Hunting Guenther's Dik Dik in Africa
Not many hunters get the chance to hunt Guenther’s dik-dik in Africa. This tiny antelope, scientific name Madoqua guentheri, is only found in hot, arid and dry scrublands in the northeastern part of Africa. There are only two countries where you can hunt Guenther’s dik-dik in Africa - in the eastern and southern lowlands of Ethiopia, and north-eastern Uganda. It’s also in Sudan, Somalia, and Kenya, but not hunted in any of those countries.
Guenther’s dik-dik stands 12 inches tall, with males weighing seven to eight pounds, and females being slightly heavier at 10 pounds. Female Guenther’s dik-diks are 14-14.5 inches at the shoulder; males stand 12.8-14.0 at the shoulder. Both sexes have long, drooping noses, big eyes, and long back legs. Their long noses slow down evaporation and help cool the blood that feeds their brains. They can go all their lives without drinking water. This makes them ideal for survival in the heat of Ethiopia and Uganda, which is where you hunt Guenther’s dik-dik in Africa.
Guenther’s dik-diks bond monogamously for life. The female leads the duo when searching for food or shade. Their life span in the wild is ten years, but being at the bottom of the food chain can reduce that lifespan by quite a bit. Dik-diks feed in the coolest parts of the day when plants and leaves contain the most water. That way, they don’t have to locate other water sources. When they do rarely drink, they lap like a cat.
Just about every predator in their habitat will hunt Guenther’s dik-dik in Africa. The females have one offspring after a six month gestation. Females give birth when they are one year old. Survival rate of the calves is about 50%. The female gives birth twice a year. She receives no help from the male in raising her young.
Should you plan to hunt Guenther’s dik-dik in Africa, you will have to start planning early as you will be hunting in the Omo River area of Ethiopia, or the Karamojo in north eastern Uganda (Named after W.D.M. “Karamojo” Bell who hunted elephant there in the early 1900s). Travel arrangements and gun permits will take a bit of time. One good way to hunt Guenther’s dik-dik in Africa would be to plan on hunting Uganda for other animals like sitatunga, kob, or orbi, and then hunt for a dik-dik. The Karamojo area has a large population of the little antelopes and hunting in this region should be good.
As far as rifle caliber to hunt Guenther’s dik-dik in Africa, if you are going strictly for small animals, a .243 Winchester, with something like a Nosler Partition bullet will put the animal in the salt. However, if the dik-dik is just part of a hunt and bigger game is planned, you might want to use your plains game rifle and limit your shooting to a chest shot, not a shoulder shot. Uganda only allows two guns per hunter, and you might want a larger battery for the bigger animals. A .375 solid is always an option, or a shotgun can be used as an alternative.