Hunts which are not guaranteed - Hunts with only a "good chance" of success

mark-hunter

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Most of the PG hunts, are overall 99.9% sucesfull, and some time extra trophies collected.

But, from what I was reading in various sources, not all hunts are guaranteed. For various reasons.
Some will have better chance of success then the others.
Bongo, Leopard, come to mind.

We pay for the flights, we pay for administration costs, we pay day rates, and in some hunts do not get intended animals.

Gents, what hunts (or animals) in various countries do you consider as "not with 100% chance of success"?

And what would be realistic chances for some of those species, in some areas, in various countries?


It can be very wide subject, but I could not find any thread about this specifically.
 

Zambezi

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I think you'd need a super computer to merely to get any meaningful data from a question/s with so many variables (or maybe I'm just understanding it incorrectly...)

I'd say that there are zero hunts (animals) that are 100% guaranteed as variables such as weather, fire, disease outbreak etc could all contribute to a hunt not coming to fruition. A farm / area that is flooded with impala could result with no animal taken due to the above.

I'd say study distribution maps for free roaming and speak to concession owners as to what they have stocked and their stocking rate / capacity. Wild populations of say leopard will be greater in many parts of Zambia or Tanzania then in the Kalahari. I'd say you have a 50/50 chance to have a successful hunt in Zam/Tanz and a 20% chance is the Kalahari.

Is this the type of answer you're looking for...?
 

mark-hunter

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Is this the type of answer you're looking for...?

Thanks for the answer, but actually - no.

I am not looking for specific hunt at the moment, just looking for broad overview.

For example, some hunters were hunting leopard more then once, or twice before getting their first leopard.

So, I was more looking to what species are known as difficult and uncertain for hunt.
 

Jfet

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How do you define success? Very shortly after I arrive at my hunting destination I will tell the PH that this hunt is a success. The following are the reasons for why all I say that.

1. I have dreamed the hunt and I am there.
2. I have prepared for the hunt and I am ready.
3. I have traveled, seen places, met amazing people.
4. I have arrived. After having two hunts postponed this year, that is a much bigger point than I realized.
5. If I am blessed to have an opportunity to harvest an animal, then that is icing on the cake.

All my hunts are 100% successful. If they are not it is due to the fact that I did not do steps 1 and 2 properly.
 

Alistair

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I think the standard of animal you want is a major factor.

From my own experiences with Scottish hill reds, it's pretty easy to go out and take a stag, probably a 90% chance of success there, but to go and get a good Royal or even a specific individual, that's a whole different game.

I'm sure this is a major factor elsewhere in the world too. The OP mentioned that 99.9% of PG hunts are successful, and this is probably true if you want a representative beast of each species.

If you wanted to get in the record books across a couple species, that's not guaranteed, no matter how much money you throw at it.

More generally, no hunt in unfenced terrain can ever be 100%. The animals might simply be elsewhere during your visit. This is a pretty low risk on a big piece of ground with a good guide, but is always there.

Hunts for animals which have a lower population density on the ground, either because they top the food chain or it's a harsh environment like a desert, are also less certain.

Finally, terrain matters in how difficult a hunt is and therefore the chance of success. If it's rough and mountainous, especially at altitude, you can't travel far in the time, the animals might easily spot you and the shots might be challenging. If it's very thick cover like rainforest, you simply can't search much ground, whilst very open areas like a desert make an approach difficult.

The final factor is probably the species itself. The habits of some animals simply make them hard to hunt. Herd species are possibly easier to find than animals that travel alone whilst nocturnal animals present their own challenges. Some animals are simply smarter or more wary than others too.

Al.
 

Philip Glass

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Most of the PG hunts, are overall 99.9% sucesfull, and some time extra trophies collected.

But, from what I was reading in various sources, not all hunts are guaranteed. For various reasons.
Some will have better chance of success then the others.
Bongo, Leopard, come to mind.

We pay for the flights, we pay for administration costs, we pay day rates, and in some hunts do not get intended animals.

Gents, what hunts (or animals) in various countries do you consider as "not with 100% chance of success"?

And what would be realistic chances for some of those species, in some areas, in various countries?


