Tiny 10?

dmyers

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What is the attraction of hunting the smallist African antelope? For those that have really targeted them, what was the hunting experience like? How did they taste? Would you hunt them again? Curious.
 

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What is the attraction of hunting the smallist African antelope? For those that have really targeted them, what was the hunting experience like? How did they taste? Would you hunt them again? Curious.
So far I have hunted Steenbok, Common Duiker, Klipspringer and Sharpe’s Grysbok.
For me, there are a number of appealing things about hunting the tiny antelope. It is somewhat difficult to lump them together as the individual experiences can vary quite a bit, but challenging and just plain fun pretty much fit them all.
In the area that I hunted for Steenbok and Duiker, both should have pretty much been a slam dunk. Lots of the little guys, except when we started hunting them. Then it seemed all the mature rams had vanished. My PH said to me one day, “you know what the best way to find a big Steenbok is?” All ears, I said “no, what?” “Shoot a small one” he says laughing! Walked right into that one.
Klipspringer are usually hunted in the rocky hills and are an absolute blast to hunt, especially if you enjoy mountain hunting. I will definitely hunt Klipspringer again.
Shots may be longer for Klipspringer due to the hilly, rocky terrain. In my opinion a good Klippy ram makes an excellent trophy and a great mount, especially a lifesize mount. Lots of cool stuff can be done with the habitat for a lifesize Klipspringer.
Grysbok in the area I hunted, and I think in general, tend to be more targets of opportunity. They are very shy and will hold up in the thick grass and brush until you almost step on them. They live in a tiny area which they claim as thier home range amd if you spot a ram there at some point, you can come back and look for him as he is likely to be in an area of only a hundred yards square or so.
All of the small antelope I have eaten have been excellent. Steenbok and Duiker seemed very similar tasting. Mild, but flavorful and tender. My favorite was Klipspringer. The meat had a slight hint of taste like the smell of the vegetation they lived in. I thought it was excellent. All three of these we ate the backstraps grilled on the braii. The way it should be! :)
Grysbok taste a lot like paper. Ever heard of tag soup? :D Yeah, I didn’t get one.
Seriously, I’m sure they are excellent eating as well.
I used a 300 gr solid from a .375 H&H on all of these and would definitely recommend this set up. Just pokes a tiny little hole and doesn’t ruin meat or cape.
A word of warning though. Once you start hunting these little guys you may not be able to stop. Don’t let that deter you, just go with it and have fun!
 
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Hank2211

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I have shot 8 of the ten - all except suni and Sharpe's grysbok.

I hadn't planned on chasing these little guys, but once I got started, the challenge kept me going. First, of course, is the size. While the ten cover a relatively broad range of sizes, with the common duiker likely the largest (still not a large animal), they generally run pretty small, with antelope like the blue duiker and the suni fitting under the stomach of a common duiker. The kill zone on a kudu is at least a dinner plate in size, while on a klipspringer is more like a few square inches. Many are smaller than the grass they hide in, so are not easy to see. You might see ears . . . and then have to try to decipher where the body is if you want to take a shot. So they are a challenge to shoot. Oh, and by the way, unless you brought a big rifle with solids, or a small rifle, your ordinary plains game rifle like a .300 tends to blow them up. So you need to pick your shot even more carefully to try not to hit bone.

Secondly is the places you need to go to find them. Game ranches may have some naturally occurring, but they aren't typically - or at all - bought at auction, moved around, fenced in or found outside of their native areas. If you want a blue duiker, the place to go is the Eastern Cape. A red duiker? Natal. A Damara dik-dik? Damaraland in Namibia (although you might be able to cheat a bit if you got, say, a Salt's dik-dik in Ethiopia). Suni are found in sandy areas, mostly in Moz and relatively limited parts of South Africa. Klippies can be found in mountainous areas, but not on lower areas. Steenbok, on the other hand, are the opposite. Oribi are found in open areas in a few countries, but outside of West Africa, pretty much in South Africa, where permits are hard to come by. Grysbok are generally seen only at night, so you need to be in a place which allows night hunting.

