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Z1 : Tony Dukes
Last Updated: Feb 22nd, 2007 - 18:37:03

African Bowhunt - Part 3
By Tony Dukes
Oct 29, 2005, 05:16

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After another pound gaining brunch of meat pies and fruit pastries, Adriaan, his 11 year old son A.J. and myself went back to look for Nyala or a Kudu cow for A.Js first bowkill attempt.

AJ Scores!

As the early of day started to heat up so did the waterhole. A whole lot of differant animals came in then came Kudu. There were several cows, calves and one fair bull. They got jumpy and ran from the waterhole several times before drinking. Most of them within 15 yards. Finally an old, dry, cow started a slow walk, close and broadside. A. J. with his  80# bow, held by a DRAWLOC  took deadly aim. He put the arrow through both lungs of the unsuspecting Kudu. A.J.s face was something great to see, only bettered by the pride and love that showed on his father's, my humble PH. Priceless!

Maybe just over 50 yards to the piled up Kudu. Something so great about seeing a boy and his father on the son's first bow kill. The skies of Africa continued to bless me.

We went back the blind we had set up where I shot the Hartebeest, The monitors had shown Nyala movement.

It was about 3pm when we got in the Double Bull at this location. We were very close to the water and some alfalfa that Adriaan had put out. In minutes warthogs and impala had smelled the alfalfa and were coming in. Wow, three Impala rams skirted the water to the right at about 25 yards. Two were monsters, over 24" Although I had impala already, when one like this appears you had better take the shot, for it may never come again. I drew, only to have bad angles, The rams, slowly walked out of range, never giving me the shot I wanted.

Looking like King Kong, the sky was blotted out by the monster Kudu bull. I was flabbergasted. I have seen a lot of kudu, but never such deep curls. Wow, I put on my release. The bull came in one way, faced dead away and drank then eased into a bunch of cows facing the other way. I kept telling Adriaan I could make the shot, he kept waving me off.

Kudos to the Kudo Killer

The bull stiffened up, his ears thrown back. "He' s going to run!" Whispered Adriaan, the bull taking a step forward as he tensed to spring and the arrow was off. Beautiful, complete passthrough a third the way up and tight in the shoulder. We went ahead and hi fived, for we knew this bull was down for keeps.

A half hour later, we followed a steady blood tack 40 yards to the enormous bull. The tape Andrien, another PH on THWANE had brought, went  55 inches! I was charged! I had not intended on taking a Kudu as I had taken one last trip but this was no ordinary Kudu. Beside I also got a bonus, I beat my brothers that went 52"

Harry Shelby, Famous PH out of Cairo in the 50's, credited for guiding Robert Ruark made the complete statement about Kudu. "A Kudu has the power to create a personality change in the hunter." Don't know a Kudu hunter that could disagree, it is like harvesting something from heaven.

An uneventful morning of baboon hunting had us fed and back in the blind a bit late the next day. I had dropped my bow and missed a guinea that morning. I was thinking I should have checked it again at the lodge.

Today, hunting with us would be Rean Steinkamp, editor of African Bowhunter and romantic traditionalist. I made his day with an arrow from Frank Addington Jr. and a signed photo from Glen St. Charles. He in proper S. African manner gave me a polished Kudu horn. The horn of the hunter."

Anyway, we had about everything come in except Nyala or zebra. A magnificent Blue wildebeest bound to go over 30." I had a 30 incher on the wall already. It was not one of the animals I had wanted the most. It was just nearly too dark to shoot, when, as only they can, a Nyala bull popped out of nowhere.

Nyala stops for a drink

When he turned broadside I drew. One thing about Nyala is there is not visible "SPOT" to shoot like elbow crease or hair line like other critters there. I put in one him in the low light and took my shoot. Nyala have a long main of hair that runs underneath them creating a bit of depth perception challenge. I watched the bright Lumenock and thought I had missed. The bull ran out about 20 yards, and spit out what it was grazing on and acted woozy. "Adriaan and Rean assured me he was hit. I could not maneuver with three of us in a Double Bull for another shot, the bull walked about 100 yards, slowly then bedded.

