Hunting Bow and Arrow Requirements

Lrntolive

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Hello to all,

I have a couple of questions that I'd like answered if anyone can, but before I ask, let me provide some background information.

I've been researching Africa for a while now as I'm planning a hunt for 2016 or 2017. Throughout my research, and this site, which is a wealth of knowledge, I've read various bow pound test requirements for game and arrow weight requirements. Back in July, I purchased a new bow after having hunted with my old bow for 12 years. My old bow was great, but I wanted the extra power and speed a newer bow would provide. My old bow was 60lb draw weight and my new is 70lb draw weight.

Along with the new bow, I recently purchased new arrows as I've read about the arrow weight requirement in countries like Namibia for large game. I purchased a dozen Gold Tip arrows that are 10.8gr/inch and had them cut to 29-7/8inches. This put the arrows at exactly 350 grains without broadhead.

With the information above, I'd like to know the following:
1) When going on a hunt in a country in Africa, who checks my bow to ensure it meets the required strength rating? Does the government do it? Does the PH or outfitter? Or is this more of a "Boy Scouts honor" where the hunter is trusted to meet the hunting requirements?
2) For the arrow weight, how stringent is the weight requirement? I ask because between arrows, there may be a slight variation in the weight, so I'm trying to determine if I should use 100 or 125 grain broadheads. Also, who is checking the arrow weight?

I don't know if countries in Africa have Game Wardens like we do in the US that go around and randomly check hunters. I'm trying to determine how far I should go to make sure I'm not borderline with the law.

Thank you,
lrntolive
 

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@BRICKBURN could help you with some info. Sure he'll chime in soon.

Good luck with your trip and don't forget to come and share your experience with us!
 

Lrntolive

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Marius,

Thanks for the reply. I've read many of Brickburns posts on this topic, but I couldn't see anything in particular relating to the enforcement of bow hunting requirements.

Hopefully, he can shed some light on this.

Thank you
 

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Regarding the checking of the bow with regards to draw weight, as far as I know, there is no control over it, and I have never heard from any of my bow-hunters that their equipment had been checked.
I ask what draw weight a bow is, but don't physically check the equipment. I don't see myself equipped, or experienced enough to start tampering with a hunter's bow.
Whatever he tells me, I trust him. As long as he can let the arrow fly where his pin lies, I'm happy.
 

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no one has ever check my bow draw weight , or arrow weights.
the P.H is most interested in how accurate l am with it at different distances .
and that the broad heads are razor sharp
other than that the only really question ive been ask before hunting with arechery equipement is if ive shot out a ground blind
or tree stand before .
 

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In 3 trips to South Africa, I've never been checked in any way.

Two of the PH's wanted to see me shoot, but only at 20 yards. The last PH told us where the range was and we were welcome to shoot if we cared to, but he didn't even watch us.

Best of luck on your trip.
 

Lrntolive

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Thanks all. Very interesting that no one really enforces the regulations in countries that have it.

As for me, the bow I used to shoot was a Martin, and I upgraded to the PSE Decree. I practice quite often, but I've noticed on 3D targets that I shoot better at longer distances (40yds+) than I do at short distance. I'm not sure why that is, maybe I just rush the closer shots.

One of my local ranges here in Colorado is having a 3D league, which I'll join this year. I want to get as much practice as possible.

I've chronographed my bow with the 450 grain arrows (350 arrow + 100 field point) and I'm just at 280fps. That calculates out to around 78ft/lbs of energy. I'm guessing this is plenty.
 

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I practice quite often, but I've noticed on 3D targets that I shoot better at longer distances (40yds+) than I do at short distance. I'm not sure why that is, maybe I just rush the closer shots.


l find that if im shooting 3D I shoot way better ,to mate
at all distances
I put that down to its bloody boring shooting paper , and I don't put as much effort in to it ......
when I shoot paper , after 3 or 4 shots , im loosing interest
at home when l play , I only shoot 5 or six arrows at most .
I keep changing angles and distances .
 

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I've chronographed my bow with the 450 grain arrows (350 arrow + 100 field point) and I'm just at 280fps. That calculates out to around 78ft/lbs of energy. I'm guessing this is plenty.

Just keep in mind that a few of the African species are known to jump the string. Impala and Warthog are among these species, and for the first time this year, I saw Bushbuck do it. The bow used on the Bushbuck, and I speak under correction, was running at about 305fps. Bushbuck are usually not the most vigilant animals out there either, but this one was aware that something was going on. My advice, the key to avoid this, would be to take the shot when the animal is relaxed, and not weary of the blind, or looking at the blind as if it knows something is wrong. Wait for it to present a shot, where it's focusing on the water/feed/lick.
 

