Habits and Behaviors:
Black-Backed Jackal: (Canis mesomelas)
The Black Backed Jackal commonly known as the jackal has a characteristic saddle or black back,
like the name suggest. It is distributed through-out South Africa, is very adaptable and a quick
learner. It has excellent hearing, good eyesight which is set on picking up movement and has the
keenest sense of smell in all of Africa.
It always uses its ability to smell to determine how safe it is to approach pray or something. Jackal
will work downwind, to pick up any sent to make sure everything is safe before coming in.
A beautiful picture of a black back jackal
There are so many opinions concerning scent control and some hunters spend more time washing
their vehicles or applying cow dung to it, than hunting. Whereas the only thing to do is, choose and
set up your stand in such a manner that you can kill the predator before it smells you. I have tried
everything from blood to really bad smelling stuff that even flies will flee from, with no difference in
results, other than having to live with the stench the whole time hunting.
The Caracal (Felix caracal) or South African Lynx
This reddish brown, medium build cat, with the characteristic long black tufts on the end of the ears is
an awesome hunter and in my humble opinion the strongest of all the cats on a pound for pound
basis. A cat weighing in at about 12 kg will bring down a full grown mountain Rheedbuck weighing in
at 36 kg about three times it’s weight.
A big tomcat can reach about 21kg but 10-14kg are the norm. Caracals are distributed throughout
South Africa but they tend to be more in mountainous terrain, or areas with thick cover like close to
A cat uses it eyes to hunt and have extremely good eyesight, but is very dumb in a bright light. They
close their eyes every time you shine on them and that way you can drive closer until their eyes stay
open. Then you know it is time to shoot.
A young caracal at a springbuck kill