NAMIBIA: Omujeve Safaris Hunting report

Discussion in 'Hunting Reports' started by Gooseblitz, Sep 20, 2013.

  1. Gooseblitz

    Gooseblitz New Member

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    Omujeve SafarisCorne Kruger
    PH Uys Shickerling 10 Days/Phillip Fourie 1 Day
    Tracker Kabila
    Hunters Chris Thompson, Tyler Thompson, Rachel Thompson

    Firearm Straight Shot Gunsmithing 300RUM
    Bullets Berger 190 Grain VLD

    Animals Hunted: Kudu, Gemsbok, Impala, Warthog, Blue Wildebeest, Zebra, Red Hartebeest, Springbok
    Animals Seen: Leopard, Lion, Hippo, Crocodile, Caracal, Grey Duiker, Nyala, Sable, Kudu, Gemsbok, Burchell Zebra, Hartman Zebra, Steenbok, Eland, Giraffe, Waterbuck, Blesbok, Warthog, Springbok, Red Hartebeest, Black Wildebeest, Baboon, Impala, Jackal, Art Fox, Aardvark .
    Animals Taken: 5 Springbok, 4 Gemsbok, 3 Blue Wildebeest, 2 Red Hartebeest, Kudu, Giraffe, Impala, Warthog, Baboon, Jackal

    I have been home a couple weeks and trying to get settled back into this world. Apparently my business world went slightly haywire while I was gone. This has delayed my hunt report. I find it very difficult to capture how incredible my first trip to Africa was. Omujeve was perfect. I am going to just add my daily journal entries with pictures. One day at a time.

    See below excerpts from my hunting journal.

    Day One
    I am about to turn in early on July 9, 2013. I am tired from a 15 hour flight plus layovers. Luckily Debbie Gracy got me the seat on the Airbus 340 in the next to last row with the no seat in front of me for extra leg room. Maybe the Windhoek Beers I had around the fire tonight are a factor too. Maybe I am turning in early because I know or at least anticipate what comes in the morning.
    The trip I have dreamed of since I was a boy is here?Before the sun rises tomorrow I will be ready. The same way I am ready for a Pennsylvania goose hunt. But this is no goose hunt. Tonight I got a glimpse of what is in store. The evening drive in the Land Cruiser revealed and African landscape more rugged, remote and beautiful than all those daydreams had constructed in mind. It also showed a preview of the tremendous game that I am to match wits with for the next two weeks. Warthog, Steenbok, Kudu, Gemsbok, Black Wildebeest, Red Hartebeest, Baboon, Impala, Waterbuck and Eland?all in one evening was a lot for a Pennsylvania hunter to take in on the drive after our trip to gun range. My 30-06 is now sporting a bent scope , courtesy of our skilled baggage handlers. Not sure how they accomplish such a task with a softcase inside a tuffpack, but they did. The optimist in me is happy the big gun survived.
    We did get in a couple stalks at Red Hartebeest tonight. Nothing big enough in herd to shoot. I think my PH just wanted to see what I am like on a stalk with Rachel and Tyler along for the hunt. He seems like a good guy.
    I shared dinner tonight with a hunter from Michigan named Bill who shot a bull elephant after 50 days of hunting on combined trips and a Rhino. What great stories to hear from someone after Big Five. Speaking of dinner that was my first taste of Kudu filet! Holy cow was it incredible. Like I said though?this isn't Pennsylvania. I can't wait to see what day two brings. Whatever Africa has waiting for me, I get to share it with Rachel and Tyler. That may be best part of all.

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    Day Two
    July 11 2013 45 Degrees at Sunrise
    When we rolled in for breakfast at 6:00 the fire was already going. This was a welcome sight since it was 45 degrees outside and of course all of my warmer hunting gear was back at home. Isn't the Kalahari Desert somewhere around here? We set out this morning in search of the herd of Impala we had seen last night. We spotted a couple groups with no shooter size rams. Then we came across a bigger herd. Our first 2 stalks ended with the Impala getting nervous and putting a hill or two between us but we kept after them?Trying to get the wind in our favor. We circled a hill to come up in front of them. My heart raced partially from the adrenaline of trying for my first African animal and part from trying to keep up with my 27 year old PH Uys as we climbed for elevation to get ahead of this herd. There were a troop of baboons in this thick dry river bottom. Very smart primates and they sounded the alarm and headed up the far side of draw at a dead run. This tipped the Impala off as well and they follow up the opposite side of draw trying to make a quick escape. A smaller ram in front of the herd held my attention as I wondered if he was a shooter. Then the big Ram came out of the bottom last. I knew when I saw him he was what I was looking for. Uys sized him up quickly and gave me a range from his Swarovski EL Range binos?乃here is your ram Chris?250 yards shoot him with that accent it sounded even cooler than it had in my imagination all these years. He was broadside and I wasted no time and squeezed the trigger. Nothing. I am so used to carrying a loaded round in action. I quickly cycle action as the ram gets on the move. I vividly remember a big male baboon getting out of harms way faster than the ram in my Zeiss scope. He is now quartering away and I aim for far shoulder. This time the 300 Ultra Mag sends a Berger 190 VLD where I want. My first African trophy dropped stone dead at the shot. Kabila says 都traight down, great shot? I hope to hear that a lot over the next 2 weeks. My first shot on the dark continent hits home and my wife Rachel and my son Tyler are there to witness it. What a start!
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    Shortly after getting the Impala loaded in the Land Cruiser we see fresh Leopard tracks in the river bottom. I snap a few pictures looking down the dry river bed this leopard used to cruise the area. Rocky on one side thick on the other. Looks like I had pictured it. I want to pinch myself. I hope my son is taking all this in. We get back to the business of hunting. We come across a big heard of Blue Wildebeest on opposite hill already on the move. They are stunning to watch in person with that loping gate. Suddenly they slow and stop. Either they weren't sure what had bumped them or they thought they were at safe distance. Blue Wildebeest have always been high on my list. Something about them feels very African and I have heard how they can soak up lead in legendary fashion. Uys and Kabila glassed the herd while I snapped photos with my 300mm lens. I almost gave up that this not my herd. Maybe just lots of young bulls all with some brown on the face. Then I hear Uys and Kabila speaking in Afrikaans with urgent hushed tones that doesn't need to be translated to me. I have already put the camera down when Uys grabs the sticks and nods for me to follow. He directs me to a bull at the back of the herd. There is enough back and forth of me trying to zero in on the right bull that just as I get on him and about to touch it off they get nervous and the start to run. I hold my fire. They stop again and I get the instructions 澱ull on the right facing left just above that young bull .got him?265 yards shoot him! Boom. Shot feels good and the big Blue Wildebeest whirls up to run?as the entire herd thunders uphill I immediately think I can't find him to hit him again with all those animals. Then he spins back down hill after going on 30 yards. As I get him in the scope he falls like a tree?.dead. I hear Uys say 鼎racking shot! I hope to hear that one a lot too!

