How To

Prepare to Expect the Unexpected on African Bowhunts

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Editor’s note: Avid bowhunter George Flournoy has made six safaris to Africa lasting more than 30 days and several other safaris with other hunters, videotaping their hunts. He helps hunters find the types of hunts they’re looking for on the Dark Continent. He advises them on what to take and what to leave at home, tells them what to expect and helps bowhunters pick the hunts that fit their pocketbooks.

Each African outfitter will tell you everything you want to hear. That’s why I suggest that when you begin to consider going to Africa to hunt, you talk to hunters who have been there with their bows several different times. Let them tell you of their experiences. One of the things you have to keep in mind is  that the governments in almost every country in Africa are very volatile. The hunting regulations in each country can change from year to year, month to month and often from day to day. For instance, you may be planning a safari to Africa, and just before you leave, your outfitter may lose his hunting concession from the government. Or, you may be on your way to Africa and discover that the hunting concession where you’ve planned to hunt only permits a certain number of Oryx or gemsbok antelope to be taken from that concession. The number of tags that they have permitted already may have been filled or perhaps there’s only one or two cape buffalo tags left. When you arrive at your final destination, all the tags may have been filled, and you may not be able to take one of the animals on your bucket list.

When you go to Africa, you have to be very flexible about what you want to hunt. Before you leave, put on your big boy pants and be willing to change if the situation changes. You have to expect that more than likely a few things will go wrong. If and when they do, you have to be flexible enough to not let the things that you can’t do anything about or change ruin your hunt. Instead, focus on what you can do.

One of the problems may be that when you arrive, there’s no government fuel available for your guide to take you where you need to go. There may be airline problems in the country that limit where you can hunt. You may have to spend two or three more travel days than you’ve planned, and those travel days may be taken off your hunt days. When you get off that plane, you have to ready to be flexible and have fun, regardless of any complications you encounter.

Africa is not like the United States–in most instances, you will think that you have stepped back in time 50 or 60 years. Deadlines and schedules may change. Also, understand there’s nothing you can do when plans don’t go exactly as you have them scheduled. Even though what’s happening isn’t your fault or the outfitter’s fault, things happen when you leave this country that usually don’t happen in this country. The payoff will be your ability to see hundreds and hundreds of animals and the enjoyment of a trip of a lifetime. Oftentimes, the unexpected is what creates the excitement for the bowhunter, and makes for a memorable African bowhunt.

Since 1971, Flournoy, who has shot PSE bows for 30 years, has been helping hunters find the type of African hunt and African game animals they want to take. For answers to any questions you may have about an African hunt, whether, you’re a first-timer or a veteran of many African bowhunts, Flournoy will be happy to help you. You can contact him at gflournoy@iglide.net or call him at 1-755-673-5513.

You’ll learn more-intensive hunting information and tips from nationally-known hunters in the new Kindle eBooks, “Bowhunting Deer: The Secrets of the PSE Pros” and “Jim Crumley’s Secrets for Bowhunting Deer” by John E. Phillips. Go to http://www.amazon.com/kindle-ebooks, type in the name of the book, and download it to your Kindle, and/or download a Kindle app for your iPad, SmartPhone or computer.

Images courtesy John Phillips

Any views or opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect those of OutdoorHub. Comments on this article reflect the sole opinions of their writers.