SOUTH AFRICA: BOS EN DAL- My first Safari, and a Great PH/Outfitter Experience

Discussion in 'Hunting Reports' started by bls72bmw, Apr 4, 2014.

  1. bls72bmw

    bls72bmw AH Member

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    Growing up in the Midwest, I've been White-Tail and Pheasant hunting plenty of times. But as a kid I had always loved reading the adventures of the true African Gents- Capstick, Hemingway, Roosevelt, the list goes on. However, I always realized these guys were pros (and wealthy) and real African Hunting was never going to be for me.
    Well, fast forward 30 years and one day while reading "Field and Stream" the article was titled: African Plains Game Safari- Less Cost Than You Think!". From that point it was my new desire that I could realistically achieve!
    Did a lot of searching on the forums and came across a small outfit in RSA, where the gentleman who owns the land, is the outfitter and is the PH all himself- Gerrit Jv Vuuren. I read a couple reviews on Africa Hunting about two folks that had hunted with him, but there was not a lot of info. out there. After contacting the two gents who had hunted with Gerrit, and Gerrit himself, I was sold. Bos En Dal is new in marketing to overseas hunters- he doesn't go to conventions or shows just yet, but is slowly (smartly) growing the business. Long story short, I booked my hunt and then had an anxious wait!
    Fast-forward to last week-I land at JoBurg and as I walk out of customs there is a big tall guy with huge grin and a Bos En Dal sign! One thing I liked in the interim is that as a new comer I know I pestered Gerrit with endless questions (reading one too many Boddington books will do that...and he answered all my questions in a timely manner and was very in depth in his answers. Now that I've actually been on Safari, I look back now and think some of my questions were just plain odd!)
    I only booked a 5 day hunt and added an extra day on to allow me time to adjust. But one thing that my PH did was always allow me to hunt- we started off on the first day just taking a stroll, walk and stalk, just to stretch my legs really is what I was thinking. Well, just as I get going we step right into a herd of impala about 200 yards off, Gerrit says "I see two nice large males in there, let's see if we can get in closer"...... wind just shifted, they turned a bit, we stalked around to the side, and just as we go to approach from a different angle as we turn our heads the other way- TWO Wildebeest! And at this point I think to myself "WOW! I'm really doing it!!!!!"....we take a quick look and the Wildebeest are young- but how neat it is to have the different game all around. So as we try to out maneuver our impala the wind shifts and they sprint off. Just as I think we're done for the night, as it is getting late, our tracker turns and silently indicates, with a whispy outstretched hand- 2 nice warthogs about 50 meters off to our left on the back side of a tiny creek bed. STICKS UP! My rifle rests up in the sticks and we both watch as they disappear as they see us too. As my disappointment mounts, one more, a big old fellow, runs into the picture and turns to faces- almost as a challenge. Gerrit leans over and whispers in my ear, with his Africaans-laden English, "that's a nice one, take him if you have the shot". Don't need to tell me twice, safety off- Boom! First trophy of my trip!
    11 1/2" Warthog, Gold Medal on the PHASA scale!
    I can't say that every day was as dramatic as that- but I can say that every trophy I took WAS as dramatic as that! I don't know what they're "putting in the water" over there, but my Impala was 25" and my Blue Wildebeest was 27.5"- both PHASA Gold Medal Scores-
    Not being a great writer, I wish I had a better way with words to describe the days we spent together. I really enjoyed my time with my PH, getting to meet his beautiful family and friends, and the time we spent together. We all know these guys have a job to do, and that job is to make the client happy. But my impression were that Gerrit was a true hunter- this was not his job just to pay the bills, but he really enjoyed himself being out in the bush and having fun. I caught him smiling to himself a lot- you could tell he enjoyed his work and was putting his heart into it.
    Other impressions of the hunt were very positive. We spent a day pigeon/dove shooting as well as the traditional "guniea fowl off the bakke" shoot. Lots of fun not to be missed. In fact the pigeon shooting is something I had never done before and was one of the highlights of the trip. I never got the feeling I was in a corporate "churn and burn" operation. There was no pressure to take extra game (I opted with his 5 day starter package that is priced quite reasonable and was within my budget). The food every night was amazing- the guest house was nice and clean, ample beverages and a tradition Braai every night, and really just a ton of all around fun.
    There were lots of little extras in this package that when added up made a big difference to me. Transfer to/from JoBurg was included, we stopped for lunch a couple days at nice restaurants, I was taken to the Taxidermist and shown the entire operation on the taxidermists day off, billtong all around- etc. I know these things are all part of the operation, but what I'm trying to say is I never felt that my outfitter was trying to pinch a penny or two here or there. Even though I came on a small beginner package I was never treated as a small client. I think that is something that you get with a family type operation as this. All heart- and when the business does well they do well- they realize that and just have a good time with their work. My PH supervised each trophy taken, the skinning and the salting. The Zebra was to be made into a rug that we discussed beforehand so he personally supervised the skinning and caping to ensure I was happy with exactly what I wanted- nice touches that made me smile. Another nice touch; now that I'm home he is following up with me on each item we discussed- my PHASA medals, importation paperwork completion, and is monitoring the email chain between myself and the taxidermist to ensure everything is done properly. It's the little things that really make a difference. As a first timer it takes my mind off being pre-occupied with how the trophies are being handled and finalized.
    I've never been on an African hunting trip before- but I definitely will again. The cost of hunting trophies in Africa v. the US is very telling. An African Safari is definitely a do-able trip for most folks.
    Anyone with questions about the operation or thinking about this firm please feel free to PM me and I'll give you my number if you'd like to chat. I would (and already have) recommend Bos En Dal to my friends looking for a great experience in an African hunt.

