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A hunting dream come true
By Brendon Harris
< Brad with the impala ewe he shot with his longbow.
My bowhunting career was started about three years ago by my crazy brother-in-law, who talked me into getting a bow and starting bowhunting. The bug really bit and during the next two years I shot a number of animals with a compound bow walking and stalking, which was epic, not to mention two wild pigs from a tree stand. Then members of the scruffy hunters (my bow club) started getting traditional bows and it looked like real fun. Not wanting to be left out and always looking for a challenge, I bought a 50-pound bushbuck bow from the one and only Johnny Snyman. After about a year of shooting and trying to perfect traditional bow archery I decided to try my hand at hunting with it.
On a picturesque hunting farm called www.bowhuntingplett.co.za on the famous Garden Route, I took up position in a tree stand in an old pine tree on the highest part of the farm. To my surprise it wasn't long before a herd of impala made their way up the grassy hill to find shade under the big pine trees. The wind was perfect and everything was set in motion – this was it! The herd fed beautifully under and around me, and just then a well-fattened ewe stepped into range and looked away from me. At this moment, with my heart racing and the whole world slowing down as the adrenalin flooded my system, I slowly drew back my bow, took aim and released. I watched the arrow flick through the animal like a hot knife through butter. The moment was one of the most ecstatic and most humbling at the same time. The ewe trotted off and then expired at about 30 metres in sight of the tree. What an awesome feeling of accomplishment. On examining the animal, I found that the arrow had gone through both lungs, clipped the top of the heart and was a complete pass-through.
> The bushpig Brad bagged using a traditional bow built by Johnny Snyman.
Two weeks later I was invited to shoot a wild bushpig, which I had done before, but this time without training wheels (ha-ha). On a cold winter's night, not too long after dark, the silence of the forest was broken by the cracking of twigs as a sounder of pigs approached the blind. The pigs, like ghosts of the darkness, came out slowly and carefully as they broke cover. The biggest of the sounder was a sow that fought off the rest as they competed for the food. With the same if not a greater rush of adrenalin (only a pig hunter will know) I drew back my traditional Johnny bow and placed the arrow just behind the shoulder. As the arrow flew and pierced the heavy armour of the wild pig, she jumped and trotted off. We waited for at least half an hour before getting the torches to start tracking as you can't see if the shot is good or not at night. To my surprise and knowing how tough these animals are the pig had run ten metres into the bush and expired. No words can describe the feeling of bagging an awesome animal like a bushpig. The arrow had hit the top of the heart, severing the main artery, exited through the ribs and was found lodged in the leg. I was very impressed with the penetration.
It just confirms: It's all about shot placement.
I want to thank Johnny Snyman for making an awesome bow, and my hunting mate, Pat, who made it all happen.
Updated: Thursday, June 20, 2013 4:23 PM