Where to hunt Serval
Serval is a mid-sized feline, and weighs about 9 to 18 kilograms. It’s similar in body shape to domestic cat and leopard, but has relatively small head and large ears, and very long legs. It may stand up to 60 sm. at the shoulder, and leap up to 2 meters into the air, or up to 3.5 meters in length. You will hardly meet a Serval in a desert, nor in an equatorial rainforest. It loves reeds and grasslands with abundant water, where its long legs help it carry the body above water level. Serval prefers savannah, but will be found in other habitats, too, if the two conditions – water and cover – are met. Hunting opportunities for Serval exist in South Africa and Zimbabwe.
The most affordable Serval hunts are to be found in Zimbabwe, where the trophy fee can be as low as $500, and seldom is more than $1,000. In South Africa the average price of a Serval is $1,500. Special night hunting packages, that provide the best chance to harvest a Serval, along with other night dwellers such as Caracal, are priced from $4,000.
Learn more from our blog story
Felines are perhaps the most successful predators among mammals. More species of felines exist than of canines. When most hunters think about hunting cats, they think either about big cats, like Lion, Leopard and Cougar, or the more familiar species like Bobcat or Lynx. But there are a number of small felines that call Africa home, too. Read about what they are and how to hunt them.28 Feb 2019 Small Felines. Part II: Africa
When to hunt Serval?
There isn’t a magic period when Serval 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; in Zimbabwe hunting is open year round as well, but the months through November to March are usually too hot and wet for a successful hunt.
Hunting methods All hunting methods (13)
While felines are usually nocturnal, Serval is most active during twilight, and may hunt at day as well as at night. Spot-and-stalk or still-hunting at a place where a good male is known to hunt can work well. Baiting is not a highly successful strategy, because the Serval prefers to hunt and kill its own food, but calling (especially at night, where legal) is perhaps the best option for Serval hunting. You will probably need to spend at least three days before you can set your sights on the cat, but overall the Serval could be the easiest of African small felines to hunt deliberately.
Why hunt Serval?
Africans pursue Serval for its beautiful fur (that can be passed for a leopard), and as retaliatory killing (servals are notorious poultry thieves). Poaching, along with habitat loss, is the greatest conservation threats for these felines. They fight illegal harvest in all forms, protect wilderness from logging and conversion into farms and pastures, but most importantly, they give value to wildlife for the locals. When jobs created by a hunting concession and tips from a successful hunter are worth much more than a couple of chicken a Serval might steal, it is a good incentive not to poach them.In addition to the conservation aspect, Serval a very challenging hunting quarry. And what’s challenging is interesting.
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