What's difference in a European Safari vs a Western/US client ?

buck wild

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I watch a lot of youtube hunting videos of Africa safaris and lots are obviously from European hunters. The first thing I notice of course in the ceremonial leaf in the animals mouth and one for the hunter after it has been rubbed on the animal and I understand this is symbolic of the animals last meal. But what other traditions are based on where you come from either ?
 

Red Leg

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I had the good fortune of hunting in Germany and Austria for five years in the late seventies. Hunting and the ability to own a firearm are very hard-earned privileges in Europe. Because of that and hundreds of years of tradition, the European hunter is generally far more respectful of the game animal than the typical American. There is no concept of either hunting or firearm ownership as a "right".

For instance, in Europe, a last tribute is blown on the hunting horns for each species taken on a drive hunt. When I took my first red stag way back in 1976, my forester/guide stood on the side of the mountain at last light in the Franconian Jura and played the tribute for the stag. Beautiful. Hard to imagine a Colorado elk guide doing something similar. ;) The "last bite" as it is called is an almost universal tradition for big game. The second bit of branch goes in the hunter's hat.

Almost never in Europe and rarely in Africa will you see a European hunter in Camo. That is pretty much an American thing. And for most hunting I do (Turkey, Ducks, and geese are the exception), it is absolutely unnecessary.

In Namibia, there are very nearly as many Outfitters and PHs of German descent as Boer (Dutch) - Namibia was a former German colony (German Southwest Africa). Quite a few German hunters travel there, and videos of those hunts will show PH and hunter following those traditions.

There are a host of others. Germanic hunters normally carry a rifle slung under the left arm, with the muzzle forward and up, held by the left hand. Just as effective as the American over shoulder sling and the muzzle is always in total control. Game is gutted in a prescribed fashion. There are special names for game animals only used in the "hunters' language." And of course, the whole notion of selective shooting practiced on whitetail ranches today, has been the norm in most of Europe for nearly two centuries.
 

buck wild

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Good stuff- so it must have been a German I was watching Sunday as he carried the rifle as you described, on left side with muzzle pointed forward. Another generalization is that Europeans value the oldest animals, and in perception Americans value the trophy size horns over age; although, there are lots of Americans that see the great challenge in the oldest animal but normally in the context of "maturity" over the absolute oldest.

I really like the horn tribute at the end of a hunt. I suspect most American hunting is done individually or in very small group settings, thus eliminating the festive part of a hunt. I vow to incorporate some of these old world traditions as I go forward.
 

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Interesting reading.
 

Kevin Peacocke

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Tradition and respect are wonderful attributes for a hunter. It brings class to the hunt, as opposed to just harvesting and along with the Europeans the British are also big on this. As a result it supports a whole industry that caters to hunters and hunting doing it 'right', particularly for outfit and apparel. It is ridiculous to do skulking about the bush in camo, and in Zimbabwe it was illegal, maybe still is, and dangerous. The other day I saw such a disgusting photograph that I had to tuka the person - he had shot a beautiful old elephant bull and was leaning nonchalantly against it in his flip flops and his T shirt - where is the respect in that?
 

mark-hunter

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I have posted some of Euroepan hunting traditions on this thread.
Post no 11, on that thread

But, @Red Leg, he has pretty much described well European hunting traditions.

There is also one more practical difference that I have noted (I may be wrong on that one), American clients are likely to tip more, than Europeans. Discussed frequently on thread about tipping.
 

Scott CWO

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Well, as a Colorado wilderness elk guide, my other clients probably wouldn’t appreciate a horn tribute from the mountaintop when still trying to get their elk tags filled. Wilderness elk are spooky. A time and a place for everything.

I wear solid earthtone clothing in Africa because I am rifle hunting and it’s the norm. In some countries, camo is not allowed. In the western US, where the terrain is generally more open, I wear camo because my hunting wardrobe is geared towards archery hunting/guiding and sheep/goat hunting/guiding where camo has an advantage. Even on a rifle hunt, I am in the lead and peaking into basins and openings before my hunter does with his blaze orange vest and hat. Blaze orange looks like a solid tan color to cervids (as proven in my college studies at Colorado State University) so it’s not the tan color that spooks game but the lack of breakup of the shape at close and long range. Many, many times I have had game animals look right past me only to spot my client without camo. Therefore, I don’t wear solid colors in the US and I pick my camo carefully. Most camo is much too dark. If you’ve ever spotted a camo-clad hunter, who looks way too dark, walking on a distant hillside, you know what I mean.
 

machinistbutler

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One big difference I notice is that Europeans tend to be multilingual. Fortunately one of those languages is almost always English. But I always feel a bit uncultured when people always accommodate to my language but I cannot return the favor.
I was told on my hunt that I speak the best English of any Hungarian they had come across . I felt a bit odd saying that English was my language ,and about ten words in french. Everyone had a good laugh.
 

autofire

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German hunters will always tell you Waldmands Heil when you take an animal, which translates to woodsmans salute. The proper response is waldsmans danke, which means woodmans thank you. Very old traditions. Also european hunters like to take deformed horned trophies vs large perfect trophies. I think it has to do with culling bad genetics and allowing biggest and best to continue to breed and improve hetd genetics.
 

Doug Hamilton

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German hunters will always tell you Waldmands Heil when you take an animal, which translates to woodsmans salute. The proper response is waldsmans danke, which means woodmans thank you. Very old traditions. Also european hunters like to take deformed horned trophies vs large perfect trophies. I think it has to do with culling bad genetics and allowing biggest and best to continue to breed and improve hetd genetics.
German hunters will always tell you Waldmands Heil when you take an animal, which translates to woodsmans salute. The proper response is waldsmans danke, which means woodmans thank you. Very old traditions. Also european hunters like to take deformed horned trophies vs large perfect trophies. I think it has to do with culling bad genetics and allowing biggest and best to continue to breed and improve hetd genetics.
I'm certain that it has more to do with the fact that bigger (better?) trophies cost much more than less impressive animals. One German tradition that I do practice though is "totenwache", death watch, where you sit quietly with the animal that you have taken and thank him for his life.
I think another reason for the differences between European and American hunters is that the cultures are so different. The American tradition of hunting was based on obtaining food for yourself and your family and not so much about the pomp and benefit of the landed wealthy.
 

autofire

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Cost is the same for deformed antler animals in multiple locations that I hunted in Namibia, PH at these locations charge per animal specie taken not on size of animal. But guess i went to different locations than where you hunted.
 

Doug Hamilton

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Cost is the same for deformed antler animals in multiple locations that I hunted in Namibia, PH at these locations charge per animal specie taken not on size of animal. But guess i went to different locations than where you hunted.
That's true in Africa, but not in Europe. The question as I Understood it was the difference between European and American hunters. About the only thing that I see in common between European and African hunts is that the hunter doesn't own the meat. Look up the cost of say red stags in bronze, silver and gold. I have heard that some of the South African ranches are starting to lean that way, but I haven't hunted there. In Namibia and Zimbabwe weather you shoot a small, large or deformed animal it is your choice and the cost is the same. It is about the culture. Also, I should have said continental Europe.
 

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