How many animals?

huntinlabs

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So my wife and I went on our first trip earlier this year. Total we took 10 animals 9 different species. To us it was a dream trip. We spent a week with the pawprint guys then a week with a good buddy of mine that is a PH over there @Boela. We finally got to meet his son in person after watching him grow up over whatsapp and this time my wife and I are taking our 5 (will be 6 year old) son and my 7 year old daughter to finally let boela and his wife meet them in person instead of watching them over whatsapp. Qe will be going after a cull for the kids (thinking impla and blesbuck pr something similar) I for sure want a waterbuck ajd my wife wants a warthog and steenbuck since these two animals eluded her the whole 2 weeks last year. My question is what do you consider enough animals to make the trip worth it? I am what one would consider blue collar so we dont make that much and while this will be more of a relaxing and finally getting all the kids together trip. I also want to take animals since I'll be there and to help justify the price of flying 4 over. So what would you hunt? Last trip we took zebra 2 impala blesbuck blue wildebeest black wildebeest kudu giraffe nyala springbuck.
 
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mark-hunter

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My question is what do you consider enough animals to make the trip worth it?

I am also on the blue collar level.

It depends on budget. It depends on the species. And also depends on personnal views.
In my view, hunting in Africa is not about the quantity but for the quality of entire experience. Safari should not be measured in number of kills as ultimate goal.

Apart from the animals taken, additonal quality time can be spent in other activites, fishing, sight seeing various places, museums, Vic falls, Etosha, Kruger, depending on the country where you hunt.

I've just came from 2nd trip to Namibia, and alaready planning the third one.

For third safari, my goal is only two animlas: eland and waterbuck.
For the rest of planned days I was thinking of visiting Etosha, and maybe chasing baboons and jackals without any personal obligations of the "must get them" approach, or just sitting on a tree stand over a waterhole taking good pictures ... basically - just enjoying the time and absorb the the air, the country, the enviroment, the people, the sun, sunsets, etc..

My view for this plan is: eland is not easy to hunt, and some days will be spent tracking him (as I am told), and both of them eland plus waterbuck make for average expenses of 5 trophy plains game hunt, so to remain witihin similar budget. The rest of the days I will just enjoy the time.

So in this case, in my view, two trophies are sufficient for good memorable hunt, and worth the effort.
 

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I have thought in my own mind that the cost of travel was reduced to a "per animal" basis. So if my flight is $1500 round trip then to shoot 3 animals add $500 each to their trophy fee for a cost. If 5 animals then its $300 each. I'm, of course, ignoring dip, pack and taxi in this line of thought. For me 4 seems to be a reasonable minimum and 5 makes me happier.
To each his own. Budget constraints also must be considered. There are always a few less expensive animals that can added at reasonable cost. Sometimes when in Africa an exceptional animal pops up and you need to take him home with you. Also I have been offered deals on certain animals after arrival. Sometimes there is a surplus on the property. Plan as best you can and see what happens. Good luck.
Beuce
 

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You could make up a budget, include your desired animals, other activities and then add in some culls to round out the number.
 

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I agree with Hogpatrol. I’ve only been to Africa once but it’s been on my mind every day. Like everyone my eyes are bigger than my stomach....or wallet. I’ve decided on two must haves for the next trip, possibly a third and culls to round out if possible. On my trip I didn’t get everything I wanted but I still had the time of my life anyway. I wish you luck!
 

Hogpatrol

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I see the disease has infected two more AH members. Fortunately or unfortunately, there is no cure, only relief of the symptoms.:A Camping:
 

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I just returned from the Limpopo. I had a very successful hunt for buffalo, taking a great old, heavy bossed bull. I also had a wonderful hunt for kudu and never fired a shot at one. Had set a goal for something truly special and never had an opportunity at one of that class. We worked very hard for several days, and were rewarded with a monster bushpig at high noon in the thick stuff. We saw many bulls over 50", but never that special one over 55". Yet, still a fabulous experience. I think for most of us, the more one travels to hunt, the greater the desire to achieve certain goals - whether they be species or age or size. Starting that approach earlier rather than later can contribute considerably to cutting back the total number of animals taken. I also suspect that you and your bride will be thoroughly caught up for a good bit of time in helping those kids cleanly take their first animals.
 

