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Bowhunting Giraffe

This is a discussion on Bowhunting Giraffe within the Bowhunting Africa forums, part of the HUNT AFRICA category; Has anyone successfully hunted Giraffe with a bow? I'm highly considering adding Giraffe to my trophy list for my May ...

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    Has anyone successfully hunted Giraffe with a bow? I'm highly considering adding Giraffe to my trophy list for my May safari. My brother hunted one last year with a rifle and it was quite a hunt! Almost an ordeal! Ha.

    I have started selecting heavy arrows, broadheads and tweaking my bow a bit. Anyone taken a giraffe with bow or gun? Care to share a story or tip?
    Tom

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    One guy I know well took one a few years ago. He shoot it in the heart.

    A lot of the members of my SCI chapter took the "Big 5" with a bow. They're a bunch of hardcore bowhunters. Most of them used a set up, very similiar to hunting elk. Most have said a well placed arrow brings a Cape Buffalo down like a hot knife through butter. I didn't argue with them. I have alway believed a well placed shot beat the biggest baddest "Big Bore" on the market.

    Being on the Giraffe band wagon I think a shot to heart or lungs with a 125 gr. Thunderhead would do the trick...I definitely would stay away from that huge shoulder bone.

    A lot of people frown on shooting a giraffe. But I think it would make a wonderful "neck/head" mount, along with a rug.

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    I shot a Black Giraffe with a bow on July 31st, 2009 at Karoi Game Farm in the Limpopo province of South Africa. It was an exciting walk & stalk hunt, and I shot it with a frontal shot at 49 yards. I used a Mathews Monster bow set at 75 lbs, and an 817 grain arrow tipped with a 180 grain Silverflame broadhead. The equipment requirements for the hunt were minimum arrow weight 800 grains. Minimum arrow speed 210 ft/sec.
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    Bowhunting Grandpa, How long did it take for the Giraffe to drop?

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    The arrow hit a little above the heart, but it took out the arteries right above the heart. The giraffe went no more than 70 yards and he was down. I snuck up on him and gave him a second arrow through the heart at 30 yards. The blood really gushed out and it was all over in just a few minutes.
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    Thanks BG! That is almost exactly the setup i will be using. I've seen video of giraffe shot in the same area with archery (straight on) and the results are astounding. It must be because the heart on a giraffe pumps so hard to move the blood through the system or something. I will get to practicing with my heavy stuff as soon as this snow melts a bit!
    Tom

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    Quote Originally Posted by TOM View Post
    Thanks BG! That is almost exactly the setup i will be using. I've seen video of giraffe shot in the same area with archery (straight on) and the results are astounding. It must be because the heart on a giraffe pumps so hard to move the blood through the system or something. I will get to practicing with my heavy stuff as soon as this snow melts a bit!
    I have hunted quite a lot of giraffe, with my clients over the years with bow and rifle. It is indeed an exciting hunt. If you want to hunt giraffe with bow in South Africa, you must just remember that it is classified as thick skinned game. According to law, same as buffalo and can not be hunted without a special bowhunting permit from the Provincial Conservation Departments. You must just make sure that your Outfitter know this and you have the nessesary permits for that. I know of quite a lot of giraffe and buffalo hunted illegally with bow in South Africa.
    Siegfried Osmers
    Dalerwa Ventures for Wildlife - Limpopo, South Africa
    siegfried@dalerwaventures.com
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    Hi Siegfriend

    Thank you for the comment this is indeed very important to remember.

    Tom just an FYI for you on the tessebe I have been shooting a lot on 60 LOL................. You know what might happen LOL ……….
    Guy’s Tom is one hell of a shot with the bow he made a shot under great pressure last year and I am sure there will be more where that came from.
    Just don’t ask him to take a guinea fowl we would have had nothing to eat that night LOL was it not for his Kudu steaks thanks Tom.
    Cheers Louis
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    I would like to suggest a frontal shot as it has proven to work very well and penetration is likely to better than with a broadside shoulder shot. You are also most likely to get a frontal shot as curious/alert Giraffe will turn and face what is stalking them. Shot placement should be spot on, there is no room for error on these guys, regardless of the size of the killzone.

    As for the equipment you are likely to get many different answers and suggestions but what I have found to work very well is the following:

    Shoot as much poundage as you can draw comfortably AND shoot accurately, depending on your drawlength you should not go below 80pounds.
    (Expect shots as far as 60yards, practise and prepare accordingly)

    The arrow is very, very important. Match the arrow you plan to shoot perfectly to the bow, you should have a perfect paper tear with the finished, broadhead tipped arrow you intend using. Depending on make and model you should get an arrow above 800grains, weight tubes will help here. Another very important factor is the arrows FOC, get a finished arrow FOC of above 15%. You can do this by a ultra heavy broadhead and brass inserts.

    The broadhead choice is endless, Muzzy Phantom Stainless Steel, German Kinetic, Ashby, Masai est are all great choices. Keep your FOC in mind when choosing weight, go with a two blade, no extra blades. Before going on your hunt you might want to send the 6 or so broadheads you are going to use on the hunt to a knife maker who can ensure they are truly scalpel sharp.

