Crossbow Lion

Discussion in 'Bowhunting Africa' started by Stocky, Apr 21, 2014.

  1. Stocky

    Stocky AH Veteran

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    Green score 27"

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 10, 2014
  2. Paw Print

    Paw Print SPONSOR AH Elite

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    Congratulations!
     
  3. BnC 04

    BnC 04 TITANIUM SUPPORTER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    Beautiful cat!
     
  4. bluey

    bluey GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    that's one hell of a mane,stocky
    congratulations .
    whats 27 mean ?
     
  5. Jaco Strauss

    Jaco Strauss AH Elite

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    Congrats!! Give us the story! Won't get shrink on that skull... :)

    My best always
     
  6. BnC 04

    BnC 04 TITANIUM SUPPORTER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    Bluey, the "27" is referring to the skull measurements in inches.
     
  7. G Skinner

    G Skinner AH Senior Member

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    BEAUTY ! So what crossbow were you using , come on out with the story ! LOL !
    Glen
     
  8. bluey

    bluey GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    thanks bnc
    so that's length x width combined ?
     
  9. Jaco Strauss

    Jaco Strauss AH Elite

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    Bluey correct measured pretty much the same as a bear, not over the curve but rather in a straight line, and then the same over the widest part of the skull...

    These two totals are the added together and provide a total score skulls are measured to the closest 16th.

    I'll try to find a diagram for you.. :)

    My best always
     
  10. Jaco Strauss

    Jaco Strauss AH Elite

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    Below is the standard measurement for SCI this includes Both leopard and Lion.

    image.jpg

    Hope this helps?
     
  11. bluey

    bluey GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Thanks for that Jacob
     
  12. Stocky

    Stocky AH Veteran

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    Okay, so made it home yesterday for the best African hunt ever! Sorry I didn't respond earlier but the internet connections were spotty at best.

    To summarize:
    Hunted from Apr 19 thru Apr 29
    3 R.S.A Provinces covering 2600 miles
    - Northern Cape; Northwest Kalahari; Bojanala Region NW; Sterkstroom

    13 SCI Trophies (10 SCI Gold, 2 Silver, 1 Hippo)
    - 5 new #1's
    - 2 new #2's

    We spent the 10 hunting days driving a total of 2600 miles (hunting and traveling inn the same vehicle.) This is my fourth safari with Jacques Senekal, Africa Maximum Safaris; Walla Albertse is my PH thru the entire quest. They both have put a ton of time and effort into finding the exact animals, or at least the areas they likely reside, worthy of this quest.

    The goal is achieving SCI's Africa 29 in under two years, I'm sitting now with only about 5 or six animals remaining at the 12-month mark. At least half of my trophies have qualified for SCI Gold, all but a couple have scored well enough to "make the book." I've hunted at least a dozen or so R.S.A. farms, plus Zimbabwe thus far, and later this year we'll have to trek to (I believe) Namibia (or elsewhere) for the couple of the specie-categories I cannot collect in the RSA.

    Late last year I began looking for another MOK other than rifle, so I spent the last 6 months or so working with several different crossbows. One mention I'll make is that I am in the custom rifle parts business, an avid archer have have spent the better part of my 57 years tuning both methods for hunting "perfection." The reason I mention this is because most crossbows do not perform acceptably well with out-of-the-box components for African game. As I was to discover, this is not a game for beginners or folks that do not have the experience and are not willing to invest the time in experimentation at home. At ranges out to 40 yards or so a crossbow holds no special advantage over the modern compound vertical bow, it takes a great deal of tuning, trial and error experimentation (fletching, shafts and broadheads) not to mention practice to achieve success on large plains animals, dangerous game or extended ranges. Both the bow and the arrows must be tuned as a unit to the n'th degree for 100% confidence for the specific usage. I have so much time and money invested at this point, my findings are a trade secret.

    So anyhoo, we hit the NW Kalahari for the lion and were fortunate enough to stumble across him on day one. Took two bolts to get that done... first one behind the shoulder, second in the ribs.
    DSCF9725.jpg

    When we got the skull back to the lodge we had an SCI Master Measurer on hand that scored the skull well over 27" in fact, good enough (subject to finalization of course) for the SCI #2 spot with a MOK crossbow, #9 overall, all methods included. He's a Top-10 cat by all methods as it stands today.

    What an honor! Many, many thanks to Jacques Senekal for this cat! (As well as literally every other trophy.)

