10 Tips for choosing your next hunting destination
We’ve all been to some memorable places and unfortunately also to some very disappointing ones. Fortunately NextHunt tries to visit as many farms as we can to make it easier for you to find the “right” place.
Here are a few tips to look out for when choosing a destination for your next hunt:
- How long has the farm / hunting outfit been around? Every year there are newcomers to the scene and every year there are some closing their doors. Guys who have been in the game a while, understand the value of sustainability, in managing your game numbers and not shooting out everything in the year. They also care about their reputation, because they want to be a preferred hunting destination next year and the next.
- Do research on the farm. Do they have a website and if so, has it been updated in the past 12 months? Facebook should also tell you a lot, because hunters often do posts when they are happy, but also when they are frustrated. Sometimes, everything can go wrong or there might be a clash of personalities on the farm. Just remember, one swallow does not make a summer.
- Chat to the farm beforehand about what you want to hunt. It doesn’t help if the farm advertises that they have certain animals available to hunt, only for you to arrive mid-season to find out that the quota has been reached.
- Chat to the NextHunt team about your short list of farms you are considering. We should be able to give you a good idea which farms would meet your criteria or where you might fall short.
- Read reviews on farms, but also post reviews after you have visited a farm. This will help future hunters.
- Be wary of hidden costs and understand these fully before you commit. Some farms charge separately for hunting and accommodation and others have an all-in-one fee. Some farms charge VAT and others don’t. Don’t assume that cash will automatically warrant VAT exclusion.
- If it seems to good to be true, it often is. Where ridiculously low prices on game are advertised, you might as well take your birding book along, as you will likely see more birds than animals on your “hunting” weekend. Often such farms make their money on the accommodation and don’t care about how many animals are hunted.
- When finding bargains on accommodation, don’t expect 5-star service. Amenities such as wi-fi or daily cleaning or mountains of wood, because all of this costs extra. You usually get what you pay for.
- Distance matters. The closer the farm is to the larger cities, the more they will likely be in demand and consequently more expensive. Often, driving a little further might cost more in fuel and time, but will save you on game prices and accommodation rates.
- Pictures are important but can also be deceiving. A picture paints a thousand words and they obviously matter, but often these are staged and do not reflect what you will encounter 8 years after the photographer has left. We have seen pictures of farms with crystal clear swimming pools with white sand and tables with candles and cocktails, only to be sorely disappointed.
Many people tend to return to tried and tested farms year after year. Nothing wrong with that, but when you venture out seeking new farms, do your homework or speak to the crowd at NextHunt to make some recommendations for you.