First trip to Africa Archery Only, Walk-and-Stalk only advice!!!

Discussion in 'Bowhunting Africa' started by HCarcher, Jan 20, 2014.

  1. HCarcher

    HCarcher New Member

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    i am new to AH and am very excited to find a place with so many knowledgeable people on Hunting Africa. like most americans i have always dreamed of going to africa. it came alot sooner than expected but i just put my deposit in for this april for a hunt in the eastern cape of south africa. i am only taking my bow as i am an avid archer and don't want to tempt myself with a rifle. my outfitter is zungah safaris owned and run by chris bolton. i met him at the ise in denver colorado. have talked to him for the last year and i am very excited about the oppurtunity to hunt walk and stalk only in africa. i have never had any desire to stand hunt as i see no difference between that and rifle hunting. i understand it is a very effective was to harvest animals with a bow however does not have my interest. i have a few questions about gear and really just general advice for the hunt.

    i am thinking of using sitka gear optifade open country which has been AMAZING for north american big game. has anyone ever used this for archery hunting in africa? did it work? i am considering taking optifade forest with me as well though i think that will be to much of a micro pattern for farther encounters better to have options i think. what patterns have you been successful?

    what are some tips for walk and stalk archery on eland, kudu, waterbuck, impala, wildebeest (blue and black), hartebeest, grey duiker klspringer, african lynx, ostrich? i will not be able to take all of these animals however if an opportunity arise i will take a shot at any of these animals. i know alot of these are exteremley difficult to harvest spot and stalk with a bow but you never know what might happen when you are out there.

    black wildebeest is the animals that has most of my attention. i have heard these are very hard to get with this style of hunting however i love the challenge of hunting such a smart tough animal in less than ideal terrain for archery. how can i maximize my opportunities on a BWB?

    i will be hunting solo as my ph understands that getting 1 person in on an animal is hard enough but getting 2 is making it harder than it needs to be. any gear or advice of what i should bring along to be ready for a full day in the bush solo?

    my typical tactic for hunting deer and elk in colorado and wyoming is getting high spotting an animal feeding or beded than making my move going very slow untill i can take a shot. is this effective in africa? should i try to ambush more or is stalking in possible?

    does anyone walk and stalk archery hunt consistently? i had trouble finding a ph that was so adiment about walk and stalk only hunting. he has a few references but not a lot because he said that very few are willing to walk and stalk arxhery hunt and most would rather blind but he is very against this, except for problem baboons.

    any advice tips or help would be very much appreciated. can't wait to get out there.
     
  2. bluey

    bluey GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    hcarcher, welcome and enjoy this site ,mate
    in 2010 l did an African adventure ,with dries visser safaris ,mainly walk and stalk ,in the mornings and afternoons.with sitting in a blind at midday .
    some trestands .
    mate it was awesome .
    april is a good time for this as there will be lots of foliage and grass ,with water on the ground aswll.we went in may .on the dark of the moon .
    you will have the time of your life .
    you should stick with the lighter colors ,with camo , tans and yellows and lighter browns and greens .ifound this the most effective .
    I also stalked with an arrow nocked a lot of the time , not the smartest ,I know .but you may see why for your self .
    move real slow ,and glass everything . specially when you have the advantage of ambush , every shooting lane , trust me on this as theres twigs and sticks poking up most everywhere ,that you cant see with the eye at 30 and 40 metres .
    its shattering to say the least when you've watched a couple of zebra walk in to you and you execute the draw stealthily and release only to hear that click as your arrow clips a twig on the way through.
    keep shot straight up the front leg or only just behind, in the crease and middle of the body
    you have done well getting with a ph that will let you stalk solo , it was camp policy with dries that you were always accompanied .
    don't pack to much clothes as their will be laundry done daily .
    make sure you have the right 240v adapter to charge your phone, camera,laptop.
    pack your release , range finder , gps, and camera in your carry on bag.
    and most importantly , enjoy every minute of your adventure ,take the time to to absorb every detail ,sights ,smells of the bush ,.
    because once you take Africa into your heart , you spend lots of time missing her and planning ways to get back there .
     
  3. Nyati

    Nyati AH Legend

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    Welcome to AH, hCarcher !
     