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study the anatomy of African game, vitals are further forward than N.A. Game.
your bow set up sounds ok , but I am a firm believer of momentum , I like a heavier arrow, 615 grain.
main thing is shot placement, and as already stated shoot relaxed animals .
out of 3 trips to Africa no one has checked the draw weight of my bow or weighed my arrows. Forrest
 

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Marius,

Thanks for the reply. I've read many of Brickburns posts on this topic, but I couldn't see anything in particular relating to the enforcement of bow hunting requirements.

Hopefully, he can shed some light on this.

Thank you


NO OFFICIAL will be checking your bow for anything anywhere in Africa.

Your PH's self interest in not allowing you to die by using a bow on dangerous game that will not work is what will check you.

kathy is spot on.

Go have fun. Practice with your new set up and go for it.
 

Lrntolive

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All,

Thanks for all the advice. And yes, I've been studying the shot placement of African game on this site. I'm going to take my time and study and practice prior to going to Africa. I don't believe the game animals I plan to go after will pose any issues with the bow/arrow combination I have, but you never know.

3D archery league starts this week for me, so I can't wait to shoot with my new setup! I hope they have some African 3D targets.
 

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your bow will work perfect, practice on 3D as that is more of a realistic shooting scenario, learn to pick your spots, 9 -10 inches above the brisket and up that leg. A good read is the Perfect shot, awesome on diagrams of the best shot to take on all African game. I was shooting a 435 grain arrow at 295 feet per second. had a couple of animals move just as I shot.
If doing plains game, IMHO is to have a faster arrow to hit the sweet spot of the animal.
for broadheads I shot most with a fixed, DRT, big 2 blade with bleeders, had pass thrus on most with a great amount of damage and quick recoveries.
have a great trip!
 

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I think everything had been covered just something extra if you are looking at taking giraffe or buff you need to have a different setup

But for all the plains game you will be fine I like to use fixed bladed on bigger game like eland and wildebeest but a good mechanical will also work fine

Enjoy the planing and the trip looking forward to your hunt report
 

Lrntolive

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your bow will work perfect, practice on 3D as that is more of a realistic shooting scenario, learn to pick your spots, 9 -10 inches above the brisket and up that leg. A good read is the Perfect shot, awesome on diagrams of the best shot to take on all African game. I was shooting a 435 grain arrow at 295 feet per second. had a couple of animals move just as I shot.
If doing plains game, IMHO is to have a faster arrow to hit the sweet spot of the animal.
for broadheads I shot most with a fixed, DRT, big 2 blade with bleeders, had pass thrus on most with a great amount of damage and quick recoveries.
have a great trip!
Thanks GP! I just read your hunt report and understand what you are saying. My 3D league was great for opening night. My arrows definitely hit hard as I almost knocked over a few of the targets at 20-30 yards (they were on stands and not staked). Arrows were so deep that it took two guys to pull them while two guys held the targets. I think my dilemma will be more with broadhead selection as I've always used the G5 Montec. They fly like field points for me and have always gotten the job done, but I keep reading about the DRTs.
 

Lrntolive

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I think everything had been covered just something extra if you are looking at taking giraffe or buff you need to have a different setup

But for all the plains game you will be fine I like to use fixed bladed on bigger game like eland and wildebeest but a good mechanical will also work fine

Enjoy the planing and the trip looking forward to your hunt report
Thanks Ryno! No plans for a giraffe as I would have no where to put it in my current house, but the buff would be great for the future. I don't know if I've got the guts to hunt a buff with my bow, and I may opt for the use of a rifle for dangerous game.
 

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Just another great example of why AH is so helpful, good advice from everyone. Just to get my opinion in, like everyone said you will be fine on the power. I was shooting a 400 grn arrow at 305 fps, had a full pass trough on every animal I shot including wildebeest and water buck. Its all about shot placement and a good sharp head, I personally suggest the DRT from Dirtnapgear. Its a razor sharp head and owned buy a member of AH.
 

