My South Africa Hunt With Hartzview Hunting Safaris
Hello All, just wanted to share my experience hunting in South Africa.
started out with a long flight for me and my 2 boys 19 and 23 from NYC to Johanesburg then a one hour flight into Kimberly where we were met by PH Jacques Spammer and Cameraman Scott Jurgens, and then a 3 hour ride to our hunting lodge close to the Batswanna border.
the first night we were awakened to the sound of the Jackal cries and lion roars, we were enjoying the sounds very much at night by a large fire with a few drinks.
our first morning we went out in the truck looking for Lion tracks, within the 1st hour we spotted a large female in the brush, we all jumped off the truck and creeped into the bush where the Lioness looked at my son and made her stand, my son raised his rifle and fired at about 20 yards and spined her then he fired another through the shoulder to finish her. What a rush it was to be up so close and personal to this large female, at all times Jacques (PH) was on the Lioness with his Rifle in the case my son made any mistakes and Scott The cameraman never flinched as the Lioness made her stand, he just kept on filming without getting in our way. It was later explained to us that we were very lucky to spot and shoot this lion so fast.
We returned to the lodge for lunch and then went out in search of a big male Lion track, as we found the tracks leading from the sand into the brush we began tracking this big male with the help of 2 trackers supplied by Hartzview. We did allot of walking and tracking through the brush and as we spotted the Lion he was about 30 yards away just watching us. This Lion was a step ahead of us every time as he took us in circles. I was impressed with how smart this cat was as every time we spotted him he was actually perfectly camoflauged and silently watching us as he allways placed himself behind the perfect bush. Everytime I looked into those amazing golden eyes staring at me from behind the brush I relized that we were hunting a very intelligent animal, I raised my rifle and he turns and dissapears into the brush. At night we brushed all of the dirt roads and began tracking the next morning.
Morning time we found tracks and into the brush we went, We spotted the lion again watching us a few times but he never gave us the oppertunity for a clean shot as he was quick to dissapear into the brush . I gained more and more respect for this cat as the hunt went on, we walked our butts off but over and over the cat was one step ahead of us. A the sun went down we decided to bait him, so we dragged some guts to a nice lil piggy hanging from a tree where we sat in a hide about 100 yards away. after hours in the hide with no action whatsoever we wrapped it up and went and had dinner dinner at our lodge. I was restless, angry, frustrated, and now doubting that we can outsmart this pretty eyed Lion. We pushed this Lion with no rest in the heat for two days and he out smarted us every time. Morning came, I woke up angry and determined to get this cat! Got an ice cold red bull out of the fridge and had an egg sandwitch and on the track we went, funny thing, we found that the Lion walked all the way to about 100 yards from where we were in the hide, he stopped, probably smelled us and walked away. We tracked him back into the brush and followed his tracks spotting him a few times but again he gave us no oppertunity to fire at him. After hours of tracking him through the thick brush I got super hot and thirsty so we stopped and had the trackers walk back to the truck and come back with water.
As I sit in the road waiting for the truck I see a cloud of smoke in the distance and as it gets closer I can see it is our truck but I'm thinking why are they driving so fast? It hits me that we left the guts from last night on the truck, the Lion was chasing the truck, Jaques, Scott and myself quickly line up around the curve in the road and the truck flies past us creating a heavy cloud of dust, imagine this, all of my sences hightened, total silence, dust in your eyes, cloud of dust all around you, everything almost in slow motion as you wait for that sillowette to apear in the dust, the dust slowly clears, I dont see the lion, with my body against the brush I quietly ease my head out to see around the curve and I was pleasently surprised,, around the curve was the lion with his body against the brush and his head popped out trying to see if i was on the other side of the curve, we shared a moment staring into eachothers eyes and then i raised my rifle and he took off into the brush. I had to laugh, this kitty cat was driving me nuts!
We again started following his tracks for miles, we got to a piont where we thought we could set the lion up, and decided to split up and have the trackers push the lion out twards the road where we would be waiting to get this tricky cat. what i did not know is that the cat was watching us all of the time and he decided to follow us, so here we are at the road and suddenly Jaques looks into the brush to our left and spots the Lion, he was just standing there in the thick brush watching us, I could not see the Lion as he was so well camoflauged in the brush and then Jaques pointed out the white spot on his chin and then I saw the sillowette of his head and body just standing there staring at me I raised my rifle, took aim, and for that moment everything just seemed to get silent, took a deep breath to try and slow my heart beat, squeezed off a shot, hit him in the chest to the slight right, he roars hard, pops up in the air and spins out of the brush, second shot was a quick one to the side and he runs directly at the trackers that are suposed to be flushing him out, so there was no option for a third shot as he dissapeared into the brush.
We tracked him for another 8 hours before we finally found him bleeding against a tree and finished him off. All of the time Jaques (PH) and Scott photographer were die hard and super supportive I have to say I am very well traveled but this was the most amazing thing that I have done Thanks to Jaques Spammer of Hartzview hunting safari and Scott Jurgens of HP productions!! We then went to anothere area for some plains game and I nailed a 55" Kudu and my sons got a Zebra, Baboon, Spring bok, Everything about this trip was excellent!!
I would say that the food in the lion camp could be better managed, light in my bathroom was not working. Now on the other hand the food was great and plentyful at the hartzview camp, i also have to say that i trusted my kids with Jaques and Scott as they were very proffesional, helpful and allways on point to insure our saftey. They also were a great team as they worked seamlessly together. If i had to hunt Lion or some plains game again it would be with Hartsview as long as Jaques is there with us as our PH!! hey guys sorry for the long letter, i hope that i did not bore you.
I'm thinking of going for Leapord next.