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Evaluations : Dave Conrad
Last Updated: Feb 22nd, 2007 - 18:37:03

Field Evaluation: Africa With Stick & String DVD
By Dave Conrad
Aug 4, 2005, 08:08

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Dave Conrad

EVALUATION: Africa with Stick & String DVD

by Dave Conrad       

Have you ever been to Africa?  I can't say that I have but after watching the new video from Stick & String Outfitters I have a better understanding of the wildlife.  This new video is not only about great
bowhunts but it also takes an in depth look at the animal life that the
Dark Continent has to offer. Where else can you go that affords you the
luxury of hunting over a dozen different species and harvesting several during a hunt?

This DVD offers 19 different hunts and I believe this evaluation wouldn't do justice if I didn't go into an overview of the many animals available
to hunt.  Let's begin with Matt Burrows of Stick & String Outfitters hunting the most abundant antelope found in Africa, the Impala.  Trophy rams or males carry horns 24” and above in length as well as averaging 120 to 170 pounds.  You will see the action unfold as Matt takes aim at one of four trophies near his blind.

Next join Dave Holt, technical editor for Bowhunter Magazine, as he and friend Jody Hefley blind hunt over a water hole for Baboon.  Yes that is correct, baboon.  An adult male is very elusive while weighing in the neighborhood of 80 pounds.  Also very intelligent, they carry canines that can be larger than a leopard and can be very dangerous if wounded.  See how Dave and Jody both make out on their hunts.

Mixed between hunts are informative discussions about wildlife identification, trophy quality, and gender differences between male and female counterparts. 

With Gemsbok or Oryx, interestingly enough, both sexes carry horns with
males being larger and weighing up to 550 pounds.  Females on the
other hand, though may be smaller in body, carry horns that can be longer. 

Trophy male horns exceed 36 inches while females exceed 38 inches.

Game and non-game species of birds are also discussed.  Many are similar to their US cousins but a few are quite a bit different like the protected kori bustard.  The kori bustard stands about 4 feet tall, can tip the scales at 50 pounds, and is not a flightless bird.  Quite a bird compared to an Eastern Tom Turkey.

Dave discusses the best time of year to come to Africa.  Being in the southern hemisphere, Africa's winter occurs when we are enjoying
summer.  So booking a hunt from May through September affords you the opportunity of extending your hunting season.  Early season is wet but affords animals that are not as cautious.  Later months mean drier conditions but more opportunities exist while hunting water holes.

Springboks are very social and congregate in large herds.  This makes it extremely difficult to get a clear shot at times.  Rams weigh up to 110 pounds.  Both sexes have horns but the females are smaller.
A ram in the range of 15 inches is considered a trophy.  Watch as Jody and Dave both try to take world-class animals from ground blinds. Blinds are utilized in order to minimize movement while hunting these very leery antelope species.

Eland are the largest of the antelope species with males weighing as much as 2000 pounds and females typically weighing half as much. Both exhibit horns but the males are much heavier with larger bases. Bulls have a dark spot on the forehead as well as being very muscular and large bodied.  An oddity with the eland is the way their hoofs click when walking.  It is a sure way of knowing when one is approaching.

Red Hartebeest are probably the strangest looking antelope.  Like the elk in North America, bulls control harems.  Both sexes have horns but like other species the males are much heavier.  Adult bulls weigh up to 350 lbs. and trophy animals carry horns just over 21 inches.

Get into the blind with Matt as he matches wits with a mature bull.  Dave also gets a crack at a trophy but with fading light, will he get it done?

Blesbok are social antelope.  Males and females are similar in appearance and can at times be difficult to distinguish.  Males are typically larger and their horns sport somewhat large bases.  Trophies with anything over 15 inches qualify as a shooter.  Coat colors can range from light beige to a dark brown.  Join Jody as she patiently waits for a shot at a blind overlooking a water hole.

Blue wildebeest are found in groups of around 20 to 40 animals.  Herd bulls guard their harems with large and wide horns and are very territorial.

