BOTSWANA: My Most Excellent Kanana Adventure

Discussion in 'Hunting Reports' started by Sand Rat, May 17, 2013.

  1. Sand Rat

    Sand Rat AH Senior Member

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    Day Four

    Day four started as a very cold brisk morning with temps in the high forty's. We were fortunate to get some great photos of the abundant giraffe population roaming both sides of the Kanana properties.

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    Shorty after leaving the company of the giraffes we spotted a large herd of impala rams feeding off the edge of the road. Driving past them several hundreds yards the truck was stopped and we were off on a very slow nerve racking stalk that placed us fifty yards away from the main ram. He was standing in the middle of the herd with several smaller rams milling about keeping us from getting set up for a shot. After what seemed like an eternity the smaller ones moved enough to allow a shot and he was ours. We had set up on several good rams over the last three days but this was the only one we eventually had a shot at. I wasn't disappointed!

    24" Impala Ram

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    After loading the impala in the truck it was off to tracking fresh eland tracks for the next two hours with no sighting. J.P. radioed for the truck so we could break for lunch and start the eland search again. After picking up the tracks once lunch was finished we finally spotted them about thirty minutes into the trek but could not get a clear shot before they spooked and trotted off. The next thirty minutes we were close several times and almost run over by a bunch of zebra that winded us at the last moment before turning away. We approached a small clearing and there was my eland standing in the shadows of the trees and brush around him. It's amazing how an animal of that size can almost disappear with very little cover. A quick shoulder shot from the .375 H & H and we were off to the races before he laid down several hundred yards later and a neck shot put the monster down for good.

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  2. Sand Rat

    Sand Rat AH Senior Member

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    Day Five

    Day five started with a water hole sneak and stalk of a really big kudu bull that was interrupted as so many stalks were by a blue wildebeest bull that caught wind of us. The next water hole paid off with one loan red hartebeest bull at over two hundred yards facing straight at us. The target was so narrow that I had to bring the rifle off the sticks and calm myself down and start over from scratch. After overcoming the jitters I somehow managed a perfect frontal shot and he didn't go far. Horn length measured 22.5". The two gentlemen in the second picture with me were tracker/driver Marten a native of Zimbabwe and local bushman tracker Goshi.

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    Later in the morning I also collected the first of five jackals. This was one of two collected with a .250 savage that was saved for flat skins.

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    The rest of the day was spent stalking Kudu with little success and not from lack of quality animals. We just had trouble getting a shot at the animal we wanted. I passed on one super good bull that had extra deep curls that would have measured in the high fifty's. He just didn't have the spread I was looking for. I still had three days left for my kudu so we were being picky. I had also planned on another warthog and second blue for a flat skin rug.

    Day six coming soon.

    Robert
     

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  3. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    Thanks for the hunt report and pictures. Some really nice trophies, like the curls on the eland.
     
  4. bluey

    bluey GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    well done once again sandrat
    starting to rack em up , nice animals mate
    I hope to gat a jakal mat this year also

    really well set out memior
     
  5. Norwegianwoods

    Norwegianwoods SILVER SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    Great hunt and report.
    Looking forward to read the rest and view the pics.
    Thanks for sharing your hunt with us.
     
  6. Sand Rat

    Sand Rat AH Senior Member

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    Day Six

    As with day five we had concentrated our efforts to the South side of the main road still in search of a nice Kudu. In route from camp to the main gate I was able to bag my second Jackal without doing much damage to the pelt. This allowed me to harvest the two flat skins I had hoped for. My wife and I really enjoyed shooting the small framed Ruger in 250 savage Kanana had available. I looked for one when we returned home only to learn it's no longer in production nor is factory ammunition to be had.

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    Mid morning J.P. and I notice a large dust cloud in the middle of the ranch road next to the water hole known as Lead Wood. We were at least 1K yards away but were able to determine through our binoculars that it was two large Kudu bulls locked in combat. They had scattered by the time the truck got close enough for a stalk but we had a good idea which direction they headed. A short distance later on foot we spotted one of the bulls and while setting up for the shot our Bushman tracker Goshi drew our attention to the second bull which emerged from the brush. A quick size up by J.P. and we set up on the second one that had the wider spread that we were looking for. Just as the massive Eland had done two days prior my Kudu stopped in a small clump of brush and almost disappeared from view. The natural camouflage capabilities of these animals when in the shadows is simply amazing. The Kudu bull had turned to face us head on at about 80 yards and with one shot at the base of the neck from the 30-06 he was down. He wasn't the largest we had seen all week but his length, spread and mass were the right combination for the trophy I had hoped for. I'll enjoy the mount for many years to come.

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    With the last of my eight animal package in the salt it was time to relax and settle in for lunch at a beautiful little water hole known as the rock pan. We sent the trackers to the skinning shed with my Kudu and set up with our backs to a rock shelf in the shade and enjoy the sights. My wife had refused to shoot anything up to this point as she was more concerned with me taking what I had paid for. She's a real keeper! As we ate our lunch two female waterbuck with youngsters and an old male gemsbok watered at will. Next up to drink was several young male waterbuck when we heard something walking on our left coming off the rock ledge. A nice old Impala ram walked within ten yards of us headed down to get a drink. With a nod from the PH that he was a shooter I convinced Sandy to try a shot with the 250 savage. J.P. had adjusted his telescopic shooting sticks down where we had a great rest from a sitting position. The ram had finished drinking but was grazing away from us on the lush water grass growing where the solar powered water pump discharge drained down the hill before collecting in the rack pan. As he turned to the right J.P. gave the OK for a shoulder shot and one second later the ram was down. Not bad shooting for her first big game kill. I was extremely proud of her.