Thirdly, the tiny ten are on the dinner menu for just about every predator from the biggest to many of the smallest, and are even predated upon by raptors. So they tend to be very skittish and have developed a sixth sense about danger. Some freeze if they see you, for a few moments at least, on the theory that you can't see them if they aren't moving (which is often correct), but none of them tend to stand still for very long.

As you can see, getting all ten is more than a matter of money (which some would say is about all you need to get the big five). It takes time, opportunity, a fair degree of skill, and a lot of luck.

As for eating - I haven't had one which I'd have said was great eating!
 

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Many hunters dismiss the smaller antelope species at first. Then later they decide they are intriguing. For me I appreciated them from my very first safari and now I’m on a mission to complete the Tiny Ten. My recent safari was seeking Suni, Red Duiker, Cape Grysbuck, and Blue Duiker. I only wound up with the Red Duiker and Cape Grysbok. The attraction to me is obviously that they are unique animals but also and maybe more importantly that they come from vastly different ecosystems. Yes some are common and range across Africa but others like the Damara Dik Dik are unique to Northern Namibia. The Kilpspringer lives in the rocks and is an amazing little animal and I could go on and on. I am seeking a Blue Duiker, Oribi, Suni, & Sharps Grysbuck to complete my Tiny Ten.
Regards,
Philip
 

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OP, you have just received three great answers.

Oribi, crawling on my belly in short grass with my nose rubbing the ground to get anywhere near the ram was challenging.
Red Duiker, calling the little devil while sitting in thick cover waiting for a response. Elk at least call back and let you know they are coming (most of the time). Sudden appearance assessment and then shoot quickly. I've walk and stalked these guys and they are nothing but a little orange blur. Try it.

Blue Duiker, I shoot shotguns a lot and could have chosen this method to hunt. The detraction for me, although it would be exciting to take a driven animal with a quick snap shot, was the inability to judge the trophy size (I wanted a Rowland size :) ). I sat in wait in thick cover with a bow. Hank is spot on with how jittery they are. I nearly missed at 12 yards because the little guy heard the arrow coming. Luckily, the arrow was quick enough and I aimed slightly low in anticipation of the reflexes I was up against.

Steenbok, They are everywhere until you want one. They don't get big by being stupid.

Dik Dik, Once you get to the location, they are not the hardest to hunt. But, I hunted them where they were very well managed in their native habitat. It all seems easy when the property and game is well managed, no matter what country you hunt.


Calling a Klippie in close is right up there on my list.
Grysbok with my bow!

Now I want to go hunting!
 

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On my first two safari's steenbok were on my list but down at 4-5 after other animals. Saw some really good ones but always at the wrong time- like while stalking other game. When I actually looked for one, a good steenbok ram has been harder to find then kudu bull (for me!). I think a bedded steenbok ram would make an excellent mount.

Anyone have any good photos of trophies or mounts they can share? Especially if you have a bedded steenbok mount!
 

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My experience has been, when I travel to new places to hunt new and different species, I want all endemic species available. For instance; CAR, I wanted all the Duikers I could. I killed a Western Bush Duiker, Red Flanked Duiker and a Yellow Back Duiker. They are all just part of the experience. THAT is why continue to preach for folks to not get "comfortable" hunting one place with one guy.

See Africa...explore all she has to offer and take those offerings when offered. There are usually at least a couple of the "Tiny Ten" available anywhere you go.

Mine are; Not really sure if these are ll considered "Tiny Ten" but to me they are.

