A Dream Come True Kudu for me courtesy of CT Safaris!
Last December, while patiently waiting to try to arrow a White-tailed Deer from my wind and blizzard whipped ground blind on the North Dakota prairie, I began daydreaming about my upcoming hunt with Chris Troskie of CT Safaris in South Africa. Chris offered a 7-day plains game hunt here on AH to the highest bidder, as a token of gratitude to the hunting community for surviving a house fire on his farm. Lucky for me, I was the highest bidder! And that certainly was not the end of my luck.....
My hunt was scheduled for August 17-23, 2013, so I spent the anxious months up until then practicing with my bow, as I was struggling with an awful case of target panic. My primary goal was to take some animals with my bow - especially a big, mature Kudu bull - but I realized my self-imposed shooting limit of 20 yards was a tall order that put a lot of pressure on Chris as a PH! Nevertheless, Chris accepted the daunting task cheerfully and determinedly, went above and beyond the call of duty, and did his best and then some. By the third morning of hunting, after having numerous encounters with game, I successfully arrowed a dream of a lifetime animal for me - a truly magnificent 59 inch Kudu bull! The hunt went absolutely perfectly and to my dying day I shall not ever forget seeing that beautiful, picture perfect flight of my arrow straight to the heart of that gorgeous bull! Chris had more faith in me than I had in myself and that plus his coaching made all the difference in the world, as I successfully shot the bull at 25 yards. There was much rejoicing in the blind and I am still on top of the world from having such a dream come true! What a brilliant start to my hopefully lifetime of African hunting adventures, as that was my first African animal ever!
A week of dramatically swirling winds made the hunting truly tough, especially with a bow, so Chris offered me the use of his crossbow and rifle, should I wish to expand my range and opportunities. I accepted, and am glad I did, as it added a lot of variety and different experiences to my hunt. I ended up shooting my first ever animal with a crossbow - a nice, mature 26 inch Blue Wildebeest bull! And the last evening of the hunt, I connected on a 22 inch Impala ram with the rifle.
I very much enjoyed hunting with Chris. He has some beautiful areas to hunt in with very little hunting pressure, he can offer a wide variety of hunting experiences according to what methods and weapons you prefer to use, and he is a very genuine, honest, humorous, intelligent guy who is a very competent and knowledgeable PH. He works his hardest to see that his hunters succeed and go home satisfied with their hunts. We hunted hard, in a beautiful variety of habitats, both in the blinds and on foot, attempting many stalks under very difficult conditions. Always fun and challenging to try, and I learned a lot about the great art of stalking from Chris. There's still a Red Hartebeest out there waiting to cross paths with one of my arrows! I hadn't even remotely thought about trying to take one of these awkward-looking creatures, but trying to get to within bow range of these extra keen and cagey animals fueled my desires for a future hunt. Another mark of a great PH, in my opinion, as Chris was able to open my eyes to the challenge of a species I had not previously considered. Game was plentiful everywhere we hunted, and I thoroughly enjoyed when Chris would share his vast knowledge of the flora and fauna with me, as I am a wildlife biologist by trade.
I'm just a redneck country girl who goes hunting for the hunting, no frills necessary, but Chris and Sabina's ranch is a very lovely place, indeed! Very elegantly appointed with decidedly African themes, very comfortable and accomodating, and Sabina is an excellent cook as well. Many a night I went to bed with my seams about to burst from overindulging - especially the night we feasted on my Kudu! Evening drinks also were always an enjoyable time of story-telling and laughter.
I left with a heavy heart, after staying one day longer than I had initially planned to. A week passes all too quickly when you are having such a grand time! I surely did not want this hunt to end! But in a way, it didn't. It just is in the "pause" mode for awhile, as I am already planning my second hunt with Chris for as soon as possible in 2014. I highly recommend you contact him as well to join in on the fun and success!