more than 3 days maximum pass, before you decide to put the sneak on whatever it is that has come to your Tracker's and your PH's and your attention.
    Either it gets away and you make a plan to go for something else or you get in close and bag your animal.
    Some days you get a couple animals, one just after breakfast and one just before sundown.
    Photos taken and the crew jumps in to field dress your beast, for later making into jaeger sausage, cutlets, steaks, roasts, ribs for grilling, etc., while you pull a bore snake through your barrel, or recheck your bow, etc, and ask your PH what you could have done better, if anything.
    Breakfast - Camp staff taps at your door to make sure you're awake, then it's jaeger sausages, eggs over easy, grilled fresh tomatoes, fried potatoes with Peri-Peri sauce, home made bread-toasted, rusks and jam, with hot coffee, tea and fruit juice.
    Lunch - sandwiches and chips, cold water, juice and soda pop, fresh fruit for desert, under an acacia tree, with monkeys suspiciously watching you, plus singing birds and one or two browsing/grazing game animals in view most of the time.
    Supper - First, you hit the hot shower in your hut or in the ample shower tent, change into the duds the camp staff has again washed and carefully ironed for you.
    Then you wander down to the fire pit, where somebody hands you the refreshing beverage of your choice.
    You trade stories with your mates there until supper is announced.
    You dine on roasted, grilled or stewed game, tender, delicious and delightful, a decent wine selection, plus various local side dishes and the best conversations around a dinner table you will ever experience.
    Then you dine to your heart's content and again retire to your warm, dry bed before doing it all again the next day.

    At home, your family tells you that you seem as if you're in a trance and one of them waves their hand in front of your face, in an attempt to see if you can even blink.
    You send an email to the Devil, offering to sell your soul for another African hunting safari.
    He actually sends one back to you, beginning with LMAO and indicates that an African safari is worth more to him than your mortal soul but he will make an exception this time.
    You agree with no hesitation and begin enthusiastically shopping for a .470 Nitro double or, an 80 lb long bow (and some Ed Schlief broadheads).

    After four safaris, I'm still in the trance stage, but my wife has finally given up on waving her hand in front of my face.
    Now she throws ice water on me and I hope she will eventually stop that as well, because it scares our dog.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2015
  7. CAustin

    CAustin AH Elite

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    I have not found it to be the case. In fact it has increased my desire to hunt North American big game like bear. And it's also true fir me that one I get my deer tag the game is on.
     
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  8. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH Legend

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    @Velo Dog, brilliant piece of prose! A short story that explains it all. I must however point out one aspect that you missed concerning the Alaskan hunt. Somewhere around day 3 or so, there's just nothing quite like waking up and finding your hunting buddy who has woke just slightly ahead of you and is standing close by scratching his under carriage and cutting a loud particularly foul fart generated by the fine camp faire you've been enjoying.
     
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  9. lwaters

    lwaters BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    I always wanted to hunt Alaska when I retired but when you compare costs Africa wins hands down. A lot of trophy moose and caribou hunts will cost $20000. You can hunt a lot of plains game in Africa for that. Well I am retired now and have never been to Alaska but have been to Africa twice. I am going to New Zealand in March and I will hunt red deer and elk cheaper than I can go to Alaska and hunt moose and caribou.
     
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  10. K-man

    K-man AH Enthusiast

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    Africa definitely has its advantages but there is a lot to be said for stepping out on your deck in your pajamas to shoot a coyote, or walking down to sit by the pond to shoot 6 of the 8 thousand geese mowing down your neighbor's wheat field, and NOT having to fly/wait/sit on airplanes, airports, bounce around in a truck for 2 days just to get the fantastic opportunity to look over 2 hundred impalas your first morning, or a herd of forty cape buffalo for the "just right" one. They are both great, just different.
     
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  11. G Skinner

    G Skinner AH Veteran

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    Hell no ! Still sit in a tree for 20 plus days........ to swing ...........and miss . LOL !
     
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  12. tarbe

    tarbe AH Fanatic

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    On which day do the bears and or wolverines get into the grub?
     
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  13. Velo Dog

    Velo Dog SILVER SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    You've obviously pitched camp with one or more of my fellow Alaskans.
     
  14. Velo Dog

    Velo Dog SILVER SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    Been here over 30 years now and have yet to see a wolverine (have only seen their tracks, and not very often at that).
    Probably have seen bears well over a hundred times and admittedly some of those were the same ones repeatedly, while hunting and fishing from a stationary camp, or polar bear while I was working on the North Slope.
    Had one caribou taken from me by a grizzly, about 40 miles from the village of King Salmon.
    One of my fishing buddies had his ice box badly chewed by a grizzly at Kulik Creek (Katmai Park area, also a bush flight away from King Salmon village).
    And, my recreational cabin has been broken into 4 times over 12 years, by a bear or bears (black bear probably, judging by the comparatively small hole he chews to get in).
    Once on Kodiak Island, (Uganik Lake / Uganik River) I was sleeping in a tube tent (just fits a sleeping bag) when a grizzly awakened me by pressing his nose against me and sniffing loudly, like a huge hound dog.
    I would be telling a lie if I said I was not terrified.
    Fortunately, the encounter only lasted a couple seconds and he left me uninjured.
    I could go on and on but I will call it a night soon (us old folks need our sleep).
     
