Best species to hunt?

Discussion in 'Hunting Africa' started by wildfowler.250, Jul 9, 2019.

  1. wildfowler.250

    wildfowler.250 AH Member

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    So very open ended question but I’m going to try and convince my old man who only does a little bit of rifle hunting to join me when I get my first trip,(likely SA) organised.

    If you were to go for a simple few animals for a plains game type hunt, what would you recommend to someone for a weeks hunt? 4/5 animals? Any suggestions?


    Funnily he’s much more into his fishing, anyone done much fishing over there in their winter time?


    Cheers!
     

  2. cpr0312

    cpr0312 AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Well like you said that's a very open ended question. General PG in SA, I would say impala, blesbok, one of the wildebeests, kudu, maybe zebra or gemsbok, springbok or warthog.
    I have never fished in SA, so I cant help you there.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2019
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  3. Ridgewalker

    Ridgewalker AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Elephant, Cape buffalo, lion, leopard, rhino...just kidding!:LOL:
    Zebra, I think everyone needs a tough zebra rug. They just make a game room.
    Warthog, they are so ugly they are handsome! Unique euro mounts.
    Kudu, the gray ghost. Nice mature animal for a shoulder mount.
    Springbuck, the RSA national animal as a shoulder mount.
    And last but not least an impala, “ the meat of Africa” has the softest skin of them all.

    A deer or better elk rifle with premium bullets (Barnes, TBBC, NorthFork, etc) will work fine. For all these, but the zebra is very tough.
     
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  4. cagkt3

    cagkt3 AH ENABLER PLATINUM SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Kudu for sure, zebra, impala, springbuck and blue wildebeest.

    Winter fishing may not be the best - I had talked to my last outfitter about adding some fishing and he said we could give it a go, but the timing (June/July) is not ideal. Gets better later in the year.
     
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  5. wildfowler.250

    wildfowler.250 AH Member

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    Thanks for the replies!

    Out of interest I notice zebra tends to come up a lot. Difficult to hunt? Good to eat? They’re one of the few that I do worry about non-hunters judging. People see it more like a horse compared to something with horns.


    Reading the eland thread just now and they’re suddenly sounding far more appealing!
     

  6. cpr0312

    cpr0312 AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Both eland and zebra are worthy game to pursue. Both are not easy to hunt typically and are very wary and skittish typically
     
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  7. Ridgewalker

    Ridgewalker AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Eland are awesome, but...personally I believe a premium bullet in a 338-375 level cartridge is best suited. JMO&E

    What ever you hunt, you will have an awesome time! Just don’t put yourself under too much pressure for specific trophies. Africa has a way of offering up trophies you never planned!
     

  8. wildfowler.250

    wildfowler.250 AH Member

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    Good idea! I’ve only got a .270 so may have to scale up or borrow a rifle if eland was ever on the menu anyway. Like the idea of the tracking though.

    Any other good classics to suggest? Warthog? Heard good things about bushbuck?
     

  9. gillettehunter

    gillettehunter AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    Most everyone's list is different. Reflects our personal taste. I'd suggest deciding on 2-3 priority animals and then 3-4 maybe's if the right one comes along. Pick the hunting area based on the priority animals.
    For instance I'm headed over in Sept. I've been several times and want a Vaal Rhebuck as my primary animal. I also have a score to settle with an eland. I found a outfitter that specializes in Rhebuck and Klipspringer. So I added a Klippy to the list. He has access to a number other animals at very good prices so they are on the maybe list. I have 6 days with him and then over to Zambia for Buffalo and eland. Plus I need a cape for a Chobe Bushbuck. So I get to look for one of them.
    I like horns/antlers so a Zebra never made my list. To others that is the animal that screams Africa to them. I enjoy hunting the sneaky bushbuck. I also love Kudu and Nyala. So many great animals to hunt.
    Bruce
     

  10. Ridgewalker

    Ridgewalker AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    They are quite enjoyable to hunt but there is rarely, IME, tracking involved because they tend to live in thick cover near a stream. So the terrain is usually different than the other PG. too they can be one of the most dangerous of the antelope when wounded or cornered. To me, the shoulder mounts are always a bit rough because they fight so much. Mine had half it’s hair missing on its neck for example.
     
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  11. johnnyblues

    johnnyblues AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    For me greater kudu, bushbuck, eland and that silly guy the black wildebeest. OH ya.. Just hunt all PG species and then decide what you liked best! LOL
     
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  12. meigsbucks

    meigsbucks AH Fanatic

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    Kudu: Those spiraling horns are so majestic
    Zebra: Everyone needs a zebra rug
    Warthog: That was #2 on my list after buffalo on my first safari. I have a full mount... enough said
    Impala: So classic and graceful looking
    Blue Wildebeest: The “poor man’s Cape buffalo”. Tough animal. Another classic.
    Springbok: If they are in your area, take two. One to mount and the other for a “rug”, as they have one of the most beautiful hides (plus you’ll have a euro mount of the horns).
    I haven’t hunted RSA, but in Zimbabwe we caught tilapia and largemouth bass while waterbuck and impala watched us fish.
     
