First SA hunt
This is a discussion on First SA hunt within the South Africa Hunting Reports forums, part of the Hunting Reports & Questions About Outfitters/PHs category; We just got back from our first African hunt. I traveled with my best friend and two brothers. It was ...
09-08-2012, 10:02 PM #1
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First SA hunt
We just got back from our first African hunt. I traveled with my best friend and two brothers. It was an incredible experience that far exceeded any of our expectations. We went into the trip with some reservations. My brother had concerns about his safety after he read about a few isolated incidents. I want to thank the AH members who offered their comments and experiences about my "Safety in Limpopo SA for hunters" thread prior to our departure. I believe it helped my brother from making the big mistake of backing out.
We arrived in JBerg from Atlanta via Tampa after a long but tolerable 16 hour flight. We cleared customs and picked up our firearms with the help of Adele at Hunters Permits Africa. She made the process quick and easy, well worth the nominal fee. We were meet by Daniel, our PH and owner of Kolobe Safaris and Jan also a PH who drove us the 2 1/2 North to the Lodge. As we entered the property we spotted a porcupine and Daniel instructed me to commence to shooting. I didn't hesitate and within minutes of arriving I had my first animal.
The next morning we sighted in the rifles and began hunting. We ended up splitting up in two groups. My buddy and I drove with Daniel and were able to get within 260 yards of a small herd of Blesbok. I squeezed one off and dropped a nice one in its tracks. As we were heading back for lunch we spotted a group of 3 Gemsbok. An old male and two younger ones. We stalked them and finally were able to set up for a shot. Daniel had noticed the smaller male had a bad leg and asked me to take him out instead of the trophy. I was satisfied knowing I could of taken the trophy and the consultation of a free gemsbok. When we returned for lunch we learned my brother had wounded a zebra and they had been tracking him for a couple of hours. We joined in on the recovery and set up for a possible intercept and sure enough he stepped out a 150 yards from my position and I was lucky enough to deliver two final shots. That evening we were thrilled with our first day of hunting. The accommodations and food were also outstanding. The main lodge consists of a newly constructed two story building filled with game mounts with views of the bush and surrounded by several well appointed chalets complete with a fire ring and even a pool. We were eagerly anticipating the next 5 days of hunting.
The next day we set out to stalk and came across a large mature Impala. He was quartering away slowly and I rushed the shot. I was disappointed I had clearly missed. Headed back licking my wounds, I spotted a Caracal silhouetted in the grass. I signaled my PH who was driving the Yamaha Rhino to stop, I fired hitting him square in the chest. My PH told me it was rare to see a caracal during the day and even more difficult to get a shot at one. When we meet back for lunch I found out my brothers had shot a warthog and a Gemsbok. After lunch my older brother and I went out with PH Jan. That afternoon I was able to get my warthog. We spotted him from the road in some thick bush and I was able to thread the shot as he quartered away. The shot hit him in the spine and dropped him quickly. I was thrilled to get such a fine animal. A few hours later we drove out to a large field just before dark and spotted two large Kudu feeding far in the distance. Dark was closing in and we needed to close the distance fast. As we made our way towards the Kudu a large warthog sprung from his hole and my brother shot dropping him dead in his tracks. I thought to myself there goes the Kudu, but they were far enough away it didn稚 seem to bother them. I quickly jumped out of the truck and tied a rag to the cattle fence my PH gave me and we were off again. As we got within 300 yards of the Kudu, my PH told me they both were really nice bulls and to get ready for a shot. The bulls were spooked and making their way towards the bush. Jan ranged them at 360 and I fired hitting the wider horned bull solid. I knew the thud was a good hit; However, I didn't realize how tough he was. I fired again hitting him far back as he slowly made his way closer to the cover. The driver quickly gave chase trying to close the distance when we hit a warthog hole. My brother flew in the air and came down and broke the seat, the cooler flew open and everything spilled out. We quickly realized no one was hurt and were back in the chase. We cut the wounded bull off just before he made it to the bush and I brought him down with a high shoulder shot at about 100 yards. I was thrilled when I walked up and saw the size and beauty of my first Kudu bull. After we took pictures and headed back we got news my younger brother also shot a nice Kudu.What a great day.
