SOUTH AFRICA: Marius Goosen and KMG Safaris

Discussion in 'Hunting Reports' started by postoak, Jun 15, 2013.

  1. postoak

    postoak AH Senior Member

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    I just got back from a seven day hunt with Marius Goosen and his KMG safaris! I had an absolutely great time. Marius is a great guy, as is all of his crew of PHs. I took Waterbuck, bushbuck, eland, nyala, black wildebeest, red hartebeest, springbok, and blesbok. It was just a great, great trip, and I'm already planning my next trip!
     
  2. Wheels

    Wheels GOLD SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    Glad you had a great hunt. Can you post pics and do a report.
     
  3. BnC 04

    BnC 04 TITANIUM SUPPORTER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    Congrads on having a great trip! Looking forward to hearing the details and seeing some pictures.
     
  4. Nyati

    Nyati AH Legend

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    Congrats on your hunt, now we need lots of pics :thumb:
     
  5. postoak

    postoak AH Senior Member

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    Pictures will have to wait -- too tired. But here's a brief report, mainly concerned with my shooting and the hunting tactics.

    The only hunting I've done besides in Africa is Texas whitetails. This is boring -- sitting in a blind over a corn feeder, or, more commonly for me, just sitting over a field or on a game trail. The enjoyable thing about Africa is that you actually get to do stalks and employ tactics. I took over a Remington 700 XCR II RMEF edition in 300 Winchester Magnum with hand loaded 200 grain Barnes TSX bullets loaded to approximately 2825 fps. I sighted in the rifle at 100 yards, having memorized hold-over figures for 200 and 300 yards. However, my pre-hunt work with a Primus Trigger Stick tripod convinced me that I'm just not a very good shot (despite being able to shoot good groups off sandbags on the range; I can hit a tin can at 100 yards about 2/3rds of the time. So, I was hoping for 100 yard shots over there but that was not to be. Anyway, the reason for the 200 grainers was I wanted penetration on that eland, and wasn't concerned about long-range flat trajectories.

    Since this is my second trip to Africa (first time KZN), I knew what I was getting into in going to the East Cape and that is exactly what I got, game ranches, fences, and highways within hearing distance. This is the only down-side to the trip, but I knew this going in -- I balanced that against the possibility of collecting a good number of species at a reasonable price.

    After being greeted by Marius and sighting in our rifles, I was introduced to Louw Pietersie, 36 years old, and a qualified dangerous game PH. Over the next seven days he saved my bacon on game, as will be seen below.

    Day 1:
    First up was a waterbuck. I had seen these in KZN and been impressed with them. We headed to a ranch about one hour away from our lodge over-looking the Great Fish River (northeast of Grahamstown). After going thru many gates on the ranch, as we approached a dwelling where we were to pick up our local guide, Louw (who has incredible eyes) spotted a group of waterbucks, including a bull, in the field in front of the guide's dwelling, approximately 250 meters from us, and all looking at us. The wind was blowing from us to them, and they were alert. Despite my 100 yards limitation, I was mulling over the idea of taking a shot, when the local guide came up and a stalk was quickly planned. He took off at a very quick walk (I'm 6' 1" (187 cm) and had trouble keeping up) in a large semi-circle. At one point we had to clamber up a 30-40 foot rise, and he never even slowed. I OTOH, was out of breath and almost felt sick to my stomach. (I had done NO physical conditioning for this hunt, and live on the flatlands of the Gulf coast.) Anyway, the guide took us exactly to where we had a broadside view of the animals at 100 meters. I aimed for the shoulder, as is always requested, but hit just behind the shoulder, and half way up the body. To my surprise, instead of crashing down on the spot, the animal sprinted toward us and hid in a thicket. Reloading and climbing back down the rise, we approached the thicket and I got my second ever running shot on game. My bullet entered his haunch and then exited and grazed his side for about two feet. My second shot was wild. The animal was approaching the woods at the side of the field when he suddenly crashed down. I pulled up alongside of him at 25 meters or so and sent another bullet thru his body. He was still moving so I put my final shot thru his neck. This was one tough animal! All bullets punched right on thru. We still weren't done. That afternoon, we looked for Eland. We saw one, and planned a walking drive down a canyon, with me and Louw driving around to the opening of the canyon where we took up a position. But the animal and his companion exited the canyon on the side.

