SOUTH AFRICA: My East Cape Nyala

Discussion in 'Hunting Reports' started by gillettehunter, Jun 23, 2012.

  1. gillettehunter

    gillettehunter AH Fanatic

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    Lets try another story from my hunt in the East Cape in May of 2011. 4 of
    us left Gillette WY early. We were catching a flight out of Rapid City
    SD. That was the lowest cost flights we could find. No problems checking
    guns. Got to Denver fine. Then what every traveler dreads. A flight
    delay. We got out about 1 1/4 hours late. It was going to be tight with
    our flight at Dulles. My first trip to Africa my rifle hadn't made it
    until the 3rd day there. I had visions of the same thing again. Short
    connection at Dulles and on to Jo-berg. Luckily all of our baggage made
    it through. At Jo-berg we used one of the services to walk our guns
    through. That helped because we still had a flight to Port Elizabeth to
    catch. Finally we arrive there and meet up with Polla, the head PH at
    Thornberg. After a drive of close to 2 hours we arrive at the lodge. 32
    hours of total travel time. We eat and get to bed. Hard to sleep even tho
    we're exhausted.
    Time is turned around and excited about the hunt.
    Up in the AM and a breakfast to start off with. My PH is Matthew. He is
    only 23 yrs old. I'm 53 with a desk job. Off we go to check the rifles.
    Everything is wet. I had expected fall type of weather. Dry. The week
    before we arrived they have had 7 inches of rain! All of the bush is
    greening up. Not going to help us any. We drive the long way to the
    range. Polla takes the normal route and gets stuck in the mud. Not the
    best way to start this hunt. We get a couple of vehicles on ropes and
    get him out.
    The guns check out at the range, so we split up to start hunting. Nyala
    is near the top of my list so that is where we start. We park at the
    base of a hill and start walking. We see Duiker, Kudu, Oryx and Nyala.
    Our first bull Nyala we snuck up on and watched for 30 min. while we
    glassed the area. He was just a youngster. After about 1 1/2 miles we
    started back making a loop. No water. None of us brought any and I was
    getting hot. Then I spotted 2 Nyala bulls walking down a hill. One look
    by Matthew and we tried to cut them off before they got to the heavy
    bush. Wasn't meant to be. Never saw them again. Once they got in the
    brush they just disappeared. On way back to the truck we saw more female
    Nyala, but no bulls. Once at the truck we headed to the lodge for lunch.
    I had a heart to heart with Matthew. I can walk. Just got to have water
    on the hikes.
    After lunch we all packed up and headed to a farm over by the Addo
    elephant park. Reputed to have bushbuck and some large Kudu. There were
    roads cut through the thick bush and walked these roads looking for
    game. Saw a couple of Impala and some warthogs. Always fun to see the
    wildlife! Never saw a bushbuck. We saw several Kudu. One Kudu we watched
    about 450 yards away. The tracker thought it might be close to 50
    inches. Matthew thought 46-7. He didn't stay in the open too long. Not
    enough time to decide to make a stalk and execute it. Larry, one of my
    friends in the group killed a 50 inch Kudu. He was thrilled.
    Next day my son Chris was heading back to hunt Kudu. I loaned him my 7mm
    and I took his .243. The .243 was loaded with 80 gr Barnes TTSX bullets.
    I was confident it would take a Nyala. We started early at the base of
    the hill we had hiked the day before. We went up the valley that we had
    come down the day before, so we were doing the loop backwards this time.
    There was lots of fog and the dew was very heavy. We had wet feet after
    walking only a short distance. Perfect stalking conditions.
    We went less than 1/2 mile when Matthew spotted a herd of Nyala. 8 or 9
    cows and a good bull. We climbed up the hill to get to their elevation
    and then slowly around the side of the ridge. Then there they were. All
    feeding with the fog swirling around them. After few moments we found
    the bull. 170 yards away across the draw. Then the wait for a shot.
    First there was brush in the way and then only his hindquarters. Finally
    he turned so I could see his side. Chris has a Savage Edge and I hate
    that trigger. I pulled the trigger and the shot felt good. I immediately
    chambered another round and tried to find the bull in my scope. As I
    found him in the scope he fell over backwards and rolled 30 feet down
    the hill. I was thrilled. As you can see from the pics he is a nice
    mature animal. d I think he is 25-26 inches.

    Africa 2011 035.jpg Africa 2011 001.jpg Africa 2011 017.jpg

    He was just covered in ticks. Could not believe how many he had on him.
    Chris got his Kudu so I got my rifle back for the rest of the trip. After getting
    him to the skinning shed we spent the rest of the day looking for a particular
    Springbuck. Never did find him. When I have time I'll tell you about the
    Bushbuck and Lechwe. Bruce
     
  2. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    Thanks for the hunting story.
     
  3. timbear

    timbear AH Enthusiast

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    Very nicely told, and a nice trophy. Let's hear some more, please, this promises to be good!
     
  4. mykc

    mykc AH Member

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    Great looking bull.
     
  5. bcarper

    bcarper AH Veteran

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    Bruce; Great looking Nyala, that's on my list for the next trip! Brian
     
  6. KMG Hunting Safaris

    KMG Hunting Safaris SPONSOR AH Elite

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    Nicely done, Bruce.
     
  7. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch AH Legend

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    Good animal, thanks for sharing.
     
  8. Nyati

    Nyati AH Legend

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    Thanks for the story, looking forward for the rest !
     
  9. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Looks like a north american hunting trip or two I have been on. A little rain and poof, sunk up to your doors.

    Hunting in that mist must have been interesting.

    Nice trophy and with someone else's rifle.

    Keep them coming.
     
  10. AfricaHunting.com

    AfricaHunting.com FOUNDER AH Ambassador

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    Thanks for the tale and pictures!
     
  11. Norwegianwoods

    Norwegianwoods SILVER SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    Congrats with a great looking bull.
    A Nyala is high on my wish list.
    Thanks for sharing your story and photos.
    Looking forward to read about the Bushbuck and the Lechwe. They are also high on my wish list :)
     
  12. 35bore

    35bore AH Elite

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    Nice bull, and very neat story. Keep them coming.:thumb:
     
  13. adgunner

    adgunner SILVER SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    Thanks for the recounting of your hunt, looking forward to the rest. Never thought you would need rubber boots in the East Cape!
     
  14. Bobpuckett

    Bobpuckett GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Nice Nyala Bruce thanks for sharing. we need more.:D
     
  15. 6MM

    6MM AH Veteran

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    Nice looking trophy. Congrats I looked for one of these the whole trip last year with no luck. Guess I'll have to go back.

    Thanks for the story
     
  16. davidhein

    davidhein AH Veteran

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    Thats a great trophy! Congrats

    And thank you for the great story
     

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