Hunting in South Africa

There are various forms of hunting in South Africa. African Scent Safaris are conducting rifle, bow and wing shooting safaris. Rifle hunting is by far the most popular type of hunting in South Africa while bow hunting is growing in popularity. Your professional hunter is highly qualified, experienced and technically competent to advise the client on the hunting of various species with the most suitable method and weapon.

Most overseas hunters (Americans, Germans, Spaniards, etc.) will never hunt outside their country or state. An American outdoorsman will hunt several whitetail deer and wild turkey in a lifetime, some will shoot a wild pig, black bear, maybe an elk or pronghorn antelope. Grizzly bear and elk are planned years in advance and will cost a lot of money. Most hunters are limited to the animals found within a few hours drive from their homes.

The South African hunter will take five to ten species in one season, not even talking about the more privilege hunter that will shoot more than one animal per specie. One trip to the bush or plains of Africa will produce eland, kudu, impala, blue or black wildebeest, springbok, blesbok and many more animals. Africa is truly the land of opportunity when it comes to hunting. With a bit of cash and effort an overseas hunter can come to South Africa and will have an experience of a lifetime.

The climate during the hunting season is more hospitable to enjoy the outdoors. We almost never hunt in rain or snow.

In South Africa the animals are privately owned, with a very small percentage belonging to the government. The rest of Africa find itself somewhere in between government owned quotes and various types of concessions.

The basics of hunting are the same all over the world. Killing an animal is easy; hunting an animal on its on turf is a challenge. There is a common thread to hunting all over the world. Hunting is a true form of conservation and we should be proactive in setting our own regulations and limits, the more we know about each other and hunting all over the world, the longer our noble sport can be past on to future generations.

Bow Hunting

Compound, long bows and re-curve bows are the most popular in South Africa. It is also recommended to use a 60 pound plus draw weight bow. Bow hunting is usually conducted in three ways depending on your specific situation and species hunted:

Blinds: The majority of bow hunts are made from permanently constructed blinds. These are situated approximately 20 yards from waterholes and salt licks. Some blinds are elevated from the ground, and others are ground blinds, depending on the terrain, sun and wind direction. Animals bagged regularly through this method are Kudu, Impala, Blue Wildebeest, Zebra, Eland, Gemsbok, Red Hartebeest, Warthog and Njala.

Stalking: This method is used for the more difficult species or those that does not frequently visit waterholes. Thick vegetation makes it possible to get within bow range during certain months of the year.

Opportunity: This includes a variety of hunting methods. The most commonly used is locating animals while driving in a 4x4 vehicle. A large area can be covered using this method without losing valuable time walking through dead terrain. Once game has been sighted, the stalk is planned and the vehicle drives off leaving the hunter and PH in a suitable position. Often the opportunity arises whereby the hunter is dropped behind cover or downwind and the game are moved towards him by the trackers. This can be very exciting and rewarding but needs a lot of patience and time. Any species available in an area can be hunted in this way. An active game trail used by animals can also be used for putting up a tree stand or blind.

Dangerous game hunting by bow requires special permits from Nature Conservation authorities. African Scent Safaris will assist the bow hunter in getting the latest permits and documentation to hunt your preferred species.

Wing Shooting

African Scent Safaris will ensure that your wing shooting safari will be a once in a lifetime experience. The following birds are available:

  • Cape Turtle Doves
  • Laughing Doves
  • Rock Pigeons ? You must be a good shooter and will need a lot of ammo to hunt these flying rockets of the sky!
  • Crested and Helmeted Guinea fowl
  • Francolin and Partridges ? The ultimate is the Grey-Wing partridge
  • Quail
  • Spur Wing and Egyptian Geese
  • Cape, Hottentot, Red Billed and Yellow Billed Teal
  • Cape Shoveller
  • White Faced Ducks
  • Various other smaller birds

You can have a good shooting holiday, with an array of very different birds in a friendly country. Shotgun cartridges are readily available for 12, 16, 20 and 410 gauge.

Rifle Hunting

African Scent Safari?s specialty is the hunting of various animals (dangerous and plains game) in South Africa. Our clients have taken world class trophies at some of the most spectacular hunting destinations available. The following information can be well known to some hunters but can be very interesting to first time hunters to Southern Africa. There are a few basic styles of rifle hunting in South Africa.

The first is the walking and stalking method. This method involves that the hunter and Professional Hunter (PH) leave camp on foot or by vehicle. The most commonly used is locating animals while driving in a 4x4 vehicle. A large area can be covered using this method without losing valuable time walking through dead terrain. Once game has been sighted, the stalk is planned and the vehicle drives off leaving the hunter and PH in a suitable position.

Another variation of the above method is walking and glassing (using binoculars) especially in mountainous areas. This method is very exciting and can be considered as real hunting. You can also get a good viewpoint from where you can look with your binoculars to see if you can spot any game.

The second method as used by bow hunters (in South Africa) is sitting in a hide and waiting at a waterhole for the animals. This method is not very popular with rifle hunters and is considered not very sportsmanlike. More or less the same method is putting out bait and using a hide (leopard, lion and bush pig). You can also sit and wait close to a well-used game track. This method is more acceptable for Bushbuck, Suni, Red and Blue Duiker.

Another method is a driven hunt, where the hunters will be hidden and the animals will be driven in their direction. This method is used for Springbok shooting in the Karoo and is efficient in big, open and flat terrain.

A very sporting and exciting method is to look for tracks at a waterhole or as you moved through an area and then follow the tracks till you are close enough to determine if it is a good animal or not.

The last method is by using a vehicle (driving around) till you spot some animals and then shooting from a still standing vehicle. This method is totally unacceptable to some people but is sometimes the last resort when you are running out of time, disabled or all other methods failed. This type of shooting from a vehicle can also be used when you suddenly encounter an animal while driving around. The choice to shoot remains with the hunter.

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