Your most valued African trophy

Discussion in 'Hunting Africa' started by sestoppelman, Sep 19, 2014.

  1. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    If talking the smells of Africa, the one I miss the most and one you wont get on a typical ranch type, PG safari is the smell and sensation of washing ones face and hands in a wash tub of hot water heated over open fire first thing in the morning after having chai in the tent that the camp tender brought to you at first light. The water takes on a smoky aura that is unforgettable. I enjoyed this in Tanzania in '85 and Botswana in '90. As I write this I can almost smell it, and I wont ever forget it.
     

  2. enysse

    enysse AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    I guess my number #1 animal is the Southern Greater Kudu from the Limpopo. The kudu was and still is my favorite animal....with bushbuck being a close #2. I love glassing for kudu. The smaller one, still young are called "mountain nyala". Whenever I think of Africa, kudu hunting is on my mind. And I love hunting them whether it's the East Cape, Namibia or the Limpopo.
     

  3. jeffpg

    jeffpg AH Enthusiast

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    Man, I dunno...
    That may be too tough to call. Like most of us, I feel like I have made some pretty sweet memories in hunting & it's difficult to choose just one.

    With Cape buffalo and Leopard booked in October, I actually have a feeling that my favorite may be yet to come!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 23, 2014

  4. Rob404

    Rob404 AH ENABLER BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    I think the Kudu I took in SA this year is the most valuable,,the 2 1/2 year wait,,all the paperwork the long flights,,the time I spent at the Lunch and Dinner table sharing a Bottle of Red and a Few Windhoaks with an Excellent PH and his Spouse. The Kudu taken was my reward for all the hard work and the many days it took to finally get one in my scope. I can look at the mount (when I Get it) and always remember my experience
     

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  5. Royal27

    Royal27 AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Sestoppelman said it before, but I'm going to say it again.

    I love how this thread is all about the experiences that people have had and how the size of the trophy doesn't matter. Many places this thread would have ended up being full of "my 60 inch Kudu" or "my gold medal whatever it is" but not here on AH. Don't take me wrong, there is absolutely nothing wrong with a record book trophy being the most valued. Point being, that all here seem to put that as a secondary or terciary measure of value.

    And that my friends I think is very, very cool.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2014

  6. graybird

    graybird AH Enthusiast

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    I think my most vivid memory is from my first safari. Hunted out of KZN near Hluhluwe, South Africa. Our shower was an open topped, reed-walled shower. The hot water came from a 40 gallon drum that had a fire built underneath each night. Once the water warmed, it would pressurize the lines to the shower. The light came from an old kerosene lantern. A little frog would pay you a visit every evening. While looking up at the stars, the wind would often blow the smell of the fire towards you and the hyenas would sing their lonesome song, I realized I was somewhere special.

    My most special animal comes down to two, both taken on my most recent safari. While trying to finalize my wish list, I asked my PH about Vaal rhebok and blue duiker hunting versus the springbok slam. His response solidified my wish list. "Vaal rhebok is hard, blue duiker even harder, springboks are easy."

    I was told to be prepared to hit an 8" diameter target at 400 yards. The shot was 429 yards with a 12-15 mph cross wind. A very old vallie needing some Rogaine.

    [​IMG]

    A few days later and nearly 20 hours sitting in a blind next to a water hole. I took the only shot possible with a 22LR thru very thick bush at 35 yards. Had to get the dog on the blood. I was looking for blood on the opposite side of a very dense thicket, when Sutu, our tracker, spoke in Xhosa that the duiker was back in the blind. I beat a hasty retreat down the hill and back towards the blind basically bulldozing a new path thru the almost impenetrable vegetation. Sutu, sitting in one of the blind chairs, released the dog again and he eventually chased the little blue duiker into the pond. The duiker swam across the pond where I was waiting to finish the deal requiring a swim from Sutu to collect the trophy. A series of highs, lows, worry and elation in the end within about 30 minutes. A hunt never soon forgotten!

    [​IMG]
     

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  7. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    That is a fine looking bull!
     

  8. Warbird782

    Warbird782 AH Enthusiast

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    My most memorable animals from my first and only hunt to Africa so far would be my bushbuck and kudu. The bushbuck was the last and hardest animal to get. We hunted many different ranches until we found the one in the attached picture in the Winterberg Mountains. The shot on him was straight up hill at 320 yards. The next animal was my first kudu of two that I hunted while in the EC. The kudu has it all. They look good and taste even better. Hunting these two animals in the EC reminded me a lot of spot and stalk mule deer hunting in western North Dakota where I am from. One of the things that I really miss about Africa is hearing the doves. They woke me up the first morning and every morning after. In a long six months from now I will be back to chase the kudu and bushbuck and hear the doves! IMG_6466.JPG IMG_6405.JPG
     

  9. RickP

    RickP AH Veteran

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    I was going to post what I 'wanted' as my most valued trophy but since I've not, and probably won't, get to hunt it, it doesn't count.

    I think I'm with enysse and Rob44, any kudu that I've shot is my most valued trophy. I don't know what it is about these spiraled-horned beauties but I can't get enough of these guys! I've only made two trips to Africa so far and have a beautiful gemsbok and bushbuck in the bag but the kudu that I've shot hold a special place with me. Maybe that'll change as the next trip is a cape buffalo with a handgun and I don't doubt that it will trump anything as far as excitement and adrenalin go but I loves me some kudu!
     
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  10. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    I agree with all those who like the spiral horns best, so do I. Some come easy, some don't. I worked pretty hard for the sitatunga, a little bit for bushbuck. Took 3 tries to get a kudu over 50, still working for the bull eland, though took a cow in '96. First nyala was too easy perhaps, and the one I just took in SA in July wasn't even on the menu until it looked like I might go home empty handed if I didn't add one to the list. Took it on the last day, and a big one it is too. Craig Boddington dedicated a whole book to the spiral horned critters. Wish I could find one, rare book and when seen go for huge bucks.
     

