Kudu Expectations Vs Realities

Discussion in 'Hunting Africa' started by shootist~, Jan 30, 2019.

  1. shootist~

    shootist~ AH Veteran

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    Hi guys (and gals),

    I'm getting into the nitty gritty of actually planning and booking a South African Plains Game hunt for 2020. Probably looking at mid to late July or August. Naturally I'm finding out that things can get pretty expensive in a hurry depending on what and even where you hunt.

    My numeral uno goal is to take a really nice Kudu. After that I'm looking at three or four additional animals (if lucky) with possibles being some mix between Wildebeest, Impala, Blesbuck, Nyala , Gemsbok, and Waterbuck.

    If I head to Limpopo Provence for a Greater Kudu, I would need to drop at least one of the other animals due to cost.

    Allowing for what is realistic in term of what I might actually get a chance for: Is there that much difference (horn wise) between an Eastern Cape Kudu at approx $1,500 (US), Vs the larger Greater Kudu found further north (at roughly twice the Trophy Fee)?

    Also, what am I looking at (ballpark) for initial in-country processing and shipping fees for a European Horn mount (assume the Kudu). Then the final (paid later) Taxidermy (is that just bleaching?) and shipping to the USA.

    Thanks in advance from an Africa novice.

    Joe
     

  2. Edge

    Edge AH Fanatic

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    My impression after taking an Eastern Cape and a Greater (Southern) Kudu, Greater is bigger in body and horn on average.

    There are some very good Eastern Cape Kudu, be choosy and be prepared to walk away if you can’t find one large enough, it’s a personal decision and something you need to discuss with your PH. How big do you want the horns, is 50” acceptable or do you want something larger? If larger then go North although there are 50+” Kudu in the EC.

    Another option is to go to Zimbabwe, check out Nyamazana Safaris recent plains game post. Wayne @Nyamazana Safaris has an offer for a very reasonable day rate and the trophy fees are very good, especially for a good Kudu (no increase in cost for size) vs some of the Limpopo prices.

    This area of Zimbabwe is really something to experience. I was there twice last year, below link has a link to a plains game hunt, including Kudu, my brother and I did last July. These animals are wild and aren’t fenced.

    https://www.africahunting.com/threa...alo-plains-game-with-nyamazana-safaris.47141/

    Dip & Pack plus shipping is highly variable by operator and size/weight of crate depending on the number of trophies. I would set aside a minimum of $2000 to get them home if doing euro mounts only. You can probably have them bleached/mounted in Africa for a reasonable price. I wouldn’t personally have anything mounted in Africa.

    PM me if you want to discuss.

    Edge
     
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  3. Red Leg

    Red Leg AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    Have you considered Namibia? The low fence areas of Central Namibia have wonderful Cape Kudu, and there your PH will be working his butt off to find you the best animal he can. I have taken two 55 " bulls in Namibia over the last decade. Also, the Euro system of paying by the inch hasn't hit most of that part of Africa yet. Much of the Limpopo is now pricing Kudu by size. A large one will often cost more than a sable.
     

  4. KMG Hunting Safaris

    KMG Hunting Safaris AH ENABLER SPONSOR Since 2013 AH Legend

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    @shootist~
    We have just uncovered a new area, where I can offer Southern Greater Kudu in the Eastern Cape at a better rate than up North. It is 40,000 acres and the management of the Kudu in this area started over 20 years ago. This way, you can find your self a nice bull without sacrificing any of the other animals. We can offer all of your animals to you.
    Should you be interested, please don't hesitate to contact me and I will be happy to put something together for you.

    Take Care,
    Marius Goosen
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 30, 2019
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  5. Adrian

    Adrian AH Fanatic

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    +1 for considering Namibia if you want a Kudu.
    Superb wilderness areas and good Kudu for reasonable prices.
    The beast in my avatar measured 56" and cost less than €1000.
     
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  6. Nyati

    Nyati AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    I am surprised by those rates you are mentioning, you can hunt a Greater Kudu in SA for much less than you mention.

    A figure around 1.700USD would be a normal rate, regardless of size.
     

  7. Buckdog

    Buckdog AH Enthusiast

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    I highly suggest you clearly define what a really good kudu is for you and discuss that with any Ph or outfit you are vetting. In RSA a really big Kudu aka over 55" is most likely going to cost you and be high fence. even with high fence if the area is really big there are no guarantees on a really big Kudu. I have taken 2 really big ones one high fence, one free range lucky during the rut. Also please look at posts and info on how Kudu are measured. A big looking kudu with tight curls will not measure well at all when you put a tape on it. You need one with length and big deep curls to score big. look at a post i did of one of mine a few yrs ago and there is a pic of the big deep curls that suck up the tape. So discuss what you want with Ph and then educate yourself and look carefully before you pull that trigger! In the end shoot what makes you happy and fits your budget.
     
