SOUTH AFRICA: Hunt Report- KMG Hunting Safaris 2011

Discussion in 'Hunting Reports' started by HaroldD, Jul 15, 2011.

  1. HaroldD

    HaroldD New Member

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    Here is a hunt report after I just returned from hunting with Marius Goosen of KMG Hunting Safaris in the Eastern Cape. What a great hunt!

    Day 1

    I was met at the airport in Port Elizabeth, South Africa by Marius and good friend Tom Gottschalk of FL. From there we took a 1 and 1/2 hr drive to the lodge. It truly has great scenery and loads of animals. We were met at the lodge by the staff, and what a great group of guys. We were taken to our rooms and settled in, so after an 18 hr flight I was ready for some relaxing. Upon arrival we had lunch, and immediately head out to the shooting range to check the rifles. I planned on taking my 300 Win Mag., but somehow Delta forgot to load it on the flight from Washington DC to Johannesburg. I made plans to have it delivered to the ranch and supplied Marius details to have the rifle delivered upon arrival. Alternatively, I used Tertius 30-06, which was suppressed and was amazed at the reduction in recoil it achieved. All was on the money off the bench and we were ready to go.

    Day 2

    We started the day early with a light breakfast, which consisted of some fresh toasts, jams, fruits, yogurts and cereals with various fruit juices. Just enough to turn us over until brunch. We started hunting at the crack of dawn, and it was clear that the weather was not going to make it easy on us. Rain and wind made hunting conditions difficult, but Marius ensured me that reports showed that it was just passing over and that we would have clear skies from the following day. It was clear that the animals were as uncomfortable with the weather as what we were, and stayed deep in the brush, making it difficult to spot them. The first day had past with some difficult conditions, and without much success. Spirits were still high. Marius client had shot a nice Kudu bull, which had to be tracked by his dog, Flex, who turns out to be quite a legend in camp. Since, a Kudu was all that was on the list, they decided to accompany us, and help out with the hunt. Every time that we would spot a good bull, it would just be momentarily, with never enough time to get settled in and put the crosshairs on him.

    Day 3

    After a difficult night sleeping, trying to adjust to the time difference, I would lie if I had to say that I was feeling as good as I should. The weather had cleared of rain, but we had to deal with fog which rose up from the Great Fish River which runs just below the lodges. As we were trying to work out alternative plans to beat the fog and not waste time sitting around camp, we got a call from Marius who had left earlier, on his way to hunt with his client on higher grounds in search of a Kudu, that he had spotted a nice Nyala Bull. He instructed Tertius of the Bull's whereabouts. We set off immediately in pursuit of the Bull, as although the fog was still present, it was much lighter at the top. Marius had dropped off one of his trackers next to the road and instructed him to stay out of sight of the Bull. As we approached, we spotted the tracker, who pointed us in the right direction. After a short stalk, we spotted the Bull feeding, which seemed calmed by the safety of the fog. I was set up immediately onto the shooting sticks, waiting for the Bull to give us a shot. After waiting on him to clear some brush, he strolled out not far ahead of us. I took the shot, hitting him just behind the shoulder for a double lung shot. He ran about 40 yds where he went down. As they say, first one was in the salt.

    [​IMG]

