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Namibia has a long tradition of hunting with a bow and arrow. Practiced by various rural communities; the most well-known of these is the Kalahari Bushmen, who traditionally hunts with poisoned arrows. Bow-hunting for trophies in its modern form was legalized during 1997 and is thus a recent development.

The predominant drive behind this development was the ever-growing trophy hunting sector. Modern-day trophy hunters, who would like to hunt in Namibia with a bow, can select from a large variety of registered Bow-hunting outfitters. Due to Namibia's natural habitat, types of game and seasonal changes in vegetation, bow hunting requires the highest standard of hunting skills and ethical behavior.

EQUIPMENT SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Long Bow - being a straight, one piece or take down bow
  • Recurve Bow - being a bow with curved tipped limbs which bend away from the archer when the bow is held in the shooting position
  • Compound Bow - being a bow which uses a cable and pulleys to increase its power or the velocity of the arrow shot from it, by means of the storing of energy
  • Cross Bow - Illegal in Namibia

HUNTING TECHNIQUES:

Bow-hunting in Namibia is practiced using a number of techniques. Hunters may lie in ambush in areas frequented by game, or they may stalk their prey.

BLINDS:

Bow hunting from blinds is preferred during the Namibian winter months, June until August and the drier months September and October. The majority of hunting takes place from permanently constructed blinds i.e. ground blinds, tree blinds and temporary pop-up blinds on game trails. Animals have to be within 20 m -30 m from waterholes and salt lick stations, relaxed and unaware of the hunter. Normally only "side-on" shots are taken.

SPOT AND STALKING:

This method is preferred during the green season months, February until May as sufficient cover exists and the green bush is softer on the foot and reduces noise while stalking. Spot and stalk hunting is also used for the "more difficult" game species or those that do not frequent waterholes. Due to the difficulty of achieving the above criteria, bow-hunting in Namibia is technically a highly selective sport and requires above normal self-discipline and physical fitness. Surrounding game species are disturbed very little and are often not even aware of the hunt that is taking place.

ARROWS:

Arrows can be made out of:
Wood, fiberglass, carbon or carbon compounds and aluminum
The shaft must have a minimum length of 19.68 inches (500 mm)

BROADHEADS:

Broadheads must: Consist of at least two fixed cutting blades, a minimum cutting edge length and width of 1 inch (26 mm+)

Broadheads may not have barbed or serrated edges or Contain poison or narcotics

Mechanical broadheads are legal in Namibia. Special arrow points such as judo points, bird points or blunt points may be used for the bow hunting of game bird species only, a hunter may take no more than two members of the permitted bird species during the hunt, which will be listed in the trophy permit.

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