Home Resources Articles Hunting Bowhunting the Impala



African Plains GameThe Impala is one of the most dominant species found on the African savanna and bushveld. They can be found almost anywhere in Southern Africa ranging from southern South Africa to as far north as Kenya. The Impala is also able to adapt to different environments. Depending upon where they are, they will graze on green grass but also browse on shoots and seed pods.

The Impala is also the favorite pray for Africa's predators like lion, leopard, cheetah, hyena and wild dogs. This makes the Impala a very nervous animal with lightning fast reflexes. They can jump distances of up to 9 meters long and 2.5 meters high. The Impala is found on most of our game ranches in South Africa and for me they are one of the most beautiful antelope in Africa.

I invite you to come and spend time around a camp fire and a day with me bow hunting for a nice Impala ram. We will be out tomorrow morning before sun up and we will be going to a pit blind where I have seen quite a few good rams come in to drink recently. So go slow on the giggle juice tonight and if we have a successful hunt tomorrow we can celebrate tomorrow night with fresh Impala liver on the fire.

You said you were shooting a 550 grain arrow out of a 70 lb. bow… good. That will give you lots of penetration, but most importantly you will have a quite set up. Bow hunters do not realize that sound travels faster than the arrow and an Impala will react very quickly to a noisy bow; it's unbelievable. If your setup shoots a relatively heavy arrow, it will help a lot to make the bow shoot more quietly. You don't need an arrow moving 330 feet per second. An arrow moving 250 f.p.s. to 280 f.p.s. is perfect. Also, remember to check your arrows before you go to bed tonight. Make sure that all the fletching is 100% intact as they can make a lot of noise otherwise when the arrow is shot.

We move into the blind, as I said, before sunrise and we will not move unless we have a successful hunt or the sun is down again. One of the mistakes many bowhunters make is that they are not patient enough and they want to keep on moving from blind to blind. If you move around from hide to hide too much, chances are very good that you will spook the animals in the area and they will not come in to the hide. So, be ready for a long, relaxing day spending time close to nature.

It's 06:35 AM and the sun is just starting to come up over the ridge. Birds around us are starting to sing their morning praise songs. What a beautiful start to a new day in Africa. I am sure you are glad that you brought that extra thick jacket with because it can get pretty cold sitting in a pit blind early in July. It's now 09:32. Look, there is our first Impala coming in for the day.


01

Don't worry about getting your bow now. Just relax and let's see what they are going to do…


02

It looks like ewes and young ones. Let's look at them and let them drink. Maybe the ram is hanging back to see if everything is fine.


03

Look at how they bunch together while they are drinking. There is absolutely no shooting opportunity here. It's still early though. Let's wait and see what happens next.

It's around 11:40 AM and here is another couple of Impala. That ram is nice, but do not move. Be very quiet. Look at the ewe here in front. See how she concentrates on something. If she hears a sound, she will be gone and the other Impala will go with her…



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04

It's 12:04 and we have more Impala coming in to the water. Man, we struck the jack pot today coming at this pit blind! It now just a matter of choosing the right ram…


05

That ram on the left of the Eland looks good. He is standing just right and is only 21 yards away. Stop! Don't draw now. Look, there is another Impala behind him! If you take the shot you will hit the Impala behind him. Be ready. If he moves away, we might get a shot. This guy is going to give us trouble…


06

Look at how his tail is drawn between his legs like a dog. That's a sure sign he is very nervous. You can see that he also looks like a 100 meter sprinter in his blocks waiting for the gun to fire. This guy will string jump you for sure. It does not matter how fast your bow is. You will either have a clean miss or you will sit with a wounded animal. He is also still a young ram at that. Let's wait and see if his bigger brothers wants a drink today.

15:22... get your bow. The ram on the left is a nice one. He is 19 yards away, slightly quartering away from you. But, he still looks a bit nervous. Let's give him a couple of minutes. I have a good feeling about this one…


07

15:25 are you ready? Take a couple of deep breaths and try to relax. You see, there he goes to the other side of the water…


08

15:27 Get ready…

He is 23 yards away.

Draw, pick your aiming point, remember to follow through and enjoy the experience of
Bow Hunting Impala... ... ...






About the Author: Born in the eastern highveld of South Africa, Gerhard grew up shooting, hunting, and fishing. He would learn to fly fish for rainbow trout at the age of 6. Gerhard shot his first antelope (Duiker) at age 10 and his introduction to wing shooting came around the same time. The Guinea fowl would come to know that Gerhard was a natural with a 12 gauge shotgun. Gerhard would go on to join the South African National Defense Force where he spent 10 years before resigning as a Captain. In 2005, Gerhard would take interest in archery. In 2006, he qualified as a Professional Hunter. He currently offers rifle hunts, bow hunts, and wing shooting hunts to clients. Gerhard is a dedicated and passionate bowhunter and shows it as a member of the 2010 Bowtech and Slick Trick Pro Staff teams. Gerhard is also a qualified Field Guide and is currently working to gain experience to qualify as a Trails Guide that he may take guests on walks in Big 5 country. You can contact Gerhard via the Hunting Resource Forums.

 
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