South Africa Safari with Cruiser Safaris
This is a discussion on South Africa Safari with Cruiser Safaris within the South Africa Hunting Reports forums, part of the Hunting Reports & Questions About Outfitters/PHs category; First I would like to express my most sincere thanks to the country of South Africa and their people. We ...
08-08-2012, 02:21 PM #1
South Africa Safari with Cruiser Safaris
First I would like to express my most sincere thanks to the country of South Africa and their people. We were treated very well, we felt welcome everywhere we went, and everyone we came in contact with was very happy to have us visiting their country! This treatment contributed tremendously to our already amazing trip! thank you Pieter from Cruiser Safari for an experience of a life time! Juan (PH), thank you for your outstanding experience in the bush, and your tremendous patience with my wife! For your young age, you are an amazing PH, again, thank you!!!!Thank you South Africa for this wonderful trip!
19 Jul 2012
My alarm clock went off at 0700, I couldn稚 not believe it was the next day already, it seemed like if I just got in bed. LOL!!!! Oh well, it was time to get ready for breakfast and the four hour drive to the Limpopo Province where Cruiser Safaris is located. We got ready and went down for breakfast; some eggs, bacon, tomatoes, toast, juice and coffee. Finished and went back to the room to get all our things together and wait for our ride. Paid our bill, and we were ready to go. Right at around 0930, a van pulled up, it was from Cruiser Safari, the driver was John (Juan) who would end up being my PH. We greeted each other and loaded up all our gear in the van. We wanted to get going to see if we could possibly got an opportunity to hunt in the afternoon. We wanted to hit the place running. The weather this morning was very pleasant, maybe in the mid to low 60s, and the night before the temp had dipped well into the low 40s and maybe into the 30s. Cold for this Florida crowd. We immediately noticed how dry the air was, and our sinuses felt it right away. Not the 90 percent humidity weather we had left 2 days ago.
Started our drive, heading north to the Limpopo Province. The highway was very nice, the same as in the US, with the only exception that they were driving on the wrong side of the road (for us, right way for them). LOL!!!! As soon as we got out of Johannesburg, John started pointing out animals. The area was dry and brown, just like in our Mid West states during the winter time. I could notice a similarity to South Texas, with the same type of small bushes, shrubs and such. No wonder, South Texas ranches are doing so well with African game. Soon we got off the high way, and into small two way roads. Now everything got interesting, luckily I was not sitting up front. LOL!!!! Once in the Limpopo province, we spotted several congress of Baboons on the side of the road eating who knows what. The drive was not a leisurely drive, John needed to get us to Cruiser Safari real quick and in a hurry. So, there was no time to stop and view the scenery, I wished we could have, but we needed to get to the lodge before sunset.
We went through a small town name Thabazimbi, and John told us that we were less than an hour away. We got to an interception and the paved road ended and into a well travel gravel road. This would be the road we would end up traveling every day, two to four times a day for the next 12 days. It was well maintained, but extremely dusty. At around 3 o団lock, we arrived at Cruiser Safaris and we were greeted by Delmarie who had glasses with freshly squeezed orange & tangerine juice. She then escorted us into our bedrooms, and gave us a few instructions for breakfast times, laundry service, and some general info. As we left our bedrooms, we were greeted by the owner, Pieter. We exchanged hellos, and he asked us if we felt like doing an afternoon hunt, and my friend Sergio & I said for sure! We took our rifles to the range, to make sure they were still dialed in. After 3 shots, my 300 Weatherby and my 30-06 were good to go. We only had about two hours of hunting time, so we quickly went to get some of our gear (Camera, binoculars, ammo, hat & jacket), and on the way we went.
Twenty minutes later we arrived at a place call Ben痴 Lodge. My driver got out and spoke to the lodge care taker, and we were given the green light to hunt. We got out of the Toyota Land Cruiser, and sat in the back. The back was set up with a bench seat, we were sitting about 8 feet off the ground, perfect height for spotting game. This place offered a lot of game, but we were only allowed to take impalas, warthogs, kudu and wildebeest. This place was set up with areas where game could not be taken (safe zones where they fed the animals). The areas was thick with a visibility of maybe 20-30 feet, and every tree, brush, bush had thorns, I would later find out that everything in this area would poke you, grab you or stick you. This afternoon we did not pulled the trigger, but we were able to see lots of giraffes, impalas, steenboks, and some female warthogs with their little piglets. Finally, we were hunting in South Africa, and I was like a little kid in an candy store; excited is an understatement. John was an amazing young PH with an eagle eye, at 25 years old, he could spot game everywhere. Later on I would find out that he was an excellent tracker too.
