Bow hunting a family affair that has become a passion!
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10-17-2011, 06:27 AM #1
Bow hunting a family affair that has become a passion!
Bow hunting started out for me largely thanks to a good friend and client. I have guided bow hunts in the past and have always been fortunate enough to have family around me who have already taken up this form of hunting, however it never seemed like I was all that interested.
It was not until 2009 when my client and friend Tom Addleman joined us for a 7-day bow hunt, that the fire started to burn for me. Tom was after a big kudu bull, a gemsbuck and other species upon opportunity.
Tom started to share his passion for bow hunting from the first day he was in camp. I think he did not get in to all the technical stuff just to ensure I can follow. LOL. None the less I started to think there must be something to all of this, it tickled my curiosity so to speak.
Tom got a very nice 56 and a half inch kudu bull opening day on my farm. A dream comes true for most bow hunters, including myself.
After spending a few days in a blind with someone, you get to know him pretty well. You share hunting stories and talk about everything under the sun. Bow hunting obviously came up a lot I had some questions.
As the days flew past Tom took two Gemsbuck the one was 38" and the other would turn out to be a monster at 42"!
Tom Gemsbuck 2.jpg
It was never about the inches but something did intrigue me, how selective can one be with this manner of hunting?
One thing became clear, if you want to manage your game well, bow hunting would be a great manner in witch to do so. One can afford to take off only what you would perceive to be old mature past prime animals and leave your breading stock in the herds. It soon became clear to me that bow hunting would be greatly beneficial to the game on my farm.
Later in the year I went over to the US to visit Tom and he made sure I got myself a bow, but now all of this is new to me, what are limbs, cams, arrow rests LOL?
Tom went over everything with me gave me some tips and then let me loose on the world or should I say I had to go back to South Africa LOL.
Practice, practice, WOW, this is not as easy as one might think, it kind of reminds me of golf. It is a repetitive action and the better you repeat the same action the more consistent you become.
Needless to say it was only a few days after getting back that I found myself in a blind. This time I was hunting and not simply guiding. A nice warthog male presented itself and I let an arrow fly. That was it I'm hooked for life!
Another thing became clear to me; bow hunting is better if done with friends. I suppose like all hunting but with the exception that you can actually sit in the blind and spend time with your hunting partner.
My bother instantly became my favorite hunting partner, he had more bow hunting experience because of the fact that he is right handed. It was easier for him to borrow a bow from other family members or friends.
Bow hunting now became a family affair; in the past both of us hunted with rifles and boy we are competitive. It was always about size and length of shots a typical story of testosterone LOL, but this was different we actually complimented each other when bow hunting. We started to feed of each other making team work a priority. I had the honor of guiding him on a klipspringer hunt, an extremely challenging animal to get with bow. No blinds here folks walk and stalk is in the order of the day here.
Pieter made a great shot on the klipspringer and it is one of my fondest memories to this day!
We soon extended the bow hunting family, my brother bought Jolene his girlfriend a bow with my brother in law, Richard to follow shortly. Both of them have joined us on numerous hunts and have experienced the joys of successful bow hunts.
This year would we the third year of being a bow-hunting addict. The highlight of the year will no doubt be that Tom is returning for another bow hunt. About five moths prior to Toms arrival I had the privilege of hunting with yet another bow hunting family Charlie Riley and his two boys.
It was great fun to share a camp with these to young men who were learning the trade of bow hunting from their father.
Charlie and I took this zebra by manner of walk and stalk.
Client Prentiss Burt, took some of the best animals of any client I have ever hunted this would be with rifle but I had a surprise in store for him. He would become a bow hunter; he just did not know it yet LOL. After taking all of the species Prentiss had on his list I suggested that he pick up Richards bow and shoot it a little, it did not take long for Prentiss to pick up the skill. In fact two and an halve hours after picking up a bow for a first time we were in a blind and Prentiss took his first impala with the bow!
Prentiss Burt and his impala taken with bow.
On the very next hunt I even got Ed Bredemeyer a gun nut friend of mine, to buy himself a bow LOL, both Ed and Prentiss will be returning as bow hunters next year and I cant wait!
Later that year it was time for Tom's hunt, this was going to be very interesting. Tom was after quite a few species and he would even bring his traditional stick and string along to try out but the one animal on his list that I was particularly looking forward to hunting with him was a giraffe.
Tom with his stick bow and an old one horned kudu bull.
The giraffe was still in the back of my mind, I knew this was not going to be easy hunting giraffe with rifle is tough enough with it's massive bone structure and thick skin but doing it with bow will be a challenging for sure. We finally got the giraffe that I wanted to take off, Tom placed the arrow perfectly!
