Discussion in 'Hunting Reports' started by RickSpecialist, Oct 12, 2012.
When you get it together we'll be waiting to read the tale.
OK Rick"XXX" does this mean no don't do it or was all the woman there in the buff:eyebrow:
Sorry about the XXX. I tried to copy the story into the reply box and it seems the formating was corrupted making it unreadable. I deleted it and put in the XXX. I will try again. Have emaild for editing instructions but so far no answer.
HUNTING WITH INTREPID SAFARIS 2012
By: Rick Washburn
I met Phillip du Plessis, owner of Intrepid Safaris of South Africa, at the Dallas Safari Club Convention. After relating to Phillip my disappointment in several lion safaris I had completed without seeing a lion, he convinced me he could get me a good lion. I corresponded via email and checked out his many positive references and booked a ten day lion hunt with an option for plains game. I was met by Phillip at the Johannesburg Airport upon my arrival September 13th and we proceeded to make the ten hour drive to our first leg of the hunt located on the Sans Souci Game Preserve in northwest South Africa on the edge of the Kalahari.
The first day of the safari, September 14th, we proceeded to hunt my main objective; African lion. I was using my 416 taylor LH bolt action. Our Party consisting of myself, Philip, Brendan (the PH for Sans Souci), his brother and a tracker, found a kudu bull killed by lions that was only a day old. From there, we were able to pick up the tracks of two lions crossing a nearby road. At 9 am we proceeded to track the lions on foot and after about one and a half hours of slow tracking, found them lying up in the heat of the day under an acacia thorn bush. They were very difficult to see in the thick brush as their pelts were the same as the sand they were lying on. I could make out the head of the larger lion and a patch of skin that I thought should be just behind shoulder. He was slightly facing me. Phillip told me to shoot if I had a shot but not to shoot him in the head. I shot and the 400 grain Nosler Partition entered a little further back than I wanted, just forward of mid-rib and exited diagonally out his back right leg breaking the femur. He disappeared into thicker bush and we were obliged to follow him up. Knowing he was wounded but not sure how bad, the tension was palpable. A hundred yards later, Phillip spotted him about the same time he saw us. The lion rose and turned in our direction. I shot him through both shoulders as he turned and he went down, thrashing around, immobilized with three limbs out of commission. We walked up carefully as he was still very much alive and delivered the coup de grace with a spine shot. That afternoon, we spotted some springbok with one large buck standing at two hundred yards. I shot him with my 416. Although hit good, he remained standing so I shot him again and he collapsed. The bullets were about 2 inches apart. I was amazed that such a small animal could soak up such large bullets. Toward the end of the day, we spotted a magnificent gemsbok at about one hundred and fifty yards. I shot him, again with the 416. It was an angling shot and a little far back. He took off and we tracked him for about another hundred yards when I placed a second shot behind the shoulder putting him down immediately.
The second day September 15th, we started for Phillip's ranch dubbed çš„ntrepid Safaris? It is located in the Limpopo River drainage which was ten hours back across South Africa on the northeastern border. After a full day's ride, we arrived at Phillip's beautiful five star Safari Camp. I believe this is possibly one of the most luxurious Safari compounds I have ever seen. It certainly deserves a five star rating. The buildings are all natural rock, brick with thatched roof and manicured, irrigated lawns. Lighted brick paths connect all the buildings. All the private bungalows which can house 14 guests have natural rock walk-in shower, toilet, lavatory, electrical outlets, WiFi and are air-conditioned There is a swimming pool, two bars, a dining room, outside grill and fire pit, conversation rooms with leather couches and Africa dé¦—or and taxidermy everywhere. Also, a commercial kitchen, skinning, salting and drying sheds, and a full butcher/skinning facility with a walk-in meat cooler. Phillip's wife Anske handles most of the paper work and the camp cook Madelina is a talented game chef. The complete staff numbers about ten. It is truly first class operation!
The morning of the third day, September 16th, I hunted with one of Phillip's PHs (Johan Steenkamp) who was incidentally nicknamed é©udu? which is coincidently what we were hunting that day. I borrowed Phillip's 300 Weatherby magnum as my custom LH 338's scope mounts had been damaged in transit. We situated ourselves in a blind on a waterhole and within a few hours a herd of kudu came to drink. After a rather long wait, a huge bull finally appeared from the bush. I was forced to wait again what seemed forever for a quick window to ensure not hitting surrounding kudus. Finally, he was clear and I took the shot. The kudu bucked and went into high gear. Johan said the shot was good. We proceeded to follow the blood trail for several hundred yards when we found him standing facing us in thick brush. With no time for the sticks, I shot him through the chest as he directly faced us and he collapsed as if struck by lightning. The larger horn measured 56 1/4? the other 56? Needless to say, I was very pleased. That afternoon Kudu wanted to sit at another waterhole frequented by eland. Around 5:00 pm a herd of eland wandered in with one very large bull smack in the middle of the herd. Again I had to wait for a shot due to the density and proximity of the other eland. When I finally took a quick shot at him with my 416, I hit a little high just over the foreleg. The eland galloped into the Bush. We followed the blood trail and tracks but had to quit as it got too dark to see.
