Archive for the International Category

White Lions from South Africa

Posted in Africa, Big 5, Big Game, International, Predators on March 22, 2010 by thegreatwhitehunter

John Riggs recently sent me photos of white lions that he has been breeding in South Africa.  Truly a beautiful animal.

Once again evidence that economic demand produces all sorts of interesting abundance.  Who would ever imagine that someone would invest the serious money needed to produce a breeding population of white lions.

I guess as they say, seeing is believing.  Thanks to John for sending the photos of these beautiful animals.

If you are interested in learning more about John’s operation contact him at:

johnmriggs@gmail.com, tel: 27 78 004 2200.

Ethiopian Mountain Nyala-#2 alltime SCI

Posted in Africa, Big Game, International, International Hunting Adventures, Plainsgame, Trophies, World's Best on February 26, 2010 by thegreatwhitehunter

Yesterday’s post was on my harvest of a greater kudu in 2009.  Greater Kudu are one of the most popular and common of spiral horned antelope species in Africa.  This makes them affordable for the average Joe.  A not so common spiral horned antelope is the beautiful mountain Nyala.  One of my clients and already legendary hunter, Marc Watts harvested another amazing Spiral Horned antelope species-the mountain nyala.  Marc’s mountain nyala was harvested in Ethopia in November 2008 and scored a remarkable the 102 5/8 SCI, with 42 inch horns and 10 1/2 inch bases placing this exceptional animal at #2 on the alltime record book list.

 Not only is this rare mountain nyala a trophy for the ages, the story of Marc hunting in African “mountain goat” country for this rare trophy makes the harvest a truly great story. Read the full story on the SCI website http://www.scifirstforhunters.org/article/index.cfm?action=view&ArticleID=3202

What makes Marc’s harvest that much more remarkable is that this is the second top 5 African spiral horned antelope harvested by Marc.   Here is a photo of Marc’s top 5 Lord Derby Eland.

To read more about Marc’s harvest of this exceptional animal visit my earlier post https://thegreatwhitehunter.wordpress.com/2009/09/26/lord-derby-eland-5-alltime-sci/

Marc has an exceptional line of award winning African Safari videos which can be purchased at Marc’s website at http://www.sabletrailproductions.com/  These two exceptional animals are just two of more than 275 animals Marc has harvested on the continent of Africa.  Marc was the first African American to complete the big five.  Read more about Marc at http://www.marcwatts.com/

My Dream Hunt-African Greater Kudu

Posted in Africa, Big Game, Friends and Family, International Hunting Adventures, Plainsgame on February 25, 2010 by thegreatwhitehunter

2009 was the 100th anniversary of Teddy Roosevelt’s historic African Safari.  One of America’s greatest presidents, Teddy Roosevelt was also an inspired leader in wildlife conservation.  A year end bonus from my law firm gave me a bit of spending dough.  After paying off some bills, I asked my wife if we could do our own modest version of the Teddy Roosevelt Safari. 

This meant something to me.  Teddy Roosevelt was not only a die hard hunter and conservationist, he was also Harvard Educated.  I graduated from Harvard Law School in 2001.  Like Teddy Roosevelt, I also share the passion for the outdoors, conservation and hunting.  For me, following Roosevelt to the Dark Continent was a sort of a pilrimage.  I was happy to learn that while an elephant or cape buffalo were out of price range, a person can do a fairly nice plainsgame package for not a lot of scratch.  At the top of my list was the greater Kudu.  I found an outfitter with an impressive 100% harvest rate on monster greater kudu, including many in the 50 inch range and even a world glass 60 plus inch which ranks top 5.  His base package included my #2 plainsgame trophy gemsbok along with an impala and a warthog.  All for less than a good guided mule deer hunt.   We booked the hunt last minute and were on the ground in Africa a scant 6 weeks later. 

This was easily the hardest animal to harvest on the Safari.  Free range, rough country and dry weather.  We saw a good number of kudu.  Even captured some on film.  But either the animals were not trophy class animals, or they saw us before we saw them.  Nicknamed the gray ghost, the enormous antelope can disappear faster without a whisper.

After lunch we switched to the land owner’s Land Rover-one fine piece of machinery if you ask me.

The afternoon we missed a couple of quick-shot opportunities.  The PH would say, “shoot that one.”  But after being warned repeatedly not to kill a female kudu (like the hunter from the previous week.)  I wasn’t about to shoot until I was sure that we were looking at the same animal.  Opportunities missed only add to the excitement and sense of expecation if you ask me.