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  8. broncolcj

    broncolcj AH Enthusiast

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    The southern kudu is certainly much larger than the East cape race. 50" is a realistic minimum goal especially in Limpopo. They can seem a bit thin on the ground though and success is less than guaranteed. Thought smaller, the East cape kudu seems to exist in noticeably higher densities where they exist. Finding a mature bull is easier relative to their larger cousin. They are smaller. Bulls over low 40s can be hard to come by but they make up for it with a lovely dark cape.

    For what it's worth I'm 100% success on East cape kudu, my largest is 46". I'm 5 for 8 on Southerns. 3 are 55"+, all of them taken in Natal
     
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  9. Ryan

    Ryan AH Fanatic

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    Boddington has a whole article about kudu and expectations of size. Good article to track down. Southerns average 50, so 50-52 is attainable and impressive. Above that is much more hit and miss and 55 plus is getting into the exceptional and uncommon range. Which makes sense since that would be where gold medal SCI is concerning numbers. I recently spoke with an outfitter in the Limpopo who had a property they have very limited kudu hunting on and even then he said expect 53-55", a real gamble above that. I've taken two in northern Namibia near Etosha, an old old 52" and a younger but mature 50".
    As for the East Cape variation from what I've seen typically in the 40's and if it breaks 50" it's exceptional. Regardless where it's from a double curled bull is breathtaking to see and a memorable hunt. One just may not be impressive to a record book score keeper.
     
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  10. Neale

    Neale AH Enthusiast

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    As others have said you need to decide what you want to achieve. I have taken a 50" eastern Cape Kudu (Eastern Cape) and a 59.5" Southern Kudu in the limpopo. Very different hunts and landscapes. If you want a really good Kudu you must be prepared to put in the work and be prepared to pass on one if you are not entirely happy. Select an outfitter and region that has good results. From what I have read you should seriously consider Marius offer.
    Eastern Cape Kudu are beautiful animals.
     
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  11. Eric Anderson

    Eric Anderson AH Enthusiast

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    I have seen some very impressive kudu in the northwest province. I was after other things though.
     

  12. Rider717

    Rider717 AH Senior Member

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    Kudu.jpg


    This is a 50" East Cape Kudu. The length comes from the deep curl. This bull probably weighed over 550 lbs. I got him on my second safari. I saw tons of kudu the first time and all looked huge to my eyes but my PH wouldn't let me shoot them as they all "needed another year or two to mature". We got this old bull on my second safari. Trust your PH! If you're used to North American deer even a small kudu will get your blood pumping. They all look huge in the field. If you don't get your "grey ghost" on your first safari you have a reason for a second or third!
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2019

  13. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Much will depend on your type of hunt luck. Took me three tries to get a kudu over 50". I wouldn't think one would have to pay near $3K for one in the Limpopo with a bit of looking. Some charge extra for big bulls but not all by any means.
     
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  14. Divernhunter

    Divernhunter AH Elite

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    Leave your stupid tape measure at home. Look for one YOU really and take it. An inch or 3 will make little difference when it is on your wall. I took one each trip I have made. I have liked both of them One is deep curls but narrower and the other is nice and wide. kudu 014.JPG Kudu.JPG
     

  15. shootist~

    shootist~ AH Veteran

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    Thanks so much for all the replies!
    Very helpful and a lot for me and my hunting buddy to consider.
     

  16. TTundra

    TTundra AH Enthusiast

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    My first hunt in Limpopp had Kudu at my #1 spot as well. I told my PH I would be more than ecstatic with anything over 50", but overall just wanted a fun and tough hunt. We discussed it often before the trip and again right when I arrived. I shot a 52" on my first day, as my PH knew exactly where to go for the best chance at something in that range.

    Second trip my dad took a 55" kudu. Kudu was not on his wish list but after stumbling on to it at 75 yards, he couldn't pass it up after our PH was smiling looking at him.

    You never know what may cross your path on a hunt/stalk.

    Bottom line from my limited experience.....talk to your PH about what will make the hunt more meaningful to you. A good PH will be honest with you and try to get you on the best specimen possible for the type of hunt you want.
     

  17. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Deep curl you say? This sort of homely Limpopo bull is 51 on one side, 50 on the other. IMG_0174.JPG Considering he is really only about 1.5 curls at best, that's some deep curls!
     

  18. johnnyblues

    johnnyblues AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Plus one on two options suggested. First is a KMG safaris, I’ve hunted with Marius and can tell you he runs a great operation. Second is Namibia. Here’s a picture of mine taken free range. 53/52 inches.

    033B5F1A-DE0F-42D5-8515-FB3A7950CC55.jpeg
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 31, 2019
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  19. steve white

    steve white AH Veteran

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    I think the overall condition of the pelt is important. I've been offered some gray, weathered "old-timers" with horns somewhat broomed that I was not too excited about--very faint white lines, and not much in the way of color in the face. If I am going to mount one, I want it to be "pretty." Even with a euro mount, I would want the horns to look good, not broomed with tons of chips knocked off, but to each his own.
     
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  20. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Johnnyblues, that is a spectacular bull! Love the symmetry. Outstanding.
     
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