It kinda depends where and who you are hunting with... Nyala and bushbuck are both great animals to spot and stalk. The nyala tends to tolerate your presence and movement better than most. Of the two, the bushbuck will definitely be the bigger challenge spot & stalk.
You will definitely get opportunity at nyala out of hides as well. I never saw a bushbuck out of a permanent hide in 4 trips. I got my shot opportunity out of a mobile pop up blind that was set up for me down along the river bottom which is the natural habitat for Limpopo bushbuck. They are definitely more shy and elusive than most plainsgame. I would love to take one via spot & stalk, and I'm sure it can be done...But, you had better be prepared to put the time in. It will be a challenge.
I've heard / read somewhere that Bushbuck are frequently hunted from portables along trails. I'm a fairly good crawler, it's how I prefer whitetail hunting -but these two are new to me. BTW, it'll be on the eastern cape.
All depends on how hard the land is hunted, especially with a rifle and how lucky you are....nothing is impossible, but certain factors can be your friend. Some of properties in the East Cape are hunted hard and others not as much.
Good luck to you, make sure you post after.
Part of the reason I asked is that I understand Bushbuck are a tough go with a rifle too.
As this willl very likely be my last trip due to health concers, I need to make the most of it. I really want one, and I really do not want to rifle one if I can avoid it.
Buzz, there are certainly those that can provide you with a Bushbuck but they can be a tough critter to get (just ask Enyse). I was fortunate enough to take 2 while hunting with CT safaris and did kill one by slowly slipping along the edge of dense cover along the river. Chris has a real good population of them and I can vouch for his ability to get you one.
I guess I've been lucky. A nice bushbuck came into a tiny waterhole back in the hills and was my first african animal. To be honest, I shot him a little far back but it must have gotten liver as he was dead within 150 yards.
I have shot both and was very lucky on both or should I say three. I killed a 29 3/4" Nyala on a spot and stalk hunt in the Limpopo in 2010 and finished my Spiral Slam in style with 2, yes 2 spot and stalk Buchbucks on the Limpopo River in Sept 2012 on the same day from 2 different concessions. I have only seen 1 Nyala at a hide in 3 trips, but the outfitter I use had the World Record Buchbuck for about 2 years or so and it was killed out of a blind. The Nyala was basically luck, but the Bushbucks were and absolute blast stakling them along the Limpopo River with crocs along the bank and in the river. We killed 4 Bushbuck between 2 of us in 1 1/2 days on 3 different concessions on the Limpopo River in 2012.
I've pretty much figured spot and stalk is my best bet for both. I've heard that the upper cape is a great stalking place due to terrain, etc.
Either way, I want both, even if I have to rifle them (gag).
Hey, it's probably my last trip and I've got a wall to fill at the new house.
Another late thread.....should of joined AH years ago
Most of the guys on here have summed it up.
We have a farm in the EC with plenty of bushbuck and although the guy on my profile pic was taken with a rifle, I have had plenty of opportunity to take one with my MathewsZ7. I find the bushbuck to be creature's of habit (as most plains game are) but are very sensitive to weather. They don't enjoy the wind and so tend to hide up in the thick bush and wait it out which makes for good walk and stalk opportunities. On a calm clear day they'll be more active, moving around and generally alot more aware of their surroundings so an option of a tree stand or blind along a path will be a better option. During the day (on our farm) they stay deep in the valleys and start heading out an hour before sunset, so when i get the itch for a bit of walk and stalk on the bow I do so with the sun at my back and in their eyes allowing me to creep from the crest of the valley down on to them. But when you get your sights fixed on that ram, watch the females tailing off to the sides because 99% of the time they are the ones to give you away....and theres not much that makes your heart sink faster than a bushbuck alarm bark!
We also have trail cams all over the place and I could point to any bushbuck on the farm and show you photos of its mother, father, grand father, grand mother etc...and Iam sure its not any different from most guys in SA that have buck on their farm.
So what Iam trying to say is speak to the guys that spend alot time on the farm/concession you'll be hunting, they will know the routines, the best spots, etc...and will save you alot of time in a hide when its not needed!!
Hopefully by now you have bagged both...if not, I wish you all the very best.
I am coming over to SA in September and my number one animal is going to be a Nyala this time. Do you have any hints on them. The last time I only did Bow but all I saw for five days was what I cold see from the blinds. This time I am going to try a rifle. I also didn't bring back an Impala or warthog back last time. But will be stalking the Nyala for this trip so should be able to see more of you land.
Tree stands work very well for Bushbuck, males are extremely territorial and under ideal conditions can occupy areas as small as an acre, they tend to work the same trails through thickets, so can be monitored by trail cam and hunted much the same as white tail.
I have a couple of the old North Star ladder stands which works extremely well.
Nyala in many cases not much of a challenge especially on certain smaller properties, it is just one of those species that in certain cases have had way to much human interaction...
Behavior under normal conditions are very similar to those of bushbuck, interestingly enough under Natural conditions they will not occur in the same district as they share the exact same habitat, and Nyala are the dominant species.
The Higher the Nyala concentration in a specific area the lower the bushbuck concentration will be.
Note: under natural conditions there can be nyala and bushbuck on one property but with an increase in Nyala numbers there will be a noticeable decline in Bushbuck sightings and numbers.
I have hunted both walk and stalk as well as stand, and have had good success on both.
Good luck and happy hunting.
I understand what you are saying about the Nyala vs Bushbuck scenario as I was brought up with the same understanding of how they compete. Recently I was talking to one of the old school PH's in our area who owns a property not far from us, and we discussed this very topic. He has been a PH for 30+ years, and have done it all, so I respect his opinion and experience.
When he inherited the property from his dad, they use to have plenty of Bushbuck, but sadly the numbers are almost non-existent these days. He has no Nyala there. What has happened over the last several years, is that the annual quota for Kudu, had not been reached by a long way, causing a serious over-population of the specie. His opinion is that it has had the exact same effect.
I don't think that its a Nyala vs Bushbuck problem , but could very well be caused by say Kudu as well.
My personal theory, is that I believe the Nyala ewes have the same feeding height as Bushbuck, causing them to compete heavily for food. Where we hunt Nyala, I have seen over the last 7 or so years the numbers of Bushbuck dwindle drastically. It would not take you much more than a day to look for a good Bushbuck ram. These days, you would be lucky to find one there, and its usually with the guy who's not looking for a Bushbuck.
The only place you do find Bushbuck in numbers in this area these days is next to the river where the Nyala can't reach.
"The Higher the Nyala concentration in a specific area the lower the bushbuck concentration will be."
Although I fully agree with your statement above, I feel that its not only the Nyala that will lower your Bushbuck numbers, but also other species.
100% Marius, there could very well be other species that interact, yet if we where to look at habitat spesifics, Nyala are bushbucks largest competator in reverine brush/forest.
We also need to except the different areas in which Bushbuck occur, for example, the EC and certain parts of KZN have much heavier under growth (larger physical habitat) for the mentioned species.
whereas in limpopo, our Bushbuck and our Nyala tend to use the avaiable habitat (suitable) which in our case are spring valleys coming down mountains and rivers, our Kudu hit high mountain terrain so interaction/competition in my opinion is negligable.
With the Nyala and bushbuck competing for habitat it is sad to say the least that bushbuck end up losing, this just upsets me tremendously as in my books a bushbuck blows the socks off any Nyala I have seen.
They're awesome challenging animals to hunt.
my best always