Professional Hunter Piet Otto specializes in big kudu bulls. This iconic African antelope is on every hunter’s wish-list and Otto uses a unique means of helping hunters succeed. One might think that a savvy Professional Hunter might suggest a .375 H&H magnum or other powerful caliber, yet Otto has great success with a crossbow.
“Even the biggest and wildest animals must drink and ambushing animals at a waterhole provides the extra seconds needed to access a trophy properly,” Otto says. “Instead of a glimpse of horns in thick bush, my clients get the thrill of seeing multiple trophies and the opportunity to take one good shot.”
I had the chance to hunt with Otto in South Africa and take a beautiful black sable with a crossbow. Like the kudu, these are elk-size animals that require an accurate shot from a powerful bow for a quick ethical demise. My sable appeared suddenly at a waterhole and Otto talked me through the shot. When we saw the lighted nock disappear into its shoulder, we were so excited we could barely speak.
Outfitters and Professional Hunters around the world are learning that a crossbow can be a very effective tool to take trophy animals, despite its close-range ability and single-shot technology. Presently, I’m at the Safari Club International Convention in Reno, one of the best places on earth to find a great adventure hunt. If you can physically attend, check out all the great hunts through the SCI Website at www.showsci.org.
New Crossbows for 2019
Crossbows continue to improve in dependability and convenience. I’ve flown five different brands to Africa over the past four years with excellent success. Here’s a quick look at models just released.
TenPoint Nitro XRT-
TenPoint now produces one of the fastest crossbows in the world, the Nitro XRT. The bow and stock assemblies combine to create a perfectly balanced, sharp-shooting crossbow that weighs 7.4-pounds, measures only 30.7-inches long, and shoots up to a supercharged 470 feet-per-second – making it the fastest and shortest crossbow ever. This top-of-the-line bow is made in America and warranted by TenPoint. At 470 fps, its trajectory is much flatter than competing bows and makes aiming easier and more accurate. www.TenPointcrossbows.com
Wicked Ridge Ranger X2-
If you are looking to enter the crossbow market for the first time and want an all-purpose, economical bow, the Ranger X2 is ideal. Fully assembled, the Ranger X2 is lightweight, at 5.9 pounds, and shoots its recommended 18-inch Wicked Ridge Ranger carbon arrow at 330 feet-per-second. At only 33.5 inches long, it features an easy-to-manage 150-pound draw weight and a 16-inch axle-to-axle width when cocked. Although the 330 fps speed is less than the sizzling shafts of the Nitro XRT, 330 fps bows have killed some of the largest game animals on earth. Fitted with the ACU-52 cocking system, it’s easy to cock and light to shoot. www.wickedridgecrossbows.com
Excalibur Bulldog 440-
The BULLDOG 440 comes standard with the Charger EXT Silent Cranking System which allows anyone to silently cock and de-cock their crossbow safely with a mere 15 pounds of cranking force, making the BULLDOG 440 a crossbow that anyone can use. In addition to the Charger EXT, the Bulldog 440 comes equipped with our New TACT-100 Scope, Expert Series Premium PROFLIGHT Arrows and PRO-SHOT ACP Trigger creating industry leading performance and accuracy. Also available in a flat black finish, target and competition shooters will also be able to benefit from the BULLDOG 440’s flat trajectory and deadly accurate long range capabilities. www.excaliburcrossbow.com
Mission Sub 1 XR
Mission executives claimed that the SUB 1 was the world’s most accurate crossbow and tournament shooters proved it, winning 41 out of 42 podiums in NFAA, IBO and ASA shoots. This year is all about expanding that proven platform.
The new SUB 1 XR is designed for speed and accuracy, delivering speeds up to 410 fps with the capability of shooting 1” groups at 100 yards. It features the innovative Benchmark Fire Control technology, which includes a 3-pound match-grade trigger, the Easy-Load™bolt retention arm and the ability to safely de-cock with the push of a button.
The compact frame is 9.1 inches axle-to-axle and just 30.5 inches long. With Mission’s uncompromising commitment to high quality materials, the SUB-1 XR delivers one of the most premium crossbow experiences on the market. www.missioncrossbows.com
In summary, a crossbow can provide more hunting days and experiences that you’ve not dreamed of. For the gun-hunter, the increased hunting opportunities are awe inspiring.