    Day 4

    Sleeping was still a problem, and I was seriously considering whether I could do this for the entire length of the safari. I was not feeling well. Spirits was kept high, but the weather had its say again with strong winds howling across the face of the mountains. We visited one of Marius concessions in search for a Kudu. After spending some time there, with only cows and young bulls showing themselves, we got a call from Marius, who had been informed that some of the scouts had spotted a very nice Bushbuck ram, feeding not too far from the lodge on one of the ridges. After walking a fair distance, we got to the top of the adjacent ridge and glassed for the ram. It took us little time to spot him, and we set in pursuit in order to get into a good shooting position. After closing the distance between us to about 140 yds, we decided that it was a fair chance at taking a shot. After taking a seat, and getting set up on the short sticks, I put the crosshairs on the ram's shoulder and squeezed the shot off. Too high! With the suppressor taking the crack out of the blast, the ram ran a couple of yards giving us another chance. The second shot had missed again, and by this time I suspected that the rifle may have taken a bump losing its zero. After lunch, we set out to the range again to check the zero, which proved to be fine. I have no idea what could have gone wrong on the two shots, but was assured by the rest of the team that Cape Bushbuck has a tendency to do that to hunters. We returned to the concession and stood in a spot which produced about 12 Kudu, which walked right by us at approximately 40 yds. All of them cows. As they were in the sun, and we in the shade, they had a hard time to identify us. They kept looking back to the brush that they had just emerged from. Could it be the Bull behind them. Any second now, we were sure that he would present himself. A load and coarse bark by one of the cows broke the silence. We were had. On the way back , we spotted as nice Impala ram, which we stalked. The stalk was interrupted after Marius and the concession owner had spotted a nice Kudu Bull at one of the previous glassing places. We walked straight there and watched. By the time the Bull had presented himself, it was too dark for me to establish exactly where his shoulder was. He was a good Bull, but Murphy was having his way again. Tomorrow is another day!

    Day 5

    After being supplied by some mild seeping tablets by Marius videographer, I can say that I was feeling like a new man. After a good night's rest, I was feeling positive what the day held for us. We could not have asked for a better hunting day. We left early the morning in search of Kudu. We glassed a hillside for some time. It produced approximately 5 different Kudu Bulls, all which were too young to be classified as a trophy Bull. Two Kudu bulls were fighting below us in close vicinity of some Nyala, which were around every second corner. Since no big bulls were present, I was told to shoot one of the Kudu, which happened to be one of the young bulls busy fighting for his territory. The meat was to be used for camp, which was prepared for us for dinner, with some Impala fillets, roast potatoes with a mushroom and red wine sauce. Every night we were also treated with some traditional desserts. Straight after shooting the Kudu, Marius received information that they had spotted another Bushbuck ram from one of the lookout points. We did not spend much time after the Kudu that I had just shot, which was being attended to by my PH, Tertius Ferreira. Marius told us to get in the truck and we set out to the other side of the property in search of the ram. After a bit of walking, we got to the top of a ridge glassing for the ram. After a couple of minutes, we spotted him feeding at the bottom of the valley. The rangefinder gave it to us as 130 yds. After getting set up on the short sticks, waiting for him to give us a clear shot, we had to anticipate the relatively brisk breeze blowing square from right to left. The ram was facing to the right. Marius informed me that I should allow for 10 inches wind drift across the valley. I put the crosshairs horizontally in line with the ram's head, and half way up from its body. At the shot, the ram turned around , and walked into the closest brush , almost as if nothing had happened. The shot, although perfectly in line with the shoulder, went high again and just over the back of the ram. By this time, I was starting to think that Bushbuck really did have voodoo over their hunters.

    Day 6

    We set out early to one of Marius nearby concessions, still in search of a trophy Kudu bull and a nice Impala. We drove to some lookout points, searching for our quarry. The weather was atrocious. Cold winds were howling and made hunting difficult. Upon calling it for the morning session and heading back to the lodge for brunch, we ran into an Impala ram busy fighting with another ram. He was so busy, that he did not even hear the truck stop. We put in a quick stalk, all along the brush line, closing the distance to about 50 yds. Sticks were out, and I took aim. Well, the shot is still travelling, and so is the ram. How could I possibly have missed? I was missing the 300 Win Mag, which still had not surfaced. I was distraught and told Marius, that we should call it a day. On our way out of the concession, Marius stopped the truck and looked back at me. He asked me if he asked if I wanted the good news first or the bad news. Without knowing exactly what he was talking about, I told him to hit me with the bad news. He said, well, the bad news is that there is another Impala ram just ahead of us, and the good news was that we were going to go for it. After stopping the truck, we walked a short distance using the thick brush as cover. We stopped walking as there was about 3 young Warthog piglets feeding at about 10 yds away from us. As soon as they turned , we proceeded a further 5 yds , where we could see the Impala ewes entering a dry river bed. After about 30 ewes passed, the ram presented himself. By that time, the sticks were already out, and I was taking aim. The ram fed behind some trees , which felt like ages. He came out and stood broadside. At the shot, we could see he was hit hard. I reloaded, but it was clear that a second shot was not necessary. The ram ran a mere 30 yds before expiring under a thorn bush. At last our luck was starting to change.

