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Do you consider yourself a Female Bow Hunter?

There is a dramatic increase in the numbers of female bow hunters.

The notion of women hunting is not a recent phenomenon, but as ancient as civilization itself. Stories of huntresses are plenty and even in mythology it remains a powerful theme. It seems as if the most powerful mythological huntress is Artemis, the twin sister of Apollo and daughter of Zeus. Not only was she known as the goddess of hunt, but also as the goddess of wild animals, wilderness, chastity, virginity and the natural environment. She protected nature and the hunt and both wild and tame animals were under her protection. Artemis was usually depicted as a huntress carrying a bow and arrow.

Although bow hunting has always been part of the hunting industry, it has seen significant growth in recent years. The National Sporting Goods Association reported a growth in female bow hunters from 500 000 in 2014 to 800 000 in 2009. The thrill and rush of the bow hunting industry has set a new challenge for our female hunting partners and thus the enormous rise in numbers.

Other reasons why females hunt is to spend time with friends and family, for sport and recreation and to be close to nature. New initiatives teach females’ new skills that wasn’t necessarily learned when they were young. Skills such as rock climbing, fishing and of course archery are explored and acquired.

Bow Hunting Gear

Gone are the days where women used men’s equipment. Nowadays females are able to do what they love, whilst looking stylish and practical while doing it. The increase in appropriate apparel have increased markedly in the last decade.

The compound bow that you make use of must be designed to match the archer’s measurements in order to work properly. If one design feature is slightly out of sync, your ability to shoot will be handicapped. This means that a bow with a specific draw length needs to be matched with an archer with the same draw length measurements.

“Female archers can expect to find bows offering the same features, just scaled down to weigh less. Compound bows feature adjustable draw weights and lengths. The archer has the choice to tune their bow to the specifications that suit them. They also allow the archer to play with their draw weight as they gain more experience.

The potential to draw the bowstring will likely max out at 24 inches. The largest measurement is about an arm span of 75 inches, which ends up converting to a draw length of just over 30 inches. It is also important to remember that this measurement may also be limited if you are going to hunt in cold conditions, and wear multiple heavy layers.”

Best Compound Bows for Women

It is widely accepted that the best compound bows for women are the following:

  1. The Bear Cruzer
  2. The PSE Chaos FC
  3. The Diamond Infinite Edge
  4. The Bowtech Carbon Rose

Female hunting success

Another interesting opinion from various professional hunters (PH’s) are that women are in most cases very successful hunters, sometimes even more so than men. We all know that success, breeds success. Reason for this success, is that women seem more inclined to listen to the advice of professional hunters and that they tend to make double sure of their aim before taking a shot.

Sources
thebestcompoundbows.com/for-women/ (reference and read more)
www.bowhuntingmag.com/women/the-rapid-rise-of-women-in-bowhunting/
www.greekmythology.com/Olympians/Artemis/artemis.html
greekgodsandgoddesses.net/goddesses/artemis/

Where to learn your hunting skills

Hunting is not just going out into the bush and shoot the animal. Hunting is hard work. Your knowledge and skill will be tested to the utmost extreme.

There are of course various institutes where you can sharpen your skills, but most of your knowledge and skills would have come from your dad or grandpa. From your young days you would be out hunting with dad, observing, learning… And when the time is right, get your opportunity. But if you did not have this opportunity and want to start hunting now, here are some pointers on getting started:

Shooting Practice
In order to do this you would need a gun. Do not go out and buy one. Rifles are expensive and you don’t want to spend your hard saved money on a rifle and then later decide that hunting is not for you. It would be ideal if you knew someone with rifles. That person can then also give you some advice and pointers, especially on gun safety. You can also go to your local shooting range. They will help you and there are usually various courses that you can also do. Learn about guns and how they work, and as mentioned learning about gun safety is the most important! The more you practice, the better you’ll get.

Getting started
You will probably not know where to start. Get in contact with a hunting association that is dedicated to Conservation through sustainable utilization. One such organization in South Africa is CHASA (The Confederation of Hunting Associations of South Africa). There aims to represent the hunter in securing the freedom to hunt. This is achieved through promoting sustainable ethical hunting practices through leadership and advocacy of all matters related to hunting and the freedom to hunt. Associations like this will be more than willing to help. In the States it is very similar. Take advantage of all the help offered.

Buying a rifle
When you feel that this is you, then buy yourself a rifle. Before you can do this you first need to get a firearm license. You will need to undergo training at an accredited institution and obtain a training proficiency certificate. You must successfully pass the prescribed test to prove your knowledge of the Firearms Control Act, 2000 as well as the prescribed training and practical test regarding the safe and efficient handling of a firearm at an accredited training provider. Once you have obtained the competency certificate, you can apply for the firearm license at your nearest police station. You need a license for every firearm that you possess. (This is how it works in South Africa).

