SOUTH AFRICA: Sun Africa Safaris: We had an outstanding safari with Pierre Moolman and Staff

Discussion in 'Hunting Reports' started by srmealman, Jul 10, 2012.

  1. srmealman

    srmealman New Member

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    I just wanted to drop a note on what a fantastic safari my father and I had with Pierre and Annalie Moolman and Sun Africa Safaris Hunting South Africa, Hunting with Sun Africa Safaris . Not only was the lodge great and the staff excellent, but Owner/PH Pierre and PH JK Scheepers did an amazing job putting us on fantastic trophies. They work tirelessly getting us into the right position and we never felt rush or forced to take any shot we weren't comfortable with. This was a safari I will never forget, and Sun Africa Safaris is an outfitter I would never hesitate to recommend to anyone. I have attached a few of the trophy Pictures from the hunt.

    Thanks

    Steve

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  2. adgunner

    adgunner SILVER SUPPORTER AH Veteran

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    Looks like you had a great hunt, congrats. Must be some stories behind the great photos for those of us living vicariously until our next hunts.
  3. Blue Skies Hunting Adventures

    Blue Skies Hunting Adventures AH Enthusiast

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    Great pictures, nothing like hunting in africa with family or friends.
  4. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch AH Legend

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    Congrats, the Vaal Rhebok in particular is quite impressive and that Waterbuck is sure nothing to sneeze at.
  5. srmealman

    srmealman New Member

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    We really lucked out on our trophies. The Vaal Rhebok measured 9 3/4" with a little over 2" bases. Hunting the Vaalie was amazing, that is a hunt I will do again. It is really rewarding working hard for a trophy and lucking out a getting a very nice one. My Dad's Waterbuck measured 34", and was the best trophy of the Safari. I was very lucky and took a 29 1/2" waterbuck with exceptional mass.
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  6. Wolverine67

    Wolverine67 AH Fanatic

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    34" waterbuck, thats a monster! Congrats on a success hunt and outstanding trophies.
  7. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Another monster Vaalie! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!

    Waterbuck, nothing to sneeze at. WOW!


    Incredible hunt and good success.
    Thanks for sharing the pictures, I think. :)
    Do feel free to share the tales of the hunt when you get a moment or two.
  8. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch AH Legend

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    LOL, just face it you are going to have to explain to your kids why they will have no inheritance!!!
  9. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    Thanks for the hunting report! Some amazing trophies, especially the waterbuck and vaal rhebok.
  10. Bobpuckett

    Bobpuckett GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Thanks for the hunting Report . We would love to hear the whole story those are some fantastic Trophies. Congrats
  11. lwaters

    lwaters BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Veteran

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    I hunted in Namibia with Johan Moolman of Geodehoop. I wonder if you hunted with his brother. He said he had a brother in South Africa who ran a farm that was owned by his dad.
  12. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch AH Legend

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    Just had to stop in for another look at the Rhebok.
  13. gillettehunter

    gillettehunter AH Fanatic

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    Love the Rhebuck and a great Waterbuck. Congrats on a great hunt. Bruce
  14. AfricaHunting.com

    AfricaHunting.com FOUNDER AH Ambassador

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    Thanks for sharing Steve and congratulations!
  15. Nyati

    Nyati AH Legend

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    Congrats Steve, a good hunt with great trophies.

    Thanks for sharing !
  16. Norwegianwoods

    Norwegianwoods SILVER SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    Congrats with a great hunt and many great animals.
    Thanks for sharing.
  17. srmealman

    srmealman New Member

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    A couple guys asked for some tales of the hunt, so here is some daly reports from my journal. It is pretty long winded, but it is pretty hard not to be when you are talking about a safari.

    June 23rd
    Landed in Port Elizabeth at 11:45 a.m. and was met at the airport by Owner/PH Pierre Moolman and PH JK Scheepers of Sun Africa Safaris. They took us to the a very nice B & B to drop our things off. After we got settled in we headed out to the Springbok's vs. England Rugby game at the Nelson Mandela Stadium. What an experience, that was a great time, and one memory that I will never forget. Although the beer was great, so I might have a few gaps in my memory!

