Hunting crocodile provides for a challenging yet exceptionally rewarding hunt. These animals are often seen basking on river banks and lying about, but don’t let their lazy appearance fool you. Crocodile are extremely sharp; they have tremendous eyesight and can even sense vibrations in the ground. If a crocodile senses the slightest feeling that he may be threatened he will slip into the water and in no time and disappear. Big old crocs do not get so big because they are stupid!
Many hunters are actually unaware that there are four subspecies of Crocodile which are found in Africa. The Nile crocodile, West African Crocodile, Desert Crocodile and the Dwarf Crocodile.
The Nile crocodile is the most common, Grows the biggest and has the widest distribution. They are aggressive in nature and have a noticeably broad snout, which develops with age. Nile Crocodile is found throughout Africa where there are permanent water bodies and rivers. They can easily survive in brackish water. Their coloring ranges from dark bronze to dark brown in very old specimens. When hunting Nile crocodile, any specimen over the twelve-foot mark is considered a good trophy
The West African Crocodile has actually been identified to be a direct cousin to the larger Nile crocodile. They are found in small populations in Gambia heading east along the Atlantic Ocean. These Crocodiles are listed as critically endangered and unfortunately cannot be legally hunted.
Desert Crocodile which is also known as the slender-snouted crocodile are found in central and West Africa. They are a medium-sized reptile a lot smaller than the big Nile crocodile. With an average weight of 300lbs, mature adults reach 11-12 ft in length. The desert crocodile feed on small fish and vertebrates. These crocodiles are primarily hunted for their hides and meat by local tribesman and are a species which is not often pursued by trophy hunters.
The Dwarf Crocodile is found in Angola and into Senegal, as its name suggests the Dwarf crocodile is the smallest of all Crocodile in Africa. These small reptiles carry heavy armoring and are black in color. Often found in forest type of environment, they are mainly nocturnal and are known to dig bunkers in where they like to hide during the day.
The most successful method to take a big croc is by placing baits in shallow water or at the water’s edge. The bait should be anchored securely so the crocodile cannot drag the bait away into the water. This method allows a hunter to sit and wait until a bog croc comes to feed on the bait. A simple and effective blind not too far from the bait will make the hunt that much more successful. It can take hours before a good shooter comes into the bait, and often it’s the smaller younger crocs that are first on the bait. Just is patient as soon the bigger older guys will come in and chase the younger crocs off the bait.
Walking and stalking Crocodile along the water’s edge can be done. This method also requires patience and time. By being very quiet and planning a clever stalk, a big crocodile can be taken this way, especially if one has been seen in the area. Crocodiles are extremely wearing and despite looking like they’re asleep, their extraordinary senses are at full use.
Shot placement on a crocodile has to be spot on due to the nature of these animals’ wounded croc will head straight back into the water before you know it, and once in the water you’ve either lost your animal or your PH and hunting team need to go into the water. The brain is the size of a golf ball and can be quite tricky; the safer option is to spine the animal which can be done by shooting it where the spine joins the skull. This is halfway up the animal, at the point of the crocodiles smile!
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