My Hunt With Koedoeberg Safaris, SA
I've recovered enough to start with telling you good folks about my hunt, an experience I cannot hardly put into words. I'm going to take a page out of dvdgeorge's book and post it a day at a time. My goal is to do great justice to what I've experienced. I have a tough time with that usually, as somewhere between my brain and my fingers on the keyboard, my thoughts tend to get lost. I'll apologize for that up front, but I'll do my best. I felt I was well prepared, due in a large part to the advice I received here. I'm grateful for that still. Even at that, I don't see how a virgin African hunter can be prepared to soak in all that Africa has to offer, and I realize I've only gotten a small glimpse of it. However, what I did see and experience was almost overwhelming. Anyway, enough of that.
Here is the headquarters for our hunt. A small ranch house accomodation that was right up my alley. The only sounds you could here at night were the sounds of Africa itself.
First thing in the morning, we grabbed the usual hot coffee and carried it out into the front yard, accompanied by our binoculars. You can see the hill in back of the house in the pic. It was a crisp 40*, and the sun would rise and shine on this hill. Various game was busy soaking up the warming rays of first light. From the yard we spotted zebra, a couple of oryx, a small band of female and juvenile waterbuck, and a herd of about 20 blue wildebeast. This scenario had me shaking my head already, a full 15 minutes into my hunt. The coffee went down smoothly in spite of the perpetual smile that was on my face. The PH summoned me to the gun vault.......
I immediately saw a Ruger M77 in the vault. I hoped it was, and it turned out to be, a 30-06. I also spied a box of '06 cartridges topped with 180 gr partitions. I was smiling again and headed the the range in back of the house to check zero. It turned out to be easy, with the first three shots into a 1" cluster, dead on at 100 yds.........still smiling! We walked back around to the front of the house, and looked out across an approximately 30 acre "no hunting zone" located immediately out in front of the house.........
We then loaded up into the truck (bakke?), intending to get the lay of the land and see what we could see. During the morning ride I got my first glimpse of a kudu bull, cows and calves, blesbok, and a few more wildebeast. The game was abundant, but in the words of our PH's, "very clever". I agreed, as even if I would have seen something big enough to shoot, I had no chance at any of them. The beauty of a kudu bull blew my mind. We saw two 46" bulls together, and I was in awe of their beauty and ability to hide. I felt I could stare at these animals all day long if they let me........
That afternoon was more of the same. Lots of animals, clever ones, and not a real big "anything". We eventually ran into a nice herd of red hartebeest. There was a shooter in the bunch. Yes, I was very excited, like a little kid, I readily admit it. We stalked to within range of a group of 4 rams. Luckily there was a dead branch of an umbrella tree handy so I made my way for it. The PH pointed out what he determined was a very good ram and the '06 barked. The herd took off, all 4 of them! I cycled the bolt, but a follow up was not necessary. The ram fell after a 40 yard sprint. My first African animal was down, headed "to the salt", and I was ecstatic!
I'm well aware that this is not the "ram of all rams", or anything like that. However, he was my ram, and I was more than thrilled. In fact, you will see after all my animals are posted that none of them are the "ram of rams".
A short time later, I was treated to my first African sunset, a beautiful experience in itself. Back under the veranda, a batch of chicken rested on a rack above glowing coals, at that time I was introduced to another one of life's simple pleasures.......Castle beer.
Obviously I do not know how to make my pics bigger. Any help with this is appreciated. I'll get on with Day 2 when I figure this out.