Where to hunt Burchell's Sandgrouse
There are 4 species of Sandgrouse recorded in Southern Africa namely, Double-banded Sandgrouse, Yellow-throated Sandgrouse and the two most commonly hunted, the Burchell’s Sandgrouse and the Namaqua Sandgrouse. This insert is dedicated to the Burchell’s Sandgrouse, a small compact ground-dwelling bird with pigeon-like appearances that occurs in arid and semi-arid sparsely vegetated regions of southern Africa. These birds may be hunted in Namibia, South Africa, Botswana and the drier regions of Zimbabwe.
Although not specifically listed these birds may be hunted free of charge in some cases as an add-on to a plains game hunt if a client has some spare time. Numerous bird hunting outfitters offer dedicated mixed bird hunts which range from 2 - 6 days with a minimum of 4 - 6 guns. In this case, a daily rate of between $350 - 600 may be charged depending on the type of accommodation and fine wine or dining on offer.
When to hunt Burchell's Sandgrouse?
In general, the bird hunting season is from May/June until the end of August when the majority of birds have finished breeding and raised their chicks. The drier the season the greater the concentration of Sandgrouse so the later in the year you hunt the better. However, bird hunting needs good management especially in drought periods to ensure that bird populations are not overhunted.
The best time to hunt Burchell’s Sandgrouse is 2 - 5 hours after sunrise but this timing is determined more by rising temperatures. You need to set up near a natural waterhole and not an artificial water. The birds will arrive in small flocks of up to 50 at a time. The action will be fast and furious during this time with some good shooting you should be able to shoot about 15-40 Sandgrouse in a morning shoot.
Why hunt Burchell's Sandgrouse?
Expect an adrenaline rush as the birds just keep arriving. It’s all action, excitement and hot barrels until drinking time is over. You will know you have been in the action and have a bruised shoulder to prove it. For the bird collectors, these are not the most colourful of birds as it is adapted more for camouflage, but nonetheless a species of Sandgrouse that is only available in this part of the world.
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