Hunting with Aloegrove Hunting Lodge - EXCELLENT!
This is a discussion on Hunting with Aloegrove Hunting Lodge - EXCELLENT! within the Namibia Hunting Reports forums, part of the Hunting Reports & Questions About Outfitters/PHs category; Well guys, here is the much anticipated hunt report after my 7 day safari with Aloegrove. I have been home ...
05-07-2013, 02:57 PM #1
Hunting with Aloegrove Hunting Lodge - EXCELLENT!
Well guys, here is the much anticipated hunt report after my 7 day safari with Aloegrove. I have been home now for about 10 days so it is still fresh. I began working about 8 months prior to identify who we (it was myself and two other guys) would hunt with, when, and where (SA or Namibia) for our first safari. After tons of research the final cut went to Aloegrove and Johan Doman. Contact prior to the safari was excellent and all questions were answered promptly and with very clear answers. There were zero questions from the three of us prior to departure, I am sure just like everybody we were giddy like school girls in anticipation to a great hunt.
I have to tell you, aside from Johan being a bit behind schedule while picking us up at the airport we had everything we needed and wanted while with Aloegrove. Ivy, Johan's wife, is an excellent cook and she and her staff took care of all the details to keep us fed and our clothes and bungalows clean. Johan's staff ensured our trophies will become the excellent pieces to help us remember this trip for years to come.
Now to the details that you are all waiting for. Since there were three of us, Jim and I agreed to hunt together while Mark wanted to hunt alone. Jim and I had the luck of hunting with Johan as our PH. Since it is his place he knew the land, he knew exactly where the animals liked to be, and exactly what size of trophy we were looking for. Mark was able to hunt on the Aloegrove farm with Arno Schultz of La Bips. Since I didn't actually see Arno in action I will not comment about his services but I can tell you from listening to him every morning and evening he is very knowledgeable, a seasoned PH and worked very hard to ensure that Mark took the trophies he was looking for.
As for Jim and I, we started out on Day 1 with tons of excitement. Jim and I were looking for the same animals: trophy Kudu, trophy Mountain zebra and trophy oryx. Johan had made us a deal if we hunted with him that he would provide us a non-trophy oryx and a non-trophy warthog since he has so many on his property. As most of you know, kudu is the most difficult to find so that is what we began looking for while we cruised around his 8,000 ha farm. After proving our skills on the shooting range we hit likely locations. We came upon a nice warthog and Johan gave me the thumbs up to take it. So, my first blood drawn in Africa was a good warthog sow. Now it was Jim's turn (we had decided to trade off after each trophy taken) so we continued the search. Late in the day we found a good oryx that Jim made a great stalk on. His shot was true at 150 meters and the animal only went about 100 meters before tipping over.
Day 2 I was back on the gun (did I mention that we rented a rifle, a Ruger M77 30-.06 with a Moose suppressor that we ended up sharing) and we caught up with a herd of Mountain zebra. I had a shot but there was a foal in front of the target so off they went. We circled around to try and get in front of them and found a very nice trophy oryx getting a drink at a waterhole. 75 meter shot, 75 meter dash and over she went. 35.8" horns with 6" bases will make an excellent trophy on my wall. Jim was on the gun for the remainder of the day. We saw tons of game but nothing that we were looking for.
Day 3 morning Jim helped another oryx with that dream truck ride. We saw a ton of game to include oryx, kudu (but no shooter bulls), red Hartebeast, warthog, jackel, eland, black wildebeest, blesbuck, impala, steenbuck, and lots of cool birds. Man, did I tell you I have the greatest wife in the world! The afternoon had me back on the gun in search of those zebra. Mark found a great kudu that wanted to pose for pictures with him. Very nicely done Mark! Jim and I were able to locate the zebras after a difficult stalk, drive to get in front of them again, stalk again. We hugged the edge of the trees and were able to get to 200 meters where I put a great shot in (sorry, not trying to brag) through the heart that put the big mare down in less than 50 meters. Something told me to pass the gun to Jim just in case. God was smiling on us that evening because the herd came back looking for my zebra and Jim was able to get on the sticks and place a great shot into a good stallion at less than 75 meters. Within 5 minutes we both had zebras on the ground getting ready for their photo sessions. Very tough stalk but going to be gorgeous rugs.