Hunting is one of the ways to get as close to nature as possible. Get out of the busy life in the city and enjoy nature at its very best! Good luck and remember, safety and ethical hunting always comes first.

References
www.chasa.co.za/en/

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Travel Advice for the novice hunter visiting South Africa

South Africa is one of the most beautiful countries in the world.

It has a very rich diversity and a huge variety of cultures. Coming to Africa and South Africa for the first time might be a scary thing, due to all the stories out there (no lions do not roam the streets of Johannesburg).

Here are some tips and details for your first hunting trip to South Africa.

Malaria

The central and southern parts of South Africa do not have Malaria. The northern parts of South Africa however do. When going to that region or to countries higher up like Zimbabwe, Zambia etc. it is highly advised that you get malaria pills for you and the family.

Clothes

The clothes you bring along are very important. It is almost always sunny during daytime from May through to September. This is our winter months. Temperatures range from low 30’s F and can warm op to the 70’s F during the day. Some days might be cooler than others. Early mornings and evenings is normally very chilly so be sure to pack at least one warm jacket. For hunting purposes early morning, gloves and a warm balaclava is also recommended. Walking shoes, a couple of pairs of woolly socks and about 2 pairs of long hunting trousers are also essential.

Sunscreen, repellent, hats

Sunscreen and at least one hat is an absolute must, especially in the summer months. In certain areas in South Africa it gets extremely hot. If you are caught out in the bush hunting with none of these you might be in for a painful next couple of days.

Hunting

South Africa has a huge variety of species to hunt and the terrain in each part of South Africa differs immensely making South Africa one of the best places to hunt. If you are new to hunting make sure that you practice your shooting before coming over. The most important thing to do while out hunting is to always listen to what your professional hunter says. This will improve your success rate and will keep everyone save.

South Africa is a very safe place for international travelers. However, it is sensible to take normal precautions while travelling, particularly while in the city. You might only be in the large city when you come into the international airports. We recommend the use of travelers’ cheques or credit cards rather than large amounts of cash just as you travel to other adventure destinations. The hunting areas are remote and crime is nearly crime-free. While on safari you and your family can relax and enjoy the magic that Africa has to offer.

Preferred Gun for your African Safari

There are many different rifle calibers and makes out there. It can sometimes be a very difficult and confusing task to pick the right one.

Here are a couple of tips on which rifles might be better for different hunting situations in Africa:

Big Game Hunting

“This topic will be debated for many years to come. The best possible answer is to bring the gun that you are the most comfortable with and that you feel most confident shooting. The rifles you intend to bring along are subject to government rules and regulations as set out in the SAPS 520 section. If a recommendation had to be made (this is not a rule though), we would suggest a 30-06 and a 375. With these calibers you will be able to hunt anything that walks in the African bushveld”.

Dangerous Game Hunting

“Experienced Hunters as well as professional hunters will all have their own opinion on their favorite rifle. When hunting for dangerous game, the .375 caliber is the minimum prescribed by law in most African countries”. “For hunting dangerous game one of the 400 caliber hunting rifles should be considered. A 404 Jeffrey, 416 Rigby, 458 WM, 458 Lott, 470 or bigger – Pieter Kriel”.

Plains Game

“When coming to Africa for plains game, bring a rifle that you are completely familiar with and comfortable shooting. The .270 Win should be considered the minimum for most medium-sized plains game species, although a smaller caliber can also get the job done with a well-placed shot”. “The 30.06 caliber is also a very good all-round choice for plains game hunting in Africa. It has a proven track record and ammunition is readily available. Other calibers like the .308, 7 mm Rem Mag, 7mm-08, 300 Win Mag are all great choices”.

Longer Shots

“The 300 Win Mag is an excellent all-round choice, especially if your safari will take you to areas where long shots may be necessary”.

“The most popular calibers brought along on any South African hunting safari trip range from a 270, 7mm-08, 7 mm Rem Mag, 30-06 to a 300 WSM and 300 Win Mag”. As mentioned the most important thing to keep in mind is that you feel comfortable and confident with the rifle you are bringing. Bullets play just as an important role. A bad bullet can cause a great shot to be bad, especially when hunting bigger game. Most important is to get to the shooting range. Get comfortable with your rifle, and when on safari, listen to the advice from your PH.

References

www.africanskyhunting.co.za/articles/riflehunting.html
huntinginafricasafaris.com/hunting-south-africa/rifle-hunting-south-africa/best-caliber-for-hunting-big-game-in-Professional

Hunter John Tinley