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  13. TXhunter65

    TXhunter65 AH Veteran

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    Kudu, wildebeest, impala, zebra, gemsbok.
     
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  14. wildfowler.250

    wildfowler.250 AH Member

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    Cheers guys! Appreciate it and keep the suggestions coming.

    Personally I’m looking along the lines of kudu, nyala, impala, springbok, black wildebeest and a lechwe/waterbuck for myself but the last couple could vary.


    Gemsbok comes up regularly. Any particular reason why? Unique? Hard to hunt? Wouldn’t be my first choice but things can change.

    Thanks!
     

  15. sgt_zim

    sgt_zim AH Elite

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    So many good choices, really depends on where you're going and what's available.

    They have a funny saying about wildebeest. Wildebeest is an animal born sick, and the more (lead) pills you give it, the stronger it gets and the faster it runs. They've earned the title "the poor man's cape buffalo" for apparently good reason.

    My list is similar to everyone else's
    kudu
    gemsbok
    zebra (not picky on the species)
    red hartebeest
    blesbok
    impala
    warthog
    eland
    wildebeest (preferably black because of their forward-swept horns, but won't turn down blue)
    sable
    roan
    springbok
    reedbuck (mountain and common)
    nyala
    waterbuck
    bushbuck

    Not for nothing, but I notice that Thorndale has a pretty nice father/son package - 4 trophies and 5 cull/management animals.

    https://www.thorndalesafari.com/standard-hunting-packages/
     

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  16. Mark Biggerstaff

    Mark Biggerstaff SILVER SUPPORTER BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    As stated everyone’s list is different. What I thought would be my once in lifetime trip last year I chose: Kudu, Eland, Black and Blue Wildebeest, Impala, Blesbok, Zebra and warthog. Got everything but warthog and took a really old red Hartabeest that came along. Fast forward to this year (found out I am addicted now to South Africa) I went for Cape Buffalo and Nyala, but couldn’t pass up the great Sable we came across and then Springbok. Presently working on next years dates and hit list.
    Best advise. Set a primary list of 2-3 and roll with the flow. If the PH says its good and you should shoot it. Do it!! Take what comes as it comes.
     

  17. WAB

    WAB AH Elite

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    In my experience a tracking hunt for eland is the greatest hunt I have done on a plains game species.

    After that my preference would be kudu, zebra, bushbuck, warthog, impala in that order. I have not hunted nyala, a problem that will be corrected next month, so I can’t say where I would put them on the list.
     

  18. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    That's as good a list as anyone here will provide. Gemsbok for me are one of those animals that really screams Africa to me. The long spear like horns....the black/white face......just beautiful to me.

    But if it doesn't do much for you, so be it, this is your hunt. My favorite on your list is kudu for sure. Beautiful animal but also a challenge to hunt. A proper old kudu bull will appear out of nowhere sometimes and just as quickly disappear. They're referred to often as ghosts for a reason.

    The thing that's great for you and your father is this is your first time. All the animals are new to you, so you can pursue whatever you choose without duplicating those you've taken previously.

    Certainly you need to budget your hunt and choosing which animals you want to pursue while there will be at least in part guided by your budget. But hunting plans and reality often are different. Being a bit flexible with your plan I think is wise. Sometimes animals that weren't on your list show up, and you may hear your PH say something along the line of "I know that animal is not on your list, but it's a very nice one and you'd be nuts to turn it down if it were on your list." When you hear something like that, you should maybe reconsider. It wouldn't be the first time a hunter declined and later regretted the decision.
     
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  19. Boela

    Boela AH Veteran

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    Deciding what to hunt is one thing, but deciding on the province to hunt in, may require some research too.

    Being based in Zululand, it is hard not to be biased.

    Zululand offers great hunting oppertunities! I would therefore look at Buffalo, Zebra, Waterbuck or Kudu, Red Duiker, Common Reedbuck and let us not forget the world class Nyala roaming our coastal thickets.
    Then there is still Impala, Warthog, Steenbuck, Bushpig, Hippo, Bluewildebeest, Bushbuck, Suni, Giraffe Common Duiker and more Big5 animals available on top of other species not mentioned. You can really make a good start at hunting the Tiny 10 or the Dangerous 6 in Zululand.

    Regarding the fishing, you may decide to try your hand at Tiger Fish or, go deep sea targetting billfish or other pelagics.
    Zululand truely offers a large array of opportunities for a hunter / angler.
    Best not forget that Ushaka International Airport is located just North of Durban too.
     
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  20. Ryan

    Ryan AH Fanatic

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    I had an offshore fishing trip lined up with my hunting trip on the East Cape with @KMG Safari last year. The weather decided to get bad at the wrong time and changed my plans. But it's quite reasonable and possible to allow you to focus on hunting and your father to focus more on fishing.
    As for what to hunt, I go along withe the thought of one or two primary to focus on and be open to whatever seems to be more available for the rest. Kudu and zebra were my primary my first trip.
    Good luck
     
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