7 day hunt. The list, Kudu, Gemsbok, Impala, Coin toss on Blesbok or Warthog. The place-- Haaspoort Bush Camp. A 15 minute drive off the main road thru multiple gates. The complex is a group of private Chalets linked together by winding gravel paths. ( Check out the website), Arrive late to Port Elizabeth and get to Haaspoort with only time to settle in, have dinner and get some sleep for an early start. Up early to one of Lindsay's spectacular breakfasts and then to the gun range. Using Victors Supressed SAKO .270 with 150 gr Sierra Game King handloads. Conditions are unexpeected, big gusty swirling 15 -20 mph winds and temps in the 50's, shooting an unfamiliar gun in sticks I've never seen before. The inevitable " under the microscope" nerves take hold. Mitchell runs out a cardboard square with a small paper bullseye target that blows over twice as Victor screws on the silencer and hands me the rifle. Being 6'3" the sticks are a bit low, so I'm crouched over, cross wind blowing,and eyes beginning to water as I try an position to get the scope picture. Unfamiliar trigger so the first one pulls wide left. ( SHIT!). Work the bolt and try an relax, control breathing, squeeze and (SHIT) wide right. I catch Victor and Mitchel out of the corner of my eye and swear i can see the eye rolls silently saying " this is gonna be a tough 7 days". Victor blurts out, " OK, get down to the low sticks and shoot sitting". Fine, more stable now even with the gusting cold wind and by the third shot I feel the trigger now and send one 2" high and 2" right of the bull. Can feel the palpable relief not only from me, but the observers. "ok, one more Ted". Drop the Second 1.5" high and 1" right. Gun sighted for 1.5" at 100 so everyone is satisfied. Back in the truck and the Impala hunt starts. 15 mins later Jacob taps the roof from the truck bed and we stop. The heard is about 250 to our left grazing with the wind in our face. WE get out, grab the rifle and Victor says " this way" and we start walking opposite, away from the herd. Down into a dry river bed of ankle busting rocks like the Martian landscape, to circle around out of sight to come up on them on the right behind some low bush and trees for cover--wind still ok. . Walking along the 200 yards with my ankles rocking back and forth like a 12 month old's first steps and kicking myself in the ass for not spending more time in the gym, then we're clambering up steep river banks through thorn bushes and stalk to about 120 yds behind a tree. Victor glasses for a minute or 2 and then hurriedly says " ok brace on the tree , its the 3rd from the left, COME ON!" I find a rest, get on the scope, ( damn, 8 power) and start scanning the herd for the one he's talking about. Find it, settle down, and another one walks in front and block the one we want. "HOLD ON"--waiting, they meander around, then start moving off! Wind shifted DAMN, and by the time the shot is clear its over 300 and I know Victor is not confident I can make the shot so he says "Ok, lets call in the truck and try something else." SO he sends Jacob and Mitchel off after the herd and he and I circle to another location. We get there and he sits us under a tree about 50 yards off the road. Pointing toward a ravine about 290 away that then rises up into a treed hill--" mitchell and Jacob are pushing them to us, keep an eye out over there". 30 minutes later we see a few come through the woods. " LETS GO" he says and we're on our feet crouch running in the open, rock strewn ankle busting field to get closer. "I'm taping my ankles tomorrow!!) We get about about 50 yards closer and Victor abruptly pulls up, slams down the sticks and says " Get Ready". As the rest of the herd slowly drifts out of the woods Victor does the whisper scream thing "THERE!! THE ONE FACING RIGHT, NEXT TO THE THORN BUSH! So, I do my best "zen" relax i can do and I have him in the scope. I ask " Range" and Victor says "Hold dead on and just shoot!!!" I think " Ok' a little testy but" crosshair just behind the shoulder, I squeeze the trigger, much more comfortable now, hear the crack, I see it shudder and I could swear he should just drop-- but spins 180 and start running and as I'm saying "SHIT" Victor is slapping my back and exclaims "GREAT SHOT TED!! Now thoroughly confused he says to me " Those are tougher than people think, he's down in the bush no more that 20 yards away from where you hit him, when Mitchel and Jacob get here we'll get him" After 20 minutes of seeing them go back and forth from the bush to the shot location for the blood trail, they disappear and 5 minutes later come up the side of the ravine smiling and carrying him in. Victor almost giggles " he's big Ted, congratulations". THe posing and back slaps and handshaking and pictures ensue, and everyone smiling in the truck now, I go with, to the skinning shed and watch to masterful pros, skin and cape this Impala out and get it in the salt bed. Back to camp, clean up and hit the LAPA for drinks and recapping the day, trading barbs on scaring Victor on whether I could shoot or not and then drilling the Impala at about 240--and enjoying an amazing Lamb stew dinner and fine wine by Lindsay and the staff during which we're asked " do you guys like Game meat?" TOMORROW--The GEMSBOK!