About a month ago, we picked up this great looking blue duiker ram on the trail camera. I’ve been on the look out for something special for Frikkie Botha for at least two years. I quickly forwarded the pictures to Frikkie and he was immediately ready to arrange a trip down in January 2021.

The trip was scheduled for 5 January. Frikkie made the 10 hour trip by car, arriving in Port Alfred at about 3 pm that afternoon. After a quick rest we were ready to go, heading off to the blind at around 4pm. It was a warm day and knew we were in for a bit of discomfort in the blind. We were all set and ready for the wait to see if our trophy would grace us with his presence. It was hard to get a read on the exact pattern of activity from the blue duiker as the camera showed random times of activity, from early morning, to sometimes midday, and sometimes late evening. Late evening seemed to be the best bet on this day with the heat as it was and the wind gradually dropping as the afternoon progressed. Three quarters of an hour had passed when we spotted our first blue duiker – we went from sleepy to full-on wide awake in an instant. Moving in from the darkness of the thicket into the exposure of the light, I told everyone not to move, as these animals rely greatly on sight for predator avoidance. Lifting up the binoculars slowly we saw it was a female and not the one we were after.
Another hour and a half passed with many different bird sightings. I was struggling to stay awake in the heat that seemed to drain the life out of me. But if there is one thing I have learnt, it is to never drop your guard when hunting this species. They can appear in the blink of an eye, emerging from the coastal thicket. That is exactly what happened this time. Out of the brush came another female and 30 seconds later the targeted male, ever so cautious, followed her. The sighting was short lived as a cape turtle dove swooped down next to him, sending him off darting back into the security of the thicket. You can see just how cautious he was from watching the clip inserted below.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H8k7XTJjVEg
I heard a sigh from Frikkie thinking that it was over for the day, but we continued to sit in hope. By 7pm we were really starting to doubt, and I was beginning to believe that we would have to try the next day, but 5 mins later the female came back and so did he. Looking very nervous, he was about to repeat the same dash and Frikkie took the shot. Absolute “monster” of a blue duiker, well done Frikkie for making the trip for this magnificent trophy and successfully hunting the smallest of the tiny 10 specimens. I look forward to the next hunting excursion together.