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    Me, PH Uys Shickerling and Kabila

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    Afternoon hunt

    We head back out after lunch and cover a lot of ground in the land cruiser. We are headed to a spot to look for Gemsbok, or Kudu. We saw a ton of game this afternoon. The terrain was a little more rolling and thicker. We glassed a lot of animals. I kept thinking every Gemsbok I saw was a shooter. We eventually come up on a old Gemsbok bull in a thick bottom. I check him in the binos and get a few good photos of him, Uys studies him for a while and estimates him to be 32 and very big and old. He asks if Tyler wants to try take him as a cull. I knew Ty was going to get to shoot and we spent a lot of time at the range but now my adrenaline is going thinking my son who just turned 12 is about to try and take his first animal ever. Not a 6 point whitetail?r a squirrel?r a duck or goose. He is about to take a crack and a big old Gemsbok bull. He may be ready but I don't know if dad is! I hand Tyler my big 300 since the 30-06 scope is out of commission. The Gemsbok is at 90 yards and becoming nervous. I am silently praying my son can pull this off. Ty gets the gun up and struggles to find the big bull in the scope as the bull is quickly putting distance between us. Uys is calling out yardages and I am trying to talk Tyler through it. I don't really want him to shoot a Gemsbok on the move. In very short order the Gemsbok tops out on the opposite hill and stops in some thorn bush. ?55 yards Tyler can you see him
    Ty has shot consistently out to 300 but if his nerves are anything like mine this is a tougher shot than I had hoped for him?especially since I have heard of the Gemsbok's ability to take lead. I don't have time to second guess it. Tyler replies yes as he flicks off safety. I am about halfway through my next silent prayer when he sends a round down range with the thump I was hoping to hear. The Gemsbok reacts to a hard hit but it is a little too far off the shoulder to drop the big old bull. Tyler works the action like I taught him and gets another round into the Gemsbok before he gets out of sight. We all take off after the bull as it is apparently hit hard. We quickly top the hill and the old bull hasn't gone far. Max tears after him and the bull stands his ground with horns leveled at the approaching miniature menace. I actually get a few more photos of him as my son is leveling gun to finish the job. A shot right on the low shoulder that this impressive animal takes and still manages to stand for a few seconds before he stumbles and goes down for the last time. My son looks dazed through all the backslaps and congratulations. I am keenly aware that I am only going to witness my sons first kill once. The azure skies, the rocky, thorny terrain and the look on Tyler's face is something I won't forget. The bull turns out to be a big old bull and tapes out at 34? Some cull.
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    Uys blooding my son....He looks a little unsure of this!
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    My wife is not a hunter or even a meat eater. She was just as unsure of her baby boy getting his first blood .
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    This is when we first came over the rise and saw him close.
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    This is just before the shot!
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    Day 3 July 12 40 Degrees at Sunrise 65 and not a cloud in the sky

    Today we hit breakfast at 6:00am again. They make us anything we request. Bacon, Eggs and toast and we all love the Guava juice. A cup of coffee and we are ready to roll. I am hunting with Phillip Fourie who is covering for Uys today. I have met Phillip at dinner and around the fire the previous two nights and I am happy to hunt with him. Kabila is riding in the back with me as is Max. Max is a German terrier who is a hunting machine.
    For some reason I thought Red Hartebeest would be easy. We drive to the top of a very scenic hill in the land cruiser. Phillip I using the sticks to steady his binos to look over a herd of Red Hartebeest on the other side of the valley. Seemingly a mile away. Rachel and I take the opportunity to take some great pictures of the beautiful views in the early morning low sun. Phillip determines there is a bull in the heard we want to go after. Our stalk starts from here. We slip down the rocky thorn covered mountain. As I slip quietly behind Phillip from bush to bush and keep track of Tyler and Rachel behind me I am struck by how much sign and tracks we see in the valley floor. Ty gets several doses of the thorns of Africa. Pretty soon I will too!

