Here's my two bits, definitely make a list but be prepared to take what Africa may offer up. It happened both times to me, my first safari I harvested a great bushbuck that wasn't on my list and on my second safari I took an amazing Eastern Cape Kudu. If your PH begins jumping up and down, holding his breath and turning red because you are sticking to your list when a trophy of a lifetime walks out maybe you should think about adding it to your list.
I also was only planning on going to Africa once but I am now planning my third trip for 2018.
Good luck and can't wait to see your hunt report and pictures.
Hi Josh. Good luck on your trip. By taking your wife, you have half the battle finished for a second safari. I bet she will want to go back as well. She also will love the taste of game meat in Africa much better than North American game. If you seriously will not go back, I suggest taking as many animals as you can (even if you have to get a small loan) because it is cheaper to do it while already there than to spend the time and airlines, etc... to go again. Interest rates are still low and you can probably easily get a home equity line of credit with a low rate. I am not advocating that you go tens of thousands in debt but one or two extra trophy fees would be a small loan and probably less than airline tickets on a second safari. Remember, you only live once and it only gets more expensive each year.
As for me, I am not a collector that needs one of everything. I like what I like. I like the big horns of the larger plains game. I have been lucky enough to take buffalo and leopard but I actually prefer the plains game - especially the spiral horned antelopes. I don't care for the tiny stuff and duikers. They just don't do it for me. I have taken a suni because my PH was flipping out and it was the biggest ever taken in the concession but I would have rather taken an eland. I like your selections and your wife's so far but I definitely would take a kudu, zebra, gemsbok, impala, blesbok, and waterbuck. If I were you, I would take a nyala if presented because they are only found in certain areas in Africa. I would drop the wildebeest if you had to skip something. Not that there is anything wrong with baboons and warthogs, but I am curious as to your fascination with them? Regards, Scott.
They both scream Africa! There are various species of antelopes found on nearly every continent. Only Africa has warthogs. Also, as a bow hunter, a baboon is one of the most difficult and challenging animals to kill with a bow. Even hunting from a well designed, super-quite hide doesn't always make the difference. They seem to have a 6th sense about them and they visit the water/feed for a total of about 2 seconds. You had better be lucky enough to see them coming from a ways off and get in position and drawn long before they get in bow range.
Not to muddy the waters further, but don't forget the cost of taxidermy (if that is your intended route)......some animals cost more to mount than others. Do you plan on full shoulder mounts, skull mounts, flat skins, or just photos? I originally planned on having all the heads done as full shoulder mounts......after seeing what it would cost, I opted to have two done as full shoulder and two as skull mounts. The full shoulder mounts (blue wildebeest and gemsbok) were animals that I have coveted for a long time....to me, they just scream "AFRICA". The two skull mounts (impala and kudu) were part of the package; I wasn't really keen on taking them, but since it was part of a "package deal", I did. I have no regrets....the kudu hunt was in mountainous terrain and very challenging, and was my longest shot in Africa (250 yards). The cow waterbuck I took I had done as a flat skin......if I could do it all over again, I think I would just pass on the flat skin and bring home photos instead.
At any rate, don't forget to "leave something for next time"......that's in part what dreams are made of! My next trip I hope to take cow cape buffalo, zebra, red hartebeest, black wildebeest, and springbok. Maybe a couple of others as well..............we'll see.
Hi Bob, how's things going in Wyong?. Down your way a couple of years back but haven't been in NSW since Ebor for the fishing. just getting over some nasty storms up here in Qld, seeing the sun for the first time in a few days. I'm going to NZ in the spring and hope to clean up a few buns while there and perhaps shake the spiders out of my old .303LE (currently owned by my BIL). Cheers Brian