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Tiny Ten

Tiny Ten Species, Hunting, Facts & Deals

Hunting the Tiny Ten in Africa is deemed to be the most challenging hunt on the continent, and possibly the world. Let’s explore the species that form part of this group.

Cost2-3 Separate Safaris. Price Dependant.
AreaLimpopo, Mozambique
Tiny Ten Blue Duiker Hunting Africa South
Blue Duiker in South Africa

About the Tiny Ten

The most difficult hunt in Africa is considered to be on the species belonging to the Tiny Ten group of animals. The Tiny Ten has a special place in our hearts as it poses a real challenge to hunter and Professional hunting guide alike. These small beauties are not only physically small, with some weighing as little as 5kg (11lbs), but extraordinarily clever. In fact, one of the species beloning to this group is the Blue Duiker. Duiker is directly translated as “Diver” and earned its name due to its instinctive behaviour to dive its small little body inside the nearest thick bush the moment they are alerted to any disturbance in the veld. Hunters will often walk right past these antelope if you are not vigilant enough. 

Africa has dozens of antelope which can be classified as tiny. As an example, the Duiker species is comprised of over 19 sub species, all of which are tiny in size. However, the Tiny Ten as referred to by hunters is a selection of these tiny antelope which can be more broadly found across many areas already visited and open to hunters. They pose a great challenge for veteran African hunters and is the ultimate collection of African game. 

A 21-day Safari is required to hunt the Tiny Ten, which is why most hunters, due to a lack of time, usually doesn’t hunt them all in one Safari. Roaring success can never be guaranteed when it comes to hunting, especially the Tiny Ten, so we usually recommend that hunters prepare themselves for two separate Safaris, and possibly a third. This is the ultimate challenge. 

These small creatures are particularly vulnerable to poaching and as a result their populations have somewhat decreased in some locations. This fact, and the significant increase in demand for these antelope has had the result of rapidly increased prices over the previous few hunting seasons.

You must go on these specialized hunts with a knowledgeable guide, or you risk being let down.

 

Tiny Ten Species

Let’s explore the species belonging to the Tiny Ten group, individually. These species are all tiny in size but have very distinct characteristics & behaviours. Some, but most, do not belong to the same species group. 

Duiker (Blue)

The royal antelope, which may be found in Guinea and Nigeria, is the smallest of the 19 duiker species, while this blue duiker is the second-tiniest antelope after it. The night and the early morning hours are when the blue duiker is most active. To deter other blue duikers, duiker pairs patrol their territory and mark their borders. When scared, they frequently freeze and make an alarm noise.

The blue duiker is mostly found in Mozambique, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, where it lives in deep woods. Smaller populations are also found in central Africa. For protection and shade, they remain close to forests or areas of dense vegetation. They only reside in regions that precisely match their extremely particular habitat needs, and as such have a limited home range. 

They eat insects, eggs, flowers, and fruit. Predators on the ground and raptors like the crowned eagle that hunt prey from above feed on them, utilizing their powerful talons to make the kill.

Blue duiker hunting requires a great deal of endurance. They spend a lot of time either in long grass or in shrubs hiding. They hardly ever make any noise and seldom ever move in a way that would reveal their whereabouts. If you approach one, it can stop for a few moments before darting away. The optimum moment to take a shot will be now. The hunter must be prepared to fire since the blue duiker will only be in view for a fleeting time.

Many consider a shotgun in one of the smaller gauges like a 20 or 28 gauge, to be the ideal firearm for Blue Duiker. Others would prefer a high velocity rifle with solid point ammunition to minimize damage. To us, the weapon of choice depends on where you will be hunting Blue Duiker. 

Duiker (Common / Grey)

The Common Duiker, or Grey Duiker, is the most abundant of the Duiker sub species in Africa. It is one of the smallest members of the duiker family and is often referred to as the common, or bush, duiker. Except for the rain forests in the middle and west of the continent, most of southern Africa is covered by its habitat. It favors locations with enough foliage to provide food and cover from the numerous predators that pursue grey Duiker, much like the other members of the Tiny Ten. It favors grassy plains, savannas, and other woods. The KwaZulu-Natal & Limpopo Provinces of South Africa and Zimbabwe are renowned for having many trophy grey duikers. 

The duiker will consume everything that is smaller and slower than it, including leaves, fallen fruit, tubers, insects, frogs, and pretty much any other tiny creature or reptiles. The majority of its water needs are met by the liquid in the plants it consumes. It is highly adapted for surviving months at end without directly consuming water.

