SOUTH AFRICA: Austin's and Phil's HartzView Hunting Safaris 2013

Discussion in 'Hunting Reports' started by PHOENIX PHIL, May 25, 2013.

  1. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH Legend

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    So the time has finally come. I'm going to try and do a daily running report of our father/son safari with Jacques and HartzView safaris. We'll see how that goes, I expect a day or two break at times. I'm doing this as much for myself as a bit of a journal as I am for my AH brothers. If it gets verbose, my apologies. Just skip to

    I used frequent flyer miles to book the bulk of this trip. The FF world being what it is, it was best to book from LAX to Kimberley via Frankfurt and Jo'burg. Our flight to Frankfurt leaves in about 3 hours. We had an uneventful flight from Phoenix to LAX last night, staying in a hotel nearby. First time to LAX, in spite of arriving sometime after 11pm, the airport traffic was crazy. It took probably 30 mins to get out of the airport. But all bags arrived as expected. I was happy that I escorted my rifle case to the TSA agent who quickly moved it along.

    Back to LAX this morning, traffic at the airport not much better than last night. We were one of the first at the Lufthansa desk which opened shortly after we got there. Friendly, efficient service. Lufthansa requires you to let them know in advance that you're carrying firearms which of course I did, so this did not come as any surprise to the ticket agent. So no fuss no muss. Once again we took the rifle and ammo cases directly to TSA who were very friendly and got us on our way to the main screening in short order.

    The main TSA security area was fairly crowded, but it moved along fairly well. One of the TSA agents however is apparently a grumpy former KGB agent or missed his morning coffee......just a bit too impatient barking at my son and me. I'm a fairly experienced traveler and have made being prepared for and getting through the scan quickly as I hate being in the lines. Still, this was not fast enough for TSA Agent Stalin.

    So here we sit for another couple hours before boarding. Guess I'll knock out a few of the particulars.

    Travel : As mentioned we're flying Lufthansa from LAX to Frankfurt. From there SAA to JNB and then connecting to Kimberley. Pretty much the opposite on return, only stopping in Munich.

    Rifles: Tikka T3 Lite in .308 Win for Austin, Winchester M70's in .300 Win Mag and .375H&H for Phil

    Ammo : 165gr, 200gr and 250gr North Fork Bonded cores following caliber list above.

    Animal Wish List: Springbok, Blue and Black Wildebeest, Kudu, Gemsbok, Eland

    All for now, perhaps a report from rainy Frankfurt tomorrow. We will have some time to go into the city and get a bite, perhaps see some sights.
  2. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    Dealing with the airlines, sounds fun :p! Wait to hear, Dad are we there yet!
  3. bluey

    bluey GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    sounds like meticulous planning phil
    cant wait for reports each day mate
    best of luck to you and the boy
    hunt well
  4. Cliffy

    Cliffy AH Elite

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    We're all waiting for Chapter 2 ! :)
  5. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Let me know your findings on food in Frankfurt Phil. I'll be following you shortly.
  6. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH Legend

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    Writing this from the Bidvest lounge in O.R. Tambo overlooking the security pass thru into the C,D and E gates for RSA domestic travel. We are two weary travelers at this point, though Austin is a bit more chipper. He got a better nights sleep on the plane from Frankfurt than I did. But just one more small hop by air to go.

    Sorry Brickburn, not much of a food report. Weather was windy and raining in Frankfurt. We did venture out, but my cell phone was not working as expected. So poor weather, on a Sunday with many things closed, don't speak the language and no cell service to utilize the maps....well we just headed back to the airport for lunch.

    We did get some nice sausages and kraut there. Although the "White" sausages I don't recommend. We also had some fantastic apple strudel.

    I have read of poor service on South Africa Airways in recent years. For the trip from Frankfurt, I had no complaints. Our seat assignments got screwed up somewhere along the line, and one of the SAA girls at the gate fixed that for us with a smile on her face. She also checked for me to see that my ammo box and Tuff Pak were on board. Food and service on board was as good and friendly as I've ever had on any international flight.

    On arrival this morning, right outside the jetway was a gent from Riflepermits.com waiting for me. Down the hall we went and bypassed the large crowd going to passport control and went to our own little line. This of course got us to the baggage carousel quicker. We only checked the ammo box and rifle case. Those were brought by a very friendly lady and off we went. For the second time in a row, I was the only hunter in the SAPS office. But we were out of there in no time and off to check in to Kimberly. Yup it's a bit of money, but I think I will continue to use this service. There's just something about having someone in the baggage claim area that is known that I believe is precluding any shenanigans with the rifles.
  7. bluey

    bluey GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    riflepermits.com that's the 3rd time good thing have been said about them .best l email them l rekon
    glad your away phil
    looking out for your adventure writing mate
    like to hear Austin s thoughts on it to bloke
  8. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Phil, I know you're awake... it's 1/4 to five in the morning.
    Good luck today.
  9. toxic111

    toxic111 AH Veteran

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    We used Riflepermits as well with the VIP service.. well worth it... Also had good luck with SAA as well.

    I bet you ate at Frankfurt right beside McDonalds.. ate there as well.. was good.

  10. Cliffy

    Cliffy AH Elite

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    OK, now get that rifle barrel warmed up! We're all waiting. No pressure on you, just all one shot kills. No tracking. No pressure, no pressure at all, with the entire forum watching and waiting!
  11. BWH

    BWH GOLD SUPPORTER AH Veteran

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    Looking forward to details/full report! Best of luck to you both. Send best to Jacques & Hartzview.

