Papa and Tori's Adventure at Kanana
Kanana Safari Botswana 2013
Upon return from my first and successful safari to South Africa in May of 2012, I wasn't planning on a return until 2014; this is until I saw a post on AH by Kanana Safaris in Botswana that offered great prices on a plains game hunt with an extra bonus that caught my interest. They were offering a youth hunt for a hunter under 18 to accompany the paying hunter at no additional cost and the youth hunter could take a Gemsbok and other animals at no additional fee.
I took advantage of the offer and booked a short 5 day hunt to be conducted in early September 2013 with Kanana for myself and my 14 year old granddaughter. The hunt was for Kudu, Zebra, and Eland for me and the Gemsbok for my granddaughter who had never hunted before.
The first order of business for me with a year to go prior to the hunt was to improve my shooting off sticks, (which I had trouble with on my first hunt) and to decide on what rifle or rifles I would bring for the hunt for both of us. As my granddaughter had never shot a high power rifle before we needed to practice a lot prior to the hunt.
I decided to hunt with one rifle for both of us, and that rifle was my Remington Sendero in 300 Ultra Mag. There were a couple of reasons for this selection, First, I love the rifle, it is a ｽ MOA tack driver out to 600 yards and beyond, and although distance is not needed that kind of accuracy really helps build confidence in ability for shot placement. Second, Remington makes a reduced recoil load for the 300 Ultra that mimics the ballistics of the 30-06. Point of impact at 100 yards between my 180 grain Socorro load and the 150 grain for my granddaughter is almost identical. Lots of practice was taken by us during the next months and by our last range session she could shoot better than I could at 100 yards off the sticks. It proved to be a great plan.
The next part of the planning was deciding how to get from Phoenix AZ to Maun Botswana. The route I decided on was Phoenix to London and London to Johannesburg via British Airways, Johannesburg to Maun via South African Airlines. This route requires no overnight layovers. Arrangement were made by Gracy Travel and everything went great, British Airlines was great with the firearms, permits and meet and greet handled by Gracy was excellent. Assistance by Kanana Safaris in getting through the paperwork in Maun was also great.
Day Three - Tori's Gemsbuk
This was Toriｴs day to hunt Gemsbok, I must say that when she initially arrived in camp she was very quiet, as the days went on she became more and more open. Especially with the young apprentice in camp Will and George she made friends.
An example of her humor, as the truck was being driven by Will to pick up the Zebra, Tori was on the back of the truck with JP騾橸ｽｴ pointing stick doing an also perfect imitation of JP giving Will orders on directions and telling him he had to shower at least on Tuesdays. All done with a passable Afrikaans accent
We started out looking for Gemsbok and spotted one a ways off the wind was right so the stalk was started, after 30-40 minutes she was brought into position by JP. The Gemsbok was about 150 yards away, JP was great with her setting up the shot, telling her where to hit the Gemsbok, and Tori at 150 yards off the sticks, drilled the Gemsbuk with one shot, it went down within 25 yards. No additional shots were needed, a clear, perfectly placed one shot, no tracking necessary first big game animal. The entire trip was a success right then. I was and am one proud Papa.
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Everyone was so excited, back to the skinner with Toriｴs trophy and a quick lunch and out again.
We went back out to try Eland again, and a spot and stalk Eland hunt is very often a marathon of walking and stalking a very wary animal. Stalking a big bull for the remainder of the day was not successful; we just could not catch up with him. Really put on some boot miles. This is a definitely one of my favorite hunts.
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