Bang for buck species

Discussion in 'Hunting Africa' started by JPbowhunter, Sep 5, 2018.

  1. JPbowhunter

    JPbowhunter AH Enthusiast

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    G'day guys,

    I'm curious to get some opinions from some of the african hunting veterans here about hunting africa.

    My wife and i have been talking lately about it a bit, in a couple years I'll be 30 and am thinking i might do a big trip for it. It'll either be to the states or to Africa.

    I grew up as a kid reading nothing but hunting books, many of them about africa and always wanted to hunt there like so many others. I always dreamed of a big 5 true foot safari type hunt but in reality I'm from very moderate means so the style of hunt I enjoy is to be honest, beyond anything I'll do in this life.

    Pretty well all my hunting is diy, do lots of backpack hunting which involves 10-30km days in the mountains at times and am comfortable living out of a sleeping bag and eating the bare bones of food.

    But i do see an upshot in that there has to be a close second. Maybe i won't hunt a buffalo stalking on foot through thick bush for days but would an eland hunt be something similar for example? Obviously minus the danger part though.

    I love the challenge of hunting more than anything else, i am a trophy hunter but not for score at all.

    At this stage bush stalking an old huge framed free range eland bull is at the top of my list maybe in namibia.

    What other species and also what countries can people suggest to get a true sense of free range african hard stalking and tracking to suit the budget of a very average joe?

    Appreciate the advice in advance.
     
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  2. Hank2211

    Hank2211 GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    If trophies don't matter to you (or at least not very much), you should ask for cull animals. Obviously the actual hunt for an animal with broken horns is not different than hunting an animal with gold medal horns, yet one can often be less than half (often much less) of what a trophy animal might cost. So decide if you'd like a nice kudu and zebra for example, and then chase "rubbish" impala and warthog and blesbok, etc. Your money will go much further, and you will have just as much fun, if not more, since you may be able to hunt more culls than trophy animals. For example, I was on a farm in South Africa last year and had the ability to shoot as many (or as few) fallow deer as I wanted for $95 per animal. I had great fun taking about a zebra's worth over a couple of days.

    I got over the trophy bug a long time ago and unless I'm after a particularly special animal, I'm more than happy to look for the old, the worn out or worn down, or the broken-horned. I get more hunting in, which equals more fun, at a fraction of the cost.
     

  3. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN AH ENABLER SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR LIFETIME TITANIUM BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Tracking an Eland. Do it.
     

  4. Lee M

    Lee M AH Fanatic

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    Namibia is a great choice for stalking in free range or very large high fence. Also very reasonable cost. Bow or gun. See my recent hunt report. I still have a day of hunting to add to it.
     
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  5. IdaRam

    IdaRam BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    A tracking hunt for Eland as the primary species would be wonderful! Add zebra, impala, warthog. Either Namibia or Zimbabwe... You could have a hell of a thirtieth birthday!
    Will your wife be accompanying you? Rifle or bow or both?
     
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  6. JPbowhunter

    JPbowhunter AH Enthusiast

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    My wife likely as not wouldn't come, maybe my brother though.

    I'd also like to try for a kudu for my wife, she likes the horn structure.

    Then maybe impala or zebra, not too phased with shooting heaps of animals if I can have a challenging hunt for what I'm after.
     
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  7. Red Leg

    Red Leg AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    The cull thing is primarily a feature of fenced properties. A PH in low fenced concessions or wilderness areas will be working his butt off to find you the best representative animal he can - whatever the species.

    I strongly second Namibia as a location for a first Safari. And An eland is a terrific choice. In most areas of Namibia, the hunting method is to find a bull track early and attempt to walk him down. It is a demanding and very interesting hunt. The same animal on a small fenced property is rather like potting the neighbor’s angus bull. While in Namibia, add Hartman Zebra, Kudu, and Oryx to your wish list - all of which can be demanding quarry.

    Several outfitters here could put together a tremendous 10-day experience for you and your brother. Jamy Traut is another with whom I have personally hunted.
     

  8. cpr0312

    cpr0312 AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    If your going to Namibia, kudu, hartebeest, gemsbok, and mountain zebra should definitely be on your list as all are nicely priced there.
     

  9. fourfive8

    fourfive8 AH Enthusiast

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    The tracking can be long but Africa hunting is not similar to DIY backpack hunting in western US or Alaska. It has the potential of course to be similar and even more demanding but just too many things to cause trouble on such an adventure- so outfitters can't/don't offer it. Just have to read about it from Bell or Selous or Everett, etc. :)

    No reason not to look at a buffalo hunt that is primarily set up for tracking dagga boys. The big deal and difference is the expense since it is classed as a DG type hunt. Tracking eland with San trackers in the Kalahari can give you all you want as far as a tracking type hunt... as can tracking zebra or wildebeest where they are heavily hunted or in areas with lions. Africa is Africa and not the US, so have to adjust mindset about hunting there.
     
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  10. fourfive8

    fourfive8 AH Enthusiast

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    "What other species and also what countries can people suggest to get a true sense of free range african hard stalking and tracking to suit the budget of a very average Joe?"

    Really any country as long as the property is large enough- fenced or not. There is a difference between wandering around looking for something to shoot and actually cutting spoor and tracking specific animal(s). A 250,000 plus acre high fenced property is pretty large! Good trackers are a big part of any tracking type hunt. They are truly a wonder to hunt with and watch!