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    A herd of Blue Wildebeest up the valley spook and as they race down the valley and over the hill they alarm our Red Hartebeest too and the herd works over the far hill from us. We press on. Picking up the pace while they are out of site. At 6,000 feet I notice I am no longer a 20 or even 30 year old athlete. I am fine until we get going up the hills! So much for Red Hartebeest being easy. This is my 3 or 4 stalk already. We angle over the next hill to cut some ground and keep the wind. Phillip stops to use the binos. I am happy for the break. The big gun is starting to feel heavy. But I am loving every minute of it.
    Phillip watches them calm down and tried to see which way they will feel. They like the grassy open bottoms. Inexplicably they feed up and over another hill? I look at my wife and silently shake my head no. We are several miles into it and they are going away more than 900 yards out. I assume we call the truck and regroup. Wrong again. We cross another dry river bottom loaded with warthog holes. Again we move it out to gain some ground while they are out of site. This time angling hard to get in front and get a shot. I tell Phillip to get me within 500 yards and I can take him. This turns out to sound even worse in an hour or so. This hill is pretty sparse and rocky and as we top out we see them?250 ish across the bottom?alert to something. Then I see Gemsbok and Blue Wildebeest to my right eyeballing us. Phillip sets up the sticks. 250 yards or so. Nice bull standing broadside. He reacts when I shoot but doesn't go down. I watch instead of shooting again. Mistake on my part. He disappears circling to our right but not keeping up. What did I just do? I immediately get that feeling I didn't pick a small enough spot. Turns out I hit him high and mid ship. The chase is on! No blood. Phillip calls in the Cruiser and he follows the tracks and turns on the game face. I start to wonder if I missed. 30 minutes of searching and there he goes. Moving pretty good but he let us get pretty close and I think he has to be hurt. I don't get off a shot. Now we are on the run. I plow through thorns to try and cut corners and keep up with Phillip. We jump him a second time and I get on the sticks. I try to get one in him and slow him?miss. Now 200 plus on the run and I hit him in hind quarter. That slows him. We cover two more hills racing after him. Bump him again and he seemingly vanishes. By then Kabila has brought up the Land Cruiser Max is ready to hit the trail. I am sweating, bloody and gasping for air and my confidence is shaken. Max gets his tail and now I am racing to keep up with a dog. We crest another hill and this Hartebeest his heading across the dry bottom now going like he is unhurt and I am immediately discouraged. I get on the sticks and he is straight crossing at 300 yards dead run?.I have to try and hit him again. (Before I run out of ammo).
    I instinctively shoot and the splash is right on him but not a hit. Phillip stops me éoo far? I can't get steady at this rate. Max is a pro though. He dogs the Hartebeest and stops him in some thick stuff. We find a path to sneak in to take a shot and I calm my breathing. The Hartebeest is backed into a thorn bush and Max is keeping him there. It is too thick for me to shoot with Max nearby so we slip closer. Phillip gets the sticks up at 75 yards and the bull sees us and stands to leave. I finally get a good shot on him! I connect right on shoulder and he drops stone dead. Like I said?.Red Hartebeest should be easy.
    I am happy I have him. Though a little embarrassed I didn't perform behind the gun like I should have.
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    Max ready to go!
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    Day 4 July 13

    Tyler and I left camp today without Rachel. She is suffering from a stomach ailment and opts to take a break. We are headed to the mountains today after Kudu. Tyler and I leave the big camera and video at home. We are all business today. The sun is not too high in the sky and we see a Jackal which I have already been instructed to shoot on sight. He pauses to check me out at 200 yards and the 190 VLD blows the opposite side off of him. After my shooting yesterday I needed this.

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    We spend the morning slipping through incredibly scenic valleys in the Land Cruiser. Lots of baboons that won't stop within 700 yards of me. Giraffe, Gemsbok and Grey Duiker. Soon we spot a couple kudu on opposite hill. Standing in shadows I can make out a cow and Uys spots a bull off to the left frozen and eyeballing us.

