Elkgunner.... Welcome aboard. It's hard to mess up the format so you're doing fine
I don't know much about Africa.. YET !! I am hoping to go in 2 years 2005. I saw both booths that you mensioned and don't know what to say about them. I know that there is ALOT of deals gonig on and the best way to get them is to talk to alot of people.. I know only a few here have been to Africa but like I said We're planning to go in 2 years. I'm doing some Reserch myself and don't know what the best deal is that I can get. But they're out there for sure...
What part of Bosie ore you from ? I'm just outside in Nampa, just wondering if you already knew me or not ? (Oscar Williamson)
MAybe we can Sit over lunch or a beer sometime and Discuss Africa ? Drop me a line 571-1ELK.
I went to the Sportsmans show today in Boise, and once again, the African hunt booths caught my attention. Both of them were in South Africa, and their prices were less than the ones that were discussed on the other subject in this forum.
But, as I research this, are there other countries with Plains Game, in your opinion, that should also be considered?
PS. This is my first post here, so if the format looks bad, patience is appreciated, while I figure out how this UBB works.
I just returned from a Sportsmans show about an hour ago. I talked with several outfitters/booking agents and land owners in South Africa. All of the ones I talked to offered various "packages" for various game but they all had one thing in common, other then the hunts were all in South Africa. When they priced their "package", they priced it with R/T air fare from Atlanta or NY included in their package price. My buddy got the brochures. I will post the web site from the one we talked to and enjoyed their conversation, the most, as soon as I get the brochure from my buddy. This one outfitter in particular actually owns the land. The land has been in their family for a number of generations. If I recal, they own 30,000 acres where their camp is set up and have sole access to aditional properties where they hunt various animals. When asked if they "stock" animals, they said that they do bring in additional animals but it isn't bring them in today and hunt them tomorrow scenario. They do buy and bring in some breeder animals at the end of their regular season. They hunt a maximum of 5 hunters (1X1) at a time. The safari's where 10 and 14 days, if I remember correctly. I spoke with the son of the owner who is a PH (guide).
I am sure there are many deals to be had from various outfitters. Whatever you decide, do your homework, check references. I was very impressed with one outfit some years back that gave me a list of 6 references. I called all 6 of them and 2 of them said they did not enjoy themselves. When asked why not, they then told me what they "expected" and what they got. After further probing I found out that what they expected was not what the outfitter offered. They expected 5 star accomodations and what they got was what the outfitter told them they would get, 3 star accomodations. I called the outfitter and asked why he would list 2 individuals as references when he knew they weren't going to have a good word to say. He told me, we always lists every hunter from the previous year as a reference, with their permission. I did hunt with him and I had a great time.
Thanks for the welcome, and I appreciate the comments... Maybe some day I can learn how to make an animated moose gallop on my posts, or some other lofty goal, perhaps get a 4x4 pick-up with two flat tires on the end of my signature, kind of like the one I drove out of the Owyhees one night. (One of the stories best shared over a brew and a fire...)
I am probably the wrong kind of person to go to the Sportsmans shows. I ask lots of questions, eavesdrop on other peoples' questions, and then go away with just the brochure, and begin doing the research. I don't know if I would ever book a trip, based on the booth at a show, maybe a Steelhead trip, or something, but I don't know about a hunting trip. But I do like asking the questions, and getting the information. I know I wasted some of a Halibut Charter Captain from Prince of Wales time, while I tried to get Black Bear information from him for a return trip to POW for bear.
The two South Africa booths were interesting, and the one chap had been here before to Boise, as I remember the accent and grin. I would guess if he came back, he must have booked trips last time, so there might be some Boise references. The other booth didn't look familiar, but they had an interesting pitch.
I guess the first thing to decide is what you want to kill. Then figure the country, then find the guide/PH. I think I would be happy with Kudu or Gemsbok, and "other" trophies, so from there, it is just a matter of figuring the country, then the Outfitter. And that is why I wondered if anyone else has the insight on other countries.
I know the FNAWS banquet in Nampa has a South Africa hunt every year, and it used to go pretty reasonable, but I think they are finally bidding it up a bit, but it still seems like a bargain. I know two of the people who have bought it, so I guess they could be good references. Safari Club had one this spring, but I couldn't talk my buddy into going. It was for 2 people, for $1900, and I think it included some trophy fees. (I don't exactly remember for sure, as it was a fine line of trying to drink enough beer to bid on a trip to Africa, and yet be sober enough to understand what to bid on.)
Moosie, -- I am actually not in Boise, just work there, I live south of Caldwell, out by the lake, across the street from THE 36" mule deer. (He is 1/2 urban legened. He is an honest 30+, and I haven't seen him in the daylight this year, to see if he is bigger, or not.) I saw him last week in the headlights, on my way home. I thought he had dissappeared this year, but he is back.
