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Six species of Guineafowl occur in Africa of which Plumed, Black and White Breasted Guineafowl are not hunted with the latter species being listed as declining and vulnerable. The three targeted species by hunters are: Helmeted Guineafowl found throughout sub-Saharan Africa. Vulturine Guineafowl occurs in North-eastern Africa where they can be hunted in Ethiopia, Northern Tanzania and Kenya which only allows bird hunting. The Crested Guineafowl is divided into three subspecies: Eastern Crested Guineafowl of East Africa and can be hunted in Northern Tanzania. Western Crested Guineafowl of West and Central Africa Southern Crested Guineafowl of Southern Africa and can be hunted in parts of Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and South Africa.
Specialised bird hunts are mainly offered in Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe. Numerous Outfitters in South Africa specialising in driven Guineafowl hunts and hunting over dogs. These combination hunts range in price from $600 per hunter to $2,200 for 4 hunters. The price of the hunt is often determined by the number of people in the hunting party. Ideally for Guineafowl hunting the minimum group size should be no less than 4 guns. Individual birds may be hunted for the pot and specialist bird collector safaris may be arranged as a tailor-made safari.
When to hunt Guineafowl?
Guineafowl may be hunted year-round in some countries but for the true sportsman, the season is often limited to the non-breeding season. Outfitters who are serious about their bird hunting also will not hunt out of season to make sure that young birds have an opportunity to reach maturity and breed, thus ensuring Guineafowl population numbers for future hunters. It is not recommended to hunt after a drought as local bird populations will need time to recover from the natural selection that takes place during these dry times.
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Crested and Vulturine Guineafowl are generally hunted as a trophy of opportunity but Helmeted Guineafowl hunts can range from a multi-gun social affair to smaller hunting parties. The two most common ways of hunting Guineafowl are driven hunts where beaters drive the birds towards multiple hunters waiting to ambush them as they fly overhead. Where the grass is long enough for the birds to conceal themselves, working and pointing dogs may be used for smaller walk-up and shoot hunting parties.
Why hunt Guineafowl?
Upland bird hunters always enjoy the challenge of shooting birds in flight and marvel at the skills of well-trained gundogs working in the field, pointing and flushing birds on command. For the dog owner, there is nothing so gratifying to see all that time spent training your dog(s) come to fruition. This is also more of a social adventure than a conventional plains game hunt, a bit like a round of golf with your buddies. Some hunters are also keen collectors and go to great lengths to collect a specimen to full mount in their collection.
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