August 25th 2019

Hunting the Spiral Horns - What is a Good Trophy?

The Spiral Horn Slam has become very popular over the years and with good reason. Very few animals spell out "Africa" as the majestic Kudu, the elusive Bushbuck, the impressive Eland or the graceful Nyala...

So what is considered to be a good trophy?

Different hunters have different viewpoints on this: To some - a "good" trophy is one that was worked hard for and killed cleanly - irrespective of what it measures when its on the ground. To others, all that matters is whether it will get their names into the record books - irrespective of how it was hunted. And to some it is a combination of the above...

The Nyala bull above, hunted with CT Safaris in July, measured 28.5" and was well beyond its prime. Considering the fact that Rowland Ward requires a 27" specimen as minimum to be entered into its record book, this is of course an exceptional trophy but more importantly, this was a very old bull that in all likelihood would not have seen next year.

In my opinion, when it comes to hunting Nyala, this is what should be sought during an African Hunt.

Trophy Bushbuck

Regrettably, many of the Bushbuck that are hunted in South Africa every year are hunted at night with aid of a spotlight. Whilst this practice is legal under some conditions, I am of the opinion that there is no more satisfactory way of hunting this elusive antelope during daytime in its natural habitat

At CT Safaris we have an excellent track record of finding our clients their Bushbuck trophies by hunting them the proper way - fair chase - in daytime.

The Bushbuck Ram above was hunted on the banks of the Mogol River with us in August and measured 17". (Rowland Ward requires a measurement of 15" to be entered into their books)

This Bushbuck was blind in one eye (probably the result of an altercation with another Bushbuck Ram) and past its prime.

Not only an exceptional trophy but also hunted the right way - the way CT Safaris hunt all animals.

Trophy Greater Kudu

It goes without saying that habitat plays a large role in potential trophy quality in any area and the Waterberg Mountains of Limpopo Province has been known to be perfect habitat for Kudu.

Of course good habitat alone isn't enough. Ultimately good management practices in conjunction with good habitat will determine whether superior genetics are grown or not.

At CT Safaris we are proud to say that we have accomplished just that.

The Kudu bull above, measuring 61.5" was hunted with CT Safaris in the mountains of Sabrisa Ranch during June and at the time was rated 100th overall in the SCI Record Book. (Rowland Ward requires 53 7/8").

CT Safaris has a good reputation for producing good Kudu - a reputation that was not built overnight. Remember; we have exclusive hunting rights to our hunting areas which encompass more than 40,000 acres of prime hunting land in Limpopo Province alone. These areas are large, never over hunted and we are selective in deciding which trophies should be harvested.

As a result, you get the best hunting experience money can buy when booking a hunt with CT Safaris!

Trophy Eland

"Size matters", but not so much when determining trophy quality of Eland. To me, the most important characteristic of a trophy Eland is not the length of its horns but rather the size of the animal itself, its age and the ruff on its forehead.

As Eland bulls get older, they typically become more grey in color and often develop a "ruff" (a clump of long, dark hair) on its forehead. This, to me, is a worthy trophy - much more so than a young bull measuring 38" (Rowland Ward requires 35").

It is not always possible to find an Eland bull with all the characteristics one seeks in a trophy Eland bull during a hunt - especially when doing so in a fair chase environment - such as that to be expected with CT Safaris.

The most productive way of hunting Eland is tracking them down on foot and hoping for a chance at an old and mature bull. Not everyone has the stamina or fitness levels required to do this but those who do invariably end up with an exceptional trophy.

The Eland bull above measured 34" - an inch shy of Rowland Ward - but look at the ruff on its forehead and look at the size of the animal itself. Not many hunters get an opportunity at animals such as this.

This is more proof of the value of being selective in harvesting trophies and managing one's areas properly.

Not ONE of the clients who have booked Eland hunts with CT Safaris returned home empty handed and ALL of them went home with an experience of a lifetime!

So next time you see an advertisement for the Spiral Horn Slam at a really good price, please do yourself a favor and consider some of the pointers above.

Remember: "Quality is not expensive, it is priceless!"