My Safari Trophy Wish List for July 2012

by david on April 5, 2012

This week I thought I would tell you about the animals I plan to take on my hunt in Namibia this July.

First on the list is a waterbuck.  A water buck is a stately grey antelope weighing between 550 and 650 pounds.  The horns of a trophy waterbuck will be in the 29” and up in length and have thick heavy bases.  As the name implies you will find them near water as they will drink daily.  They prefer open grass lands but can also be found in thick brushy areas.  This is a new quarry for me and I am studying up on shot placement and habits. If I am successful I will have a full shoulder mount of the animal.

A blue wildebeest (literal translation “wild ox”) is next on the list and an animal I have hunted before.  The first time out the wind was swirling and blowing so badly that I never took a shot.  Most people are familiar with the wildebeest but many do not know there are two varieties. The black wildebeest is the less common and has horns that are forward and downward swept and turn back up to a point terminating even with or above the top of the head.  A brindled or blue wildebeest is the other and has horns that stick out to the side and turn up at the tips.  The wildebeest has also been described as “having the head of a moose; beard of a goat; hump, neck, and shoulders of an ox; hind quarters of an antelope; and the mane and tale of a horse”.  In other words a totally unique looking animal that only a mother could love.  What attracts me to the animal is their coats have the most amazing iridescent properties and make gorgeous rugs. If successful this animal will provide dinner, a beautiful rug and a European mount for the wall next to my outdoor fireplace.

Another mountain zebra is also on my list.  After taking my first one I gave the rug away to a dear friend, leaving me with the opportunity to take another zebra at a future date.  The trick to mountain zebra hunting is twofold.  First you have to be in the mountains where they are which is no easy feat.  The mountains of Africa are as rough and rugged as the Rockies even if they are not as high.  Scrambling over loose rocks and up steep grades is an exhausting task and often leaves one huffing and puffing when trying to take a shot.  Secondly is picking out the right animal to take. Normally when hunting you want to take out an older male so you do not mess with the breeding population.  With zebras it is sort of the opposite, you want to take a younger stallion.  With constant challenges from younger stallions the lead stallion is worn down and that leads to less breeding success.  By taking out the younger stallions there is less pressure on the dominate stallion and better breeding success.  A younger stallion will also have fewer battle scars and make a much prettier rug.  Last but not least a younger animal is much better eating.  If you ever get the chance to have zebra kabobs slow roasted over an open fire or large steak butterflied and stuffed with a cream sauce and feta cheese by all means prepare to sit back and enjoy.  Add a glass of fine South African red wine and you have your own little slice of heaven.

I have hunted springbok twice and both times a strong wind ruined any chance I may have had in cleanly taking a ram, maybe the third time will be the charm.  One would think hunting this 75 – 100 pound antelope would be fairly easy and they would be mistaken in doing so.  These rascals have unbelievable eyesight and are naturally paranoid.  Their paranoia is well deserved since a great many creatures (including yours truly) like eating them.  Even if you can get by their defenses and stalk to within 300 paces and find a concealed shooting spot
does not guarantee you a shot.  Next you have to pick out the ram you want to take, wait for him to separate from the herd before they walk out of range, see or smell you, and then make a difficult shot. If I am successful this time a full shoulder mount will be the best way to honor this worthy advisory and I will look forward to one of my favorite dinners in Africa, a spit roasted hindquarter of springbok.

That ends my list of wants for this trip but the wonderful thing about Africa is you never know what is going to walk out in front of you.  If the hunting god’s are smiling on me
something altogether different may end up in my sights.

At this point I am unsure what next week’s post will be about.  I am currently leaning towards something on reloading, recommended vaccinations, or if it is not too abysmal my first
shooting practice session.  Until then do not just dream about Africa, start a plan to get yourself there.

See you across the big pond,

David B

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