My First Safari with Wayne Wagner Safaris
Well my wife and I just returned from our photo and hunting safari to RSA. We spent our first week on the photo safari in and around The Kruger National Park and surrounding private game preserves. If you've never been to Africa, this is in my opinion a great thing to do. When not hunting game, I love to watch the animals. My wife and I had a great time on this part of our trip and I'd recommend this tour to anyone.
When the photo safari was completed, we made the drive back to Jo'burg. As some of you may have read in Spiral Horn's thread about choosing an outfitter, this is the point where things turned south for about 12 hours. Shortly after returning to Afton for the night before heading out to Kimberly for my hunting safari, a phone call came in that my wife initially took. A long story made short, there was a problem for my outfitter with his partner who is the landowner where we were to hunt. I was therefore told not to go to Kimberly. When I went to bed that evening, my hunt was cancelled and I would be spending the next day trying to get out of Jo'burg and back home. At about 6am however, my fortune changed and I was now booked with Wayne Wagner Safaris. Ironically, Wayne runs his safaris just a few minutes from where we were staying for our photo safari. A quick turn of events and we were on a plane back to Hoedspruit. We were met there by my PH, Ian Brown. Ian took us back to the lodge and told me to get my hunting clothes on and my rifle out as we would head over to their range to make sure of my sighting in.
So on what I call day 0 of the hunt as I really had not planned to hunt, we hit the range at about 3:30pm or so. After a few shots and a minor correction, we declared my Tikka T3 in .300 Win Mag ready to go and off we went hunting. The first animal spotted was a black backed Jackal, but we were unable to catch up to it. Up into the hills we went and crossed paths with three Nyala, two of which Ian declared as shooters. We continued on past the animals for a ways and then got out of the Landcruiser and put a stalk on the animals. Some 20 minutes or so later, I was on the sticks. The smaller of the two shooters was staring right at us and it seemed that at any minute he'd bolt. He was standing such that I didn't have a shot. The smallest animal was in a clearing standing broadside, but I did not want to take him. The largest of the three was not yet visible. After what seemed an eternity, the largest animal came into view and eventually into the same clearing the smallest was previously standing in. As he came into the clearing my PH let out a call to stop him and I took my shot. It was a little back of where I'd like it, but was certain it got the back half of the lungs. The bull bolted and was out of view quite quickly in the thick bush. My PH and I walked to where the bull was standing when I shot and on the ground was obvious lung blood. We looked to our right at the same time and could see the bull about 60 yards away on the ground. A second mercy shot was made to dispatch the animal.
In about 24 hours time I went from planning to hunt in Kimberly to no hunt at all to a hunt in Limpopo to a Nyala on the ground. You couldn't slap the smile off of my face. The Nyala measured 28" green and clears SCI gold by about 1 2/8" at the moment.