All the best seasons greetings to all the readers out there.
To start the year off it has been hotter than I have ever remembered here in South Africa and we are definitely in the throngs of a Serious drought. The farms need rain, this is not all bad news as it has opened a lot more quota to the hunters to help balance the numbers of animals as the farmers have to buy in feed to sustain the animals and the more animals, the more feed the more money.
What the farms are doing in some parts are selling quota at a fair price on say cow buffalo for instance and using the money to purchase the likes of lucerne, Teff grass and pellets to feed the animals this is not as easily said as it is done you have to know how to manage your property and numbers make a big difference on big tracks of land it is vital.
This is one of the facets facing our industry at the moment; they say when you wish for rain you have to deal with the mud as well.
We have had a good lamb season thus far in the North West where there is available food and water, and with this comes the jackal and caracal issue. We do a lot of varminting through out the year but when the lambs come so do the predators this is on a small scale in some parts and on huge scale where farmers farm with massive numbers of sheep, goats, cattle, springbuck and the likes these animals.
https://www.gofoxpro.com/site/ We use a fox pro caller to get the jackal moving in and around us. As the evening starts to fall we set ourselves up in position with the callers out, we sometimes use 1 to 3 callers and set ourselves up wind from the callers.We spend about one and a half hours in each sport and we move about 2km from spot to spot.
There are many ways of calling in jackal and you can read much more about this at http://jaracal.com/ I have learnt a lot of what I know today from this site and my friends that are in the game. Here are some pics of how we set up the vehicle or quad and trailer, I have started using the quad and trailer as it is easier to get going for me as it is all rigged up and ready to go when I need to. No need to swap the seats on the hunting vehicle and there is less silhouette to hide.
As I said there are many ways of doing this and each area will differ and the calls will differ every night or should I say every change of weather and season, but you can read more about that in your own time. We use a Steenbuck call and a rabbit distress also lots of challenges and howls. Play them soft and slowly increase the volume as the evening wears on.
My rifle choice is a .223 Remington magnum but I also use a 7mm Remington magnum in some cases. I load my ammo fast and flat shooting also varminting bullets work well I would recommend Peregrine Bullets https://www.peregrinebullets.com/ and I use the buzzard for varminting.
Our first sit this year we sat in an area with lots of Blesbuck, Springbuck and other like wise game that had lots of lambs. We were set up about half an hour before the sun was set and we started calling gently just before it was dark this produced 4 jackals rather quickly in about 30 minutes of us starting. We had a really good evening and I hope we made a bit of an impact to give the lambs chance to grow a bit bigger so as to survive this type of predation a little longer.
Varminting is not everybodys cup of tea but someone has to do it.
The next evening we were ready to go when a wonderful disaster happened it started to rain and what a pleasure it was. Not a lot of rain but it is well needed lets hope for more the forecast looks good this week cross your figures the whole of South Africa needs it
So as the heat has returned and the 2016 hunts are starting to take shape I am reloading my Peregrine Monolithics with aspirations of taking some really great trophies this year and maybe you will be here with us to experience what makes hunting in Africa so special. Here is to an exceptional 2016.
PH Jono Joseph