Video Clip of Giraffe Hunt:
Bow Hunting Giraffe - Hunting, Bowhunting, Fishing, Photos and Videos
Tom with his Giraffe
It was great to bow hunt with Tom again!
Carien my wife, in her words " then finally got a bow" .LOL. Oh and of course while I was there it was time for an upgrade for me as well LOL.
Carien recently took an impala ewe with a perfect heart shot. It was her first animal taken with bow. I am sure that there will be more to come shortly if she has any say in the matter. LOL.
Carien Impala Bow Hunt.jpg
Later this year I would have the pleasure of having yet another bow hunting family in camp. Jim brought his wife, daughter and son on a 14-day safari.
Jim's priority animal would be a kudu bull. On our first hunting day we had 3 very nice kudu bulls come in but it was still early days in hunting terms and it was getting late so we decided to pass on the bulls, with the hope that they will return the following morning.
As all hunting goes, it just did not work out as simple as we thought. The tree bulls did not return that day. We went on to take another bull, but the funny thing is the very next day after taking this bull, those 3 bulls came back to the waterhole, funny how it works out LOL.
Video clip of Jim's Kudu:
Bow Hunting Kudu - Hunting, Bowhunting, Fishing, Photos and Videos
The kudu Jim took was an old thick bull measuring 54".
Jim would go on to take a blue wildebeest, impala, common duiker we had a great time with Jim and his family. Each day I got to spend time with Jim and his family members, it was great to see how excited his wife and daughter got, once Jim let an arrow fly and I have to admit, my hart jumped once or twice as well but that is why we do it I suppose LOL.
Jim and his family with an old blue wildebeest bull that Jim took.
Bow hunting is no doubt growing, and exciting times lie ahead. It is clear that the advantage of bow hunting is not only extended to the hunter but to the game ranch owner as well in the form of better game management.
Hunters are getting into bow hunting from in early age, they have started to manufacture bows for kids and I would hope the experienced bow hunters would pass their knowledge on to the next generation. Bow hunting is definitely becoming a family pass time. Whether it is just practicing in your back yard with the kids or a hunting trip in Africa. The bow hunting future is looking really bright!
Louis van Bergen
10-17-2011, 07:09 AM #2
- Member of NRA lifetime, SCI Member, Longhunters LLC
- Hunted South Africa, Germany, USA
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Nice article! I am one of those converted gun hunters as well. I still hunt with a gun but there is nothing like hunting with a bow. I have a small regret for not taking my bow with me on my recent trip to SA. I asure you next time it is coming with me! I took my first whitetail with a bow in 2009. I have been hooked ever since. I wish I could do it more!"Ignorance is curable, stupid is forever."
10-17-2011, 07:30 AM #3
- Member of KZN Hunters Assoc
- Hunted Namibia (Otavi, Ozandjache) South Africa ( LP, KZN, NC, EC) Botswana (Ghanzi) Canada (BC, AB, SK, MB, Ont, PQ, NS) USA (MT, WA, SD, CA, CO, WY, KS, MN, NC, VG, UT, HI)
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Good review Louis.
If they keep that Firearms Registry in the same shape the whole country will be bow hunters. It can do nothing but grow in SA.
Congratulations on getting your bride out hunting with the pointy stick.Practice whispering before you leave for Africa!
A Legend in my own mind!
10-17-2011, 11:35 AM #4
RickB I have no doubt you will make up for the fact of leaving your bow home on your next trip!
Tell us some more about that first bow hunt and it would be great to see a picture I love sharing bow-hunting stories.
Brickburn you are right bow hunting is growing at a massive rate in South Africa because of the gun licensing being a total abortion.
My apologies for the poor grammar but I am working on it and should have it fixed shortly.
Louis van Bergen
10-17-2011, 01:46 PM #5
Great article Louis! Bowhunting is wonderful for all to enjoy. It is open to all that choose to pursue it. It is a great family activity as well as a life long interest. You are never too old, nor too young, to bowhunt.Tom
10-17-2011, 02:02 PM #6
- Member of SCI,DSC,NRA,DRSS
- Hunted North America, South America, South Africa
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I've been shooting my bow and even took it hunting once this year on whitetail. No blood yet, but will before I'm on the farm in Sept.
10-18-2011, 12:26 AM #7
10-21-2011, 08:50 AM #8
Enjoyed the read Louis, you're not making this any easier that bow is overdue here... Good seeing you and Pieter in action.
10-24-2011, 01:11 PM #9
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