Cull Hunt for a First Timer?

Discussion in 'Hunting Africa' started by brushmore, Aug 28, 2014.

  1. brushmore

    brushmore AH Fanatic

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    Just curious on people's opinion on a cull hunt for someone's first hunt in Africa. I have never been a big trophy hunter. But I can't lie by saying that I have no interest at all in a nice trophy, it's just that there are other things, like just living the experience of hunting in Africa, that I place a much higher priority on. Plus it seems like to me that taxidermy and all of the associated costs is a big chunk of the total cost of a safari for something that isn't a real big deal for me. So would a cull hunt be a good start or just something I'd be kicking myself for afterwards if I did it my first time out?

    How about a cow buffalo hunt? I have seen a few advertised and from what it seems like is that it's a big 5 hunt that's close to the cost of a plains game hunt. After all, a big five hunt is my ultimate goal someday and if a trophy is not my main goal this sounds pretty good.
     

  2. CAustin

    CAustin AH ENABLER BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Ambassador

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    There is nothing wrong with a cow buff hunt for sure. I would think you hit the nail on the head with regards to a cull hunt. You would kick yourself later. Just my opinion.
     

  3. Toby Bradshaw

    Toby Bradshaw AH Senior Member

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    It sounds like you have a clear idea of your priorities. There's no doubt that you'll save a lot of money if you don't have dip/pack/shipping and taxidermy costs -- money that could be used to stay longer, do more, or make a return trip. Your photos will be memorable trophies, without the costs!

    The cow buffalo hunt is exciting. My dad really enjoyed his.
     

  4. K-man

    K-man AH Elite

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    Make sure you communicate well about your cull animals. Sometimes a cull hunt is about eliminating numbers of animals, including young and females. If you are not prepared for that experience, it can be quite distressing. I helped cull goats in new zealand a few years ago, and killing the entire herd was not something I was ready for. It was necessary, and I did the job quickly, but it was unpleasant for me. Not all culls are the same way, just check it out and be prepared.
     
    JamesJ likes this.

  5. enysse

    enysse AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Nothing wrong with a cull hunt, it will save a lot of money. Just remember it can include female animals.
     

  6. Hank2211

    Hank2211 AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    If trophies are of lesser interest, culling can be just as exciting as trophy hunting at a much lower cost (even apart from the taxidermy, etc.). Last month in South Africa between some trophy hunting I took some cull impalas, an eland, warthog, nyala and some others. All were old, in poor condition, and/or had horns that would not make trophy grade. The nyala had one broken horn and the warthogs were missing tusks. These were animals that most hunters would have passed by, but my PH offered them to me at half price (or less). I got some enjoyable hunts, some nice skins, and the landowner got some money for animals which would likely not have made it through the cold spell they had in July. Happy days, as they say, all around.

    Communication is, as K-Man says, the key. I would not have enjoyed killing herds or young animals.
     

  7. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN AH ENABLER SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR LIFETIME TITANIUM BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Your logic works for me.
     

  8. James.Grage

    James.Grage AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    It is your hunt plan it as you like.

    everyone on here has an opinion and we all do things a little different.

    So your planning process is ongoing and do your research.

    Most cull hunt that i know about would like you to shoot the animal in the head, there fore there is less wasted meat. A scope with a illuminated optics will be a plus for your cull hunt. Plan on using bullets with expanding qualities for your head shots.

    So practice your shooting skills. Many times this will be at night using a spotlight and shots will be close.

    Make sure you know ahead of time where they would like you to shoot the animal.

    I just visited with a few PH's that were doing night culling. animals needed to be brought in ASAP to insure that there was no spoilage.

    Sometimes there will be options to do culling in planted fields during the day, however the night is the preferred for the PH's i visited with.
     

  9. Code4

    Code4 AH Fanatic

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    Culls are good for a first hunt.
    They set you up for the second trip.
    You can always take the skull home. That is a lot cheaper than full taxidermy.
    A rug is always nice and also cheaper.

    Plan to take at least one PG trophy. You'll want to when you get there.
     