Grey duikers can be hunted in a variety of methods. The best outcomes come from chance opportunities, as so many African hunts do. Early in the morning and late in the day are when the antelope is most active. To evade predators, it spends the day lurking under dense cover. The grey duiker may be pursued at night using spotlights when authorized by legislation. It is challenging to evaluate trophies since the animal won’t be seen for very long. Your sole chance to take a shot will probably be during a see-shoot hunt with little to no time to consider the size of the horns. Between 3.5 and 4 inches long, the horns are as tall as the animal’s ears.

Because of its keen sense of smell and quick reflexes, the antelope may be challenging to locate and kill. When it is in the bush, its brownish-gray coloring makes it difficult to spot. Your choice of firearm will depend on what you happen to be holding right now. A shotgun in the 20-28 gauge would be an excellent choice when especially searching for Grey Duiker when the animal bolts off and you need to make a quick shot. A rifle with solid point ammunition is also handy to keep at hand in case you spot one at a slightly further distance. Again, it all depends on the habitat you are hunting. 

Duiker (Red)

The densely wooded regions of Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania, and Zambia are home to the Red duiker, often referred to as the forest duiker. South Africa and Mozambique are the main hunting grounds for them. Although horns are present in both sexes, male horns are twice as long as female horns.

Diver is the Afrikaans word for duiker. They acquired this name due to their propensity to flee into the undergrowth in response to any disturbance – this is especially true for the clever Red Duiker. Both the morning and the evening are busy for them. If human settlements encroach on their region, they will turn nocturnal.

The KwaZulu Natal Province in South Africa is one of the greatest places to hunt them. Searching for spoor along highways or in open spaces where it is known to have been feeding is the most effective technique to hunt Natal red duikers. Personally, we also prefer walking the forest riverine where you have a little more visibility and can catch Red Duiker on the banks. To get the duiker within range, we employ animal sounds. Short ranges and quick firing are common. Gun wise, a shotgun is the greatest option. If using a rifle is preferred, stick to the .243/6mm bullet sizes.

Grysbuck (Cape)

The Western Cape region of South Africa is the natural home to this little Cape grysbok antelope. The region between Albany and the Cederburg Mountains is where it is most commonly found. Its habitat consists of dense grasses and scrubby bushes. It snoozes away in the bushes throughout the day. It occasionally feeds just before sunrise or right before dusk. But at night, it is most active. The Cape grysbok will freeze if it feels danger and won’t move until it is almost stomped on. It will sprint with unpredictable direction changes in an effort to confuse a predator.

The Cape Grysbuck is a solitary antelope which only forms couples during mating season. It relies on its own wits and evasion skills to avoid predators. It mostly consumes grass, however when accessible, it will also consume berries and new shoots. If it manages to breach the perimeter fences surrounding orchards and vineyards, it might provide issues for a farmer. 

The Cape gemsbok is preyed upon by hyenas, wild dogs, lions, and leopards. It will puff out its fur on its hindquarters to seem bigger if it feels threatened.

In a known location where its spoor has been found, strolling and stalking is the most effective way to hunt Cape grysbok. Early in the day or from a half-hour before dusk till the end of hunting light are the finest times to go hunting.

Don’t trophy-judge the Cape Grysbok by appearance because the female is bigger. Anything longer than 1.5 inches counts as good horns. Any rifle with a modest caliber will work for hunting. Aim for the animal’s largest visible body part but move quickly because it won’t stay in view for long. Good tracking skills are of vital importance. 

Grysbuck (Sharpes)

Compared to the Cape grysbok, the Sharpe’s grysbok is somewhat smaller. It is a little, lonely antelope that keeps to itself. Horns are only present on males. It is a very nocturnal species and is typically only spotted in the early morning or late at night.

The Sharpe’s grysbok will flee from danger for a considerable distance without turning around before halting. They may seek refuge in burrows when they are afraid. Because of their behavior, they are challenging to hunt.

Given that they are tiny enough to squeeze under fences protecting crops and wine vines, they are somewhat of a burden for farmers. As pests, the farmers chase them. They are preyed upon by lions, leopards, hyenas, and wild dogs.

A shotgun loaded with either #7 lead shot or #5 or #6 steel shot is the finest weapon for hunting this little antelope. Before firing, try to perform a quiet stalk inside 40 yards. In places where it’s permitted, you may use a spotlight to hunt them at night. Again, if night hunting is prohibited, early in the morning or just before dusk are the ideal times to hunt them.

