What makes hunting Eland special?

Discussion in 'Hunting Africa' started by dmyers, Jan 9, 2018.

  1. dmyers

    dmyers AH Senior Member

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    Doing some planning for a trip with friends for summer 2019. Going to Namibia and I have taken a Kudu, Gemsbok, Zebra, Springbok, etc. I'd like to take a really nice warthog and Steenbok but my friends are really going after Eland. Can someone sell me on hunting Eland. What makes hunting them special? I'm more interested in the quality of the hunt- not trophy status. Would you hunt them again and why?
     

  2. cpr0312

    cpr0312 AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    They are smart, shifty, and elusive. I would certainly hunt one again. With the trophy prices in Namibia, you should definitely go for it!
     

  3. mark-hunter

    mark-hunter AH Enthusiast

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    My personal view, is this. Eland is my second choice, for next safari. I will explain.

    On first African hunt it was hard decisions to be done. What are the game species to hunt, out of few dozen possibilities?
    Being a poor man, I could not go for any of big 5 so, naturally I tried to define for myself the plains game most representative of Subsaharan Africa region, in the same savanna habitat, and also affordable.

    And the top three on my list were:

    - Kudu, grey ghost of bush, Ruarks and Hemingways dream, and the statue on the main Windhoek square, obviously a part of local culture and hystory
    - Oryx, the symbol of the country, also depicted on the coat of arms of Namibia
    - Wildebeest, the symbol of large plains game migration on many documentaries, (crossing of Mara river) and also known as a poor mans buffalo

    But on next hunt, possibly on the menu of mine, will be Eland. Why?

    - The largest species of antelope. And that is something!

    Common Eland would be a really good trophy of the largest species, and convenient substitute for real trophy - Lord Derby Eland, a closest cousin, much harder to get, much more expensive, with much less habitat and known hunting grounds.

    So common eland, be it!
     
    1dirthawker and Timbo like this.

  4. fourfive8

    fourfive8 AH Enthusiast

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    Aside from the more exclusive and expensive game like elephants, etc.... two commonly tracked species are buffalo and eland. Don't underestimate the difficulty in taking a specific eland after tracking and therefore don't underestimate the satisfaction of successfully doing so. Spook them while stalking/tracking and they will trot for a few miles and you will likely never see them again. Walk up to a big bull on the ground and tell me they are not impressive! :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2018
    WAB, Hallgeir Gravråk, K76 and 2 others like this.

  5. Red Leg

    Red Leg AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    I have hunted both Cape Eland and Livingstone Eland; the former in Namibia and the latter in Mozambique. Both were free range environments and both hunts rivaled any buffalo that I have taken. The classic way is to walk them down. One finds bull tracks early at a water hole or crossing a road, and then the chase is on. Closing can take hours and many miles. If they wind you, then the came is over for that animal or herd. A word of caution. An eland released to be shot on a small property is a very different animal. Might as well shoot a rancher's Charolais in his back pasture. But an uncaged eland in his native unrestricted range is an incredibly challenging animal.
     

  6. cpr0312

    cpr0312 AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    To follow up on my previous comment and @fourfive8 's comment
    DSC01625.JPG
     

  7. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Don't know why I hadn't seen that pic before, great bull Charles!
     
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  8. cpr0312

    cpr0312 AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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  9. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    I think if the pic in @reedy0312's last post as well as the other posts don't have you convinced, nothing will.
     
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  10. 375 Ruger Fan

    375 Ruger Fan AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Eland..............elusive, one ton of fun............

    SS850939.JPG
     

  11. cpr0312

    cpr0312 AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Good way to put it! (y)
     

  12. Velo Dog

    Velo Dog AH ENABLER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Hello dmyers,

    Great question, thanks for posting it.
    I'm +1 with the others who have posted so far, especially the part about eland born in the wild are a whole different beast, as opposed to pen-raised ones.
    The latter, when combined with a small property, surrounded by a tall fence, is sometimes called; Put and Take or Canned Hunting, (as is the case with any species, including pheasants).

    Moving right along, eland is one of, if not the best eating, among all antelope species.

