Safari 2014: The Caprvi Strip / Update 06/09/2014 One Last Daydream

by david on June 9, 2014

One last bit of frivolity and I promise it is back to work for next week.  For the last two weeks I have been explaining and giving a few examples of how much fun the down-time between the early hunt preparation, and the final stages of preparation for your hunt, can be.  Your mind has a few less things on it and it can afford the luxury of wandering off for a little bit.  Regrettably, mine probably wanders more than most.  Err, where was I?  Oh, on the plus side, however, I can have some wonderful adventures and never have to leave the comfort of my home.  So far, I have gone over a few circumstances with DG (dangerous game), but, today, I want to talk about some other game animals.

As I have already mentioned, I have an open-ended option of what trophy animal to take on this trip, after I collect my elephant.  There are several options in the area, including hippopotamus, waterbuck, lechwe, wildebeest, kudu, impala, warthog, and zebra.  I have already collected all but the hippo, waterbuck, and lechwe, so I am leaning toward one of those three.  That being said, if one of the others qualifying for new Roland Ward record made their presence known, I would be hard-pressed not to take the animal.  One of the wonderful things about having one open slot on your trophy list is the “what if” factor it allows you.  What if a 63” kudu suddenly walks in front of you?  What if you spot a lechwe or waterbuck sporting headgear in the over-40” range?  What if there is an impala with 24” horns out there?  I have recently dozed off several nights chasing one or the other of these critters across the “what if” zone, only to be thwarted by falling asleep before I could finish the hunt.

There is another kind of trophy out there that I also have thought about taking – a very, very old animal, and one with non-typical horns is also another option.  I always try to take an older animal, one that is past breeding prime. An older animal might not sport the headgear of a younger animal, but it is even more difficult a trophy to take, if you ask me. The majority of my trophies fall into this older category, but I am still after a really old one.  The fact most of the animals in Africa are prey animals and do not reach old age probably accounts for their scarcity.  I have never seen a very old animal in the herd.  An animal with crooked or unusually shaped horns is something else I have never stumbled across, despite spending days looking for just such an animal. I have seen pictures of other hunters’ good fortune, but I have never had the chance to take one of my own.  When you add up all of these, the options for daydreaming about your hunt are simply unlimited.

One last word about daydreaming.  Don’t get too caught up in it.  It is fun to let your imagination run wild, but do not let that make your hopes too unrealistic when the hunt actually starts.  Talk things over with your PH (professional hunter), or other host, about the actual probabilities of collecting the animal of the size you want.  Do not go home empty-handed (unless you are 100% ok with that) because you set your sights too high.  I have taken many wonderful trophies, but none are actually in the world record category.  Get a realistic picture in your mind of what is out there and then you can make the best decision possible about taking your trophy.  Me?  I am still going to hope for a world record every time I go out, but I’ll be happy with whatever comes my way.

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