How smart/stupid are animals during hunting

Discussion in 'Hunting Africa' started by tigris115, Nov 7, 2018.

  1. tigris115

    tigris115 AH Enthusiast

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    Ok so on one hand, I know that elephants are renowned for their intelligence but on the other hand, my anthro teacher told me that indigenous hunters would catch pronghorn by creating a ring of logs and chasing the pronghorn into them, making them forget they can jump for some reason. So I wanted to hear from you guys on this subject.
     

  2. Red Leg

    Red Leg AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    Other than an opossum, nothing on earth is dumber than a blesbok ...... unless it is a fallow deer...... or maybe an armadillo. (y)
     

  3. JPbowhunter

    JPbowhunter AH Enthusiast

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    Granted fallow aren't the toughest animal to hunt but a mature free ranging fallow buck is still a tough animal to hunt.
     

  4. PaulT

    PaulT AH Fanatic

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    Hunting/human pressure makes "dumb" animals elusive and vice-versa.

    The greatest "let-down" in hunting challenge for me has been Sable antelope.
    I looked over 19 bulls in 10 days in Zimbabwe a long time ago and none of them were what anyone could call switched on but i'm sure ion a different area with more hunting pressure they'd take on a different form, or at least I hope so.
     

  5. Ryan

    Ryan AH Enthusiast

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    Without any human hunting pressure anything can seem dumb. I live in Alaska and people claim spruce grouse are dumb because they fly into the closest tree, perch and stop. Seems dumb, but in a harsh enviromment it is a great survival tactic to get away and save energy against anything but a human with a 22 pistol. Blesbok are apparently dumb, except the ones I recently tried bowhunting. I took five animals on that hunt, no blesbok. The "dumb" ones had been weeded out. @ PaulT, I get ya. I was recently within bow range of several sable. Amazing animals, but not as brilliant as I expected.
     
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  6. Red Leg

    Red Leg AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    A free range sable in Mozambique is a totally different animal than one behind a fence. Can’t speak for Zimbabwe. Eland are another animal that is a totally different creature depending upon the area he is hunted. Mountain zebra - we’ll goes without saying. Blesbok are introduced to a number of large ranches in Namibia to keep the cheetah’s off everything else (because they are dumb, slow and easy to catch.). :whistle:

    But yes, hunting pressure is always an issue with any game animal. And obviously, trying to stalk anything with a bow can seem very difficult indeed. Just as ambushing anything at a waterhole can be somewhat less challenging. But generally usually most of the time, I have found blesbok, singularly, in pairs, or in herds one of the dumbest creatures on the planet - unless it’s a fallow deer. :) Or an armadillo.
     
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  7. sgt_zim

    sgt_zim BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    Rio Grande turkeys...it almost isn't sporting. Now Eastern turkeys, at least where I hunt them, that's a completely different story. Where I hunt Easterns, it's common for me to come out of the woods with nothing but brown ticks for my efforts.
     
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  8. Art Lambart II

    Art Lambart II AH Fanatic

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    I took the Sable in my Avatar on a high fenced property this July in South Africa. Hunters had tried to take him for the last 3 years and he was so good at avoiding them the owner of the ranch named him "Hider". My PH and I walked 22K before I was able to get a 200 yard frontal chest shot. Hider was switched on and ready to run. Just because he was in a six square mile enclosure didn't make him easy to hunt.
     

  9. barbells.and.arrows

    barbells.and.arrows AH Member

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    This. Literally it's like shooting fish in a barrel. I will never understand people getting amped up over a Rio Grande, but that's just me. I was pumped to shoot one with my bow, but after I killed that one I'm done hunting them.
     

  10. Wheels

    Wheels AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    The "Man Eaters of Tsavo" determined that man was the most stupid animal to hunt.:D
     

  11. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN AH ENABLER SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR LIFETIME TITANIUM BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Save for @Red Leg 's road fodder critters, everything gets pretty smart when you try and stalk in close with a bow.

    It really does depend on exposure to predators (us included)

    I hunted Elk in the first hunting season opened on a local army base. They had never been hunted on the base and that year it was literally no different than shooting a beef cow in the yard.
    Now, after they have been hunted for some years - they have become just like Elk everywhere. There are no dumb ones left. They are all smart and elusive.
     
