Africa Bowhunt Day 9
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Last Updated: Feb 22nd, 2007 – 18:37:03

Africa Bowhunt Day 9

By Matt Burrows

Sep 7, 2006, 04:08

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Gary diligently pursued gemsbok again.  Initially he and Hein sat in a treestand overlooking a salt lick back in the bush.  But the morning was very windy and the animals were very spooky and not moving much.  So then they decided to walk and stalk and saw many animals including zebra, gemsbok, wildebeest, impala, and a very big kudu bull.  Unfortunately, they were not able to get into bow range of any of these animals.

Then in the early afternoon, they moved to a waterhole blind but as luck would have it, the gemsbok were already there drinking when they drove up and never returned.  Some nice waterbuck bulls and a young kudu bull came in though.

waterbuck and kudu share some food

Joe was after kudu again but had luck with other quarry.  A young bull with incredible genetics came in but he was not a shooter.  Then a warthog sow came in and he made a perfect 20 yard shot and the pig only went 30-40 yards before piling up.

Joe takes a nice warthog

kudu bull comes in to water

Although Eric didn’t harvest anything today, he had a great day.  He had more than 50 different animals come into his waterhole including over 35 impala, kudu, gemsbok, zebra, and waterbuck but nothing he was interested in taking.

zebra congregate at the water hole

I hunted nyala today which I consider one of the most handsome animals in Africa.  They have spiral horns shorter than a kudu; dark, charcoal gray bodies with white stripes; tan lower legs; and long shaggy hair.  I would find out in the next couple of days that they are extremely wary also.

Hein set me up in a portable pop-up blind near a feeding station placed in the thick bush.  I sat all afternoon and a nyala ewe and young bull came in but no mature bulls.  A nyala ewe doesn’t look anything like a bull and you would think they are different species.  While the bulls are charcoal brown with long shaggy hair, the ewes are a gorgeous red color, have white stripes and short hair.  

Nyala ewe looks before she drinks

When Hein picked me up at dark, he was surprised I hadn’t seen any bulls.  After he initially dropped me off, he had seen three nice bulls within a couple hundred yards of the feeding station.  Oh well, maybe next time.

Tip of the Day

Judging trophy quality in Africa can be difficult because there are so many species to learn.  For kudu, any bull 50 inches or longer is a good, shooter.  The length of the horn is measured around the spiral of the horn rather than the straight-line length.  And a good bull will usually have two full turns on his horns with the tips pointing forward.  For gemsbok, both males and females have horns and the horns on a female are usually longer than on males.  A good gemsbok bull will have 32-inch or longer horns and a cow will have 36-inch or longer horns.  Bulls have bigger bases than cows and when broadside, you can usually see the penis sheath below the bull’s belly.  A good nyala is anything over 24 inches, a good waterbuck is anything over 26 inches, and a good impala is anything over 23 inches.

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