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Hunting trophy Cape bushbuck in Africa takes place all over South Africa except in areas near the Transvaal and northeastern Zululand. Cape bushbuck trophies are as much about their coloration and striping as horn size. For instance; if a large dark ram is wanted, then the Drakensburg Mountains in the eastern portion of the Great escarpment would be the place to look. Should you be on quest for large horns, then hunt the KwaZulu-Natal Province in the southeast region of the country.
KwaZulu Province terrain is mostly steep mountain slopes covered in thick bush and thorns. Shots can be 200-300 yards, and taken from the absolute top of a hill. Bushbuck can be seen in the early morning, or late afternoon, but they usually are visible for only a few seconds. When moving through the bush, you must be as quiet as humanly possible. Bushbuck will flee at the slightest sound. They are jumpers, and can cover as much as 15 feet in one bound.
The Cape bushbuck adapts easily to human habitation. They can survive completely unnoticed near farms and villages, and can become almost tame. However, if they are threatened, they can turn secretive and nocturnal. Bushbuck are different from other similar-sized plains game. They can be quite aggressive and will use their sharp horns to fight off predators, or even humans. There have been any number of incidents where someone, or someone’s dog got a very nasty surprise from what they thought was a very dead bushbuck. The old adage is true in this case. It’s the dead ones that can kill you.
They are masters of camouflage and are hard to see during daylight hours. Even when you approach them closely, they can be hard to spot. One method of hunting trophy bushbuck in Africa is the spot and stalk approach. Locate a high vantage point near their areas. Use a good binocular to search the surroundings. This can take hours, but it will let you evaluate horn size and coloration. When glassing, the hunter may not see the entire bushbuck standing in the open. Look for the white spots or back stripe on the animal. Look for movement.
Another good method is the bush stalk. The hunter can track the bushbuck through its natural brush and bush habitat while looking for the flash of a horn, or the flick of a tail. It will hold until the hunter gets close, and then dart off to the next clump of thick brush, sometimes giving off a sharp bark as it runs. If you continue to track it, it will stay ahead of you, just out of sight. Bushbuck do tend to stay in the same general area, so another hunt on another day is possible. Usually their habitat runs between one to 15 acres. Bushbuck drink at midday and evening. They can be hunted by setting up an ambush next to one of their frequently-used tracks and waiting for them to make an appearance. The best times to hunt are during the hottest part of the day, or late in the afternoon, just before sunset. Sometimes on early winter mornings the bushbuck will stand in an open area letting the sun drive out the night’s cold.
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