    Day 2
    This was Bushbuck morning, and an entirely different type hunt. One of the most tedious I've ever done, in fact. We walked about 400 yards along the top of a ridge with a view of the slope on the opposite side of the intervening ravine between us. The slope was covered heavily with low shrubs, and at first I thought they were joking when they said we would expect to see the game there, but no, for 4 1/4 hours my PH, the local guide, our tracker, and I scoped this hillside. Eventually, we began to see ewe bushbucks in the little clearings that were evident with binoculars. The range was long -- 200 meters -- when the first good ram was spotted, but I hemmed and hawed and fidgeted over the shot until he walked out of sight. This same thing happened again. Finally, one appeared a little closer at 180 meters and I came up with the most stable shooting position I could. With me sitting on the top of a slope and the sticks flattened out on the slope, I braced my legs against my knees and had the local guide sit back-to-back to me and made the shot. The ram dropped on the spot, skewered by a shot thru the neck where it joined the shoulder (unfortunately, not my aiming point). But all's well that ends well, I guess.

    That afternoon we went to a different ranch, much drier (basically no grass, just a maze of 10 foot high shrubs and bushes). We stood on a rise and spotted for game, eventually spotting zebra and an eland about a mile away. I was with two hunters looking for zebra, but since eland were rarer, the PHs decided on me going after the eland. We made a LONG trip by vehicle to get opposite the game and the local guide (who has hunted that property for 22 years) made an incredible stalk to get us to 200 meters of the eland bull. I was calm and confident as I aligned the crosshairs on the lower shoulder, remembering to factor in the 3" drop for 200 yards). I fired and (as we later learned) sent a bullet thru the dewlap of the animal. I'm reminded of a line in that old Seinfeld show which I'll paraphrase here as "How I missed that shot I'll never understand"). Anyway, after some follow up we had to call it a day. BTW, Louw with his quick eyes called the dewlap hit.

    Day 3
    I had been restless all night champing at the bit to get back at that eland. After 2 1/2 hours of scoping, we found him and closed to within 150 meters (and another 50 meters higher than him on a bluff). I decided the drop from 150 meters and the down hill shot would cancel each other out, but said "enough with this shoulder shooting nonsense" and aimed half-way up the body and just behind the shoulder. At the shot, the animal swapped ends and began a large semi-circular run that ended with him about 230 meters away from me. During that run, I had taking a shot and missed, and Louw (who, to my dismay had brought along his .300 WM Browning A-bolt II stainless stalker) fired a shot that entered his haunch and lodged in his intestines. I fired at the eland standing and he fell to the shot. My first shot had been perfect -- halfway up and just behind the shoulder. The second shot had been about a foot behind the shoulder and angled back to about 20 inches behind the opposite shoulder. I recovered this bullet from under his skin and will post a pic. As Louw had predicted, we found a hole in the dewlap, cutting thru a bit of muscle in the chest. That afternoon I rested.

    Day 4
    This was nyala day and we hunted right on the grounds of the lodge. There are many nyala here; it is not unusual to see them and bushbuck from the terrace of the lodge which overlooks the river. This hunting was somewhat like the bushbuck hunting in that we stood on the crest of one ridge and scope the opposite slope. We had two or three shots at bull nyala, but I was never fast enough. Finally, as we were at the head of one canyon, Louw stiffened and indicated I should follow. We walked out almost to the end of the ridge and then he whispered for me to look low on the opposing slope. There was a good nyala bull at 130 meters. I found my target and dropped it with one shot. I missed my mark, but hit just in front of the shoulder, at the base of the neck. Again I rested in the afternoon.