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    When I get the Nikons on him I immediately think he is the one. He is hard to judge as he won't move a muscle and is deep in the shadow of a thorn tree. Finally he flinches and moves to give us a better view. I am waiting to hear a yardage from Uys. He and Kabila discuss and he tells me ?1 or so too small. We press on. Now a couple hours into the mountains and it is so scenic I can believe much lives here. Uys assures me it is thick with Kudu and also a good area for leopard. We see a few leopard baits. We pass a couple more groups of Kudu with nothing big enough to shoot. Eventually we turn the Land Cruiser to descend into a deep valley. So steep the Cruiser slips on the rocks in low gear.
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    I am sitting in the safari seat high in the back in awe just taking it all in. This knife edge ridge drops off deeply to both sides. This looks more like sheep country to me than Kudu country. I am staring at opposite spine that parallels our descent about 300 yards to my right. I already realize it was a bad idea to leave my Nikon behind for the day. As we crawl down this finger of the ridge to the valley floor. About half way down Kabila excitedly taps my shoulder?å·´ig bull? He points it out to me and gets his Zeiss binos to get a closer look. I have already come to accept what he sees with naked eye I struggle to find in my crisp Nikons. There he is. Out there on this steep, rocky ridge. He is laying under lone thorn tree. He is watching us. I find him by looking for the sun glinting off his big horns. His first turns are absolutely huge. More than anything else this has been the animal that has brought me to Africa. I have been in love with those big spiral horns as long as I can remember. Even before I ever read of Hemingway's romantic struggles with the gray ghost. My senses were dialed in immediately as I notice the wind drifting down this valley and start focusing on the moment I have traveled so far for. Uys quickly studies this bull and while his first turns are deep and well past his ears Uys and Kabila agree he is young. He is a giant in the making in a few years. Not today. The predator in me stands down for now. We keep headed for valley floor. 45 minutes later we are weaving our way up the valley. The opposite side of valley is a sheer cliff in some spots.
    Suddenly Kabila is tapping my shoulder more excitedly than normal. "Leopard" There about 90 yards nearly straight up is a Leopard. Walking the edge of the cliff. I get him in binos for a few seconds. Could have been my camera if I had brought it. His casual confidence was something since he had certainly watched us come his way for a while. He crosses spine like ridge that climbs out of this valley?imilar to the one we came down an hour or so earlier. We hustle up to where he was and don't see him. The canyon that he dropped into is perfect terrain. Steep, deep (couple hundred feet) and rocky. Narrow enough I could hit a 7 Iron across it. Uys decided to have a little fun with Kabila. He tells us on the count of 3 to scramble back up the way we came like we saw Mr. Spots. He shouts something urgent in Afrikaans to Kabila who is out at the edge of rocky overhang. Tyler, Uys and I all run as if the big Tom is coming for us and poor Kabila buys our ruse hook line and sinker! After a good laugh I think to myself....he is down there somewhere though.
    We continue on our way. Not far up the ridge though we spot Kudu on far side of canyon. Several cows and a small bull. After we watch them a while four of them try to climb up and around ridge and a few sneak down into bottom of this draw. Uys thinks maybe we didn't see them all. We rush up our side farther to get a vantage point to see them when they come out of bottom. We get to a good spot and I am set up to shoot when they start coming out and heading up other side. Cow, cow, cow, young bull, cow already more Kudu than what we had seen go into bottom. Then I see a glimpse of horns coming. I tell Uys I saw a second bull coming. He steps out from behind thorn tree and and Uys says "that is your bull smoke him!" The kudu bull spins broadside and looks up at us. I squeeze the trigger. Nothing. I don't have a round in again! You have to be kidding me. I work the bolt and he turns to leave. I am shooting down on him now quartering away. I start to squeeze again?n a millisecond I realize a life-long dream. The Berger VLD hits him in the lungs on a line for opposite shoulder. 600 pounds of Kudu drops to the ground and slides down the steep slope. The terrain so steep he loses a lot of cape sliding to a stop. He trys to push himself up against a thorn tree as we close to 50 yards across the canyon. I hit him low in the shoulder /heart and he stays down. I cross the bottom with Tyler and we get up to him quickly and see him face to face before the life is completely gone from the bull. I find it hard to put the moment into words.
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    Day 5
    July 14
    We headed out today after a great breakfast and coffee.
    I always grab a little time around the fireplace with a cup of coffee in the morning. We have no luck finding a big warthog. Still a great morning though.We pass on some really nice Gemsbok and Springbok chances. Uys wants me to go down to Schonnbrunn their south camp later this week to pursue these two and mountain zebra. After a great lunch we head out for an evening hunt. I learned a valuable lesson about gun zero. My big gun is sighted at 2 inches high at 100 because I like to do a lot of long range shooting. This is a mistake since I have a scope with turrets and could dial up long shots. We come across a big caracal laying down staring at us. I settle the cross hairs on his face and shoot quick at about 80 yards. I whistle one right between his ears. I am soon reminded that bad shooting means exercise.
    Max takes off after caracal as Uys and Kabila try and stop him. He doesn't realize I missed and thinks he is trailing a cat about to expire. We join the chase. You can surmise from the photos I am no danger to run down a caracal on foot. We come up on cat several times and struggle to calm breathing and get on sticks about 4 times. Max keeps stopping cat. I keep digging deep to run like I am back in HS football. Finally I get a few good looks at cat but Max is too close to shoot safely.
    We finally call Max off the trail. The caracal was big and Max is bloodied. I know this great little dog lives for this stuff but my miss earned him some bloody shots to the head and ears from the cat. I felt bad enough for missing. Max's injuries make it worse. My wounded pride aside it was an exhilarating experience.
    After my pulse and breathing recover we get back to hunting. We spot a big herd of Blue Wildebeest and Uys asks if Tyler wanted to shoot. I don't think Ty realized he was up. As we start making our stalk I direct Ty into second position behind Uys. He whispers to me wide eyed?Dad am I shooting? I smile and nod and he looks surprised but ready. Being third in line watching my son follow our young PH is quite a sight for a dad. He just turned 12 and seeing him instinctively step where Uys stepped, freeze when Uys froze and slink low behind thorn bushes was a proud moment. Nothing I could shoot or pursue myself can compare to this. We close in to 200 yards and Uys sets up sticks as Ty eases out behind the thorn bush. Uys directs him to a group of 4 cows standing right of the main herd. I realize at that moment he can't see over the brush as well as we can. He struggles to find his target in scope and the cows sense danger and bolt. As I watch that wildebeest gallop that I love my heart sinks. My son will have to handle it like I have so many times as a hunter. Just about then Uys whispers?Tyler do you see the bull on the right? æ·»es? ç”°an you get on him he is 200 yards çš„ got him I hear the safety click off . I am wondering then again can he hit him perfect at this range. This Blue Wildebeest so notorious for taking copious amounts of lead and running all day. Somewhere in that thought the 300 RUM sounds off again. I hear the thump and see the bull react to a hard hit. I instinctively start barking for him to cycle the long action of the gun! I know our PH is watching the bull. Then I hear Uys say, ç”°racking shot Tyler he is going down! The bull travels 30 yards uphill and stumbles and falls. Ty hit him right on crease of shoulder. Minutes later during backslaps and pictures he jokes about helping me with my shooting. I am loving every second of it.
    I am very grateful that Uys quickly turned our missed opportunity on a cow cull into a Blue Wildebeest bull cull!
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    Day 6 July 15
    I am up a long time before the alarm today. Ready to go. My wife had been battling a little stomach issue and is feeling a little better. There is another family in camp the last few days. They are local and just vacationing here and are great people and very friendly. Ernu is a doctor and luckily he helped my wife get back to 100%. Their kids are younger than Ty but great fun to be around. Since my wife missed the day I rode into the mountains after Kudu I had asked Uys if we could take a drive in the cruiser back to the same area. We are having great success and not pressed for time so I thought my wife would love it. We had a great long day on the cruiser. We stopped at the neighboring ranch Burg Gusinde What a view from here.
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    Throughout the week I have taken a few ultra long shots at baboon. They seem very wary and once they start running they don't seem to stop. Yesterday right before night fall I set up for a long shot off the bipod on Baboon. I know the ranges out pass 1000 yards and love to shoot long with the gun.
    I narrowly missed one at 857 perched on the mountain not far from the lodge. This morning I splashed dirt on a big male just over 900 with a bullet between his feet. I am burning some ammo but having fun.
    We cruised the mountains and I get some great photos. We saw everything today. I am still looking for Warthog, Zebra and saving Gemsbok and Springbok for the trip down to their south lodge Schonnbrunn.
    Later in the morning as we surprise a group of Baboons while we are watching kudu in a remote valley. Uys quickly notices a giant male at the rear who was reluctant to turn tail and run. By the time I get on the gun he is on a dead run. I wish I had grabbed the .243 as my big .300RUM is not the best for closer running shots. I get the big male in the scope and instinctively get a lead and touch the trigger. I hit him low and roll him at a little over 100 yards. I set my gun down and realize the Baboon is not dead and little max is on a dead run for the baboon. I step around to get a clear view off hand and grab Uys' .243.
