SOUTH AFRICA: Hunt with Wintershoek / Johnny Vivier Safaris

Discussion in 'Hunting Reports' started by Wolverine67, Sep 2, 2011.

  1. Wolverine67

    Wolverine67 AH Fanatic

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    Just came back from a fantastic hunting trip to North Cape with Wintershoek/Johnny Vivier safaris. The expectations was high for this 6 days hunting trip,
    and I have to say that the trip was exeptional. The areas, the lodges and all the rest was amazing.

    I started my hunt at Wintershoek game reserve, wich is situated about 60 km south of Kimberley. This area is a mix of open plains and hills with thornbush.
    I met up with one of the owner, Wiaan van der Linde and the Norwegian agent Tom Jensen and his wife Bente Jensen and after dinner we went for a drink in the lapa.

    The first hunting morning was pretty cold and I was glad to do some walk and stalk instead of sitting in the back of the truck. We started to follow some eland tracks,
    but it wasnt long before we discovered some kudus on a hill. There was a nice bull there and my PH Ivan asked me if I wanted to try him. The range was about
    300 meter and it was not possible to come closer. I did a bad shot, forgetting that I was shooting 175 grains bullet instead of my usual 160 grain and manage to
    shoot the kudus leg off. To make a long story short, after several hours and a excellent tracking job, we came close enough to let me finish him off. I was very
    happy to end his suffering and to get a very nice kudu. We never meashered him but I think he scores between 45 and 47 inches. A beautiful kudu, even if he was
    quite skinny after the winter.

    [​IMG]

    In the afternoon, after a fantastic dinner, we gathered in the lapa for a drink and I met Johnny Vivier, a fantastic guy with a lot of storys to tell.
    I was supposed to hunt for three days at Wintershoek and three days at Thuru lodge, but because there was coming a lot of people to Wintershoek, Wiaan asked me if it
    was ok for me to go for Thuru already the next day. That was ok for me and because of this Wiaan gave me a compensation, he said I could take a animal for free, so I
    happily thanks him and said I would take a steenbuck. That was really a nice thing to do, thank you very much Wiaan! :)

    So the next morning I went for Thuru lodge wich is situated about 300 km furter west and about 100 km south of Upington. This is in the green Kalahari. We made a short
    stop in Douglas, where I met co-owner Hennie Gouws and his wife. Hennies daughter and son in lord, Mardoret and Braam Bekker drove me the rest of the way to Thuru.
    Mardoret and Braam are the daily managers of Thuru lodge and Brulpan farm. Very,very nice people all of them :)

    The lodge at Wintershoek game reserve is a 5 star, very nice lodge, but I have to say that I fell in love in Thuru lodge, fantastic!

    After a welcome drink I settled in in my suite and we went for lunch, where I met up with my PH, Jacques Taljaard.

    After lunch, I get to meet driver and tracker Poulkie. We went out hunting in an amazing landscape, open grassy semi desert with some bush and mountains. A lot of spotting
    from the vehicle and we soon found a herd of black wildebeest wich was on my list. Since the landscape was so open, the stalk was quite challenging. But after 2-300 meters
    stalk on our bottoms and knees with barely more than grass to hide in, we manage to get in at 120 meters range and I took I shot at the best bull in the herd. he was lying
    down and quartering away from me, but with one follow up shot I got him. I nice old bull with massive bosses on his horn.

    [​IMG]

    After the usual ritual with photos and so on, we drove further into the desert. We soon found a herd of Kalahari springbuck with a couple of good rams. Once again I manage
    to do a bad shot, missed on the ram on a range about 200 meter. But after a a while we manage to sneak up on the herd and I took the ram with a shot trough the shoulder.

    [​IMG]

    With that my first hunting day at Brulpan was ended.

    The next morning, I soon spotted a nice steenbuck from the bakkie, and I took him with a 100 meters shot trough the tall grass. Very nice trophie and once again
    thank you Wiaan! If I dont remember wrong he measured 4 3/4 inch. That one will be a full mount.

    [​IMG]

    I will come back and tell you the rest of the story later...
     
