July Bowhunting Safari


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Jan 19, 2024
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The bowhunting area doesn’t get a lot of post so I’m going to start one that will be a blog/idea/gear of or upcoming trip.

I’ll start it where I started. I’ve always wanted to hunt in Africa since since the days of VHS tapes and seeing people hunt the dark continent. I’m 44 years old and remember the days well before the internet and YouTube and thinking I would never be able to hunt anywhere outside of the deer lease in Georgia. But now I have been able to travel all over the USA and hunt deer, elk, bear, mule deer, alligators, and wild hogs. So if y’all want to follow along on the next adventure across the world I’ll post it here.

This new adventure started last summer when we went to a Whitetails Unlimited Banquet. There was an auction for a trip to South Africa for 4 people and 4 animals. 2 hunters and 2 observers for 4 day. We could kill 2 warthogs and 2 impalas. I won the auction for very cheap in my opinion($600). We have added 2 more days of hunting and 2 more days of touring Kruger National Park. So the people going are me, my wife and our 16 year old daughter. We leave on the 4th of July and will start hunting on the 6th. My wife and I will celebrate our wedding anniversary on the 5th in Johannesburg. Then fly to polokwane the next morning to start our hunt. My daughter and I will be hunting and my wife will be there to enjoy all Africa has to offer.

So on to the bow hunting parts and our gear. I’ll make future post with pictures and better gear decisions but for now our setups:

Sara: Bowtech Soultion SD. 60lbs, 23.5” draw length, Easton Axis 500 spine with brass inserts, ironwill collars and 100 grain broadhead for a total arrow weight of right at 400 grains.

Slaton: Bowtech Allegiance( same bow and arrow set that I’ve take all over North America for a very long time. I love this bow. It’s a 2007 model and have had plenty of new bows but this one is a killer and trust will get the job done) 72# with 448 grain Easton 3/71 A/C/C’s and the same 100 grain broadheads. At 28 1/2” draw.

We will take plenty of broadheads including Iron will solids, Iron Will wides, QAD exodus, Slick Trick Mags, Grim Reaper Hades Pros, Magnus Black Hornets, Magnus Stingers, VAP’s and probably some more. We like trying different things.

The animals on the list include Kudu, Impalas, Warthogs, Gemsboks, Zebras, Baboons, and anything else Africa might offer up. Sara really wants a Baboon. It’s her #1 animal. For me I just want to sling some arrows. We have talked with the PH about culling animals and he said he would have plenty that he need gone so we are open to it all.

So if you have read this far and want to keep hearing me rambling on in our excitement I’ll keep posting as we build arrows and gather gear for our trip.
You're going to have a great time. I'm also 44 years old and have done 3 safaris so far. 2 bowhunting and one bow/rifle combo. I too have done a safari with my wife and 2 daughters. You're going to love every minute. Good luck and I can't wait to see your pictures of your safari.
Working on Sara’s arrows. Easton Axis 500’s, 24” long with 50 grain brass inserts and waiting on Iron Will 10 grain collars. Total arrow weight will be right at 400 grains.

We have upped her draw weight from 52 to 60lbs and added 35 grains to her arrows.

She has had pass throughs on pigs and deer with her previous setup.

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She is a killer with her bow. She killed her first deer and pig at 11. This last year she has killed an alligator, deer and pigs.

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Your setups will work. African game will jump the string even more than a jumpy whitetail. So a quiet bow is important also. Don’t shoot past 20 yards and you’ll be fine.

Aim towards the bottom of a warthog allowing for them to drop at the shot.
This warthog was drinking water and standing 90 degrees from the camera angle. You can see my arrow was entering behind the shoulder as he dropped and spun. Reducing penetration.

My recurve bow was 49# and even with the pig spinning as the arrow was still penetrating it still hit the off shoulder. This pig was completely distracted and drinking. And still jump the string with a quiet recurve.
I have that same bow and just recently had it restrung from its original string. As you say, it's a killer and I just can't make myself get rid of it.