Shortly before dusk we saw two big bulls fighting in a meadow.  They quickly disappeared into the thicket.  When I finally located the big bulls as they moved through the thicked, I found a sliver of an opening through the trees.  With my PH telling me to shoot, I was able to connect on one of the bulls. 

You can see that the tips of these massive spiral horns arc outwards.  I am told that only 1 in 20 greater kudu have this horn configuration with of most bulls curving inward (see photo above.)  What a beautiful animal.  I can hardly wait for the mount to arrive so we can enjoy this beautiful animals for many years to come.

Marco Polo Sheep-Kyrgyzstan

Posted in Asia, Big Game, International on February 24, 2010 by thegreatwhitehunter

I was sent these photos from Johann.  This is not the first Marco Polo sheep post I have done.  However, I thought these beautiful version of the mighty Argali deserved another post.  Marco Polo sheep are simply at the top of the list for most sheep hunters.  Looking at the size and mass of the horns it is not hard to see why.

 

Here is a description of the hunt from the outfitter: 

There are three races of Argali in Kyrgyzstan: 1. Marco Polo,2.Tian-Shan Argali, 3. Hume Argali. Marco Polo Sheep (Ovis ammon polii) inhabit the mountains to the South of the country from Naryn River up to the China’s border. Normally, Marco Polo in Kyrgyzstan is not as big as those in the Pamirs, Tadjikistan. These averages from 50 to 53”. These Argali prefer wide plateaus and sloping mountains without steep ledges at elevations of 11,000-15,000 ft (3,500 – 4,500 m) over the sea level. Base camp is located at 10,000 ft (3000 m) – there is no need in acclimatization. Local terrain allows for the use of horses and sometimes 4×4 vehicles during the hunt. There are professional guides, doctor, cook and helpers in the camp. So far, we have experienced the 100% success rate.

In the morning you load onto your horse. In Kyrgyzstan you may have horses and jeep. During the day you may travel the upper edges of the mountains, glassing the hillsides and feeding areas. Sheep will normally be sighted each day. For lunch in the field we offer you hot drinks, sandwiches, salami, dry fruit and nuts. Once the trophy ram is located, you complete your stalk on foot. You will hunt at around 13,000 feet ( 4,000 m). Physical condition is a factor on the stalking portion of the hunt. A long range shooting, up to 500 yards (450 m) is normal for sheep hunting. Spike camp and horse back riding is a part of your hunt.

If you would like to discuss booking a Marco Polo hunt or another asian trophy, contact Johann directly at johannd@yandex.ru; laika-tours@mail.ru; or call (011)004915156241064

Big Game?

Posted in Africa, Friends and Family, International, Plainsgame on February 19, 2010 by thegreatwhitehunter

For some reason I have always loved small antelope species.  During my 2009 pilgrimage to Africa, I really wanted to harvest a Steenbok.  As I negotiated my package cost and the budget of the trip with my wife, we discussed the reasons I wanted to harvest each animal.  She finally agreed that a zebra should be part of the package.  I agreed to give up my warthog and steenbok.  On the third day of the hunt, it happened.

We spotted a really good steenbok while riding back to the lodge.  We stopped the truck and had a conversation with myself, our PH and my sweetheart.  It went something like this.  “That is a record book steenbok.”  “How big?”  “Best we’ve seen in a few hunts.”  “Can I shoot it?”  “No!” “Man, I really want to shoot that Steenbok”  “It is not going to just sit there while you make up your mind” “I’m going to shoot it.”  “Then why did you even ask me?”  “Boom”  “Great, I thought we had a deal.”  “I just couldn’t pass it up babe, sorry.” 

Let’s define “a really good buck.”  I was told that 8 inches total will get you into the record book.  The 8 inches is calculated by adding the length of both horns to the circumference of each horn.  Honestly, I haven’t checked to see if that is the case.  What I do know was that we had seen a few steenbok and this dude had good length and much better mass than anything else we had seen.  He ended up measuring (I say this a bit tounge in cheek)- a whopping 10 inches total.  Each horn was just over 4 inches with a very respectable 1 inch of mass for each horn.  At the end of the day, I really didn’t care that much about the measurement.  The biggest thing was just enjoying the harvest of that little steenbok that I had wanted since I had booked the hunt.   By the way, it was delicious.

The Mighty Mid-Caucasian Tur

Posted in Asia, Big Game, International with tags on February 17, 2010 by thegreatwhitehunter

Asian Tur are simply one of the most sought after of all mountain goats for the international hunter.  Thanks to Johann Derksen at Laika-Tours for forwarding the photos of these exceptional goats. 

