Bowhunting in Southern Africa – Trophies and Hunting Information

If you are considering bowhunting in South Africa, you are already well aware of the fact that South Africa has one of the greatest selection of wildlife to choose from. The wildlife is divided into two categories: the plains game and the dangerous game. When it comes to bowhunting in South Africa, plains game species are predominately the focus of hunters. They consist of less volatile animals, mostly antelope, and while they present some difficulty in hunting, and will require the hunter to have more than basic skills, they are still often the safer option. Dangerous game live up to the name of the category in which they have been placed. Dangerous game, which include the bad tempered animals such as the Cape Buffalo, have been known to harm and in some cases even kill hunters.

When it comes to choosing the species, it helps to have a bit a knowledge about the species you are looking to hunt. It also helps to have some insight into the areas in which the animals live as habitats can differ greatly from one region to the next, especially in a country like South Africa where the landscapes are so vastly different from one place to the next.

The next big consideration has got to be the hunting outfitter you are considering. An outfitter can make or break your hunt as sadly not all outfitters are capable of providing a superior service. Keep in mind that your entire hunt will be affected by the outfitter. It pays to do some research, read online reviews and have a chat with the company you are looking to hunt with, before you make your booking. Once you have decided on a couple of outfitters, dig a little deeper and do a background check on the individual Professional Hunter who will be guiding and advising you. Their experience is hugely important and their involvement will greatly impact your hunting excursion. Ideally, you should choose someone who has in depth knowledge about the species you are looking to hunt.

South Africa is not the only country in which to do bowhunting, but the infrastructure of the nation does give it a great advantage over other African nations, which can be a lot more rural than the more urbanised South Africa.

Popular Bowhunting Trophies

Helpful Advice

Bows and Draw Weight Specifications for South Africa

Currently, there are three types of bows that are legally permitted for hunting in South Africa. These are the longbow, the re-curve and the compound. For most of the professional hunters, the compound bow is a popular favourite. For plains game hunting, a minimum draw weight of 50lbs is a necessity. That being said, professional bow hunters advise a bow weight of between 60lbs and 80lbs.

We highly recommend that hunters be more than comfortable with their equipment before they attempt to hunt. The more time spent practicing and becoming familiar with the equipment, the better for the hunter and the trophy. A clean kill is a goal, and a misplaced shot can result in the animal being unnecessarily wounded.

Arrow Broadhead Advice

Hunters have 3 choices of broadheads. These are the removable blades, the fixed blades and the expandable (also known as mechanical) blades. Fixed blades tend to be preferred by the experts as they are generally a lot more effective than the other options. That being said, we understand that every hunter has their own preference so the topic of effectiveness is certainly up for debate.

Some hunters simply have more luck with their favoured broadhead.

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Measuring Methods

Safari Club International

The Safari Club International Record Book of Big Game Animals (or SCI for short) is a highly detailed record keeping system used the world over. It is the place to find unique, precise history of the club’s hunting records and within it, hunters can find a scoring system. Estate animals, free range wildlife, as well as typical and non-typical animals are recorded using a variety of measuring methods. Those methods most applicable to Southern African trophies include:

Method 1: Animals with simple horns
Method 2: Animals with spiraled horns
Method 4: African buffalo
Method 6: Black wildebeest
Method 8: Rhinoceros
Method 12: Hippopotamus and pigs
Method 14: Elephant
Method 15: Carnivores
Method 16-C: body length of crocodile.

The Rowland Ward Records

Another measuring record used among hunters is the Rowland Ward Records which was created in 1880. These records were designed to keep track of all sorts of wildlife details which could be of interest to hunters. The records are used to celebrate the wildlife, regardless of whether it was hunted or died from natural causes, not to celebrate the biggest or most impressive trophy or to congratulate the hunter.

The book also serves a conservation function by helping to ensure that the hunter focuses solely on older animals, and lone males in particular. These animals are likely to have already bred and passed on their genes, so nature would not be at a disadvantage should the animal be hunted. Today, the book is a remarkable source of information and knowledge which could only have been gained from experience. Geographical information, biological records, game distribution and historical records are also kept in the book.

The Rowland Ward Records of Big Game methods which are applicable to those hunting in Southern Africa include 5, 7, 8, 12, 13, 15, 16, 17 and 18.

Venture to Africa

An unforgettable trip awaits for those looking to experience a real African bow hunting excursion. You can contact us today for more information so that you can begin planning.