    Day 5
    This entailed a two hour drive to the north. On this ranch, the vegetation was much more like that in KZN with widely separated acacia trees and foot or foot-and-a-half grass in between. We were looking for black wildebeest and red hartebeest. We came out of the woods to an extremely large pasture where there was a herd of about fifteen wildebeest. I was offered a shot at 200 meters and fired and missed to the front. (I should point out there was strong gusting winds blowing from rear to front of the animal.) With this shot, the herd ran to the center of this huge open area and stood there looking at us. We walked toward them slowly, but 200 meters seemed to be their safety zone. I didn't feel comfortable with the shot I took, but allowed for the wind. Over-allowed I should say as I gut shot the animal. He and the herd ran around 300 meters and then he laid down in the grass about 300 meters from us. We stood still for 30 minutes, and then crouched down and approached to within 150 meters. I felt very good about the following shot, which had centered on his neck and that's exactly where the bullet hit. He still wasn't dead when we arrived at him, and this is the first animal I have felt sorry for in a long time. I put him out of his misery.

    Driving back toward the front of the ranch, we spotted some hartebeest in the acacia forest (thornveld?) and stalked them. We had to climb into an eroded area and when we came up on the opposite side saw them at 200 meters. I aimed for halfway up behind the shoulder and hit about 8 inches back, but the animal dropped to the shot.

    Day 6
    We headed out (I thought) for blesbok, but Louw instead put me on springbok. The wind was gusting even harder than the day before and would literally change my point of aim from the front of the body to the rear when it hit. I wasn't feeling at all good about things, but we stalked a herd of about fifteen of the animals and got to within 300 meters. The springbok is a smallish animal, and I suggested to Louw that we crawl to an intervening cactus bush that put us at about 210 meters -- still too long. At the shot, Louw said I had missed high. We had to let the animals recollect and calm down and then stalked to about 230 meters. At this shot, I saw the animal react and Louw said I had just grazed the belly far back. At this point I was kind of sick. Anyway, he spotted the herd eventually but it was a mile away so we retraced our steps to the vehicle and drove several miles around to approach them from the other direction. After a bit of stalking and several missed opportunities, the ram and one ewe separated from the herd and I finally got a closer shot, at 100 meters or so and drilled the ram thru both shoulders. We learned that I had actually shot this animal's penis in two with my first shot!

    I was getting kind of sick of my bad shooting on these long shots, but the last animal on my list was blesbok and we took up the search for one that afternoon. This was easily the easiest hunt. After a 15 mile or so drive down a dirt road, we walked about 2 minutes to a five acre clearing and saw a ram standing there. We had to move around a bit to get a shot on him, but at 150 meters I drilled him cleanly thru both shoulders and he ran about 100 meters before crashing down.

    Day 7
    I was offered the opportunity by Marius to go offshore fishing, but due to sea sickness concerns I stayed at the lodge and fished for carp on the river. I've never fished for carp but had some idea how it was done and landed four fish, each one about 9-10 pounds. I was quite pleased with this catch, and we gave the meat to a local inhabitant who was thrilled to get it.

    This is just a brief account of a great trip and I haven't mentioned the other hunters who were in camp and who I made friends with, or Marius teaching me about cricket, but I think I've written enough already so will end here.
     
  6. Wheels

    Wheels GOLD SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    Thanks for the hunting report. Don't feel bad about the shooting. We all have our misses. ( When I read a hunting report that is filled with one shot kills, I look closely at pictures of the animals and you can often find signs of multiple wounds.) It sounds like you had a great time. After you get some sleep, please post some pictures. Since you hunted on multiple farms I was wondering how many acres was the main farm you were hunting? Did they just not have all the species you were hunting?
     
  7. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    Thanks for the hunt report, a honest one is a good one, I'd rather hear the truth. Sounds like you worked hard for your shots and that counts. Some people are better shots than others.
     
  8. BnC 04

    BnC 04 TITANIUM SUPPORTER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    Agree 100%, Looking forward to the pics Postoak.
     
  9. gillettehunter

    gillettehunter AH Fanatic

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    Thanks for the report. We all miss a shot occasionally. What really counts is that you got your animals. Looking forward to the pics. Bruce
     
  10. KMG Hunting Safaris

    KMG Hunting Safaris SPONSOR AH Elite

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    The areas that Rob hunted ranged up to 25K Acres. Due to the huge diversity in terrain of the Eastern Cape, we choose to hunt the animals in their natural environment, which on some species, especially your grazers, requires us to drive short distances. Rob experienced the worst case scenario here, in having to drive 2 hours. The Eastern Cape is mostly mountainous, which means in order to find your species like Springbuck, Black Wildebeest and Red Hartebeest, you need to hunt flatter areas.
    Some of the hunting we do, occurs on Commercial stock farms for cattle and sheep, like for Rob's Springbuck. Most of the time in these cases, you will not be too far from a road.
    Thanks for the report, Rob! 'Ole Larry sends his best! He's heading home today.
     