These two Tur pictured above are a variety of Asian Tur commonly called the Mid-Caucasian Tur.  The Mid-Caucasian Tur is a mix of the Eastern or Dagestan Tur and the Western or Kuban Tur. Found largely in the harsh and nearly vertical terrain of the Caucas Mountains of Russia and Azerbaijan, pursuit of these heavy bodied short legged creatures is an extreme international adventure in every sense of the word. According to Johann, the horns of the Mid-Caucasian Tur can vary from the supracervical shape of the cylindriconis to the more scimitar-shaped horn of the dinniki.  In more simple terms, the horns of the Tur largely resemble a cross between Spanish ibex and the mighty bighorn sheep.  The horns carry their mass along their length and curlemuch like a modified version of a bighorn sheep.  Shorter than an ibex horns, they may grow 32-41 inches in length.  

 

Here is a description of the hunt from Johann: 

You will arrive to an international Moscow airport. Our Laika-Tours  interpreter will meet you at the airport and assist through customs. You will be taken to the hotel. Next morning we will take you to the airport for the flight to Nalchik. Your flight will last around 1 hour 40 minutes.

Hunting starts from the fly camps. Backpack hunting is customary in the most areas with small portion of horse back riding. This is really intense mountain hunting. The terrain is difficult and steep. We encourage spike camping. A temporary tented camp is set up at 8,000 feet / 2, 700 m. Rams are generally located in very remote country at 9,800 feet / 3,000 m or in lower timbered country at 7,500 feet / 2,300 m. Be in good shape as it is an important factor in the stalking part of the hunt.  Shooting distance is 250-300 yards (200–250 meters) on average.

If you would like to discuss booking a Mid-Caucasian Tur hunt or another asian trophy, contact Johann directly at johannd@yandex.ru; laika-tours@mail.ru; or call (011)004915156241064.

Record Argentine Stag

Posted in Big Game, International, South America, Trophies, World's Best with tags on February 13, 2010 by thegreatwhitehunter

My wife is a patient woman.  She often points out that when it comes to traveling, if hunting or fishing is not involved, we don’t go.  Its not that every couple vacation is just a hunting or fishing trip.   For example, in 2007 we went to Costa Rica instead of Hawaii.  The trip involved plenty of beaches, surfing, zip lines, restaurants…you get the idea.  But at the end of the day, Costa Rica has much better Sailfish size and success than Hawaii.  Well when it comes to South America, there is no question that we will be visiting Argentina.  Here is the reason.

Thanks to Cory Glauner from Got Hunts for forward the photo of the #1 record Argentine Stag which was harvested on one of their hunting concessions.

In our house, Red Stag hold a certain mystique.  Ever since I have been researching antlered big game outside of mule deer and elk, the Red Stag has been right at the top of the list.  What a tremendous specimen.  Visit Got Hunts website for more amazing hunting photos and hunting adventures http://www.gothunts.com/

Greg Rodriguez-Giant Tom Leopard

Posted in Africa, Big 5, Big Game, International with tags on February 6, 2010 by thegreatwhitehunter

A few months ago I came across the photo of an exceptional Leopard harvested in Southern Africa.  The post highlighted the recovery of the Southern African Leopard and the size of the exceptional specimen.  As is often the case, the post generated its fair share of controversy  (see below).  Recently I came across the photo of a similarly impressive cat harvested by Greg Rodriguez while researching a recent Marco Polo Sheep post.

This exceptional animal was harvested by Greg in Namibia in May 2008.  Stretching the tape at eight feet one inches (8’1″), Greg’s tom is no trick photography.   Greg is an exceptional outdoorsman, photographer, outdoor and shooting writer and owner of Global Adventure Outfitters. In the course of his extensive travels, Greg researches the world’s best outfitters for international hunting.  Email Greg through his website to book your international hunt of a lifetime http://www.mbogo.net/contact.html or call at (281)494-2151.  Thanks Greg for use of the photo.

This Leopard in the photo below and appears larger than life, is probably about the same size as Greg’s tremendous cat. 

Harvested in Zambia, this behemoth shows the size and quality of older cats that can be harvested in Southern Africa.   Often times giant Leopard are able to attain their abnormal size by becoming cattle theives.  I have a hard time blaming them given my own love of a good ribeye or New York strip steak.  However, to the local farmers, the loss of a member of the herd can be devastating. As in North America, intelligent wildlife conservatin is the key to maintaining a proper balance.  https://thegreatwhitehunter.wordpress.com/2009/10/05/giant-leopard-big-five-trophy-of-a-lifetime/

South African Impala

Posted in Africa, Big Game, Friends and Family, International, Plainsgame with tags on January 28, 2010 by thegreatwhitehunter

An unexpected challenge, impala was giving me fits during my hunt last year in South Africa.  I had hunted hard for three days, without a single shot fired.

