Fountain Valley Nature reserve - Sprinbuck & Mountain reedbuck
This hunt took place in April 2011.
I was hunting with my grandfather and uncle out at Fountain Valley Nature reserve in the Stoffberg area of Mpumalanga.
Each of us took a mountain reedbuck - the place is full of them! Around every corner you probably see one. However, they are extremely difficult to spot, and most of the hunting was spent glassing slopes, staring, waiting and looking. Patience is definitely the game when it comes to glassing for these guys! I took my reedbuck on the second last afternoon and made a 120m shot up the mountain, it was a full frontal, the 200grain bullet out of the 300 win mag went straight into the chest and exited out the back. He was dead on the spot.
The first thing I did was thanked my grandfather for the opportunity to hunt with him and also that he was there hunting with me - for me to hunt with family and friends is one of the greatest gifts I could ever ask for.
As well as the mountain reedbuck my uncle took a common reedbuck and a red hartebeest.
My grandfather has come to that point where he enjoys watching the younger generation hunt so he let the two of us hunt. We both offered but he declined, he was only after the mountain reedbuck and he got it. (He also wanted a vaal rhebuck, but the population at Fountain Valley isnt so strong that they could hunt them yet, so he had to pass on that one yet again.)
On the last day however we had all got our animals and after some talk my granfather decided he will shoot a blesbuck and he'll allow me to shoot a springbuck for meat for his freezer if time allows.
His blesbuck was first on the list, and he took a wonderful ram, with heavy worn down horns, but he had beautiful ridges and a bit of an outward flare. If I remember correct he was just under the 17" mark.
Then it was up to me to get a springbuck for my grandpa's freezer. And man they made me work! I walked up and down the hills, the wind would swirl, things were really not going so well. Then we spotted a ram, and the PH let my uncle and I stalk through to the tree line. The plains at Fountain Valley are vast and open. It does make it difficult to get close for a shot. The mist was up a bit this morning so we used that to our advantage to get in closer. This time the shot was a little longer, but the sprinbok wa sstanding broadside and he had no chance. He didn't make 5m before expiring.
I always enjoy hunting with my grandfather and uncle.
They were the ones that took me when I shot my first buck, and every year we still do at least one hunt together.
My grandfather will never admit his age, young at heart, and an absolute lover of nature and probably more hunting under his belt than he'll admit... He is definitely starting to struggle with old injuries from his rugby days - but nothing will hinder him from getting out there and hunting.
My uncle on the other hand is full of energy and learnt all his hunting from his granfather and father. He is passionate about his hunting and when the opportunity comes he's the first one out there! Also a lover of nature, whether its hunting, photography or just being in the bush he's there. Im sure all of us here are exactly the same though!
Both are very influential in my hunting career so I will always hold hunting with them in high regard and close to my heart.