Though often overshadowed by the Big 5, hunting the tiny 10 species of pygmy antelope in Africa can be an extremely challenging and fulfilling experience.
The Tiny 10 is a group of pygmy antelope residing in southern Africa. All of these antelope are extremely small; the largest specimens weighing less than 50 pounds. Not only do they present a small target, but since they are so small and delicate, choosing the appropriate ammunition for hunting the Tiny 10 is extremely important. While much attention is focused on hunting the large and glamorous African species, like kudu and buffalo, hunting the Tiny 10 is an often overlooked, but an exciting, challenging, and fulfilling experience.
Since a high velocity expanding bullet can cause extensive damage to the hide of any of these antelope, many hunters prefer to use non-expanding solids, small caliber rimfire cartridges (where legal), or a shotgun. Additionally, all of the members of the Tiny 10 are shy and skittish. For some of these species, just spotting them while hunting can be difficult. Actually making a successful shot is even more challenging.
Add to this the fact that no country has all 10 species, successfully hunting the Tiny 10 can be an extremely difficult endeavor indeed.
View the slideshow to learn all about hunting the Tiny 10 in Africa.
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Also known as the steinbuck or steinbok, the steenbok is probably the most common of the Tiny 10. They may be hunted in Namibia, South Africa, Botswana, Mozambique, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. An average steenbok will stand around 20" tall at the shoulder and weigh around 20 pounds.
Because they are diurnal and relatively common, steenbok are probably the least difficult animal in the Tiny 10 to hunt. Usually, steenbok are hunted by spotting and stalking. They are pretty territorial, so even if the steenbok is spooked, you can probably return to the area later and still encounter the same steenbok.
Also known as the grey or bush duiker, the common duiker is also a relatively common member of the Tiny 10. The common duiker is resilient and is found in a wide variety of habitat, as long as their is sufficient vegetation for them to hide in. They may be hunted in South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe and the KwaZulu-Natal Province of South Africa are known for outstanding trophy quality common duiker. The common duiker is slightly larger than the steenbok, standing 23-25" tall at the shoulder and weighing 35-45 pounds.
Though they are diurnal in some areas, they can quickly become nocturnal in response to human activity. Common duiker are usually hunted by spot and stalk. Like steenbok, they are territorial, and will often be found repeatedly in the same area.
Oribi usually stand 20-26" at the shoulder and weigh 25-50 pounds. They inhabit grasslands and forests where the vegetation is not too thick. They live all over central and southern Africa and are commonly hunted in South Africa, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Zambia, Uganda, Namibia, and the Central African Republic.
Oribi are most active during the morning and evening. Because Oribi are commonly found in open plains, spotting and stalking is a very commonly used and successful hunting tactic. Shots on Oribi may be at longer range, so a flat shooting rifle is recommended.
The klipspringer is mainly found in South Africa, especially in the mountains of Cape of Good Hope, and all the way up to the northern mountains of Ethiopia. Their name literarily means "rock jumper" in Afrikaans. The reach 22" to the shoulder and mate for life therefore they are found in pairs rather than herds.
The Cape grysbok stands approximately 20" tall at the shoulder and weighs about 20 pounds. They are found only in the western Cape region of South Africa and inhabit regions of thick scrub brush there.
The Cape grysbok is difficult to hunt because they are predominantly nocturnal. Though they are sometimes active during the very beginning and end of the day, seeing one during daylight is rare. As a result, most hunters pursue them at night with the aid of a spotlight.
The Sharpe's grysbok is slightly smaller than the Cape grysbok and stands 18-20" tall at the shoulder and weighs about 15-20 pounds. They are found in rocky and hilly areas of eastern South Africa, Mozambique, northern Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawai, and Tanzania. Of these, Zimbabwe and Zambia.
Though they are primarily nocturnal and spend most daylight hours bedded in thick cover, they are not quite as difficult to hunt as the Cape grysbok and are encountered slightly more often during the day.
One of the smaller species of the Tiny 10, dik-dik normally stand 12-16" tall at the shoulder and weigh 5-15 pounds. Dik-dik prefer to live in shrublands and savannas, but they need a reasonable amount of (but not too much) cover. Presently, they may only be hunted in Namibia and Tanzania.
Dik-dik are difficult to hunt due to their shy and elusive nature, as well as their excellent eyesight. Taking advantage of their territorial nature and hunting over a watering hole or marking spot used by a dik-dik is probably the most reliable way to hunt them.
The red duiker, also known as the natal red duiker, is a relatively small antelope, standing just 17-18" at the shoulder and weighing 25-30 pounds. They inhabit thick forests in Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Mozambique, and South Africa. They are most commonly hunted in South Africa and Mozambique.
Even though they inhabit thick forests, red duiker are active during the day. The most common method of hunting them is to find a food source they are eating from and ambush them there. Since they are so small, and since shooting ranges are often very short due to the thick bush they inhabit, many hunters use a shotgun when hunting the red duiker.
Standing just 10-14" tall at the shoulders and weighing 8-10 pounds, the blue duiker is the smallest member of the duiker family and is one of the smallest antelope in the world. They inhabit very thick forests and are found in some parts of South Africa, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, the Central African Republic, Zambia, Cameroon, and the Congo.
Blue duiker are primarily diurnal and will readily respond to calls, which is the most effective way of hunting them. Like the red duiker, most hunters use a shotgun when hunting blue duiker.
Standing 14-15" tall at the shoulders and weighing 10-15 pounds, suni are another species that prefers to live in extremely thick cover. They are found in parts of South Africa, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and Tanzania. Of these, Mozambique has great hunting for the suni.
Since they are so shy, suni are rarely encountered by hunters. However, they are territorial. With this in mind, most hunters pursuing suni like to stake out a food source and wait for the antelope to come to them. That being said, most suni are taken incidentally by hunters looking for something else. The shotgun is also preferred for hunting suni, as most shots will be at very close range.
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