Impala, and most every small species such as duiker, steenbok etc are string jumpers. I actually saw a video once where a duiker was drinking head-on on and PH wanted the guy to take that shot bc if it dipped, the arrow would still hit solidly between the shoulder blades going down with the angle. It worked for that guy on that shot, but not sure I'd be that confident in that shot.

Are you prepared for 12 hr sits in a "hide" or do you have other plans? On my first couple trips, I drove around safari style 7-10 am, then got into the blinds over waterholes 10am-3pm to eat lunch, then back safari style 3pm-dark. I couldn't sit all day like that.

Good luck and get us a report when you return.
Gear- My last hunt was with 49#. I used 400 spine arrows with total arrow weight of 500 gr. COC BH's. No problems with penetration- try to keep shots w/I 20 yds. Shot placement is key. Vitals are forward on African game.

Take plenty of photos. You will throughly enjoy the Kruger tour. Again, have good camera with telephoto lens.

This is just your first trip of many- enjoy !!
It looks like you are set up for success. It is sure to be an unforgettable adventure.

I just returned from my first trip to Africa. We also purchased the hunt at an auction. It was incredible and we can’t wait to go back. That being said, a lot of things did not go to plan, particularly around using a bow. Without going into the whole story, I’ll give you a couple of pieces of advice.

First, communicate with the outfitter themselves before your trip. You are already talking with your pH, which is really going to help. We said, from the very beginning that we wanted to bow hunt, which the US representative and their website said they welcomed. When we got there we had a pH who had never bow hunted ever. Our first meeting with the outfitter, he spent the whole time trying to convince us not to bow hunt at all, and just use rifles. I think part of this was because this was a donated hunt. The only way the outfitter was making money was with a lot of additional trophy fees. Easy to do with a rifle, much more difficult with a bow.

Find out what species are available on the outfitters property versus what needs to be arranged or reserved. This was a big issue on our trip. Options were very very limited on the outfitters own property. Because of weather, searching for a wounded animal, and other landowners not answering their phones we did not get an opportunity to hunt several of the species on our list.
Last summer I took a very nice bull giraffe with a 68# Mathews shooting 805gn total arrow weight with 250gn Iron Will buffalo (no bleeder) broadhead. With a lighter arrow using 175gn Iron Will (with bleeder) I got a clean pass-through on a kudu cow (for a rifle case) and on a blue wildebeest it went through rib, lung, heart, lung, and far rib, puncturing the hide on the far side but the shaft not exiting the animal.

Have a ton of fun. Shot placement! Good luck staying awake in a blind while jetlagged LOL.
I’m really excited for you guys. It will be life changing for all of you. My only advice would be to stay away from the mechanical broadheads.

Also, you have to really fight your natural instincts with regards to aiming. The vitals sit more forward than whitetails. A perfect behind the shoulder shot on a whitetail is a lost impala.

Baboons are tough with a bow. They have eyes on the front of their head like us so they have depth perception. The can straight up see you in the blind. I’ve killed several by dropping completely out of sight and coming to full draw. I then pop up and shoot the instant my pin hits the target.

Great call on adding Kruger days.

There is a really good curios shop in poloqwane for buying trinkets to take home. Much better prices than Kruger or the airport.
I did a lot of bow hunting on my first safari in 2007 and had tremendous luck, it is fun to really sit out in the African wilderness for extended periods of time, the wind changing can clear a waterhole very quickly.

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FDP wrote on gearguywb's profile.
Good morning. I'll take all of them actually. Whats the next step? Thanks, Derek
Have a look af our latest post on the biggest roan i ever guided on!

I realize how hard the bug has bit. I’m on the cusp of safari #2 and I’m looking to plan #3 with my 11 year old a year from now while looking at my work schedule for overtime and computing the math of how many shifts are needed….
Safari Dave wrote on Kevin Peacocke's profile.
I'd like to get some too.

My wife (a biologist, like me) had to have a melanoma removed from her arm last fall.
Grat wrote on HUNTROMANIA's profile.
Hallo Marius- do you have possibilities for stags in September during the roar? Where are your hunting areas in Romania?