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My 15 year old is going to take his bow this June to South Africa with me. Unfortunately, I know squat about bows. The country information requires 40 ft/lbs kinetic energy with a minimum of a 400 gr arrow. How does that convert to draw weight? His bow can be tuned up to 60 lbs although he current is practising it set at 45 lbs. I am trying to figure out how high we should set it to meet the legal requirements. Thanks
 

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Here is some SABA equirements hope this will give you a better idea
3.1 PENETRATION ABILITY

NB.The biggest factor affecting a hunt is shot placement. The meanest arrow that misses a vital organ is going to cause great suffering. Therefore the first general guideline is always to choose the highest poundage that can still be shot accurately. Accuracy should never be compromised in favour of penetration ability (PA) (or generally referred to as KE or momentum). The target species should then be limited as suggested by your set-up.

As a general rule of thumb, it is proposed to shoot with the heaviest arrow that still attains about 240-250fps. A quicker arrow will not be a safeguard from string jumping (where the animal being shot at tries to escape when hearing the bow or arrow's sound), instead the best protection is to limit the distance of the shot (or to make the bow as quiet as possible). The effect of increasing the speed or decreasing the distance will theoretically have the same influence on the animal's time to react. However, to gain speed a compromise with lower arrow weight or higher draw weight has to be made, which in turn effects penetration ability (PA) or accuracy.


This equation, SABA applied to archery, not with the purpose to calculate penetration, but for investigating the relationship between speed and weight and its correlation to penetration. The result of investigating penetration into bone tissue, showed a relationship between weight, speed and penetration (Fast Arrow) that exactly mirrored weight x speed squared, or kinetic energy. Penetration into soft tissue was totally different and there the relationship closely resembled momentum: weight x speed to the power (Heavy Arrow) of 1.3, where momentum is of course weight x speed to the power of 1. This clearly demonstrates the reason why different researchers favour different indicators (momentum vs. kinetic energy) as penetration indicators.

Approximation of energy needed to break a rib per animal mass:

Animal weight energy needed

10 12

50 19

220 29

1060 45

5000 70

NB. Which emphaticallyproves that 3 bladed broadheads are better than 2 or 4 bladed ones where lethality is concerned, unless penetration is needed, for which 2 blader’s are better, and unless you get pass-through, in which case 4 blader’s are better?


NB.If you do get pass-through, the best broadhead is always the one that cuts the largest cutting surface (blade count x cutting diameter), and just falls out of the animal at the other side. If you frequently get pass-through, you can consider going bigger with the broadhead.



South Africa has chosen the arrows kinetic energy as a rule for the various sizes of game. (we expanded it to include mass and velocity)

Category : Small antelope’s ex. Blesbuck

mass(gr) : 300

velocity(fps) : 200

Kinetic Energy : 25

momentum% : 27


Category : Midsize antelope’s ex. Kudu, Warthog

mass(gr) : 350

velocity(fps) : 230

Kinetic Energy : 40

momentum% : 36


Category : Large antelope’s ex. Eland, Gemsbok

mass(gr) : 500

velocity(fps) : 235

Kinetic Energy : 60

momentum% : 52
 

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My 15 year old is going to take his bow this June to South Africa with me. Unfortunately, I know squat about bows. The country information requires 40 ft/lbs kinetic energy with a minimum of a 400 gr arrow. How does that convert to draw weight? His bow can be tuned up to 60 lbs although he current is practising it set at 45 lbs. I am trying to figure out how high we should set it to meet the legal requirements. Thanks

Pheroze,

No official is going to come out and scale your son's bow or weigh his arrows. The minimum requirements should be regarded as recommeded guidelines for an ethical hunt.... Ethics alone should be the reason for having the right set-up for your hunting situation. 45 lbs of draw with a 350-400 grn total arrow weight should be just about right for good performance on most plainsgame animals. If he can shoot more poundage by June, that would be an added plus. However, no one should be drawing more poundage than they can handle comfortably and safely. As a rule of thumb, if he can sit cross-legged on the ground and draw his bow smoothly without contorting his body, he is shooting the proper draw weight.

My wife shoots 50lbs of draw @ 28" draw length. She shoots a 385 grn total weight arrow with a Muzzy MX-3 fixed blade broadhead. She gets complete pass-throughs on most animals with a properly placed shot... Which, by the way, will be key to your son's bowhunting success on African game. Have him study and practice shot placement on African game.....I don't care what ANYONE tells you, do not have him shoot a mechanical broadhead with that low of a draw weight. He will not be carrying the necessay amount of momentum, speed, or kenetic energy necessary to properly deploy an expandible broadhead. Any compact, heavy duty, cut-on-contact broadhead that flys true to his set-up will give him the best performance and reliability.

Best of luck to you and your son in June! I will look forward to seeing the trophy photos....
 

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