Hoping for my once in a lifetime hunt

Discussion in 'Hunting Africa' started by bighorn175, Feb 11, 2012.

  1. RickB

    RickB AH Fanatic

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    Bighorn175, welcome to AH. You are getting some great advice here. As with any customer review, it is a clue. You must do your research. I am glad you didn't book your hunt so quickly. Even if you decide to use this outfitter you can at least make the choice with a clear mind. Enjoy the process of picking your PH/outfitter. You only get one first time.
     
  2. tap

    tap AH Enthusiast

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    What a funny thread.

    First off let me point this one at jaco. Do you remember when you posted on here last week that some people buy safaris at sci auction and then sell them on here at a profit. Well I buy the ones that are a steal and give them to friends to get them hooked on Africa. I had a blast on safari and would like to let as many people as possible experience that same thing as well. Point in case is motshwere safaris and woodruff hunter. Motshwere was donating a hunt the the snm sci chapter in roswell nm last year for 4 hunters for 10 days and threw in a eland, oryx, wildebeast, 2 impala, and 2 warthogs and something else i think. The hunt was about to sell for $200 so I bid $250 and got it. I turned it around and gave it to woodruff hunter who was a friend for free. (he later sent me a check for like $400 and refused to allow me to tear it up). I then called werner lewies several times and threatened him with physical harm if my friend wasn't taken care of. Long story short is that jason had an awesome hunt and rebooked and is now taking friends back with him. I would say the dealings I had with werner were nothing but positive and I've had many run ins with bad outfitters. The worst run in I've had was Numzaan and in particular stef swanopel. Please steff don't send me another apology email I will never come back. Anyways I think werner may be a decent outfit to hunt with.

    If you want to talk with me about my experiences with motshwere feel free to pm me and I will give you my cell number. However, for a dream safari I'm not sure motshwere is where you would want to go. Call me stupid but I loved hunting limpopo with a rifle. Now if you go to the cape or KZN a bow hunt is a dream safari for those areas. Its not that successful bow hunting can't be done in limpopo its just that I enjoy rifle more in that area.

    That being said I also know you are from utah or the like area. That place could be described as DIY heaven and more importantly as "free range" only type hunters. South Africa for the most part is high fence. Granted I don't think you have any clue how exciting and difficult SA high fence hunting is but still its high fence and I understand your desire to experience free range hunting. You really can't get over the american "free range" mentality until you've been hunting to africa at least once.

    Now on with my point and if I'm wrong then sue me but I'm pretty sure I know the western american hunter and more importantly your desires. Of all the places I have hunted in South Africa the safari I had with VDV safaris in Kwa Zulu Natal would be my description of a "dream" bow hunt. Its all free range and everything I shot was under 50 yards and rutting hard! I guarantee you that if you go in the end of may when kudu and nyala are in full rut you will be destroyed financially as you will return repeatedly and mortgage your wife to go if need be. The area you would be hunting there would remind you of mule deer hunting in the west but with green terrain and tons of rivers. Its gorgeous. In addition its spot and stalk and is a blast. bow hunting sa usually is done from a blind over water and if your thing is bow hunting you would have a blast with Ian. In addition I have hunted with him many times and have never had a problem other than not eating enough but thats my own fault since I won't allow him to take me back to camp at times.

    Now if you want to hunt over a water hold and have the animals come to you then go hunt with motshwere in the limpopo and you will have a blast. Now to trophys. In limpopo you have a chance at big kudu and bushbuck but that is basically it. Oryx, nyala, and eland won't be found in trophy quality for the most part in those areas. Kwa Zulu Natal will produce giant nyala, giant bushbuck and nice kudu, however free range eland don't exist and you would have to go to a high fenced area for them. Now I could go into more detail on what a true western hunter would like in a safari but for your first safari that would be my advice to you. Once you get plains game behind you and the classical safari bug hits you get back with me and I will refer you to some of the more educated men I have found on this site.

