Garmin Xero Bow Sight
Things i would do different
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Contributors to this thread:
caller79065 29-Jul-10
wild1 29-Jul-10
jerry1cam 29-Jul-10
caller79065 29-Jul-10
Hawkeye 29-Jul-10
JTreeman 29-Jul-10
JERSEY BOB 29-Jul-10
JERSEY BOB 29-Jul-10
JERSEY BOB 29-Jul-10
JERSEY BOB 29-Jul-10
dustyvarmint 31-Jul-10
StickFlicker 31-Jul-10
Buff 31-Jul-10
bowlyn 31-Jul-10
LongbowBob 31-Jul-10
fenceman 01-Aug-10
AERO63 02-Aug-10
JERSEY BOB 03-Aug-10
Cowboy in Colorado 03-Aug-10
Buffalo1 03-Aug-10
Buffalo1 03-Aug-10
Txnrog 03-Aug-10
ndbwhnter 04-Aug-10
dustyvarmint 01-Sep-10
caller79065 31-May-11
fishman 31-May-11
adkman 03-Jun-11
extrem predator 03-Jun-11
Mudslinger 03-Jun-11
BIGHORN 05-Jun-11
scndwfstlhntng 05-Jun-11
SDHNTR 06-Jun-11
Txnrog 06-Jun-11
Toby 06-Jun-11
SDHNTR 06-Jun-11
LongbowBob 06-Jun-11
scndwfstlhntng 06-Jun-11
Ken Moody 07-Jun-11
BO-N-ARO 07-Jun-11
Leonten 08-Jun-11
Leonten 08-Jun-11
John Sturtevant 08-Jun-11
TOM 08-Jun-11
scndwfstlhntng 08-Jun-11
John Sturtevant 08-Jun-11
TOM 09-Jun-11
SDHNTR 09-Jun-11
caller79065 02-May-12
bbjavelina 15-Oct-12
Bowfreak 15-Oct-12
bbjavelina 16-Oct-12
TradAg02 16-Oct-12
Grizz 17-Oct-12
bbjavelina 17-Oct-12
TradAg02 17-Oct-12
bbjavelina 02-Nov-12
Russell 19-Jun-13
trkytrack 19-Jun-13
Scotty 19-Jun-13
StickFlicker 19-Jun-13
Bowfreak 19-Jun-13
Ken Moody 19-Jun-13
Scotty 19-Jun-13
Buffalo1 19-Jun-13
Buffalo1 19-Jun-13
Buffalo1 19-Jun-13
Buffalo1 19-Jun-13
Buffalo1 19-Jun-13
StickFlicker 19-Jun-13
Bowfreak 19-Jun-13
Scotty 20-Jun-13
INbowdude 20-Jun-13
Buffalo1 20-Jun-13
Bud Meadows 21-Jun-13
Bud Meadows 21-Jun-13
Bud Meadows 21-Jun-13
Bud Meadows 21-Jun-13
GhostBird 21-Jun-13
Barty1970 23-Jun-13
t-roy 15-May-15
drycreek 16-May-15
Buffalo1 16-May-15
Bou'bound 17-May-15
Chief 419 17-May-15
safari 17-May-15
Aftermerl 01-Jul-15
Buffalo1 01-Jul-15
Ollie 01-Jul-15
mixed bag 01-Jul-15
Buffalo1 01-Jul-15
Toby 02-Jul-15
Quick Draw 1 06-Jul-15
t-roy 06-Jul-15
JW 06-Jul-15
Buffalo1 06-Jul-15
Toby 07-Jul-15
Bou'bound 07-Jul-15
Drahthaar 07-Jul-15
Bushwacker 03-Aug-15
Bowfreak 03-Aug-15
Firehuntfish 03-Aug-15
Buffalo1 03-Aug-15
Bushwacker 03-Aug-15
huntmaster 03-Aug-15
scndwfstlhntng 04-Aug-15
t-roy 04-Aug-15
From: caller79065
29-Jul-10
Thought i would start a thread on things i did wrong on my trip, or things i would do different. Nothing big, but just some little ideas about things i had no idea of. To anyone else that has been, feel free to chime in.

Wear loose and easy on and off shoes for the airport.

Take half my cash in small bills. 5s 10s and 20s.

Change seats in the SAA plane when my headphones didnt work. It was much easier comming home when i could actually watch movies and hear music.

Allot more money for trophy fees, i could have shot Nyala, eland, bushbuck, waterbuck and duiker if i had budgeted more. Take a watch.(i always use my cell phone)

Take a GPS, just for kicks, and something to play with since I never did get my sense of direction over there.

Take several books, i had 2, but it wasnt enough.

One thing i regret is not going on the track of the Zebra i shot. I waited in a blind while they looked for him, I really thought they would find him in the daylight. I should have went along just to be there when he was finally shot. Ken and his crew put, in my opinion, extraordinary effort into his recovery, expecially since the wound was probaly non fatal.

Anyone else have any tips for those about to make the trip.

From: wild1
29-Jul-10
Little things do make a big difference: eye drops, chapstick, extra ziplocks, noice reduction headphones, extra pair of sunglasses, breathable vented travel shirt with many pockets.

From: jerry1cam
29-Jul-10
Less clothes. Really all I needed was 2 sets for hunting, the ones I was wearing and the ones they were washing. The travel clothes can be used again on the way back.

From: caller79065
29-Jul-10
I would discuss spending part of the first day driving around and looking at the animals. It would make sitting a lot easier if you had seen a bunch of animals. I would also not hesitate to speak to the outfitter about walking and stalking after a few days in the blinds.

From: Hawkeye
29-Jul-10
More books and more time. Hunted 7 days but 10-14 would be ideal if possible as wind and the need to hunt different areas makes 7 days a bit short.

From: JTreeman
29-Jul-10
Seems most of mine have been taken, but I will duplicate. More time! I hunted 10 days last year, but am doing at least 15 next year, maybe 20 if I can swing it. More money for trophies, a definate must, and for me, a little better idea of the trophy fees for each animal. I knew all fees for what I "wanted" but did not know for some that I decided I wanted when they walked up, so I didnt shoot, for fear of the budget monster.

