Arrowfest in Africa
By Rick Mowery
Aug 19, 2009 – 10:40:21 AM
|Author with Record Bood Waterbuck.
Africa – the big game hunting ‘Mecca’. More and more African outfitters are gearing their set ups toward bowhunters. At Shingani Safaris in South Africa, bowhunting has become a large part of their business. Owner, Riaan Vosloo has gone so far as to become an accomplished bowhunter himself. This is important when choosing an outfitter because it gives them an insight to what bowhunters need in both blinds and set ups. Riaan ‘gets it’!
Currently there seems to be an uptick in interest to bow hunt the dark continent. I was invited to Shingani by my close friend and bowhunting veteran, Bill Epeards of PSE. Of course I jumped at the opportunity. Bowhunting Africa is a dream many believe is unobtainable. That’s what I thought. To my surprise, it was no more expensive than a western Elk hunt. Add in the chance to share camp with guys like Bill, Mike Ingold and Jimmy Houston – Done Deal!
|This Jackel will ‘yip’ no more.
We were met in South Africa by Jaco Vosloo, Riaan’s brother and fellow PH (Professional Hunter). Jaco’s main experience is with dangerous game, Lion, Cape Buffalo and Leopard. Every hunter is assigned a PH and Jaco was assigned to me. A stroke of luck that soon paid off in a plains game ‘Arrowfest’!
|Another great trophy when this Gemsbok laid down.
The hunting was a bit tough due to the recent rainfall and a full moon, but I managed to take a Jackal on the second day to break the ice. Come to find out, the Jackal was an pretty elusive trophy. The Gemsbok I took on the fourth day, ending with a stalk to within 10 yards. I shot an Impala on Day 5 but ran out of light for the recovery. It was eaten by brown hyenas by the time we got to it the next morning; it gave me a chance to see the amazing trackers at work, and to spend a few hours in the bush. It was really interesting having Jaco paint the picture of what was happening just from the tracks. They follow ‘tracks’ not blood. They found that jackals had pushed the impala and the hyenas ate him completely, except for the head. It all happened pretty fast. Nothing goes to waste or dies of old age in Africa.
|What’s left after a night in the bush.
I shot the Waterbok on the last day, thanks to the advice I received from Mike Ingold. Everybody comes to Africa with a ‘list’, which is fine, but keep it flexible. Mike said, “If an animal gives you the shot, take it and revise your list.” Great advice since a Waterbok wasn’t on my list. The Waterbok’s kept being chased off the waterhole by three rhinos. Finally, the big one came in. Jaco said, “NICE”! That was all I needed to hear. He presented the shot, I took it and he went about 80 yards. These animals are tough as boot leather! They don’t give up. He went 80 yards on a heart shot! The Waterbok green-scored 77 inches; the horns were (L)29 inches, (R)29.25 inches with a 9.5-inch base diameter.? He should make the SCI record book, I revised my list!
The people are wonderful, the scenery is breathtaking and the animals are amazing. Every bowhunter should hunt Africa at least once. An incredible experience!
My African gear consisted of a PSE X-Force bow, Bohning Phoenix quiver, HHA Optimizer sight, Rip Cord rest, Rage 2-blade broadheads, a TruBall release, Carbon Express Aramid KV arrows featuring Lumenoks and of course Bohning Blazer vanes, as well as Sitka Outerwear, Under Armour base layers, and Irish Setter boots. And I got the shot with the Roscoby Riser Cam.
Look for a complete chronicle of this exciting hunt with outfitter Shingani Safaris in an upcoming episode of Dead Down Wind’s American Archer. To book a hunt, contact Riaan Vosloo at www.shingani.com. You will have the hunt of a lifetime!
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