    Finally did you see my 48" sable at vdv safaris booth at the expo? it was cool! If you also want to chat on monstermuleys my name is stinkystomper on there.

    Tony
     
  3. Kowas Hunting Safaris

    Kowas Hunting Safaris AH Veteran

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    There is no substitute for contacting several REFERENCES...! Further more, follow up with their ASSOCIATIONS of which they are members of.
     
  4. Bobpuckett

    Bobpuckett GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Hi Jaco sorry I missed this post before but as an outfitter I would expect you to disagree, what is it 20% you pay an agent to book hunts for you gets to stay in your pocket which in some cases it is good a thing as some outfitters will give there client a free animal during the hunt which always makes the client feel better. I half way agree with you on my first hunt I went through an agent but on my second hunt I booked it myself through the outfitter after getting my feet wet had had a little more idea as to what to look at now saying that I will say this if you have booked hunts with other outfitters before wether in the US or Canada or anywhere else then you have the basics down and going through an outfitter can be a good thing as maybe they'll pass that 20% savings on to you. then again thats just the way I look at thing.
     
  5. WyoWes

    WyoWes AH Member

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    I'm a personal fan of this site and Barbara Crowns Huntingreport.com. She does a good job of posting complaints as well as the response. But is still some risk, I hunted Africa with an outfitter that booked through a broker, checked references, check hunting report and still got burned. There are alot of great safari operators in Africa but as mentioned in this thread, check references, PHASA, huntingreport.com
     
  6. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    So, your point is you do sell those donated hunts for a profit! :)



    T thanks for elaborating on Woodruff hunters experience, since he wouldn't. Gives some clue anyway.


    Sable on the brain.

     
  7. Jaco Strauss

    Jaco Strauss AH Legend

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    NEVER POINTED A FINGER AT WERNER SURE HE IS A GREAT OUTFITTER....PLEASE REFER TO MY POST.

    STILL FEEL BUYING DONATED HUNTS AND SELLING THEM AT A PROFIT IS WRONG WHETHER YOU MAKE 200 OR 5000 $ IT IS NOT IN THE SPIRIT OF THE DONATIONS IF A PRIVATE ENTITY IS GENERATING INCOME OUT OF A DONATED HUNT TO SCI, WHILE YOU MIGHT DIFFER FROM MY VIEW I GUESS WE ARE ALL ENTITLED TO OUR OWN.

    PLEASE CHECK MAYBE WITH JEFF KENEDY FROM SCI AS TO WHAT SCI'S FEELING IS ABOUT THIS.

    ONLY MY BEST ALWAYS.
     
  8. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Good. Have fun searching. There are lots of opportunities.
     
  9. Jaco Strauss

    Jaco Strauss AH Legend

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    VERY TRUE BIGHORN 175 ONE BAD REPORT DOES NOT MAKE A BAD OUTFITTER I KNOW OF OUTFITTERS THAT HAS HAD CLIENTS THAT COULD NOT BE PLEASED NO MATTER WHAT THEY TRIED, MAJORITY OF ALL HUNTERS TEND TO MAKE THE MOST OF ANY EXPERINCE PRESENTED AS DO THE MAJORITY OF OUTFITTERS PRESENT THE BEST THEY CAN.

    MOST IMPORTANT THING WOULD BE TO FIND WHAT YOU WANT OUT OF A SAFARI (AS PREVIOUSLY MENTIONED)
    MY BEST ALWAYS.
     
  10. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    The extra money Woodruff gave Tap for gasoline to travel to the show and over night to make the "donation" purchase for him could surely be covered in the money he repaid him. I was teasing Tap about profiting. He did not sell anything at a profit. If this was actually how he was running a business he is in for some bad news from his accountant at year end.

    Jaco, your point about someone intentionally praying upon outfitter donations at SCI and the impact it can have is obviously valid.
    If there are individuals out there who are actually making a true profit off of donated hunts that would be sad. Perhaps, a few caveats on the donations might be worth while. Another place where SCI could jump in for its members perhaps.
    SCI members or Outfitters can ask for changes if they are concerned.


