We all have our dream hunts.
Whether you dream of big game in Africa, Elk in Montana, or Sheep in Alaska, here are 5 strange hunts you probably have not considered.
1. Baboons in Africa
Baboons are smart, aggressive, and quick. They place sentries all around their group and flee at the slightest sign of danger, sounding a loud alarm call that scares off other game in the area as well. Some troops of baboons even steal and employ dogs to use as sentries!
They can also be exceedingly aggressive and are recommended to be shot at over 50 yards. Often people like to picture these guys as small primates. However, a large male can weigh over 130 pounds and can be in groups of up to 250 baboons.
They are considered to be difficult to hunt even with a rifle, though hunting with a bow from a blind is on the rise.
2. Puffins in Iceland
There are some charters in northern Iceland that allow you to fish for cod and haddock off the boat, and hunt the puffins from the nearby cliffs where they nest using a shotgun. Charters report hauls of 50-100 birds per day.
If you want to try out the local custom you'll need to be brave! The traditional Nordic ways of hunting puffins sees the hunter dangle from a rope off the cliff overlooking the sea and catch the birds with a triangular net. It takes great skill and nerves of steel!
3. Feral Camels in Australia
With the proliferation of automobiles, many camels were no longer needed as modes of transportation and were therefore released into the wild. At one point the populations of feral camels in Australia had grown to around one million and were causing severe environmental degradation.
Thanks to a good management program these numbers have been significantly reduced. Still, hunting camels is a good way to help control the population. And with Australia having the only herds of feral camels in the world, it makes it a very novel hunting experience.
Camels are typically hunted from a truck or jeep, with some people preferring to stalk on foot once they get close. On culling hunts, it isn't uncommon for as many as 200 rounds to be fired in a single day.
4. Cougars with Hounds in Arizona
For hunters preferring to hunt with dogs, Arizona has one of the longest seasons for hunting cougar with hounds. Some outfitters specialize in hunting the dry season while other dogs are better trained for snow.
Hunting in this mountainous region is often done from horseback, but it can also be done from an ATV. The thrill is all in the chase and watching how the dogs work. When the dogs have the cougar treed, you can use about anything from a bow to a handgun.
To handle the difficult terrain guides recommend you do some intensive conditioning to keep up, so start planning early!
5. Snake Noodling in Africa
For the thrill seekers out there, there's noodling for pythons in Africa. Noodling typically refers to fishing for catfish using your bare hands. This is done by placing your hand inside a hole and letting the catfish latch onto your arm.
Noodling for pythons works much in the same way, except in some cases the noodler uses his leg instead for particularly large pythons. Oh, and of course you are reaching into a snake hole instead of a catfish hole.
Consequently, you may want to wrap your arm in a sturdy layer of animal skin to help protect it. And make sure the guys that are going to pull you free of the snake hole know what your signal is.
Also, since Africa is home to the Adder, the Mamba, and several species of Cobra, you may want to practice your snake identification skills before you go climbing into holes in the ground!