Red Duiker Specialty Hunt - South Africa
Charles booked a short hunt with me in 2019 for a Red Duiker and due to the worldwide lockdowns was only able to set dates for 2022 when everything settled down.
Hunting Area: Soutpansberg Mountain
Rifles Used: Musgrave Mod 80 in .30-06 Springfield
W.W. Greener in 12 Gauge
Charles & Anja arrived in camp from Germany on the southern slopes of the Soutpansberg Mountain for their hunt. Not a lot of people know this, but the Soutpansberg Mountain Range is home to the Natal Red Duiker. For this hunt Charles didn't bring a rifle and used my .30-06 loaded with 167gr Peregrine VRG4 Bullets. This was the first time using these bullets on such a small animal and I must say they performed exceptionally well with no damage what so ever! Of to the shooting range and and both Charles & Anja was dead on target!
Red Duiker like to stay in the more 'tropical' part of the mountain, in the thickets and under the trees that forms a canopy. They respond well to a predator call and that's the most effective way to hunt them. The first couple of days we worked some areas calling some spots and mainly calling in females. On the morning of the third day we went to a spot we haven't been to yet and worked our way a couple of 100 yards into the thickets. We found a spot, set up and let everything calm down before I started blowing on the little caller. With the third or fourth call I noticed movement to my left and saw a Duiker looking straight at us. When a Red Duiker moves through a canopy where the sunlight barely get's through, it always looks so magical to me... I whispered to Charles there's a Duiker to our left while lifting by bino's to get a look at him, but he couldn't see anything as there was a tree blocking his view! I thought to myself, if we move now, this little Duiker is gone, but we had to try as he was not moving. I whispered to Charles again to take one step to his right then he'll be able to see it. Which he did, and by a miracle, the Duiker stood there like a statue. I lifted my bino's again to have another look at him, as I could see him better now as well, and just as I wanted to give Charles the go-ahead to take him, the shot went of... He said to me he could see horns through the scope and was confident it was a male so he took the shot. With a loud bang the little Duiker disappeared into the thickets, but left a clear blood trail to follow and didn't go 15 yards! Fortunately for us, it was a very nice old male Red Duiker!
The last couple of days we spend looking for a nice Impala for Anja and being it the end of May, we were in the middle of the Impala rut! Every now and again the silence of the bush was broken by Impala males snorting, blowing and running, trying to protect their herd and showing their dominance. Early one morning we spotted two males and a couple of Kudu in a large vlei clearing standing in the morning sun and made our way around and stalked in closer. We came in close and I opened the sticks and Anja put the rifle on, the next moment a Kudu barked and animals were running in every direction with the one Kudu female almost running right over us! The Impala's also fled the scene with the bigger ram of the two stopping a mere 20 yards from us trying to work out what was going on. I gave Anja the que to shoot and she placed the shot perfectly behind the shoulders! The ram bolted in a direction but expired right at the edge of the clearing, a beautiful old male.
Charles also wanted to try for some night critters and we went to a property right on top of the mountain one night after dinner which is loaded with night stuff! Not long after starting to spotlight a Genet presented itself in the middle of the road. Charles used my double barrel W.W. Greener 12 gauge shotgun with No 7 shot and fired away. We saw the Genet sprung, tumbled and disappeared of into the brush, never to be seen again... No blood and no dead Genet. We continued the search and not long after I saw the glowing eyes of a Genet under a tree, Charles fired both barrels one after the other and a Genet was in the salt. We all had a good laugh about the 'backup shot' on the little cat and called it a night.