Where to hunt Duiker
There are many subspecies of Duiker, that can be grouped into forest and bush Duikers. The Common, or Grey, Duiker belongs to the bush duikers, and can be found in savannah in most countries of Trans-Saharan Africa. Forest Duikers, such as Yellow-Backed, Peters’, Gabon’s, Black-Fronted and Bay Duikers, prefer the thick undergrowth of rainforests. You can add a Duiker trophy to your plains game trophy list in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Mozambique and Ethiopia. But the real Mecca for a Duiker hunter, offering an opportunity to hunt numerous species of both savannah and rainforest Duikers, is Cameroon.
The price of a Duiker hunt depends on whether you want just to hunt Duiker, or are set on getting a specific species and subspecies. In the former case, you may simply add a Common or Grey Duiker to the trophy list of your plains game hunt for a modest shooting fee of $200-$300. A dedicated Duiker hunter, who seeks to collect all the legally hunted kinds of Duiker and/or other small antelope, should be prepared to spend anywhere from $750 to $1,500-$2,000 for the rarer and more desirable species, such as Yellow-Backed, Red and Blue Duiker, and the complete hunt with an outfitter located in the area where they exist, and competent in arranging Duiker hunts, may cost up to $10,000 and more.
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When to hunt Duiker?
Opportunities for Duiker hunting exist year-round, although this mostly refers to the Common, or Grey, Duiker. Generally speaking, any months that is good enough for a plains game hunt in a particular area is good enough to hunt Duiker. A dedicated Duiker hunter has, however, to set aside the time from the 1 March to the 30 June, the rainforest hunting season in Cameroon.
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In most cased, Duikers are hunted opportunistically, that is, killed if an opportunity arises when hunting a different animal. Targeting a Duiker specifically is a whole different story. Duikers take to areas with dense undergrowth, where they can see and escape hunters before the hunters can see them. They also don’t depend on water sources, being able to extract enough moisture from the plants they graze on. Thus, the two classic African methods – spot-and-stalk and waiting in a blind over a waterhole – aren’t always reliable. Some species respond well to calling, and in some locations it is legal to hunt Duiker at night with an electric lamp. Shotguns work better for this small creature than rifles. For a trophy hunter, the biggest challenge of Duiker hunting is estimating the size of the horn, which is difficult both because the horns are small and lie almost level with the animal’s back, and because you typically get only a fleeting glance of the Duiker.
Why hunt Duiker?
Duikers are some of the smallest ungulates, ranging in size from as little as 3 kg. (6.6 lb) with the Blue Duiker to 70 kg. (150 lb.) with Yellow-Backed Duiker. But people who tried both claim that a “Tiny Ten” – ten small antelope species including a few kinds of Duikers – is much more difficult than the “Big Five”. In addition to the challenge of the hunt itself, to get one of the forest duikers a hunter will have to endure the inhospitable climate of the rainforest, tent camps with often the most basic of comforts, and other hardships that you can’t get around by paying a few dollars extra. On the other hand, the rainforests today are increasingly threatened by timber companies and agriculture. Hunters’ dollars are often the last line of defense in the fight for the habitat. between preservation of the habitat. Get engaged in Duiker hunting and you’ll soon realize it’s not the size of the trophy that counts.
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