We spent Saturday looking for and stalking zebra and kudu. Ryan made several unsuccessful stalks on zebra. It seemed like we saw zebra everywhere until we decided to hunt one, then they became very elusive.
Ryan on one of his zebra stalks....
In the afternoon, we found a nice kudu bull, traveling with a couple of younger bulls and some cows. We spotted them on a hillside and tried to get in position for a stalk. The old bull was clever and didn't offer us an opportunity as he moved off to the other side of the hill with his harem in tow. We drove the bakkie down the trail and tried to get ahead of them so we could make a stalk and try and intercept them. Henk and Elias made a plan and we set out, stalking up the mountainside. We stopped once to reconnoiter and set out again. The last 100 yards we belly-crawled and got to the spot where Henk thought I could get a shot. Henk and Elias glassed for 10 or 15 minutes, then all of a sudden, the sticks were down and there he was. The bush was thick, but it looked like a clear shot to his shoulder. Two slow breaths, squeeze the trigger and the 300 barked. After I settled from the recoil Henk asked how it felt. I told him I was steady and I was on his shoulder. He saw no reaction from the bull. Now the doubts set in. Had I missed? Had I wounded another? It was only a 100 yard shot. How could it not have been true?
We gave it a couple of minutes and went for a look. About half way between where I took the shot and where the bull stood, there it was. A branch, about the size of my forearm. My bullet had clearly struck the branch and deflected. We checked for blood and other sign to be sure, but we concluded it was a clean miss. Aargh...I was suffering the curse of the kudu!
We returned to the lodge Saturday evening with nothing in the bag, which was ok as we had enjoyed such success to that point. As my father-in-law says, if you filled your tag every time out, they would just call it killing, not hunting. However, we had two days left and I was really doubting whether I would connect on a kudu.
So, Sunday morning we were back out, again focused on kudu and zebra. We spotted several small herds of zebra, and Ryan made a couple of unsuccessful stalks in the morning. These striped critters were proving as challenging as the kudu! Finally, right before lunch, we spotted a really nice zebra with a small herd. Ryan, Henk and Elias left the bakkie to make the stalk. I stayed behind to minimize movement and noise, to maximize the odds. After 15 minutes or so, I herd the crack of Ryan's 30-06 and saw the zebra fall. Ryan's trophy list was complete!
We spent the afternoon searching for a good kudu bull. Saw one, and pulled the bakkie ahead to try a stalk to intercept him, but he vanished. Grey ghost is right. We also made a swing through the area I shot the first one, and found no sign of him. So, no kudu again. One day left on our safari for a kudu and, perhaps, a warthog.
On the way back to the lodge, near dark. We came upon this old fellow. I think Ruark was right...they do look at you like you owe them money. Buffalo was not in the cards this trip, but if I make it back, nyati will be on the list.
love the bold markings on ryans zebra custom
the lad has had a corker trip
+1, I agree that is one beautiful zebra!
Originally Posted by bluey
Nice animals all around, the Nyala is beautiful and the Zebra with no shadow striping is a plus. Congrats on all the animals.
Monday morning, our last hunting day in the RSA. We set out early on a mission for kudu. By this point, after the mishap the previous Monday, the blown stalks and the tree branch, the kudu were deep inside my head. We headed back to the area where Ryan shot his zebra the day before. This is important as the area had burned and the ground was covered in black and grey ash. Anyway, about 1/2 hour into our search, Henk spots what he thinks is a good bull. We bail off the bakkie, make a short stalk, and the sticks are down. "There he is at 200 yards, on the hillside", Henk says. Where? "There, 200 yards, broadside". Where? Ryan's chimes in, "on the hillside, near that aloe". I still can't make him out. My 52 year old accountant's eyes cannot make out the grey kudu against the burnt background. Finally I see him just as he crests the hill. Dammit! Now I was sure that a kudu was not meant to be. Elias and Henk talked it over and we set out around the mountain to try to find the bull. We drove as far as we could, then got off and hiked to the edge of the mountain and looked across the valley. We glassed for 15 minutes and did not see him. Elias suggested we hike down into the valley a bit, which we did. Then there he was. 1500 yards to the other mountainside and looking right at us. We waited for a bit, and so did he. Finally, we headed down the hill, using available cover, and hoping to close the distance to him. Finally, we stopped behind some trees and put the glass on him, and he was headed down the hill toward us! I got set up for a shot and waited. 500 yards, then 400, then into a wooded ravine. When, or if, he crossed to our side, he would be about 150 yards. He did, and I waited for a good shot. At about 120 yards I had a clear shot and took it. At the crack of the rifle, he bolted, but I knew it was a good shot. We heard him crash in the ravine and walked over. Yes, there he was! Thank you, Henk! Thank you Elias! I told Elias he must think just like a kudu.
Here is the old bull....
One very happy hunter was headed back to the skinning shed that morning. All this was done by about 9 am. We were back at the lodge, and after an early lunch, Henk and I headed to a waterhole to wait for a warthog. After a fairly short wait, a nice old tusker showed up, and I made a good shot.
So, our safari was complete. We both took the trophies we came for, enjoyed fantastic hospitality and had an absolutely wonderful experience. We partied with Henk, the other camp staff that night, celebrating our successful safari. We enjoyed the camp fire and the beautiful stars in the African sky our last night, wishing it would not end.
Somebody posted in my thread, before we left, that we would come back changed men, and they were right. A safari is something you can't do anywhere else. Africa changes you, and I hope to go back. I would leave tomorrow if I could.
The End.......for now.
There is a last day to remember....
Very nice trophies.
that's a grand finale right there phil
hes a bueatiful kudu ,shame you didn't find the one from day one mate
that poomba is a goodun to mate ,
yourself and ryan have had a great trip by sounds and the smiles in the photos
that great fellas thanks for bringing us all in on it with youse
Well done on your Trophy's & thanks for sharing....!!!! :first:
Congrats for a great hunt and some very nice trophies !
Thanks for sharing.
Doug - Sounds like a really great trip and can't wait to hear more about it.
Ryan looks like a true safari hunter with his wildebeest!
Thanks for sharing your hunt with us.
Some very good looking animals you got too :)