    Impala14wGVJ.jpg

    Sticks1.jpg

    Wildebeest15.jpg

    Zebra6.jpg
     
  2. RogerHeintzman

    RogerHeintzman AH Enthusiast

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    bls72bmw,

    Great trophies taken. I can see the smile on your face.

    One trip is not enough to Africa.

    Thanks for the report.

    "A dream can be relived, again and again in Africa."
     
  3. billc

    billc SILVER SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    Looks like you had a fun 5 days.Some great trophys taken with a good company cant bet that.just think when you get back and your hunt is longer all the fun you will have.great report.
     
  4. bluey

    bluey GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    bls72bmw
    nice write up .
    sounds like your very happy with your choice on the outfitter , and the animals you were fortunate to take are fantastic
    thanks for sharing your memories with us
    so when are you heading back over to gods country???
     
  5. HuntingGold

    HuntingGold AH Veteran

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    Really cool experience.... thanks much for taking the time to share your trip!
     
  6. gillettehunter

    gillettehunter AH Fanatic

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    Looks like you had a great first safari. Nice looking animals. Bet you'll go back. Bruce
     
  7. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Thanks for sharing your hunt with us.

    It's always nice to read a report from someone who is genuinely sharing an appreciation of their experience.
    Those small details do matter and it shows.

    Congratulations.
     
  8. TiborV

    TiborV New Member

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    Great report and photos. Having that first safari go well is a huge factor in the decision whether to return to Africa.... and it certainly looks like you will be back!
     
  9. accipiter

    accipiter AH Veteran

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    Thanks for the detailed report. I am glad you had an amazing experience.
     
  10. Nyati

    Nyati AH Legend

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    Congrats for the good time and very nice trophies, and thanks for sharing !
     
  11. Royal27

    Royal27 BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    You're wrong about your writing. Good writing describes a seen and how the author feels and that is exactly what you did very well. Your excitement was obvious.

    Thanks for the great reprt!
     
  12. AfricaHunting.com

    AfricaHunting.com FOUNDER AH Ambassador

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    Thank you for posting your hunt report and sharing your trophies and journey in Africa with us!
     
  13. Buff-Buster

    Buff-Buster GOLD SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    Good hunt report. The excitement comes across in the way you write. Great trophies too!........Your hooked now, it won't be your last trip!
     
  14. Bos en Dal Safaris

    Bos en Dal Safaris SPONSOR AH Enthusiast

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    Thanks for the kind words my friend. We did had a blast!!! See you again in maybe a year or two.

    Best Regards
     
  15. Wheels

    Wheels GOLD SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    Congratulations on your first African hunt. You have some nice trophies. Thanks for sharing your story and photos.

    As you mentioned. Gerrit is a great guy.
     
  16. Bos en Dal Safaris

    Bos en Dal Safaris SPONSOR AH Enthusiast

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    Thanks Bob

    Glad to see you made it home! Did the wife's present in your ammo box made it home in one peace?

    Best Regards
     
  17. Wheels

    Wheels GOLD SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    Yes, it made it home.

    Customs didn't like your dirt. They washed my boots. There is something satisfying in watching a government employee wash your boots. I just wish I had stepped in more manure.

    All the best.
     
  18. Bobpuckett

    Bobpuckett GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Awesome hunt and great report and trophies thanks for sharing.
     
  19. Olemiss1

    Olemiss1 New Member

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    Did you take your animals to Jan at J&S?
     
  20. lwaters

    lwaters BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    Thanks for the great hunting report.
     

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