Noise reduction headphones were mentioned, and I highly recomend them, they cost a little, but well worth it in my opinion. Less clotes, but not too few, could have really froze my ass off last year, temps down to 29 F. I wore pretty much everything I took that day. But this year used like 2 pair of shorts and 3 shirts, it just depends on where and when.

I also like to spend an little while driving around the consessions, especially if you get in early in the afternoon, and have some time to kill.

Don't neglect the camera, and next year I will also take a video camera, I'm not a big "film your hunt" guy, but many of the blinds are setup perfectly for taping the shot, I feel that looking at the replay of arrow placement can be a big help as well as entertainment around camp in the eve.

Also don't get in a hurry, slow down and enjoy it, plus things in africa move much slower than we Americans are used to. Except those damn Impala, they are fast!

Overall, just have a positive attitude and have fun.

JIM

From: JERSEY BOB
29-Jul-10

From: JERSEY BOB
29-Jul-10
Wo..what happened to my post?

Things to bring:

Comfortable camp/plane shoes.

A non-hunting pullover, sweatshirt, pair of pants, etc. Sitting at the braai you will get some smoke on your clothes.

More small bills, esp. SA Rand which the locals appreciate. Dollars have to be exchanged and they get screwed---particularly the airport porters who use Amex, Charles Cook, etc.

More reading materials--3 books JUST covered a 10 day sit in the blind.

My fanny cushion SAVED me on 2 long flights and 10 days sitting on concrete and plastic chairs.

Cards and batteries for your camera, just in case.

A tripod...I left mine home. My #1 regret!

100 ml. toothpaste, some bath wipes, etc. to freshen up on the plane.

Sound attenuating earphones or "Skull Candy" soft rubber earphones for your IPod.(Good idea, thanks to my son!) Playing 6 hrs. of Mozart down low and the plugs in my ears, I slept like a baby flying over Africa at night.

Hard candy.

Zip ties, esp. with soft luggage.

Spare batteries for the flashlights. SA batteries SUCK.

Clip on shades if you wear glasses.

Power/protein bars. The food was great but the SA idea of a "sandwich" at lunch and mine differ greatly, esp. the amount of ribsticking protein (MEAT) vs. carbohydrate (bread).

Just like deer hunting--the ends of TP rolls, in zip lock bags. For those times you HAVE to get out of the hide.......

Things to do differently--

I got some nice souveniers, and put them in my checked luggage. Next time I would put the clay items in my carry on. The rest survived but not the peddler pots.

From: JERSEY BOB
29-Jul-10
Something to remember--

The 100 ml. rule for carry ons is funny if you shop the duty free stores. The duty free liquor lady wouldn't sell me anything since I changed planes in Zurich. The food lady sold me hot sauce in 12 oz. bottles with no problem.

In Zurich I had to exit the airport, go back in through departures, and go to customer service for my airline. Swiss was very kind in boxing up my SA Duty Free hot sauces and checking them for me as a free 3rd bag.

From: JERSEY BOB
29-Jul-10

JERSEY BOB's embedded Photo
JERSEY BOB's embedded Photo
Good point on "slowing down"---our weather situation was rough, and I got a wildebeest I'm proud of, BUT...If I'd waited a while, his grandson came out later in the day and gave me a 20 yd. 'gimme' shot....he was BEAUTIFUL.

From: dustyvarmint
31-Jul-10
Very timely post.

thanks for the help, dv

From: StickFlicker
31-Jul-10
Ronnie,

Great idea for a thread. I started a list of things I'd do different as soon as I got home from Africa the last time. My items are largely covered above, but I think the one that was the most important to me was to wear a shirt with a good front pocket! I didn't have a shirt pocket and having to either put my passport in my pants pocket and get it bent up, or dig it out of luggage, each time it was requested was a pain. I large button down pocket to keep it secure would probably be perfect.

From: Buff
31-Jul-10
I never take enough pictures

From: bowlyn
31-Jul-10
Stickflicker, I wear a small leather belt pack (fanny pack) when traveling. It makes a great place to keep your passport, boarding pass, etc.

From: LongbowBob
31-Jul-10
I would not use SAA.

Maybe have more money for trophy fees.

Spend more time out of the blinds hunting rather than just waiting in the blinds for something to come in.

Take a Zebra.

LBB

From: fenceman
01-Aug-10
My homework. Also wouldn't rely on past experiences of other clients. Don't really know if it would have made that much of a difference, but my trip was less than expected. Rushed, plenty of animals, but not all what we were looking for. Ex. Hartebeast on our package list, of 4 hunters, only 1 saw a small female, plenty of female & juvenile wildebeast, but only 3 bulls seen. Maybe I was expecting more, but I don't think so after reading other posts from those using a different outfitter.

From: AERO63
02-Aug-10
I'd pack fewer clothes...I read all the info telling me to pack light and honestly I though I did...but I could have taken half of what I did and would have had plenty.

Other than that I wouldn't do anything differently. I couldn't have asked for a better experience in Africa.

From: JERSEY BOB
03-Aug-10
KNOW your game!!!

If you are hunting "als carte" (each species has a price) don't confuse a nyala ($2300 avg.) for a bushbuck ($850 avg.) or a red vs. grey duiker.......stoopid is expensive!

03-Aug-10
The fewer clothes thing is HUGE! I WAY overpacked. Bringing fewer clothes also = more room for souvenirs & gifts for those back home. =o)

I AM glad I brought the Tevas along tho, 'cause after 3 days of Eland hunting in my oh so (when not walking 15 miles a day) comforable boots, I could barely walk! It was worth the heels cracking (to the point of copious bleeding) from the dust - just for the comfort of those soft rubber soles. I will for SURE invest in a pair of Russells for the next trip - possibly two! My dad wore his and had no problems at all.

