Without a doubt, trophy hunting in Africa is one of the most challenging endeavors a hunter can pursue. There are many factors which can come into play regarding your trophy-hunting safari on the ‘dark continent’. Here are some things you should consider when you begin planning your trophy hunting African experience.
Because of the extremely diverse assortment of game animals available in Southern Africa, the trophy hunter must narrow down the species he intends to take on a given safari. As all species are not common to a single geographical area, the resulting list may dictate the area, or even the particular African country where this trophy hunt will take place. This decision may also have important consequences; the availability of quality outfitters, the infrastructure, as well as the climate and geographical features can vary greatly from one country to another. These differences alone can affect the logistics of your trophy hunt.
Choosing the “right” outfitter for your hunting safari can greatly affect your African trophy hunting experience. You should definitely check out their credentials and those of their Professional Hunters. Experience is usually the key. The PH leading your trophy hunting safari will greatly affect the success of your hunt. Look for one who has experience in the area and the particular species which you wish to pursue.
PRIMARY MEASURING METHODS
The Safari Club International (SCI) Record Book of Big Game Animals uses SCI’s unique all-inclusive record keeping system – one of the most used system in the world – to document the club’s hunting heritage. The scoring system recognizes typical and non-typical animals and both free range and estate-taken animals. No deductions are enforced penalizing animals for asymmetry in the SCI scoring system. SCI measuring methods applicable to trophy hunting in Southern Africa include Method 1 – for most animals with simple horns, Method 2 – for spiral-horned animals, Method 4 – for African buffalo, Method 6 – for black wildebeest, Method 8 – for rhinoceros, Method 12 – for hippopotamus and pigs, Method 14 – for elephant, Method 15 – for carnivores and Method 16-C – for body length of crocodilian.
Rowland Ward’s Records of Big Game was established in 1880 to set down details of game as a matter of interests to avid hunters. The company’s policy is that ‘The Book’, as they call it, is not purposed to establish records in the sense of biggest or best, nor to glorify the hunter. Rowland Ward’s intention is that it celebrates the animal and it does not matter whether the animal’s horns, tusks or teeth were picked up in the veld from one that had died of natural causes, was killed by a predator or shot by hunter. ‘The Book’ exists to ensure that trophy hunters focus on big, old, lone males which have long since passed on their genes to younger generations. It is also a valuable source of knowledge on the distribution of game and its taxonomic features as well as an historical, geographical and biological record. The applicable methods in Southern Africa are 5, 7, 8, 12, 13, 15, 16, 17 and 18.