Usually, these antelope are opportunity hunted while on a hunt for other plains game and carrying a larger caliber rifle.  If this is the case, aim for the biggest part.  Avoid head or neck shots.

Klipspringer

Since it spends much of its time on rocky kopjes (hills), the klipspringer gets its name from the Kiswahili phrase for “goat of the rocks” and is a good climber. Its back legs are fairly robust, and it has a big physique for its size. It is mostly found in the highlands of the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa. The klipspringer stands on its very tips of toes, unlike other animal species. It can place all four of its hooves on a rock as big as a poker chip.

Klipspringers only have horns on the males, which are between four and six inches long. It is a herbivore, and the plant it eats provides all of the water it needs. It has a large life territory that ranges from 20 to 120 acres. The ram is particularly watchful, keeping watch from the tops of large boulders for any potential threats. When a predator gets close to the male, he will grunt-whistle, sending the ewe running for the cliffs. It can outrun the majority of predators on rough terrain and steep hills.

The easiest technique to locate and stalk a klipspringer is to hunt from below since it keeps an eye out for predators coming from above. Slow down and keep an eye aloft.

The klipspringer will flee at the first hint of danger, yet it frequently pauses and turns to check behind it. When it happens, get your gun ready.

Oribi

The semi-open vegetation of grasslands and woodlands is preferred by oribi. Although they frequently form pairs, they may sometimes be seen in groups of up to seven individuals. They serve as boundary markers and are territorial. They eat new grasses during the wet season. During the dry season, they consume bushes.

When startled, the Oribi emit a loud whistle. They will freeze in the dense grass as danger draws near. They sprint, leaping into the air every few yards with all four legs straight down and their back arched when the predator gets within a few yards. “Stotting” is the term for this.

Oribi is preyed upon by lions, jackals, leopards, caracals, and other predators including crocodiles and pythons. The juvenile antelopes will be killed by eagles and other birds. Oribi should be hunted in the early morning or right before nightfall since they eat during the cooler hours. They have the same traits as the other members of the Tiny 10. When startled, they will move quickly before stopping and turning to look behind them. They occasionally even take a few steps backward. You could then receive a shot.

A big caliber gun is not required because of their little stature. something that is typical. The 243/6mm range should work. A flat-shooting round is essential since the shot can be across an open plain at a distance. A 70–90 grain bullet traveling at a speed of more than 3,000 feet per second would be the ideal ballistic. A hunter might work in the bush up close or out at 200 yards using a variable scope in the 3-9x range. Aim one-third up the torso, directly behind the foreleg.

Steenbok

The most prevalent and perhaps the simplest to hunt of the Tiny Ten is steenbok. It is a diurnal creature that is active at all times between dawn and night. It may turn nocturnal if civilisation encroaches. It gets all the water it needs from the plants it eats. The steenbok will continue to be active if the day is chilly. On hot days, it seeks cover and relaxes.

Rams have horns that are 6-7 inches long and stick straight out of their skulls. They will dive flat to avoid being seen if they sense a threat. If that doesn’t work, they will zigzag to fend off predators. It runs for a little while, then stops and looks behind, which is a tendency shared by other Tiny Ten. A shot may be feasible if the hunter is keeping an eye out for this, but it will need to be quick.

Steenbok hunting will need a slow stalk through tall grass. It often gives hunters quite the fright when it jumps and runs, which is certain to give someone a fair dose of adrenaline, as it will lay flat until the very last second. Steenbok hunting may be a challenging endeavor. This little antelope possesses keen eyesight, ears, and a strong sense of smell. The steenbok hunt may be quite difficult given its coloring and propensity to cling on until the very end.

Suni

Suni antelopes consume flowers, fungi, leaves, and fruit for food. They do not use any water; instead, they obtain all of their needs from the plants they consume. The suni are quite difficult to identify in their environment of arid land because of their superb colour. The only sex that has horns is male. A quality prize would have horn that was three to five inches long. When danger approaches, this antelope lets out a high-pitched barking call. The suni, like other Tiny Ten, will freeze when it is attacked in the hopes that its camouflage may fool a predator. If it doesn’t succeed, it will inevitably run into thick undergrowth. The same poor tendency of sprinting briefly before pausing to check behind it persists, though.

The best way to hunt suni is to stroll game paths where their spoor is present. A shotgun is the ideal weapon for a suni hunt. Shots will be fired quickly and closely. When the antelope starts running toward the dense brush, the hunter will catch a brief glimpse of it. When it stops to look back, the hunter may then obtain a brief shot.