I think I might try the bow next time - was a rifle hunt in '08 - and if I wind up 'needing' a rifle, I'll just borrow one. The guns caused the single worst experience of the trip - VAA lost 'em, I got stranded in Joburg, with 9 dollars in cash. Fortunately the guest house took Visa! Speaking of which - I'll be carrying EVERYTHING in cash next time. Having to leave the country (Zimbabwe to Zambia) to cash traveler's checks SUCKED!

Lastly, even though it costs a bit more, I'm flying first class next time. Full reclining seat/beds is part of it - since I couldn't sleep at all, I just drank for most of the 17 hours of flying. What makes it worth it is the first class lounges in the airport - Mom & Dad were able to take me in as a guest on the return leg. After a full day of travel, the relative quiet (London's airport is LOUD!), a great meal cooked to order, and a nice hot shower were TOTALLY worth it in my eyes.

From: Buffalo1
03-Aug-10
First, I would be more relaxed during the hunt. I did not initially trust the mindset and fact that the "vitals are more forward" on African game,but the are.

Secondly, I would take more candy for the kids. The poorest American kid has got it "made in the shade" compared to an African kid.

As Americans, we are blessed beyond measure. We take so much fir granted.

From: Buffalo1
03-Aug-10
First, I would be more relaxed during the hunt. I did not initially trust the mindset and fact that the "vitals are more forward" on African game,but the are.

Secondly, I would take more candy for the kids. The poorest American kid has got it "made in the shade" compared to an African kid.

As Americans, we are blessed beyond measure. We take so much for granted.

From: Txnrog
03-Aug-10
Not try to save $ on the taxidermy by getting it done over there. Got suckered into it again (I knew better) price was just too attractive. Well, have yet to get my animals, and taxi won't return calls or emails (been a solid year now). Had them done once over there before with no issues, but the quality of work was marginal at best.

From: ndbwhnter
04-Aug-10
Bring more money for more trophy fees and spend 10 days instead of 8. I had a blast and shot 8 trophies in 8 days, but it's going to be a lot more expensive to go back on a second trip than stay longer on the first.

nd

From: dustyvarmint
01-Sep-10
My biggest regret right now is not spending enough time admiring the up close beauty of the animals I harvested. Every time I look at a trophy pic I realize how short my time was with them.

Here in the US I spend time admiring them and giving thanks in my own way for their harvest while field dressing, dragging, loading, skinning, etc.

I think the "slow down" advice given above applies here. In RSA it was hurry, hurry, hurry to the next hide. If there is a next time it will include fully inspecting the animals and maybe even riding to the cold shed with them and helping to hang them up.

Also, I regret not attempting to harvest a baboon. I never had any desire until I saw them in action in the field; violent, marauding and some with mauled and atrophied limbs. Some males easiliy as large as my skinny arse.

happy hunting, dv

From: caller79065
31-May-11
ttt

From: fishman
31-May-11
i wear a safari shirt with lots of ZIPPED pockets which are great for passport money e.t.c. no going thru my carry on to get stuff. having the proper currency for the countrys along the way.e.g some euro for europe and rand when i arrive. and lots of small bills. last trip we stopped in frankfurt and many guys had no euro with them- what a mistake! and take some time to unwind and do some touring before or after your hunt. africa is too far and too beautiful a place to only go for a weeks hunt. relax and enjoy and everything will fall into place.

From: adkman
03-Jun-11
Not comming back. I love the USA. It's the greatest country in the world but hunting in South Africa is the best.

03-Jun-11

make sure Ph you will be with have had Many bowhunters..

and that they bowhunt themselves

that the Ph realize that the Exit hole is what you are ainming for ( tell 3d Guys that)

take even more photos and Videos.

try to get the Ph to watch you Shoot before going out each day , as there may be a time on a stalk or In a Blind that the Ph needs to know What you can do with your Archery Equipment. ( only had one of 6 do this on my Zimb and African Hunts) . Try to No thave a PH that Does NOT smoke ( even in the truck)

From: Mudslinger
03-Jun-11
About the only thing that I will change for my 2012 hunt for a lioness with a bow will be to never, ever, never ever again use SAA airlines. I learned a lot after my first hunt in 08 and took less clothes in 2010 and more money, but was still a little short on trophy fees when the last animal I shot on the 2nd to last day was a trophy Nyala. Don't have to worry about how many bowhunters my PH takes every year because he is a bowhunting outfit only, no rifle hunters on his concessions. More pics and more video for a return in 2012.

From: BIGHORN
05-Jun-11
JERSEY BOB,

Your list is darn good.

I agree with more candy and coloring books for the kids. On our Namibia hunt in 2009 the only kid in camp did not know what a coloring book, crayons or licorice was.

Wet toweletts to freshen up on the flight is very adviseable. Cabelas World Traveler shirts have a lot of pockets. Slippers are comfortable on the flight and around camp in the evening. Definitely a fanny pad for the plane ride and sitting in a blind.

I had an alarm clock that changed with the time zones. A can of Permetrin spray for ticks and other bugs. A small lite day pack to put things like your headnet (if you want to wear one), gloves, camera, binocs and warm underwear (for chilly evenings). Yes, it does get cold at night.

On our 2010 trip our place accepted charge cards and let us use his camera battery charger. Also, he let me use his tripod. Bring one along for sure.

We didn't take along a backup bow. I took along way to many arrows. On my first trip I used two arrows to harvest 5 animals. Last year I used three arrows to harvest 7 animals. If you hit them in the correct place it should go straight through them.

05-Jun-11
Read Jersey Bob's list carefully. VERY good items there. I have never before seen anyone with the nerve to actually make the point about the lunch sandwiches, but it sure is true.

Long underwear has been mentioned once, but I can not emphasis it more: July/ August in RSA was nasty cold in the blinds and long underwear was a life saver. Same time of year was not nearly as bad in Namibia during the day, but it got down to the freezing mark at night for about a week.

A wool or fleece watch cap: good for traveling in early or late hours particularly if cold.

If blind hunting you only need comfortable dark clothing: period. No expensive camo stuff... and comfortable shoes to stand around a lot in. High top sneakers " chuck Taylors" with soft rubber soles go a long way.

