The duiker is a pygmy antelope, which measures only 23.6" at shoulder height, and weighs only about 30 live pounds. A solitary species, the duiker is mainly nocturnal, but it can be seen during the daylight, sometimes in monogamous pairs.
Duikers can live in close proximity of humans, and have a scooting running style when threatened. It leaves behind a small, pointed, narrow track. The duiker's diet provides sufficient moisture, making the antelope independent of water sources.
Duikers are shy and elusive, hiding out in the dense bush during the warmer hours of the day. Sometimes, duikers can be found in pairs, feeding in cultivated land. Its diet consists of grass, roots, fruits and leaves, which is why it thrives in the savanna woodlands in close proximity to cover.
The duiker has a low-slung body with wedge-shaped heads and slender legs. A crest of long hair can be seen on top of the head, and it has large eyes. Subspecies include the blue duiker, southern bush duiker and Natal red duiker.
Only the male duiker has horns, which are short, spiky and less rounded than that of forest duikers. The horns are so flat against the head that they serve no purpose in fighting. Its ears are approximately 4 inches in length, while the horns are about one inch longer, making it a great trophy.
A good duiker trophy is identified by the horns. It can be hard to spot a good trophy as the smaller animals have crests of hair which may cover the small horns. Male and female Natal red and blue duikers both have horns all year long, while other female duikers grow rudimentary horns.
Duikers are typically used for full mounts that include habitat. However, skull and shield mounts and shoulder mounts are equally attractive.
A solitary species, the duiker is mainly nocturnal, but it can be seen during the daylight
|Gestation Period:||6 - 7.5 months|
|Weight:||12 - 25 kg|
|Horn Length:||11 cm|
Duikers offer a challenging hunt, because they can move at lightning speed when they are alarmed. You need to be prepared to squeeze out a fast and accurate shot, because the animal will dive for cover at incredible speed. However, since you may only be afforded fleeting glances, trophy evaluation may be tricky.
The duiker's senses are exceptionally keen and its coloring tends to camouflage it in the surrounding habitat. The animal tends to hide out in thick brush and long grass.
For the most part, hunters seize the opportunity to take a duiker when an opportunity presents itself while they hunt for other species. In those cases, they use the rifle they already have in hand. However, the best equipment when purposely hunting for duiker, is a shotgun or anything ranging from a .223 to a .375 caliber, because most shots will be fired at close range on a fast moving target.
As with most antelope species, the heart-lung shot is ideal for the duiker. When faced side-on, place the shot in the high heart-lung position, which is just below the antelope's midline, straight up the foreleg. A shot in the high shoulder will cause the antelope to drop immediately, and he should be easier to find.