  2. messmate

    messmate AH Veteran

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    Some nice animals there & good shape on that Kudu. I think the black wilderbeast will be one I'll try for when I go back. Look forward to the rest of your story. Thanks.
     
  3. 35bore

    35bore AH Elite

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    Really nice animals, sound like a great time, congrats. looking forward to the rest as well.
     
  4. Wolverine67

    Wolverine67 AH Fanatic

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    After the photosession with the steenbuck, we went looking for eland or gemsbok. We found a herd of gemsbok and started the stalk. Actually our stalk was too successfull, because suddenly a bull and a cow gemsbok jumped up at 30 meter. I could not do the shot quicly enough and the whole herd took off and disappeared.

    When we was looking for this herd we discovered a herd of eland and started to stalk at them. We quickly came up to about 250 meter away from the eland herd and I could see that the biggest bull was standing by himself on the right side. I asked Jacques if that was the one and he replyed yes. Sitting down I took the shot from about 250 meter and hit him low behind the shoulder. It was obvious that the 7mm RemMag had done good work, because the bull slowly walked away 50 meter and fell over kicking dust. When we came up to him he was dead. I could see that it was a big bull and Jacques measured him to 36 1/4 inch if I dont remember wrongly. That would get him into the RW recordbook. An amazing animal and one of my dreams came true!

    [​IMG]

    I heard later that day that the suspension on the truck they came with to pick the bull up, breaked down on their way back to the lodge!

    Later we went looking for the gemsbok herd again, but we could not find them. We had lunch out in the desert when I discovered two gemsbok agains the skyline about 3 km away. We finished lunch and agreed that we had to stalk them on foot. When we came up on the ridge the bulls was gone. We found them again on the other side, but they was spooked and went over the valley and over the next ridge. We walked after and found them again. This time we could get into about 300 meter and I sat down, waiting for them to turn broadside. After 50 minutes the biggest one finally came closer and turned broadside. The range was about 250 meter and I dropped him on the spot with a good shoulderhit. A beautiful old bull and an amazing hunt. 8 km stalk and 50 minutes waiting to get the shot.

    [​IMG]

    That ended what I consider to be my best hunting day ever. We drove back for a sundowner in the red sanddunes and a very nice dinner also out in the dunes. The sunset was amazing and made the day perfect.

    The next day I relaxed with some swimming, sitting in the sun and got a nice massage in the spa....:) Luxurious! After lunch I had enough of the relaxing so I decided to do what I came for, hunting! Jacques told I could shoot a couple of springbucs for free if I wanted. Do I want that...:) There was a couple of Kalahari springbucks among a herd of white springbucks, they wanted to remove. But I had to shoot them in the head! I think maybe the carcasses was to be sold? Anyway we soon found the white herds and after a couple of misses on real long range I finally dropped the ram with a shot to the head between the eyes at 300 meters range. In another herd was the ewe they wanted away. We came up to them and I took a shot at 300 meter, the bullet deflected in a bush and hit the leg, of course.... I told Jacques the he should try, and he dropped her with a nice headshot. I said to him that I had to put the brake on her first.. The ewe was typical kalahari springbuck, but the ram I shot was more like an intermediate type, with pale colours.

    [​IMG]

    That ended another fantastic day at Brulpan

    The next day we went out looking for a nice blesbuck, and sure enough, we soon found some good ones. Passed up on a big one because the tip of the horn was broken off. Found three other rams and started to stalk along a ditch cowered with blackthorn. A little extra exitement to the stalk was when we found fresh buffalo tracks in the ditch.. We came into 300 - 400 meter and it was not possible to get closer. Jacques estimated the range to 300 meter. I took the shot and surely enough I shot his leg off! Another shot, miss, another one and a hit low in the chestbone. I think the range was closer to 350 meter? The ram disappered and we went after him. A lot of blood made the tracking easy and we soon followed him over a ridge and came up to him around 100 meter away. I dropped him with a neckshot. Still Jacques had to finish him with his knife, tough animals..Yet the hit in the chestbone would have killed him if it had been 1 cm higher.. Well anyway he was dead and I was exited.