Shirts with large front button down pockets make travel much easier. I have all kinds. the Cabela ones with zippers and wrinkle proof are ok, but they are hot to wear unless that is what you want, and the material does not like to stay tucked in so you always look sloppy. I much prefer the cotton Orvis shirts with the epaulets and big button down pockets

Old clothing is the name of the game: old pants and shoes are greatly appreciated if left behind for those who have nothing and do lighten your load and leave room for goodies.

*** I have never yet seen anyone talk about this: Carefully checking out the quality of the skinners and the job done on a particular operation to process the skins and horns and get them to the packers. The product that they produce for the packer is never given much thought, although everyone fusses about the packing and the FINISHED TAXIDERMY. The final taxidermist is seriously impacted by the quality of the stuff that gets to him. Badly skinned pelts, poorly salted capes, over boiled horns are all materials that will cost you a large amount of money to harvest, process and ship home only to find out that the stuff is a wreck and your memories have to go in the garbage can. I have been very lucky on each occasion that I have gone over. BUT I have seen and heard lots of bad, bad stories.

Know your animals. Really know what a trophy size is if you want that. BUT in addition, study the coats of the animals as some will have much nicer coats, manes, beards etc. Not important you say? Wait until you invest thousands in processing, shipping and taxidermy for a poor quality pelt.

Enjoy ever darn second of the trip like it might not happen again. The memories do last a lifetime

Steve

From: SDHNTR
06-Jun-11
Nothing against RSA, but when I go back to Africa I want it to be to a more remote country. Realize that hunting is BIG business in RSA. There is an entire economy built around the industry. Hunting properties are big commercial operations. Do your homework. High fences, trucked in game, non native species, baiting stations, etc. Make sure you know what you are up against. All that is not necessarily bad, but you should know the details before you go. Ask lots of question of your outfitter. Fortunately, the ones that are sponsors here are the best.

I'd like my next trip to Africa to be a bit more raw. I want wild, old Africa with tents and meals cooked over fire. No fancy lodges and game farms. That's just me.

From: Txnrog
06-Jun-11
"I'd like my next trip to Africa to be a bit more raw. I want wild, old Africa with tents and meals cooked over fire. No fancy lodges and game farms. That's just me."

If you find one that's priced the same as RSA, I want to know about it.

Have done the tented safari, and it's an awesome experience, but that one trip probably cost more than five (5) subsequent trips to RSA combined (including airfare)

From: Toby
06-Jun-11
be more easy in terms of making my prefer list of animals to take This situation stress me when I started my safari I think we should be ready to take any nice looking mature animal that offer a sure shoot until the budget exist

From: SDHNTR
06-Jun-11
Txnrog, I realize it would be far more expensive, but to me, it would be far more exciting too.

From: LongbowBob
06-Jun-11
SD, I agree with you. The one thing that was a downer for me was the "game farm" aspect of it. That's the biggest reason that I would probably not go back to SA. Met some great folks, had a good time, but if I want to go to a game farm, Texas is a whole lot closer.

That being said, I wouldn't have missed the experience of going to SA. I learned a lot from just being with the people, and once again came to appreciate how great it is to live in the USA.

LBB

06-Jun-11
The "organized" experience with the "wild" taken out of it is most likely in the RSA arena. For a reasonable upgrade to these particular issues, I would suggest that you think about Namibia. It is a safe and very pleasant place; and a very nice place to go.

Steve

From: Ken Moody
07-Jun-11
Steve...I second your opinion. As one who knows let me tell you that SA is organized for killing animals and yes, it is a business short and simple. It's a vacation hunt suitable for the family, etc. Namibia is much less populated and the areas are much more remote if you get up north around Etosha. We offer closed range and open range hunting there but of course, it's from a 4 star lodge. It is totally remote though and you'll likely not encounter another soul out in that bush. The open range hunting for Mountain Zebra is one of the hardest hunts you could ever hope for. If you had the right clients you could hike into the mountains and do a tented camp, wilderness hunt. You'd certainly be "out in it" for sure.

Ken Moody

From: BO-N-ARO
07-Jun-11
Yip, that fresh pair of drawers felt like a million dollars after 14 hours on the flight over. :) I would have killed that eland bull I passed. I would highly recommend you do everything you can.... even pushing your trip out a year or two..... to have plenty of cash for trophy fees. The will never be as cheap as they are when you get there. The cost of getting there, your daily rate and your shipping cost will not change when you shoot a few more animals.

From: Leonten
08-Jun-11
Based on the name of the topic........

I wouldn't have got married the first time. And I wouldn't have got married the second time.

From: Leonten
08-Jun-11
Based on the name of the topic........

I wouldn't have got married the first time. And I wouldn't have got married the second time.

08-Jun-11
Steve, I’ve read your account of your 2009 hunt in Namibia a couple dozen times now. Can’t express how much I’m looking forward to experiencing it for myself in 71.62 days.

Great advice here;...”Enjoy ever darn second of the trip like it might not happen again.” Last time I was pretty sure that one time would be enough. It wasn’t. I’m not going to pretend this will be the last time, but I’m sure not going to “save” anything to enjoy the next time. Wish I could find a way to avoid sleeping for the 2 weeks I’m there so I don’t miss anything. :)

From: TOM
08-Jun-11
I'm not going to reiterate all the above but merely try to add some things:

1. Take a lot of arrows and broadheads...and SHOOT THEM. At least 18-24 arrows for 10 days. If you see a guinea fowl on way to blind or way out...take a shot. That $12 arrow isn't much in the scheme of things. Have fun and shoot stuff. You won't regret it.

2. Take pictures of everything. From your bedroom to the food. You will try and describe the great food to your friends at home but nothing describes Eland Shish-ka-bobs like a picture.

3. Take a small trail camera in your carry-on. You can always get cheap batteries over there. It is neat to have africa trail cam pics in your collection and it lets you know what came to that waterhole you chose not to hunt that day. Also serves as a good tip to your PH.