We arrived at the lodge at around 6:45 PM and we were told to get ready for dinner. We put our gear away and got ready for dinner. Dinner tonight was going to be Kudu, rice, potatoes, salad with avocado and bread. BTW, this meal was delicious! I don稚 think I lost any weight during this trip.
We met the other two guys hunting there, they were from South Dakota, Lynn & Myron. This was Lynn痴 second time hunting with Cruiser Safari. The rest of the PHs showed up, and we were introduced to them. Sergio痴 PH was Craig the senior PH at the lodge, who had been there about 10 years. Then we met Johan, who had been there about 7 years. Then came senior Johan, the oldest at 38 years old. This was a fun group to hang around with. We hung around after dinner, getting to know each other a little more. We had a fire going, and of course I had to smoke a cigar. Sergio & I smoked a brand name 鄭frica? which I had purchased specifically to take to Africa.
Pieter, came by and told us where we were going to hunt the next day. I was going to a place called Zandrift, and I would be going after Gemsbok, Wildebeest, Impala and Warthog. Our departure from the lodge was scheduled for 0630 AM, and we were going to spent the entire day out in the bush. My poor wife was a bit scared about spending the entire day away from the lodge.
At around 10 o団lock we decided to hit the sack and get ready for tomorrow痴 adventure. We went to our room to find the bed ready, with a hot water bag between the sheets to keep us warm. It was too hot for me so I gave the bag to my wife. The temperature had already dropped into the 40s, nice temperature to sleep. Our bed was very comfortable with nice down blanket to keep us warm during the night. I set my alarm clock and went to sleep, I knew we had a long day ahead of us the next day.
20 Jul 2012
My alarm clock went off at 0500 hrs, which it didn稚 matter, I was wide awake since I couldn稚 sleep with the anticipation of today痴 hunt. I got up got dressed and decided to let my wife sleep a little more (she likes to sleep a lot), and went outside to get a cup of coffee. Well, to my surprise the temperature had dropped well into the low 30s, so it was cold for this Florida weather boy! By this time, my friend Sergio was up and we talked a little, not knowing what to expect of today痴 full day of hunting. Then Lynn & Myron woke up, and Delmarie started to bring our breakfast. By 0530, I decided to wake my wife up. Breakfast was eggs, potatoes, some left over kudu, toast, juice & coffee.
My beautiful wife stumbled out of the bedroom, wearing her new her 5.11 khaki pants and her upland shirt with a camo fleece. She looked adorable, wearing hunting clothes for her first time. This made my morning! My better half was with me in Africa and heading out to hunt with me. She was ready to take the day. We had breakfast, and our guide John was ready for us. As it turned out, our driver was name John as well, so we decided to name him John Boy so we can differentiate between both Johns. By 0630, we hit the road, and today we were heading out to a place called Zandrift. As I stated before, we were in pursuit of Gemsbok, Wildebeest, Impala and Warthog.
We reached Zandrift by 0715, and by 0720 we were riding in the back of the Toyota Land Cruiser. It was a nice crisp and clear morning, with the temp around 38-40 degrees. As John would put it 渡ice hunting weather? The animals should be moving early, and sure enough. We spotted a group of impalas and decided to do our first stalk. The wind would play with me throughout my stay in Africa. We walked for about 2-3 miles, and when we got close to the impalas, the wind shifted and they said see ya! John said 渡o worries, it is early in the day?
Drove for about 45 minutes and about 50 yds to the right of us was a nice Gemsbok standing there facing us. John took one look at him and said to shoot him. Well, by the time I got my rifle and aimed at him, he was gone and disappeared into the bush. We gave chase, and tried to stalk him, but the wind did not want to cooperate with us; we saw the Gemsbok running and not stopping at all.
