Going on 1st BowHunt in Africa

Discussion in 'Bowhunting Africa' started by huntfan, Sep 10, 2012.

  1. huntfan

    huntfan New Member

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    Hello All,

    I have the opportunity of a lifetime to hunt Plains Game in South Africa and need some bow hunting help. I have searched the internet and YouTube looking for the proper hunting setup for my hunt. I would like to take an Impala, Common SpringBok, Gemsbuck and Kudu on my Safari.
    I have read that 50lb and even 70lb may be needed for plains game. So, I ran across this site and would like to ask you fine gents your advice. I have bow hunted for deer but nothing larger.
    I currently have a Mathews z7 xtreme bow set at 65lbs. Would this be enough to harvest a Kudu? I know that shot placement is IMPORTANT, but just wanted to make sure that I meet any KE requirements. Also, is a 500 and up grain arrow needed? Thanks in advance...
  2. Stretch

    Stretch AH Fanatic

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    Welcome huntfan.

    Rest assured that your Mathews bow at 65lbs is more than enough for any plains game animal including the largest eland bull. As for arrows, weight is an important factor when considering penetration.
    An arrow in the 450 to 550 grain is ideal. Then there is broadheads... Your going to get some difference of opinion on this subject. My advice, stay away from open on impact type. Instead opt for a intimidatingly sharp fixed blade that is at least 125 grains or better. Heavy front of center arrows promote good flight characteristics and have a tendency to carry momentum.
  3. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    What Stretch said!!!
  4. huntfan

    huntfan New Member

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    Thanks for the advice. Went to 2 pro shops this weekend to get setup advice for my plains game hunt and both tried to sell me a new bow...LOL
    I'll take the extra money and start shopping for some 125gr broadheads and heavy arrows.

    Does hunting the week of a full moon decrease the success rate when bow hunting?
  5. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    DARK MOON!

    Ask the shops of they have a nice monster magnum Weatherby they can throw in for you at the same time. :)
  6. firehuntfish

    firehuntfish AH Veteran

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    Dear Huntfan,

    For the the vast majority of the plainsgame animals, the set-up you have is more than adequate. I shoot the same rig as you have, with a lighter arrow in fact.... And, I have had pass throughs on animals as large as kudu, blue wildebeest, zebra, etc...My wife shoots a 48# bow with a 380gr arrow, and she gets pass throughs on most of her animals as well...

    The biggest recommendation that I would stress to you is to use an extremely strong, compact, fixed blade broadhead that flys well from your set up. Mechanicals, as a general rule, do not perform well on African animals. Even with animals of similar body size to our north American game, African game has thicker hides, heavier bones, and are just plain tougher pound for pound. Mechanicals break, deflect, and often fail to deploy properly for these reasons. Addionally, they eat up alot of kenetic enery trying to open resulting in poor penetration....I'm sure hundreds of African animals have been taken successfully with expandables. Unfortunately, I have been witness to a great many lost and wounded because of a poor performing expandable. The outfitter that I hunt with does not allow them, and I wish all African outfitters would follow that example.

    The second biggest recommendation I would offer is to study the shot placement guide here on AH.com and make sure you put the arrow where it needs to go. That low, forward shot is hard to get used to when you have been drawing on whitetails for so many years....Any good quality broadhead will kill when it lands in the engine room....

    As far as the moon is concerned from my expereinces, the week before and after the dark moon is best, but I have bowhunted during two full moons and have had lots of animal activity. That may depend more on the quality and quantity of the animals on the properties you are going to be hunting... I would not cancel or postpone simply because of the moon phase... That's why you go to Africa...! You are going to have a great hunt regardless....Hope this helps...
  7. TOM

    TOM AH Elite

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    Welcome Huntfan! Stretch nailed it. That is exactly what I would have suggested for your gear. I don't know as though you need "heavy" arrows for plains game. I have killed a truckload of stuff with Gold Tip 5575s (400 spine) fitted with a muzzy 125 grain three blade head, pulling about 66 pounds. Heck, I've killed stuff with my recurve with a LOT slower speed and a tad bit heavier arrow. You don't need a heavy arrow...just shoot what you are used to shooting and practice aiming ON THE SHOULDER. It is totally against our mindset over here in the US but you have to shoot right on the shoulder. The "behind the crease" shot on most african animals will end up with liver at best, and more likely gut shot.

    I don't think full moon makes that big of a difference personally, time of year is more important. I would suggest hunting from July - November if at all possible. The later in the year the more dry the vegetation and land will be. Waterholes will be hopping with game all day long.

    Lastly, get ready for the time of your life. Bowhunting and hunting in general won't be the same after you get back!
  8. huntfan

    huntfan New Member

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    Thanks for the much needed advice. I cant wait to get over there!
    Aiming on the shoulder will take some practice and mind-set change. I will look to download some shot placement guides. My wife and I are so excited about this trip that we are all ready saving up for the next trip.
  9. TOM

    TOM AH Elite

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    Spill the beans then! Who are you going with, what dates, etc!
  10. huntfan

    huntfan New Member

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    I won an online auction donated by Idaho Outfitters for a hunt during the 2013 season with Numzaan Safaris. I'm looking to book my date within the next 2 weeks. Based on the input here, I will shoot, no pun intended, for June or early July.
  11. TOM

