Free Hunt from Spiral Horn Safaris for 2010
This is a discussion on Free Hunt from Spiral Horn Safaris for 2010 within the FREE Hunts & Giveaways forums, part of the Hunting Forums - Main category; Why I Love Africa! Spiral Horn Safaris Contest Africa. The word alone conjures up images of the wildest place on ...
11-02-2009, 07:03 AM #21
Why I Love Africa!
Spiral Horn Safaris Contest
Africa. The word alone conjures up images of the wildest place on earth. It’s smiling people, abundant wildlife, and varied cultures make it a truly unique continent. A continent that I love.
I have been a student of Africa for a very long time. I started when I was in high school by reading books from Ruark, Hunter, Capstick and Hemingway. I became so obsessed that I bought an English to Swahili translation book and learned several words. Practical…no. Fun…absolutely. Later I tried to learn Afrikaans, without much luck.
From there it took over and I just had to visit the continent. I took out an extra student loan and spent a summer in college studying abroad in Nairobi, Kenya. My true goal in the summer abroad was to see what the “old safari grounds” really looked like. Traveled to numerous parks and generally saw the countryside. That was fun but only made things worse!
I moved onwards in my education. A few years later, Law School. I decided to go back for another summer abroad to Study Law in Africa. This trip was different and exciting. I lived in an apartment in downtown Nairobi and walked to the University. Culture shock but an amazing experience. While I was there I climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania and was lucky enough to raft the Nile in Uganda. A truly once in a lifetime trip, all the while picking up credit for school….and some hefty student loans.
But that trip only stirred something even more powerful; a need to return. Safaris to South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe have come and gone. I can’t wait to visit again. The continent is so absolutely huge and amazingly beautiful. Sunsets seem to go on forever. Smells, sights, and sounds that are so unique that it feels as though you are on another planet. Africa has become part of my life.
I don’t know that I actually want to be considered for this contest. Whoever is selected should make the most of every single minute. I truly hope they have dreamt of Africa, read about Africa, and done everything possible to be “ready” for their first safari.
I will be envious. The first safari is a life changing event. Whoever you are, best of luck and enjoy the experience. I know Louis Van Bergen and Spiral Horn Safaris staff will take care of your every need.Tom
11-03-2009, 09:42 AM #22
- Member of SCI, RMEF, Life member NRA and Manhatten (Montana) Wildlife Association
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Bill, I too would like to thank you for your post. I only hunted in Zimbabwe for a week in 2005, but some of what you posted mirrored my experiences there.
I too feel the excitement and anticipation when I first see the sands of the African coast. I too hunted the Metetsi where I first heard lions roar at night, saw fresh elephant, lion, and hiena tracks on the roads in the morning, and saw my first wild herds of Roan, Sable, and Buffalo.
At the conclusion of my hunt, we spent an afternoon and night in Vic Falls. My PH dropped me off at the gate into the Falls and I walked probably the same path that you did along the falls. The statue of Dr Livingstone standing near the head of the falls, I had another visitor take my picture in front of the falls with the rainbow, and walking the trail through the perpetual mist from the falls.
We did an evening cruise on the Zambezi River where we got close to Crocodile, Hippos, and elephants, and watched a spectacular sunset with that huge orange ball of fire setting into the waters of the Zambezi.
That night we had dinner at the Victoria Falls Hotel, and it too is a spectacular place. Unfortunately, with the current political situation in Zimbabwe, this once great hotel was almost completely empty. I think there were only two other tables with visitors having dinner there. They also had a dinner show that was similar to the one Bill described, but without the fellow with the pole. Another memorable aspect of the dinner was when my PH was paying the bill and counting the money in piles of $200,000 in Zim dollars.
After dinner it was interesting to walk around the Hotel and see all the old pictures that line the walls. When we drove away from the hotel we hadn't gone two blocks when we encountered two very large buffalo bulls crossing the road in front of us.
And I too would like to thank Spiral Horn Safaris for this free hunt opportunity, but I also do not wish to be considered so that maybe someone who has not yet experienced the wonders of Africa might win it.
11-03-2009, 10:50 AM #23
11-03-2009, 11:04 AM #24
This is a very nice offer. Hopefully someone who has long been dreaming of an African safari will win.
Thanks for supporting the hunters.
A fantastic offer for sure, i have been a recipient of AH.com`s emails for a long time yet never joined in on this forum,today I joined to reply to an old thread and only now became aware of this offer,a great gesture!
maybe I can string a few words together,hope so!
11-03-2009, 08:55 PM #26
Thanks a lot guys for the kind words. It show once again that us hunters are one big family we might fight amongst each other but when it comes down to it we stick together and look after our own. Love the positive feedback guys keep it coming.
I have been fortunate enough to have read some wonderful articles on Africa and I am sure that there will be more to come.
