Africa Myth Buster #3 by Wade Nolan

Sponsored by: Driess Visser Safaris

By: Bowhunting Biologist Wade Nolan

In Africa Myth Buster part 3 we discuss the actual hunt and what gear you need to be successful; we will also discuss shot placement and trophy mounting options.

Q- Flying to Africa sounds like an adventure. How do I pull it off?
A – If you’re coming to Namibia with us you will need to fly all 8000 miles from Peoria or from where you hang your hat. You do have choices on flying. In the end, you’ll be flying into Hosea Kutako International Airport located in Windhoek. The airport is located about 23 miles out of town. We’ll meet you there and drive you to camp.
Routes to Windhoek Namibia include flying to Europe first then Air Namibia flies direct four times a week from Frankfurt Germany. The other route is via Johannesburg South Africa on Delta, SAA or KLM. You’re looking at about 18-20 hours of flying from the US. Cost is about $2000. Dries Visser’s hunting area is north of Gobabis in the South-West Kalahari. The drive to camp from the airport is 3+ hours.

Dries Visser and ranch manager, Zander Kruger, survey a remote section of the vast concession they bowhunt in the Western Kalahari or Namibia.

Q- What will the hunt look like on an hourly basis?
A – Breakfast at daybreak and in the blind by sun-up. You will sit at ground level in cool and totally enclosed masonry blind with one way glass and sliding windows. You will be able to see the water hole from your chair. Now we wait and watch. Lunch and snacks in the blind. Some days you may sit all day at one location or some days you may change blinds at midday.

This bowhunter took this zebra at midday. Zebra are among the wariest of all plains game.

Q – What kinds of wildlife may I see from the blind? Will there be variety?
A – I’ve seen monitor lizards come in for a drink. Occasionally a leopard or cheetah may drop by. Bird life is varied and will be totally new to your eyes. There are Grey Louries who will make a racket and flocks of Ginnie fowl sometimes drop by that may number in the hundreds. Then beautiful flycatchers will float in on the morning breeze and they may be as colorful as a rainbow. Francolin, a grouse-like bird will visit for a drink and add their loud call to the ambiance of the waterhole.

A Cheetah family slipped into this waterhole near a water tank and got a drink. The variety of wildlife is amazing.

Some days baboons will troop in and other days it will be only plains game. Zebras will come in cautiously and it make them an hour to move 100 yards. Gemsbok will usually be seen in small herds. Kudu females and calves will come alone and then the bulls in bachelor groups will arrive. Wildebeest are usually be in herds as will Impala. In the fall the Impala bulls will be roaring like European Red Deer. The huge Eland will approach in a herd and the big bulls will remind you of Brahma Bulls with long legs. I have had 100 animal days while sitting at a single blind.

Eland typically approach the water holes in a herd. It is common to have the bulls follow the cows in to water.

Q – Will I ever have a day when I can sleep in and hunt only after lunch?
A – Yes. The hunting is sometimes so good that you may take two animals in a single day and you may want to relax the next morning and only hunt the afternoon.

Q – How will I know what animals are suitable trophies?
A – A guide will be with you. The 1X1 hunts mean that the guide is always present. You will be briefed on what constitutes a trophy animal so you will know what to look for. If this is your first trip to Africa I recommend following the advice of your professional hunter.

Q – How far are the shots?
A – The shots are uniformly close. The waterholes are all set so you can have a20 yard or less shot at any animal getting a drink. If you are patient, you will get easy shots at broadside plains game at 20yds or less.

Even the spooky warthogs will come in for a drink and if your patient you will get a broadside 20 yard or less shot at a big boar like the one facing the blind.

Q – What bow gear do I need to bring?
A – Your whitetail set-up will work just fine. If you can pull 60# it will insure better penetration. These are not thick-skinned animals so you don’t have to imaging you are hunting Alaska-Yukon Moose. Dries shoots a compound and so do most hunters. We have taken many guys who shoot traditional equipment and they can do just as well as the compound guys.

Q – How accurate should I be shooting before I arrive?
A – You need to be able to consistently hit an orange at 20 yards. Shooting at real animals will rattle you a bit so if you can shoot 4-inch groups in practice you will be on target from the blind.

Accurate shooting is required if you are going to take down a Kudu with a single arrow. A kudu is as big as a bull elk.

Q – What about broadhead selection?
A – Any fixed blade broadhead at least one inch wide that you can group with will be adequate. Mechanicals are legal in Namibia. The bigger the cut the better your chance of recovering the animal. You will be charged a trophy fee for all hit and unrecovered animals.

Q – What about arrow type and weight?
A – You should consider an arrow whose total weight is 400-450 grains. This will carry enough kinetic energy when shot from a 60# compound to pass through most plains game. Most hunters utilize a carbon arrow although wood arrows are legal and may be the choice of some traditional hunters.

Q – Is shot placement different on African Plains Game than it is on a whitetail deer?

A – Yes. As a rule the vitals of plains game is far forward and as a result you must hold straight above the front leg/ body juncture and place the shot in the V beneath the shoulder blade. There is a great book in this topic called, “The Perfect Shot” by Kevin Robinson. Dries and his guides also have some illustrations they use to school you on shot placement. Broadside of quartering away are of course the best shots and the only shots you should ever take.

This Black Wildebeest with amazing bosses will make a great trophy for the wall. The head skinner and his staff are masters at trophy prep and will insure that tour trophies are taken care of properly.

Q – What about taking care of my trophies in campo and getting then home?
A – Dries Visser has a trained staff of experienced skinners who will carefully process your animal and get it ready to be shipped. You can choose shoulder full body or European mounts. Your trophies are then transferred to a dip and ship agent who will prep your trophies for export to the US. There are also a number of quality taxidermists who can mount your animals in Namibia and then crate and ship them to you in the US.

For questions on bowhunting Namibia email me at; bowhuntnamibia@gmail.com

For more go to:  Dries Visser Safaris

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