    Back to the actual relation to this thread:
    Outfitter provided a hunt "donation" at an SCI show and then benefited significantly from that marketing "loss leader".
    The Outfitter now has a repeat customer that is willing to express support (even though he has not shared his hunt story here on AH)
    Sounds like they are both happy with the situation.
    Further bookings and a satisfied hunter who would not be happy.
     
  11. Jaco Strauss

    Jaco Strauss AH Legend

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    Brickburn, duely noted.

    My best always
     
  12. woodruffhunter

    woodruffhunter New Member

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    I am just getting back from the hunting show, and have had little time to respond to the critisism directed towards Tap (by Jaco), or the post the said I chose not to respond.
    First off, I doubt Tony travels the country, pays entry fees, gas, lodging, etc. with the hope of making $150 on a hunt package lol... Hardly, a good business decision but thats
    just me.
    Anyway, back to the point. I will start the story on another reply to this thread. Thanks
     
  13. Jaco Strauss

    Jaco Strauss AH Legend

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    Boet, I hold firm, if you are intent on starting a fight I am not interested in doing so with you,

    Brickburn clarified, all that was needed and apparently I was under the wrong impression, reading posts thourouly would put a clear perspective on things. No one attacked tap, I am simply stating that individuals that are buying donations and reselling them at a personal profit is not in the spirit of the donation system as they are 3rd parties benifiting from something that was not given to them. These are facts that can not be argued and anyone seeing it any different would be ignorant.

    Aparently this is not what tap has done....., with that being said should you have a issue in principal with what I am suggesting, it would be interesting to see the spin you would put on it, I for one know that SCI do not approve of this as I have had to cross this bridge before where a client bought a donation posted it on ebay anjd wanted to sell it at a $2000 profit, that is wrong no matter which way you cut it.

    As a side not I do not need to suggest or hint if I thought that something was being done wrong I would state it loudly I say what I mean and most definitly always mean what I say, honesty does get me in a pinch though, but thats the way I operate, (understand by me saying this, that I am not taking anyone elses operational integrity into doubt)

    Whos Tony and I do not really understand where you are coming from bud?

    Only my best always
     
  14. Jaco Strauss

    Jaco Strauss AH Legend

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    My best always.
     
  15. woodruffhunter

    woodruffhunter New Member

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    My Hunt with Motshwere Safaris

    Some dream of hunting Alaska, others the Yukon, many a certain state. Mine was to hunt Africa. I'll be the first to admit that this has not always been the case. However, over the past few years, I started to think about it.

    Actually, after reading a few posts on (another site) over the past few years, I became even more determined. I will say that after reading a report by "deleted" on his trip to Africa, I was convinced I would eventually go.

    I spent the the last three years going to different booths at the Hunt Expo and spoke with several Outfitters about going. Most seemed very good. However, I still couldn't make up my mind as to when I could actually go. There are always things that seem to get in the way. My biggest concerns were time and money.

    Fast forward to last October. My best friend unexpectedly passed on a deer hunting trip at the age of 39. It was the hardest thing I have ever had to deal with. He lived a great life and always took care of his family. He also always found some time to make it on a few hunts every year as well. Right before his death, he went on his dream grizz hunt.

    As a few months passed by, I decided I was not going to wait any longer to go on this hunt. With what had happened, I decided now was the best to go. I had pretty much made up my mind about an Outfitter around January of this year.

    I was still a little uneasy about it and held off making the commitment. As February came, I left for a NM Oryx hunt and spent a few days hunting with "stinkystomper". Without knowing I was even interested in hunting Africa, he asked if I was interested in a hunt. I said I was and he referred me to an Outfitter he had talked to.

    As soon as I got home, I called the Outfitter. Without going into detail, this Outfitter answered all my questions and concerns. I could immediately tell he loved to hunt and had a great operation.