  4. Cliffy

    Cliffy AH Elite

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    You seem to have it wired down. You will have a blast if you don't count fun in number of trophies but in excitement. Bring extras of release, bow strings and a method to change it. You won't find much available over there for bow hunters from what I've learned. If you do poke something, and you think you are good at tracking?, think again! Wait till you watch one of the local trackers work. It'll blow your mind how good they are. Ostrich? I've had them see me it seems like at 400 yards with just my head over the berm. Good luck on that one BUT you might be good enough to do it! Welcome to the best website on the net and make sure you write about your trip here when you get back!
     
  5. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Buddy, just used this gear on his last hunt with me across Southern Africa. It worked great.
    If you are going early, some version with more green is suggested.
    The material can make some noise on the thorns. You'll just have to figure that one out.


    This will be the one for you then. They are nuts. Pattern, what pattern....
    Ambushing these lunatics is more likely, in my mind.

    Water and gloves.


    Lots of African critters run in herds. So, more like an elk hunt in some ways. Lots of eyes.
    Spot and stalk is how most rifle hunts are done.
    Ambush will depend on the property. You'll have to scope it out with your PH and decide.
    Some outfits push the game past hunters who lay in wait.

    Blind hunting is the most successful method of hunting, so its used.
    Most people want to travel to Africa and be successful (acquire trophies, etc.) and most properties do not want to let hunters out alone (legalities for one) and stirring up the animals for another.
    You will not be the only hunter in a year (typically).


    If the property has cover you will have great chances.
    If the property is an open plain with little grass where people have just rifle hunted it last week, you may be in for some major frustration.

    Good luck. If you have the patience you may just get what you want.
     
  6. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch AH Legend

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    Welcome to AH.

    Good advice so far. Good luck on your hunt.
     
  7. HCarcher

    HCarcher New Member

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    thank you for all of this great advice it will really help me on my trip. what kind of gloves? a lightweight pair that i can shoot with or more of a pair of working gloves?

    glad to hear that your friend has success with the sitka. hope i have the same luck.

    the terrain should be in my favor as it is very brushy with rolling hills. i should be able to glass over large pieces than have cover to sneak when the opportunity presents itself. i will be the first hunter of the year so the animals shouldnt be too harassed by people at least.

    i talked to one hunter who went with chris and he said the impala would jump the string alot. is this common? if so what should i do to try and beat would farther shots help because my bow won't seem as loud?

    i don't think ill ever run out of questions but i greatly appreciate your help with everything.
     
  8. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Light weight that can protect you from thorns etc.

    If Impala have been shot at with a bow before they certainly learn quickly to jump the string.
    There are other threads on AH about string jumping. The consensus was that Impala are the wizards of String jumping.
    Watch some Youtube video of the hunt and you'll see.
    It comes down to the herd thing again. If ten animals are at water and they hear a string noise it does not take long to associate that noise with something bad. Maybe they even know that Fred disappeared yesterday. :)

    Further shots are not going to solve it. Closer and quicker is one solution. Another is anticipation of the "jump".
    Heart shots might help. BY aiming lower you may end up with a lung shot if the Impala starts to duck.

    There are plenty of folks on here with experience that may have some other suggestions.

    Good luck.
     
  9. Bushman10

    Bushman10 AH Senior Member

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    I am a registered PH in the Eastern Cape where you are going to hunt and a Bowhunter as well. You have selected the most difficult type of hunting that we have to offer which is very admirable. During April and May the Eastern Cape can still be very hot so you must NOT wear winter clothes or your normal boots rated for snow. Your clothing and shoes needs to be of a very light and thin fabric. I would like to suggest that you also consider shorts and a short sleeve shirt covered by a Leafy Suit. In close quarters it becomes important to break up the human silhouette and the soft Cabelas type Leafy Suit that does not "rustle" when you walk works well. A backpack with a water / hydration bladder would be crucial and as you will be hunting by yourself in an unknown area I would suggest a hand held GPS with South African maps loaded.

    The biggest challenge that I have found with US bow hunters coming to South Africa is that they do not know the shot placement. Our animals vitals are a lot further forward than your animals so please study - study - study the animal anatomies that you are planning to hunt from all angles. If you suddenly come across a big Kudu bull and your instinct kicks in and you shoot it where you would shoot an Elk or Whitetail then you WILL lose that Kudu.

    Your arrows need to be at least 500 grain at a minimum and a 70lb bow would be good. Your max shooting distance should not be more than 30 yards but you should be practicing up to 40 yards and be able to hit a tennis ball consistently at that distance. For Walk and Stalk I would suggest a 5 pin multi-pin sight and NOT a single pin sight.

