It’s not unusual for a hunter to open the lock box on his bakkie and pull out a Winchester M-70 as he prepares for the hunt. When it comes to crossbows, this is another matter entirely. Despite the personal preferences of hunters in Africa, crossbow hunting is a million dollar industry in the States. This is with good reason, and we explore those reasons here.
Spooked Game, Bad Recoil, and a Master’s Degree
Proficient hunters often tell you they’ve been in the game for a number of years. They started as a kid, and a parent or grandparent took them out back to practice their shooting on tin cans and old Coke bottles. This soon escalated to doves and dassies, and by the time they graduated from high school, they’d already landed their very first kudu. Their faces beam with pleasure as they relay the stories, but they don’t tell you how it took them years to get the hang of the recoil from the gun. In fact, it took a few bruises to get going.
Also, those long and arduous hours, and even days, waiting for game to pass your shelter because the last ring of a blast is still hanging in the air. Waiting for spooked game can be a difficult hunt, as their movements become very unpredictable.
Finally, they don’t tell you that it took hours and hours of practice to feel confident enough to pull that trigger. Once again that recoil becomes the biggest consideration as the kick takes a long time to master. Not just for the pain factor, but also to keep aim. The level of control to hit the target takes long.
Bowhunting Works In the States, But Will It Work in Africa?
With recent legislation changing favorably to those who want to nock their arrows, bowhunting is fast gaining momentum in Southern Africa. But before crossing the oceans in search of the best game, it’s important to have the right gear for the hunt. This ensures that the arrow, distance, and momentum is sufficient to land the prey. Deciding on the type of bow to use during the next hunt, will largely be determined by the quarry. The regulations are similar to many of the regulations in the States and will point the hunter in the right direction. This includes the minimum draw mass, kinetic energy, and arrow weight.