    He only had open dates for the year, so me and my wife decided we would go the first part of July. It was a little stressfull getting everything ready- passports, gun registrations, etc. But is wasn't too bad. We used travelwithguns.com to help us with airline tickets and paperwork and they were nothing short of amazing to work with.

    We left that Saturday morning, July 2nd from Salt Lake City. The gun check in, was easy and went well. I was glad we went with Delta. We flew to Atlanta and had a few hours Layover. We then took a direct 14-15 hour flight to Johannesburg.

    We finally arrived and we were TIRED! However, we were excited just the same. As promised, our Outfitter was there waiting for us. After a quick introduction, we were off to retrieve our guns. We picked them up, and were off to the lodge.

    This being my first guided hunt, I wasn't sure what to expect. We finally arrived, and I could see that we were going to be well taken care of. This was going to be a little different than staying in my wall tent!

    lodge pic 1.jpg

    We quickly went to sleep and were excited to wake up the next morning and start hunting. About 7:00 the next morning we heard a knocking on our door. Our PH, who is also the Outfitter, said "Welcome to Africa"! I was still having a hard time believing we were actually doing this.

    After a quick breakfast, we left. It was surprisingly cold than I thought. Werner, our PH said that there wouldn't be a lot of animals moving. I saw a cow Kudu, and we saw a few other animals. About an hour into our hunt, we saw a single warthog. To my surprise, Werner immediately said "Shoot it"!
    It was facing me at only about 75 yards. I can't tell you how strange it was to be resting my crosshairs on a warthog. I aimed to the left side of its chest and fired. It immediately took off running. We started tracking and it wasn't long until I had my first African animal.

    warthog1.jpg

    After some pic's and a few handshakes, we were back hunting. We soon saw a blesbok. Werner was excited and said it was huge. It was walking slowly away from us. He said shoot it right in the back. I shot and its head immediately dropped. However, it kept going. I shot two more shots. I missed and was disgusted with myself. Werner said I missed, so we started again. The rested of the day was uneventfull for the most part. Then, about 15 mminutes before dark, we saw some zebra and waterbuck standing. We quickly found the right zebra and i rested my crosshairs low on its front shoulder. I fired and it immediately went down. I couldnt't have been happier with the zebra.

    zebra 1.jpg

    It had been a long day. However, being as the time was 8 hours ahead of mountain time, I slept very little that night. However, that didn't stop us from being ready the next morning. A short time after getting started, we came upon some blue wildabeest. It was an animal I thought would be easy to hunt. I was wrong, they were some of the most skittish animals that we hunted on our trip. The herd finally stopped and Werner was having a hard time picking one out. He finally said: "shoot that one" I fired, and it ran about 50 yards and dropped. We got there and it was a cow. He knew he was taking a chance when he told me to shoot. However, I guess you can do that when you are the owner. He said I guess that ones free. It will be leopard bait for a future hunter.

    bw 1.jpg

    We hunted the rest of the day. Once again, as it was getting dark, I had another shot. We saw this steenbuck and after a quick shot, we had our second animal for the day.

    steenbuck.jpg

    The next day, would be our best- so far. We had barely started and it was my wifes turn. She fired, and harvested the second animal of her short hunting career; a nice warthog. It was a perfect shot and it dropped in its tracks. Of course, Werner reminded me that my warthog ran a ways before it dropped.

    wifes wh 1.jpg

    We took the warthog to be skinned and quickly returned. We hadn't gone far when we saw a great blesbok. I fired, and it went a few yards and dropped. My wife had the camera before I shot and took a quick pick before I shot:

    blesbbok walking.jpg

    Amazingly, it was the blesbok we thought I had missed. I had shot a few inches high and took out a big part of its neck. I have know idea how it lived. I'm sure it only had a few hours of life left. Whats amazing is that it was about 1.5 from were we first saw it. It was so brushy and thick on this ranch, its a miracle we found it. My blesbok:

    blesbok harvest.jpg

    We dropped it off, and quickly found our last animal for the day. After a short stalk, I thought we had lost them. Werner found the imapala and said shoot. Although just an average ram, I was glad to have taken it:

    impala1.jpg

    The next day didn't go as well. However, we saw a much bigger impala than the previous day. I was surprised when he said "shoot". So, what did I do? I shot lol... I was very happy with this impala:

    2nd impala.jpg

    We were tired and ready to get back to eat. I'll readily say that the food was much better here, than when I am cooking at elk camp! One of our great meals:

    food1.jpg

    Next day would prove to be our best. It was nothing short of amazing; one that I will always remember. Without going into too much detail I'll post the animals in order that they were taken.

    My Duiker:

    duiker.jpg

    My wifes impala:

    wifes impala.jpg

    My Bushbuck:

    bushbuck.jpg

    My Nyala:

    nyala.jpg

    My wifes 2nd warthog:

    wifes wh 2.jpg

    And finally, my favorite trophy- My Kudu:

    kudu.jpg

    Another pic of my kudu:

    kudu 2nd pic.jpg

    The next few days of hunting were tougher. I was able, the next day after shooting my Kudu, take this baboon. It will also be my last, most likely. I'm probably a little weird, but a baboon is just a little over the top for me lol... My wife wouldn't even look at it:

    baboon.jpg

    Werner was doing his best to find a bull Wildabeest. I was happy with what I had but he persisted. Evertime we would find them, they would blow out of the country. We finally got a herd to stop. Again, it was hard to determine the size. I told Werner the one I was looking at was considerably larger than the other two. He took another chance and said "shoot". I fired, and could tell it was a good hit. It should of went down sooner IMO, but it didn't. The so called "Premium" bullets I took were not performing as advertised. But thats a whole different story.
    However, my shot was a little high.
    After about 15 minutes of tracking we found it. It was a bull. It wasn't huge, but it was a nice average bull.

    bw 2.jpg

    As I said the hunting conditions were tougher the last week. My wife missed a monster gemsbok and I felt really bad for her. It was the one animal she really wanted to get. We spent two more days hunting and tracking them all day. We had a few close calls but could never get a clear shot.

    The last animal we were after was an eland. We hunted them for two days and only saw one cow. Werner, easily talked me into staying for two extra days in order to keep hunting for the eland. My wife agreed, and we called our travel agent and he quickly changed our flight.

    We were down to the last day and Werner got us permission to hunt his friends ranch. He was more obsessed than me, to get one. We started that morning, and after an hour or two, Werner saw something. I assumed he meant an eland because that is what we were hunting. I didn't hear him say "caracal". He was going crazy trying to get me to shoot. I finally saw it, shot and missed. I was sick. It was at or near the top of my wish list.

    For those that have hunted for them, they will tell you how rare it is to see one in the day. Werner had only seen 2, in two years... Oh well, on with the hunt...

    We finally found eland; about 40 of them. I could not believe how they could run. They would never stop. When we would get close, they would bunch up and move together. We could not get a clear shot. We followed them, and followed them. I was tired and had just about given up. We finally saw them again as the sun was getting close to setting.

    The only clear shot was at a huge cow. The cows have long horns, that are not as heavy as the bulls. We were sure it was taking this, or not getting an eland. I really wanted one, so I decided to take it. It was about 200 yards away, slighlty quartering away. I fired, and it tried to keep up with the herd, but soon fell.

    We got to it and Werner showed me its teeth. The front teeth were loose and it definately had been near the end of its life. I felt fortunate to take it:

    eland.jpg

    Our trip exceeded all our expectations and I am already planning my return in 3 years. It was easily, the best hunting trip of my life. With all the fun hunts I have been on, nothing compares (with what I have hunted) to Africa IMO.