4. Write down the name of camp staff, trackers, etc. This is always neat to look back and remember peoples names and faces. Easy to do but most of us forget it. Also helps when you come back (which you will) to remember names.

08-Jun-11
I will again echo the above: Tom's comments are things that I do, and it makes my family a little crazy. I love it and I take pictures of all kinds of things: from food on the dinner plates to small flowers in the garden and all of the insides of hotel rooms, people that make up the trip. When you put it all together at home they tell the story a lot better than a few trophy pictures. Will digital photography it costs nothing to take 100 or 1000 pictures. I took a good small point and shoot on my belt all the time and a Nikon D60 with lenses and a tripod for the blinds. It was a great way to help pass the many hours and gives you one more toy to play with

John S: I was wondering how you were holding up, and the time is closing in fast at this point. I picked up somewhere that you had decided to take your son with you. I am starting to get the itch again, and wish that I had committed for this year. Good chance I will be back in Africa next year. I hope to hear ( and see) a great story when you get back..

Steve

08-Jun-11
Steve, It appears I'm still on my own. As far as I know I may be the only hunter in camp. I'll certainly keep you posted. I have two new bows made for the trip...and am shooting a few arrows every morning and evening.

Packing very light this time. One duffle that will maybe hit 40# and a carry-on. Took too much last time of everyhing. Suspect I;ll still have stuff I don't need.

Have considered a back up camera. Used a video camera for everything last time, still shots and video. Have been thinking it's almost as important as my bow. Almost. Would hate to have a malfuntion.

From: TOM
09-Jun-11
I almost forgot one of the biggies....Practice as you will hunt. A lot of Southern Africa bowhunts will be from blinds.

SO, practice from a popup blind or cut a hole in a large plywood sheet to get used to shooting through a smaller space. Sounds easy but it is a bit different the first few times you do it.

This is especially true if you shoot traditional equipment as the limited vision really plays with your depth perception. At least it does mine.

From: SDHNTR
09-Jun-11
Definitely practice shooting through windows! I did not and paid the price. I hit a hit impala in the butt from 11 yards because I bounced it off the window frame. Fortunately it broke his hip and I was able to get another arrow in him as he hobbled off. Got lucky. Then I blew up an arrow hitting the side of the window on a huge duiker (I know, oxymoron) that I really wanted. My only opportunity of the trip!

From: caller79065
02-May-12
ttt

From: bbjavelina
15-Oct-12
I'm a little late getting here, but; Number one is flexibility. No matter how many photos you look at seeing the critter in the flesh is different. Never even considered a Waterbok until I saw one in the flesh on the first trip (09). It instantly jumped to the top of my list.

Number two is more flexibility --- if it ain't happening for you, and the outfitter suggest moving to another property, why not? A move of 30 minutes or 2 hours may be just the ticket. Surely worked for me.

Pack lighter -- you'll likely have daily laundry. Just how many drawers do you need?

Most importantly -- leave everything you can behind. Boots, jeans, socks, pocket knives, whatever, but most importantly cash. The last trip ('11) I didn't have a PH, but hunted with a locl guide. Never hunted with a finer man. I feel that I tipped hin well, but could have done so much better with some small things that really meant nothig to me.

I just learned of the SCI blue bag program. Seems they'll pay the extra baggage if you will take it full of stuff for the local schools. Next trip.

Best of luck to each of you.

From: Bowfreak
15-Oct-12
The only things I would do different is:

1) Add 30-50% onto whatever your trophy fee budget. That way when something comes in that you had zero interest in before you left, you won't be sick because you didn't budget for an extra animal or two.

2) Stay longer. If you think 7 days is enough, make it 10. If you think 10 is enough do 14.

From: bbjavelina
16-Oct-12
Bowfreak hit the nail(s)on the head.

On the budget thing -- you'll see animals you never knew existed. Some quite handsome and worth shooting. Some you did know about, but maybe never considered. For me, that was the Zebra. Probably not a more wary or worthy game animal around. Never knew it 'till I experienced it.

Our first trip was for 7 days hunting. Not nearly enough. I was on the verge of tears when I had to leave. Next trip was for 14 hunting days. Much better. Twice the hunting for the same airfare.

One other thing to keep in mind --- there's no such thing as "the one and only" trip, or, as far as I can tell, the last trip. I should have my rear kicked for waiting so long --- maybe you should too!

From: TradAg02
16-Oct-12
Should have gone sooner. By the third day I was planning my return trip.

Car charger for cell phone and video camera. The only reason we ever turned on the generator was to charge cell phone and camera batteries.

Soft bowcase. I have never seen one listed on anyone’s packing list. I bought one for $14, rolled it up and stuffed it in my suitcase. I hung it from the gun rack while driving and set my bow on it in the blind. It kept my bow from being beat up and kept the dust off of it. It also allowed my hands to be free while riding in the vehicle. I left it with the PH when I left.

More cash for animals. As stated above you want to have flexibility on animals. In addition if you wound something and you really want a representation of that species, you may have to pay for two in order to bring one home.

More cash for tips. It took 7.5hrs of extremely intense tracking over a 9hr period before I was able to finish off my eland. In total I tipped an extra $600 for the PH and tracker’s efforts that day. The PH even called a friend with a helicopter, but it was too windy that day. I would have felt awful had they put in that effort and I not had additional money available to show my appreciation.

Hunt for as many days as your schedule will allow. Additional daily rates are cheap in the great scheme of it all. If you run out of trophy money ask if you can shoot culls and camp rations.

If you your bowcase even slightly resembles a rifle case, be prepared for hassles. Also never assume that your bowcase has been checked through. My bows would still be in Johannesburg if it wasn’t for my travel agent. My bags where checked through, but my bowcase got stuck in the police station with the rifle cases coming and going.

From: Grizz
17-Oct-12
Great thread! I like all of your ideas and suggestions. I'm taking notes for my next safari of a lifetime.

From: bbjavelina
17-Oct-12
Someone earlier mentioned a GPS.

I wouldn't go without one. Marked the main lodge and all the hides I hunted so I could plot them on Google Earth.