Vaal Rhebok
Oribi
Natal Red Duiker
Common Bush Duiker
Blue Duiker
Klipspringer
Sharps Grysbok
Yellow Back Duiker
Western Bush Duiker
Red Flanked Duiker
Steenbok
Suni
 

Hank2211

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Many hunters dismiss the smaller antelope species at first. Then later they decide they are intriguing. For me I appreciated them from my very first safari and now I’m on a mission to complete the Tiny Ten. My recent safari was seeking Suni, Red Duiker, Cape Grysbuck, and Blue Duiker. I only wound up with the Red Duiker and Cape Grysbok. The attraction to me is obviously that they are unique animals but also and maybe more importantly that they come from vastly different ecosystems. Yes some are common and range across Africa but others like the Damara Dik Dik are unique to Northern Namibia. The Kilpspringer lives in the rocks and is an amazing little animal and I could go on and on. I am seeking a Blue Duiker, Oribi, Suni, & Sharps Grysbuck to complete my Tiny Ten.
Regards,
Philip
Philip, you need four. I need two. Race to the finish? I will spot you one, because I'm a nice guy . . .

@dmyers, note that @BRICKBURN goes after many (all?) of his with a bow! Now that's hard!
 

Philip Glass

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Philip, you need four. I need two. Race to the finish? I will spot you one, because I'm a nice guy . . .

@dmyers, note that @BRICKBURN goes after many (all?) of his with a bow! Now that's hard!
I love a contest! My problem is I’ve got to set up a specific hunt to do this final 4. I’ve got Namibia PG hunt end of May set up plus Mongolia end of August so my calendar is getting full for 2019.
I could get the Oribi in West Africa when I plan my Burkina Faso or Benin trip but that will be a couple years. It’s tough to get them all. Again I’d advise everyone that’s planning a safari to not pass up the indigenous animals where you are hunting. Otherwise later on you have to go back there for a specific animal.
I will recommend @Legelelasafaris for Tiny ten hunts. They can really make things happen in this regard.
Regards,
Philip
 

IvW

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My experience has been, when I travel to new places to hunt new and different species, I want all endemic species available. For instance; CAR, I wanted all the Duikers I could. I killed a Western Bush Duiker, Red Flanked Duiker and a Yellow Back Duiker. They are all just part of the experience. THAT is why continue to preach for folks to not get "comfortable" hunting one place with one guy.

See Africa...explore all she has to offer and take those offerings when offered. There are usually at least a couple of the "Tiny Ten" available anywhere you go.

Mine are; Not really sure if these are ll considered "Tiny Ten" but to me they are.

Vaal Rhebok
Oribi
Natal Red Duiker
Common Bush Duiker
Blue Duiker
Klipspringer
Sharps Grysbok
Yellow Back Duiker
Western Bush Duiker
Red Flanked Duiker
Steenbok
Suni

Tiny Ten Species
• Damara Dik-Dik
• Blue Duiker
• Common Duiker (also called Gray Duiker or Bush Duiker)
• Red Forest Duiker (also called Red Duiker, Natal Duiker or Natal Red Duiker)
• Cape Grysbok (also called Southern Grysbok)
• Sharp's Grysbok (also called Northern Grysbok)
• Klipspringer
• Oribi
• Steenbok (also known as Steinbuck or Steinbok)
• Suni

The only one not availible in SA is the Damara Dik-Dik

Locally we add Vaal Rhebuck and Mountain Reedbuck. All great to hunt.
 

neckdeep

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I have three, grey duiker, klipspringer, and Oribi. I find some of them very tough to collect. I don't know how one gets a Grysbok, I was on the sticks in Zim on one, but couldn't identify sex till he was leaving, they don't seem to hang around for long. I went to Mozambique in September and saw countless oribi and took a great ram as my first Mozambique animal. Saw Grysbok, a few Suni, and there are Red Duiker in the area along with Common which we saw daily. Further south you can take the Blue Duiker and Suni in the same area. I will be on the look out for the Tiny Ten on any trip I take, hopefully taking a few along the way.