The next day we were off to the Limpopo River concession 4 hours North on the Botswana border. The service, food, and accommodations were equally as good. The views of river with the mountains in the background were specular. There was also an abundance of game along the river such as hippos, crocs, bushbucks, waterbucks, baboons, etc... We spent the rest of the first day scouting the area. That day we saw a huge waterbuck. None of us had ever heard of a waterbuck let alone seen one and we still had other animals we wanted to hunt and decided to pass. Within seconds he disappeared and the opportunity was gone. Our PH told us it was one of the largest he had seen and we probably would never get another opportunity at one like that again. I started regretting my decision not to shoot, but I wasn稚 fully convinced he was as large as my PH said, until I looked at the numerous horns back at camp. Later that afternoon I passed on a gemsbok and a wildebeest, that my PH said were average.
The next day we headed out and along the river we spotted several Impala at about 80 yards. I took a shot at the largest ram in the bunch. The shot was too far back as he quartered away. I thought to myself the shot angle probably at the least got the vitals on the exit. My PH told me not to worry the trackers would find him. We tracked him for at least an hour when we jumped him about 100 yards down river. I fired freehand and made another bad shot and hit his front. He continued to flee and we pursued. After another hour or so of difficult tracking my PH decided we should leave the trackers and head back for our afternoon hunt. I had an ill feeling that I should of done things better. Why didn稚 I shoot quicker, why didn稚 I shoot further forward, second guessing each decision. I also learned the fast ballistic tips I was shooting out of my 300 mag. was not the best choice for the trip. I did however feel confident when I returned to camp my Impala would be waiting for me, but realized it would be bitter sweet. That afternoon I sat with my buddy, Dave in a hide overlooking a waterhole. There was a lot of time to think about my misfortune, but the time was broken up with plenty of game. Dave ended up taking a warthog and the two of us tracked him 50 yards through the bush. We both were thrilled when they came to pick us up that evening. We also learned my brother also shot a warthog over a waterhole and saw gemsbok, kudu, a waterbuck, impala, wildebeest, jackal, and a hyena. As we headed back to camp we spotted a Kudu bull in heavy cover. The only brother without a Kudu took the shot and connected. After a short pursuit and another finishing shot he had his bull. When we returned to camp I got the bad news about the Impala. The trackers had to call of the search when the ram crossed the dried up river bed and entered into Botswana. It was disappointing, but the other successful hunts overshadowed the loss.
The following day was to be our last day of hunting. I had shifted focus on getting a waterbuck, but only saw a couple of smaller ones the previous day. My PH was putting the extra effort to see me get one, not just one but a trophy. We set out to stalk and it was a thrilling hunt. We got close to a herd of wildebeest and I could of taken a huge bull but passed to my PHs dismay. We also walked up on two juvenile brown hyenas and several warthogs. I was starting to feel like I had been cursed by the impalas. Twice I had screwing up and every time we saw them they were running like they were being chased by a leopard. My younger brother ended up shooting a nice Impala that day and I was truly happy at least one of us got one. I started to doubt I was going to get a waterbuck. In the final hour of the last day of the hunt we turned a corner by the river and there was a huge waterbuck standing broadside at 40 yards. Daniel told me to shoot, shoot, shoot with a sense of urgency. The buck started to make his way into heavy cover when I steadied and fired hitting him right above the front shoulder and down he went. A second spine shot finished the job. It was definitely one of the most best hunts of my life. It was the perfect ending to an incredible experience. That evening we celebrated the trip and the good times. We felt appreciative of the opportunity and how blessed we were to be in Africa, especially hunting Africa. Africa is now in all of our blood and we look forward to our next trip.
Congrats on a great first Safari.