    I'm feeble at transferring photos from one place in the forum to another.
    But, if you open the photos posted with my screen name, there is a pic of the only eland I have taken in 5 safaris to Africa.
    So with that, it is perhaps needless to say, I have never hunted the ones raised in pens, like some dairy cattle and then placed onto a small plot of land, only to await their certain demise.

    I am not one to gripe about high fences, as long as the high fenced property is truly huge and the animals were born there, and spent their lives there, as wild animals.
    In other words, my "nose-in-the-air" is regarding small parcels and tame critters that have pretty much no chance of evading the hunter.
    I have seen video of such wretched animals trotting toward the hunting party, presumably expecting to be fed.

    On the warthog topic, I am with you.
    I'm always interested in them when I'm in locations where they occur in huntable numbers.
    They make into excellent sausages for the grill.
    One delicious version is called "borgurwurst" (or however you spell it).

    Cheers,
    Velo Dog.
     

  13. Shootist43

    Shootist43 AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    On my first PG hunt I traded the Kudu in my package for a Waterbuck. My next hunt is already booked for a "Spiral Slam." An Eland, a Kudu, a Nyala and a Bushbuck. I live in Michigan and would love to take a Royal Bull Elk out West somewhere. Being retired and on somewhat of a fixed budget I can take a Spiral Slam for about the same price as the Elk, and with a much greater probability of success.
     

  14. dmyers

    dmyers AH Senior Member

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    Thanks for the info. Great photos! I know Eland are massive and impressive but for me, the challenge, the habitat, and the way an animal is hunted is 75% of the hunt for me. The trophy is just a way of remembering a great hunt. That said, I love to eat game, so good eating is also a major plus!
     
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  15. MT Griz

    MT Griz AH Veteran

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    Pretty much has been said already, but I will say it again. Tracking down a free range eland is probably one of the top (non-big 5) hunts that you can undertake. Finding tracks near a water hole and then tracking/walking them down is what it is all about, it can take many hours and miles or many days. There is nothing quite like it and very rewarding when you walk up and experience the massive size of your harvested animal. They weigh in at 1,800 pounds and can easily jump an 8 foot fence and can behave like a big white-tailed buck. You convinced yet?

    P1000892.JPG

    How about now?
     

  16. Nyati

    Nyati AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    It also depends wether you are willing to shoot any specimen, or looking for a specific one.

    Then it may take some time and effort.

    [​IMG]
     

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  17. dmyers

    dmyers AH Senior Member

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    OK- I'm convinced. You all got me. Thanks!
     

  18. Scott Slough

    Scott Slough AH Fanatic

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    I think this is a lot like asking why you should date a girl from Texas...when you see the first one...you will forget that you even asked the question!
     

  19. billc

    billc AH ENABLER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    I have hunted them free range and fenced and both hunts were done the same way. We looked for track and hunted them down on foot. They both took about the same amount of time when all said and done. I would say both ended up being 5 or 6 hours of tracking and sneaking. That is all based on once you find them as that can take a few days to find a good fresh track to follow.

    The fenced area in the cape we hunted a certain bull and only looked for that one bull. He was in a group of 5 with one other bull and he was easy to spot in the group just by his size.

    The Namibia eland I hunted was a special old bull that we lucked into out of a group of 6 or 7 bulls. It will be another hunt I will remember for the rest of my life.

    I have not done a buff hunt yet and from what I was told by many of the ph's I have hunted with is eland is as hard of a hunt just with out as much of the danger of a buff hunt. Some will tell you hunting a mature eland bull is one of the harder animal to take and I would agree of all the animals I have hunted in Africa it is tops.

    Hoping to hunt another with my son this year but with the bow for him and maybe another for me to with a bow.

    All I can tell you if your outfitter has good eland around I would do it in a heartbeat for sure.

    My east cape eland
    IMG_0268.JPG

    my very old worn done Namibia bull
    P6270183.JPG
     

  20. Upton O. Good

    Upton O. Good AH Enthusiast

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    9620F60A-7461-476B-BC92-04D6EDADAE97.jpeg The are a massive animal, the largest spiral horn antelope. The eland I hunted always had either zebra or impala in close attendance. Made stalking them a real challenge. Their stride when walking is huge which makes it a real challenge to catch up with them. Once spooked and they bolt, good luck catching up. And you want a massively impressive mount? Do an eland pedestal mount.

    Good luck, shoot straight!
     

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