    [​IMG]

    Actually on this point I was finished with my hunt, but I still had one more day and I decided to try for a fallowdeer, that had to be hunted on another property from blinds. That was only because I wanted to do something different. I said to Jacques that he should bring his bow as well, since I newer had been bowhunting and I wanted to see that.

    So early next day we went for Linksfontein to try out this plan. To make a long story short, we saw a lot of animals from the blind, but no fallowdeer. We tryed again the next morning, the day I was supposed to go home. We never saw any fallowdeer, so I decided to take an impala, just minutes before I had to pack up my stuff and leave. I dropped a nice impala at 100 meter range and was pleased with that.

    [​IMG]

    So now my adventure was over and it was time to leave for home, sad but true. But I think I will go back some time, maybe with my wife. I am sure she will love Thuru lodge and Brulpan!

    On this trip I brought my own Remington 700, 7 mm RemMag. I used 175 grain Federal Fusion ammo. Frankly I dont know if its worth it because there was alot of trouble at Johannesburg with the rifle and the security people wanted "cold drinks" both time!

    I can not tell you how much I loved Thuru lodge and Brulpan. The other lodges was very nice as well and I can recommend Wintershoek/Johnny Vivier safaris highly!
     
  5. Nyati

    Nyati AH Legend

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    Thanks for the report, and congratulations on your hunt !
     
  6. AfricaHunting.com

    AfricaHunting.com FOUNDER AH Ambassador

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    Thanks for posting your hunt report and trophy pictures Wolverine67! Glad you had a great hunting safari.
     
  7. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    What a great hunting report! Thanks for the great pictures! I'm jealous of your steenbok and cape eland :).
     
  8. James.Grage

    James.Grage GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Wolverine

    Sound like a great adventure to go with your Safari...

    Your photos and big smiles led me to believe that you had a great time...

    When you have a chance would you add a clip to the outfitter section for your outfitter....for others to use in the future...

    I like the Eland and Kudu...
     
  9. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Wolverine, thanks for the report and the stories.
    Being flexible in your plans with your outfitter and PH sure helped.
    Congrats on your trophies.
     
  10. Bobpuckett

    Bobpuckett GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Trond thats a Great Hunt that Eland is outstanding whats the plan for next year maybe a Nyala and Bushbuck to finish your Spiral Horn Slam. You did Good Wish I could have been there sure sounds like fun.
     
  11. Wolverine67

    Wolverine67 AH Fanatic

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    Thanks everybody. James, I have added a short rewiev and a rating in the outfittersection. Thanks Bob, yes a nyala and a bushbuck is high on my wishlist. We will have to see what it comes to. I guess you are well into planning your hunt in may? And yes you should have been with me.. A lot of fun, thats for sure.:D
     
  12. Bobpuckett

    Bobpuckett GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Trond I never thought to ask are you having the Taxidermy work done in South Africa or are you having them shipped home to have them done? Bob
     
  13. Wolverine67

    Wolverine67 AH Fanatic

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    Hi Bob
    I do my taxidermy work in South Africa. It is a lot cheaper, and they do outstanding work most places. Splitting image (Grahamstown)has done the work from my first trip, and those trophies are now on they way to me. San taxidermy, wich is a part of Wintershoek / Johnny Vivier safaris are doing the work on the trophies from this trip. Maybe its easier to take the trophies home dipped and packed and let someone at home do the work, but so far I havent had any problems (of course I havent seen my trophies yet), but it would have costed me about twice the price at home.

    Trond
     
  14. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    Trond, Splitting Image Taxidermy did the taxidermy on my last trip to Africa. They did a great job!
     
  15. Wolverine67

    Wolverine67 AH Fanatic

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    Thanks Bob, good to hear. Guess I will get this trophies on a plane from Johannesburg on monday or tuesday. Should have them at my home by the end of next week.
    Trond
     
  16. Bobpuckett

    Bobpuckett GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Be sure to Post some pics I would love to see them. Bob
     

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