    I hope this helps, if you have any further questions please feel free to get in touch with me any time.

    All the best,

    Engee Potgieter
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    Default Bowhunting Giraffe

    Quote Originally Posted by INGOZI View Post
    I would like to suggest a frontal shot as it has proven to work very well and penetration is likely to better than with a broadside shoulder shot. You are also most likely to get a frontal shot as curious/alert Giraffe will turn and face what is stalking them. Shot placement should be spot on, there is no room for error on these guys, regardless of the size of the killzone...
    Engee, This could not be more true...
    A Giraffe's heart is huge, it is 2 feet (60 centimeters) long and weighs about 25 pounds (11.3 kilograms).








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    Thanks for the shot placement pics Jerome.
    Tom

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    Fantastic pics Jerome! Thank you.
    Professional Hunter & Outdoor Writer

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    Engee And Jerome
    It would be so awesome to hunt those big game animals you guy's get to hunt there. or should i call them exotics? Either way it is my second dream to come there and hunt one day in my life.
    And if that chance ever arrives, i would like to hook up with my new Engee to guide me to get the job done right.
    Thanks for the awesome pics Jerome really nice. I am learning more as i start to read these articles. I had been really slammed the last couple weeks, making a video of a wild hog hunt here in the states for a local archery shop. My first one filming and first in editing and my first in producing. And it has turn out really nice in my opinion. My personal shop really likes it. I am sending a copy to Engee for him to see my work. what i spent over 110 hours in one day less than 2 sleepless weeks to get done.
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    I have taken a giraffe with a bow. I would agree that the front shot is the best option. It is a pretty exciting hunt, and it is difficult to stalk a two story building without being seen. You would think that a giraffe would face you head on, but that was not the case for me. I made numerous stalks with the best angle being simmilar to the second photo Jerome posted. On the second day I used a second person as a decoy and we approached from different directions forcing the giraffe to turn watching both sides. Again after a full day I finally got the chance at a straight on frontal shot and the arrow met its spot.
    I would reccomend this hunt to everyone. It was a great time and I was surprised how big that big old black stink bull really was. They bent the steel I beam hanging that animal to skin it.

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    Hi Bush Buck

    Good to see you posting again you must feel a lot safer I mean it is light outside and you have not been put up for PAC LOL!

    I could not agree with you more hunting giraffe is truly exciting and even more so with bow!

    Best Regards
    Louis van Bergen
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    Hey Tom

    I hunted 6 Giraffes with clients last year.

    What the guys are saying about shooting it from the front is the ideal with rifle or bow. But one thing you will need to keep in mind is that your target is not extemely big from the front. (I know you know how to handle your bow as I have seen you shoot quite a few animals but the reason Im saying this is you are going for the soft area where the chest starts. its the same as on your own neck, you can feel the thick bones on the side of the soft area. now my point is... you hit the thick bones one the side and you have a big problem as you will get no penetration. It stays the shot that if you place it correctly you get the best penetration, but miss the bullseye and you will have to put it down with a gun and believe me tracking a giraffe is not the easiest thing arround!!!!!!

    My sugestion to you would be to rig an arrow of 800grains with a two blade broadhead for more penetration. this way you can have more options on your shot.

    Good luck and happy hunting my friend.

    By the way where will you be hunting? Would very much like to see you again buddy.
    Chris Vollgraaff
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spiral Horn Safaris View Post
    Hi Bush Buck

    Good to see you posting again you must feel a lot safer I mean it is light outside and you have not been put up for PAC LOL!
    LOl, that is some funny stuff.. I am around right now, but I fly out tomorrow for some warmer weather. This snow and cold is driving me crazy. I am going to look for one of those alfalfa fields on a beach!

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    Bush buck and cold weather they donít mix so I canít blame you but I would rather go for a ice cold beer on the beach and stay out of them alfalfa fields LOL have fun at the beach!

    Best Regards
    Louis van Bergen
    Louis Van Bergen
    Spiral Horn Safaris - South Africa
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    I will be returning to Spiral Horn Safaris in July to hunt Giraffe and several other animals. Thanks for all of the comments and suggestions above. I think i have my equipment setup! Now i just need to start shooting with it. Grizzly Stik arrow (680 grains), silver flame 210 broadhead...should do the trick!
    Tom

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    I have successfully hunted two giraffe bulls with archery gear (2009 & 2010). Kit used was Bowtech Tribute @ 83lbs + 800gr arrow (easton full metal jacket with weight tubes + 150gr german kinetic). The bulls were shot at 33 and 35 meters respectively and we could not get any closer as this seemed to be the limit of the animal's comfort zone. I avoided the frontal shot and took both broadside, aiming for the heart just behind the chest "elbow knob". The first time I was a little high but ended with a double lung & some plumbing, the second was spot on. Penetration was great on the first but not as much as I would have liked on the second. I would use a heavier arrow with an Ashby 315gr head next time. Just a word of warning in terms of how tough and how thick the skin is of these massive beasts. Don't go in undergunned and use the highest boundage/best KE you can muster (accurately). Study the location of the vitals as they are completely different to other animals.
    Good hunting
    JCHB

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