It can be very wide subject, but I could not find any thread about this specifically.
Right now leopard and AK brown bear come to mind as the unsuccessful hunts most spoken about.
I would say most PG hunts are not 99.9% successful. There are plenty of hunts where things go wrong but that’s hunting. Most every one of my safaris I have left with great trophies and great memories but short several highly sought after animals. No matter where I was,(RSA, Namibia, or Zim) I left wishing for several more but it was just not to be. Your point, however, is well taken that if you can walk and shoot well you can have a great PG hunt in Africa for the most part.
Today a hunt for a trophy bull elephant is difficult with many not getting a trophy but these hunters are mostly looking for something special and have no worries of not getting one. Wild Lion is of course iffy and the cost of bait on a prolonged hunt can get out of hand.
I can think of one Safari years ago with Frontier Safaris where I got absolutely everything I wanted. This is why I’m going back to hunt with them next year in the EC and taking a few friends along.
Regards,
Philip
 

Bert the Turtle

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I think it was 3 trips before I finally got a kudu. But I was also hunting a lot of other species and may well have found a good one sooner if that is all I was looking for. The more species and the less time, the lower the odds. But they call him the grey ghost for a reason.

As far as African hunts with a relatively low chance of success, leopard comes to mind. I've never specifically hunted one, but Duiker seem to appear and disappear in the time it takes to lift a rifle. I'd imagine they could be a challenge.

A bighorn sheep out west in the States has to be high on the list of low-probability. Unless you can come up with the money to win a Governor's auction, you may well not even draw a tag so you'd strike out before you even started. In the unlikely event you draw a tag, you have to find one and get within range. That could take a while and you'll be up and down a mountain the whole time. Then make a shot most likely at fairly long range. Then hope he doesn't crest the mountain and disappear before you recover him. People earn their sheep.
 

flatwater bill

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jFet................well said. .......success must be defined....................FWB
 

Nyati

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Took me four trips to get the Eland I wanted, five for my baboons, still haven´t got a spotted hyena, a bushpig, or a porcupine, so it depends...
 

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One can find a fair amount of information Online regarding hunter success in the USA. Elk in Montana is about a 20% success rate. Archery turkey in Minnesota is around 15% success rate. Those numbers include all tags and don’t reflect guided hunts which have a much higher success rate. Also, As we all know, some areas just don’t have the same game numbers.

As for the definition of success, I find that seeing an animal is a great start. Next is seeing a good one and finally getting a shot. Some times, even a common animal can elude a hunter. (Impala!!)
I think luck and God’s good grace really make a difference in harvesting an animal.
 

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No free range North American hunt is assured success, most quality guided hunts I would think in the 70-90% success range. Brown bear (quality brown bear) having a lower success rate. To me, the least assured hunt is for a quality eastern whitetail deer, I would put your odds at 50/50 or less.
 

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How do you define success? Very shortly after I arrive at my hunting destination I will tell the PH that this hunt is a success. The following are the reasons for why all I say that.

1. I have dreamed the hunt and I am there.
2. I have prepared for the hunt and I am ready.
3. I have traveled, seen places, met amazing people.
4. I have arrived. After having two hunts postponed this year, that is a much bigger point than I realized.
5. If I am blessed to have an opportunity to harvest an animal, then that is icing on the cake.

All my hunts are 100% successful. If they are not it is due to the fact that I did not do steps 1 and 2 properly.


Why do these types of threads always come back to someone pandering about the "virtue of the experience'? We can agree to disagree but 2 things I would point out (1) this is the opposite of the answer OP was looking for, he is seems to be uninterested in what warms some hearts, from a relationship and travel perspective, formed on the first day of a hunt and (2) I think most hunters would be hyper bummed if they spent $25k on a leopard hunt and did not have an opportunity at a cat. If killing something wasn't massively additive to the experience we we would all be doing more photo safaris and not wasting $ on inconsequential things like guns and ammo.
 

jeff

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In many ways plains game hunting is close to guaranteed as you don't pay the trophy fee if unsuccessful, you just pay day fees for room and board ect.
 

