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HUNTING AFRICA | With Your Bow

There is nothing better than having the confidence in your gear and knowing that what you are carrying in the bush does its job when required. Taking your own bow with you to Africa will be the best decision you make.

From my experience there aren’t any extra permits or paperwork required for traveling from Australia to South Africa or Namibia with your bow. It is always a good idea to check with your airline carrier on their rules for how to pack your equipment and if there is any clearances needed to travel with a bow, arrows and accessories. Some airlines may require you to register your bow in advance because it is classed as a weapon. Due to the fact that broadheads are razor sharp and the bow is a weapon, you won’t be able to carry it onto the plane on your person. It will need to be checked in at the counter as checked baggage.


Once arriving in South Africa and through passport control, head to the baggage carousel to pick up your luggage. Collect your standard baggage from the carousel and if there is an attendant in the area ask them if they can help you locate your oversize baggage / bow. If you cannot locate your bow case at the baggage carousel, it will more than likely be at the South African Police office waiting for you and your professional hunter to collect it. At the time of writing this, there is no requirement for a permit or any fees charged by the South African Police Service to import your bow.


Regardless of the type of animals you have on your wish list, you need to be comfortable using your bow and that you are comfortable with the broadheads you are shooting with it. If you are planning to use any gear that hasn’t been tried and tested in your home country, I would most definitely recommend that you get out and test it on some similar sized game before your African adventure. That may sound silly to some but it is vitally important for your confidence that you know your gear will work when the time comes. You will need to take shots of between 10-40 meters at blinds and 40-60 meters while stalking. It is important to make yourself familiar with the anatomy and shot placement on all of the animals you are targeting.


Below you will find some useful information regarding the size of animals and minimum recommended draw mass / arrow weights. It is rare to have an official ask you what poundage your bow is but if your professional hunter asks you, honesty is the best policy in this instance. He won’t be likely to check your bow but if he doesn’t know what the bow is capable of, there may be a situation that sees you wound an animal or even worse, the hunt could turn dangerous if your bow isn’t at the correct weight for your intended game.


Category 1:

Small Game - All Duikers, Steenbok, Klipspringer, etc.

Draw Mass: 40lb

Kinetic Energy foot/pound: 40 – 50

Arrow Weight grains: 300 – 400


Category 2:

Medium Game - All Reedbuck, Blesbok, Impala, Buskbuck, Nyala, Warthog, Bushpig, etc.

Draw Mass: 50 – 60lb

Kinetic Energy foot/pound: 50 – 60

Arrow Weight grains: 400 – 500


Category 3:

Large Game - All Wildebeest, Kudu, Zebra, Gemsbok, Waterbuck, Hartebeest, Sable, Roan, Eland, etc.

Draw Mass: 60 – 75lb

Kinetic Energy foot/pound: 60 – 75

Arrow Weight grains: 500 – 600


Category 4:

Buffalo

Draw Mass: 80lb

Kinetic Energy foot/pound: 80

Arrow Weight grains: 600 – 700


Category 5:

Rhino, Hippo, Giraffe

Draw Mass: 95lb

Kinetic Energy foot/pound: 95

Arrow Weight grains: 800


Hunting from blinds or hides can be difficult for Australian's to get their head around. That’s why when you hunt with us, we endeavor to walk and stalk as many of the animals as possible. If the walk and stalk scenario isn’t producing results and we start to run out of time we will utilize our well situated blinds.


You can hunt from April to November but my opinion is that the best time for bow hunting is September. This is based on the fact that the natural pans have dried up and the natural feed of the animals has lost its palatability. Most of the plants nutritional value is depleted therefore animals tend to move larger distances in between feeding and will come to the water and feeding spots more regularly.


When hunting Renosterpan earlier than May, you can expect that the seasonal water pans are still plentiful, filled with water and food is readily available which will make it very difficult for walk and stalk because the animals are spread out and they wont need to come to the waterholes. This also makes blind hunting extremely slow at times. Although during this time there is more cover to conceal a stalk approach because of the abundant leaf and grass cover.


June through to August is when the bush has frosted off and the natural water sources have dried up but, for the most part, food is still plentiful.


Stalking on foot with a bow on our Khomas Hochland property in Namibia is a different beast. It is a challenge to bow hunt in the mountains but if you're up for it, we will endevour to get you on the animals. We suggest keeping your list small and allow plenty of time for failed attempts!


Before your trip we would recommend that you train and practice regularly in the following:


1) Be hunt fit. You will enjoy your safari so much more if you have a level of fitness behind you. If you’re interested in a rough training program please click here for further information.


2) Practice a lot at the range with the bow and arrow combination that you intend to use while you are hunting in Africa. Use your set up on Australian game and tweak it until you’re happy before you step foot in Africa.


3) Practice shooting from all the different positions with your hunting gear on including but not limited to sitting, standing, kneeling, etc.


4) Practice from various angles. Most blinds are at normal standing height but there are some blinds that are high (tree blinds) and others are dug in.


5) Practice steps 2 and 3, all at various distances.


6) Become very familiar with the shot placement on your desired animals. You never know which way an animal will stand in any particular moment so practicing a variety of scenarios will help you immensely.





Contact us today safari@bushveldhuntingadventures.com 


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