If you want to have a beer, sounds good. I see where you are headed up Caribou hunting, and it may take a bit, but I can dig up my pictures from 97, when we went on a drop hunt North of Dillingham, and killed 4 bulls. I have two of them hanging in my home office, if you need reference before your trip, on what you are looking at. I think they are better than most of what you see hanging in Sporting Goods stores around town.
Shaky, thanks for the insight, and I tend to be a bit thrifty, so I wasn't interested in the Airfare packages. Now I just have to figure out how to use my 300k miles on United Airlines to get to Africa. And I am not sure how the whole "Put and Take" is for hunting. I know I won't go to these phesant preserves in the valley, and shoot pen raised birds. I won't go to the WMA and shoot F&G's pen raised birds, so to go to Africa and do it, seems a bit strange, but then again, these are all "ranch" hunts behind a fence. I know I would never hunt Elk in a fence, but in South Africa, these ranches seem to be the norm.... More thought and pondering needed.
More discussion needed, but keep the thoughts coming....
If you are in the "first-time-to-Africa" plains game league, then Namibia is fine too. I would personally not fiddle with Zim yet, and the rest is upmarket expensive stuff.
Check out the website of the South African Game Ranchers Association www.sagro.co.za for links to their members. (I am not one)
Remember, the Internet and e-mail allows for more transparancy and much better negotiating than we had in the days of snail mail and faxes and phones.
ps. and of course you have to check out my site too !!!!!!!!!!
Thanks for the tip on Namibia. I will look into it. My guess is, that like most, I would end up in South Africa the first time, but it is probably good to research other options, just so I have a complete picture.
And I did go to your website, and you have some good information, and some good suggestions. I will definitely keep it bookmarked as I do my research.
South Africa is like several countries in one. Beware of the really inexpensive hunts which are in the Eastern Cape. These are in nearly every case a "put and take" style hunting operation.
The best thing you can do from the start is to get a book showing where the animals you desire to hunt actually live. Get the kind of book which has a shaded area showing the animals range. Then when you narrow down the few outfitters or lodges you like see how many of them are in the area with the species your hunting.
My guess is that the inexpensive hunts offering many animals in a few days will likely all be in the eastern cape. These are the huge properties with non-indiginous pre released wild game that you will be hunting. When you look at the map showing the shaded areas of the game you will see almost all the species you want are going to be in the north west section of South Africa. The countries of Zim, Moz, and Bot, with Zam really close to the same amount of indiginous species. This valley has the most indiginous big game species of anyplace in the world. All the southern areas of SA will have trucked in and released game to offer the same amount of game. It's much easier to offer and sell purchased game then it is to find wild game. It takes a significant effort and experienced PH's to sort out game that has lived wild and has a natural home range and rut, then game which was released before the season.
Namiba has far fewer species to hunt. The hunts are attractive because they are less expensive. However you also have one and sometimes two additioanl travel days from the USA and the added flights to get there.
I've been working there in all sorts of Safari industry operations for ten years now. By all means if you want the stright scoop Email me. I only take 24 hunters a year on our 100,000 acre consessions. When you hunt with us you don't travel to a different ranch every day to hunt some other animals we have them all right here. If you choose to hunt the species which are not indiginous here we make those arangements and can hunt the Free state for Black Wildbeest, springbok, etc.
Our operation is typically 2 months a year. We will not overharvest the natural population of game so we limit the harvest to what the 24 hunters will take. Last year we took 19 hunters in May and June. They harvestet 117 animals. We took 22 Kudu's of which 21 were over 50" the biggest being 58". The One which was under 50, was 48" with a deformed set of horns. The hunter insisted in shooting it because of it's odd configuration. He shot another one which was 55" later in the same trip.
We have 3 of the big five on the consession as well as giraffe crocodile Sable Roan and Nyala Our lodge is a full service beautiful operation. www.huntingadventures.net
I have more references then you can ever contact if your interested!
JJHack, I hunted S. Africa about 18 months ago with a PH named Henk Brink. I had a good time and shot six of the larger plains animals. I haveno ideal if they good animals or not, but they all made the record book. Of croase nor broke any records. I had fun. One hell've easy hunt.
An important thing to understand with "record book" animals is which record book!
An animal that makes the SCI record book minimum means it's reached adulthood. An animal that makes the Rowland Ward book means it's a real trophy.
Let me explain a bit futher with an analogy using American game. SCI minimum for black bears is 18" which is a 2.5 year old male bear of about 200 pounds in most areas. The equal minimum in the USA to a Rowland Ward score would be from Boone and Crockett which has a 20" minimum for a certificate, but requires a 21" minimum to be listed in the book.