Day 4 I was back up and was able to harvest my non-trophy oryx after we watched an entire herd of springbuck pronking at a large water pan. How amazing to be able to see this in person...and I captured it on video with my camera! So cool. So, after the herd moved on we moved into the pan to see what we could find. While standing under a tree we had two nice springbuck pass in front of us within 10 meters! I had to think really hard about not shooting the bigger one. While scanning around we saw a good non-trophy oryx that went down with a single shot from 75 yards before 8 am. Jim was back on the gun and found his non-trophy warthog before lunch. This afternoon after lunch we hunted hard and I was able to offer a beautiful kudu a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to pose for some pictures with me. He scored 53.5" long on the right horn with 10" bases. Wow, those animals are HUGE!
One of the cool things about Aloegrove Safari Lodge is they have some big cats there on the farm. Due to laws there in Namibia they are in enclosures but we got a chance to see the leopard (wow, scary how they just appear from nowhere), two lions (holy crap those things are HUGE and not something I ever want to see without a cage between us!) and two cheetah (we were able to go inside the cage while they were being fed!). Wow, pretty cool just before finding that kudu and putting the cap on a great day there.
Day 5 Jim was back up. Mark put down a nice non-trophy oryx and a trophy warthog. Since we found a nice non-trophy warthog I jumped on the gun and helped it with a ride. She looked tired and I know you aren't supposed to pick up hitch-hikers but she asked really nicely.
We also had the opportunity to see a load of mountain zebra, black wildebeest, kudu (but no shooter bulls), impala, springbuck, and two animals very rarely seen...an African grey cat and a Pangolin. This is a very odd creature that has hard plates all over it and curls into a ball when frightened. I had the chance to touch it, feel how strong it is (very powerful tail that it slaps closed to keep out unwanted company) and how much it weighed...this one weighed between 20-30 pounds.
Day 6 we were putting the full court press on to find Jim's kudu which was the only trophy we came for that we hadn't taken. Then we came upon several kudu bulls to include a nice shooter. We worked hard for him but he gave us the slip.
We moved to the conservancy that Johan has rights to hunt and had baboons move in on us within 50 meters! I took a shot at one but made a clean miss. Dang, that would have made a cool trophy in my trophy cabinet! We weren't seeing any kudu so we moved to another water pan to see what we could find. I had made the decision to add a Red Hartebeest if we could find a really nice one. While at the second water hole we happened to find a small herd of Hartebeest. Johan and I put a stalk of about 250 meters on them trying to get a good look at them at last light. We made it to 50 meters away and Johan assessed that the bull was a good one so he threw up the sticks. Once the bull raised his head and I saw that he was what I was looking for I put the shot in. 45 meters later he was on the ground. 22" horns with 9.25" bases and an excellent trophy for the house. Mark had miscalculated his trophy bag and decided he wanted to add a trophy oryx to his take. He shot an excellent trophy bull measuring 36" with over 6" bases. Jim helped out Johan by shooting a jackal.
Jim and I saw a bunch of oryx, some eland, kudu cows, steenbuck, blessbuck, impala, and black wildebeast. That place is target rich and has plenty of quality animals.
Day 7 nothing asked for a ride in the truck but Jim and I started before 0600 to find the kudu he has been seeking. We saw eland, kudu (cows and small bulls), steenbuck, duiker, blue and black wildebeast, warthog, black tipped mongoose, a very dangerous venom spitting zebra snake, and a chameleon.
This is our last day so we are tired but trying to soak it in as much as we can. We hunted hard, ate like kings, and had a great time with Johan and Ivy Doman from Aloegrove Lodge and Arno Schultz from La Bips who was Mark Carder's professional hunter (PH). With the morning done, lunch in our bellies Jim was prepared to make a switch should the ever elusive kudu bull not come into view. We swung back through an area we had seen a nice bull yesterday and Jim was able to put a great shot in and help that kudu bull with the last hope and prayer to take pictures with Jim, then get that once-in-a-lifetime ride in a truck. Jim's great shooting helped him live that dream. He is a great bull that is very wide at the top.
Now all that is left is settling up, packing our stuff and prepping for the 12 hour flight back to Munich (plus 6 hour layover in South Africa) before we get back home to our families. To say this is a special place is truly an understatement. We have heard nothing but the sounds that we make ourselves for 7 days. There are zero planes or helicopters that have flown over us, no vehicle traffic to listen to, absolute silence at night. It is true, we showed up as strangers and left there as friends. All of us had an amazing time and couldn't have asked for a better first safari. I can tell you I WILL be back. There were a lot of animals that I sort of wanted but knew I had to set priorities for my first safari. Now that I have that big kudu on my wall (well, in about 12 months I should have him), as well as a fantastic oryx, red hartebeest and a gorgeous Hartmann's zebra rug I have plans to shoot a black wildebeest, a blue wildebeest, an impala, an eland and maybe a blessbuck. Johan has great examples of all those animals and I would have no second thoughts of going back should the opportunity present itself.
