Back from Esikotheni Game Reserve (Natal)
My father and I were off to Esikotheni for a week. We were both after Nyala and I would be after a Red Duiker as well. The reserve forms part of the Pongola Game Reserve which lies on the Jozini dam.
I was out with my bow for most of the time and we set up a tree stand over some game trails where we thought we may have some luck, and luck we did have. We spotted over 50 nyala in the first few days, ewes, bulls and youngsters. However we were somewhat unlucky as no shooter bulls came by the stand. However I did take a nice impala at 30 meters.
We found him within 40 meters from where he was shot.
I decided then to go out with the rifle one afternoon and got extremely lucky as we spotted numerous red duiker. We saw a duiker cross over a dam wall (dry dam) and followed suit, slowly and carefully. We could hear the ram move inside the dam wall as he was moving through the grass. And then it stopped, no noise, but as I turned to my right he was coming back over the wall to our side, I quickly got ready for a shot and as soon as he paused I squeezed off the shot, and by what a beauty of a ram he is! I was very lucky indeed to take such a good duiker ram.
In the next few days my farther got his nyala bull, a lovely bull indeed and he is elated with the bull.
The last morning I still had no luck with the nyala. I must have passed up over 50 bulls of varying age and size. Each time my guide and I would stop and examine the bull and continue our hunt. However this morning was to be our lucky chance. We had spotted a very good impala ram and stalked slowly through towards the river bed to his side and as we got to the edge of the bed I noticed this nyala standing in the clearig basking in some morning sun. We looked at him once and both agreed this is the right bull. But to get a shot in was another story. We moved around slowly for about 10 minutes to get a clear shot as the trees and bush seemed to always be in the way - no matter what we tried! But we moved slow and the bull hadn't spotted us yet. I got onto the shooting sticks, rested the crosshairs on his shoulder and squeezed the shot off. I could feel my heart pounding as I was setting up.
What made this hunt extremely special was that my father walked with us this morning, he shared this great memory with me, and there is nothing more I could ask for.
Thank you to all the Esikotheni staff and owners for making our trip one that will forever be a memory! A special thanks to Zinto (my guide and tracker) who really put in extra effort to get up stands and do scouting work when others were resting. He truly is a man filled with passion for hunting and getting his clients their animals. Really an amazing man! Thank you Zinto.
And also thank you to my father for making this all possible for both of us and for all the memories we have shared out in the hunting field.