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Hank2211

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I love a contest! My problem is I’ve got to set up a specific hunt to do this final 4. I’ve got Namibia PG hunt end of May set up plus Mongolia end of August so my calendar is getting full for 2019.
I could get the Oribi in West Africa when I plan my Burkina Faso or Benin trip but that will be a couple years. It’s tough to get them all. Again I’d advise everyone that’s planning a safari to not pass up the indigenous animals where you are hunting. Otherwise later on you have to go back there for a specific animal.
Regards,
Philip
I'm not sure you've outlined a good reason not to make this a contest! I'm in Cameroon in January for LDE . . . and have no hunts planned past that . . . but I see a basis others beginning to form! You just need to hunt more!
 

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I have three, grey duiker, klipspringer, and Oribi. I find some of them very tough to collect. I don't know how one gets a Grysbok, I was on the sticks in Zim on one, but couldn't identify sex till he was leaving, they don't seem to hang around for long. I went to Mozambique in September and saw countless oribi and took a great ram as my first Mozambique animal. Saw Grysbok, a few Suni, and there are Red Duiker in the area along with Common which we saw daily. Further south you can take the Blue Duiker and Suni in the same area. I will be on the look out for the Tiny Ten on any trip I take, hopefully taking a few along the way.

Nice Ram! Love the DU hat as well. My olive DU hat has seen all great African hunting moments.
 

dmyers

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I've heard of and seen video of calling them (smaller antelope) in- especially in the thick cover. Anyone done this? And this is possibly for another thread - but has anyone heard of calling in plains game other then the "tiny 10" like you would a moose or rattle/grunt in a whitetail in N. America?
 

Hank2211

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I've heard of and seen video of calling them (smaller antelope) in- especially in the thick cover. Anyone done this? And this is possibly for another thread - but has anyone heard of calling in plains game other then the "tiny 10" like you would a moose or rattle/grunt in a whitetail in N. America?

I’ve seen various bush duiker called in, in the jungles of Cameroon. A PH I know claims he can call in ostrich, though why you’d want to is a mystery to me. He refused to show me, since he knows I shoot the revolting things on sight.

As for “plains game”, I’ve hunted with Christophe Mario in Benin, who calls in buffalo. I got one just that way!
 

IvW

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I've heard of and seen video of calling them (smaller antelope) in- especially in the thick cover. Anyone done this? And this is possibly for another thread - but has anyone heard of calling in plains game other then the "tiny 10" like you would a moose or rattle/grunt in a whitetail in N. America?

Just about all duiker can be called in and is employed by more experienced hunters. Just be careful if there are predators in the vicinity as you could easily have jackals, caracal, hyena(brown and spotted), leopard and lion respond and come in to investigate, especially when calling in thick bush where most of the bush duikers reside. It can be quite a rush when you are expecting a red duiker to come in and a leopard pops it's head out!

Bush pig will also come in on these calls, even in broad daylight.

We often hunt bush pigs either with dogs, on bait or by just slowly hunting in maize or orchards. Nothing gets the sounder aggressive and coming in like a small pig squealing, often resulting in the need to get out of there in a hurry!

As mentioned Buffalo can also be called, either to stop or to come closer.

Not quite the same as calling but, I have a small critter call that I use to get animals to stop or stand up when hunting. I find that it works much better than trying the old whistle technique.
 

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I'm not sure you've outlined a good reason not to make this a contest! I'm in Cameroon in January for LDE . . . and have no hunts planned past that . . . but I see a basis others beginning to form! You just need to hunt more!
Always true!
 

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Strongly agree with the idea of hunting them whenever they are indigenous to the area. By doing that, I have taken common duiker, red duiker, suni, steinbok, and oribi.
 

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Of the "Tiny 10", which would be everyone's top 3?

I feel myself getting sucked in to giving it a go!
 

Philip Glass

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Strongly agree with the idea of hunting them whenever they are indigenous to the area. By doing that, I have taken common duiker, red duiker, suni, steinbok, and oribi.
Where did you get the Oribi?
 

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