  11. Velo Dog

    Velo Dog AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Hi Graybird,

    Not being a tape measure guy, I sometimes don't know what is an exceptional set of horns.

    However, I have glassed a number of Vaal Rehbok rams, while trout fishing with a PH who, is particularly interested in them and the education was priceless.

    Yours is a very fine / above average ram.

    Congatulations old bean,
    Velo Dog
     
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  12. Hank2211

    Hank2211 AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Like many, I start by saying they're all special. So many never even get the opportunity . . .

    Having said that, I have to say that my bongo was the most special. It took 12 days of a 14 day hunt in the worst conditions - heat and humidity - that I have ever hunted in to get him. Tested me physically but more that that, psychologically. Not particularly proud of every reaction I had over the 12 days, but I learned more about myself - good and not-so-good - on that hunt than on any before or since. Took the hunt to a whole new realm.
     
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  13. martinc

    martinc New Member

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    Very interesting thread, so I will write my very first post.

    I've never been to Africa, so all I have is a wish list.
    Kudu, mountain zebra and gemsbok from Namibia.
    Bushbuck, sitatunga, buffalo and leopard are also very high on my list.
    And finally, the most stunning of all the spiral horns, a bongo.

    Depending on the hunts, the company, the effort, I believe that 5 or 10 years from now, one of these animals will be my most valued African trophy.
     

  14. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    I would have to go with the Nyala in my avatar. Not the hugest trophy. But I was standing over him 24 hours after it seemed I would go home from Africa without having hunted. The bull was taken after a great stalk where I kind of earned my spot with the PH having spotted the 3 bulls traveling together a couple of times before he did.

    Had it not been for the outfitter that took me on when my original had to cancel my hunt, I may have gone home without hunting and never went back. So that was a pretty special evening having taken one of my dream animals.
     

  15. enysse

    enysse AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    I would have loved to do the sitatunga hunt too. It's just one of those hunts that has "spiralled" in costs. Not your fault at all, things change in Africa pretty fast.
    I know a guy that has the most beautiful free range lion that you'll ever see. He got in 2000 for $20 grand in Zim and that included a ton of other animals. He still complains that it was the only one of the big 5 he had to use the rifle for....I guess I have bigger problems (lol).
     
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  16. Velo Dog

    Velo Dog AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Welcome Martinc,

    You probably already know the following but I will regale you with my puffed up ideas anyway;

    Namibia is an excellent place to look for the first three species of your quest.

    Also, leopard is available in most of Namibia and buffalo are somewhat available in the Caprivi Strip.

    Bushbuck and sitatunga might be available in the Caprivi Strip but I do not know that.

    I'd be surprised if sitatunga occur there.

    Bongo is definitely a Central Africa thing (not sure exactly how many countries there have bongo, but not many).

    At any rate, I totally get it that you have goals to reach in Africa.

    I have met a couple of mine - warthog with a double rifle was a real biggie, lol.

    Regards,
    Velo Dog.
     

  17. jeff

    jeff AH Legend

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    The big five probably a little out of my price range, I will have to say the kudu in my avatar and a close second is my hartebeest that I stalked to 20 yards before arrowing it, that makes it special for me.
     

  18. aaronraby1

    aaronraby1 AH Enthusiast

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    great trophies and stories!

    for me, if it wasn't for my grandpa, I wouldn't be the hunter I am today. when I was about thirteen he took me to get my hunter safety certificate. after that, we hunted dove with a couple of his coworkers. in time, through my brothers professional sprint car racing, my grandpa had met friends in Kansas who I hunt deer with almost every year now! before my grandpa passed, we were able to travel to Africa and hunt together! it was a great time in our hunting together. all he wanted was a gemsbok! and even though we had split a package deal with about 4 animals each, he only took the gemsbok and let me take the rest of his animals! haha so long as I shot him a duiker. he was fond of those duikers. so I did! we had planned to hunt new Zealand together. he loved the big stags! but complications came and we cancelled. one day, I will take a stag for my grandpa and put it on his wall next to his gemsbok and great north American bison! all of my travels, and my hunts with my grandpa are the best ones.
     

  19. rooihond

    rooihond AH Veteran

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    I have been away and apparently missing out. Great post.

    My most valued trophy, the klipspringer, was an unexpected one. Everything from the adventures of getting to the area, making our way on a nice hike, enjoying the sunrise, enjoying the beautiful habitat, the first glimpse, getting the distance wrong and missing the shot(I estimated 200 yds but later verified at around 150 yds, ranging these guys on the fly was a surprising challenge), doing it over the next day, finding some luck, hearing him whistle, getting the distance right, getting the shot right, appreciating the beautiful quills and well worn horns, then making a wonderful meal a few days later. It all added up to something very special. I can't wait for the full mount to arrive.

    I got so caught up in reliving the hunt that I almost forgot to answer the posted questions. The hunt was in the Limpopo Province, RSA in 2014 and I am not aware of any recent restrictions on hunting them. The klipspringer cost a lot less than my list topper but it sure did bring a lot to my experience.

    The crocodile was the dream hunt and special in a different way. Although the klipspringer was on my list, I had no idea what an experience the hunt would be. I wonder what adventure awaits on my intended buffalo hunt.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2014

  20. dory

    dory AH Fanatic

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    80310002.JPG But after 40 years of hunting all over New Zealand The stag I shot in fiordland after 3 years of chasing and 6 hele trips has a soft spot . But every hard earned head in my shed brings back fond memories .
    Sometimes just being there is wonderfull as you get older .

    80310001.JPG
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 23, 2014

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