Where to hunt Caracal
Caracal is a medium-sized feline, about 50 sm. at the shoulder and weighing 8-18 kg. With tufted ears, long legs, and relatively short tail, a Caracal resembles a Lynx, and in fact is sometimes called “Desert Lynx”. The range of Caracal covers Central Asia, India, Middle East, and Africa. It can thrive in a variety of habitats, from arid semi-deserts to savannah. Caracal hunting is legal in Ethiopia, Namibia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe.
The trophy fee for a Caracal starts at about $650 and seldom exceeds $1,500. The most affordable Caracal hunts are to be found in South Africa, where it is considered a vermin, and a complete hunt can cost as low as $1,000. A hunter who’s set on getting a Caracal is advised to look for a special night hunting package, which includes a number of other trophies in addition to Caracal. Prices for such packages start at about $4,000.
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When to hunt Caracal?
There isn’t a magic period when Caracal hunting is better than at other times. The small feline is usually hunted in the course of a general ‘plains game’ hunt. Opportunities for such hunts exist all year in South Africa, and from March to November elsewhere. Most people prefer summer months, which are winter in the Southern Hemisphere, when the weather is more comfortable for hunting.
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The problem with Caracal hunting is that a big male animal controls a very large territory, and success depends on the PH knowing precisely what parts of the territory the tom prefers. Baiting is not always effective, because the Caracal prefers the prey it killed itself. It’s best to wait over Caracal’s own fresh kill. Caracal tends to a nocturnal lifestyle, and if legal, calling at night, with night sights or artificial light, is perhaps the most efficient way of Caracal hunting. Some South African outfitters hold a special license for and specialize in such hunts. Finally, in South Africa, where you don’t need to have a Caracal license at hand before the hunt, the cat can be hunted if an opportunity presents itself. In fact, one of the biggest Caracal trophies in South Africa was killed as the cat killed the antelope the hunter was stalking before the hunter’s eyes.
Why hunt Caracal?
Caracal is an amazing animal. It can jump as high as 3.7 m to catch birds in mid-air, and cover up to 5 m. in a jump. It can prey on various animals, including rodents and lizards. But it often attacks smaller antelopes, like impala or springbok, and the young of larger antelopes as well. Caracal can also target domestic cattle, especially sheep and goats. Retaliation killing, along with habitat loss, are the biggest threat for this feline. Legal, regulated and ethical hunting operations help combat these threats, by fighting illegal harvest, and giving value to wildlife for the locals.In addition to the conservation aspect, Caracal a very challenging hunting quarry.
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