  10. Dragan N.

    Dragan N. AH Enthusiast

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    One thing to perhaps keep in mind is that if you decide to do a commercial style cull hunt is that in the case of such a hunt you are one cog in that culling machine. When they do these style of hunts the person or outfit doing the hunt usually has a certain quota to fill lets just say for sake of argument its a 100 animals a night and they will be at that property culling for 5 nights and in that time they need to take 500 animals. It is a commercial or work setting and speed and efficiency is paramount to reach this quota. Now say you come into this operation and you are not as good of a shot as you need to be (in this case you need to be a quick and accurate shooter) and you start slowing them down and the PH has to clean up after you, ie you miss the head of the animal and instead shoot is jaw off and the PH has to then deliver the kill shot, it might make the experience a lot less pleasant for everyone involved. For this reason I would think that on hunts like this especially, although this really does apply to all hunts, you have to be brutally honest with the PH about your skill level and make sure that they are ok with that.

    Another thing is I said before with this style of hunt you are in a commercial setting so you might spend the entire night shooting animals and since it is a fairly fast paced environment you might or will feel as if you are working and not actually having a vacation, enjoying the hunting and having a more relaxed atmosphere. You might feel under pressure to preform and some people don't like this.

    Also with this style of hunting the PH obviously has to look after your interests and keep you satisfied/happy but he also has to make sure that job is getting done right and that the quotas are being met and that the work isn't sloppy. His reputation is on the line here and sometimes these two interests he has to balance can work against each other.

    However I am far from an expert on the above subject and I am sure that a competent and good PH could get this to work. Although with a less skilled one or one that is more interested in money I can see how this can become an issue. You might just be a defacto observer and only allowed to shoot the odd animal here and there for example. I would also imagine on this type of hunt the PH would want to be sure you are skilled enough and they may have this option for people they have already hunted traditional safaris so they can asses your skill level. I hope someone with more experience and knowledge can clear these issues up but they are things that come to my mind. I apologize in advance if I completely missed the mark here and these concerns I raised are completely a no issue...

    Now if you do more of a "trophy style" cull hunt where say you go for 7 days to shoot a cape buffalo cow or you go on a 7 day hunt and shot a few plains game that are either sick, have deformities or defects (broken horns, tusks, poor skins etc...) you can still get them for a reduced price but you are still in an environment where the PH's primary and only objective is to get you the animal that you want and he doesn't have quotas to worry about etc... and works at the pace you like. There are also probably plenty of such animals as most people going on safaris to Africa are fairly well off and they want either a record book animal or a good representative of the species along with the African experience. Seconds probably aren't in to high demand and as others have said European mount(s) and a flat hide or two to make into a rug are very affordable and even from these "seconds" they still make fine trophies.
     

  11. Velo Dog

    Velo Dog AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Hello Brushmore,

    Perhaps a little bit like yourself, I could give a rat's ass about tape measures and record books.
    Cow buffalo, cow elephant, etc., are at least as dangerous as their male counterparts.

    Culling was a rewarding for me personally.
    The owner of a safari company that I had hunted with before asked me if I wanted to work for him awhile, as he was scheduled for neck surgery and therefore could use an extra person for a month or so.
    I agreed (had recently retired back then and not re-entered the work force yet here in the USA).

    Incidentally, the region had been suffering a drought at that time.
    Among other assignments, I was to head shoot all female antelope/warthogs and broken horn male antelopes, plus any antelope / hog tangled in poacher's snare wire, or obviously injured in some way.
    Any other species (such as any of the big-5 or hyena, I was not to shoot it but instead was supposed to notify the boss).
    (Plus I was to shoot any poacher's dogs and take into custody, if possible, any poacher that I could find and call the boss via radio).
    Never did catch a poacher (not for lack of trying) or even a poacher's dog but, I did for sure shoot many antelopes (lodge owned .30-06 Mauser with Zeiss scope and Hndy 220 grain RNSP at about 2400 fps).

    Anywhooo, you write like someone who would appreciate the culling experience.
    I definitely appreciated it and was flattered that I was asked to join in.
    And I would jump at the chance to participate again.

    Regards,
    Velo Dog.
     