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  15. flatwater bill

    flatwater bill AH Veteran

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    Tom....good question. The first year I hunted in Namibia, they had only 900 foreign hunters that year. For a country twice the size of California. Here in Idaho, we sold 180000 elk tags for our little state. The sheer hunting pressure and less than optimal game management mean very few opportunities here, and a stunning difference there: game is valued and managed accordingly. Every one deserves to bow hunt Africa at least once. But don't plan on looking at your old treestand back home in the same light ever again. Yes, it can definitely ruin you.
    Hunt doves in the US and have a few days with one or two shots. I've done it here in Idaho. Then go to Bolivia and try to keep a lid on things by not shooting over 80 boxes of shells a day. You can never dove hunt in Idaho again. Never.
    Every hunter would like to shoot a little. Sometimes. Especially after two to three seasons of seeing zip. All bowhunters of any means whatever need a trip to RSA once while in their prime, and shotgunners of any age need once in their life to go to Bolivia...........................................my two Rand.....................................FWB
     
  16. WALKINGPREY2

    WALKINGPREY2 GOLD SUPPORTER AH Veteran

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    I have only upland bird hunted here in the states. (Yes....quite different than my dove hunting experience in Argentina.) But I think now having been on two BG hunts in SA (the third is already in the works for either Namibia or MOZ), it has driven me to want to hunt bigger game here in the states, especially in my own home state of Virginia. I will deer hunt for the first time this year here, and I can't be more thrilled. I love the idea of being able to go from the scouting the animal, stalking, field dressing, cooking and then serving as a meal the very animal I hunted. And all on my own. I'm sick of watching those white-tails sticking their tongues at me from my own backyard. :mad:

    And Velo, I'm still undeterred. I want to hunt Alaska for a grizzly more than ever. :LOL:
     
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  17. Velo Dog

    Velo Dog SILVER SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    Good morning WALKINGPREY2,

    Rogerthat, and it turns out, whereas Alaska has totally mismanaged our moose, caribou, salmon, crab, and other shellfish resources, currently our grizzly, black bear and wolf populations are doing very well.
    When ready to shop for a bear guide, I recommend Wayne Kubat (www.alaskaremote.com).
    He is the best of the best and just a very nice person in general, as is his wife, Marilyn.

    Well anyway, cheerio,
    Velo Dog.
     
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  18. billc

    billc SILVER SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    AS much as I love hunting africa I could never see myself giving up hunting elk with a bow.
    To me it is like kudu hunting with an edge to it. Calling a bull into bow range that is looking to kick your ass is my favorite of all hunting. Only problem getting a good tag is not easy were I like to hunt in new mexico.

    I would say africa has spoiled me with chances at more animals per trip and the fun you can have. But africa and elk hunting have spoiled me enough I really dont hunt my home state of PA much anymore.
     
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  19. ActionBob

    ActionBob GOLD SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    the simple answer to the OP question isss....... Yup!
     
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  20. Scott Slough

    Scott Slough AH Veteran

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    Great question. Hunting Africa hasn’t spoiled my current hunting … it has affected my future hunting plans and even retirement planning.

    My current hunting is very different than hunting in Africa. I hunt as a refuge from the job. I live in Texas where there is little public land and I am very lucky to have access to a small, low-fence property that I deer/hog/coyote hunt with my FAVORITE nephew (access is provided through his wife’s family). My nephew did not grow up a hunter, so I enjoy the mentoring process and hanging out with family. We act like we are managing the property … setting out trail cams, inventorying deer, making hit list, clearing shooting lanes, and all of the fun ritualistic stuff that makes hunting relaxing. We really aren’t having a noticeable impact on the area or killing any record book animals, but we have a blast so we don’t care. So, Africa hasn’t changed that. I can hunt African 10 more times and I still look forward someday to be so old that my nephew and perhaps a grandchild or two has to drag my deer out of the woods!!!

    Africa has on the other hand, ruined my future hunting plans which has spilled over to retirement planning. My job is not conducive to me taking enough time off to do Western US big game hunts like I have dreamed (college professor/administrator). Summers are easy to schedule and leaving Texas when it is hovering around 100 F and arriving in Africa when it is closer to 32 F, has an extra appeal. I had always assumed that I would retire relatively young (62ish) and do some type of DIY western hunt every year with plenty of time to arrive a week or two early to scout, set up camp, and acclimate to the altitude etc. Again, probably wouldn't be any great trophy hunts, just some time in the woods where I could see some mountains and maybe harvest a few new species.

    My second night in Africa, I built a spreadsheet for testing scenarios with still retiring at 62, retiring at 62 and getting a part-time job paying more than social security, retiring at 62 and working full-time in another state, and staying put until 67 or 70 … all to fund the addiction.

    My wife hasn’t caught me with the spreadsheet, but it is only a matter of time … right now she only thinks I get Velo dog’s trance state when I look at the pictures … which hopefully will buy me a little time to refine the details!
     
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