The next morning Kudu (the PH) had to leave camp for another engagement. Phillip and I picked up the eland trail again and followed him all morning without catching up. Phillip decided that I should sit on the same waterhole where Kudu and I shot the eland with one of a tracker named Billy for the rest of the day. He thought he might come back for water being dehydrated from his wounds. The eland never showed up. At dark, Phillip came to pick us up and informed me he had spotted the eland and recognized him from the blood on his shoulder at the first waterhole where I shot the kudu. The eland bolted and Phillip tracked him for a short time and was able to put him down with a shot through the chest. I was relieved because I feared he would die in the bush and we would lose the wounded eland. He was absolutely huge. Phillip estimated his weight at around two thousand pounds.
On the fifth morning September 18th, Phillip and I drove to an adjoining preserve named Bivack which was located along the Limpopo River bordering Botswana. This was a good place for impala, zebra and bushbuck. The area along the Limpopo was teeming with game and we saw many impala but none large or old enough. We also saw hippo, a thirteen to fourteen foot crocodile, kudu, and many other animals. We finally spotted a very old impala standing in the middle of a dry section of the Limpopo. Phillip pronounced him good so I shot from the sticks and hit him solidly with Phillip's 300 wm. He hunched up but just froze. He was teetering and I waited for him to fall. When he didn't go down or move, I shot again putting him down instantly. It was strangely like the springbok with the shots being just a couple of inches apart. We decided to take him back to Intrepid so he could be skinned and field dressed. We hunted Intrepid that afternoon with no further success.
On the sixth day, September 19th, Phillip and I hunted Intrepid for whatever we could jump up. Later in the morning we saw a herd of Blue Wildebeest. Every time we got almost in range, they thundered off. We didn't find them all afternoon and decided to check out a waterhole as a last stop before the light was gone. There at the waterhole, was another herd of Wildebeest. I shot the one Phillip said was the largest with his 300 wm from about one hundred and fifty yards and he ran into the bush. Phillip said I hit him but it looked like it was too far back. It was hard for me to tell as I was shooting directly into the setting sun. It was turning dark and we didn't want to lose him so Phillip got his dogs and they quickly got on his trail. They brought him to bay under a tree and when we caught up I had to wait to call off the dogs as Phillip was afraid they would get shot in the excitement. I shot the wildebeest in the spine and again in the neck finishing him off. He turned out to be really old with smooth bosses.
The seventh day, 20th of September, I hunted with Phillip's main PH Harry Fourie and his tracker Joe. They had been hunting leopard with another client (yes, they were successful and got a beautiful male weighing in at over one hundred fifty pounds). Harry decided to go to another preserve called Ammondale. We were now after waterbuck and he had seen some good ones there. That morning, we sat in a blind at a large waterhole for a couple of hours. There were a lot of game animals including waterbuck, warthog, impala, gemsbok, kudu and giraffe but nothing that we considered shoot able. The rest of the day was spent scouting trails, glassing and then back to the waterhole to finish the day. We were situated in a reed blind about fifty yards from the waterhole; we had giraffe feeding behind us and many impala and kudu visiting the waterhole in front. Suddenly, a herd of around a hundred cape buffalo came trickling down to the waterhole. We were quickly surrounded. The nearest buffalo were about twenty five yards and the furthest fifty yards in front of us from left to right. We didn't dare move. Harry muttered in his thick Afrikaans accent å…¸his is not good. I realized we were in a precarious situation as the herd was big, close and had many cows with calves and young curious bulls. Luckily the wind was blowing from our left to our right. To make matters worse, a magnificent waterbuck walked out of the bush down to the opposite side of the waterhole straight in front of us at about one hundred twenty yards. Harry said, æ³¥on't shoot him. Wait? Thirty to forty minutes tensely passed and the buffalo began to wander off to our right. They had all moved except for five young bulls that were straggling behind. One was still drinking in the waterhole, the rest following the herd. Harry and I agreed the waterbuck was too good to pass up. He looked like he was about to leave. I shot him with the 300 wm and dropped him in his tracks. The buffalo thundered off and I thought, å±•ow I shot that waterbuck almost over the heads of a hundred buffalo. He measured just shy of 30? We barely had time for pictures as the sun was setting. We arrived back at Intrepid well past dark.