11-07-2009, 07:44 AM #27
- Member of north shore steelhead association
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hunting africa every hunter dreams of one day making a trip to africa. this dream came true for me in july 09. a group of hunters including myself made the trip to the eastern cape region of rsa. upon arrival we were greeted by our p.h.s we could not believe the beauty of this mountainous countryside. i hunted for 7 days and took 10 trophys. each animal taken had a story of its own and each hunt was different than the next. the hospitality of the south africans was something that i will not soon forget. my p.h videoed my entire hunt and the dvd takes me back to this dream hunt. i was even taken to my p.h.s house to hunt on his private land. i will be back to this land some day with some friends as this is where hunting began
11-07-2009, 11:45 PM #28
Kuduman sounds like you had a great time; the Cape Province is a beautiful place. I am happy to hear that you have so many good things to say about South Africa.
11-09-2009, 08:32 AM #29
Hi there guy's I would like to invite all the new members to enter since it will close on the 25th of November this is a perfect start for someone who has not hunted in Africa before.
Like you said after reading all these wonderfull articles it makes you realize how lucky we are to live in S.A. I must admit that after the first few articles it strucked me like lightning on how easy we take things for granted.
Thank you great idea and lovely stories!
11-09-2009, 06:42 PM #31
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I am originally from South Africa. I lived on a game farm that my father owned, and from a very young age he tough me and my brother to hunt. At the age of 9 I shot my first animal, which happened to be the best kudu trophy that was ever shot on our farm (at 62"). As I grew older, my father took me along on hunting trips and my list of trophies started growing.
By 2003, our farm was claimed through land claims, and as a family we decided to immigrate to New Zealand. Things took a while to be finalised, but eventually, by the end of 2007 we moved to Christchurch, New Zealand.
As we had a number of years between the time we decided to immigrate and making the actual move, my father tried to give me and my brother as many hunting opportunities as possible. He even took us to Zimbabwe on a buffalo hunt, although I came up empty-handed. He also took us on an elephant hunt in Botswana, which also turned out not to be fruitful. However, both these hunting trips contributed a great deal to my experience as a hunter, and also tought me that hunting is not only about shooting something, but also about admiring nature and the freedom that comes along with it. By the middle of 2007, my brother had already shot 2 buffalo, and my dad arranged a buffalo hunt for me at Komatipoort. At last, the day had come where I sat proudly alongside the buffalo I had so desperately hoped to hunt. This was to be the last hunt I'd ever have in Africa.
Here in New Zealand, hunting is very different. With only a few species available and extremely unforgiving terrain, I have so far been unsuccessful at bagging anything.
It would be amazing if I could ever have the opportunity to go back to South Africa and have one last hunt in Africa.
Thanks for a wonderful page on facebook. It really triggers fond memories of an amazing life in the beautiful African bush!
11-09-2009, 09:28 PM #32
Neil is this not a great example of why we as South Africans should take every day as a blessing it tugs at the hart strings as I am sure it does on yours.
Thank you for your kind words Neil.
Mroux very humbling letter and that from a X (fellow) South African guess you never fully realize what you have until it is gone.
Thank you so much for helping me realizes what we have.
11-09-2009, 10:34 PM #33
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Louis, some of the stories brings back many memories, and makes me yearn to be back in the bush.
Although I have hunted in Africa many times, I have not been on a hunt in many years due to hard times in the hunting industry, and as a freelance PH, I have had to resort back to hunting in the corporate world in the concrete jungle. But with a burning desire to get back to the bush...... the stalk, the anticipation of the hunt, the smell of the fresh bush......makes my mind wonder through a passage of soul searching.
Waking up before the crack of dawn, with a mission to complete. To track the trophy you are after, becoming one with the bush, sitting completely unmoved watching other game go by as not to disturb the peacefulness around the target.
Then the adrenaline buildup, your heart beating so hard in your chest, you wonder if your prey can hear the beating, you try and control your breathing......then you feel the calm.
As you take the shot, and the animal gives itself to you, a short sadness is almost overwhelming as you approach, when you become aware of the amazingness of the privilege of the hunt, and that it is almost over.
The love of the hunt, the passion of the stalk, the urge to be in the bush. driving all of us closer every time
11-10-2009, 11:23 AM #34
11-11-2009, 08:31 AM #35
My attempt to return.
The first snow of the year sifted gently through the naked aspen branches, swirling and seesawing back and forth on its way to the forests carpet of last summer’s leaves. The woods are shrouded in the silence that is peculiar to a new snowfall and I sit in the tree stand, content with the moment, waiting and hoping for a glimpse of the old whitetail buck that I know calls this place home. I am the intruder, but I have done my homework and I am optimistic he will not sense my presence.