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Huntinlabs, this sounds more like a family vacation. Any animals if taken should be considered icing on the cake and not the reason for the trip. A couple of culls for the kids with rifles matched to their abilities and an animal or two for you and your wife would make a fine vacation. Hopefully the kids will get a chance to see what other parts of the world live like.
 

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Personally, I think more in terms of how many days versus how many animals.

You don’t know what animals will come your way, but you can control, through scheduling, how many days you are on the ground.

I decided on my first trip over I did not want to hunt less than 10 days.

For my trip to the BVC next year I am scheduled for 12 days on the property. How many animals that equates to, God only knows!
 

mdwest

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Huntinlabs, this sounds more like a family vacation. Any animals if taken should be considered icing on the cake and not the reason for the trip.

Agree...

Thats the approach my wife and I take...

We certainly have certain goals in mind when we hunt (whether at home, or abroad) and those goals are often driven by budget, time available, etc... but the priority for us is simply to share an adventure and enjoy time together doing something we both really love doing.. and to escape the rat race of our normal daily lives back home for a little while.. A safari is every bit as much a "family vacation" for us as it is a hunt..

Any animal actually taken is just icing on the cake..
 

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I've been on four Safaris. Without a doubt the two safaris that I shot the least amount of animals were my favorites, and the one where I shot the most animals was without a doubt my worst experience in Africa.

Heck, the best elk hunt I've ever had I didn't see a single elk, not one. I wouldn't trade that hunt for anything though.

Point is, go for the experience and enjoy every minute, and let the animals come as they may.
 

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Having just returned form Pawprint I can tell you they have some very nice spots for your kids to hunt. I would focus my efforts on animals you don't have. If you haven't finished your beest slam (Blue, Black and Red Beest) that would be something to consider. A white Blesbok all so makes a nice trophy. Just set a budget for your animal and focus on the actual hunt instead of the results, sometime the best hunts are the ones that end empty handed.
 

huntinlabs

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Having just returned form Pawprint I can tell you they have some very nice spots for your kids to hunt. I would focus my efforts on animals you don't have. If you haven't finished your beest slam (Blue, Black and Red Beest) that would be something to consider. A white Blesbok all so makes a nice trophy. Just set a budget for your animal and focus on the actual hunt instead of the results, sometime the best hunts are the ones that end empty handed.

We also hunted with pawprint earlier this year. This trip will be in natal strictly. It is more of a family deal and let the kids see and learn about a different country. Hunting will be a plus but then again we will be in Africa so we need to hunt. lol i am thinking one animal for myself and wife and each the kids a cheaper animal that is a cull since the plane tickets are so much coming from Alaska anyways.
 

huntinlabs

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Huntinlabs, this sounds more like a family vacation. Any animals if taken should be considered icing on the cake and not the reason for the trip. A couple of culls for the kids with rifles matched to their abilities and an animal or two for you and your wife would make a fine vacation. Hopefully the kids will get a chance to see what other parts of the world live like.

It will be a family vacation. We decided to take them after the scare with my son, but wanted to go by ourselves first to see how it is. I guess I worded the question wrong. If you were only going to go after one or two animals what would you hunt? What in your past experiences have been the best hunts keeping budget in mind. For the kids we are thinking a cheaper animal and a cull at that but one where there are plenty of them just incase of a miss or two.
 