There's always the very slim chance your guide could be injured, snakebit, or whatever. Some even have alarms clocks.

Chasing my partners gemsbok, he and I fell way behind. We never realized it would turn into a high speed marathon. Didn't need the GPS that day, but I felt better having it in my pocket.

First trip we overnighted in Amsterdam (before the broadhead ban) and wandered around downtown. Wish I had taken it to mark the train station.

From: TradAg02
17-Oct-12
I wish I would have had a gps with me on a few of the tracking jobs as I wish I had an accurate reading of the distance travelled after a double lung shot.

I brought a small package of zip ties in my day pack which I carried on. I zip tied all of the zippers on my luggage as a deterrent. I also found them handy on several occasions while hunting.

I used gallon ziplock compression bags (freezer bags) for all of my small items. It made it much easier to repack my bowcase in the Johannesburg airport police department and in Atlanta customs.

From: bbjavelina
02-Nov-12
A roll of tape ( maybe electrical or vet wrap) would have been handy. Some of the bow hangers we've run across weren't really what you wanted next to strings or limbs.

An important one I nearly forgot --- and I forget who makes it --- but it's a sock-like affair for your bow that covers cams and strings. And a cover for your sight. It's really dusty and your bow will likely ride in the back of the truck.

From: Russell
19-Jun-13
Great time to re-read these tips. Three weeks out for my first trip to Africa.

Russell

From: trkytrack
19-Jun-13
I've never understood the "read a book" while sitting on stand or in a blind mentality of some people. Personally, I enjoy every second I'm on stand. Just soaking in the beauty of mother nature, the different birds and animals you encounter, cleansing your mind. It's never boring. If it is boring to someone, then maybe they shouldn't even be there. Read a book? That's what library's are for.

From: Scotty
19-Jun-13
I would agree with everyone as well but will add or reiterate a couple things! Ask for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches right away. Trust your guide and shoot them n the shoulder despite 20 years of telling yourself not to shoot them in the shoulder. Don't go for less then 2 weeks, I did 14 days and wanted to stay longer. The weather can be tricky at least 10 days of hunting is a must. Bring a tri pod. Looking at shot placement before tracking can be a great benefit, and a great memory. Trust your PH, roll with the punches, soak in the High's and lows that make bow hunting so addictive. Relax and enjoy every second you are in Africa it goes quickly. I flew through Paris and saved $600 per ticket we had 9 hours in Paris and it added to the adventure, broke up the flight, and saved me some money.

From: StickFlicker
19-Jun-13
"Ask for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches right away."

????

From: Bowfreak
19-Jun-13
Another thing which has been touched on is time.

South Africans are on "Bush Time." They are never in a hurry. Don't be freaked out if and when they tell you they will leave for hunting at 8 am and at 8am they are still chilling in camp. They get in no hurry to do anything. They know what time you need to be hunting and you will be extremely successful if you just sit back and relax. Where I was at....the left to hunt at 800-830 regardless of where you were hunting. If you were driving 15 minutes to your hide or 2 hours, it didn't matter.

From: Ken Moody
19-Jun-13
Don't paint all with the same brush. Our clients are in the hides a half hour before sunrise every day. I like to provide enough time for any human scent to dissipate, let the client get settled in, etc. and take advantage of all hunting light. Plus, your best time for some species is first light. We are normally out by 5:30am. I figure they are paying me to hunt not watch me drink coffee.

Ken Moody

From: Scotty
19-Jun-13

Scotty's embedded Photo
Scotty's embedded Photo
So regarding the PB&J ........ They made us these nice sandwiches but the lunch meat was just different. So the first 4 or 5 days my buddies were quietly not liking the lunch meat but did not want to offend a no one. I finally just asked for PB&J right away everyone else did as well. Other than the lunch meat the meals were awesome. Huge breakfast and a 1 st class dinner every night. I loved eating some of the game as well as the traditional dishes. The tenderloins on this guy w ere extra delicious.

From: Buffalo1
19-Jun-13

Buffalo1's embedded Photo
Buffalo1's embedded Photo
On my first hunt to RSA I was always in hide at day break or before. The PH used duct tape to seal the seam of the backdoor so no light would be allowed to enter the hide. All the hides face east and west with the backdoor always facing east so I never saw a sunrise.

On my second hunt to RSA with Ken Moody we were at hide at or before day break. Here is a sunrise I witnessed with Ken Moody.

On both hunts I saw game coming to waterhole shortly after sunrise. In fact I shot my nyala right after "good light". I passed on many animals on both hunts at "good light". I believe that the warmer the morning temps the sooner the game will come to water. By 8:00 AM the first shift could have already left the water hole and the "second shift" could be just arriving. JMHO based on experience.

From: Buffalo1
19-Jun-13

Buffalo1's embedded Photo
Buffalo1's embedded Photo
On my first hunt to RSA I was always in hide at day break or before. The PH used duct tape to seal the seam of the backdoor so no light would be allowed to enter the hide. All the hides face east and west with the backdoor always facing east so I never saw a sunrise.

On my second hunt to RSA with Ken Moody we were at hide at or before day break. Here is a sunrise I witnessed with Ken Moody.

On both hunts I saw game coming to waterhole shortly after sunrise. In fact I shot my nyala right after "good light". I passed on many animals on both hunts at "good light". I believe that the warmer the morning temps the sooner the game will come to water. By 8:00 AM the first shift could have already left the water hole and the "second shift" could be just arriving. JMHO based on experience.

From: Buffalo1
19-Jun-13

Buffalo1's embedded Photo
Buffalo1's embedded Photo
Another day breaking with Ken Moody

From: Buffalo1
19-Jun-13

Buffalo1's embedded Photo
Buffalo1's embedded Photo
Another day breaking with Ken Moody

From: Buffalo1
19-Jun-13
Sorry about double post. I had a medical procedure and am not suppose to operate heavy machinery or drive for at least 24 hrs.

