Discussion in 'FREE Hunts & Giveaways' started by Hartzview Hunting Safaris, Jan 14, 2011.
You are right Scott, I truly admire the "true up north hunts"! Definitely on my radar screen!
Do you remember the day your hunter’s soul awoke? Can you recall the moment that separates everything that came before from everything that will come?
I remember. It was long after my first hunt at the moment I passed the torch to my son. Until then, I hunted for my own reasons, for my own enjoyment. From that moment, I became a link between all my ancestors and all my descendents. I became connected to everyone who has lived before and everyone who will live. I traded the starring role in my own life for a supporting role in a far bigger show.
It was a cold and rainy day in West Virginia. My son had just watched me harvest a bison for food. It had not been much of a hunt, a cow in a field. But it would be meat for the family and I did not pass it up. I remember the overcast skies, the rain, the mud. I remember my son asking if he could hunt something.
I knew that his shooting wasn’t yet good enough to ethically shoot an animal. But I also knew the desire he was feeling. With a heavy heart, I told him that he couldn’t yet work a gun well enough to hunt.
He didn’t blink before he cheerfully said “I can work a spear!”. I followed his eyes to the boar spear on the wall.
The dogs paced in their kennel, hearing the same calling my son heard. I took our guide aside and asked him what could be done. He felt confident his dogs could find a small pig and that my son could take the pig safely.
“Get the spear, you’re going to hunt a wild pig. I’ll have my rifle, so there is nothing for you to worry about.” I added the latter more for myself than my son. We explained the drill: the baying hound will search for a pig. When we hear him, we will release the catch dogs. They will hold the pig, and you will thrust the spear in just behind the shoulder.
The cold wet air held the scent to the ground, so it was no time before the baying hound was on the trail. A moment later we heard him and the pack was off. We followed the noise and there they were.
The little pig put up quite a fight against the dogs, but he wasn’t going to get away. “Steady, steady, watch the dog! Easy, not too fast, mind the point. Not there, forward, forward, a bit higher. There! That’s the spot, drive it home!!!”
I felt the connection back through the ages. I understood how that first African hominid felt when he picked up a sharp stick and realized what it meant: he was no longer an animal, he had a tool, he was human! I knew how he felt when he brought home that meat to his child, and knew there would not be hunger tonight. I understood why we have dogs to find game and they have us to kill it. Forty years into it, I finally knew what it was to be part of this great adventure we call life. I savor every moment of it.
2. I really hate losing yet another one of these contests.
Bert the Turtle,
The smile on your son's face is priceless, absolutley priceless.
The Heart Shaped Buck
The Heart Shaped Buck
by Joshua Larwill
The bitter cold bit at our cheeks as we rolled down the windows of the truck to look at the antelope buck. It was just legal light, when my dad said “that’s a big buck!” I couldn’t get a good look at it until a minute later and when I saw it, I knew. It was the heart shaped buck.
Early one September Morning my father and I and a group of friends started our venture to Eastern Alberta for a Pronghorn hunt. It took us about two and a half hours to get to Hanna Alberta. The time had to have been between eight or nine in the morning when we arrived. The sun rise was so beautiful that morning, with its extravagant colors of orange, red and purple that I could see the first few flocks of ducks and geese start to come off the water’s edge to feed. When we arrived at the campground we unhooked the fifth wheel and started on our way to scout for a good antelope buck. My father Stirling Larwill had been draw for his trophy antelope this year and his priority was at year seven. He bought me a partner’s license so that I was able to shoot his antelope instead of him.
Our first day consisted of eating a lot of small mars bars, drinking coffee and much more junk food. We drove roads using binoculars, and spotting scopes to glass the Alberta plains in search of antelope groups. The first day was quite uneventful with antelope far and few between. The ones we did see however were small bucks with a couple of does. It seemed quite bleak the possibilities of a good buck for the first day were slim. We returned to the fifth wheel that night a little discouraged but we still had hope, to find a large buck in the next few days.
The morning after my father had to go back to Red Deer to complete a school course so I continued scouting with Jack Steenson, and Michel D’amico. While we were asking for permission and touring the country, we had spotted which looked to be a very nice antelope buck. His horns stretched up maybe two and a half ear lengths but then curled in 2 or 3 inches on both sides making the shape of a heart. His prongs where almost right to the top of the horn making him exceptionally thick all the way up. After examining him thoroughly I had made up my mind. This was the one. After finding him, we marked his location on the GPS, and went back to the fifth wheel to have an afternoon snooze. ( well Jack did anyways.) While he was sleeping Michel and I decided that this would be a great time to clean the guns and try and fix Jacks BRNO.22, we had somehow twisted the bolt around while we were shooting at some gophers and it would not close.
