Here’s a field test of real gear in tough conditions on game that has been hunted for four months. Our safari with Rassie Erasmus ( was target-rich and action-packed. Fourteen days on the hunt of a lifetime can prove a lot about gear. Check out the results.

Excalibur Micro Crossbow

In firearm terms, the Micro is a carbine of sorts with its light weight (5.2 lbs.) and short length. This bow is perfect for a ground blind or tree stand due to its great maneuverability. Excalibur recommends their Diablo carbon shafts with 150-grain broadheads for added FOC and improved accuracy. These arrows shot extremely well and the light shaft/heavy broadhead proved to be extremely accurate and deadly. The combination shot completely through both shoulders of the kudu and the big animal went just 100 yards before crashing.

Africa 2015 1 178Although small in stature, the bow takes a bit of strength to cock the 270 pounds of draw weight. Without the mechanical advantage of cams, I needed to bring enough force to bend the limbs and it was two hands full. Thanks to the short stock length of the bow, hunters can use their theigh muscles to bring the bow to the firing position. Cocking the bow doesn’t automatically engage the safety, so you need to be extra vigilant after the cock.

Using the standard Diablo arrows, 150-grain broadhead resulted in a mass of 400 gains with a speed averaging 284 fps. and a kinetic energy of 74.7 ft-lbs. I cut the premium Easton FMJ shafts down to 16 inches and netted a weight of 425 or 450 grains using various broadheads. The shafts flew at 303 fps with a kinetic energy of 86.6 ft-lbs.

Aimpoint H-2 Red Dot Sight

Red dot sights are excellent for close-range shooting, especially where animals are moving about and will quickly be out of range. The H-2 is parallax-free, so you don’t have to worry about the dot being centered in the scope. If you have to tilt to shoot from a blind window or can’t downward from a stand, the dot is where the arrow strikes. Additionally, battery life is 50,000 continuous hours so it could last a lifetime.

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