I use bears because I have an exceptional amount of experience with them. In Washington state there are less then 2 dozen bears ever making the 21" mark, and darn few making 20". However, every male bear 3 years old will be 18" and they are not even at a dominant breeding age yet! "trophy" ...... I think not!
Don't be fooled with folks in Africa quoting "record book" animals until the tell you which book. The funny thing to me is when we learned to score aniamls in the PH Academy we were taught to judge animals with Rowland ward scores not SCI. Yet the Safari companies use the SCI minimums becasue they are so easy to meet.
Can anybody explain, in South Africa, who gets the Trophy Fees? Are these the fees the hunter pays the PH, for the services provided? Or are these the fees the Landowner charges the PH, who in turn charges the hunter?
This can be a complicated and long post so to simplify the cost of trophy fee you should consider it just as you do a tag and license in the USA.
Who gets the fee depends upon so many things it's silly to try and sort that out on the internet. Much like asking who gets the cash from the tag and license in the USA? That money in the USA could pay the rent for a low income family or medicare and maybe a new section of highway, a sports stadium, art museum, etc. etc.
The actual collecter of the money can be the government for hunting on park land, or the owner of the land and the game. The PH would get a share, the trackers and skinners, the cook, the tax paid. etc etc etc.
The trophy fee is a set price based on the reletive value or scarcity of the animal. The hunts which are so common in the Eastern cape where much of the game is stocked would likely have a trophy fee based on the original cost of buying the animal from an auction and then the needed markup to make money on the hunt.
The opposite is true when hunting in the park for lions, buffalo, or other expensive big game. The Governement will auction these hunts to outfitters and the government will collect the money for the "trophy fee" portion while the Outfitter retains enough to pay the staff and make a profit.
Whether the landowner, Government, or Outfitter keeps or retains the Trophy fee it's not really any difference then the Tag and License in most states within the USA. The money is spread around to many different places by the Government.
The question of who collects it is not relevent. I collect a whole lot more then I actually get! Seems everyone in this business has their hand out for something.
So then the question is Whats a daily fee then? The daily fee is the minimum needed to operate the business. Travel, food, housekeeping, lodge, vehicles. The daily fee and the trophy fee can be considered one in the same for package hunts. For hunts where a guy wants one animal the profit on the whole package would be very low. so the daily fee would have to be set higher to make some profit. When a hunter wishs to shoot 8 animals or so the daily fee can be much lower because the trophy fee's will make the difference up.
If you have ever traded a car in for a new one you must understand the drill. The dealer will offer you a lot of money for your used car impressing you with his generosity. But he will sell you the new car at the full price.
OR-- He will offer you next to nothing for the trade in but sell you the new car for a very attractive cost. In the end the profit to the dealer is the same. The sales man just tries to feel out the ccustomer and find is phobia about the deal. Then he offers the one that seems to fit.
Some guys absolutely hate the idea of "daily fee's" so an outfitter can make it dirt cheap but charge full price on the trophy fee list.
Other hunters may not recognise the daily fee as much and wish to get a break on the trophy fee. Either way the end cost should work out the same to both parties involved just like the car dealer. In either case the situation is far better then Guided hunts in the USA and Canada. In South Africa if you don't shoot game you don't pay the trophy fee. In North America you buy the tag and license first and you own that regardless of your success!
Within South Africa The accomadations have a minimum standard which is so tightly written it actually states things like how many lamps and bed side tables must be in the room, the foods which must be served or offered, laundry to be done every day. Amount of maids, cooks skinners trackers, size and layout of skinning facilities Etc!
The Professional hunters of South Africa have established this along with the governing bodies of South Africas government to set a professional minimum standard. This set of rules is nation wide but may have specific regional guidelines.
Of course there is no maximum standard so some locations can be extrodinary, while others just squeek by. One of my camps is tented in the deep bush. It was complicated to get it accepted because the bulk of the rules are based on a Lodge building. We eventually got it accepted but had to add things after the inspections were done, before the license would be granted. At anytime you can have a surprise inspection and get shutdown or deeply fined if you do not provide the minimum level of service to a visiting hunter.
No other country has minimum standards like this that I know of. Most are licensed or Certified and they are free to choose the level of service they desire. If you have gone to my site and looked at the guest rooms we offer you will see the level of service is unmatched. Our facility so far exceeds the minimum we have been providing holiday getaways for the people who do the inspections and many of the governemnt people as well. They visit all the places and know which are best. It's one of the reasons they choose to stay with us.
Many of these are not hunting trips but just getaway vacations where they can walk the bush and see the animals. Or horseback rides in the bush. Many are for governemnt meetings and business gatherings. You don't get that kind of work unless you're a top of the line operation!