    [​IMG]

    Day 7

    Marius left early to drop his client off at the airport. During this time, myself and Tertius set out to the same concession where I had shot the Impala the previous day, in search of a Warthog. We hunted hard looking for a nice boar. We found plenty of pigs, just not a decent sized boar. The plan was that once Marius returned from the airport that night, he would relieve Tertius, as due to the delay of my flights over to South Africa, Tertius had to attend other duties from the next day. Late in the afternoon, we spotted a decent boar feeding in between some cattle. It seemed that every time the boar presented a shot, there would be a cow in the line of fire. We were cautious of where the bullet could go resulting from pass through. After shifting a couple of times, we found a big tree straight behind the boar as a backstop, with no cows in sight. I took the shot hitting the boar on the shoulder dropping him in his tracks. Nice way to end the day. During the evening, Marius and I discussed a great deal and decided to swop the Kudu and Bushbuck for a Waterbuck. Sounded like a plan!

    [​IMG]

    Day 8

    We left early the morning with our packed lunch in hand, to one of Marius concessions which house many species, including White Rhino, Cape Buffalo, Sable, Bontebok, Red Hartbeest and Waterbuck. After an unsuccessful morning session, we stopped in a wooded area to take our brunch break. After getting comfortable, busy having lunch, some buffalo snorted from a distance, which made all of us uncomfortable. Luckily, they never showed face and we were allowed to enjoy our lunch. After lunch, Marius felt that it was time for a change in plan, and made a couple of calls to some of his other concessions for a Waterbuck. We arrived at the other concession and were given the go ahead to proceed. The wind was blowing strong and it was chilly. Getting up on some high grounds, we managed to spot some Waterbuck cows, but still no Bulls. We spotted some more Kudu cows, with young Bulls. After glassing about 3 slopes, we got to the top of a ridge with a steep descent. The tracker informed us that there was a Kudu bull feeding at the bottom. Marius had a quick look and told me immediately that it was a good bull and that I needed to make a decision. I said, let's go for it. We started our descent slowly, stopping every couple of yards to see if he was still there. He moved around a lot during his feeding, which made it easy for us to close the distance. We weaved through the brush, always trying to keep some cover between us and him. It took us approximately 40 minutes to move the 100 yds to the bottom. Marius spotted the bull bashing his horns in a bush an opening and that we would have about an 80 yard shot from the dirt road to where he was standing. As we tried to use the dirt road to close the gap, we were intercepted by a bachelor herd of Impala feeding. Was our luck ever going to change? We changed our route and went through the brush to stay out of sight from the Bull and the Impala, but could not move a quietly as we wanted to. Finally the Impala gave us a chance to make some quick yardage, as the light was fading quickly. We got it down to 140 yds. The Bull knew something was not right, only as a Kudu Bull's sense will allow it to know. He disappeared into the brush, looking in our direction with only his head and horns showing above the brush. We froze in our positions. Everything started to ache, but we had to keep still. The Bull moved out of the brush, trying to identify the danger. He barked loudly and looked in our direction. We stood motionless. He barked again, looking in our direction. He barked a third time, after which Marius put the sticks out and told me to get on them. The Bull stood slightly quartering towards us. Marius then supported my rear elbow and told me to take him. The shot cracked and the Bull went down. I had my Kudu! We loaded him on the truck and only got back to camp at about 8pm that night. What an end to a wonderful day!