    June 24th
    We left PE and headed to Pierre's lodge in the heart of the Camdeboo plains. What a fantastic lodge Pierre has with an incredible 360 degree view of mountains. We went to the rifle range and all of our rifles made it perfectly zeroed. My Dad brought his Winchester Model 70 in .270 Win shooting 130gr Barnes TSX bullets. I brought 2 rifles my .Winchester Model 70 in .338Win Mag shooting 225gr Barnes TSX bullets, and also my Weatherby .257 wby Mag w/ McMillan stock shooting 100gr Barnes TSX bullets. All of our bullets where custom made by John at Safari Arms, and they performed perfectly. After a quick lunch we headed out to the base of one of the mountains, looking for black springbok. With some hard work and a lot of stalks my Father and I both ended up with 2 very nice Black Springbok Rams. A great way to start our second safari.

    June 25th
    Our first full day of hunting! We woke up early and headed up into the mountains. Pierre said it was a pretty good road, but it reminded me of more of a donkey trail snaking up into the mountains. We ended up in a enormous high plains area that reminded me of the high plains of Montana. Here we concentrated on getting two common. Pierre and I perched up on a cliff overlooking the plains where springbok seemed to be filtering by. A large buck came cruising in at about 380 yards. I feel comfortable shooting my .257 out to 500 yards, so I thought it was very do able. I touched one off and thankfully made a good hit and the nice ram only went about 40 yards. No to long after that my Dad and his PH JK took a fantastic Springbok with horns that hooked back. In the early afternoon we concentrated on getting a Kalahari Springbok for Dad. After a few hours of scouting we found the Buck we were looking for Dad and JK made a nice stalk and a better shot, giving dad his 3rd Springbok of the safari. The last part of the day we were able to collect dad's White Springbok a very nice ram with almost clear horns. This is a very striking trophy.

    June 26th
    Today we are after Kudu we are hunting a 70,000 acre farm not to far from Pierre's lodge. This farm has high mountains and thick cover, many places for kudu's to hide. We spent the morning glassing and so a bunch of Kudu, but never one that really stood out. After a short lunch our tracker Ronnie spotted a very nice kudu bull on the side of a mountain. Since it was going to be a tough stalk up the mountain Dad decided I was more up for the challenge than him and his titanium knees. After along tough stalk we got into a position we could take a shot from and meticulously glassed the mountain side looking for the Kudu we made the trek for. We finally spotted just his horns behind a large spekboom. There was one shooting line about 2 yards wide, I would get a shot at if he stopped in it. After about a 30 minute wait he made his way to the opening, but like all nice trophies he never made that fatal mistake and he vanished into the hill side. We continued to glass the hill we spotted a nice East Cape kudu bull in that 45 range, and I didn't climb up this mountain for nothing. I made a 280 yard shot with my .257 and dropped him, moments later another very nice kudu bull popped out and you can never have enough Kudu bull shoulder mounts in houses, cabin and offices so I took him too. I ended the day with two very nice Kudu bulls one with shallow curls and one with deep curls but both around 45?

    June 27th
    Waterbuck and Lechwe were both high on my father's list and I also wanted a Waterbuck. We headed down to a farm to the south that is about 10,000 acres to try our luck finding some nice Waterbuck bulls and Lechwe for the next couple of days. The first morning my Dad really lucked out and he took an exceptional Waterbuck scoring 83 1/8th . It was just being in the right place at the right time. The monster made his way down the side of the mountain as they slowly walked down the switch back road, and dad ended up getting a 160 yard shot at him. It was one of those once in a lifetime trophies. Later that evening I was lucky enough to take a Waterbuck with great mass that scored 74 1/8th. It was a long stalk but over easy terrain so it was very enjoyable. We lucked out and got two incredible waterbuck its always better to be lucky than good!

    June 28th
    PH JK and Dad planned on spending two full days looking for a nice waterbuck and shooting a Lechwe if they happened upon one. With the luck of shooting a very nice waterbuck bull the first morning they had a full to try for a Lechwe. At the end of the day on the 27th they put to bed a very nice Lechwe that they made a plan for. This safari must have been graced because everything went to plan and Dad got a very nice Lechwe, and not two hours later Dad scored with a 37 Bull Gemsbok. He planned on spending the rest of the day looking for a big Warthog. While Pierre and I headed out that morning to a new property to try our luck at Fallow deer and a big Warthog if we happened upon one. We saw about 6 very nice Buck fallow deer making their way thru the thick acacias. We made a wide loop to get in front of them, and right when we were getting into position I saw a very nice old warthog so I had to take him, and we would worry about the fallow deer after lunch. The pig had very nice heavy tusks and was an old warrior on perfect for the wall with all the character you would want. After a great lunch of Kudu sausage we tried our hand at Fallows again. We moved into a position where the wind was right and that Pierre figured the fallows would feed out into the opening around us once it got closer to dusk. Just as Pierre thought the fallows started to move from heavy cover, but unlike going into the opening in front of use they scattered and basically surrounded us. Thank god the wind was perfect because we had fallow does 20 yards from us and Pierre, Myself, and Ronnie had jammed ourselves into a thorn covered bush. Right at dusk we saw a nice buck and it was now or never. He gave me one opening for a shot at about 180yards and I was lucky enough thread the needle in a opening the size of a softball. He ran about 50 yards and dropped. I have been extremely impressed with the .257 with the 100gr TSX whether it has been on Kudu, Springbok, Warthog, or waterbuck it has performed perfectly.