Males can weigh up to 600 pounds and can be distinguished from females by their black foreheads, since both have horns.   Wildebeest are very vocal and are said to sound like frogs.  This species consist of either blue or black wildebeest depending on the area you are hunting.
Black wildebeest are not as abundant and are smaller in statue than blue
with a male weighing up to 350 lbs.  Watch Dave try his luck at a mature Blue Wildebeest bull while quartering away.  George Straw tries his archery skills on the lesser known Black species.

Grey Duiker and Steenbok are the smallest versions of antelope native
to Africa. The quick reflexes of these animals will test your bowhunting
skills to their fullest.  Grey Duiker and steenbok males only sport horns.  Male Grey Duiker trophies can weigh up to 40 pounds.

Steenbok and Duiker with horns longer than the ears are considered trophies. 

Can Matt's reflexes match those of the Grey Duiker on his hunt?

Kudu are probably the most sought after animal in Africa.  The bulls sport long spiral horns and can weigh over 700 lbs.  Horn characteristics can vary from wide to narrow with tight or shallow spirals.  Interesting how the trophies are measured along the spiral of the horn and not the overall straight length.   Trophies sport horns that exceed 50 inches in length which usually need to exceed two complete spirals. 

Dave attempts to harvest one of these popular animals from a blind overlooking a waterhole.  Observe Jody’s cow fall within sight of the camera after a well-placed shot.

Waterbuck feature long shaggy coats that smell from what is thought to be oil excreted to repel water.  As the name indicates they spend much of their time around the water in herds numbering up to 15. 

Males sport ringed horns and are larger than the hornless females and can weigh up to 600 pounds.    A trophy is considered anything in the neighborhood of 28 inches.  A unique characteristic is a white ring around the rump area.

Bushbuck is another species of spiraled horn antelope.  A trophy male or ram can weigh in the neighborhood of 120 pounds and sport 15 to 16 inch antlers.  Ewes are much smaller and are lighter in color with distinctive spots.  Treestand hunting methods are used among the river bottoms similar to whitetail hunting.

Nyala are high on the list of sought-after animals like the Kudu. These Spiral horned animals have a shaggy coat that consists of vertical
strips as well as spots.  Only bulls carry horns while ewes are smaller
and lighter colored.

The Zebra is the final hunt to unfold on the DVD.  Most interesting to me is that there are two different sub-species of Zebra, the mountain and the Burchells zebra.  The Burchells can be distinguished by its light gray shadow stripes which mirror the black.  These stripes continue far down below the belly.  The mountain zebra are rarer than the Burchells and carry dark stripes which continue all the way down the leg.  With either species it is difficult to tell the difference between males and females although adult males are larger.  Watch the action unfold as Dave attempts to take a large male mountain zebra.

A number of other game species are also discussed briefly on the DVD.  Warthogs and Ostriches make up a few of the odder animals available for
hunting.  Mature male warthogs sport large tusks, pot bellies and distinctive warts about the head.  Not the prettiest of God's creatures
but one that is something that every archer takes an interest in.
Listen to Matt as he describes a scene that shows us why the ostrich is
not the fleetest of foot and observes what happens as an archer takes aim.

Other big game species are discussed that include facts about Hippos, Rhinos as well as giraffes making for an interesting feature.

In Conclusion
If you wish to travel to Africa this video explains how both Matt and Dave will make your arrangements.  Accommodations are outlined on the DVD and look to be first class.  If Africa or other western U.S. and Canadian hunts are in your future, Matt's Stick and String Outfitters can set you up.  He operates a Hunting Consultant business
based in Colorado.

Informative knowledge 5 of 5  
As you can read from the evaluation, a great number of plains game animals are introduced.  Trophy guidelines are discussed about each including horn size, body weight and distinguishing features that set them apart.  This video goes beyond the definition of informative while also discussing hunt preparation, shot placement and travel plans.

Action 4 of 5
Nineteen different hunts covering close to a dozen different
species keeps the action fresh.

You can get your DVD from Stick & String Outfitters for $14.99 plus
$2.  Or get both SSO videos (Africa DVD and North American VHS) for $25 plus $3 shipping (save $5).  Contact:

Matt Burrows
Stick & String Outfitters, LLC

For DVD, hunt information and to book a hunt:
Credit cards are accepted and dealer inquiries are welcome.


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