The first step for bargain hunting is to determine what you want to hunt. In all honesty, a hunter on a budget should overlook dangerous game and concentrate on the many plains game animals that are abundantly available. Dangerous game requires a lot of assets and personnel for success, and that is what forces professional hunters (PHs) to charge accordingly.
Plains game hunting offers a hunter a lot of bang for the buck. For example, Gemsbok and Kudu are similar in size to elk and they offer a hunter a whole bunch of horn and a nice looking mount for the wall at a lower cost. Other popular and affordable specimens include impala, warthog, duiker, wildebeest, blesbuck and springbuck.
There are some very respectable PHs offering 3-5 animal hunts starting at $2000.00. All you need to worry about is airfare, tips, specimen handling, and traveling money. A $2000.00 package can be done for around a total cost of $4500.00 if you properly plan.
After you have picked your target animals, start researching by contacting reputable hunting consultants. Tell them what you are looking for and see if they can hook you up with a specific professional hunter or an alternative consultant that deals with affordable hunts. Many PHs offer packages that include a set amount for 7-10 days of hunting and trophy fees for all animals harvested.
If you aren’t satisfied with consultants, try checking out The Safari Club or other hunting organizations that might have access to special offers on Africa hunting packages. Many organizations have yearly fund-raising banquets that have hunting packages to bid on. More times than not, a savvy shopper can find a hunting package for a very cheap price.
Finally, consider a cull hunt where a hunter shoots management animals that are not trophies in the classic sense, but they are still representative animals of their species. Sometimes management animals can include one-horned animals, females, and injured specimens. This is also a method of getting a crack at a cape buffalo as some PHs let hunters take females for trophy fees close to $1000.00. Female buffalo have similarly shaped horns as bulls do but without the mass and large bosses that sit atop the head.
Finally, find out on your own who the reputable PHs are and simply call them. Tell them what you are looking for and ask them if they can fit you in. Some outfits don’t advertise cheap hunts for obvious reasons, but sometimes all you have to do is ask. Oftentimes, clients cancel hunts and leave PHs with empty time slots to fill, and a cheap hunt is better than a no-hunt. Also, a good PH will be up front about extra costs like dipping and shipping your skins and capes.
Another advantage of going with a bigtime PH is the safety and security they offer hunters who are cautious about traveling that far. They have trustworthy representatives that can pick you up at the airport and help you with customs and other matters, and of course, transport you safely to and from the hunting location.