I know I didn't list the size of the trophies that Jim and Mark took. I didn't feel like comparing horn sizes but if I have enough space I will upload pictures of all of our trophies. If not please check out Aloegrove Hunting on Facebook to see all of our hunting pictures as well as others. I also suggested to Johan that he post live animal pictures to help prospective hunters who are looking for great trophies make a decision to hunt with him.
05-07-2013, 04:43 PM #2
- Member of KZN Hunters Assoc
- Hunted Namibia (Otavi, Ozandjache) South Africa ( LP, KZN, NC, EC) Botswana (Ghanzi) Canada (BC, AB, SK, MB, Ont, PQ, NS) USA (MT, WA, SD, CA, CO, WY, KS, MN, NC, VG, UT, HI)
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Thanks for sharing your hunting report with us.
Including the numbers. It helps us all learn to judge sizes before our arrival.
Nice trophies.Practice whispering before you leave for Africa!
A Legend in my own mind!
05-07-2013, 05:00 PM #3
- Member of Northeast Wisconsin SCI chapter, Lifetime member of NRA,RMEF
- Hunted Namibia, South Africa (East Cape, Guateng and Limpopo)
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Thanks for the hunt report and pictures, it looks like you guys had a lot of fun!
05-07-2013, 08:26 PM #4
- Member of NRA, ATA, PITA, NAHC, NAFC, DU, TU, DSC, SCI, RMEF
- Hunted USA - Canada -Tanzania, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Africa
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nice report and trophysJames Grage - New Mexico
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
05-10-2013, 10:48 AM #5
Thanks for the hunt report and pictures! Glad you had a great hunt in Namibia.
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05-10-2013, 12:56 PM #6
- Member of Houston Safari Club, Gulf Coast SCI, SCI International. Rowland Ward, NRA
- Hunted Mozambique, South Africa, (Kwa-Zulu Natal & East Cape), Zimbabwe (Charisa & West Nicholson), U.S.(Texas, New Mexico, LA, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Wyoming & Montana), Canada (Alberta) & Argentina (Cordoba)
Look's like you guys had a great trip! Congrat's!!
05-11-2013, 03:41 PM #7
Thanks to you all. It was a great trip and I would say I have definitely been bitten by the Africa bug...meaning the pull to go back and hunt again. I can't wait, and I am already looking for deals on trophies I will be looking for next (but I think it will be hard to beat Johan on price again).
05-11-2013, 06:06 PM #8
- Member of SCI,NAHC,
- Hunted USA, South Africa
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Sounds like you guys and gals had a fantastic trip with some very nice trophys taken. Glad a good time was had by all. Brian
05-11-2013, 06:27 PM #9
- Member of NAHC Life Member, NRA Life Member,SCI, Buckmasters
- Hunted USA(from Coast to Coast and Alaska), Germany, South Africa, Canada
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Thanks for posting your great hunting report and pics. Congrats to you and your buddy's for a great hunt.Enjoy life now -- it has an expiration date.
05-11-2013, 10:55 PM #10
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Great report!!..thanks for sharing!!
Always great to hunt with friends.
05-12-2013, 11:10 AM #11
- Member of RFEC, RFETO
- Hunted Finland, RSA ( KwaZulu Natal, Limpopo, North West ), Spain
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Congrats on your hunt, and thanks for sharing !
05-23-2013, 02:18 PM #12
Hunting with friends was great and helped us all to bring those memories back home to share with our wife's.
07-03-2013, 07:46 PM #13
- Member of Dallas Safari Club
- Hunted North America (USA & MX)
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Congrats! Glad you guys had a wonderful trip and very nice trophies! thanks for sharing the report and pictures!
07-03-2013, 08:56 PM #14
- Member of NRA, Member Minnesota Horse and Hunt,,Caribou Hunt Club
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Thanks for Sharing ,,Nice Kudu
08-27-2013, 02:42 PM #15
Thanks guys. All of these trophies are at the taxidermist in the US with capes and hides off at the tannery as we speak. We should have capes on forms before Thanksgiving and trophies on the walls! We all can't wait...now the hard part is deciding the type of mount to showcase them best. On the big kudu I am going with a wall pedestal but I have to decide on pose...alert or sneak, which direction turning, etc. Choices, choices...:-).
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