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African Animal of the Week: Bush Duiker [PICS]

bush duiker
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The bush duiker is a small species of antelope that lives in most of sub-Saharan  Africa. Read on to learn all about bush duiker hunting in Africa.

The diminutive bush duiker is a small species of antelope that is found in much of eastern and southern Africa. While they aren’t very large animals, they are relatively common across their distribution and are inexpensive to hunt.

Due to this, they are a great animal to pursue as a visiting hunter and along with the steenbok, are one of the most commonly hunted antelope in the Tiny 10.

Read on to find out more about these amazing little creatures.

Bush Duiker Description

Scientific Name: Sylvicapra grimmia also known as the grey or common duiker

Though there are several different species of duiker in Africa (such as the red, blue, and zebra duiker species), the bush duiker is by far the most common and widely distributed.

Mature bush duiker are about two feet tall at the shoulder and weigh around 30-50 pounds. Their coats are primarily brown, but they have a little bit of white on their bellies and neck along with some black hair on their face on their muzzle and near their eyes.

Duiker are very skittish animals and will quickly flee from trouble. Their method of fleeing, where they appear to “dive” into cover, is how they got their name. Because of this, the photo below demonstrates a common sight to many hunters in Africa.

trophy duiker hunting in south africa runningMales are territorial and when a dominant male dies, another will quickly move in and take over his territory. They are very adaptable animals and they eat a variety of different foods depending on what is available at the time.

trophy duiker hunting in south africa 2Bush Duiker Sex Determination

Luckily, it is pretty easy to distinguish between males (above) and females (below) when hunting bush duiker because only the males have horns.

Bush Duiker Shot Placement

When hunting duiker, I recommend aiming for the heart and lungs and trying to avoid the shoulder blade at all costs. If your shot is placed properly, the bullet will cause minimal damage to the animal’s hide and it will not make it very far after the shot.

When the animal is standing broadside, aim just behind the shoulder, about one third of the way up the body.trophy duiker hunting shot placement south africa

Recommended Calibers for Hunting Bush Duiker

Because duiker are such small, dainty animals, hunters should avoid high velocity, frangible bullets, as these will quickly ruin the hide on a duiker. Ideally, hunters would use lower powered cartridges, such as the .22 Hornet when hunting bush duiker.

With this in mind, perhaps the best load for hunting duiker is a .375 H&H loaded with non-expanding solids. This will reliably anchor the animal and cause surprisingly little damage to the animal’s hide or trophy.

A shotgun loaded with buckshot is also a good choice, due to their skittish nature and the short shooting ranges that are common when hunting bush duiker.

Since they are so small, hunters who want to bowhunt bush duiker can get away with using a lighter archery set up of an arrow weighing around 300 grains shot from a bow with at least a 45-pound draw weight.

However, it may be best to use a heavier set up while bow hunting duiker that will also enable you to hunt larger animals, such as eland or blue wildebeest without adjusting your bow or using different arrows.

Bush Duiker Hunting Methods

Virtually all bush duiker are taken while on foot via spot and stalk. In fact, the vast majority of all duiker are taken incidentally while hunting other animals, such as impala or kudu.

Cost to Hunt Bush Duiker

Even though bush duiker are relatively common animals across most of Africa, they are not in high demand among visiting hunters. This is probably due to the fact that they are so small and aren’t very visually impressive trophies. However, this means that they aren’t very expensive to hunt either.

Their trophy fee usually ranges from $300-$500, with an average of around $350 in most countries.

Ready to go bush duiker hunting?

Unless otherwise specified, all images from Big Game Hunting Adventures

Like what you see here? You can read more great hunting articles by John McAdams at The Big Game Hunting Blog. Follow him on Twitter @TheBigGameHunt.

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African Animal of the Week: Bush Duiker [PICS]