It was Saturday evening when my, father had returned from Red Deer and had finished his classes. We had explained to him that we had found a few pronghorn bucks but, the Heart Shaped buck was the one that really stuck out. All of the pronghorns were decent that we had chosen, but this one would be the better trophy to acquire. We settled down that night, made some dinner, watched a movie that we had bought from Cactus Corner and went to bed.
In the morning we had a wonderful sleep-in, that everybody needed. It was about eight in the morning instead, of at the crack of dawn, which we had been getting up at every day. We set off in the truck with my father now, and went to show him what we had found for antelope the day before. We had found most of the bucks that we spotted on Saturday, but the heart shaped buck was nowhere to be found. We looked high and low for him but he disappeared, like a ghost, right off the face of the earth. A little discouraged that we could not find him we picked the bigger antelope of the three remaining ones and watched him until he found his bed for the night. The game plan for the next morning was to wake up really early and get to the bucks bedding ground. We would then select which way we would stalk the animal from, and see how we would shoot him, from the position we were in. We didn’t realize that we were in for something way different than what was planned. Plans just never go as planned is what many people say, and that is just what happened.
It was opening day and it was a Monday. We had got up really early just as planned ate breakfast quickly, and started to drive down to the farmers field, where we had last saw the smaller buck. While we were driving closer to the location of the smaller buck, Jack noticed an antelope buck crossing the field. The bitter cold bit at our cheeks as we rolled down the windows of the truck to look at the antelope buck. It was just legal light, when my dad said “that’s a big buck!” I couldn’t get a good look at it until a minute later, and when I saw it, I knew. It was the heart shaped buck. He was walking through a farmer’s field that we had just got permission to hunt on the previous day. I quickly grabbed Jacks .300 win mag and exited the cab of the truck with my dad and crawled into the ditch. Jack then drove the truck in reverse blocking the road a ways back from where we were. My dad and I then crawled across the gravel road and into the ditch across from us. The antelope had spotted us and started to trot away when all of the sudden my dad blew his Primo’s antelope call. It stopped the antelope buck right in his tracks, and he started to charge towards us. While the pronghorn was getting closer and closer to us, we were at the fence line. We were quite a far distance from the road making it perfectly legal to shoot. I set the rifle on top of a fence post lined up my shot, took two breaths, and on the third I breathed in and slowly exhaled squeezing the trigger. The antelope began to run away acting as if it were not hit at all. I pulled the bolt back as quick as I could putting another bullet in the chamber, I took aim once again and squeezed the trigger dropping the Heart Shaped buck like a sack of hammers. I yelled in excitement. I had just killed the Heart shaped buck, on a hunt of a life time, with friends and family which make hunting the best.
When we had got home that night my dad and I just thought I had missed the buck the first shot, but when we started looking at it closely we had found two holes. The first bullet that I thought I missed had gone through the shoulder, through both of the lungs and through the heart making us, wonder how it actually got that far. The second shot that I took while he was running away had gone through his spine which made him drop.
Phil, I know what you mean, I thought the New Zealand and Canadian Pics were gonna be hard to beat till I saw "Bert the Turtle's" GREAT PHOTO!!! Now I have to dig up old photo's of when I passed on the torch. I can still tell the story of my son's first big whitetail almost moment by moment and it was 15 years ago. Again thanks for the pic Bert. JRH
My waterbuck taken with .308 Winchester.
Here is my picture of my very first sika stag. This is truely a beautiful specie of deer. I stalked this young stag on a beautiful estate in the east of england back in November, taken with my weatherby .243 and 105 grain bullet. He lived up to the sika's reputation for reaction to the shot still making it 50 yards from a clean lung shot. A treasured memory of mine.
Her first hunt is in Africa
Having completed her hunters' safety course, my 11-year-old daughter and the PH's son shot these grouse and doves with a .22. The trophy here is the look on the face of my daughter. This photo goes on the wall with the other African trophies. It gives me as much pride as the other trophies in the house. My daughter’s hunt gave her self-confidence, a sense of pride, and added to her love of things outdoors.
Adam, me, the longbow and the Bear.........