    To top off the Kalahari hunt that evening (the day before Easter) we decided to try for a caracal cat (African lynx) as this particular area was rumored to hold a good density and this would be one of the most difficult requirements for the African 29 Achievement so I needed to hunt them when I could. About 15 minutes out of camp Walla noticed a movement to our left so we stopped the truck and got the .280 Ackley Improved on the sticks. Turns out it was a bunny rabbit. But then we noticed something crouching in a bush off to the right about 100 yards away. I'll be damned if it wasn't a cat stalking that rabbit! Talk about luck!!! So I shot the cat and saved the Easter Bunny too boot! (That was good for more than a few laughs all the next week.)
    DSC_0168.jpg

    The we hit the road for the North Cape,, where we sat in the blinds and took the (crossbow) #1 black, #1 copper springbok as well as the #2 letchwe. Since we hadn't seen a white come to water, we opted for a spot-n-stalk on a nice white springbok the farm manager had seen that morning and managed to get him standing 66 yards away. All those animals will score SCI Gold as well.
    DSCF9804.jpg

    Then we drove into the mountains for one of the hardest animals to harvest the RSA has to offer and had the additional good fortune to take the #1 Barbary Sheep (crossbow) from some of the roughest, rockiest, thorn-infested country I've ever seen. Those canyons are like walking on sharp-pointed ball-bearings andI don't know who got the worst end of the deal, the aoudad or my calves.
    10340316_10152401462970972_992733209_o.jpg

    To make matters worse I muffed a shot over his back about 1 1/2 hours into the climb so we had to spend the rest of the day trying to get another. We were finally able to put on (and blow) another stalk however the ram finally made the wrong decision when he opted to cross a very narrow canyon with a bunch of his girlfriends and we sprinted over the top and caught him about 80 yards below us and across a narrow canyon. What a beautifully bearded, 54" aoudad he is with nice, heavy bases! Overall he scored SCI Gold, currently at #35 all-methods overall but the only known aoudad taken with a crossbow.
    DSC_0315.jpg

    The next day was a spot-n-stalk Mountain Reedbuck endeavor. No crossbow here, we were running out of time at this camp and it was very open hill-country; cross-canyon shooting was very likely so I again broke-out the .280 AI. We huffed the hills for a few hours when one shot at 180 yards off the sticks and I had a very nice ram and another check in the African 29 box.
    DSC_0372.jpg

    Since there was about 2 hours before sunset we opted to see if we a bontebok we'd spotted early in the hunt would approach a particular blind. Nope. There were three nice rams and they were very wary, just the sight or sound of a truck would send the running like all get-out, and they wanted no part of any blind that'd been the instrument of their neighborhood impala's demise. With the popularity of impala hunting from the blind I'm pretty sure they had witnessed more than a few meet their maker from that structure

    So before leaving the next morning we decided to try a spot-n-stalk on them. Finally offering me a nice, standing 80yd broadside shot I let the arrow fly and the damn bontebok apparently saw the bolt coming and literally jumped over the arrow!!! Man, can they react or what?!? Jumped the string!!! A couple more stalks put him away, however, there was very good cover to approach behind where they thought they'd be safe. Trick on bontebok I was to discover, is to shoot bows when they ain't looking at ya!
    DSC_0393.jpg

    So know its back on the road again to Jacques' camp near Swartruggins and tried for this one duiker ram we had see the day I arrived to no avail. Four trips to Africa and still no duiker!

    Humorously, He's a fairly famous duiker around the farm but the only time we had seen on this trip was when we were sighting-in!!! Right after I had finished with the rifles we were dialing in the crossbow when he stepped-out about 20 yards beyond the 100 yard stand to see what all the fuss was! No shot with the 'bow, but man, if he'd only swung by about 15 minutes earlier... oh well.

    The whole purpose of traveling back to the Africa Max lodge (North Cape to NW Province) was to stage for a hippo population control hunt. Jacques had heard of a couple of bulls that escaped a nearby preserve in the Limpopo region and had taken up their new residence in a maze farmer's irrigation dam, so he secured the required permit for me and we were to be off that night. However, these particular hippos must have decided that the tractors were coming a bit too close for their comfort so they had decided to move into a nearby swamp that was virtually unhuntable so we had some time to kill in hopes we'd get the call that they moved back into the dam.

    The next day he managed to schedule a common reedbuck hunt in the AM and we'd go after tsessebe on the same preserve after that. I missed a chip-shot on the reedbuck at sunrise [insert excuse here] but made up for it on the tsessebe. I should say tessebe-tessebe because I proved anyone that says that a .280 sporting 160 Accubonds won't shoot clean-thru two tessebes (tessebi?) and drop them both essentially in their tracks knows nothing about shooting an Accubond at tessebe. Oops! Two record-book Damaliscus lunatus with one shot equals one expensive mistake. When I have an off day I really have one in spades!
    DSC_0416.jpg

    While chasing said antelope about the countryside, we popped over one hill and there before me, about 40 yards out, stood one monster kudu along with his gal-pal. I’ll say he was 57”+ with big, deep curls and straight-up tips, but I’m going to tell the story that he was a 60”er from now on.