I was excited that in a couple of hours, we had seen two of the seven animals I was going after. We continue to drive, and we came up on an interception, and John spotted 5 Gemsboks standing in the middle of the road. They were about 800-1000 yds out, and again we decided to try to stalk them. This time the wind was cooperating, and we were getting real close to them. We got to within 250 yds from them, and again the wind shifted on us, and they winded us and again they left. John proved to be an excellent tracker. We followed their tracks for roughly 4 miles, and came up to within 75 yds of them, but none of them offered a clear shot. The bush was very thick and we could barely see 15 ft in front of us. While we were trying to find a hole to shoot through the brush, the &^%$@ wind once again shifted on us and again they were gone! We looked at each other, and laughed at our great luck with the wind.
By now, it was close to noon, and it was getting really hot! So, John suggested we go seat by the water hole to have lunch and see what we could see there. By this time, my wife was a little tired, and she was ready for lunch and looking forward to sitting in the shade. We came up on this make shift blind (they call it hide), where we could seat in the shade looking over the water hole. We had ham & cheese sandwich with chips, and soda & water for lunch. I was too excited and was not hungry at all. The weather was nice (with the exception of the wind), it was a cloud less day with the temperature by now in the mid 70s to maybe 80s and very dry. Within 30 minutes of seating at the blind, a warthog and her little piglets came in for a drink. No more than 5-10 minutes later about 8-10 kudu cows and their offspring came in for a drink and some salt from the salt lick they had there. Following the cows was the most magnificent kudu bull I致e ever seen in my life, this stud had 60 horns and you could tell he was the stud for this group. I grabbed my rifle and started to lift it, when John whispered that we couldn稚 hunt kudu here. I looked at him and smiled! I grabbed my camera so I could shoot some nice pictures of him. Later on two young male warthogs came in for a drink and a group of mongoose went right next to our blind.
Well, we had lunch and we relaxed watching this parade of animals come in for a drink. 2:30 rolled around and John called John Boy on the radio to come and pick us up. Again, we started our drive, and went to a place where John knew the Gemsbok would be bedded down during this time of the day. We walked in the bush, and walked maybe 2 miles when we spotted the Gemsbok we were after. Well, this time it was not the wind that gave our position away, but a bird the natives call 堵o away bird? This freaking bird started making his noise, and then we had a group of them going at it and before we knew it our position was busted and the Gemsbok were gone. John explained to us that these birds are like sentries to the animals in the bush, and they alert them of danger. By the 5th day of hunting, I wanted to shoot every go away bird I saw. Too bad I didn稚 have a 22LR to take care of these annoying birds.
We continue to drive, and time went by without seeing another animal. By 0410, we came up on another interception, and John got out to see if anything was standing by the roads. He lifted his binoculars, and waived at me to follow him quickly! I almost jumped off the truck and ran to him. He was excited, and told me 杜onster, monster Gemsbok It was a single Gemsbok standing by the road some 900 yds away. He said follow me, we have to get there quickly and before he goes back in the bush. We started running down the trails inside the bush, the wind was in our favor. We would run 100-200 yds, then we would stop and check to see if he was still there. John was extremely excited and wanted to get there quickly. We got closer, and closer and when we were about 250 yds out, the wind shifted once again and the Gemsbok disappeared into the bush. I looked at John in disbelieve and looked up at the sky and I said 敵od, you really don稚 want me to shoot this Gemsbok do you? And smile John, said 斗et痴 walk slow along the road, sometimes they will go in 10-20 yds and stop? Well, we walked the next 200 yds really slow and watching where we took our steps. Suddenly John froze and said don稚 move; the Gemsbok was 30 yds in front of us looking away and I did not have a shot. John told me to position myself behind him so I could take the shot off his shoulder. The Gemsbok turned around and looked straight at us for what it seemed an eternity; then he turned around and John whispered 都hoot him behind the shoulder once he turns , the Gemsbok turned to the right and I saw the right shoulder exposed and John said 都hoot? and I shot! I was already reloading before he could say reload. He stood there and said to be quiet, and he said 妬t痴 down, its down? I was shaking so bad, I had to composed myself before taking one step. We walked in the bush, and no more than 20 feet away laid my first African animal, a beautiful Gemsbok! John walked up to it and he was jumping of joy; I was like OK, what痴 going here. John kept saying, 妬t痴 a monster, it痴 a monster? and I still didn稚 understand, I knew it was big, but how big it was I had no clue. We gave each other high five, and he congratulated me on the kill. He called John Boy to bring the truck over. My wife jumped off the truck and ran to me, we hugged and got we got a little emotional. I had taken my first African game, my dream had become a reality! John pulled a measuring tape, and went on to measure each horn. The left horn was 43 long and the right horn was 45 long with the base of the horns measuring 6.5 in diameter each. He was like 鍍his is a huge Gemsbok? he kept saying. Still I had no clue of what this all meant.