Those are nice trophies.
Yep, now you're screwed!
09-08-2012, 10:45 PM #3
- Member of Sporting Shooters Association Australia. Australian Deer Association
- Hunted Australia, New Zealand, South Africa
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Some really nice animals there...Waterbuck looks fantastic...nice heavy horn by the look of it.
Now you have the Africa virus life will not be quite the same.
09-08-2012, 11:51 PM #4
- Member of ssaa, aba ,bairnsdale field archers
- Hunted australia south africa (limpopo) canada (b.c)
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they are a great bag of trophies
well done fellas
09-09-2012, 12:02 AM #5
- Member of NAHC Life Member, NRA Life Member,SCI, Buckmasters
- Hunted USA(from Coast to Coast and Alaska), Germany, South Africa, Canada
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Congrats on a fine hunt glad all of you had such a great time and got some fine trophies. Thanks for sharing. Love that Waterbuck.Enjoy life now -- it has an expiration date.
09-09-2012, 01:38 AM #6
- Member of PHASA ; SCI ; DSC ; Eastern Cape Game Management Association ; PE Pistol and Rifle Club
- Hunted South Africa, Namibia, New Zealand
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09-09-2012, 03:51 AM #7
- Member of NRA, ATA, PITA, NAHC, NAFC, DU, TU, DSC, SCI, RMEF
- Hunted USA - Canada -Tanzania, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Africa
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Looks to be a great safari by all...
Story was good and pictures to back you up...James Grage - New Mexico
Hold a steady Eye & Rifle...
"Very few of the so-called liberals are open-minded...they shout you down and won't let you speak if you disagree with them." John Wayne
09-09-2012, 06:11 AM #8
- Member of NRA
- Hunted US, Nicaragua, South Africa
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Outstanding trophies, congratulations! I just got back from my first safari as well, and I'm already planning my second trip.
Yeah it's kinda funny, but I had my second trip planned before I even finished my first! It was that good!
It is really encouraging to see several of us first timers have such great trips.
09-09-2012, 07:08 AM #10
- Hunted Canada (AB,SK,ON,QC,NB,NS) USA (TX,ME) DRC (Poachers) South Africa
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Thanks for taking the time to share, looks like you had a great time with your brothers.
09-09-2012, 08:15 AM #11
- Member of SCI
- Hunted Canada (AB, SK, NWT, BC) USA (NM) South Africa (Limpopo, KZN, Free State, Eastern Cape, Northen Cape), Kyrgyzstan
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09-09-2012, 09:02 AM #12
- Member of Local clubs
- Hunted Canada and RSA
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Congrates, nice animals and pics!!! Sounds like you have been bitten by the African bug...
09-09-2012, 10:09 AM #13
- Member of RFEC, RFETO
- Hunted Finland, RSA ( KwaZulu Natal, Limpopo, North West ), Spain
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Congrats for a great hunt and nice trophies, specially that waterbuck!
Thanks for sharing.
09-09-2012, 12:36 PM #14
good to see you had a great time on your hunt with your brothers and your friend, and that your brother listened to sense in the end.
09-09-2012, 04:05 PM #15
- Hunted USA , Canada, Botswana
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Good lessen for all of us. "Listen to the PH." Nice report and pics. Nothing but fun.When I am not hunting, I am thinking about hunting....I think I'll go hunting.
09-09-2012, 05:44 PM #16
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Great story Great pics and to hunt with your brothers. It looks and sounds like you had a fantastic hunt. Man I need to get back to Africa. I wonder how much I could get for a kidney.
09-10-2012, 10:43 AM #17
- Member of Northeast Wisconsin SCI chapter, Lifetime member of NRA,RMEF
- Hunted Namibia, South Africa (East Cape, Guateng and Limpopo)
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Thanks for the hunt report and pictures!
09-12-2012, 09:44 AM #18
Thanks for the wonderful hunt report and pictures!
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09-12-2012, 10:04 PM #19
- 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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