Hunting Yellow-Backed Duiker in Africa
Three good choices of countries for hunting yellow-backed duiker in Africa are the Central African Republic, Congo-Brazzavile and Zambia. Yellow-backed duiker hunts are currently not allowed in Cameroon. The yellow-backed duiker gets its name from a patch of yellow hair over its rump. The yellow-backed duiker (Cephalophus sylvicultor) is the largest of the duiker family, weighing upwards of 130 pounds and standing 30 inches at the shoulder. They are the most abundant of the duiker species. However, their habitat is being reduced by agriculture and human population increases.
They range from western Africa through central Africa and south to Zambia, and their population is estimated at 150,000. Yellow-backed duikers are diurnal. They form pairs and control territories consisting of dense cover near mountains, rivers, and tropical forests. They sleep in beds under fallen tree trunks; in root formations at the base of trees, and in dense tangles of vegetation. Yellow-backed duikers feed primarily on fruit that has fallen from trees. However, they will also eat roots, flowers, fungi, insects (ants preferred), and carrion.
Duiker ewes are mature at 12 months. After a 180 day gestation one or two lambs are born. For the first few weeks the offspring are kept hidden by the ewe. Yellow-backed duiker males play an active role in protecting and defending the young until they are old enough to forage on their own. Infant mortality rates run about 50% as predators like lions and leopards are always hunting yellow-backed duikers in Africa.
Duiker is an Africaans word meaning diver. It comes from the duiker’s habit of diving into the brush when threatened. The duiker’s body is higher at the rump than at the shoulders. Both male and female yellow-backed duikers carry short cylindrical horns that are ribbed at the base. Unlike other duikers, the yellow-backed duiker doesn’t wag its tail constantly. Captive Yellow-backed duikers have life spans of 10 years, but in the African bush, where many different predators hunt them, the animal would be lucky to see 7-8 years.
The yellow-backed duiker is listed on Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITIES). The destruction of African forests and the virtually insatiable bushmeat hunger are problems that affect the future of the Yellow-backed duiker. Recent CITIES restrictions have reduced the hunting in some areas for yellow-backed duikers in Africa.
You can legally hunt yellow-backed duikers in Africa in the Congo – Brazzaville. To hunt yellow backed duikers in Africa you will have to hunt one of two ways. Staking out the path the yellow-backed duiker takes from its sleeping area to where it feeds and waiting for the animal to come by in the early morning, or by tracking the spoor and locating the duiker. Because shots will be close-range, and probably in heavily forested areas, the best way for hunting yellow-backed duiker in Africa is with a shotgun. The duiker won’t give you much time for a shot as it is very aware of its surroundings and will disappear at the slightest sound.