5 Animals You Might Not Know You Can Hunt
There are some incredible game animals to hunt across the globe. Popular choices include Caribou, Elk, Cape Buffalo, and various species of antelope. And that doesn’t even scratch the surface. However, there are other animals you might not think of when it comes to hunting.
At International Sportsman, we believe that outfitters should have a prominent voice in communicating about their hunts, businesses, and the animals they help us chase. During day one and two of the Dallas Safari Club (DSC) Expo, we took it a step further by asking them to identify and describe five unique game animals available in their hunting areas. Here is what we discovered.
Without doubt one of the most interesting looking game animals I’ve seen is the Arapawa Ram. Moderately sized (topping out around 150 pounds), they are known for their dark brown and black color contrasted by white markings. The average ram possesses 1-1.5 curls, with 2 curls being particularly desirable. Perhaps the most intriguing feature is their long, matted wool giving them a Bob Marley-esque appearance. These distinctive rams inhabit steep hill country and are tough to pursue. “They will often retreat to rough elevations once they sense you.
They often require multiple glassing and stalk sessions which can be laborious – especially when bowhunting”, said Four Seasons Safaris’ guide, Kyle Windquist.
Needless to say, they represent a rare trophy well worth the effort and a mount that presents a great timeless conversation piece.
The Bush Pig
The great folks at Pelser Bowhunting out of South Africa offer great hunts for such animals as Kudu, Bushbuck, and Mountain Reedbuck. But what caught my attention was the hunts they offer for the Bush Pig. Coming from Texas, I’m very familiar with hog hunting, but I had to hear more about this distinctive looking pig. For one, the multicolored coat is striking. The bush pig is the counterpart of the European wild boar.
He exhibits similarities to feral hogs and often displays a nasty temperament and aggressive nature. “Our clients are quite entertained by hunting them. We usually hunt them at night with bait and lights. If nothing else, they’re great filler hunts on our trips”, said owner and guide, Willie Pelser. Hunting them is far from a slam dunk and they are a great challenge for any sportsman, especially those inclined to hunt with stick and string. Weighing in at 130-160 pounds, these pigs offer delicious game meat as well.
In Argentina and Patagonia resides a peculiar creature called the Capybara. The interesting thing is this animal is in the rodent family; a rodent that reaches upwards of 180 pounds! And like many animals, if they’re legal and taste good, they’re hunted. Native to swamps and marshes, they are typically hunted during the day via patient still hunting.
Here, hunters set up near swamps and wait for them to exit the water and hopefully present a shot. However, if they detect you, it’s back to the water and the process starts again. The Capybara is thriving, so hunting opportunities abound. “It’s illegal to export them, so we have good numbers. Many of our clients absolutely love hunting them”, said Ricardo Aguado, Owner of Cazapampa Hunting Ranch. “Treks through the swamps and marshes can be taxing and messy, but our hunters find it to be well worth it”, he continued. Whatever the case, I’m amazed by any rodent an ounce over 5 pounds much less pushing 200 pounds.
The Arctic Hare
With shortened ears and thick, white fur (in winter) arctic hares have adapted to survive in the harsh, frozen tundra of Greenland. And according to Jóhann David of Angling Club LAS-A, this native rabbit represents a great hunting opportunity for many hunters. “Many of our clients really enjoy pursuing them. They’re popular to hunt with both a bow or .22 rifle”, said David. Arctic Hares reach about 26 inches in length and 20 pounds in weight.
Where I come from, that’s a mammoth-sized rabbit. Like some of the other rare hunting game, hunting for them is entertaining especially between hunts for larger game. The meat is tasty and, though smaller in size, the hide is an attractive keepsake.
Asiatic Water Buffalo
Though not unheard of, this imposing animal often gets lost in the shuffle, considering the popularity of Cape Buffalo. And they are larger than the former and have stronger hides. Though they’re not as aggressive as the Cape Buffalo, they can be very dangerous. According to Peter Lorman, Director of Tropical Hunting Safaris, they see 2-3 charges per season. That’s dangerous enough for me. The real challenge comes in bringing them down.
“Considering their extremely stout hides, an appropriate caliber and accurate shot placement is a must. Popular guns are .375 and up as well as traditional English double rifles. Further, proper shot angle is imperative as well”, said Lorman. Trophies are known for their huge sweeping horns with up to a 6-foot spread. With no real predators, there are large numbers of this invasive species roaming the Arnhem Land of Australia’s Northern Territory.
Based in Texas, Jerald Kopp is President of 1st Light Hunting Journal. His articles cover a variety of topics about hunting and the outdoor lifestyle. Jerald is an avid outdoorsman with deer hunting and whitetails being by far his greatest passion. He was introduced to hunting and fishing at an early age and has been enjoying it for 40+ years. In 2005, he established the Empowerment Outfitter Network (EON) – a faith-based non-profit organization that provides hunting opportunities for disabled and terminally-ill children and youth. When not hunting, he spends his time traveling and enjoying life with Amy, his wife of over 30 years. Jerald and Amy have two adult daughters and a son-in-law.