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I'm a retired shipping / warehouse manager, so I didn't make mega bucks. I wanted a Cape buffalo since I was 15. At 56 I went on what I thought would be my only safari. It was a 14 day hunt in Zimbabwe with buffalo as my number one target. If I didn't get anything other than a buffalo, I would have been OK with that but I had three other top species that If I collected them, I'd be elated. I got all of those plus four other species.
Now I've recently returned from safari number two where I took nine animals and three additional for cull. Now, I'm already thinking of number three.
To say what makes it worth the trip depends on what you want. It's different for everyone. Like I said, on safari number one, a buffalo was all that mattered. Safari number two: eland and gemsbok were the targets. Anything over that was gravy. I got the eland and gemsbok plus five other species. I did have to watch the cost, so the additional animals weren't sable or other pricey critters.
Safari three will have a priority of a Nyala and a buffalo. Maybe a couple of other animals, but that will probably be it.
The quality of the hunt is what matters. What if you go on a seven day elk hunt in the USA, hunt hard in good country but don't get one? Was the hunt not worth it?
This pretty much mirrors what Mark-hunter said but set your priorities, let your PH know what you want and enjoy your hunt and everything that goes with it.
 

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I'm a retired shipping / warehouse manager, so I didn't make mega bucks. I wanted a Cape buffalo since I was 15. At 56 I went on what I thought would be my only safari. It was a 14 day hunt in Zimbabwe with buffalo as my number one target. If I didn't get anything other than a buffalo, I would have been OK with that but I had three other top species that If I collected them, I'd be elated. I got all of those plus four other species.
Now I've recently returned from safari number two where I took nine animals and three additional for cull. Now, I'm already thinking of number three.
To say what makes it worth the trip depends on what you want. It's different for everyone. Like I said, on safari number one, a buffalo was all that mattered. Safari number two: eland and gemsbok were the targets. Anything over that was gravy. I got the eland and gemsbok plus five other species. I did have to watch the cost, so the additional animals weren't sable or other pricey critters.
Safari three will have a priority of a Nyala and a buffalo. Maybe a couple of other animals, but that will probably be it.
The quality of the hunt is what matters. What if you go on a seven day elk hunt in the USA, hunt hard in good country but don't get one? Was the hunt not worth it?
This pretty much mirrors what Mark-hunter said but set your priorities, let your PH know what you want and enjoy your hunt and everything that goes with it.
Those big black things are addictive aren't they? (y)
 

mark-hunter

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Now, looking back: What I have noticed before the first hunt - I was (or generally, we are) - not sure what to hunt.
There are 50 species in Namibia and South Africa. 2oo species in entire Africa.
I wanted many species, as many as possible, but had to prioritise on them.

200 species all over Africa, 12 - 15 hunting countries in option, so I had to make the choice of the country, as well.
There was a lot to research and investigate. And reducing options in the beggining, is very hard.

From that perspective - before even start, you want it all - and you want it as soon as possible. and in that first planning phase - the quantity matters. (in theory)
.
Then, I made the first safari - to Namibia, with 5 species in mind. (black gnu, kudu, haretbeest, gemsbok, warthog)
It was great experience.

Then, I made second trip to Namibia, for next 5 species on my priority list, plus one more of opportunity.
(blue gnu, zebra, impala, springbok, blesbok)
Those 10 species I hunted, in two consecutive years could be described as Namibian top 10 - more or less - as mentioned in separate thread here on forum.

Now, I am planning the third safary (for two species in mind only: waterbuck & eland), and already having an idea of the fourth (one species in mind, only - the buffalo).

So I came to conclusion, the more you (or I, or we,) consume Africa, and get more experience, it is not really about quantity - since obviously in my planning the quantity of game is getting reduced,, it is all about being there, about having the experience, and sharing the experience with like minded people, in the camp, in the bush, and later back at home.

Now, today, if I want to make the connection between the quanity and quality, I would say, the quantity of the hunting days well spent on African soil, is the quality, but not the shear numbers of the animals taken.

So, the idea of the quality of safari changes with experience, experience changes our future expectations, and in turn, we change, develop and evolve as hunters.
 

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Don't make this too complicated!
 

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