We took several pictures and loaded the animal into the back of the truck. John was eager to get back to the lodge. We headed back to the lodge and the owner Pieter was outside waiting for us. Pieter came up to me and shook my hand and told me that I had a fine trophy, and that in 17 years of operation this was the second biggest Gemsbok taken in his property. By now, I realized why John was so excited about the size of this Gemsbok.
Everyone started to show up back at the lodge and the news of my trophy had traveled all over the radio air waves, and all the Cruiser Safaris PHs knew about it, and everyone wanted to hear how I was able to get such a magnificent trophy.
My friend Sergio shot a nice 41 Gemsbok too. We both scored on our first day of our hunts. This evening my friend Sergio and I smoked a very fine Padron Anniversario cigar in celebration of our successful hunt. We sat around the fire and shared our stories. Before we knew it, it was 11 o団lock and time to go to bed. Another early day was waiting for us the next day. I laid in bed trying to soak in what had happened this day, and couldn稚 go to sleep. I think I ended falling asleep at around 1 o団lock.
My monster Gemsbok
Please let me know if you like this format, or you just want to see pictures of the trophies? Thanks!
08-08-2012, 04:03 PM #2
- Member of SCI, RMEF
- Hunted Limpopo, Eastern Cape,Natal
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Fantastic Gemsbok, for both of you. Cruiser safaris has some wonderful animals and I am looking forward to the rest of your report as I will be returning for my 3rd safari with them next year.Brian
Blue Skies Hunting Adventures
08-08-2012, 08:01 PM #3
- Member of SCI (Sioux Falls, SD) RMEF, NWTF, NRA, NTA, BCSC, SDTA, NDTA, P&Y,
- Hunted Canada (Ontario,British Columbia,Manitoba), USA (Colorado,Montana,Wyoming,Texas,South Dakota), Africa(Limpopo,NW Province, East Cape, Kwazulu Natal,) Namibia
- RogerHeintzman has no Articles
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Congrats on your hunt. I know first hand the quality of animals at Cruisers. I hunted with them in 2010.
The pranks by Pieter never ended. I got him good one night at supper, I put vaseline on his silverware. Now he knows.
__________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ _____
"A Dream can be relived, again and again in Africa".
08-08-2012, 09:09 PM #4
Congrats on your hunt and fine trophy Gemsbok. Your format is fine as well as the trophy pics. Looking forward to the rest of the story.Enjoy life now -- it has an expiration date.
08-08-2012, 09:17 PM #5
- Member of KZN Hunters Assoc
- Hunted Namibia (Otavi, Ozandjache) South Africa ( LP, KZN, NC, EC) Botswana (Ghanzi) Canada (BC, AB, SK, MB, Ont, PQ, NS) USA (MT, WA, SD, CA, CO, WY, KS, MN, NC, VG, UT, HI)
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Yup, that be a monster! Congratulations.
I look forward to the rest of the tales.Practice whispering before you leave for Africa!
A Legend in my own mind!
08-08-2012, 09:37 PM #6
Hog, congrats!!!The journey is the reward.
08-09-2012, 05:30 AM #7
Roger, we got him good too. We put vinegar in his glass, and put ice on his chair. My poor wife was always checking out for him. The fart machine was funny.
Thanks guys, I'm compiling my notes for day two. Much more to come, since this was a 10 day hunt.
08-09-2012, 05:55 AM #8
- Member of SSAA, NZDA
- Hunted Germany, NZ, Australia
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Para45, thank you for sharing your hunt. The format is exactly right, I greatly enjoy both your tounge-in-cheek narrative style and your photos. Trophy pictures are great, but the ones of wildlife in the bush actually bring an extra dimension to the story. Next best thing to being there, I guess!
BTW, what was that about a fart machine?!? I am eagerly awaiting the next chapter!Overkill is underestimated!