This is my Sika was taken at Knowltons Laguna Vista Ranch down in Pearsall, Texas in 2008. I shot him with a 270 T/C hooked to a Liberator manufactured by Pete Odland at White's Bridge Tooling, Inc.
I have never been to Africa, but I sure wants to...
One of the pictures are of me with a cow moose I shot last season. Its up in the mountains of middle Norway. It was my moose number 20 and by far the one that costed me most pain and sweat and without my dog (norwegian moose dog) I guess it would not have worked out. the other picture are of my oldest son and his first big game, a reindeer doe also shot in the same mountains last season.
I don't think Ted Nugent should be allowed to enter this contest! :rock: :biggrin2:
African Hunting Honeymoon
My wife and I were at a loss for choosing a honeymoon destination after our wedding. She wanted sun and beaches and I wanted something out of the ordinary.
As teachers we were on a limited budget so our options were limited. We talked to travel agents, scoured the internet and picked people's brains for ideas, with no luck. As I aimlessly scrolled through the internet one evening, I came across a website advertising safaris in South Africa. The site impressed me and with my limited knowledge of hunting trips and even more apparent limited knowledge of romance, I thought I had my honeymoon answer.
Africa seemed to have it all from sand and sun to exotic and mysterious. It was a world apart from our little town and with my wife's love of nature and adventure, I figured it was a sure fire solution. I immediately pitched the idea to her and while her reaction was shocking, I suppose it shouldn't have been. I cannot believe that her reaction was anything different than that of one thousand or even ten thousand women's reactions would have been. "You want to take me hunting on my honeymoon!!??"
While I did not exactly look at it in that perspective, I could find little fault in her logic. I immediately started looking for selling points by searching the internet in a feverish fashion. I showed her the beautiful accommodations, promised her spa treatments in the camp, and even put together a luxurious trip to Cape Town for some fine wine, beaches and dining. All was in vain as I knew I was grasping at straws.
The debate went on for a couple of days and throughout, the glances of doubt and looks of disgust reigned supreme. Somewhere between a moderate silent treatment and the thoughts of, "Are you kidding me?," was a glimmer of hope. It wasn't as if I wanted her to commit to something she wouldn't love, it was getting her to realize she would in fact love this adventure. She loves nature, animals and adventure but selling her on the fact I was hunting was the tough point. She finally approached with an answer. "I have my doubts, but if you truly think I will love this trip, then I am willing to take your word for it."
This was a mark of trust and love that has characterized our relationship over the many years we had spent together. I knew at that moment that I had picked the best woman in the world to spend the rest of my life with.
All thoughts of anxiety and stress had disappeared when we were met at the airport by our outfitter. The ride to camp was full of questions and scenery that satisfied some of our curiosity of the dark continent. We were met at camp with a hot cup of tea, wonderful meal and the smiles of the staff. It was a welcoming experience.
The next morning was full of adventures and despite my lack of sleep due to excitement, I was wide awake. My wife armed with cameras only, was at my side, while my .280 Ruger was slung over my shoulder. We saw rhinos, giraffes, buffalo, zebra, kudu and even more of the beautiful African plains game. When we returned to the lodge we made our way to the dinner table followed by a glass of wine and a dip in the hot tub. I asked my wife how things were going and she confirmed that she wanted to cancel her spa treatment as she did not want to miss one minute of hunting. My fears were alleviated as I knew she was already loving the trip. As I gazed into the brilliant stars of the African night, listened to the howls of the hyenas in the distance and felt the warmth of the crackling fire, I knew there could be no place in the world as beautiful as this.
Our safari was a great success and my wife loved every minute of it. We enjoyed fine wines, good hunting and the beautiful scenery of Cape Town. It was a truly amazing experienced that was highlighted by the taking of some remarkable trophies.
The photos below are of the exceptional kudu I took. He measured 145 SCI and had horn lengths of 62 inches.
It may sound cliche, but I do not believe there can be any stronger bond between two people than that of a boy and his grandfather. A lifelong teacher, mentor and friend, my grandfather truly is the greatest person I have ever known. There is no one whom I trust more than my grandfather. He has always been there for me through thick and thin with kind words in time of sorrow, smiles in time of happiness and strong advice in times of need.
As a Depression survivor, my grandfather has always lived meagerly. His skills as an outdoors man put more than one meal on his family's table in his youth and provided him with a more than impressive whitetail trophy collection in his later years. He has never been able to venture far or wide, but has never lost that sense of adventure following his post World War II service years.
