The sport of hunting provides an opportunity to appreciate the outdoors, its beauty and ruggedness, a chance to enjoy and experience nature as a participant, to feel an intimate, sensuous connection to a place, to take responsibility for one’s food, and to acknowledge our kinship with wildlife. Here are the reasons why hunting in each of the world regions is so special.
Hunting in Africa
For the hunter seeking a wide variety of game animals, beautiful country, century-old hunting traditions, and the spice of danger, hunting in Africa is an experience unmatched anywhere on Earth. Whether you choose to hunt plains game in southern Africa or take on Cape buffalo and elephant in the wilds of East Africa, a hunt on the African continent will create memories that will stay with you for a lifetime.
More than a dozen countries in Africa offer hunting in some form. The countries in southern Africa, especially South Africa, Namibia, and Zimbabwe, are visited by the largest numbers of hunters. Hunting in these countries is accessible and affordable and provides an outstanding experience, especially for the first-timer. East Africa, especially Tanzania, and Mozambique, holds large wilderness areas and good numbers of dangerous-game animals such as lions, buffalo, leopards, and elephants. Safaris in this region are true to the tradition of the luxury tented safaris of the mid-twentieth century. Safaris in western and central Africa appeal to experienced African hunters in search of very challenging game such as bongo and giant eland.
Most hunting in Africa is conducted “safari-style,” where hunters drive around the hunting area in open-topped vehicles searching for game or tracks of game. When game is sighted, hunters stalk on foot, or when fresh tracks are spotted, hunters disembark to follow on foot, sometimes for many hours. There are a few exceptions, such as leopard hunting, which is usually conducted from a blind over bait.
Hunting in Asia
Hunting in Asia is a grand adventure. The world’s largest continent, it holds more varieties of large animals than any other continent on Earth. Asia is a paradise for the mountain hunter, with the largest variety of wild sheep and goats found anywhere in the world. Asia also offers opportunities to hunt bears, roe deer, maral stags, and other antlered game. The continent not only offers great hunting but also fantastic travel opportunities, with the chance to experience different cultures. In addition to wild country and lots of game, you will see mosques, temples, historic ruins, and ancient cities and towns.
Some of the most sought-after species in Asia include the many species of ibex, from the bezoar ibex of Turkey to the mid-Asian ibex of Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan to the Altai ibex of Mongolia. Asia is home to the world’s largest wild sheep, the argali. Best known is the Marco Polo argali, hunted in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, but the Altai and Gobi argali of Mongolia are also impressive, sought-after sheep. The tur of the Caucasus Mountains are said to be among the most difficult animals in the world to hunt because of the steep terrain where they live. Huge red stags and large roe deer are found in many parts of Asia, as are massive Kamchatka brown bears.
Travel in Asia can be challenging because of the large distances to be covered, so some patience and flexibility in your plans is helpful. In many cases there is also a language barrier, as English is not widely spoken in much of Asia. Most outfitters will provide an interpreter in camp, but it’s likely your guide will not speak English. Depending on the region and species to be hunted, the terrain can be very difficult, as Asia holds the world’s highest and most rugged mountain ranges. Asia is not an easy place to hunt, but it holds great rewards for the adventurous hunter.
Hunting in Europe
Whether you hunt ibex in Spain, chamois in Austria, grouse in Scotland, or wild boars in Romania, hunting in Europe is a fascinating and rewarding experience. Hunting in Europe is inextricably intertwined with the continent’s rich history, and the customs and traditions that have been passed down through the generations are an important part of the adventure. European countries are known for their intensive scientific game management, which has led to excellent trophy quality for many species. Hunting in Europe is also a great choice for a hunter who wishes to combine a few days of hunting with a family vacation or business trip.
Hunts in Europe tend to be well-organized, sophisticated operations. A variety of hunting techniques are utilized, depending on the country and the species. Driven hunts for big game are common in many areas, but spot-and-stalk as well as hunting from stands or “high seats” are common techniques as well.
Europe’s big-game animals include chamois, several types of ibex, mouflon, red deer, moose, reindeer, wild boar, sika deer, wolves, and Eurasian brown bears. Game birds are also plentiful, including black, red, and willow grouse, geese, ducks, woodcock, red-legged partridge, and pheasant.
Hunting in North America
North America has some of the greatest hunting and some of the finest game animals found anywhere in the world. Hunting opportunities in North America are tremendous and vary greatly from whitetail hunting in Eastern hardwood forests to elk hunting in high alpine meadows of the Rocky Mountains to mule deer in the deserts of Sonora to muskox in the Canadian Arctic.
The success of North America’s wildlife management is attributed to the “North American Model of Wildlife Conservation,” which relies on money generated by hunters, through licenses and a surcharge on the purchase of hunting gear, for the funding required to conserve and maintain game animals. Under this model, game animals in North America have made a tremendous comeback over the past century and thrive throughout the continent in record numbers today.
Because hunting in North America is managed at the state and provincial level, hunting methods, traditions, ethics, and laws are different from one region to another. For example, black bears may be legally hunted over bait in some states and provinces, are hunted with dogs in others, and can be legally taken only by spot-and-stalk in others. It’s crucial to study the laws and regulations of the state or province you are hunting in. Wildlife agencies in each state and province generally have excellent, detailed websites where the information may be found.
Hunting in Oceania
The South Pacific may not be the first destination to come to mind when considering a hunting trip, but New Zealand and Australia both offer outstanding hunting opportunities and are great outdoor adventure destinations for hunters and their families. New Zealand is famous for its mountain game, especially Himalayan tahr and chamois, as well as for large and impressive red stags, along with a variety of other game. All of New Zealand’s game animals were imported by settlers a century ago but have established healthy populations in suitable habitat.
Likewise, Australia’s most sought-after game animals, water buffalo and banteng, were transplanted to the continent decades ago but have established large wild populations in the country’s sparsely populated northern and western regions. Australia also has numerous species of deer, including sambar, fallow, red, hog, and rusa deer, and the deer hunting is excellent in many areas. Rabbits, feral hogs, and other introduced mammals are frequently hunted as well.
New Zealand and Australia are beautiful, scenic countries and excellent family destinations where hiking, fishing, sightseeing, wine-tasting, and many other activities can be added on to a hunting trip. “Kiwis” and “Aussies” are some of the friendliest people you’ll meet, and tourism in both countries is very well organized and enjoyable.
Hunting in South America
South America is the world’s most popular hunting destination for foreign sportsmen and women, with more than 20,000 hunters visiting annually. The majority of them come to experience South America’s legendary bird shooting. But South America is the best of both worlds for a hunter, offering outstanding big-game hunting as well as world-class bird shooting.
Ducks, geese, pigeons, and perdiz (partridge) draw hunters to bird-hunting meccas like Argentina and Uruguay, but it’s the doves, estimated in the hundreds of millions, that have made this region famous. Doves and pigeons are considered agricultural pests in some countries and can be shot year-round. A South American dove hunt is an unforgettable experience and one that should be on every serious hunter’s wish list.
South America is also known for its red stag hunting. Red stags were released into the Patagonia region of Argentina about 100 years ago, and they have thrived. There are many other free-range introduced species to hunt, including wild boar, water buffalo, blackbuck antelope, and fallow deer. In addition, in some countries you can hunt some of South America’s native species, such as capybara, viscacha, brocket deer, and puma.
The world is beautiful, and hunters experience the beauty of it like no one else. Go to BookYourHunt to find you next adventure to a new corner of the world you have not yet been to!