Calibre selection in general always makes for a good debate but when it comes to calibre choice for small antelope, it really gets interesting. In this case bigger is better. You need something that will kill the animal fast but will not destroy its cape. My hardware for this hunt was my CZ .375 H&H, using handloads of 270 gr Peregrine at 2 575 feet per second (fps). My rifle is fitted with a Steiner Ranger 2-8x42mm, which allows me to hunt in the open as well as in the dark underworld of thick forest.
As we all know, the .375 H&H has great knockdown power and is ideal because, believe you me, crawling through the thick undergrowth, looking for a small animal that ran after the shot, is not fun! Don’t get me wrong, shot placement is still the most important aspect here, as a bad shot is still a bad shot, but it is unbelievable how tough these small guys can be. The .375 with a solid performs well on these small antelope and it only punches a small 375-diameter hole in the animal with no damage at all to the cape, and it gives the hunter a little more room for “error”.
After planning our strategy over lunch, Poen said he wanted to try two gardens that he hadn’t been to in a while. The last few times he was there some months ago, he saw some really good red duiker and even managed to harvest a good one with a client.
At about 14:00, we headed back to the gardens that Poen had mentioned. It was new territory for us and a good idea, because we would be able to look for suni as well on the way there. With all the so-called boxes ticked, we set out for the afternoon session with high hopes and the everlasting dream of big animals.