    I hear Uys urgently tell me to finish him he will kill Max. As I chamber a round I hear Kabila yelling to try and stop Max who is on a full charge! The big baboon has sat himself up waiting for Max as he closes in. I try to settle the cross hairs and can hear the panic in Tyler's voice as he yells å¡—urry dad hurry at the report of the gun I lose my sight picture and frantically work the bolt again as Max arrives on site and I desperately ask Kabila did I hit him????he usually knows exactly where I hit every animal. I can see Max is on the big Baboon and realize there is no fight Max.....is doing his thing and the round from the .243 took the baboon in the center of chest just before Max got to him. My heart was racing and I take a moment to take in the setting. What a place to have such a hair raising hunt.
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    For comparison sake I am 260lbs. So tht is sbig baboon
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    Day 6 Afternoon Hunt
    After the long morning we hung around camp today for a little extra time and relax and enjoy some time in the lodge and deck. When we head out we don't have a lot of time for an afternoon hunt. We are enjoying the late afternoon with the sun low in the sky. Winding through the hills and just kind of seeing what happens. I really wanted to get Rachel on the gun. She is not a hunter. I think the long shots and chase I had on the Red Hartebeest scared her a little. I knew though if Uys asked her to shoot she would. We spotted a pretty big herd of Blue Wildebeest not too long before the end of the day. We just keep on driving up the valley out of sight. Uys pulls over and shuts of the cruiser and tells Rachel to grab the gun. Japsie Blaaw is one oftheir other PHs and is along for the ride with Ty, Rachel, Kabila, Uys and myself. I decide to hang back a little with Tyler and run the video. Uys leads the way with the sticks, Rachel follows close behind and Japsie carries my big gun for her. I got a little bit of the stalk on video but position myself to see the herd. I can see Uys set up the sticks. I zoom in on the herd and they are facing her and nervous. I don't know if I have ever been so nervous. Will she be disappointed if she doesn't get a shot. The herd turns to run and goes about 50 yards up the opposite hill. They stop again and look nervously in her direction. She would be even more upset is she misses an animal. I know what is going on up there. Uys is trying to find her a good cull. If she wounds one this might the only animal I ever get her to pull the trigger on. There is a lot riding on this shot. With this big of a herd talking her to the right animal is not easy?specially as my wife in brand new at looking through a scope at partially obscured moving animals at 260 yards. Seconds seem like minutes. I am straining to hear the boom of the gun. Praying to whatever gods of the hunt to make these Wildebeest stand still for her. Suddenly they start to move again?.on the run and headed up the ridge again. I am praying again?ive her one more look. They do. The one Uys has picked out for her is on the far right?asy for her to find. I can see her nestle in the gun as I square the entire group of Wildebeest in the camera to get the shot I am hoping to hear. Boom?whummmp! I clearly hear the deep thump of the bullet hit home. The herd starts to rumble over the top of the hill. When the Wildebeest reacts I focus in on the right animal trying to see how hard she hit it. I am barking order to work the bolt like she is right next to me. She can't hear me?she doesn't need to. Just like my Tyler, She has delivered on her first shot ever on and animal, an African animal nonetheless. A pretty long too. The Berger VLD hit right behind the shoulder and exploded the heart and lungs. I catch sight of the beest going down after only 30 yards or so. Tyler and I high five. He says did mom hit him. I reply 都he hammered him, he is stone dead! I enjoy the sight of her getting blood on her face and her own pictures with her first animal more than any of my own. I think we have a new hunter in the family!
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    Day 7 July 16
    We didn't have too many animals on my æ–—ist left and we were waiting to head down south to shoot Gemsbok, Springbok and Zebra. We have been seeing all three here at Omujeve main lodge but I am trying to be patient. Been trying to talk my wife into and extra ?.like an Eland or Giraffe! We do have warthog left on the list though. We head out to the spot near where Ty sho this Gemsbok. There is a water hole her and we build a blind and settle in.
    This is my first ever water hole sit. I read a book and relax and marvel at another blue sky African day. The stand hunt in me though can seem to keep reading. I am on high alert even though I don't need to be. We have an Egyptian goose land in the water hole. My goose hunting biddies would freak out if they knew I didn't shoot this Egyptian goose. I get good video of some smaller warthogs and enjoy watching them relaxed and kneeling at the waterhole. I also see a yellow mongoose and the usual suspects. Kudu, Red Hartebeest, Baboon, Steenbok, Giraffe and Gemsbok. The second group of warthog contains a nice male. Uys says he is OK but we may see bigger. I watch him in scope and quickly decide. I tell Uys he looks good to me and he says go ahead and shoot him. I am on the sticks and just the barrel sticking out of the blind. I get a good hold right on the shoulder. The big 300 sounds off and the warthog bounces off the shore line when the VLD does it's job. The tough little bugger actually tries to stand but can't and falls one last time right at edge of the water.
    We stick around for het rest of the morning and see more kudu and then I see motion out of the corner of my eye. We are seated about 9 yards from the dry riverbed that feeds this water hole. At very nice warthog trots right by us point blank. Ty is on the gun now and reading his book. I tap him and spur him into action. I probably get him on the gun too soon. I should have let Warthog get farther out and relaxed. As Ty makes hi s move the female following is right behind us and picks us off. One grunt and the big male leaves. As he weaves up through the rocks I could have smoked him but this was my sons shot and I wasn't going to intercede even if it meant losing the shot opportunity. He slipped into the thorns and was gone. He came back two more times and stood behind us in river bed very close?very cool!
    Great day!
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    Afternoon Hunt
    After a great lunch we head back out to the waterhole later in afternoon. We re-position due to the wind and set up the chairs and camo netting. I offer the gun to Rachel and she accepts! From left to right it is Uys, Rachel, me then Tyler. My mind is in the perfect place at the waterhole. The sound of the wind mill out in the middle of nowhere as it twist in the breeze is relaxing. Not really thinking about anything. Reacting to my surroundings but that is it. No business, no deadlines, complete freedom. The afternoon is busy though. A couple small warthog, and a group of Kudu. Just enough to give me something to dissect with binos. I am also on the video camera today! Then at the top of the opposite hill Uys spots a big Red Hartebeest coming down headed for the water. It is a great bull and he lets Rachel know to get ready to shoot. I get the camera on just in time as the Hartebeest is on a brisk walk down theh hill. Rachel gets the gun out the hole in the blind and the big Kudu cow sees the motion and barks a warning. Immediatley the Hartebeest turns and starts headed away. Rachel only has seconds to fire at a moving Hartebeest. She doesn't take the shot. I am worried she is upset with missed opportunity. Just before dark a Gemsbok with one large horn and one horn that has grown back low and is sticking into the cows neck comes to the water hole on our side....it is close. The horn is actually rubbing the Oryx and preventing it from turning it's neck to the right. Uys quickly asks Rachel to shot her.
    Again this Gemsbok senses something is wrong and as Rachel is pulling up slack in the .243 trigger the Gemsbok turns to run. A clean miss. Rachel seems to be fine with the ups and down of hunting. The sun is getting low so we call in teh cruiser and pack up the blind and chairs. As we start the 45 min or so ride back to the lodge we make our way back up the ridge weaving through the thorn trees Kabila spots Gemsbok on opposite side of the valley. A quick study with binos reveals the one Rachel had shot at moments earlier. They quickly get her set up on the sticks with my 300. Uys gets her a range..."270 yards she is behind that thorn tree" then the oryx steps out and Rachel flicks off the safety. I am nervous all over again at this range. She squeezes the trigger and I see the Gemsbok fold and drop straight down before I hear the whump of the bullet hit home. She hit it in the neck and doesn't enjoy seeing the tough old Gemsbok being finished when we get up to it. Part of hunting I later explain to her and she seems to take it in stride. I am thrilled to see her shoot well and enjoying being a hunter.
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    Day 8
    We headed to South Camp today. Schonnbrunn is the name of Omujeve South Camp. We pass Gras Ranch as we near the property. I actually recognize the names of several Hunting Lodges on my travels in Namibia. Make me feel like my research in planning this trip was exhaustive!
    You can see foreer down here. Much flatter and sparser terrain. Not as scenic as main lodge but still very cool. I can see some longer shots on the menu here. Vegetation is shorter and now I know where god put all the rocks! I imagine this may be what Mars would look like if you added some thorn trees! Very cool. Very wild. We got settled in and had a quick lunch. We grabbed both the .243 and .300 and headed out for an evening hunt. We had spotted a nice Mountain Zebra on the way in and went back to look for him. We did see some Zebra but none Uys wanted me to shoot. We were seeing Springbok everywhere so we started looking for a good ram to try and close in on. These Springbok were very wary. As flat and open as it was they basically put 500 yards between you and them everytime they saw you. We eventually used some of the smaller hills to get closer. They know they are being pursued and keep moving on us. This time not at a full run. Uys has a ram picked out and is feeding me location and range info as I settle into the sticks. "4th from the back 200 yards" ect.ect. finally the herd start slowing to a trot going right to left. "he is 430 yards just stepped clear can you shoot him?" I add the few clicks on my turret. This is why I practice so much....the muzzle break does it's job and I see the bullet impact right against the shoulder. Dead center in the heart. I can actually see the grapefruit size hole immediately. The tough little Springbok shudders but manages to stay on it's feet for about 10 yards. I have a new found respect for them. Very wary and fast. Gonna be a fun few days in my new home.
    We have Springbok filet tonight which is fantastic. My wife actually tries some. Only in Africa!