    I can't say enough good about our PH and Outfitter. Great hunter, great host, and a great person. I have him talked into coming to the Expo in Salt Lake this year and will be excited to talk to him again.

    Hope you enjoyed the pic's and thanks for looking..
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 13, 2012
  16. Rohan

    Rohan

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    Welcome Bighorn,

    There are good agents and bad agents just like there are good outfitters and bad outfitters. Nobody is exempt from the call of human greed or the susceptibility to human error. No particular one is better. It is a subjective preference of the hunting client. Booking through an agent could be just as 'authentically risky' to your experience as booking directly with the outfitter- if either are shady characters. It boils down to the moral fibre of the person and not what the stereotypical notion behind his/her occupational status might suggest. But if both are up-to-scratch then you're in a good way. A lot of outfitters don't need agents because they are fortunate enough to have earned an authentic operation with good references and happy clients- no doubt from years of hard work and dedication. Therefore they can fill the void themselves that agents sometimes fill, because they are that good. I suggest you book directly with such outfitters. Unfortunately for this reason agents are frowned upon and deemed unnecessary for the most part. My point is there is a time and place for agents, and not all safaris require agents, not all outfitters need or want to work with agents.

    You must find out which combination or booking method works best for you. Reference checks and the like are absolutely vital to narrowing the margin for making the wrong choice about which outfitter or which agent.

    Regards and good luck!
     
  17. Jaco Strauss

    Jaco Strauss AH Legend

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    You do have a very good friend there! As mentioned a couple of weeks ago aswell, glad you had a great time.

    My best always.
     
  18. woodruffhunter

    woodruffhunter New Member

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    Thank you,

    Have a great hunting season!
     
  19. tap

    tap AH Enthusiast

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    well now I find myself bargain hunting for another cheap safari that doesn't sell at auction. This time I might actually loose my gas money and $1000 table sponsor I normally give to sci in return for making gains off their tags. Never mind the fact I could gain entry to the show for a measly $50. Anyways, the point to my hunt for a bargain auction package this year is to send my uncle (70 yrs old) and his wife to africa. He's christian preacher and doesn't have any money and has cancer. he's suppose to live for about two to five more years but I'm going to see him go to africa before he dies. So if anyone on here wants to beat me up over buying a great auction hunt at a cheap price then have at it cuz as of now Im bargain shoppin again!

    BTW, I'm just curious woodruff at how many hunters you personally helped land for motshwere thanks to me buying a cheap donation and giving it to someone who loves to hunt? I think carma is wierd. Good things come to those who deserve it and I personally believe Mr. Motshwere has a lot coming his way. Glad to hear you booked so many hunters with woodruff. You just remembe werner that I said I would personally haunt you if any of Jason's hunting party or clients he sent you shot a 60 inch or better kudu. With all those clients you now have you might want to start worrying cuz im watching. hahahahaha. I was even going to try and swing by and hunt a giant kudu with you on my way back in to johannesburg but now theres no room. good for you werner you took care of a friend and I hope you reap the rewards.
     
  20. woodruffhunter

    woodruffhunter New Member

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    "BTW, I'm just curious woodruff at how many hunters you personally helped land for motshwere"

    Well, I am not sure how many I helped personally "book". I was there with Werner for all four days of the expo. Without counting,
    I believe me, Kevin, and Werner helped book about 90 people with probably 60-70 people hunting. He had some amazing deals unlike anything I had ever seen.
    I am also taking my dad, two good friends, and at least one of my sons back there in 2014. My wife infomed me today that she wants to go again as well, along with
    my other two sons. I am not sure I am ready to buy that many plane tickets but I just might be doing it!


    It was neat to see people get so excited about hunting Africa. You are right, Karma is weird. Before I spoke to you last year, I looked at several different hunts and never felt 100%
    sure about them. Sure I was nervous about the trip, since it was my first one. However, any concerns I had, were removed after I got down there.

    My hides and horns are now crated and should be shipped this week. I am excited to get them.
     

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