I had seen the old buck several times during the summer. He is past his prime, a thick bodied old warrior with heavy antlers that have started to decline……….a trophy in the true sense of the word. I am at that stage in my life where I no longer feel the urge to fill my tag, if things work out and I get a shot at the old boy, I will take it, but I am content just knowing he is in ‘my woods’. And so I sit and think of life, of family and of hunts past and warmer places.
My first trip to Africa was over twenty years ago. I was not born with a silver spoon in my mouth and for someone with an all-consuming passion for the hunt, that is not a good thing. The trip to Namibia required a lot of sacrifice in my day-to-day life, and if it were not for the complete understanding and support of my best friend and companion in life, I doubt that I would have ever set foot on the Dark Continent.
My dreams of Africa started at a very young age, when my father was under orders to wake me in the late evening so I could watch the Jack Parr show, which often included short clips from African hunts. As I grew my life revolved around episodes of the American Sportsman, Jack O’Connor’s stories in the latest issue of Outdoor Life and books by men named Hunter, Ruark and Bell. Hunting and Africa became an obsession.
A flicker of movement caught my attention as a young buck materialized in the cold gray light, his head down as he silently maneuvered through the dwarf birch and hazelnut. His steel gray winter coat and ease of movement took me back to my first glimpse of a kudu bull, horns laid back, slipping effortlessly through the thorn brush. He was absolutely breathtaking, and I recall thinking at that precise moment that all of the sacrifice and work had indeed been worth it.
I slowly reached for the grunt tube and with a gentle puff, stopped the little whitetail in his tracks. He turned his head and looked in my direction, alert, every muscle tensed. This was the young bucks first set of antlers and the small but perfect eight point rack hinted at greatness, if he managed to survive another three or four years in the north woods. Not an easy task.
A twig snapped off to my right and we both glanced in that direction. Several does were working their way towards the pond behind me. The young buck looked longingly at the ladies, while I watched their back trail for any sign of further movement. The does ignored my young friend and there was no sign of the old buck trailing discretely behind. Filled with youthful ambition, the young buck followed the does and moments later the woods were once again still.
Alone with my thoughts, I returned to Africa. That first plains game hunt in Namibia was quickly followed by a buffalo hunt in Zimbabwe. Short buffalo hunts were being offered and they were a very good price, yet several of my most valued possessions had to be pass through the classified section of the local newspaper before I could scrape up enough money to make that trip happen. But possessions are just that, simply possessions, while the memories of that hunt are so much more.
The light was beginning to fade and I could feel the temperature dropping. I cradled the rifle on my lap, the soothing feel of an old friend, and wondered if the buck would show himself as the witching hour approached. While one part of me wished he would, another hoped our meeting would come another day so that my solitary evening vigils in nature’s cathedral could continue.
I exhaled through my mouth, watching my breath swirl in the cold evening air and wondered if I would ever see Africa again while my health held and the arthritis had not yet completely robbed me of the ability. I have been longing to return and have one more opportunity to follow the spoor of big game through the thorn brush with rifle in hand, to experience those glorious sunsets and the visceral sounds of the African bush at night.
The slap of a beavers tail on the pond echoed like a gunshot through the woods, rudely shattering my thoughts and I slowly turned my head to peer around the tree towards the pond. Perhaps the old man was going to show after all, but moments later the indistinct, yet familiar form of a coyote ghosts along the edge of the pond in the decaying light.
It is time. I unload my rifle, lower it with a rope and climb down from the tree stand. The fresh snow is several centimeters deep and it squeaks under my boots as I start the 20-minute walk back to the house. The rhythmic sound of my footsteps and the tingle of tiny melting snowflakes on my face are pleasing as my lungs fill with the sharp night air.
A number of attempts were made over the years to plan another safari, but family needs, poor livestock markets and several bad injuries had thwarted things. Life is like that.
My dog barks as I approach the house and rushes out to meet me. Casey is also enjoying the new snow. I think of the old buck out in the dark woods and smile, we will continue our duel tomorrow night. For now I look forward to having supper with my bride and we will then sit by the fire and talk, perhaps read for a while. Later, we will snuggle beneath the down comforter, our dog beside us and I will dream of Africa.Skyline Adventures
11-11-2009, 10:01 AM #36
Kelly thank you for a wonderful post lovely to hear that there are hunters out there who still take the time to appreciate their surroundings and day dreaming there is nothing wrong with it. Canada sounds and looks to be a wonderful place and would defiantly be worth hunting.
11-17-2009, 08:37 AM #37
Looks like just 7 days left!!!! Woo hoo.Tom
Why I want to hunt Africa!!!