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    Day 9 July 16 (I think)I admit the one great thing about being in Africa was losing track of what day it was. To be there roughly a week and already not haev a sense or weekday or weekend was like being drunk on freedom. Go to bed every night between 9:00 and 11:00 instead of after midnight because I am squeezing in work after my kids go to bed. Getting 8-10 hours of sleep compared to 4-6. Waking up to the sounds of wild Africa, eating great food and sharing friendship and conversation with genuine outdoors loving people without looking at my watch might have been the best part of my trip next to seeing my wife and son get to become hunters.
    We are down to Zebra and Gemsbok on my "list". Next to Kudu these were high on my list. Both very beautiful and very African and we have held of to pursue them here at South Camp. We spot a few Zebra but none Uys wanted to go after. In this sparse cover none of them let us get too close. Eventually we spot a herd. We end up dogging them repeatedly as they keep on the move. There are just enough Zebra to make it hard to pick the right one. Uys is relaying yards and trying to identify the correct stallion. We are tracking the stallion at the rear of herd. I ask about the big one up front and he explains to me the lead mare is not one to shoot and that the herd is lost without her. I get the Stallion at the rea in the scope several times but always on the move and in a group. We finally get in position after more than an hour and I am searching the back of the now still herd on the with the scope?waiting for the word?scanning the far right of the group. Then I hear Uys say 225 yards he is the one on the extreme right. I swing my gun to the far left?.I hesitate as the big Zebra on the far left is quartering to me slightly with some brush which I find odd?.I narrow my focus and squeeze the trigger. I see the high should impact and my beautiful Zebra crashes down stone dead. I excitedly look up from the sticks and say to Uys he went straight down! My PH looks at me puzzled?because the stallion he was watching on the far right is very much alive and on 4 feet. I then realize my incredible dyslexic mix-up. I was embarrassed as could be and not sure what the heck I just did. My PH was gracious about my mistake and once I got up on the Zebra I was stunned at how gorgeous 都he was in person.
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    July 17
    You can see forever here. 25,000 acres is alot of space. The fence here is a thigh high strand that lets' game come and go. We spent the early morning in the cruiser spotting and watching game as we went. Springbok, Kudu, Eland, and Gemsbok. We had made out way 2 hours out form the lodge and the cruiser broke down. I thought now I feel like I am on safari. Kabila and Uys are underneath working their way along the fuel line siphoning and blowing out the lines and swallowing and wearing a decent amount or èŸetrol as they call it. Ty was looking a little nervous when we could not get it fixed so I reassured him they would send another truck for us. We were out of range for the radio but Kabila hiked to the top of highest hill and got a call out via cell phone. Amazing and ironic since that is the industry I am in! It took a while for them to get to us but the brought a new cruiser for us and 4 guys stayed with the broken down rig to repair while we went on with our hunt. While Kabila was gaining elevation to call for help he spotted a Gemsbok that would warrant a second and closer look. We immediately took up the pursuit. The hill provided us a chance to get in close with the lack of cover to about 200 yards. The Gemsbok slipped off on us twice and I passed at shooting him moving. My third stalk got us in range of the bottom he had disappeared into. As we hugged the cover he appeared slipping out of the thorn choked bottom. Halfway up the opposite side he stopped behind a thorn bush at 300 yards now. I knew he was the one and waited to hear Uys give me the go ahead. I could see him through a small opening. As I settled my crosshairs where his neck and should meet I heard Uys say 都moke that bull? I make sure of my hold as a mistake on an Oryx means a lot of sweat chasing a very tough animal to follow up a wounded bull. No worries though?he 300 RUM hits him right on the money and dropped him straight down. 鼎racking shot Chris never gets old! This is one of the main animals that brought me to Africa and ultimately Namibia. He was a beautiful big old bull with those dagger horns and ghost face he is a stunning bull that would later tape out at 35 inches. As we are congratulating and taking pictures Tyler makes sure to note his was bigger than mine. Haa! Nice to see my young son is getting a little competitive with me!
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    After pictures we get back in the cruiser and get back to the hunt. An hour or so later we come upon a group that has 2 nice bulls (they all look nice to me) and a 42 inch cow. We can't get very close in the completely sparse cover. The herd busts us and the chase is on for the couple hours we alternate between trying to keep up with herd, trying to cut them off, and trying to stalk close to get a shot. At least a dozen times I am on the sticks with this magnificent animals in my scope. I am extra careful on target ID after the Zebra incident. They keep moving, keep running and I keep getting instruction and yardages. 3rd from the back, now 4th, watch out for big cow?ect.ect . Always 300 to 600 yards before they slow and by the time Uys singles out my target they are too far or over a hill. One time we skirt a hill? know we are in front of them now I keep getting the feeling if I were alone I would slow down and let them reveal themselves for an ambush. Kind of hard to hide the 5 of us though. I would not trade the excitement of this hunt for anything. Just then they round they hill coming straight for us on a dead run. They see us and we are all face to face and they just opt for high gear instead of altering course. This reminds me of being at the fence at the Preakness (minus the intoxicated semi clothed patrons) as they thunder past. Their gate is impressive and those tails strung out behind them and I think I can hit a straight crosser this close. Somehow I don't connect. Better than wounding one though! I ask Uys if they will get tired and slow. He smiles and says çš„ would not count on that?let's go? Eventually they work their way all the way back near the stranded cruiser. The lone sizable hill that offered us cell coverage also gives us a familiar advantage to know where they may come out. We seize the chance and attempt to cut them off again. This time they stopped in the bottom. We are on the sticks this time when we appear out of thorny bottom?his time the range call outs are getting smaller not bigger, my heart starts to quicken as he gets to 200 yards they can see us now and the big bull looks straight into my eyes and stops as if he knows what is coming?just as Uys says éhat is him in the lead Chris, smoke him.
    The craziest chase of my hunting career ends as I break the trigger on the 300 RUM one more time. Thankfully he is dead on the shot. A worthy end to a chase with a great Gemsbok bull. He is slightly bigger then my first. What a hunt.
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    Day 11 July 18
    Today is Springbok day. Last animal left on my list.
    I am on my own today. Rachel and Tyler are sleeping in. We are getting more sleep than I am used to here. At home I work most nights after the family goes to sleep. I am usually up until midnight or later and up very early in hte AM. Here I am last man standing every night at 10:00pm. I take today advantage and get an early breakfast at 6:00 am. We hit the cruiser and start the search for Springbok. We quickly find a small group with nice ram. I get in position at 320 yards. The big 300 hit the Springbok in the heart. Massive blood loss and the ram makes it 20 yards and stumbles down for good. Great way to start the day. I then proceed to miss one twice later in the day at 420 yards which had me second guessing my range and turrets. Maybe just an errant shot on a small Springbok at that range and I thought I missed under. I think the holdover on shot 2 was unwarranted but I was rattled a little. After I calmed my nerves and thought about the last 2 shots I felt confident it was the shooter not the setup. I got another chance when we got to within 297 yards of another nice Springbok Ram?..boom! One shot straight down. We spend the morning seeing Eland, Gemsbok, Zebra and Kudu. I would be very interested to see if I coudl ever get bored with doing this. No deadlines, no concerns, just me and the most incredible scenery, game and company. You know how sometimes at the end of a trip to Disney or the Outer Banks you are ready to wrap it up and get back to the real world. This trip isn't like that at all. I get one more chance later in the morning on a big ram just over 300. I break the far leg and he takes off. I must have been slightly low again. A second shot on the run actually shoots his very nice right horn off at the base. I have to cover some serious ground and we jump him as we top out the hill and I have the 243 and fold him cleanly on the run at about 90 yards. I have to say it was nice to get to do some extra hunting/shooting at the Springbok. Their numbers at south camp made it pretty nice to be able to get a lot of action. I am officially out of Ammo for the 300. One the way back we check one of the few areas with tall trees for shade to see if anything is hiding from the midday sun. Sure enough another nice Springbok ram. This one we sneak to about 220 yards. I am trying to get the light little 243 steady on him. Uys warns me with a stern whisper 都hoot quickly he is ready to run? I touch the trigger on the .243 and my 4th Springbok of the day is in the salt. Nothing like ending the morning on a good note.