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  12. JPbowhunter

    JPbowhunter AH Enthusiast

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    On the other end of the spectrum the hardest species to hunt from my perspective are mature red stags, sika and sambar stags.

    For reds I'm not referring to the handfed then released to shoot abominations in NZ or the pretty 5 or 6 year old heads. But the 10+ year old guys that are pretty much nocturnal year round and require bush stalking and a lot of outwitting.

    Similar, mature sambar stags in the victorian high country are tough tough animals to hunt, the beautiful mountains they live in is the drawcard to that and what's pulling me there in a couple of weeks.

    I've found by far the easiest animal to hunt is chital/axis deer. Roe deer weren't the hardest animal to hunt either, mind you I missed the buck I decided to shoot last time.
     
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  13. Hogpatrol

    Hogpatrol AH ENABLER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Dumb? Urban deer. They just figure humans are a normal part of the environment.

     

  14. Charles de Ribeau

    Charles de Ribeau AH Senior Member

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    Here's the deal with pronghorn. Historically they didn't have to deal with fences. When ranchers started to build fences, the pronghorn wouldn't jump them. They would come to a fence, drop to their belly and crawl under. However, that is changing and today, once in a while you will see on jump a fence.

    Also, apparently pronghorn mothers teach their fawns to look both ways before crossing a road. So, when a pronghorn (when not being shot at or chased) comes to road (even just a ranch "road"), it will stop and look before crossing that road.
     
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  15. tigris115

    tigris115 AH Enthusiast

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    That is really cool. Thanks for sharing.
     

  16. PaulT

    PaulT AH Fanatic

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    Very interesting observations and thank-you for posting this.

    Over the years I have discussed this very topic with many hunters.
    It is my belief that animals are not capable of cognitive "thought" process as in Humans and that animals are driven by, and "learn" as, a reaction to stimuli.

    This stimuli can take many forms, environmental, human/hunting pressure etc.

    I spent a number of years simply watching Sambar deer here in Victoria, with no intent on shooting them.
    I found the "dumbest" were weaned Stags that are normally ousted from the protection of the Mother at quite an early age.
    Therefore these young stags do not have the benefit of the learned behaviour being imparted to them by the more worldly Mother.
    Until they reach a greater age bracket and learn by direct exposure to stimuli they are relatively easy/predictable targets.

    I have a good friend living in Southern India, on a coffee and tea plantation.
    On a regular basis he has Gaur coming down his driveway to rub on the steel gates protecting the home with no fear what-so-ever.
    Leopard regularly make attempts to take the household pets and require a substantial effort to be driven off.
    There is a generational learned behaviour that Humans post no/little threat and that behaviour has been passed down just as early humans passed down "education" via stories, songs and dance and paintings.

    My friend has regular daylight sightings of Gaur, Leopard and Elephant.
    These animals have lost the generational learned behaviour that Humans pose a threat. Another reaction to, in this case, a lack of the stimuli.

    I don't know, I might be all wet on this one but it is a question I have been asking myself and many other hunters now for more than four decades.

    Can animals actually think or are they simply reacting to what they have learned.

    Are some "smarter" than others or have some simply been exposed to higher doses of the type of stimuli that makes them appear as though they have made a "decision".
     

  17. BeeMaa

    BeeMaa AH Enthusiast

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    In my experience "smart" or "dumb" animals is directly related to the level of intelligence to the one behind the trigger.
     
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  18. Hogpatrol

    Hogpatrol AH ENABLER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Disturb ther bedding, feeding or mating areas? They'll adapt to their environment or just gradually die off. In my urban hunting area, over the last thirteen years, I've seen whitetail deer adapt to more human interference in their daily routines. What used to be feeding time at dusk in fields is now during the day when people are at work or school. What some consider dysfunction now becomes the norm.
     
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  19. Hogpatrol

    Hogpatrol AH ENABLER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Yes, and sometimes smart animals do dumb stuff. One sees a lot of it during the rut.:rolleyes::D
     
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  20. jacques smith

    jacques smith AH Fanatic

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    I may be old but I wasn’t around to verify indigenous hunters tactics on pronghorns, but I’ve watched hard pressed pronghorns throw themselves to the ground and slide under fences but I’ve also watched lots go over the top. Consequently I question the theory of forgetting how to jump. As to sable, some are very territorial and some are absolutely Houdini’s. Might have something to do with guarding a harem or a old retired warrior more interested in self preservation. Cheers
     

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