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I am 0 for 1 on both Alaskan brown bear and cape buffalo. Both hunts were great though and I did see plenty of them, just not a shot opportunity at a quality animal. Both hunts were 10 days and expensive as hell, but again I was happy with the memories and the effort.
 

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This is an interesting question. As we see from the answers so far, everyone has their take on it. So herewith mine, with the caveat that I'm limiting myself to African animals).

Leopard is without a doubt a hunt with one of the lower chances of success. A number of things have to come together including, but not limited to, the time of year, the amount of game in the area, how recently a cat was taken from the area, the wind conditions, etc. In my case, it took me two hunts to connect.

Dealing with the more esoteric game, I think both bongo and Lord Derby Eland can be challenging, but given that these are usually the primary targets of those hunts, and you likely have at least two weeks to connect, the chances of success are actually pretty high. You just might have to work hard. In my case, 12 days to get a bongo, but an LDE on day 1. The LDE hunter after me struggled and it took him over 12 days to connect.

I'd put mountain nyala in the same bucket. You will have to hunt hard, focussing on just that one animal, but if you do that, in the 14 or more days you will be hunting, you've got pretty good odds of connecting.

Note that if you only had a few days to devote to any of these animals, your odds of success drop precipitously.

Now, hit or miss (so to speak). Forest sitatunga can be exceptionally difficult to find, because there is no plan other than trying to be at the right place at the right time (ie., be at a swamp when a sitatunga is there). Some people I've been told about by my PH's have taken three or more hunts to connect. Far below 50% chance. Other sitatunga will be easier. Giant forest hog or Red River hog can be a very challenging hunt, although they're rarely the focus of a hunt - which is a good thing because I'd give you a less than 50% chance of connecting.

The nocturnal animals can be difficult. I know some who have hunted for serval multiple times and have never seen one. I got one on the first day of a hunt and then never saw another one after that. Brown hyena is a tough hunt and success is far from assured. Honey badger can be tough, but they do come to bait, so if you're patient and in a good area, your chances are pretty good. Caracal without hounds will be less than 50%. I'd say the key to hunting these animals is to hunt the right area, of course, but to hunt with a PH who is experienced in nocturnal animals. From spotting to shooting you generally have very few seconds, so the PH has to be sure very quickly; anyone who has to spend time finding a small animal in a scope will have serious difficulty.

Any rain forest animals which will not bay to dogs are very difficult - less than 50% without a doubt. Dwarf forest buffalo is an example. Forest elephant (L. cyclotis) can be a bit easier, but I would still say less than 50% unless you dedicate an entire hunt and are in a good (unpoached) area (of which there are ever fewer). The various forest duikers, somewhat dependent on the species you're after, can be less than 25%, even if you are dedicated.

To sum up, everything depends on the animal you're looking for, the place you're looking for it, and most importantly, the amount of time you're prepared to dedicate to finding it.
 

Wade J VanGinkel

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I'm not a trophy hunter, being totally happy with average animals. That said, I'm 0-1 on mountain goat in Colorado. 0-4 with wolf tags in Canada and Alaska. Failed on my first caribou hunt as well.
Other than 1 wolf hunt it was all diy.
I'm terrible on elk also but I give them very little attention. Maybe get one every 5 years or so.
I've done extremely well on deer. Multiple states and multiple types.
 

R.M.C.

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Yeah there's not many 100% successful hunts in North America. I'd say black bear hunts in Alberta Canada are pretty darn close to 100% . It's easier to name the ones that are near 100% than the giant list that is 70%-80% successful lol
 

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When I see the word "Gauranteed", I run because there are no gaurantees in hunting. The is a difference in "Gauranteed" and "High Success Rate" is not a guarantee.

There are too many factors that impact even a sighting of an animal, a stalk or set up on an animal or the shot, recovery and killing of an animal. JMHO
 

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And sometimes you are just luckier or more fortunate. When I went to Africa, the 2 other guys in camp bagged all the animals on their lists plus a couple others with 2 or 3 days to spare. My PH and I were always the first one out and last to come in. Hunted all day, every day, right to the end. Could not get a shot at a warthog no matter how hard we tried. No such thing as a guarantee.
 

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