08-09-2012, 06:03 AM #9
Timbear; Pieter the owner of Cruiser Safaris loves to do practical jokes, and he placed the fart machine where my wife was sitting, and every time she moved he would turn on the machine. We laughed so hard, luckily my wife has a great sense of humor.
08-09-2012, 11:27 AM #10
- Hunted Namibia, Kyrgyzstan South Africa
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What a wonderful Gemsbuck. Writing and pics are great. Makes for a great read. Next best thing to our being there. Thanks Bruce
08-11-2012, 09:58 AM #11
- Member of RFEC, RFETO
- Hunted Finland, RSA ( KwaZulu Natal, Limpopo, North West ), Spain
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Congrats for a great hunt, my first african animal was also a gemsbok.
Thanks for sharing, and keep it coming !
08-11-2012, 04:18 PM #12
- Member of SA Hunters, SA Wingsooters
- Hunted South Africa (Limpopo, North West, Free State, Mpumalanga, Kwa-Zulu Natal)
- View Articles by davidhein
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Keep it coming! What a great read, thank you for sharing.
Congratulations on a wonderful gemsbok
08-12-2012, 05:43 PM #13
22 Jul 2012
I did not give my alarm clock a chance to wake me up, it was 0500 hrs, and I was already awake. I got out of bed and got dressed and went outside for some coffee, while allowing my wife to sleep a little longer (remember I mention earlier that she likes to sleep). Again, I was first one out and poured myself a nice hot cup of coffee. The temperature was a bit cooler than the day before. 5 or 10 minutes went by, and Sergio came out, and then later on Lynn & Marion. We ate breakfast at around 0600 hrs, and again Delmarie provided us with a excellent hearty breakfast.
John came out to join us for breakfast and I asked him where we were going today. He informed me that we were going out to a place called Rose Valley, and we were going to out all day and that Delmarie had prepared us a picnic lunch. We were going to drive for a little, stalk a little and sit by a water hole as well. This place we were going, we could hunt wildebeest, impalas, zebras & warthogs.
We left the lodge at 0645, and by 0730 we going through the gate of Sandy Valley. We got out, and we took our positions on top of the Land Cruiser. This time I decided to carry my rifle and not use the rack, since it was cumbersome to take the rifle out in a hurry. We started our drive, and within 30 min we spotted a heard of wildebeest in the bush. John stood there looking at them through his binos, and shook his head and told the driver to drive; they were all females. I was excited because we had seen some wildebeest and thought how hard can this be. I would eventfually find out. We saw several giraffes, and my wife asked John to please stop the truck, she wanted to take some real close up pictures of these magnificent animals. So we crept up real slow, until we got to about 50 ft of them. We did end up taking some nice pictures. John looks at me, and asks me if I wanted to take one. I laughed, and I was like are you kidding me. Have you heard the comments my wife is making about the zebra? I think this would cost me a divorce. We laughed, and we continue our drive.
By 1100 hrs John told us that it was time to go sit by the hide, that the animals would be showing up soon for a drink. We got there, and we made sure that this place was ready. We recondition it a little with a new branch here, another one there. There it was ready to house us, our new home for the next couple of hours. It looked nice, and tucked away from the water hole. We ate our lunch, and within an one hour a couple young impalas, four kudus, and a sow warthog with her piglets came in for a drink. None of them were shooter, but got my adrenaline pumping. About another hour went by, and we heard something big coming from the right of us. A young wildebeest bull came in for a drink, follow by several cows. Then something big came trashing through the bush, and it was a huge bull wildebeest that ran the young bull off the water hole. He stood to our right, out of my shooting lane, in a position that didn稚 offered me a shot. He stood there for maybe 15 seconds and disappeared just as quickly as he came in. Wow, what a huge animal. John looks at me and said, the wind shifted on us again.
The wind (always on our side, yeah right) decided to make my trip very interesting (like if it was not enough how it was the day before), and started to shift on us, spooking every animal that attempted to come in for a drink. So, john decided that we needed to move and make another hide. Otherwise, we will sit here and not be able to see or shoot anything. So, we moved to the other side of the water hole, in hope that the wind would not change again. John called John Boy, and within 30 minutes we had our new hide all ready.