    It's pretty easy to get the base line numbers for your budget. You have to get there and back. You may have transfer or charter fees. You will have a daily rate. You will have a trophy fee. If not a daily plus trophy fee, you will have a "package" amount for a list of certain spp or combination thereof. You will have tips. You will have dip, pack and ship. You may have a VIP service, hotel and firearm permit expediting fee. You may have VAT taxes. You may have a customs brokerage fee for incoming shipments. You may have a taxidermy fee. Add them all up and that's most of an estimate for total cost.

    And, you'll see the words "free range" used a lot, but the devil's in the details. There are places where technically the animals are free range but you may not have unlimited free range for hunting rights. You may be hunting in a "free range" area with no high fences but at the same time restricted to those properties owned by, leased by or that your PH/outfitter has an agreement to hunt on. Or you may be hunting an unfenced free range area but the property you have hunting rights on is relatively small bounded by off-limits areas, non or out-of-concession areas or closed National Parks. Do the homework before commitment to book.
     
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  11. Hogpatrol

    Hogpatrol SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    My 2¢, Consider going with a an outfitter who will do a package deal that includes zebra, kudu and the eland. Those animals will give you a stalking run for your money.
     
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  12. Jeffro

    Jeffro AH Member

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    There are operators in Namibia who offer back-packing hunts in the mountains. You'd hike in your own gear, sleep in tents, the whole thing, much like Rockies hunting. John Martins at Discount African Hunts offers a pretty appealing one.
     
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  13. Eventually_Africa

    Eventually_Africa AH Enthusiast

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    Hello there! I know it's been mentioned a time or two already but you would not be disappointed with an Eland hunt. They can disappear into brush that you would swear couldn't conceal a golden retriever. They will jump over things that they have no business jumping over. They will go so long as to make the Energizer Bunny green with envy. And I'm not even a die-hard Eland fan, I've only hunted one! It gave me all the trouble I wanted though and I would highly recommend it as a good "bang for your buck" deal, especially if you go for a cull animal as was stated earlier. If it's just a broken horn or some cosmetic damage then the hunt won't be any different than if you were going for the biggest trophy.
     
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  14. Nyati

    Nyati AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    If cost is a concern, look into South Africa, there are very large properties where you will not even see the fence.

    Eland, kudu, wildebeest, hartebeest, gemsbok, and warthogs.

    There are some very good outfitters on AH which will be able to provide you with a great hunting experience.
     
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  15. JPbowhunter

    JPbowhunter AH Enthusiast

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    Appreciate the advice guys some very good feedback.

    I don't think i explained the trophy side very well. I'm not interested in score but i don't necessarily want a cull hunt. If I'm hunting hard at home in Aus I'm looking for the best i can find as long as it's mature, if thats a thumper ill take him, if its something with damage or a bit wonky I'd take him too if i liked him. I don't want to look at an animal and think he's a ripper but have to pass him up.

    As for size of the property and fences, i have nothing personally against high fence, it's simply just not for me no matter how big it is.

    Something like eland, kudu and zebra would be very enticing.

    A lot to think on so thanks again.
     
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  16. IdaRam

    IdaRam BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    I think you have a perfect start to a perfect plan! Make sure to take time to enjoy this part (y):)
     

  17. neckdeep

    neckdeep AH Veteran

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    Eland in a big wild area with Dangerous Game, you can easily do this in Zim with one of the many great outfitter's. Take up some track and you never know what you will find at the other end. Killed a great Blue Wildebeest in a similar fashion. Great tracking hunt. IMG_0308.JPG
     
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  18. mrpoindexter

    mrpoindexter AH Fanatic

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    If you want the Big 5 experience but without the incredible cost, there are options. I know there are a lot of people who are against captive bred lions, but as they are generally walk and stalk on foot in the Kalahari, it is more of a "hunt" in the walk and stalk style than one gets with many wild lions that are shot over bait from a blind. CBL is also relatively cheap. I think they are more dangerous than hunting free ranging wild lions.

    Another option is to hunt a tuskless elephant. The female tuskless elephant is one of the most dangerous animals around. You will get all the work of an elephant hunt, more of the danger and at a fraction of the cost.

    Granted, the above are far more expensive than a cull plains game hunt, but they are a fraction of what most people think a BIG 5 type hunt will cost. You can get a tuskless elephant or CBL for less than a Cape buffalo. You could get a real sense of wild Africa with a free range elephant hunt in Zimbabwe and you will put some miles on the soles of your boots.
     
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  19. Ty Howard

    Ty Howard AH Veteran

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    As far as bang for your buck, Kudu and blue wildebeest are my top 2.

    Eland and sable are on my list for next year.

    IMG_1581.JPG

    IMG_1640.JPG
     
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  20. WAB

    WAB AH Enthusiast

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    JP, I’ve done five buffalo hunts, all proper tracking hunts, all but one in very remote areas. I just got back from my first eland hunt, a proper tracking hunt in the Kalahari. It was a tougher hunt than any of the buffalo. In fact elephant is the only thing more difficult I have done in Africa.

    I’ve done a ton of backpack hunting in Canada, Wyoming and Alaska. I haven’t seen anything in Africa that is as physically demanding as a backpack hunt in the mountains of Alaska.
     
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