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    Day 11 Afternoon July 18
    After a great lunch and just enjoying hanging out in camp I asked Uys to take us out and I wanted to see if we could get some photos of Zebra since there seemed to be good numbers here at south camp. I wanted to get some video as well. We had a great evening drive. The scenery in Africa when the sun is starting to set is spectacular. I didn't bring my rifle along but I noticed the .243 was in the rack of the cruiser. We found a great Red Hartebeest that I got some good photos of in thorn covered hills. Uys and Kabila sized him up in the binos and mentioned how nice he was. The wariness of the previous Hartebeest we had pursued seemed to be fresh in both Tyler and Rachel's memory. Uys asked them if either want to try for the Hartebeest and in the open terrain they seemed reluctant to try. A little more discussion and both Uys and Kabila agreed this Hartebeest was indeed bigger than the one I had already bagged. That was all it took for me to put down the camera and grab the .243. As it turns out this Hartebeest didn't spook and run on me as I tried to close the distance. I got to 220 yards and he was about to disappear over the backside of the hill when he stopped and looked back at us broadside. Luckily he was looking into the setting sun. He could not have posed any more stunning for me in the low sun. I focused my aim, the light little Winchester taking more focus than my heavy 300 normally does. The squeeze of the trigger surprised me but the slight recoil let me see the impact in the scope and I could see the Hartebeest crumpled at the shot. 鼎racking shot Chris! A great trophy and a great way to end my first safari. He later taped out bigger than my first Hartebeest.
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    Day 12 Morning
    I was technically done with my hunt and supposed to be sightseeing on my own. We felt so at home at Omujeve we realized early on we壇 spend all of our days in Africa he with them. I had discussed on a couple occasions with Rachel shooting a giraffe. At first almost jokingly. Then after speaking with Bill in camp in the beginning of the week more seriously. As the week wore on and my wife got more and more into our first safari we started to discuss the beautiful giraffe mount in the lodge at Omujeve. I was about to head out to go after either a second Zebra for a rug or a Eland or maybe second Kudu. That seems to be the beauty of Africa. Sort of a dealer's choice. Uys mentions the possibility of a Giraffe and when Rachel doesn't give me the 哲o look (a look any married man recognizes in a millisecond) I quickly agree to the hunt. We had seen a few giraffe over our previous 11 days. They are very quintessential Africa to me. When we finally spot some there are a couple big males. The biggest being a very dark phase bull that immediately became our target.
    The herd stayed in very thick cover. We made several approaches and Uys would not give me the go ahead until he got a good look at the Giraffes full body to make sure he was a good trophy. He had given me a 308 and a 300Win Mag. since I had shot my full complement of 300 Ultra Mag. The giraffe offer only a head or neck shot. I settled the scope on a line between two spots on its spectacular hide. I focused intently as I started to squeeze, the crack of the gun surprised me and the whump of the bullet was very clear from the suppressed .308. The little .308 hit right one the mark. Somehow I missed the spine. The giant giraffe stumbled but caught himself, as he turned to run I still had just the head above the trees. I tried to hit him in the back of the head on the run but missed. Once again the chase was on!
    Those big legs were eating up thorny terrain and my lungs were burning as I sprinted behind my 27 year old PH. I had grabbed the 300 Win. when we took off. I was hoping to get a shot or two in that big body. Twice I got to an opening a few steps behind my PH. Alright maybe more than a few. If only I had come to Africa when I was younger! In my 20s I would have been 180 lb former college athlete who could cover ground and still breath and shoot?ranted I could not afford a guide ground hog hunt in my 20's. Finally I caught a little open terrain and got him in my scope. The shot from the Win Mag hit him perfect angling right up between the front shoulders. The giraffe never flinched and kept trucking. My mind races like my pulse. This thing is like a truck?hy don't I have a big bore? Was my shot bad? Why doesn't my guide shoot him? Just then we hit another clearing?Uys is a good 30 yards in front of me. I have slowed to a pace that is representative of a middle aged man with a rebuilt left knee and no PCL in his right knee. I hiss to Uys 都hoot him? He just watches for a second. Then the big beast stumbles. I get there to watch him stumble his last few steps and fall like a giant tree. As I walk up on him I am amazed at how massive he is. 8 skinners and the winch struggle set him up for pictures. We stay and watch them take the cape off it is wild to watch them work. What a great way to end my first safari!
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  2. bcarper