  12. PeteG

    PeteG AH Elite

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    Dragan N. has summed this topic up quite well.
    A commercial cull will most likely not be suited to a holiday or first experience.

    I would recommend booking a hunt with a couple of trophies and ask the ph/outfitter/lodge owner if there are any cull opportunities for you to have the experience without the trophy.
    It will most likely give you the best of both worlds, you get a couple of trophies, experience a few different animals, get to shoot a number of extra animals at a reduced rate and save some money for the next trip.

    You can pick up a good deal on a PG hunt on here, look at 7 days with 4-5 small PG animals and you wont be out too much, add to that 4-6 "cull" animals and you can have a good time and experience.
     

  13. brushmore

    brushmore AH Fanatic

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    Thanks all. This gives me a lot more info when I start talking with places at one of the upcoming hunting shows.
     

  14. JamesJ

    JamesJ AH Elite

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    Hi Brushmore,

    I'm going to echo what a few of the others have said here already. There is nothing wrong with a cow buff hunt, but a cull hunt is a different story. Cull hunts are not about hunting they are about thinning numbers, you will more than likely be diesel stalking and shooting from the vehicle. if you want to do a cow hunt that fine and a fun hunt, but make sure you and the outfitter are on the same page for expectations.
     

  15. Guépard

    Guépard AH Veteran

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    I agree with James.
    Plan a trip for hunting no trophy animal or "cull hunt" are different.
    It's not the same way to hunt!
    Cull hunt isn't sport and ethical.
     

  16. Code4

    Code4 AH Fanatic

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    I would like to add that not all cull hunts are mass produced/unethical/slay affairs.

    You can have the same hunting experience as for trophy animals, you just pay a lot less for animals that aren't trophy quality.

    There are always operators that have access to areas that need thinning of select or excess animals and who have holes in their calender. This can be done for a greatly reduced fee per animal + day rates. You get the same experience but at lower cost.
     

  17. Sika98k

    Sika98k AH Veteran

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    I am in the same boat as Brushmore. The actual hunt to me is far more important,the thrill is what I am after.
    Trailing through a German website,www.eGun.de I found an offer in Namibia that seemed very reasonable. I have a thing about wild boar and the emphasis on this trip was reducing the warthog population along with taking some plains game.
    We were hunting on farms in the Central Highlands of Namibia. These farms were,to me at least, seriously large,7-10000 hectares.
    Yes,we bumped into small groups of cattle every now and again and had to open and close farm gates once in a while. Accommodation was in a guest house where we were fed breakfast and dinner,lunch was in the field.
    Game seen were wildebeest,gemsbok,warthog and more warthog,zebra,hartebeest,jackal,kudu and ostrich. I may have missed one or two species.
    The warthog meat was used on the farms for the staff. Nyama! was a word I heard often,meat! The meat from the other animals was sold into the food chain I believe.
    I fully realise this may not be everyone's cup of tea but the way I saw it I got to see another country,hunt a lot and learnt about different species.

    image.jpg image.jpg image.jpg
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 29, 2014

  18. Velo Dog

    Velo Dog AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Hi Guepard,

    When I was offered to do some culling, I sat in a blind beside a waterhole (drought conditions that year).
    There were 3 of these "blinds" or "hides" on the property.
    After each time I brained an animal and we finished delivering same to the skinning shed, I would go to another blind and wait for my next animals to arrive.
    The animals needed to be culled according to the man in control of the property and so, somebody was going to shoot them for sure.
    If my head shooting some over-populated animals, beside a water hole during a drought, was somehow not sporting and/or not ethical, okaaay then I plead guilty I guess.

    Friendly Regards,
    Velo Dog.
     

  19. Guépard

    Guépard AH Veteran

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  20. brushmore

    brushmore AH Fanatic

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    Thanks Guépard! That'a a very interesting link about the cull hunt! Now I understand it's a non-trophy hunt is what I am looking for.

    I am just about sold on a Buffalo cow hunt with a few plains game. My next step is to attend one of the hunting shows this winter. Thanks to this forum I'll be able to ask much more informed questions.
     

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