The suni is a very small species of antelope and are usually taken only when the opportunity arises. They are a member of the tiny ten antelope of Africa and weigh a mere 10 pounds when mature. There are two sub species of suni which are found in Africa, the Livingston’s suni and the East African Suni.
The Livingston’s Suni can be hunted in Mozambique and South Africa. Their range crosses over into Zimbabwe but they seem to occur in very low numbers over there and cannot be hunted. The Livingston suni is slightly larger than the East African. If a Suni is taken in northern parts of Mozambique, it may be n East African Suni and not the Livingston as you may think. In South Africa the Livingston Suni may be hunted from small populations in the coastal regions of KwaZulu-Natal.
The east African Suni can be taken in eastern Tanzania including the Selous reserve. A 16 or 21day license is required for this hunt.
Record books such as the Safari Club International state that the Mozambique / Tanzanian border is the dividing line for the Eats African and Livingston suni sub species. This is where the two sub species tend to overlap so if an East African Suni is hunted in northern Mozambique it may be recorded a Livingston’s according to SCI rules.
Only the male suni carry horns which grow to an average of three inches. They usually found in pairs but older males may be solitary. Family groups consisting of a male, female and lamb suni are also common. The suni has excellent camouflage which makes spotting them very challenging. They inhabit thicket areas with dense undergrowth and are not reliant on water. Suni eat a range of fruit and leaves and get everything they need from the food they consume. The Suni has a high pitched barking cry which they use to alert others in the area when they feel threatened.
Specifically targeting suni is a big challenge, requiring a lot of patience and time. Walking and stalking in habitat where suni are likely to occur is the most proven method. Early Morning and dusk are the best times to look for these small animals, as they tend to hide away for the heat of the day. Another method of hunting suni is by locating communal dung heap. Several suni in the area will use a communal dung heap, so if such a heap is located a blind can be built and one can wait to see what comes in.
Majority of Suni are shot while looking for something else, they have a tendency to freeze when they feel threatened, this lasts for only a few seconds until and allows the hunter to determine if it’s a good specimen. When they do decide to flee, they run and hop dodging bushes from left to right and disappear back into the thick brush.
Many PHs prefer using a shotgun when going after suni. While walking through suni habitat one never really knows what to expect. After spotting a suni there are only one or two seconds to determine if it is a good trophy, then the shot needs to be taken. Using a shotgun allows the hunter to shoot very quickly when the time is right, and one does not need to wait for a broad side shot. The coat on a suni is also very delicate and a shotgun gun with no1 or no3 shot spares coat damage. A small calibre rifle will also work very well on suni, especially if sitting in a blind or waiting on a game trail where suni are known to frequently be active.
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