The Grey Ghost – Eastern Cape Kudu
It’s at the top of every hunter's list and for the very best of reasons.
Its strangely spiralled horns that reach up high above their heads are considered the marker of a great bull. His unique white chevron nose and strange stripes down his side will certainly get the adrenaline pumping.
As a taxidermist, we have the pleasure of working on a wide variety of kudu from all over Africa and can certainly say no two bulls are the same. The Southern Greater Kudu found in the Northern parts of South Africa and north of our borders are well-known for their lighter colour and often taller legs than their Eastern Cape counterparts.
The Southern Greater Kudu is also known for its longer horn length where over 50 inches is considered the starting point for a mature bull.
The Eastern Cape Kudu is known for its beautiful dark coat which allows it to blend into its surroundings so well, earning its famous nickname – the Grey Ghost. The Eastern Cape Kudu is most often found in deep, thick valleys or high up on hills and mountains where they can make use of their exceptional eye sight.
Although hunting a Kudu in most of South Africa and Africa can take place over various periods of time, May and June are often considered prime hunting periods for the Grey Ghost. Their coats are full and their necks are thick as they fight for dominance and the right to pass on their genes.
We often get asked what makes a great kudu trophy and my answer has changed over the past few years.
10 years ago I would have said the length and shape of his horns is what would be considered by most to be the right answer.
But today, I say it's the bull that etched a vivid memory in your mind forever, the bull that got your heart pumping, the experience of a hunt never forgotten. The thrill of hunting one of these beautiful animals is not about the final moments when the trigger is pulled, but rather about every single small moment that lead you to that destination.
It’s the time spent researching the areas you wish to hunt, it’s choosing the right equipment you need to make it a successful safari, or even chatting to your taxidermist about the best mounting options. The early morning stillness as the sun rises and the late afternoon walks up hidden valleys in search of your trophy.
Taxidermy is an art form and in art there is no right or wrong. As long as the essence of the animal has not been lost there is so much you can do with your trophy.
Whether it’s a simple Skull, bleached and hung in the hallway or a classic shoulder mount found high above the fireplace, we endeavour to bring your hunting experience rushing back every day you see it: the Splitting Image of your very own Grey Ghost.