    I took one look at the preserve manager and at Walla and the look in their eyes said “shoot!” however the pair did their usual one-two-fuck-you and lit out before I could rock-and-roll. We tracked them for a hour or so and never got another chance. But the sight of that royal beast standing there with his beautiful, long mane and big, orange ears framing those massive curls still leaves me breathless...

    (Another Africa-Max PH took a client after him and wounded him as I was headed back to the airport at the end of the hunt, that PH claims at least 60”. I’ll find out when I get back there in June if they recovered him and how big.)

    The reason that kudu is so important is that I really, really, really want a BIG one. (Pretty sure you do too if you don’t have one already.) I’ve seen literally dozens of bulls in the 53-55”+ range that I’ve taken a pass one (already have one in that class) but I lust for a monster. No, I’m not going to go shoot some farmer’s penned-up breeding bull, he’s gotta’ be born wild and running on a big farm or I’m not interested. I therefore have a standing request with Jacques on every hunt to spend any down-time looking for him and I’ve been to some outstanding kudu-country that undoubtedly holds the bull that I seek ... somewhere. We spent the next day on one such farm with nothing to show for it but some really great “African porn” (a fat 30” waterbuck breeding with his GFF) and another unlucky jackal. That waterbuck cow had a poachers-snare necklace, by the way, but it didn’t seem to affect her love-life. On any other hunt I may have snuck up on them and flung a 150 Slick-Trick, but on this hunt we were on a mission.

    Finally the call came in — hippos were back where we could get at them. So we sped off that afternoon, spent the night in a guest house while the recovery-crew lit-out from Woodstock (Jacque Senekal's outstanding A-Max lodge) in the wee-hours of the morning for a straight redeye run to hippoville. However, when we arrived in the AM the farmer couldn’t get with us until 11am, at which point we traversed the swamps, picked-off a few ticks and generally got soaking wet up to our asses and teats until we finally located the beasts in the river. My trusty M70 full-custom .375 H&H “Dragonslayer” spoke and earned a second Big Five notch on its buttstock. (It’s still pissed I didn’t use him on the lion.)
    IMG_5521.jpg

    So while the boys (Jon Hendricks, PH and Ivan Ueckermann, Apprintice PH) were busy hippo-diving the farmer’s son and I decided to spend an hour or so bush pigging-it. I had the genuine pleasure of spending some quality-time time with the landowner and his family before the kill, working farmers (Boers) and avid riflemen, discussing our mutual affections for certain rifles and Leupold VX6 optics. I assume once he was confident that I knew my way around an AR, he generously offered me the use of his brand-new Remington R25 .308 and sent me out with his teenager to a corner of the farm where the pigs were making a general nuisance of themselves by fattening themselves up on his maze, pecans and almonds. We took a very nice boar on a dead-run with that rifle!
    IMG_5539.jpg urs

    So ended the most successful African Adventure of my rather short-yet-varied African hunting career. I was more than happy to sleep-in the next mooring, after the four-hour drive and wallowing in the swamp the day before, we caught the 8pm Delta 777 out of Jo’burg back to the states.

    I’m happy to report I’ll be returning in June with non-trophy (crossbow?) elephant and rhino darting as the entrees. I’ll wager the x-bow gets some trigger-time in the plains as well.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2014
  13. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    Awesome trophies! Thanks for the hunt report. That bushpig looks really nice!
     
  14. PaulT

    PaulT AH Fanatic

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    Well done Stocky,
    congrats and the best of luck to you for your remaining "quest".
     
  15. Wheels

    Wheels GOLD SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    Glad you had a great hunt. Thanks for sharing.

    A double on Tessebe is a little more expensive than impala.....you did save on ammo cost though.

    Congratulations
     
    jeff and Stocky like this.
  16. G Skinner

    G Skinner AH Senior Member

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    SWEET READ !
    Glen
     
  17. kal

    kal AH Veteran

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    Great write up and quite the adventure. Thanks for sharing.
     
  18. aaronraby1

    aaronraby1 AH Senior Member

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    awesome! great story!
     
  19. Ridge Top Ranch

    Ridge Top Ranch BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Member

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    Followed the safari via Facebook on Africa Maximum and Walla's posts. Congrats on your great animals! Hunted in Zim last year with Walla and had a great time. He really works hard to get his clients good trophies. Anxious to hear you Lion story. I am going to hunt lion and plains game in SA with Africa Maximum and Walla in 2015.

    How do you plan to mount the lion?
     
  20. Royal27

    Royal27 BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    Nicely done!
     

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