On June 20th a friend of mine, his sons, my wife, and I headed toward South Africa to fulfill a life long dream. There were a couple of bumps in the road (flight delays) getting to Washington D.C., but we made our international flight and were on our way. The only thing I can say about the trip getting to Joburg is that I was very glad when it was over. Our party had taken our outfitter's (Kiley Matthews) advice and had arranged for Riflepermits.com to greet us and assist with the importation of our rifles. Everything went smoothly and I was completely satisfied with their excellent service. Kiley had also arranged transportation to the Linga Longa guest house where we spent the night. Salo and Graham were wonderful hosts. The rooms were clean and neat and we enjoyed a beer at the outdoor bar while waiting for supper. The cool evening was a nice change from the triple digit highs we'd been having in west Texas. We met my PH, Chris Lordan, and his lovely wife Wilma there. The supper Salo cooked for us was outstanding!! We were all tired and didn't spend alot of time visiting afterwards. A quick shower and a good nights sleep was just what the doctor ordered. We had a very nice breakfast, thanked our hosts, loaded up our things, and headed out the next morning. The drive to our lodge was nice, as we had time to visit with Chris and start getting to know him. None of us had been to Africa before and we must have asked him a thousand questions. After a year and a half of planning it was hard to believe that we were finally there. After we arrived at the lodge we unloaded our gear, met the two other PH's who would be with our party (David Thomas and Christian du Plooy), and went to check our rifles. I brought a Savage 116 Weather Warrior in 338 Win. Mag. It came equipped with the accu-trigger and accu-stock. I topped it with a 3 X 9 Trijicon scope and had developed a hand load for it using 225 gr. Barnes TTSX bullets. I could usually keep 3 shots in one hole at 100 yds and had sighted it in to be dead on at 200 yds. We made a couple of minor adjustments to our scopes and returned to the lodge for a great supper of oxtail soup, pap, salad, vegetables, and malva pudding with custard on top for dessert. Kiley had said our meals would be top notch and she didn't exaggerate. We had drinks around the fire pit, looked at the stars (making sure I could find the Southern Cross), and headed off to bed. The next morning we were in the kitchen at 6 for a quick breakfast and ready to head out around 6:20. My wife Christy, Chris, Phineas (our tracker), Beryl (Chris' Jack Russel terrier tracking dog) and I left in Chris' truck for a short drive to the first property we were going to hunt. We picked up the land owner’s son, Stephan, and started hunting. My hunting list had kudu, impala, warthog, blesbuck, zebra, gemsbok, and blue wildebeest on it. Chris said we were going to start hunting for the kudu and take any of the other animals if/as we had the opportunity. From reading before the trip and talking to Chris once we arrived I knew that getting a good kudu bull in seven days could be to be tough. As we made our way to a high point on the property to glass we stopped and hung ¼ of a zebra in a tree that Chris had been baiting for an upcoming leopard hunt. Chris had asked me if this was OK earlier and I had readily agreed. This was going to be a wonderful adventure and I wanted to soak up every experience I could. We glassed from the top of a hill and saw some game, but nothing we wanted to pursue. Driving around the property we saw many different species, including kudu cows with their calves, but didn’t find anything to shoot. At lunch time we returned to Stephan’s house where we relaxed on the patio and had a sandwich lunch. After lunch we drove to a water hole where Chris, Christy, and I set up under some trees. One of the trees had a low branch that made a perfect rest for my rifle. We saw impala ewes and lambs, kudu cows and calves, warthog sows and piglets, and nyala cows and calves. After about an hour a nice impala ram came in. I took aim and let the bullet fly as soon as Chris told me it was a shooter. The ram took off like the proverbial scalded ape. I felt good about the shot, but was nervous because of the lack of reaction and speed that the ram took off. We found it dead 80-100 yds from where I shot it and I enjoyed my first congratulatory hand shake. My shot had went right where I’d aimed. I was on cloud 9!! We took pictures, loaded up my trophy, and returned to our spot to continue the hunt. We didn’t see any other animals worth a shot and got back in the truck later that afternoon. We started driving the property again. I am still amazed at how large some of the properties are. Later in the afternoon we saw a fantastic red hartebeest and was offer the chance to stalk it, but declined. Chris had in mind to return to a hilly part of the property where we had seen some kudu cows and calves that morning, but Stefan told him he had seen a couple of nice bulls in another area. We went in the direction Stephan suggested and eventually spotted a nice kudu bull in the path along the fence about 500 away. I got my rifle up and ready as Chris evaluated the bull and we crept forward. The bull saw us but didn’t take off, as there was another bull across the fence on a different property that he really wanted to lock horns with. When we got to about 225-250 yds away from the bull Chris had Phineas stop the truck. I took a good rested aim over the cab of the truck and squeezed the trigger when Chris told me. I reloaded and when I got my scope back on the bull he had turned and was walking into the brush beside the road. He came out of the brush about 25-35 yds from where he’d walked into it. I fired again and the bull walked behind some more brush. We drove up to where the bull had been when I took my first shot. We tracked it to where it had been when I fired the second time and saw it laying dead 25-30 yds away. I said a quick prayer of thanks and accepted another congratulatory hand shake. Both of my shots had been spot on. My first bullet had come to a stop just under the hide on the off side shoulder and the second one had completely penetrated. We set up, took pictures, measured the bull, and got it loaded just as the sun started going down. Chris had originally estimated the bull at 52-53” but realized it was bigger as we walked up. The longer horn measured 56” and is a fabulous trophy!!! If I had been on cloud 9 before, I was on cloud 10 now. It was still hard to believe that I was hunting in Africa, let alone that I had taken 2 great trophies the first day. After returning to the lodge we enjoyed a supper of Moroccan soup, wildebeest casserole, homemade bread, beer muffins, potato salad, beet root salad, vegetables, spicy rice, and citrus cake with custard for dessert. We enjoyed some drinks and story telling around the fire before turning in for the night. I’ll post more of the hunt as I have time to write it up.