    Good luck and keep us posted.
     
  10. HCarcher

    HCarcher New Member

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    thank you everyone for the great advice. this will help me a lot as everything will be so new to me. i'm sure ill have more questions as i get closer and of course ill put my pictures and story up as soon as im back.
     
  11. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch AH Legend

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    Looking foreward to it. Good luck.
     
  12. Norwegianwoods

    Norwegianwoods SILVER SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    I am sure you will have a great time :)
     
  13. StickFlicker AZ

    StickFlicker AZ New Member

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    Walk and stalk Black Wildebeest is possible. It was the first trophy I ever took in Africa! The most difficult part of it seemed to be the wind. Living out in the open Highveld, the winds made it difficult to take a very long shot. I eventually managed to get a 25 yard shot on this bull. Enjoy your hunt! The rocks and trees are misleading, since he was in the open grasslands when I shot him.
     

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  14. TOM

    TOM AH Elite

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    Africa...are there other continents to hunt?
    I know an outfitter who is walk and stalk exclusively.
     
  15. Azbowhunter2

    Azbowhunter2 AH Member

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    Patience will be the key, use open pattern camo. You will want to bring a back up bow and a kit with extras bow strings and a method to change it. If you are going with a buddy like I did you may both want to take two bows. We put one of mine and one of his in each case so if one got lost or delayed we both were still hunting. there aren't any archery supplies to speak of over there so bring what you need. Also like several have said don't over pack they have launrdy srervive but make sure you have them use your scentless soap so your clothes don't come back smelling all rosy! I have had this happen to my irritation. Have fun the spot and stalk is fun and you can be succesful but give yourself extra time is possible. it can be a challenge they are heard animals so there are lots of eyes and ears on you. Most of all know your kill zone and be surgical about your shots you represent us all out there! Have fun(y)
     
  16. Sable123

    Sable123 AH Veteran

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    Hi HCarcher and thanks for the post!

    I am busy establishing a bow hunting outfitters in the eastern cape which we will most definately be offering walk and stalk, the reason for this is the sheer thrill and excitement of a bow walk and stalk. For me its an incredible way of pitting your skills against that of a wild animal. Most people here have given some fantastic advice and Im sure you'll have a great time. For me I cut my teeth walking and stalking baboons!! In my opinion there is nothing more difficult. You have eyes on the ground, in the trees, up a cliff and if any one of the troop members doesn't see you, then chances are a rival troop might. For me its all about WIND. I check it often and change my plan or angle of attack accordingly. You mentioned the PH won't be going with you and I can understand why but I would recommend the PH to go along. I have seen all to often the hunter so focused on his quarry that he never noticed the animal to the side staring at him as he moved along, and inevitably lost out to the alarm call, when a simple nudge from the PH for him to remain still for a few minutes would of helped. An extra pair of eyes and ears can go along way, even if the PH takes you to within a certain distance.
    Socks, thick bloody socks. Thats my personal preference, it helps to move quiter over the rocky terrain and muffles the sound of your footsteps.
    Take the time not only to glass for the animals but try understand what they are up to. I learnt to be patient while the baboons all moved past me as 90% of the time the bigger males were lagging at the back and it was a case of holding out for them.
    Also if you manage to walk and stalk a Lynx (Caracal) with a bow.....WOW!
    Im getting excited just typing this.

    Good luck.
     
  17. lawrence_court

    lawrence_court AH Member

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    Good luck. In my experience, African plains game is less likely to run from a visual sighting of the hunter than game in N America/Europe. But they are incredibly sensitive to wind. If your PH can get you downwind 100 yds and let you finish the stalk that would be best. If the wind is swirling you might be better cutting your losses and blind hunting until it gets up a bit as stalking to withing 40 yds in those conditions might result in a whole trip without a shot.

    If you have a good local tracker he will get you as close as anybody can. Might be an idea to take him with you on the stalk as he will see everything and will spot a small patch of skin/fur through brush that an experienced hunter from abroad would hardly every see. He will also, most likely, have a scary sixth sense about where the game may be.

    One of the greatest pleasures is watching the trackers work. The first time I saw their skill it blew any other bushcraft I'd seen totally out of the water!

    Enjoy!
     

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