On the second day of the hunt, all three of the other hunters in camp had harvested an impala.  The most plentiful game animal in South Africa, there are an estimated 40 to 50 million impala in South Africa alone.  I was nonetheless excited about the prospect of harvesting a record book ram.  We had seen hundreds of impala, including several good rams over the three days.  However, a good shot had not presented itself.

Our hunt was taking place in the middle of the roar, breeding season for these sleek and wary animals.  The roar of a ram impala sounds much like a leapord roar.  Loud and agressive their call seemed such a stark contrast to their appearance, after three days I still was not used to the irony of the males’ call. Their call is only matched in their agressiveness as we saw countless younger males challenged with their life by the older males.  Perhaps the only animal I have seen fight so viciously is whitetail deer in North America.  Perhaps a result of their abundance, I couldn’t help ask myself why we couldn’t seem to close the deal on a trophy class impala. 

On the third day of impala hunting, we finally tried a property that had not been hunted as consistently.  After perhaps only an hour on the property, an impressive impala stepped into view at 150 yards.  A perfect opportunity, if we could only get the ram to step clear of his compadres.  That was when the fever kicked in.  I started getting wobbly and couldn’t slow my breathing.  I will never tire of the adrenaline rush of hunting.  But the timing was not good.  I tried to calm myself as I slowly squeezed off a shot.  I instantly knew it was a clean miss.  Careful checking verified what I had suspected. 

So I gathered my pride and followed my PH in the direction of more mating calls about a mile into the bush.  It was like trying to follow a flock of birds through the forest.  As soon as we would get close, they would move out of range and behind more thorn bush.  Finally, we zeroed in on a second group of impala that we could see through a thicket of trees.  No more than 50 yards away, not only did we not have a clear shot, but the group did not hold a single mature male.  What we had failed to noticed was an old ram sneaking in on the herd from behind us.  Suddenly, Pieter turned and whispered an emphatic “shoot that one.”  I turned to see an great ram 25 yards behind us in the trees and closing fast.  I waited for him to step into a shooting window and fired a shot into the shoulder. A short and anxious tracking job, a fabulous record book animal and one exited hunter.  Perhaps one of the most elegant of all african shoulder mounts, Jennifer can’t wait to add this one to the collection.

Marco Polo Sheep-the “Holy Grail” of Hunting

Posted in Big Game, Bighorn Sheep, Guides and Outfitters, guides and outfitters, International, International Hunting Adventures, World's Best with tags on January 22, 2010 by thegreatwhitehunter

Marco Polo Sheep are unquestionably one of the world’s most sought after big game trophies.  A subspecies of the Asian Argali, the horn length of the Marco Polo Sheep are unmatched .  The top of the world hunting experience in one of the most unique places on earth makes Marco Polo Sheep hunting a truly unmatched pursuit.  These sheep are huge in the body with mature rams weighing in at almost 300 lbs.  The longest recorded horn of any Marco Polo measured an almost inconceivable 6.2 feet and weighed 60 lbs.    It is not unusual for the typical hunter to harvest 50+ inch rams with multiple curls.  Thanks to Greg Rodriguez of Global Adventure Outfitters for use of the photo.  Contact Greg directly at http://www.mbogo.net/asia.html for more information on one of these fabulous hunts.

I found it interesting that of all of the Great White Hunter Posts, this is the first post of an Asian hunt.  The vast majority of Marco Polo Sheep are found in the Pamir Mountains adjacent the borders of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and China.   With the only hunt able populations being found in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.  I previously wrote about harvests by the “typical hunter,” however, these animals and these hunts are anything but typical.  One of the world’s great adventures, many Marco Polo hunts are conducted at elevations of 14,000 to 16,000 feet.  While horses and off road vehicles are helpful, great physical conditioning and a willingness to push oneself are critical to get in range of a mature ram.  Given the open country, long range shots of 350 to 500 plus yards are not uncommon.  Add to these difficulties the extensive travel, limited number of U.S. import permits and a price tag of $25,000 or more …it becomes clear why a Marco Polo ram is truly the hunt of a lifetime.  Add a beautiful and “inexpensive” Ibex, another of the high mountain horned giants, for perhaps the best combined hunt the world has to offer.

If you are lucky enough to book one of these hunts with Greg Rodriguez please let us know.  As a outdoor writer and an award-wining wildlife photographer, Greg literally hunts on a constant basis with the best guides and outfitters in the world. Greg has put together an impressive list of the world’s top hunt offerings through Global Adventure Outfitters.  Check out his website at http://www.mbogo.net/