We eased out, and decided to eat, then come back where we saw Jackal tracks where the bull had bedded. They had jumped him. We would return in the morning hoping to find my Nyala with hair intact.

8 hours of daylight over 3 miles without blood, our trackers found the Nyala. They had lost tracks when Adriaan scanned the ever thick brush with my new Nikon Monarch's and saw the tip of the horns.


I was able to close within 35 yards and collect my trophy; You will never, ever see any kind of tracking skills that compare to these native trackers. It turned out; my bow had been knocked 4" left and 2" low. It didn't make me really feel better, because the Nyala was all that was on my mind.

It would be my last day and there wasn't much of it left. I had taken more animals than I had planned on, but had not got the animal that motivated me back to Africa the most, the zebra.

The trophy Zebra Toney wanted

Blessings seem to fall freely from the red African skies. Soon a small herd of zebras was making their slow approach. I like to have lost it. After 5 minutes of being in range and crossing or watering away. I was about to bust. Finally the lead stallion turned away and started to walk away, turning a little quartering, mainly broadside shot. I remember Keith Beam telling me to shoot where the strips form an upside down V on the soldier. The arrow buried to the fletch. The zebra spun, spun and collapsed. I was numb. I have not found the words that do justice to the emotion one fells when they touch their first zebra. I think it is best left to your imagination.

Last morning, we shot some guineas while hoping for baboons.

After brunch we decided to wrap up our day, it was finally getting hot, hunting warthogs. I had a friend that wanted a pair to mount in his Taxidermy shop.

One ugly critter

After seven Nyala bulls came in, the biggest over 30" and two bunches of zebra, warthogs began a constant procession. I arrowed 3, two boars and a dry female with exceptional tusks. Shot the rest of my arrows at franklin. We tracked warthog and called it a day. A good day, once again.

I have never hunted such a game/trophy rich ranch nor hunted with such a polite, competent professional than Adriaan Rall. I have been doing this over 30 years folks and he is the best. If you go to Africa you OWE IT YOURSELF to book with Adriaan. He is our sport in South Africa, the bowhunting frontier.

On the THWANE ranch you can bowhunt over 20 species of game. Adriaan can arrange to guide your bowhunt anywhere for anything in Africa. I could not recommend someone higher.

Email,  or  African bowhunter office . Info for booking hunts with Adriaan or hunting THWANE.

 Special Thanks to:

  • Double Bull Matrix, got incredible accolades from the professional hunting community, as always, the gotterdone! The brown color disappears in front of you.
  • Bowtech, I used the Bowtech Defender, the only cam bow I have ever liked. I have a 14 for 14 record going with all on film. Bowtech takes a lot of the worry about bowhunting for me, I just love them.
  • Nikon, without my Nikon rangefinder I would not have taken or made several shots, certainly the Gemsbok bull. I was testing a new 8X with amazing clarity and low light capacity.
  • Magnus new BUZZCUT 100 gr. broadhead. Got complete pass through at 56#'s on Kudu and Waterbuck. They fly perfect and have great penetration characteristics, far superior to other serrated edge heads I've used. Nothing to go wrong.
  • Carbon Xpress, Maxima 250 arrows. Never a problem, love the way they fly.
  • Trueflight Feathers. because it looks like bowhunting!
  • LIMBSAVER by SVL,  never own a bow without them, great product, great people.
  • Wildlife Research Center, soaps and scent spray. Always makes a difference.
  • LUMENOCK, making the flight of the arrow more exciting.
  • Eze Eye arrow crest, helping me see them.
  • SKB flight cases, used in the music world, wouldn't fly my gear in anything else, they also make camera and custom cases.
  • Predator Camo, works on the Double Bull eh? African's loved it.
  • African Bowhunter Magazine
  • Double Bull Archery TV show on Men's Ch.
  • Ted Nugent

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