From: StickFlicker
19-Jun-13
Now I understand the PB&J comment. I have seen some interesting things in my lunch box on various trips....like cheese and jam, and "African specialties". They broke out the Marmite or Vegemite one time, but I nixed that! On my last trip, all they put in our lunches every day was PB&J, and while we were getting tired of it by the end of the hunt, I guess now I remember that it could have been worse.

From: Bowfreak
19-Jun-13
Greg,

It didnt bother me a bit that we werent in the hides early. I trusted the PHs and they told others, I didnt care enough to ask, that the animals were conditioned to come in on "their time." Also...if they were interested in watering they would come while we were actually there simce they closed water holes when not hunting.

I will say though....one of the guys in our group was kinda freaked out about it but he hammered like 7 or 8 animals in 7 days of hunting.

Also.....I had heard from others that South Africans sandwiches were not like american sandwiches. I figured lunch would be weak but that was not the case with us. They packed so much food into our coolers that I never came close to eating all of my food.

From: Scotty
20-Jun-13
Instead of bringing 2 or 3 electrical adapters just bring one but pack a power strip with you. Then one adapter will give you 6 plug ins. Really nice for iPad, phones, camera batteries etc.......

From: INbowdude
20-Jun-13
For those of you that hunted with Dries Vissers, what were the hides/blinds like?

Did you stand and shoot or did you shoot from chairs?

Also did you tip in American dollars or SA Rand?

20-Jun-13

Peyton in Fairbanks's embedded Photo
Peyton in Fairbanks's embedded Photo
INbowdude...The hides at DVS are very roomy, well built and comfortable. There is a large shoot window and a couple smaller windows for filming. Here are a couple pictures (sorry, one is a bit blurry).

They are dug in blinds, so you can stand when you shoot which is really nice. You should tip in American money.

20-Jun-13

Peyton in Fairbanks's embedded Photo
Peyton in Fairbanks's embedded Photo
Here is another...

From: Buffalo1
20-Jun-13
Take a cushion to sit on in the hide. Most seats in a hide are concrete and cushion can soften a long day sit. Also the concrete can be cool in the early mornings.

A cushion can also provide butt relief when flying 15-18 across pond from U.S. to Africa.

From: Bud Meadows
21-Jun-13
If the PH's kids are in camp, bring small gifts for them that they can't get in their native country. When I hunt with Sebra Safaris in Namibia, I bring DVD movies and video games for his 12 year old son, and a nice cover for his 15 year old daughter's Kindle fire.

Here's the kudu I shot with Sebra last year: [img]http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/medium/Kudu.JPG[/img]

From: Bud Meadows
21-Jun-13

Bud Meadows's Link
Let's try posting the picture again:

From: Bud Meadows
21-Jun-13

Bud Meadows's embedded Photo
Bud Meadows's embedded Photo
Let's try the kudu picture again:

From: Bud Meadows
21-Jun-13

Bud Meadows's embedded Photo
Bud Meadows's embedded Photo
Let's try the kudu picture again:

From: GhostBird
21-Jun-13
Start going to Africa when I was much younger!

From: Barty1970
23-Jun-13
I put my bow case (packed clothes around my bow to save space) in a large Cabelas duffle bag and had no problem on both of my trips to hunt with Ken Moody. Take tape to wrap round the nails used as bow hangers; makes it near silent taking down your bow. BTW Ken...there I was...watching some TV show about "When Vacations Attack" or sumthin' like that...and there was this poor guy gettin' hammered by a big ol' bad-as* Razorback boar, til someone zipped an arrow through the boar...imagine my surprise and shock when I saw it none other than Capt K Moody himself!! Hope you're 110% recovered and hunting fit again. Good luck and good hunting Kenneth (A British Bowhunter and Proud of It!!)

From: t-roy
15-May-15
Thought I would bring this thread back up. Several guys headed to Africa & there are lots of good ideas & advice in here.

Good luck to all.

From: drycreek
16-May-15
t-roy, I'm glad you did as I enjoyed reading it !

From: Buffalo1
16-May-15
I would have gone earlier in my life. No other hunting place on earth offers more bang for the buck.

Sitting at a waterhole and seeing 4-5 species at the same time can be mind boggling. Seeing 8-10 different species in a days time is really neat. Seeing a herd 50 eland walking around in a waterhole at the same time can also be mind boggling.

This type of animal action has honestly spoiled me. The only thing close to comparing these above stated experiences in North America would have to be witnessing a caribou migration, hunting Pronghorns or hunting pigs/exotics in TX.

I find it amazing that once a hunter makes it to Africa, a very high percentage returns and many with many returns either for plains game to moving into dangerous game.

From: Bou'bound
17-May-15
Get out of the box and hunt

From: Chief 419
17-May-15
Bring a good camera and use it. My biggest regret was bringing a cheap camera. You only get one chance to take pictures. Bring your camcorder or GoPro. Your PH will video your shots.

It's been said before but, save up enough money for trophy fees. You don't want to have that Zebra, Nyala or some other animal come in to the waterhole and then regrets not shooting it.

Don't pack too many clothes. The camp staff will wash your hunting clothes daily. Two sets of camo should be enough. Bring three pairs max if you're worried about losing a set.

From: safari
17-May-15
BouBoundX2

From: Aftermerl
01-Jul-15
Great thread. Now for my list. Trust the outfitter, (you don't need anything more than they state). Next time I'll be traveling there with inexpensive trinkets to hand out as gifts. (watches, boots, caps, anything I feel I can replace easily) I'll be investing in a Go-Pro or 2. Sound reducing headphones are a must. Bowhunt in a blind less, stalk with a rifle more. Leave my rifle at home (not worth the effort to carry my own), just rent one over there. If I do take the rifle make sure you get it in the truck when heading to Jo-burg ( gee whiz, that's a story all to its self.. Be prepared to change my wish list on the fly, so take extra cash just in case.

From: Buffalo1
01-Jul-15
Take some gaiters- the bush thorns really did a number on my socks, ankles and leg bad.

