SOUTH AFRICA: Chris Troskie Safari 2012 Our First, but not Last

Discussion in 'Hunting Reports' started by allhands, Jun 12, 2012.

  1. allhands

    allhands New Member

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    Karen and I just returned from our first Africa adventure, and we will most certainly be back. We booked through Josef Riekers in Texas to hunt with Chris Troskie ct-safaris.com. What a wonerful experience. I will not bore you all with step by step details, but we booked a 7 day plains game hunt with Chris in Limpopo Province in RSA. All I can say is top notch! Gourmet meals, excellent hunting, outstanding hunting areas, 5 trophies taken, and service deserving of 5+ stars! Chris and his staff (Sabina, his wife is the head chef) were the finest hosts,their staff incredible, and I cannot say enough about them. Here are some pics of trophies...
     

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  2. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    You're kidding.. bore me with details. You write it, I'll read it.


    Congrats and thanks for the start of your report! :)
     
  3. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch AH Legend

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    Nice looking critters! Glad you had a good time. Looks like the weather co-operated for you as well.
     
  4. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH Legend

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    +1! Go ahead and do your best to try and bore us, especially about the lever action.
     
  5. James.Grage

    James.Grage GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Would you take the time to expound on a day by day blow so to say we will read it...

    Throw in a few additional pictures if you have any.

    look like you had a nice time
     
  6. allhands

    allhands New Member

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    Well if we must...

    Karen and I had the dream of Africa several years ago. We have planned and hoped, and waited. I am a member of leverguns.com, and have followed their levergun safaris for several years, and after discussing things with Joe Riekers in Texas (Chris's bud in the USA) I contacted him to see about costs, plans, guns etc. Well it wasn't as difficult or as expensive as I thought. I am a Professional Firefighter with the City of Portland, Maine, and my wife Karen is a receptionist. We never thought we could afford such an adventure. Well, to make a long story short, after the death of Karen's Mom, we inherited a small amount of money, and decided in Her honor, we would travel and experience African hunting, at least once.

    Having contacted Joe Riekers about the past Leverguns safaris, I called and got dates, prices, and the whole nine yards. Joe and I hit it off, and although I have yet to meet him in person, I consider him a friend. He guided us through the process of booking, selecting animals on quota, flights, tipping, and all the things one needs to have a great time.

    Well, the day came when it was time. We departed Portland enroute to NYC,(I unfortunately have been there many times, mostly for 9-11 funerals of firefighters) and we met the other 3 hunters who would be hunting with us.

    A nice dinner and the next day we were off on the 15hour flight to Johannesburg. We didn't sleep at all!!! Upon arrival, the Air 2000 reps took care of all the necessary customs stuff and gun permit particulars. Within a short time we were off to Limpopo!! If you fly into Johannesburg, you absolutely must use Air 2000/ Hunters support. You will not regret the $175 it costs, and it will make your trip soooooo much easier!!! They take care of everything, and do all the particulars for you. You simply follow them and they take care of everything. You don't even carry you luggage!

    Around 4 hrs later, we were at the,"camp" which was actually a 5 star lodging that Chris had secured in Limpopo. It was beautiful. We had the usual introductions, a nice settle in, and then off to shoot rifles and tour the property. The rifles travelled well, and the dinner...the first of many 5+ star meals we would enjoy. Sabina Troskie is a fantastic chef to the nth degree and we could not have had any better food anywhere!!!!

    The first day, we travelled on our resident concession, and I shot an SCI Gold Medal Impala!! One shot from 90 yards with my 7x57 Ruger 77. Complete pass through, and DRT.(Dead Right There!)

    Day 2 was Karen's gemsbock day. We travelled to another property that Chris had arranged, and after a wonderful stalk (that I could not attend, because I would be the 4th in line and didn't want to be a hindrance) Karen shot a wonderful gemsbock.

    Day 3 was a warthog/wildebeast day. We didn't have any success that day with shooting, but we saw plenty of game and had quite a few stalks that ended unsuccessfully. Winds change!!! But back at camp, libations and another fine dinner ended a fantastic day.

    DAy 4 saw us on another property and A successful stalk for a warthog, taken at 100+ with my .444 levergun. I will say that the 444 with a scout scope was a MISTAKE in hindsight. It is a wonderful Maine woods gun/scope combo and has plenty enough power for Africa, but the combo was not the best for the terrain/shots encountered, and I/we reverted to the 7x57 with 4x scope for the remainder. While I am no African hunting expert, I am well schooled in rifles and ballistics and can state emphatically that a scoped rifle (bolt/single/ any) with heavy for caliber high BC bullets and deep penetration are the attributes to look for. Our 7x57 was topped with a fixed 4x Zeiss using 175 grn round nose Hornady handloads at 2450 fps. We dropped every animal shot, and had minimal if any tracking. Sorry Ms. Walker (Chris' Jack Russel tracking dog)

    Day 5 saw us again in persuit of wildebeast, and the added attraction of a KUDU at a blind that Chris built on his property near a waterhole he built as well. While we were unsuccessful at both, the Kudu did come in, and we were very close a few times to both the wildebeast and the Kudu, but no dice. KAren did score a nice Impala though, so the day was a celebration again.

    Day 6 was alot like day 5. We hunted hard! Just like in Maine! Which I found most excellent. I really didn't come to Africa to be waited on. However, we were at every opportunity. The PH's and Chris and Sabina were most excellent hosts. We were "pampered" in camp, and our enjoyment and comfort were first in the mind of all the staff. We sat up for the Kudu again, but were busted by cattle banging on a metal fence. Before we knew it, the Kudu, which were within feet of us, cleared off to 40-50 yards and didn't come in again until well after dark. A check of Chris' trail-cams again showed pics of a wonderful trophy bull and several smaller bulls. I await word from Chris as to which lucky hunter gets,"MY" bull at his blind.

