Favorite animal hunt

GuggaOn

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I really enjoy reading peoples hunting stories, what was your guys favorite animal you have taken and what made the hunt so special or exciting things that happen during it. As well id really like to hear what animal surprised you in a way, was there like the way it acted or something about it that caught of guard.

Really look forward to reading some stories, if you have pictures would love to see them.

Thank you everyone
 
Elephant. Without a doubt. Lived up to the dream and then some. The method of hunting is amazing. It's rigorous but not so rigorous that you dread stepping out on a trail. It's scary (elephant cows in cover are scary things). It just has everything.
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@bakerb left little to add but I'll probably never fully understand his viewpoint. To me, hunting is a very personal and private thing. I've killed a lot of whitetail but no one has ever seen me kill a whitetail. It's emotion, personal and, in a way, primal. Those are the hunting experiences that means the most to me and it's whitetail simply because I live in the US...if I lived in Africa, I'm sure it would be the impala.
 
In Africa, Cape Buffalo. There's something more intense about hunting an animal in its own territory that no only can kill you, but will if it gets a chance.
However, I have to say that I look forward to opening day of dove season in Texas probably more than anything else. It's usually a group thing with friends and if the birds are flying there's nothing more fun than wingshooting.
 
I guess I could clarify. I dearly love whitetails. I can hunt them out my backdoor and spend a lot of time and money in their pursuit. A close second is elk. There's something about elk. Vocal, big, impressive, the country they inhabit, etc. The interactive nature of the hunt. They are amazing.

But elephant has been the dream for me, since I was a kid. I've read everything about them. All the old time hunters and the ivory hunters. I had dreamed of them, and then given up the dream due to the cost. Then I got lucky and fell into a situation where I could go. I built them up in my mind to such a degree that I was honestly scared the actual experience wouldn't live up to the dream and the ideal I'd built in my mind. But I shouldn't have worried. It lived up to the hype and more. There was beauty, danger, fear, adrenaline, exhaustion, heat, triumph and tragedy (there was some stuff that went down while I was there). It had it all. I actually hunted 13 days and went home without a bull, but was fortunate to be invited back to try again, and we got into them the second hunt.

13 days of no luck, and seeing the dream crash down. 115+ miles walked in 13 days. Then to be invited back. . . . It was incredible.
 
In Africa it has to be buffalo, I also dearly love hunting bushbuck their beauty and secretive nature remind me of hunting whitetail here at home. I also love to hunt common reedbuck, their tendency to stay hunkered down and flushing under foot like a giant rabbit is definitely a rush.
 
I love them all. But if I could name only one… Then:
African Dangerous Game
I’m a real sucker for hunting hippopotamus bulls on land (esp. in the sugarcane fields at night).
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African Non Dangerous Game
Kudu bulls
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Asian Dangerous Game
Royal Bengal tigers
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Asian Non Dangerous Game
Axis stags
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I consider myself very fortunate to have been able to go on a fair number of guided hunting trips, pretty modest by alot of folks standards. Locally here in NY I hunt whitetail most every week of the season. I have to be out there, but I dont have to shoot anything (but really miss the venison if I dont).
I have been on half a dozen black bear hunts in New Brunswick, and two moose hunts in Newfoundland, as well as a once in a lifetime trip with my wife to SA with a modest plains game hunt.
Favorite? Boy, tough to say. Without a doubt, Africa was great from the standpoint of all varieties of wildlife seen and the opportunities.
Favorite place to be? Newfoundland. Amazing, primitive wilderness. I felt like we were in the stone age, with wildlife that truly had never seen man before. I passed on the most massive black bear I will ever see...he was happily gorging on berries, watching us the whole time, not sure what we were....but I didnt have my moose yet and it was the last day. We walked up on caribou snoozing in the sun...again, it was obvious they had never seen man before. I dont care if I ever shoot another moose, but I am called back there...
The excitement of bear hunting...hours of nothing, then the thrill of seeing a black spot appear in the distant woods....the spookiness of walking out of your stand site well after dark, knowing black fuzzy critters are around.....
The most fun? Not much can compare with a nice fall day with the shotgun sneaking up on squirrels, or a sunny winter day kicking out rabbits....
I have to say though, that looking forward to AFrica, my mind was all about Kudu. I had a thrilling hunt leading up to my taking one. It was a drizzly morning in April, and we spotted him from a hill about 1/3 mile away as I recall....we slowly stalked in closer, found him, and waited in the misting rain for about an hour for him to stand (he was behind some brush with some girlfriends). When he stood in one move he was away. We followed up on him three more times, before I had a good shot at him, and took him cleanly. Great morning. But....My wife wanted a Zebra rug...so that was the focus.
We were chasing a band with a mature stallion for a full three days (one day temp. over 100!) . I couldnt believe how tricky they were to get on....the whole herd and all the other critters in the area running security around him, it seemed (and how many times did a durn Kudu turn up in our lap to confuse the issue? ). We ended up getting him, and he was marvelous. By far the most difficult animal I ever hunted. Moose in comparison...spot from a mile away, and you fight the terrain to get to him, then bang flop. Zebra...you have the whole neighborhood working against you!~ (how many thorns did I pull out of my butt scooting around crab style? )
 
