This is a discussion on Monster sable! within the Hunting Africa forums, part of the Hunting Forums - Hunting in Africa category; Now that I've returned from africa and have time I've decided to write a proper story about my sable. First ...
Now that I've returned from africa and have time I've decided to write a proper story about my sable.
First off I'd like to thanks Jerome for this website. Lets just say I've been burned more than a few times in the hunting industry and I am a very leery person when it comes to trying new guides or outfitters.
I first started searching for a place to hunt sable on the internet. I, like everyone else, really wanted a chance at a sable over 40 inches. Since the family was suppose to accompany me a wilderness hunt was out of the question. I then started looking for a company in South Africa who could provide such a hunt. I started by googling large african sable and most of the hits were linked back to this web site. I found a particular ad from shavesgreen safaris marketing a sable that was suppose to go over 47" easily. In addition the package included an eland, a zebra, a waterbuck, and an impala. all this was for $14,000 and I instantly knew it was a scam.
I quickly contacted my old standby ph in south africa, Ian Van Der Vyver. He informed me that he knew jerome philip and that if someone was advertising on his site that I would probably be fine. He then conducted a background check on Phil Minnaar with his zambian friends and all seemed to check out. We still both agreed that a 49" sable that was being advertised was probably not going to happen thought.
Well from day one when I showed up in camp everything went off without a hitch. Service was even better than I expected. Phil was even a class act. No shooting from the truck, spot and stalk, you name it. The only thing that wasn't expected was the lack of sable. I could see that the grass was 6 feet tall, but where were the sabel?
Phil had managed this place solely for sable for the last 8 years I believe, and he knew where they were suppose to hang out. I told him I wanted to hunt the area where the oldest sable was suppose to be. So off we went. We spent half the day walking that thing down and by noon we had found a sable. It was a young sable and phil guessed him to be about 39". He said he was too young and I wasn't allowed to shoot.
end of day 1 and still no more sable were spotted.
Day 2 started off with us having a herd of cows run across the road in front of us followed by a big old bull. We quickly got out and tried to catch up. The vegetation was too thick and the animals weren't exactly tame so that sable got to walk. by noon we had spotted a lone bull that was inhabiting the top of a hill all by himself. Phil estimated the bull at about 44" and told me he too was to young to shoot and we must find an older bull. so off we went.
Day 3 comes about and someone had spotted the big old bull hanging out down by the river but apparently he had broomed tons off his horns and was now living in a thick mess of bush. Phil thinks one of the younger sable kicked him out of his area and is now worried that the old bull isn't going to last long. Well that's exactly what happened. That just so happens to be the last time anyone has seen that old bull and phil is now sure he has died of old age.
Day 4 comes about and all day we see no sable. I finally told phil I was going to stand in the back of his truck and have him drive around. I figured maybe I would be able to see over the grass enough to hopefully see some sable. after all there were suppose to be about 100 sable in this place, or at least i was told lol.
At the end of day 4 I saw this massive rack come running out of the bushes at full speed and dissapear in front of us. I quickly jumped down from the truck, grabbed my gun and went after the bull. The only path through the jungle of grass was obviously the road so I quickly walked down it. When I came around the corner the bull had laid down in the road at about 100 yards in front of me and jumped up to run off when he saw me. Phil told me to wait for a broad side shot but I've been hunting far to long to wait for that supposed perfect shot. As the bull bolted I saw he was quartering enough to slip a bullet between his ribs. Phil looked at me in horror as if I had just murdered his first born. I assured him I had shot many animals just like that and that the sable wouldn't go far. Well fortunately for us the tracker had been watching the horns bounce over the top of the grass and watched as they completely dissapeared in the thicket of grass just a few hundred yards from us. We slowly crept up on the last sighting of the sable and to our amazement there he was dead as a door nail.
I instantly ran over and ran my hands over his smooth silky jet black coat and ran my hands all around his horns. Phil told me the sable wouldn't go over 43" and wanted to know if I was happy. I told him this was the most beautiful animal I had ever harvested and was happy as could be. I told him i would feel like I won the lottery if he went 41".
Well 1 hour later we got the sable moved to a spot where we could take pictures and phil pulls out a tape measure that measures in centimeters. He measured the bull at just over 122 cm. I pulled out my Iphone and used its conversion calculator and told phil he was wrong because that was 48"! phil grabbed the tape and quickly remaeasured and got the same thing. He remeasured more carefully several more times and then looked at me and said your converter must be wrong, "This just can't be right!"