    DAy 7 was departure day, but we were lacking a Wildebeast. Karen had decided that we wanted a zebra as well, so despite our lack of luck with Wildebeast, we spotted and stalked a fine zebra in the last hour of the last day. One shot from the 7x57 on the quartering to shoulder added the final trophy of a fantastic adventure that ended too soon.

    If you are a first time hunter (like we were) going to Africa , I implore you to use Chris Troskie as your Hunter/outfitter. He is well experienced, understands your experience level, provides top knotch service, answers all questions (don't be afraid to ask anything, Chris and his Staff are there to help) and provides you with everything you need to thoroughly enjoy your first, second or whatever African Safari. We cannot thank him enough and look forward to hunting with him again.

    AT departure, we were again met by Air 2000, and they did an outstanding job getting our gear and rifles out of Africa. They were very helpful and courteous.

    Things we learned:

    1. LISTEN TO YOUR PH! He knows the country, animals, area. I have been hunting for 30+ years. My wife for 20. This is not Kansas/Maine/Texas/anywhere you have been. Ask questions (quietly, on a stalk) and request input/info, but listen to him when he speaks.

    2. Your favorite hunting rifle from home will get the job done most of the time, but if this is your first and maybe only chance at Africa, make it a scoped bolt action/single shot/lever/ anything. A 30-06/35 whelen/7x57/7mm mag with the proper loads will make success easier on you and your PH. If you MUST use your pet open sight/scout/light screamer etc. thats fine. But do not blame your PH when things don't go your way.

    3. Listen to your PH.

    In closing, what a wonderful experience. We cannot say enough about Chris Troskie safaris.
    Look up Joe riekers at tarsporting.com, or contact Chris direct at ct-safaris.com.

    Good Hunting!!!!! Bill
     
  7. allhands

    allhands New Member

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    Regarding Leverguns and Africa. First, I am levergun fanatic. I have 6. 4 Winchesters, a Marlin and a Savage. I have an 1894 in 32 win spec made in 1906, an 1894 in 32-40 made in 1910, a 32 win spec carbine made in 1949, a 30-30 made in 1954. My savage 99 was made in 1905 in .303 savage, and my Marlin model 444 made in late 60's. They are all excellent rifles in the finest condition for their age, and all capable of taking game within their limits. I am also new to Africa. I took to 444 because it is my pet, given to me by my wife on our first Christmas. She bought it from a friend who bought it new and never used it. In 2009, I had drastic knee surgery and was out of work for 7 months. I decided to customize it by shortening the barrel to 20 inches, added a scout rail, drilled and tapped the shortened barrel for XS sight system ghost rings and added a fixed 2x Leupold extended eye relief scope. It is excellent for hunting in Maine, as our shots are generally 50 yards or less and generally at moving targets. But I really felt at a handicap in Africa, and reverted to my Ruger 77 in 7x57 with the fixed 4x Zeiss. It was far adn away more appropriate for the hunting areas/shots that were presented. You may disagree and that is fine. In my humble opinion I would take the rifle that I felt most comfortable with to take 100-200 yard shots and anchor with the first. My 7x57 using 175 grain roud nose soft point Hornady bullets at 2450 did excellent work. The 444 round entered the left shoulder and exited the right, leaving the jacket inside to be recovered. It was a 265 grn. Hornady interlock handloaded to 2150 FPS. I trust the load and the rifle, but the sight system was not the best for the shot.
     

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  8. James.Grage

    James.Grage GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Bill nice read...

    So when do you and your wife plan to return?
     
  9. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH Legend

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    Thanks for the details we love that sort of thing around here. I don't think you'll get any arguments about using a bolt gun in Africa. But I think it was cool you got at least one animal with the lever gun. While I've not owned one, you'll find 7x57 fans here.
     
  10. Bobpuckett

    Bobpuckett GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Bill Thanks for boring me.NOT!!! great post and great trophies Thanks for sharing. Bob
     
  11. RickB

    RickB AH Fanatic

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    That's what we need. Just a small fix till the next report comes along to calm us down. I like the lever guns. I can see your discomfort with it though. Was it the length of it/scout style you disliked? I have a 45-70 marlin I would think about bringing when I go back. Just for something different.
     
  12. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch AH Legend

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    Nice story. I have a Savage 99 in .250 Savage that was my great grandfathers rifle. It even has a mar on the stock from where it used to rattle against the model T seat! I thought about taking it for an animal or 2 but a loose barreled take down gun was not really the best choice so common sense prevailed, still I would love to have used it.
     
  13. AfricaHunting.com

    AfricaHunting.com FOUNDER AH Ambassador

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    Thanks for sharing report, story and pictures!
     
  14. Nyati

    Nyati AH Legend

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    Thanks for the story Bill, and congrats for a fine hunt !
     
  15. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    Thanks for the hunting report and pictures!
     
  16. allhands

    allhands New Member

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    SInce you have been to Africa and know what to expect, I would most certainly take your .45-70! My problem was the scout scope configuration. The 2x extended eye relief was not precise enough at the distances we were presented with. I practiced for 9+ months with this rifle at 50,75 and 100 yards, off hand and off sticks. I felt really comfortable at the range, but in the field things did not work out that well. I was in fact successful on the warthog, and I am truly happy with the performance of the round, but if I Had a "normal" scope on the rifle, say a fixed 4x in the normal position, I would have been able to take my other 2 animals with it. Just my humble opinion. In fact when we go back (whenever that will be) I will probably take the 7x57 with the same scope, and either my .06 scoped or my 35 Whelen with open sights! WHo knows?
     

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