SOUTH AFRICA: A First-Timer's Journey (2012 South Africa, Leopards Valley Safari's)

Discussion in 'Hunting Reports' started by rnovi, Jan 7, 2013.

  1. timbear

    timbear AH Enthusiast

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    :happywave:Hello? Rnovi?? Hello!!!:kt: Anyone home?:pout: My hands are shaking, I am perspiring and shivering:sweat:-I seriously NEED my hunting story fix!:drooling: Pleeeeese!!!:crying:
     
  2. rnovi

    rnovi AH Veteran

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    Hi Guys! Work has this annoying habit of getting in the way. On the other hand I'm at 39,000 feet, winging it home on a plane with some internet connectivity. I'll have something tonite!

    On deck: Springbok, Steenbok and Blesbok!
     
  3. GSTONE

    GSTONE AH Veteran

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    Whew! :confused: I was afraid the story was going lost in space.:p We are patiently waiting for the resumption of the adventure!:thumb:
     
  4. rnovi

    rnovi AH Veteran

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    Kevin was busily tapping his fingers on the dashboard of the bakkie. "Sooo... now that you've had your fun, can I shoot something now?? I couldn't blame him ever since the blown Beest hunt the trip somehow seemed to just revolve around me. If it wasn't one thing it was another.

    We had just deposited the Kudu at the skinning shed and Shane was doing the most amazing job caping that thing. Craig had oft boasted that Shane was the best skinner in the area and I had no reason to doubt it. A few flicks of a blade and Shane had worked the cape off, taken the head off and we were rolling. The rest of the Kudu would go to the locals there on the Game Ranch.

    As the dust flew from the tires I found myself lazily thumping along with my wife on my shoulder. Fury, his nose all covered in blood from the skinning, was curled up on my leg. Shane rode in the back, jumping out whenever we came to a gate and getting us through with all speed. We were off to a new game ranch where, with a bit of luck, we would find some quality quarry for Kevin to chase after. It still was a marvel to me to see all the monkees on the road, scampering about and laughing their monkey laughs at the å¡—airless apes in our stinky diesel pick up. Shane threw a rock at them from the bakkie as we sped down the road. Monkees?nd baboons. The scourge of the silent stalk

    The new ranch we were going to held smaller game. Springbok, Duiker, Steen, Black and White Impala?t was fenced as most things in South Africa are. Low fenced for the most part with thousands of acres of land in between. It was a family property. The roads were nice, the area was flat and we could see for miles

    [​IMG]

    We stopped for a tracker - who was quite drunk and trundled through a series of gates. To Craig this was something of the norm. Shane though looked none to pleased. He was working hard for us and was not pleased at all to have a substandard guide.

    About 20 minutes into the amazingly flat farmland Craig came to a gentle stop. Glassing we could see several Springers in the distance who were already beating a swift exit. A few female Steens were seen for about the shortest second and then they were gone too. Craig nodded, mostly to himself.

    "Let's go for a walk he said. And with that Kevin threw the door open and stepped out to Shane already offering Kevin his Browning.

    Craig and Kevin headed off, using a few large bushes for cover and a concrete well. The wind picked a bit, from right to left and across the road. Shane sat in the front seat of the bakkie, his cell phone plugged in and talking to his girlfriend. Trina and I sat on the chairs in the back admiring the world around us. So vast, so far away from home?eeling so much LIKE home. The sun was warm on our faces and the breeze brought with it the smells of Africa.

    鉄hane Shane come in. Shane Shane come in. Just past the water tank, come get us. Not 15 minutes had passed. Shane keyed the ignition and we were off. 300 yards later we came to the water tank, parked and got out. Kevin and Craig were about 90 off, staring intently at the ground.

    "Seriously, what a vicious looking little bastard isn't he! Look at the horns on him!

    [​IMG]

    Balanced precariously was this tiny little Steenbok, little 3 horns sticking razor sharp into the air. What an absolutely gorgeous critter

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    We tossed the Steen in the back of the truck and took off again with two purposes...Lunch and Whatever's next.
     

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  5. rnovi

    rnovi AH Veteran

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    Trina was left to tend the flames of the Braii while the rest of us rolled out.

    Springbok in the Karroo where we hunted was a driven hunt. The idea is to set the hunters down in a nice area with some cover and then have the trackers try to drive the springers towards them. The drive part really is not much more than two or three trackers starting a few miles away walking slowly a few hundred yards apart back towards the hunter. Kind of like fishing with a large net, the net is closed smaller and smaller and smaller until at last the game is in range for a shot.

    This is not as easy as it seems?ut it sure makes for a truly wonderful opportunity to watch the behavior of animals being stalked.

    Kevin, Craig and I sat in the shade of a large bush. I was up to bat again which seemed mighty unfair to me given the current odds and settled down. Craig told us how in the early days there might be ten, twenty or more trackers beating the brush in a long row to scare up the game. Now? Just two would do. Every now and again the radio would crackle and Craig would give a direction.

    Eventually we saw heads?ots of heads. Somewhere around 20 or 30 700+ yards out. Nearly 500 yards further out we could see Shane and the Local, slowly walking along. Every now and again Shane would point a direction?hey would move there and the herd would shift?t was masterful watching how they could drive the game towards us and keep them from wanting to dart either direction.

    "Robert, do me a favor. Try not to shoot Shane. He's the best skinner I've seen and a good skinner is hard to find.