Damara Dik Dik

A tiny antelope known as the Damara dik-dik may be found in southern and eastern Africa’s wilderness, mostly in southwest Angola and central and northwest Namibia. The sound it produces gave rise to its East African moniker, “dik-dik.” The largest members of the species are the females. The horns on males are around three inches long and slope backward. The Damara dik-dik will sprint in a sequence of stiff-legged bounds if it becomes startled. The Damara dik-dik lives in the jungle where there is enough protection from lions, caracals, hyenas, wild dogs, and even monitor lizards. It is found in arid places. The rabbit-sized antelope is hunted in Africa by almost all predators.

The most effective approach to hunt for Damara dik-diks is to stalk and wander through locations where their footprints or excrement have been discovered. When the sun doesn’t have a strong bite, they are most active in the early morning and late afternoon. They lurk in the bushes during the day and are difficult to see unless they move because of their inherent camouflage. Their tracking can begin after their spore has been found. The Kaokoland region in Namibia’s northwest and the Grootfontein in Damaraland are two of the greatest locations for dik-dik hunting.

Any small-caliber rifle will do for hunting purposes as far as weapons go. You should have a rifle in the 6mm-.243 Winchester calibers if your safari is solely focused on the Tiny Ten. Due of the antelope’s diminutive size, center of mass shots are preferable. The taxidermist won’t have much to work with if it’s just a headshot. Instead of the shoulder, go for the chest. A small gauge shotgun loaded with #6 shot is an excellent alternative to other types of weapons.

Interesting Facts About Tiny Ten Antelope

  • It is estimated that Africa is home to over 42 different “tiny” antelope.
  • The Tiny Ten is a hunting group of species, made of the most sought after and least venerable species safe for commercial hunting.
  • There are 19 officially recognized Duiker species
  • Duiker species do not actively seek out water, as they have adapted to extract the required moisture from the vegetation they consume. This is the same for many of the Tiny antelope. 
  • There are 4 Dik Dik species. 
  • Africa’s Tiny antelope do not live in herds, and most are only found in pairs during the mating season. 
  • Africa’s Tiny Ten antelope are fall prey to many predators, including reptiles, birds, canines and even the big & small cats.
  • The Blue Duiker is the smallest of the Tiny Ten, weighing only 8lbs (3.6 kg’s) and standing 11 inches (27 cm) tall. 
Hunting the Tiny Ten with Pioneer Safaris

Tiny Ten Hunting Costs

Most hunters don’t have the time to go on a 21-day Safari. We recognize this. And even if you have the luxury to take the time, hunting the entire Tiny Ten in one Safari would require a fair amount of travel. We therefor recommend that your Tiny Ten collection be done over the course of three Safaris, each in a different hunting location with Pioneer at our concessions. This will ensure a more relaxed hunting Safari, optimizing our chances of success, and leaving you with additional time to hunt other species outside of the Tiny Ten also. 

 

Logistics:

The best areas to hunt the Tiny Ten are South Africa, Namibia & Mozambique, respectively. However, we would need to discuss your personal needs to clearly understand what it is you need and are looking for. With a little information from your side, everything is possible. Pioneer has access to our two privately owned estates, and various concessions to ensure that your hunt is nothing short of spectacular. 

As we will be hunting various areas, this hunt can be combined with any other plains, or Dangerous game hunts

 

Safari Pricing:

  • 1×1 Hunter – $400 per day (Dedicated Professional Hunter)
  • 2×1 Hunter – $320 per day (One PH with Two Hunters)
  • Observer     – $220 per day (Non-Hunters)
  • Children 13 – $145 per day (Non-Hunter) 

Pioneer also offer other Safari budget options. You can view all here.

 

Trophy Fees:

As mentioned throughout this post, the Tiny Ten antelope is found across a wide range of habitats, and as such, the best places to hunt them are not close together. We highly recommended that you split this collection into three Safaris:

1st Safari:

  • Duiker Blue $2,200
  • Duiker Common $450
  • Grysbuck Cape $2,200
  • Klipspringer $1,750
  • Oribi $2,950
  • Steenbok $750.00

2nd Safari:

  • Duiker Red $2,500
  • Grysbok Sharpes $3,950
  • Suni $3,500

3rd Safari

  • Damara Dik Dik $3,500

 

Prices are in US Dollars. Use our cost converter to convert the pricing to your currency.

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