Methods of Bowhunting
At Dries Visser Safaris we offer three methods of bowhunting: walk and stalk, blinds at waterholes and tree stands at game trails.
Walk and stalk
Definitely one of the most liked methods of hunting, but not the most successful. It could be very difficult at certain times of the year. The best months to stalk are definitely our rain season months from March to June which is right after our main raining season. During this time our hunting area offers great stalking opportunities as there will be cover to get close enough for the perfect shot. The bush will still be green to minimize noise. After June it gets very dry in our region and all trees lose their leaves, which makes stalking almost impossible to get within bow range to the target, due to no cover and the noise when stalking. Hunters need to be prepared for shot-distances of 15-50 yards.
Blinds at waterholes
This method is definitely the most successful method in taking quantity and quality of animals. Although some portable or pop-up blinds might be used, most of our blinds will be permanent enclosed pit blinds. When the door is shut and windows closed these blinds are completely sealed to eliminate human odour and noise drifting to game. The blinds are built in different directions in order to allow hunters to hunt during any wind direction. They are also dark on the inside to minimize movements after opening the windows. The blinds are built with one way windows on 3 sides of the blind. These windows are spaced so that you can view the whole area while sitting on your chair. No need to stand up and peak through windows! They are built big enough for two, maybe three, people. Average shot distances to water will be 16 yards and only 12 yards to the minerals!
Tree stands at game trails
Very popular method of hunting, but not as successful as blind hunting. Our tree stands are situated at game trails away from roads and deep in the bush. We also place some minerals on these trails. We make use of tree stands in the early mornings and late afternoons when the game move around to graze. Average shot distances will be under 20 yards. Bring your camo clothing and safety belt with, as this is definitely something you would like to experience while bow hunting Africa!
There are a few factors that play a role when building a blind. It is as follow:
- Wind direction: Pick the right location according to your wind direction. In our part of the world we also get cold front coming through which change our normal wind direction from north east to south. Pay attention to possible different wind directions.
- Game approaching direction: Keep in mind from which side you would think most game would come when approaching the waterhole as you do not want to be in their path.
- Cover: Try to put most of your blind in shade or somewhere where there is a bit of cover as the blind needs to blend in in its surrounding.
- Keep your shot distances under 20 yards. All our blinds are built with an average shot distance of 16 yards with the closer shot at minerals at 12 yards and the longest shot at the water being 19 yards.
- Pit blinds: At Dries Visser Safaris we prefer the concrete “pit” blinds. Our pit blinds are built approx. 1 meter in the ground. This way hunters can identify the sex on game much easier and shot placements is also much easier than shooting from elevated hides.
- Scent and noise control: Our blinds are also very close to airtight for smell and noise control. All windows as well as the door can seal almost 100%. We also have carpeted floors to help control noise.
- Darkness: Keep your blind dark on the inside so that the game cannot see movements after opening the windows to shoot.
- Built some nice video / glassing windows. Our blinds are built with all the glassing windows at the same high as when you sit on your chair. This way you do not have to stand up a lot of times to go peak through a window to see if you have some game coming in. We have glassing windows on 3 sides of the blind, except the back wall. We also make use of 1 way glass. This way the game cannot see any movement inside the blind.
- Window height: Make sure that your shooting windows are the right height, so that you can accommodate youth hunters as well.
How far can one expect shot opportunities from blinds?
Our permanent blinds are situated within 20 yards from the water or mineral licks. These blinds provide an average shot distance of 16 yards. It is very seldom that you will be shooting further than 20 yards from the blinds.
Do you offer spot and stalk opportunities for bowhunters?
Yes, we do. Our hunting areas actually provide great stalking opportunities! In South Africa we normally use this method of hunting in the early mornings and late afternoons when animals are active. Should you be interested to stalk while hunting with us, then practice shooting out to 50 yards.
Do you use tracking dogs on wounded game?
Yes, we do. We use Jack Russell Terriers. They are very well trained and we are very successful finding wounded game with them.