    He gave me a sly grin as he trailed off...Shane Shane was a good man.

    There is something magical about Springbok. They are majestic...beautiful...delicate. Their horns making the shape of a heart...the Love of Africa. They would stand perfectly still and in one incredible move of beauty they would leap spring straight up and bounce in that spring loaded step for hundreds of yards. Poetry they were. Just poetry. They would slow and stop, staring intently at Shane deep in the distance and make adjustments to their direction.

    They moved in a line, advancing closer and closer and closer. There was an ever so slight depression in the ground and their bodies would disappear, leaving only horns above the grass.

    All at once they turned 180 degrees and they were gone.

    "They're like that. Just up and go like that. Crafty but I don't think they saw us. Winds in our favor too. Nahh, I think we will just wait here a bit longer.

    Craig leaned back, camo hat and a stalk of grass in his teeth. He looked like any Southern hunter I've seen...

    We lay in the short grass enjoying the day when Craig froze. He looked at me, shifted his eyes left and stayed frozen. I gently looked left and barely 100 yards off were the sentry eyes of a vigilant Springbok staring left and right?nywhere but at us. I gently shifted my weight and brought the rifle to my shoulder.

    Craig turned the radio down and gave two clicks on the clicker. I could see in the distance Shane drop the ground.

    The Springbok were good, hovering near cover and not giving me a clear shot. Slowly they began to move off, keeping the brush between us. They didn't know we were there but they didn't like something either.

    I stayed on them, knowing that there was a chance they'd make a mistake. They turned right, and started to head away. With Shane and Tracker on the ground they thought they might be free

    At 178 yards they stopped in the open and sensing their freedom they dropped their heads for a few blades of grass.

    It's all the time I needed.

    [​IMG]

    Once again, I was greatful to be in Africa...

    [​IMG]
     

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  6. rnovi

    rnovi AH Veteran

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    We returned back to Trina who had the fire nice and tended and the Braii cooking on the open Karoo.

    [​IMG]

    Lamb Chops and Sausage does not suck does it?

    [​IMG]

    The day came to a close with Kevin walking out with Craig, Shane and Tracker working the brush...and another perfect shot that came too soon.

    [​IMG]

    Did I mention that every single one of Kevin's shot was right on the shoulder?

    Yeah...I'm not jealous or nothing. :)
     

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  7. GSTONE

    GSTONE AH Veteran

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    Excellent! Keep up the good story.:whoo: Congratulations, again!:clap::clap::clap:
     
  8. jduckhunter

    jduckhunter AH Veteran

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    You are bringing back some good memories I can almost see and smell the action. The wife is already in bed for the night but I'll have her catch up in the morning. I wouldn't want her to miss anything. Thanks for continuing the adventure and good night.
     
  9. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch AH Legend

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    Real nice, I am certainly enjoying it. That heap of mutton and sausage brought back memories of a Braii with a landowner/sheep rancher where I hunted Kudu last spring. He insisted I come for a Braii of home grown lamb and home made sausage. Good stuff.
     
  10. timbear

    timbear AH Enthusiast

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    :worship:Thankyouthankyouthankyou!!! Now I can relax, go to bed and dream of Africa.:daydreaming: BTW, which of the gentlemen in the photo is the redoubtable Shane: The large one with the springbok over his shoulders, or the smaller one by the fence? The only other picture of him , sleeping, really did not give many clues.
     
  11. Bobpuckett

    Bobpuckett GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    LOL to easy the one with the springbok....... several days later same clothes. haha
     
  12. timbear

    timbear AH Enthusiast

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    Actually - no.:nope: Different color pants, no beanie, and khaki jackets are common in Africa. I also think it's him, but let's wait and hear from rnovi (which will hopefully be soon, I'm getting the DTs again!:wacko:).
     
  13. rnovi

    rnovi AH Veteran

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    :cool:

    Yes indeed, Shane is the one carrying the fine Springer. He's also the guy asleep. :first:

    Shane was an absolute gentleman the entire time. He put up with short tempers, poor shooting, bad jokes, lousy humor and always had the brightest smile in the middle of it.

    I'll be back tomorrow with my next update. The Blesbok! I had to find an appropriate picture of Kevins Bok...it was durn near a 17" Bles. :whoo:
     
  14. timbear

    timbear AH Enthusiast

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    :confused:AND...???:user::whip:
     
  15. Bobpuckett

    Bobpuckett GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    :eyecrazy::laughing:He probably got his Taxidermy bill in the mail and went in to a coma.:shocked:
     
  16. blkbearklr

    blkbearklr New Member

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    I am getting excited to go on my first safari also, hoping mine is as great as yours....

    Joe
     
  17. gillettehunter

    gillettehunter AH Fanatic

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    Sounds like A great hunt. You tell a story very well. Thanks for taking the time to write it for us. Bruce
     
  18. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    me thinks...
    :ballchain:
     
  19. Bos en Dal Safaris

    Bos en Dal Safaris SPONSOR AH Enthusiast

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    it is awesome how it feels that you are not missing any detail in all of this story of yours. I think you just turned the table for some guys and they all would have to come to South Africa to experience what you are describing here.

    Keep on writing
    Regards
     
  20. DOC-404

    DOC-404 AH Elite

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    ..Oi, wassup..? :feedback:
     

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