Again, within an hour or so, which by now it was around 3 PM, we some young bull kudus, a female eland, and 2 young warthogs came in for a drink. This was very neat to see how each animal drank water from the water hole. They were no more than 40 feet away from us, and we could see how they would step into the water without disturbing it. From our left side came in a nice (shooter, not on my package) waterbuck for a drink, he was very cautious and looked everywhere before taking another step. He was very nice, and very tempting, but I had a budge and couldn稚 afford to shoot him. Then the waterbuck stopped drinking and lifted his head and looked across the water hole into the bush. Six impalas were approaching for a drink, and two of them were shooters. Now my heart was racing, and I thought the animals were going to hear me. The impalas went to the far side of the water hole. The two shooter didn稚 not offer me a clear shot. A few minutes later another 4 or 5 more impalas came in and now it was close to 10 of them all next to each other drinking. John whispered to me that one of them was bigger than the other and to get ready. I lifted my rifle and got into position. Now, I was really shaking and I could hear my heart pounding in my chest, I needed to control myself before shooting. Something spooked the impalas and now both rams were next to each other, but still I could not shoot the big one for fear of hitting them both. Then the one moved, and John whispered at me 鍍ake the third one from the left, shoot him in the chest? Now, I知 counting making sure that I知 shooting at the right one. OK, there are 6 standing on that side, one, two, three, ok its got to be that one. Bang, I shot, the impala jumped and ran towards us, dropping about 20 ft in front of our hide. He was not moving. It was 4 PM, and I had my impala, we hi five and congratulated each other. I sat in the blind for a minute or two, trying to regain my composure, my heart was still pounding? LOL!!!!! My wife was sitting behind me and saw everything, she was excited as well.
We stepped out of our blind and walked up to the impala. John congratulated me, for a nice ram. Again, he pulled his measuring tape and measure the horns; 21 ｼ & 22 long. John came up to me again to shake my hand again and gave the measurement and said nice impala. I was very excited and felt real good, two days of hunting and two animals. John propped the impala, and we went through the ritual of taking some nice pictures. We loaded the impala into the Land Cruiser and headed back to camp. We sat in the back and hunted on the way out, just in case we saw something. On the way out John told the driver to stop and jumped off the truck and called me. He pointed to the ground and I could see the cat tracks, they were too small for a lion, so I said to him leopard? And he nodded in agreement. He said this guy went through here sometime today. Now, this added another notch to an already exciting day. I showed the tracks to my wife, and took a couple of pictures. I thought my wife was going to freak out, but she was excited and wanted to know if there was a chance of seeing this leopard. John was like, everything is possible in the bush. I laughed, we got back on the truck and we continue our drive out.
We were the first ones to arrive at the lodge, and we anxiously waited for the others to arrive to see what they had taken. Dinner was fabulous, we had wildebeest for dinner. I think I ate way too much of it. My friend Sergio and me sat around the fire smoking again another great cigar to celebrate our success. John came up to me, and told me that we were going back to the same place we were today, and that we would leave the lodge at around the same time. Went to my room for a nice hot shower, and found a tick on my forearm. I pulled it out, and went outside to speak to the guys about it. They told me that when I got back to the states, most likely I would end up with tick fever. Great, that is all I needed. LOL!!!!! Wrote a couple of notes on my journal, and went to sleep.
08-12-2012, 06:48 PM #14
Your doing great love the read nice Impala and Your wife is doing a great job with the pics.Enjoy life now -- it has an expiration date.
08-12-2012, 08:49 PM #15
Nice old ram, hes sure got some wear on the tips.The journey is the reward.
08-13-2012, 04:46 AM #16
Thank you gents, I appreciate the comments.
08-15-2012, 05:15 PM #17
23 Jul 2012
By now I have a routine going, I wake up at five, get dressed and go out for a cup or two of coffee. Wait until about 0545 to wake up my wife. This is working perfect for me. We had another great breakfast and were ready to head by 0630.
We got to Rose Valley at about 0715, and we sat in the back of truck. This was already becoming a routine, and we knew our places in the back of Land Cruiser. We started to drive, and John stopped the truck, and he jumped off to check out some tracks. I got out, and noticed that they were from a leopard, and were very fresh?.I even noticed that. LOL!!!! I took a couple of pictures and we continue on our drive. We approached a waterhole, and I noticed something, but failed to tell John in time. It was a nice mature wildebeest bull drinking water. He got wind of us and bolted, but only ran about 400 yards. We jumped off the truck and tried to close the distance between him and us. We got to within 250 yards and I told John to let me take the shot. I went prone, and as I was lifting my rifle when the wildebeest ran again, and this time did not stop to take a second look. That got my adrenaline pumping and I was happy on how the day was starting.