  11. Wheels

    Wheels GOLD SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    Marius, Thanks for the information. It sounds like you gave Postoak a great hunt.
     
  12. postoak

    postoak AH Senior Member

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    Photos

    IMG_0030.jpg IMG_0056.jpg IMG_0063.jpg IMG_0099.jpg IMG_0108.jpg IMG_0123.jpg IMG_0131.jpg IMG_0148.jpg IMG_0154.jpg IMG_0175.jpg

    I am not at all a fan of the style of photography that enhances the size of the animal and that's why some of these I included were taken by me showing the tracker, local guide and PH. That last photo is of a 225 grain Barnes TSX .35 Whelen bullet recovered from a kudu in 2011 and the 200 grain Barnes TSX .300 WM bullet recovered from the 2013 eland. Quite different performance but the .35 caliber Barnes may have struck bone -- I can't remember.

    The photo taken in the lodge is of Louw, Marius, Warren, Hendrick, and Tassius -- the PHs.
     
  13. bluey

    bluey GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    thanks postoak for the chance to share the memories of your adventure
    some very nice animals and you will be able to start a cricket club in texas
    why don't you stalk these whit tail deer ?
    im always hearing about blinds and corn feeders
    l like the photos showing your trophies in reality size ,that was one thing l was amazed with when in Africa that the animals were a lot smaller than l imagined from trophy photos
    when are you going again mate ?
     
  14. postoak

    postoak AH Senior Member

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    As to why we can't stalk in Texas, well it's complicated. I will just say it is very hard to stalk when the land is dead flat and vegetation too thick to move thru quietly, but that's not true in many parts of Texas, just where I hunt.

    As for my next trip, I took advantage of that offer posted on here by Tom Addleman and in September of 2014 will take advantage of this deal:

    PACKAGE 1

    9 nights of Accommodation 8 full hunting days

    1 Eland
    1 Kudu
    1 Blue Wildebeest
    1 Red Hartebeest
    1 Gemsbok (Oryx)
    1 Zebra
    1 Impala
    1 Warthog

    $ 6495

    This is on a 100,000 acre property in Botswana with Kanana Safaris (if memory serves).

    Here's a link to a post by someone who has already gone:

    http://www.africahunting.com/botswana-hunting-reports/8837-kanana-safaris-adventure-2012-a.html
     
  15. bluey

    bluey GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    that's a top package and as with hunting with marius every one leaves kanana grinning and happy from all reports . you choose your outfitters well bloke
     
  16. greyfox

    greyfox AH Veteran

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    thanks for the report, Like you, I live on the coast (east coast - Georgia) looking forward ot the mountains and hills and ability to looka ways.
    I am hunting with Marius next year (July 2014) Looking forward to it.
     
  17. postoak

    postoak AH Senior Member

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    You will have a great time! Here's some advice I wish I had been given. Since the East Cape is so far south, it will be cold in July. Bring some camp gloves, a stocking cap, and a coat instead of a jacket. Also, note that the beds have electric blankets. I didn't notice this until my second-to-last day there!
     
  18. Bobpuckett

    Bobpuckett GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Thanks for the report Postoak and the pictures are great glad you had a great hunt.
     
  19. toxic111

    toxic111 AH Veteran

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    Congrats on the great animals. I was in the Eastern Cape in May (different outfitter) and hunted in similar areas near Gramestown. Don't worry too much about the shooting. I had several misses as well. What I found for me is to sit with the sticks, after that I only had one miss. I was lucky, my longest shot was at a kudu at around 260 yards. I missed a couple springbok at over 200 as well.

    Congrats again
     
  20. greyfox

    greyfox AH Veteran

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    That's why I'm goin in July, Marius warned me it might be cold. I plan to take gloves and watch cap and dress in layers and peel them off as the days warms up.
    Any other words of wisdom?
    I've been shooting at 200 to 400, watching those groups open up!
     

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