Blue Duiker Hunting in Africa
OK, now you will be hunting blue duiker in Africa, so exactly what does that entail? The blue duiker (Philantomba monticola) is the smallest of the nineteen duiker species and the second smallest antelope behind the Royal antelope found in Guinea and Nigeria. The male stands eleven inches at the shoulder and the female is an inch taller. The male blue duiker weighs eight and one half pounds and the female is ten pounds. Males have horns that run from ¾ inch to 4 inches. Females don’t always have horns. Both sexes can have horns that have not developed at all, resembling small bumps on their heads. Life expectancy is 10-12 years.
Rams and ewes mate for life. The ewe becomes sexually mature after ten months, and gives birth to her first lamb at around twenty months of age. There is no specific mating season, lambs can come during any month after a 210 day gestation period. Single lambs weigh 14 ounces and are hidden by the ewe for the first three months of their lives. Ewes and fauns communicate by groaning calls. After approximately one year, the ewe and ram drive the fully grown lamb from their territory.
The blue duiker is most active during the night and into the dawn. Mating pairs patrol their territory, and mark its boundaries to warn off any other blue duikers. When a predator decides to hunt a blue duiker in Africa, and the antelope senses danger is near, either the ewe or ram will freeze and sound a warning. The male uses a whistling grunt or a sneezing sound to raise the alarm. The ewe emits a soft grunting call.
Blue duikers live in rain forests, dense brush, or mountain forests up to 10,000 feet in elevation. They have very specific requirements for habitat which means they only live in areas that meet their exacting needs, so they aren’t widely distributed. Their needs include overhead cover with small open areas for sunlight. They seek shade for shelter and concealment. They inhabit forests in Central Africa and southern South Africa. They are the most abundant of the forest duikers, and population estimates put their population at over 7 million. Their diet includes fruit, flowers, eggs, and insects. In turn, they are prey for the crowned eagle that attacks from above, killing the blue duiker on the ground by striking it with its talons.
Bue Duiker Hunting Information
Hunting blue duiker in Africa requires a lot of patience. They spend most of their time under cover or hiding in shrubbery. They make little noise and seldom give away their position by movement. Should they become startled, the blue duiker will light the afterburner and bolt for cover. Any shot the hunter gets will have to be very fast as the blue duiker will only be in sight for an extremely brief period of time.
Bl;ue Duiker Firearms Information
As far as what type of firearm would be best used for hunting blue duiker in Africa, a shotgun is most appropriate.. The problem using a rifle is that any expanding bullet will make a mess of the duiker’s hide. Time will be so short that the hunter will have to take any shot presented. Blue Duikers in the Eastern Cape of South Africa are hunted with dogs. The hunter will be strategically placed on an escape route in a brushy corridor, and then the dogs will be released to drive the duiker towards the hunter. The best choice of weapon to hunt blue duiker in Africa is shotgun, preferably in one of the smaller gauges like 20 gauge, or .410. The shooting distance when you are hunting blue duiker in Africa will be 20-30 yards. Blue duikers are not endangered, rather they are fairly common throughout much of west central Africa. So when you are hunting blue duiker in Africa, the chances are good that you will have a successful hunt.