    Brad
  12. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH Legend

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    As exhausted as I was last report, a good night's sleep on a bed was all that was needed. First morning of safari is here at last. Having arrived at the lodge in the dark, we needed to check rifles this morning. It seems King Kong and Godzilla handled my weapons at some point. The .300WM was spot on, the .308 and .375 were significantly off. Quick adjustments and we're good to go.

    The plan in the morning was to try and find Austin a Kudu. We found lots of Kudu, just not a bull worth shooting on day 1. We also saw lots of Red Hartebeest, blue wildebeest, mtn reedbuck, blesbok, impala and some giraffe. Just not a shootable Kudu bull.

    Back to the lodge at 11am or so for brunch. Scrambled eggs, bacon and gemsbok sausage......perfect. Time for a nap, about 5 mins into came a knocking at my door, or rather a barking at my door. Hello Boolit, hello Roxy, can I help you? Oh...you'd like to come in, well okay. Good nap, feet kept warm by K9.

    2pm, "Dad, it's time to go hunting!" Off we go, but we're now headed to the black wildebeest grounds. We find a couple of bulls, one very worth shooting. Between blesbok and bad luck it doesn't work out. Off to the next stop. Blesbok, springbok by the hundreds as well as more black wildebeest. Driver uses the truck to get them moving in our direction.

    182 yard shot shooting off one knee and the sticks, quartering away. Booom.....thwap! Hit him again, boom....thwap! Goes down, gets back up, but he's sick. Hit him a third time, he don't get up anymore. Using the 200gr North Forks and my .300WM for this.

    First two shots virtually the same place, a bit far back even for quartering away, but it seems they were doing the job. Third shot which was at anything resembling black wildebeest hit his hindquarter and I'm sure broke the leg. First animal in the salt!

    IMG_0652.jpg

    IMG_0663.jpg
  13. BWH

    BWH GOLD SUPPORTER AH Veteran

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    Very nice! Keep'em coming....
  14. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH Legend

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    The daily report will not be so daily. Unfortunately tomorrow we leave for a piece of land that Jacques has recently leased. It is some 30,000 acres of free range land that hasn't been hunted in 10 years, is full of large springbok, gemsbok and Eland, but also has no internet access.....durn it I hate when things like this happen to me!

    Expect next report no sooner than Sunday, but hopefully it will be filled with lots of pics and details.
  15. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Good luck.
  16. sanderson0203

    sanderson0203 AH Senior Member

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    Loving it, keep it coming! I love going along for the journey and adventure as it happens. I can't wait to get back to Africa again!
  17. spike.t

    spike.t GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    yup phil its real bad having to head to a place like that........:p:biggrin2:
  18. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    +1, Exactly, enjoy your time in Africa!
  19. Norwegianwoods

    Norwegianwoods SILVER SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    You seem to have a great hunt so far.
    Looking forward to the rest and I hope you and your son will experience some great hunting :)
  20. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH Legend

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    Hunting Day 2 - Dad's a mess, Austin cleans up

    This is our second day of hunting, but first in this new property in the Kalahari desert. We are a long ways from nowhere much less from somewhere. The sand is red and thick. I am amazed that vegetation can take root here, but it does. It's a mix of pure sand and vegetation. But the sand is everywhere, there is no such thing as solid hard ground anywhere. However it is quite apparent the Springbok, Eland, Gemsbok, Steenbok and Duikers find it appealing.

    We spent a few minutes re-sighting rifles for longer shots and off we went. We weren't gone long before seeing a herd of springbok off in the distance, but closer to us was a single ram....a good one. Off the truck we go and climb up to the top of the dune to shoot across the street between the dunes. Springbok ranged at 300 plus yards. I'm not big on Austin taking his first shot at a smallish target at this range. But, boy he's nice. I decide to break out my .300 Win Mag and take him myself. Had to wait awhile for the perfect shot, but eventually he turned perfect. Crosshairs lined up, steady, a shot I've made numerous times on Coues deer.....bang! Springbok runs off totally unscathed! I have no idea how I missed this shot.

    Springbok is running away but not in a huge hurry and while he's moving away, he is crossing the street towards our side. We jump in the truck and move a bit down and sure enough he's getting closer. Out we go, leaving the .300WM behind and instead bringing Austin's .308. Ocker, our PH, does a perfect job of getting Austin into position using a treebranch for a rest. Still the shot is 225 yards, about as good as it's going to get. Bang.....thwap......down in it's tracks!! Shot was a bit high and spined him, but he's down. Pretty thrilling moment seeing your son take his first animal.....a great day already by 8:15 in the morning.

    We see lots of Eland during the rest of the morning. One herd counted at least 50 animals. But we haven't found a nice old blue bull to take yet. There are Steenbok everywhere in this country too. As the morning wears on and it warms up, the animals lie down and it's time for lunch.

    After lunch and a nap, we are back out at about 2pm. Again we are seeing lots of Eland, just no shootable bulls. Steenbok everywhere as usual, going to take one of these if a "big" one is spotted. But now we are getting into Gemsbok action too. Somewhere along the line I grabbed the .375 to make a potential stalk on Eland.....a terrible plinking sound comes from the scope. An interior lens has let loose, we can actually see it looking into the scope. Bad juju.

    You need to be prepared for longer shots here. This does not bother me at all on Gemsbok sized animals. We got to a herd and pursued it over many of these dunes. We got to a point where I had a 340 yard shot on a great bull......blew it missing left. Haven't a clue what I did.

    Whatever the case, I've missed twice today. No matter, there's tomorrow and Austin has his first animal.

    Austin's Springbok.jpg

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