    TOM AH Elite

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    Congratulations. I hope you got a pretty good deal on the auction because the trophy fee prices listed on their page are high when compared to others. I'm sure you will have a blast though!
  12. bluey

    bluey GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    the guys covered anything you need to know for sure huntfan ,if your a stalker then id go in may when theres plenty of feed and water everywhere you go the game is spread everywhere and the bush is quiet to move around in and there s a lot more leaves on the trees for cover.the bush has such a unique smell to it in the mornings its one of my fondest memoriers of africa
    take a rangefinder and a good set of binos and glass the gaps and shooting lanes well because theres twigs and sticks poking out everywhere.
    and not to upset our friends here but i used 125gn rage expandables in 2blades and since then thats all i use when hunting with my stickflinger and have never lost an animal bowhunting (touch wood)
    and in the way of see me no more (camo )id be investing in lighter patterns rather than too dark
    all in all you will have the time of your life over there as your ph will be testing your hunting skill and bush craft to no end
    and when you come back you will always want to return
    and dont forget to post pictures and type your tale
  13. Stretch

    Stretch AH Fanatic

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    Your opinion does not upset me at all bluey. I think it's great that we can discuss what works for each of us. I have learned allot from you as well as the other AH members These discussions sometimes allow me to rethink my position on certain things. Broadhead selection seems to conjure up a passel of conceptions and assumptions. As an example: my experience has been negative with expandable open on impact broadhead. I watched a friend of mine lose a buck with what as least appeared to be a perfect shot. He was using a popular open-on-impact head. This created a negative impression in my mind. Watch TOM's video with the rage and formulate your own opinion. http://www.africahunting.com/bowhun...e-against-rage-broadheads-video-evidence.html

    For me, I going to stick with a sharp non-mechanical fixed blade.

    bluey - good advice on the lighter color camo or light solid cloths. As a note, some African country's such as Botswana don't allow camouflage clothing for hunting. Best to check the regulations where you are hunting.
  14. huntfan

    huntfan New Member

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    I just love my fixed blades for hunting. Looks like solid tan colors for clothing.

    I do most of my deer hunting from a 30ft tree stand. Would hunting in a ground blind give the game an advantage in picking up my smell? Will the normal scent free spray I use now in the US work on the dark continent?
  15. bluey

    bluey GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    thanks for the good words stretch
    huntfan ive gone back to the tree stand also .at first whaen i decided to try my luck at bow hunting samba i got to fussy and let all the deer walk under me and just waited for big daddy to come out which still hasnt happened . ive got 3 stands up at present and hope fully they dont get knocked off over the next few weeks as there will be lots more hunting going on as the rut winds down and the stags are out feeding later in the morning to get back in shape before they cast.
    i have and always will try to stalk a samba with the bow but they are so tuned in its just a good day out every now and then i catch a young one off guard and let it walk .
    as for the ground blind they just suck i spent an arvo in one in africa ,dark ,hot and stuffy and bugger all room to move .no that wont be a mistake ill make twice.
    handy to know that camo is not allowed in botswana why is that are the animals not as clever there or is it a human safety thing .
  16. spike.t

    spike.t GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    camo is illegal in quite a few countries around the world, less so now than it used to be. this is to do with the fact that in these countries only the military can wear camo clothing. it used to be illegal in most african countries but a lot seem to be easing off the restrictions. my wifes friend had to change out of her camo bikini under the restaurant table :flashboobies::biggrin: in barbados because some one warned her to get out of it asap !!! it was a few years ago and maybe its changed there now, but it was interesting at the time :thumb:
  17. Ranger.RSA

    Ranger.RSA New Member

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    65# will be enough for plains game but stick to a minimum arrow weight of 500gr. A reliable fixed blade broadhead like a Slicktrick, Silverflame or Magnus Snuffer SS / G5 Montec will do well. I like heavy arrows with high FOC and feathers at the back, think my hunting arrows (compound bow) are in the mid 600's. Good luck and enjoy!
  18. TOM

    TOM AH Elite

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    Good to hear about the fixed blades. I wouldn't worry a whole lot about the camo in Africa. The regulations apply to government lands, not generally private ranches where I'm guessing you will be hunting. I would advise against wearing camo on the plane though as it pegs you as a hunting tourist immediately upon arrival in Africa and can create problems with beggars and people wanting "tips".

    Ground blinds are far and away the most common method of bowhunting in Africa. The blinds can be very scent tight. For the most part, the property should have several bow blinds in different areas for different winds. African animals as a generalization don't go crazy "inside out" when they smell you like a whitetail will. Granted, they will not come in to close range but it's not like they smell human and run for the next county generally.

    Literally thousands of animals are shot each year out of ground blinds. You will be just fine. I would not even bother with taking scent free spray with you but that is up to you. Chances are you will be in a blind with your PH and possibly a tracker, neither of which will be wearing spray unless you request it.

    Have fun, start practicing now with your setup. Simulate shooting out of a blind now by Cutting some long vertical (or horizontal) rectangles in a cardboard box. Stand behind the box and shoot through your "windows" to get used to this style of shooting. It takes a bit to get used to as your depth perception can be tricky and the mindset of shooting through a window can take a bit of getting used to. Please feel free to PM me anytime or email me. I love bowhunting Africa (traditional and compound).
  19. TOM

    TOM AH Elite

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    After reviewing my post above, it sounds like i'm saying to shoot a box or something. The whole point is to stand or sit (both preferably) behind some sort of wall/screen with small windows cut out of it to simulate a blind. It might sound cheezy but if you practice that way it will make shooting that way much easier.
  20. huntfan

    huntfan New Member

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    I understood you Tom. Yeah, I will setup some practice time this week-end. Drawing my bow slow and smooth from the seated position proved more difficult than I thought. Might deer hunt from a blind this year to get more comfortable with it.

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