In africa I'd have to second elephant. And to my surprise, thought I would not care for leopard out of a blind but being the observer with @Just Gina on her leopard hunt it was Amazing! As was mine years ago chasing it with dogs. I'd happily do both again. Buffalo always seem a bit like cattle to me. The Devil's red eyed cattle perhaps..... But they have the same basic instincts albeit turned to the highest settings;)

Having said, that having a fantastic mule deer in front of me on my own farm gets my heart rate going more than anything in Africa. Maybe it's because I'm on my own and more restricted and have a limited window to get it before it slips over the property line..... or waiting for him to hop the fence onto my property. I find i enjoy the stalk on a mule deer more than sitting and waiting for a whitetail in a blind.

I should note that I hunt mule deer on a non resident land owner permit so I'm limited to my property.
 
Dangerous game I would have to say leopard over bait and buffalo. There is just something very special trying to outsmart a big old Tom to have him come into a bait during legal shooting light. We have been very fortunate to shoot a lot of our leopard during daylight hours still.

Plains game I would have to say Vaal Rhebuck. They are incredible animals with incredible eyesight and the ability to blend into their habitat. And it is a really tough mountain hunt. Where we hunt them the weather is always unpredictable up in the mountains.
 
Kudu and buffalo are very challenging. For African game those are tops for me. But most of all I love bird hunting with my dogs. It's just me and them and the birds. There's something about shooting moving targets. Waterfowl hunting over decoys is "okay" but chasing pheasants is downright addicting. In my lifetime I've shot hundreds of them and the excitement never wears off. The dog gets birdy, then if we're lucky the bird holds and she goes on point. I'm ready. I know what's going to happen. Still, when that cackling rooster explodes into the late afternoon sun gleaming like a Tokyo billboard, my heart always skips a beat. Best part is I'm hunting alone and can do what I want, when I want, where I want. Freedom. I rarely stop for lunch or even carry water (usually there's snow to eat if I need to rehydrate). I'm happiest when the hunting is poor. If I fill the bag limit I have to quit. Then what? Go sit in the bar and watch a football game? Pffft. I look at all the screaming idiots in the stadium and pity them. That's their idea of excitement and adventure. Wow. They have no idea. Game's over. Time to clean birds and the gun and go to bed. Tomorrow we'll be at it again. Never gets old. I hate to take the time away from hunting to do laundry or shower. Not really necessary anyway because birds can't smell. I never had to worry much about social distancing during the pandemic even in crowded grocery stores. People seemed to magically stay out of my way. :D. Yeah, my name's Pat and I'm a pheasant hunting junkie.
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I'd like to share two. One of them is of a pheasant hunt in South Dakota. At that time I had a beautiful yellow Lab named Savannah. I had spent many days/hours teaching and training her. She was an amazing pet and fast learner. On our first trip to South Dakota, she was messing up by the numbers compared to some of the more season Labs. We were by ourselves in one area, everyone else was concentrated in another area, and I dropped a rooster. Before I know, Savannah took off after the bird. The bird was still alive and took off running. Well, the chase was on and after what seemed like an eternity, Savannah had the pheasant in her mouth. That is when the light bulb came on, and she was the proudest dog in the world. She looked at me and had this proud look of hey dad look what I got and had a special stride of success as she approached me. She turned out to be an amazing hunter. I claimed that I trained her, but it was all her, her instinct were amazing.

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The Kudu has always been my favorite antelope, and on my first trip to South Africa, the Gods were having a good time watching me chase Kudu all over Limpopo without success. We dedicated almost 4 days to hunting Kudu, and for one reason or another we couldn't connect.

One afternoon we were driving, and we had maybe 45 min left of shooting light, when my wife starts screaming "Kudu", "Kudu". The PH and I are asking "where, where", and she kept pointing but I was looking left, and my PH was looking right. We jumped off the Land Cruiser, and the Kudu is standing about 90 yds out in the middle of the road with a confused look and like what is going on there. The sticks go up and the PH has barely spat the word "shoot" out of his mouth when I was shooting. The Kudu took three steps and dropped. Out of the corner of my eye I see my wife running towards the dead Kudu. Had to run behind her, grab her and explain never approach an animal like that. To this day, it's her Kudu not mine. She spotted the Kudu and that is why it's hers. :ROFLMAO:
 
Black Bear
 
I’m going to go with what will likely be a boring answer…

Whitetail..

I enjoy the long mornings of quiet and solitude… I also enjoy watching them and their behaviors in the wild both pre-rut and then during the rut.. and I absolutely love the meat.. many of my favorite game meat meals come from whitetail
 

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