From: Ollie
01-Jul-15
Nobody has mentioned to wear dark clothes if hunting from enclosed blinds. If you wear lighter camo that blends with the vegetation, game are more likely to see you when you move around inside the blind.

From: mixed bag
01-Jul-15
I would stay an extra week after my hunt to explore the country.One thing I regret in not going to Etoshia(spelling) and I would definitely have to see the coast next time and maybe shark dive in a cage to see some white sharks.Just so much more to see and do then just hunt.Its such a long trip by plane ,which I hate,that I will stay and cover everything next time.Also, I might take flight that stop in Europe to spend a day there first

From: Buffalo1
01-Jul-15
mixed bag those are some great suggestions- Namibia has so much "extracurricular" to offer to the hunter, if one has the time and resources.

I wish I had spent more time when in South Africa at Kruger National Park and also made it to Victoria Falls.

From: Toby
02-Jul-15
Spent 2 days more in Cape Town

06-Jul-15
Toby...

Any must sees in Cape Town? My wife and I are spending 4 days there next April. We are touring the usual attractions (Roben Island, Cape Point, Table Mountain...etc) but anything else that you thought was cool would be great to know.

From: Quick Draw 1
06-Jul-15
Peyton- Just spent several days there in May after a leopard hunt. In all my trips to Africa, that was the first time in Cape Town. It really was an amazing place, especially with my wife and daughter to share it. You've mentioned some obvious ones. But there are also some great wineries in the area. And go check out the penguins. And if you're up for it, the shark cage diving with the Great White Sharks was a pretty special experience (but will take most of the day). Some amazing restaurants to enjoy at night. Depending on where you are staying, if you're able to get a day long private tour, I would do it. We had someone from the hotel take us all over the area, including down to Cape Point, some wineries, markets, etc. It was much better than going on a tour bus, because we got to set our own schedule. If you can find the right cab driver, then you can work out a deal for him to stay with you all day as well. The girls took surfing lessons also. You'll have a great experience. And fortunately, with the exchange rate so good right now, it's really affordable. Enjoy.

From: t-roy
06-Jul-15
Alan, Hopefully the girls didn't take their surfing lessons in the same place as the shark cage diving!

My wife & I will be in Cape Town in about 2 weeks at the end of our safari with Limcroma. We will be doing a helicopter tour, winery tour, penguins,Table Mountain as well as some shopping.

Can't get here quick enough!

From: JW
06-Jul-15
See ya on the other side of the pond Troy!

From: Buffalo1
06-Jul-15
Peyton,

Peyton,

Spend a day in Stollenbach- neat town and good shopping

Spend a day in wine country

Spend time at the local craft market at the water front- great selection & super prices. (it is a large blue metal building)

Go on the open top/audio bus tour of Capetown- you get to see a lot of the highlights of Capetown area

Go to the Cape Point-

Go see the African penguins

Go to a rugby game if one is scheduled.

07-Jul-15
Thanks guys...yup...the penguins, a day in wine country and Cape Point are all on the list. We are planning on staying in a hotel by the water front so we are closer to shopping and such.

From: Toby
07-Jul-15
Cape point was good, the penguins are net as well. Also you can spend some time having a good glass of wine by the craft.

From: Bou'bound
07-Jul-15
"Also...if they were interested in watering they would come while we were actually there simce they closed water holes when not hunting."

how do they do that??

From: Drahthaar
07-Jul-15
BOU, they put wire or a sheet of tin over the water holes. where I hunted this past June most of the water holes were too big to cover. Forrest

From: Bushwacker
03-Aug-15
Is there a problem with charging phones or other electronic devices? Is the current the same and what about the wall plugs? Are there certain adapters needed to fit the electrical outlets? I love this thread, taking a lot of notes.

From: Bowfreak
03-Aug-15
Where I hunted some of the water holes were small concrete troughs. They were easy to close. One of the bigger waterholes was surrounded with thorny brush on 3 sides and only one side was open. When it wasn't being hunted they closed the front with a big line that had a bunch of pieces of bright fabric on it. I am not sure how well that worked but everything seemed thirsty when I was hunting that location.

From: Firehuntfish
03-Aug-15
Bushwacker,

I would directly inquire with your outfitter to see what they provide.... South African electric is 220V. You will likely need to bring both a 220/110V converter, as well as an adaptor plug. Radio Shack sells a kit for around $50, or you can usually find these conversion plugs at most international airports.

Also keep in mind that most American electric razors, hair dryers have 220/110 selector switches on them. Only an adaptor plug is needed with these types of appliances.

From: Buffalo1
03-Aug-15
Bushwacker,

I would recommend taking a power converter. They make an international version that has the adapters for N. Europe, S. Europe, Africa, Asia, etc. They can be purchased at Walmart for about $25.

From: Bushwacker
03-Aug-15
Thanks everyone, I found them on eBay for around $10, free shipping. Love this site! But with all of the anti-hunting nonsense going on, they may try to shut down all hunting in Africa in the near future? Then I won't need to worry about the converter.

From: huntmaster
03-Aug-15
Depending on your intended trip, might want to check in to shipping options as Delta just put a ban in place on certain animals.

04-Aug-15
Who is going to ship your goodies home is a small point really. The shippers will know the answer and there is always someone who wants to make a buck. My just arrived stuff from last year's trip to Namibia came by plane but I had a ship option for less money but a longer wait. Not really a big deal though.

Take the stuff that you need to shoot with, a few sets of comfortable clothing, the right assortment of medications and good cameras. Then just enjoy yourself. We all tend to overthink this AND take more stuff than you need. You will have a blast and it will be with you forever. I have been to Africa 4 times and I would love to go again when the time is right.

From: t-roy
04-Aug-15

t-roy's embedded Photo
t-roy's embedded Photo
Definitely bring some trail cams with.

Also something I will do next time is put my trail cams out the first day there instead of waiting several days before doing so. I took 2 trail cameras with me & gave them to my PH at the end of the trip.

Reviewing the trail camera pics each night was a blast. Next time I will bring 3-4 with me! The only negative is you will start to second guess which blind you should go to!

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