Harry and I went back to Ammondale the eighth day, September 21st, for nyala, which he had also seen there. In addition, I wanted to see elephant and rhino which had left sign in the area. We spent the early morning at the waterhole with no luck and the rest of the day driving the dry river beds and ridges in search of a good nyala. We saw plenty of young males and females but nothing to shoot. We did see elephant, rhino, kudu, giraffe, eland, gemsbok, impala and of course now a lot of waterbuck. Toward the end of the morning we were thinking about going back to the waterhole but Harry wanted to drive one more ridge. As we came around a curve, there just off the road stood a single nyala bull. I threw the 300 up just as Harry said, å¡—e is very good? and fired. He dropped instantly. We took him back to Intrepid for skinning and that afternoon traveled back over to Bivack were we observed some bushbuck and zebra. I didn't take a shot at any of them because they were too close to Botswana's border in the center of the Limpopo and if wounded would have run into Botswana.
I only had two days of hunting left. On September 22nd, the ninth day, we went back to Bivack to try for one of the bushbuck we had seen and tagged with the name æººr. Narrow Horn due to the configuration of his horns. There was also a large stallion zebra who had been feeding in the river bed with a small herd we thought we might get a shot at if they weren't too close to the border. We got to the area where we had seen the bushbucks. They were there but winded us and scattered into the bush. We set up about two hundred yards in view of a tree where the bushbuck had been coming to eat nuts that were falling from the tree. After an hours wait, a single bushbuck appeared out of the undergrowth and started feeding on the nuts. Harry and I began a slow stalk to close the distance. I was using Harry's 308 which was equipped with a silencer. We stalked to within a hundred yards and Harry pronounced him a good buck. He was directly facing me and looked up as if he might bolt at any moment. I fired from the sticks and hit him in the center of the chest. He was facing me dead on. He spun 180 degrees and disappeared into the bush. We tracked the thick blood trail for about fifty yards and found him dead. It was æººr. Narrow Horn? We took him back to Intrepid for processing and spent the afternoon hunting zebra. We spotted several herds but couldn't get close to them. The wind was bad and swirling.
The morning of September 23rd was my final and tenth day and Harry and I thought we would finish the hunt still concentrating on zebra. We did see some in the morning but couldn't get close enough. It was windy and the zebra were very skittish. That afternoon was a bust. We never sighted another herd and so ended my hunt.
On the 24th of September I rode with Harry via a car service for six hours to Johannesburg and boarded my direct flight to New York. All in all, this was absolutely one the best Safaris I have made. Phillip's ranch is stunning. He has access to many other ranches with a multitude of different game. The staff is excellent as is the food. Best of all, I brought back a great old lion and 9 trophy antelope in one safari. That's hard to beat.
I arrived the Morning of the September 25th at JFK and within an hour was at home in New York City.
Congrat's Rick! Sounds like you had a great safari! Hopefully you will be able to post some pictures for us.
I have the pictures in my gallery. just click view RickSpecialists photos. I would like to add them to this report/thread but don't know how? Help?
I think I figured it out. Here they are: Just click each attachment.
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Congrats for a great hunt, and thanks for sharing !
Sounds lke a Great Hunt Rick Congrats and thanks for sharing it with us.
Some really nice trophies! Beautiful lion, super kudu, nice bushbuck and the nyala looks good (horns are uneven...a little different than most). Thanks for the hunt report.
It's hard to tell from the pics, but the Waterbuck was just under 30" and big bodied. Also the Gemsbok was long. I didn't measure him and will have to when I get the trophy back. thanks for the feedback. I try to shoot old animals just over the hill before they decline too bad (sort of Dagga Boy Everything). They get old from being smart or lucky and my theory is they are more fun to hunt because of this.
I agree shooting old animals is ideal. I was wondering how big that waterbuck was...now I know (he's a dandy).
sounds like an awsome hunt rick congratulations mate
the lion would ve been high tension going in to finish him off
its a great read thanks for sharing
Nicely done Rick! Thanks for the hunt report and trophy photos!
Very nice safari Rick...
Thank you for taking time to share your story and photos with us...
Hey fellow hunters, just got the measurement for the Gemsbuck. He was just under 38". Rick
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