When I was born it was as if we were instantly best friends. I spent summers with him while my parents worked and he became the, "Babysitter." We fished nearly every day and while we weren't always successful, I was taught the art of patience, diligence and overall respect for wildlife in general.
My grandfather taught me the thrill of the hunt in ways that only a grandfather can. There were never and condescending words or looks of anger when I made mistakes. There were only the suggestions and encouragements of the perfect teacher. Through this I learned to love the pursuit of all game animals coupled with the sights, sounds and smells that accompanied it.
Our friendship continued to grow into our adult years and we still hunt together to this day.
It was in the winter of 2008 that we were met with disastrous news. My grandfather's habits from a generation gone by had finally caught up to him. His smoking led him to a diagnosis of lung cancer. At the time, hopes for survival looked bleak and although I tried to remain optimistic, it was as if a piece of myself was dying with his aging lungs.
At the age of eighty one, his chances for successfully beating cancer seemed to be virtually impossible. As our family prepared for the worst, I prepared for something different. If I was to lose my best friend, I would spend as much time as I could before what we thought was to be the inevitable.
It was never possible for my grandfather to visit the American West. He could never afford it raising four children and supporting a one income family. His desire to see it was always there but it seemed like a dream more than a possibility.
I decided that even though it would dent my savings, I was going to take my grandfather on a Western hunt before it was too late. I contacted Cabela's Outdoor Adventures and was set up with a classic antelope hunt in Wyoming for a two on one guided hunt with Brian Artery of Hunton Creek Outfitters.
When we arrived in Denver, my grandfather was a "Kid in a candy store." All signs of sickness had left his body and he became the physically tough man I had known in my youth. He breathed heavily in the high elevation but paid no mind to it. His excitement was gratification enough to me before we even stepped into the field.
When we arrived at camp, the other hunters in camp had rallied around him asking questions and complimenting him on his love of the sport. They told him how they could only dream to come West and do a hunt at his age. He never said it, but I could tell he felt as big as the world as the men listened for hours on end about his hunting stories of many years gone by. It was a touching moment for me and I fought back the tears.
We were off to the field the next day and Brian guided us personally. He was as patient and knowledgeable as anyone I have ever hunted with and took exceptionally good care of my grandfather. We walked very slowly so he could keep up and Brian put us right onto the antelope almost immediately.
As the antelope filtered into the draw below us, my grandfather was overcome with excitement. When the fine buck stepped out broadside 320 yards in the high wind, the .257 Weatherby barked only once and the beautiful buck dropped in his tracks. It was an extremely impressive shot that amazed even me. My grandfather is one of the best shots with a rifle I have ever known, but that shot was exceptional is such a strong cross wind.
We walked slowly down to the buck and took our pictures. The smile that graced my grandfather's face didn't disappear for days and only grew with each passing handshake he received in congratulations in camp that night.
The next day saw my turn on the trigger in which I shot a magnificent buck. The two animals were transported to the local taxidermists in which they were mounted together and currently reside in my grandfather's house. Surrounded with framed pictures of our western adventure, he smiles proudly every time he looks at the mounts.
It is impossible to underestimate the strengths of the, "Greatest generation." A surgery later and several chemotherapy treatments and my grandfather is officially cancer free. At eighty two years old he beat his cancer and is doing very well.
I like to think that the hunt we shared together with Hunton Creek Outfitters had something to do with his will to survive. I will never be sure if it did or did not, but it is of little consequence. I cherish the memories more because it was time in the field with great people providing an amazing experience for my best friend.
I liked hearing your hunting stories thestar4, I'm happy you found a great wife to spend your days with enjoying lifes little moments.
First elk hunt for my son and me... 9,000 feet in the Rockies.
Thank you Enysse. I couldn't imagine traveling the rough road of life with anyone else. She's awesome and clearly she's got the hunter's luck on her side too!! There is no way I could shoot a kudu like that without having her luck with me!!
Well PHOENIX PHIL thats where your wrong, Uncle Ted if he is a member of AH has the same rights we do for entering these contest BUT!!! take a closer look at the picture if I read it right the hunter in the wheelchair is the hunter and Uncle ted is helping a Handicapped Hunter fulfill his dreams.
Good eye Bobpuckett, I didn't see the wheelchair, heck I just thought it was cool to see sweatty Teddy on this site.
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