Hunting Aardwolf in Africa

Hunting Aardwolf in Africa

The African aardwolf (Proteles cristata) is a small mammal that resembles a very skinny striped hyena.  It stands 16 to 20 inches tall at the shoulder, and weighs between 15 to 31 pounds.  Aardwolf that are found in southern Africa tend to be smaller, averaging 20 pounds, while eastern Africa aardwolf weigh the most at 31 pounds.  It isn’t a predator of other mammals, but subsists on termites and other insect types.  Its teeth are small, and well developed for eating insects.  In a single night, an aardwolf can consume up to 250,000 termites, using its sticky tongue to lick the termites off the ground.

The aardwolf has excellent hearing, and locates its prey by sound, or by following the scent of soldier termites.  They don’t eat all the termites in a mound, but leave a large percentage of the colony, so that it can rebuild. 

Hunting aardwolf in Africa happens mainly in three countries: South Africa, Namibia, and Zambia.  However, the animal’s population is also in eastern and northeastern Africa.  It can be found in Angola, Botswana, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Mozambique, Somalia, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe

It prefers scrublands, and open lands that support small trees and shrubs.  It is a nocturnal animal, seeking food during the night and resting during the daylight hours.  Aardwolves pair up, and may live in as many as ten dens within their territory, which is between one half square mile to one and one half square miles.  The dens are usually old aardvark, porcupine or small springhare dens that they enlarge.  They are shy animals and when danger threatens from a predator hunting aardwolf in Africa, they will attempt to confuse the attacker by running backwards in their tracks.  They are slow runners, and when cornered will raise their mane to look larger, or they can emit a foul smelling liquid to discourage their attacker.

The aardwolf population is relatively stable.  They have a wide range, but a low population density of 1-3 per square mile, providing the termites are abundant.  Some farmers kill them because of a mistaken notion that they prey on farm animals, which isn’t the case at all.  Sometimes, they are hunted for their fur.  They are rated as Least Concern by the IUCN.  Some aardwolves die each year from ingesting insecticide that is used for termite and other insect control.  Dogs, both wild and domesticated, have been seen hunting aardwolf in Africa.

Due to their diminutive size, hunting aardwolf in Africa can be accomplished with any light caliber rifle.  If a .223 or .243 caliber rifle is available, and a high quality bullet that won’t blow up on the hide is loaded, the aardwolf trophy won’t need a great deal of taxidermy.  If you aren’t hunting aardwolf in Africa, but the opportunity to take one comes while on a different hunt, then whatever rifle you have at the moment will do the job.  Try to place the bullet just behind the shoulder, about one third of the way up the body.