At around 1000 o団lock we headed to the hide to set up. No more than 10 had passed by, when the first animal showed up. A heard of hartebeest of about 25 animals showed up for a drink. Then about 8 or 10 eland, including one real nice bulled and usual young warthogs. This guys were hanging around the water hole longer than usual. The hartebeest decided to leave, and no later than 5 minutes a heard of impalas of about 15-18 of them and 5 waterbucks showed up for a drink. This is the first time since we致e been here that we have seen so many animals showed up at the same time. This was beautiful to watch, but we had to be very still, we had a lot of eyes on us. The wind for change was cooperating with us.
At around 1115 o団lock, I noticed one of the waterbuck look in the direction of our hide, but not directly at us. I knew something was coming to the left of where we were. I slowly turned my head to the left, and I noticed the striped legs, I immediately knew it was a Zebra. I moved my leg real slow, and tap John to look to my left. He gave me a smiled and I knew this was good. Well, something spooked some impalas, and the Zebras decided to walk out view. Ten long minutes went by, and I noticed movement again to our left. John whispered to get ready. Well, my rifle was pointed towards the water hole, so I had to move the rifle out from where it was without hitting anything. The zebra stopped at about 35 yards from where we were, and only presented a small target, right where the inverted Y is. John told me to take him. So, I pointed my rifle through a hole in the hide, got a good sight and pulled the trigger. All hell broke loose with animals going in every direction. John listen for a little bit, and told us that he thought he heard the Zebra fall. I honestly thought I had completely missed it and hit the branch or the brush that was covering the Zebra. We came out of the hide, and John immediately started to track it, and we found our Zebra 100 yds from where it stood. We were very happy and gave each other hi five! I was a very nice mature stallion, with a perfect hide. I walked back to get my wife, and I found her crying her eyes out. I knew this was an issue because she didn稚 want me to shoot the Zebra, because she likes horses and the Zebra reminded her of her horses. Well, this was not what I was expecting, she didn稚 want to talk to me or see the Zebra. We walked back to where the Zebra was, and John was already getting it ready for the pictures. Well, my wife didn稚 want to be in the pictures, so we took all the required pictures and to load this big animal into the truck.
The drive back to the lodge was not as usual, my wife was quiet, and not talking to us. John and I talked about it and relieved the moment. This is when my wife spoke and told us that she had seen the Zebras 20 minutes before we saw them and didn稚 tell anyone. Then she moved so she could scared the Zebra and not give us the opportunity to shot. We laughed and I looked at my wife in disbelieve of what she had done.
We got to the lodge just in time for lunch, and for a well deserved nap. We went back in the afternoon to the same place, and didn稚 see anything that was in my package. I was at the skinning shed when my zebra was being skinned, and I wanted to see the damage the 180 gr Accubond had done. The bullet went in on the right side, the leg was broken, and then I noticed that I had punctured both lungs, and the heart was split in two. This animal ran 100 yds without a heart and with both lungs punctured, I just couldn稚 believe it. I recovered the bullet that was wedged on the other side, and it mushroom completely and beautifully.
We got back to the lodge at around 6:45, and out of the four hunters there, I was the first one to bag a Zebra. Of course all through the night everyone laughed at what my wife had done, and this became the joke of the evening. She was very proud of what she had done. I知 still shaking my head. Tomorrow, we will be heading out to a new place called Uncle Louis in search of Kudu & the illusive Wildebeest.
08-15-2012, 07:28 PM #18
LOL, Nice. When we went on our first trip my wife was also dead set against Zebra (she is an avid barrel racer and general horse nut). After seeing the Zebras in the wild and the rugs in the lodge she put in an order for a Zebra rug!!! I happily obliged!The journey is the reward.
08-15-2012, 08:30 PM #19
That's to funny, my wife is a horse lover as well but when it came to the Zebra she wouldn't let me shoot it, oh no that big boy was her's hands down or I was going to have a rough time sleeping at night.Enjoy life now -- it has an expiration date.
08-16-2012, 09:42 AM #20The journey is the reward.
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