    [​IMG]

    Day 9

    The final hunting day of my safari started the same way as when I arrived. Rain. The weather gods had not been kind to us the entire trip. We spent the day in front of a very cosy log fire to keep warm. We spent some time going over some hunt dvd's, which turned out very funny at how hard the guys try to promote certain brands. The weather would just break with some clear skies, giving us hope of some hunting time, only to dampen our moods again with another down pour. At around 5pm with half an hour of daylight remaining, we spotted two Bushbuck rams crossing a dirt road on their way to the river. The had made their way into some thick thorn thickets, bordering the river. We made a quick decent to the dirt road, walking slowly, trying to see through the thickets. First we spotted a Bushbuck ewe which surprised us all. After about 20 yds we spotted the first of the rams that crossed, which was the smaller one of the two, but a decent ram nonetheless. He ever gave us a chance, but we were not after him. Suddenly a black figure appeared not far from us in the thickets. We identified it as the ram we were looking for. He knew something was up, but was not quite sure what. We sat down in the dirt road, and got on the sticks ,waiting for an opportunity that he may present. He stood motionless. He was standing broadside and with a lot of cover between him and us. After what felt like ages, we manoeuvred into a position just wide enough to show part of his shoulder through all of the thick stuck. I took aim. We had approximately 5 minutes of usable light left. At the shot, we could clearly hear the bullet hitting some twigs, which were obviously not visible to us at that time of the afternoon. The bullet deflected and the ram ran off barking at us, showing his dissatisfaction. It would have been an awesome way to end of the safari, but it was not meant to be. At least now I have an excuse to get back to Eastern Cape and get myself one of those Bushbuck.

    Marius runs a first class operation. He knows the habits of the animals and is a great hunter himself. He is very environmentally minded and a conservationist. My PH was Tertius Ferreira. He was very safety minded, along with being a very good hunter and conservationist. He always had the hunters welfare first. I felt very conferrable with him, even when I missed! The food was great and lots of it. I liked the Kudu and Impala. Some of the best eating I have had. The rooms were clean and comfortable. The thing that I will always remember was what Marius told me, å…¸HIS IS YOUR HUNT AND I WILL DO WHATEVER IT TAKES TO MAKE IT A HUNT OF A LIFETIME. What more could you ask for? And it was. I will be back!!

    Take care,
    Harold
     
  2. James.Grage

    James.Grage GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Harold

    good story...another good report and it appears you have a better than good time...

    Looks like the sleep issue was there for you and you learned a good lesson on what to do in the future...

    Make sure you add your report to the outfitter section for future reference..

    Do you have any additional pictures you would like to share with us?
     
  3. Nyati

    Nyati AH Legend

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    Thanks for your report, and congratulations for a good hunt !
     
  4. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    Thanks for the hunt report! Marius is really great PH, hope to hunt with him in the future!
     
  5. Wolverine67

    Wolverine67 AH Fanatic

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    Thanks for a great hunt report, nice cape kudu. And you got a nyala!
     
  6. Bobpuckett

    Bobpuckett GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Congrats on a fine hunt and a good reading report. You've got a good start on a Spiral Horn Slam.
     
  7. monish

    monish AH Elite

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    Hi Harold,

    Thanks for sharing brilliant hunt report & lovely trophy picture, no doubt , it would remain the hunt of your life time ... Congratulations...

    Monish
     
  8. timbear

    timbear AH Enthusiast

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    Nicely written report! It sounds like you had a great hunt. I particularly like the fact that, despite Murphy dogging a lot of your steps, you kept a positive attitude and enjoyed yourself. That's the way to go!
     
  9. HaroldD

    HaroldD New Member

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    Thanks for the nice comments, It was truly a great hunt. I have a few more pictures to post soon. I can't waite to go back! Harold
     
  10. AfricaHunting.com

    AfricaHunting.com FOUNDER AH Ambassador

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    Thanks for sharing your safari with us Harold, great hunt report!
     
  11. HaroldD

    HaroldD New Member

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    Thanks Jerome, had a great hunt, ready to go back! Thanks for the great site it helped me greatly getting ready for my hunt. Thanks, Harold
     
  12. KMG Hunting Safaris

    KMG Hunting Safaris SPONSOR AH Elite

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    Harold,
    Thanks for taking the time to write the report. It was absolutley our pleasure to have you hunting with us, and as Piglet and Polecat say, you are an absolute legend!

    Cheers,
    Goose
     
  13. TERMINATOR

    TERMINATOR AH Enthusiast

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    I am looking forward to hunting with Marius next May and helping him control his Nyala population! :)
     

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