SOUTH AFRICA: KWALATA WILDERNESS OUTSTANDING HUNT WITH JACO STRAUSS

Discussion in 'Hunting Reports' started by arizona, May 13, 2012.

  1. arizona

    arizona SILVER SUPPORTER AH Veteran

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    Hunting Report Kwalata Wilderness.
    After being a very active hunter for most of my life in the U S and Canada, taken Alaska Brown Bear, record book Moose and Caribou in Alaska, hunted big whitetails in Alberta and Saskatchewan, and many years of elk, mule deer, Coues whitetails and antelope in my home state of Arizona, I had an injury that made hunting the way I wanted to hunt impossible for almost 20 years. I was a spot and stalk hunter, and when I felt my body would cooperate with a minimal amount of pain, I wanted to again pursue the quest of a true adventure, no canned hunts, just not for me, I wanted to do a hunt on large enough property to have the experience of working hard to take a mature Kudu bull. My other requirement was I didn't want to hunt a camp that had a lot of other hunters with the feeling of a factory operation. In my first contact with Jaco Strauss proved that he was like minded and hunted hard yet had fun doing it. He understood that the actual taking of an animal was secondary to me, with the whole African experience being the primary. After working out the daily rate, and with a very short list of animals that I wanted to hunt, Kudu and Gemsbok, the hunt was booked for the first week of May 2012.
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    The pre hunt communication was very good and the planning went smoothly. After a flight from home in Phoenix AZ to Dulles in D.C. and the SAA flight to Johannesburg, I was met at the airport by Reinhard and Caroline Heuser owners of Kwalata, during the ride to Kwalata, I found my hosts to be wonderful, genuine people with the ability to make you feel like old friends within a short time.
    Someone on this site said you can tell very quickly if you are in a happy camp or a sour camp, very true, this is a happy, professional, fun loving, camp where everybody enjoys what they do and it shows. The facilities and equipment is top notch, very clean and well maintained.
     
  2. arizona

    arizona SILVER SUPPORTER AH Veteran

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    THE HUNT
    蜈クthe only thing canned about this hunt is the can of woopass these mountains opened up on me a quote by me on the third day of pursuing Kudu in the Waterburg Mountains. As the hunt progressed, a great amount of land was covered on foot, with glassing and stalking, lots of game was sighted and a good amount of Kudu were active as the rut was on then, many young bulls were spotted the occasional glimpse of the type of bull I was looking for, mature, older 55? were spotted but either passed on or we were busted during the stalk. The hunting in the mountains is tough, the elevation is only 5-6000 feet, but it is extremely rocky in many areas, where footing is always at angles and makes the going hard. At last it came together and there were three very good bulls with cows on a mountainside about 130 yards away, The bull was selected after looking at of them over for some time, Jaco set up the sticks for me and I sent a 180 grain round out of my 300 win mag on its way. The bull was hit, went down, rolled over ? and got back up! The bull was out of view in seconds and a very long tracking job was on, in spite of everyonesエ best efforts the blood trail dried up and he was lost.
    View attachment 11256

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  3. arizona

    arizona SILVER SUPPORTER AH Veteran

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    I was devastated, I had only lost one animal before and that was an Arizona pronghorn antelope that was hit well but the bullet failed and that haunts me still today. What happened? Well , operator error happened, call it Kudu fever or rust from not hunting for 20 years, I shot too high, although I had plenty of practice at the range and could punch paper very well , I failed to heed all the advice to practice shooting off shooting sticks and doing some practical small game or varmint hunting. To make it worst I saw 3 Kudu bulls over 55 that same afternoon.
    The following day found me going after Impala and trying to regain some confidence. Late afternoon provided an opportunity to drop a very good Impala in its tracks.
    View attachment 11258
    A day later Jaco put me on a great Gemsbok bull.

    gemsbok.jpg
     
  4. arizona

    arizona SILVER SUPPORTER AH Veteran

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    Following that a waterbuck was spotted that I just had try for, after a long stalk, it presented a shot, after a short tracking job (it seemed like an eternity) Jaco's dog Binka did us proud and found him.
    The rest of the hunt was spent trying to get another Kudu, and although we hunted hard for the entire 7 days it was not in the cards for me.
    What happened next really cemented my feelings toward Jaco. The following day, Jaco was going to take me to the airport for my flight home, that evening he asked if I wanted to try again for a few hours to hunt Kudu in the morning, if we worked it right we could still make the flight that afternoon. This was the 8th day, I had already had my time I agreed to, yet there we were at 6 a.m. on the day of my flight home, going as hard as we could for a Kudu for me. We worked it hard and had a chance for a really nice last minute bull, but the stalks proved unsuccessful. Now that's hardcore hunting!
    This speaks volumes about the kind of person Jaco is. I will be back for my Kudu
    I have some wonderful new friends in South Africa.
    My special thanks to Jaco Strauss my PH, to Reinard and Caroline Heuser owners and PH's, AJ manager and PH, Carl Corder Cameraman, Willie my tracker.


    View attachment 11260

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    Waterbuck
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    Python along a dirt road at Kwalata
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  5. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Arizona, it sounds like you worked your butt off.
    Kudu fever is a prevalent disease. Been there.
    Nice trophies and too bad on that Kudu.

    Darn man, buy some Bamboo and duct tape and make a set and go practice. :)

    Jaco, absolutely nothing beyond what I would expect from you in effort. Well done.

    Thanks for the story.
     
  6. James.Grage

    James.Grage GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Arizona

    Over all, Sound like you had a good time
     
  7. arizona

    arizona SILVER SUPPORTER AH Veteran

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    good advise, i will do just that. :huntingrifle:
     
  8. Stretch

    Stretch AH Fanatic

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    What a great hunt you had! The reward is in the pursuit. I am very happy for you.

    Jaco - Kudos to you.
     
  9. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    Thanks for the pictures and stories!
     
  10. spike.t

    spike.t GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    sounds like you had a great time, and jaco did an excellent job, well done to both of you,
     
  11. Nyati

    Nyati AH Legend

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    Well, you did get some nice trophies and had a great time. Congratulations !

    There will be another day for the kudu.

    Thanks for the report.
     
  12. adgunner

    adgunner SILVER SUPPORTER AH Veteran

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    Thanks for the report, Sorry about the Kudu, but it sounds like you had a great time hunting with Jaco!
     
  13. Bobpuckett

    Bobpuckett GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Great story and Pics, Jaco job well done. Congrats on a great hunt.
     
  14. Wolverine67

    Wolverine67 AH Fanatic

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    Thanks for sharing. Sounds like you had a real hunt. About the kudu, well it happens for everyone sooner or later. If you never wounded an animal, you probably has not hunted much.. Now you have an excellent excuse for going back.
     
  15. 35bore

    35bore AH Elite

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    Another satisfied customer, well done Jaco.
     
  16. messmate

    messmate AH Veteran

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    Good report & some great trophies...lovely waterbuck. I'm hunting Kwalata in July with Jaco....will send you a p.m.
     
  17. Jaco Strauss

    Jaco Strauss AH Elite

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    Arizona aka John, Thank you so much for trusting me with your safari dreams, your kind words are truly humbling and I truly do appreciate it.

    It was an awesome experience to share together and I truly hope to see you in Jan, Feb and March while I am in the US.
    Thanks for choosing myself and Kwalata Wilderness.

    My very best always.
     

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