Well phill finally found his official sci measurers kit several hours later and measured the sable without a cape and came out with 47 7/8"! According to the records he could find it will score #12 or #13 sci all time and will be the zambia #1 for a game ranch.
Some people in america give me a hard time for game ranch hunting but that was one of the more challenging hunts I've had in a while. I just shot a 29" nyala in the KZN in south africa on a free range cattle ranch and it wasn't near as tough as the sable. But to heck with the nay sayers. I shot the trophy of a life time and will be on cloud 9 for quite some time.
Thanks charles green for placing me in an awesome area. Thanks Phil Minnaar for managing such an awesome area and giving me the hunt of a lifetime. Finally thanks Jerome for this website and for making sure that when guys find hunts on here that they have a good piece of mind that they are going to have one heckuva time!
here's the pics, enjoy.
tony sable.jpg me and phil sable.jpg loaded sable.jpg
06-26-2011, 06:36 PM #2
- Member of NRA, ATA, PITA, NAHC, NAFC, DU, TU, DSC, SCI, RMEF
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What a great Sable...way to go...
next year i am hoping for a 40 incher and would not look back...
Hold a steady Eye & Rifle...
"Very few of the so-called liberals are open-minded...they shout you down and won't let you speak if you disagree with them." John Wayne
06-26-2011, 08:55 PM #3
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Tony, Glad you walked your butt off in the tall grass for the monster.
Good tracker had his head up, thats for sure.
Congrats on a great trophy and a straight shot.
06-26-2011, 09:51 PM #4
- Member of Northeast Wisconsin SCI chapter, Lifetime member of NRA,RMEF
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Well that is one heck of a sable!!! Congrats!
I can say from my end when the news came through that you had taken this bull I was over the moon for you![COLOR=#9b6019]Shavesgreen[B]
06-27-2011, 04:48 AM #6
Great sable! Congratulations!
I am not clear on who you ending up hunting with???
06-27-2011, 06:40 AM #7
- Member of life member NAHC NRA
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There are few animals in the world as beautiful as a big sable, and I couldn't take my eyes of this one.
06-27-2011, 06:58 AM #8
- Member of NAHC Life Member, NRA Life Member,SCI, Buckmasters
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Awesome Sable!!! whats the website I would like to check it out myself.
06-27-2011, 08:55 AM #9
- Member of North Amercian Hunting Club , SCI Life Menber National , NRA Life Member
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Smokin sable , maybe one day
06-27-2011, 09:08 AM #10
That truly is a once in a lifetime Sable! Congratulations!!Elite Archery Pro Staff - Winners Choice Pro Staff - Muzzy Pro Staff - Tightspot Pro Staff - Victory Pro Staff
Professional Hunter & Outdoor Writer
06-27-2011, 11:48 AM #12
- Member of RFEC, RFETO
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Congratulations for a great hunt and amazing trophy.
i booked that hunt through shavesgreen and my ph was phil minnaar.
the funny thing was that the supposed big sable of the property had died of old age and the other was so broomed of it wasnt funny. i basically shot the first sable i thought was decent. i firmlu belivr i saw a cohple sable that were just like him but who knows. i took pics of one we saw the day after i shot mine and i begged phil to let me shoot him. i even offered phil a rediculous amount of mobey for him and phil refused. i got a coupke of good pics of him and will post them later but my god was that thing a monster.
06-27-2011, 05:43 PM #14
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06-27-2011, 06:15 PM #15
- Member of NRA,Missouri hunters ed, Owensville Gun Club, Quail Forever
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Beautiful Sable, congrats.
sorry for te typing guys but this iphone and my nog fingers dont agree. thanks everyone for the kind words. i just hope i can take my wife back there next year. i know i saw at least one sable bigger and thought we saw two others at or just under the one i shot. what an awesome place.
06-27-2011, 08:51 PM #17
- Member of KZN Hunters Assoc
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Tony, that sounds like you sure like those Sable now.
I am glad that hunt went so well after that mess in KZN.
Keep us posted.
06-27-2011, 10:11 PM #18
tap ~ Congratulations on an awesome sable - what a beautiful trophy and a wonderful memory!
06-28-2011, 01:48 AM #19
tap, Thanks for sharing this beautiful trophy Sable with us, just magnificent!
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06-28-2011, 09:40 AM #20
- Member of BBFT Mexico,SCI New Monterrey Chapter,IHEA
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monster sable, congratulations!!!.NEW SCI CHAPTER MONTERREY MEXICO
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