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    We loaded the impala in the truck and headed over to where my friend Keith and his nephew had just taken two mature Eland bulls. They were hunting 2 X 1 and needed help getting the second one to the skinning shed. After unloading J.P. and I quickly set up a brush blind next to one of the water holes close to camp hoping to see a big waterbuck we had seen in the area. Several Kudu including one big bull with his third curl broke off on one side and a Blue Wildebeest taking a dust bath kept us entertained until dark. I decided to dispatch two more Jackals in the fading light and almost got a shot at a third. It had been a great day.

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  7. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Nice Kudu.

    Congratulations to your wife on her entry into the hunting sorority.
     
  8. Stretch

    Stretch AH Fanatic

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    Wow! What an adventure. Great report.
     
  9. Sand Rat

    Sand Rat AH Senior Member

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    Days Seven and Eight

    We started out this morning looking for a second Blue Wildebeest to make into a flat skin rug and with headgear deserving of a respectable European mount. That didn't take long given the abundance of Blue Gnu located throughout the property. The brush where this bunch was located was extremely dense and they spooked before we could get a clear view. While pressing on behind the moving herd there was the big Waterbuck I had been holding out for. The only problem was we were right in the middle of a small opening and were spotted way ahead of us spotting them. All that was visible above the brush was the big bucks head and several does with him. Within seconds they were gone and not seen again. Lunch time found us once again at the rock pan where Sandy had taken her Impala. We set up in the same spot as the day before and watched three male Waterbucks in the 24" to 25" range come into drink, one in particular was really nice and it was hard not to add it to the salt. A small group of Red Hartebeest with a super thick based old ram was next. They were suddenly spooked by an approaching big old bruiser male warthog which the wife wasted no time taking with the 250 savage.

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    Later in the afternoon J.P. caught a bullfrog during a water hole sneak for us to look at. It's the little things like this that make the hunt special in my mind.

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    A few hours before dark we had set up on a herd of Blue Wildebeest that had the second bull I had been waiting for. The only problem was he moved at the last second or I made the worst shot of the week. I was trying to place a shot just slightly off from head on and hit between the neck and right shoulder. We followed a small blood trail until dark and started day eight again following tracks until the trackers lost the way when two herds converged in the middle of an old dry rock pan and we were no longer able to determine which ones to follow. We set for lunch back at the pan where I had taken my Kudu a few days before. Within a few minutes I had the opportunity to take my second Warthog which I wanted for a tusk mount.

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    I was able to redeem myself from the bad shot the evening before around 3:00 pm on our last day of hunting by taking my second nice Blue. It had been an awesome eight days that Sandy I will never forget.

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  10. Bobpuckett

    Bobpuckett GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Again Congrats to you and your wife for some fine trophies and now you've got a good reason to start planning the next trip you need to get that Waterbuck.
     
  11. bluey

    bluey GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    thanks sandrat
    and congrats to yourself the the wife on a great hunt
    when are you next booked to go back mate ?
     
  12. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    Boy, I darn jealous of your wife's warthog!
    You got a really nice kudu, he's a dandy!
     
  13. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Thanks for the story.
     
  14. Sand Rat

    Sand Rat AH Senior Member

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    Thanks to all

    I'd like to take the time to thank those that made my dream hunt possible. First is Jason and Claire Bridger from Kanana Safaris. They run a first class operation from top to bottom, everything was just as advertised on their website with no surprises or disappointments. Next was my PH J.P. who ensured the wife and I had the time of our life and ensured all of our daily needs were taken care of. He also did an excellent job of sizing trophies and ensuring a great stalk and shot. Thanks to Tom for posting Kanana water hole trail cam shots which led me to this wonderful site through a Google search. Jeff for his excellent Kanana Thread which I looked at over and over again during the weeks prior to my own adventure. The whole Africahunting Forum crew who taught me so much. Shot placement, judging trophies, tipping guidelines, what to pack, where to stay in Joberg (Afton House) and the list goes on. Last I'd like to thank most of all my loving wife Sandy who was right there with me every step of the way, through the cold mornings, the blazing hot sun of midday, the ever present camel thorns and wait a minute fish hook trees. She never complained once and refused to shoot anything until after my eight animal package was filled. I must be a lucky man.

    Thanks
    Robert :happywave:
     
  15. FUELMAN

    FUELMAN AH Member

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    I am looking at a hunt opportunity in Botswana next month. How were the roads out of Maun? If you were to go again would you overnight again at the Afton house or push on to Maun and spend a night there
     
  16. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Sand Rat, You done very good on that hunt! Nice trophies all.
     
  17. Sand Rat

    Sand Rat AH Senior Member

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    I can only vouch for the main road from Maun to Ghanzi. It was a very nice blacktop that was well maintained and then a well grated gravel road from there to the Kanana property. If I was traveling alone from Saudi like I did then pushing on would not be an issue. The time difference is only one hour and the flights from Joberg to Maun are doable. If you are coming from the states the KLM and Delta flights won't get you there in time for the two daily flights (Botswana Air and South Africa Air Links) that both leave around 11:00. One of our party came in on BA from the US and made the transfer just fine. I've already booked again for next year and have thought about spending the night in Maun but haven't decided yet.
     

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