    bcarper AH Veteran

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    What a great hunt Chris! The pictures are spectacular!
    Well done! Brian
  3. Gooseblitz

    Gooseblitz New Member

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    pictures

    Here is a link to a few more of the 1000+ pics I took.

    good pics
  4. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Congratulations on a great hunt.
    The whole family jumped in on this one.

    Thanks for the journal story.
  5. Sand Rat

    Sand Rat AH Senior Member

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    Great hunt and time well spent with the family. Thanks for an awesome report!
  6. gillettehunter

    gillettehunter AH Fanatic

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    Great hunt report and some very nice pics. Thanks for writing it up. Bruce
  7. sandyridge1123

    sandyridge1123 AH Member

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    Outstanding photos. What make and model camera did you use? Namibia is in my plans for 2017.
  8. Royal27

    Royal27 BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    Awesome. I enjoyed the read,
  9. Gooseblitz

    Gooseblitz New Member

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    Nikon d80
  10. arizona

    arizona SILVER SUPPORTER AH Veteran

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    Great report and photos, thanks for sharing , excellent trophies.
  11. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Well done! Great animals and great pics! Congrats!
  12. Wheels

    Wheels GOLD SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    Fantastic report and pictures. Great hunt with the entire family. Congrats!
  13. bluey

    bluey GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    38.12.23south 149.50.37 east
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    that was a great read gooseblitz and backed up with some great photos
    you and the family had a most excellent African adventure
    I think we all can relate to the first paragragh on day 9 mate
    thank you so much for sharing your memories with us
  14. sanderson0203

    sanderson0203 AH Senior Member

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    What a fantastic safari experience with your entire family! Great photos of some awesome trophies taken by all. I especially like that your wife took her first animal with you on this trip. Looks like a great complete family of hunters. Thanks for sharing.
  15. Nyati

    Nyati AH Legend

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    Finland, RSA ( KwaZulu Natal, Limpopo, North West ), Spain
    Congrats on a great family hunt and some very nice trophies.

    Thanks for sharing !
  16. AfricaHunting.com

    AfricaHunting.com FOUNDER AH Ambassador

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    Thank you for posting your extensive hunt report and pictures Chris!
  17. JANEZ L

    JANEZ L AH Senior Member

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    Congratulations. This hunting was unforgettable. Am I right?
  18. BigSteve57

    BigSteve57 GOLD SUPPORTER AH Veteran

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    Thanks for a wonderful write-up. The pics were fantastic!
  19. James.Grage

    James.Grage GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Great family safari with a story line and pictures.

    Nothing could be greater. :)
  20. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    A really great hunt report, absolutely loved it! Great pictures and story! Makes me really miss hunting in Namibia!

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