Duiker Hunting in Africa

Interesting facts about the grey duiker

  • The common duiker will stand on its hind feet to reach high into fruiting bushes.
  • It is thought that there are eight different races of common duiker. This varied coloration may enable them to match the habitats specific to their location.
  • Some African rock pythons have died when their stomachs have been pierced by the horns of male duikers after they have swallowed them whole.
  • Duikers run with a distinctive darting and diving style when they flee danger. This gives rise to its common name which is the Afrikaans for “diver”.
  • Little is known about the common duiker’s social life so more research is needed before we can say whether they are or are not monogamous and territorial.
  • Whilst duikers predominantly eat leaves some unusual items have been found in their diet including baby birds and small rodents. It’s not known whether these are eaten by accident or as a protein supplement.
  • The male common duiker has a small pair of horns but in some areas, it is common for the females to possess them too.
  • The common duiker uses a pair of glands under its eyes for scent marking with a tarry secretion.

The difference between a male and female Grey Duiker

Grey Duiker males have horns while females do not. The female and the male have a tuft of hair growing on their heads.

Grey Duiker Male with horns

Grey Duiker Male

Grey Duiker female with no horns

Grey Duiker Female

Background information on African Duiker hunting

Duiker is a small to medium-sized brown antelope native to Sub-Saharan Africa. They are found in heavily wooded areas.

Duikers are very shy, elusive creatures with a fondness for dense cover; those that tend to live in more open areas, for example, are quick to disappear into thickets for protection.

Since the common grey duiker lives in more open areas, like savannas, it has longer legs and vertical horns, which allows it to run faster and for longer distances; only the males, who are more confrontational and territorial, exhibit horns.

Also, duikers have well-developed periorbital glands, which resemble slits under their eyes, or in the cases of blue duikers, pedal glands on their hooves. Males use secretions from these glands to mark their territory.

Duiker Hunting in South Africa

Your Duiker trophy should have an average shoulder height of around 17 inches, weigh about 25 pounds and have a horn length of approximately 4 inches. The Safari Club International score for a Duiker is 11. This is measured by adding the length of each horn as well as the circumference of the bases.

Duiker are solitary animals and often shot opportunistically while glassing for other trophies. They can make for an added bonus while looking for your bigger game animals. Duiker require a stalk through thick terrain. Shots will often be quite close when hunting the grey duiker.

Hunting these Duikers is usually done in the early morning, late afternoon or by spotlight at night. The Grey Duiker forms part of the Tiny 10, and hunting one is a must for any hunter wishing to complete his/her selection of the small antelope species.

Duiker hunting in Africa. Shot placement

Shot placement for Duiker Hunting

Unlike most of the other duikers, only the male carries horns, which stand fairly upright. The name 'duiker' is derived from the Dutch 'dive', descriptive of their low, scooting style of running. The duiker is mostly a browser, and most active during the late afternoon and early evening.

This member of the pygmy antelope clan can survive in close proximity to man. He is independent of water as he is able to get sufficient moisture from browsing. When hunting duiker, trophy evaluation can be difficult, as most often only fleeting glances will be offered.

Horn tips level with the top of the ears are about 4 inches in length; if the horns extend beyond the ear tips by an inch or more, you are looking at a fairly high scoring trophy. Hunting Duiker can be extremely difficult; this mini-antelope has extremely refined senses, small size, camouflaged coloring, and a habit of staying in or close to the long grass and thick brush.

Most hunting calibers, are used to take the duiker as it is often opportunistic. We recommend a 243. For those hunters who do not wish to go through the red tape of having to bring a rifle in to South Africa Nick Bowker Hunting has available a Sako carbon light 243 fitted with a Swarovski Z8 tactical scope. We use Sako factory ammunition. Place your shot on the side-on target to execute the high heart/lung shot; i.e. straight up the foreleg, just below the animal’s midline.

IDENTIFICATION: A small antelope brown in color with a black stripe on the snout from the forehead to the nose. A black tuft of hair can be found between the ears of the female and the horns of the male. Thin legs with black running up the front from the hooves to the knee, on both the front and back legs. The tail is white underneath. 

A Duiker Trophy hunted in South Africa with Nick Bowker Hunting. One of Africa’s leading hunting safari outfitters

Duiker Trophy taken with Nick Bowker. Your Professional Hunter and Outfitter