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.
For a bowhunter going to Africa for his first hunt, I recommend he take an impala, a water buck, a kudu, an eland, a gemsbok, a zebra, a steenbok, and a warthog. You’ll have an opportunity to take 10 to 12 plains game animals on most of these hunts. Most bowhunters will want a kudu, an impala, a warthog and a zebra. Second on the list may be a nyala or a gemsbok.
After the bowhunter’s first trip to Africa, after he’s taken some of the animals I’ve listed, the second- or third-time bowhunter usually will choose a dangerous game animal, like a leopard or a cape buffalo. As of this writing, Cape buffalo hunts are usually offered in Mozambique, in South Africa and under special permits in Tanzania and Zambia. Dangerous game in Zimbabwe is not currently offered at this writing, but this is subject to change.
I believe that the best free-range buffalo hunts right now are the swamp hunts in Mozambique. The hunt will cost $20,000 to $25,000 for a cape buffalo, including cape buffalo safari and trophy fee. One of the big advantages of hunting in Africa is that there is a tremendous incentive there for your outfitter and the government that you are in a place that you want to be. In most countries, the trophy fee is divided equally between the outfitter and the government.
I also want to advise you that you need to make sure that you take the best shot possible. In Africa, if you shoot an animal with your bow, and that shot is “in the blood,” then whether you recover that animal or not, you will have to pay the trophy fee for it. So, before you go, make sure that your bow and arrow set up is equipped to take the animals you plan to hunt. I have taken zebra, three cape buffalo, a gemsbok, and quite a few other animals in Africa with my bow. At one time I had taken the world’s record steenbok, a small animal that weighs about 15 to 18 pounds and has about 5- to 8-inch horns.
I hope that my next trip to Africa will be with a first-time bowhunter. If I could have the ideal hunt for me, this would be the hunt that I would want to go on, and I might go on that type of hunt next year. I would love to go with one or two first-time bowhunters to Africa, because the first-time bowhunter has so much enthusiasm about seeing all the wildlife and the different birds and animals that come in to a water hole. I love spending evenings around the campfire, after the hunt, when you have young, first-time bowhunters to Africa in camp with you. They have all the enthusiasm that I remember having on my first bowhunt to Africa. I do my own booking, now, for African hunts, and I try and help other hunters find the guides and animals they want. I never recommend a guide or outfitter that I’ll feel uncomfortable about taking my wife with me on the hunt.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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