Big Game Bow Hunting
If you’re a bow hunter, you may have seen stories on TV about hunting in exotic locations, but have you ever considered that you could take your own trip to places like Africa, Alaska, or even all the way to New Zealand, just to go hunting. It may seem just too far or too expensive, but those that have felt the thrill of hunting exotic big game often can’t wait to go back again, and again.
Traditionally used as a term to refer to hunting Africa’s big five (lion, elephant, cape buffalo, leopard and the white rhino), the term ‘big game’ is now used to include a wide range of large animals in Africa and across the world, including tigers, antelope, moose, bears, and bison.
Big game hunting has a long human history. Cave paintings portray early man hunting mammoths in groups with spears or rocks. Two of the most popular hunting methods, using a tree stand or spot and stalk, are both popular with big game hunting. Blinds may also be used at some times of year, usually in the dry season when animals visit the watering holes more often.
In Africa, there are up to ten big game species available at any one time, and you can expect to shoot around six animals during a ten day hunt. You may not realize just how much variety you’ll find in both the animals and experiences. As well as those you hunt, there are other exotic animals you can simply enjoy being so close to.
Africa also offers a wide range of climate and terrain to give you the best experience available. Some private ranges are set up specifically for bow hunting, and so give the best quality game and conditions available. The main bow hunting season runs from late May, through to September/October, with July and August being the most popular months to visit. This is because they are the driest months, and so animals visit the watering holes often. Many of the animals rut in late May to June, and so this can also be an exciting time to hunt. hunting
Many visitors are surprised to find out how modern the infrastructure and accommodation is in some African countries, giving you all the comforts of home. There are also other hunts available for those who would like to experience the ‘old Africa’ and hunt in a more rugged environment, including hunting and tracking on foot. The climate and terrain of African ranges make them ideal for bow hunting with either method. Many groups and agencies now offer specialized guided tours for big game hunting. These tours often include guides who are highly experienced with big game hunting, and the type of animals in their particular area. They will also often have their own blinds or hides set up in the perfect places.
Before you’re getting ready to go, remember to check the minimum equipment requirements with your tour group. If you are not already, you should get comfortable with taking shots from hides and elevated positions. Shots can be made from around twenty yards, but follow up shots could also be made from more than thirty yards. When bow hunting in Africa, accuracy is definitely key