To truly live life, to feel, to smell, to taste, to struggle, to sweat, to smile, to laugh to bleed, to triumph. That is why I hunt, to experience the world around me, as it was intended to be experienced. I love the earth, its game and the struggle to experience her, on her terms. Weather thatís sitting out a summer snow storm, in a high mountain basin, or picking cactus out of my knees, from a failed pronghorn stalk. I am amazed, I am captivated, I am in love with all the world can provide. Oh what I would give to be haunted ever more by the temptress that is AFRICA!!!!
11-17-2009, 04:18 PM #39
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Why I would like to hunt in Africa.
Alright, I'm throwin' my hat in the ring. 1000 words on the dot. I hope everyone enjoys it....
Africa. To some it is fantasy. To others it is a fulfillment of the quest that only the untamed spirit aspires. The Dark Continent holds more than its share of adventure for those that dare the teeth, claws, thorns, and venom to experience the richness of its resources. Many find satisfaction in the pursuit of game with flash and film, capturing images for posterity. Some need more, a closer connection to the land and its devices; a chance to experience a more unfettered form of stewardship. The uninitiated and the skeptic see it as little more than filling a trophy room. But that notion is empty, reduced to the likes of collecting shot glasses or stamps. It is anything but collecting; collectors donít know the thrill of the chase, the blood on the hands, the pain of defeat, the unknown. Hunting is not collecting, it is connecting. Connecting, in this sense, is deeper in meaning than the simple connection of a missile to flesh. It is the tangible connection of mastery of the land, of understanding that life is sustained by death.
I didnít understand it at first. Raised by a first generation big game hunter, my father did the best he could to show me the way to meat, horns, and hide. He had a 20 year head start, but even still, he was learning as he taught me. Early on, it was as much about the meat, horns, and hide for me. Then later, as I came into my own, it was the pursuit and the satisfaction of providing. But now I recognize something greater. It isnít a mere statement said to pacify the unbeliever or to mask bloodlust. Make no mistake; taking an animalís life is not for everyone. Nor does killing necessarily set well with me. But killing is not the goal, it is the result. And that greater thing that I am recognizing is truth. Truth sets us free.
I hunt because it is right, the right thing to do. The African model of conservation is undeniable: placing value on species gives it value for sustainability. My pursuit (it is so much more than a hobby) is a win-win given the correct perspective. I desire an animal for its yield. If I am fortunate enough to kill it (harvest is such a sanitized description), my hard earned money is placed into the local economy to benefit others, then with them I will be filled from the creatureís meat, and the breed benefits overall by the human realization that there needs to be more of them tomorrow to propagate the circle. Even the offal, offensive to the prejudiced palate of most westerners, is consumed by thankful people. Upon return of my cargo, I will display the hide and horns to honor the animal for the challenge that was presented me. Nothing goes to waste. Environmentalists should be impressed; it is the ultimate demonstration in recycling.
I was fortunate enough to experience Africa firsthand once. It was a pure endeavor, but for it I had to sacrifice. I have no benefactor, no trust fund, no winning lottery ticket. I possess ability, so I chose a career of protecting human life over a cushy office and a big salary. I have no regrets about it. My job fits my personality and I find it rewarding, but all that fulfillment doesnít buy me daily rates and trophy fees, so earn I must. While working as much overtime as my bosses could give me, I reacquainted myself with all literature about the continent. Despite all my reading from the greats, I was still unprepared for the depth and breadth of Africa; from the smells of the veldt to the scenes of the mountains, rivers, and valleys. Much of it was familiar like my native Arizona, but the context of it was so alien that I couldnít bring myself to recognize it as anything but curious and extraordinary. Each day in the bush presented new experiences, new creatures, and even new feelings. One day those new feelings took me by surprise.
In my life I had yet to experience a dichotomy like Africa. It was fulfilling in every sense, yet I am left with a craving that only that sole experience can fill. It is like having a full belly and being hungry at the same time. In fact, I remember the wife of my PH citing some prose about drinking the water of Africa will make me feel the need to return. How she was right! Not a day goes by that I donít think about that hunt. Perhaps it is because I have unfinished business there.
It happened during my first day. An incredible spiral horn specimen presented opportunity. It was the animal at the top of my wish list, and the PH said it possessed horns unmatched in magnitude for his concession in quite some time. No matter the numbers, it was big enough. I have played the scenario in my head more times than I can count. I have never had so calm and confident a moment as the one where I saw the arrow strike the intended spot where the white line meets grey hair. My normally unflappable PH gave me a congratulatory backslap so hard I chipped a tooth. But for reasons I donít understand, it was not meant to be. Whether he lived on or was carrion for the jackals and hyenas, none of us will ever know. Of course I felt bad, feel bad. I still had a successful hunt and even took a management bull of the same species. But for me, that big bull is still out there, and I need to pursue him.
In the meantime, my broadheads are sharp, my muscles are tense, and my dreams are haunted. Someday I hope to go back. To drink the water, see the sunset, and take in more experiences, even though I know they will only serve to make me desire more.
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