    June 29th
    With already a nice bunch of animals already in the salt we headed out this day for a old mature eland. I personally could care less how long the horns are on an Eland, I look for that old big bodied bull with a massive tuff of hair on his forehead. We headed out early in the morning to the 70,000 acre farm near Sun Africa Safaris lodge. We hadn't spent 30 minutes looking when lady luck struck again and we saw an enormous bull feeding in an open plain at the foot of a mountain. It would be a long and difficult stalk because of lack of cover but we had to try for this big bull. After 2 hours of walking, crawling, running, low crawling and sitting from bush to bush we finally made it to within 150 yards of the Bull. I can say my shooting on this animal wasn't my finest and with Pierre help we dropped him 80 yards from where I first shot him. I was a little disappointed with my first shot but Pierre reminded me my fallow up was good and he was in the salt and that's what mattered. I couldn't have been happier with my Eland Bull. For me there is nothing more majestic than a large Old Eland bull moving so gracefully thru the thick acacias. This was the #1 trophy I wanted and with Pierre's great instincts we got the job done. We spent the rest of the day high in the mountains just taking in the sight and photographing Cape Mountain Zebra. I did end up shooting a very nice old male baboon at about 325yards. I also was lucky to take a Duiker male with horn well above his ears. This is a trophy I always hoped to get but rarely does a big one stay still for long. We had another exceptional with Pierre and JK.

    June 30th
    My Dad and JK headed to the west to hunt a large farm for kudu, WHILE Pierre and I headed out to try for what I have been training for 3 months, Vaal Rhebok. I had read a lot and heard about what a challenging hunt this can be. Dealing with the terrain and the animals uncanny ability to pick you out of some rocks at 600 yards and then run over the adjacent mountain. I have climbed my fair share of mountains in Colorado, Montana, Wyoming, Nevada, and Utah. So I feel pretty comfortable spending time in steep places, but the real challenge I found was all the baseball sized rocks that covered the sides of these mountains making each step an ankle rolling trek. After some effort we reached the top of the mountain to begin glassing and looking for these little guys. Pierre and Ronnie spotted a group right away, but it took me about 10 minutes to finally pick them out of the light colored grass. These are by far the hardest animals to spot I have hunted. We tried and tried to get on a group, but they always ended up spotting us and bolting. We got to another high rock outcropping to glass when Pierre looked down and saw a nice Mountain reedbuck, not 30 seconds later a group of six females and one ram rounded a rock ledge below us 350 yards away. I quickly got set-up, Pierre verified it was a shooter and I squeezed off a round. The ram went about 40 yards and stopped, I put one more insurance shot in and he was done. Lady luck smiled on us again! It took about 30 minutes to finally get down to the ram and that's when we discovered what an incredible animal we took. He was well above his ears and had good mass. The taxidermist measured him at 24inch! This is by far the best trophy I have ever taken in my life, and worth every strenuous step up that mountain.

    Dad spent the day trying to score a nice kudu bull, but could never seal the deal. Pierre and I headed up to where Dad and JK were so I could accompany my dad on his search for kudu the following morning.

    July 1st
    We woke up the following morning to a very heavy frost, but we felt pretty good about our chances for a kudu looking to warm up in the sun. We where scouting for about an hour when we saw a nice bull standing on the side of the mountain sun bathing. Dad and JK made a quick stalk to get into position for a shot. With dad's knees he could only make it so far up the hill until they had to set up for a shot. They got within 230 yards well within dad's range off of sticks. She shot High on his first shot and high on his second. By loading the third the kudu was over the mountain and out of sight. Thinking the rifle was out we shot it a few times and found the problem to be nerves and not the rifle. We headed out again about 9 am when we turned a corner and at about 300 yard standing in the open you could see the shinning horns of a kudu bull. Dad and JK made their stalk to within 250 yards, and looking over the bull there was something just not right with his horns. We got into a better position and could see his right horn had a deep curl and his left a shallow curl. Dad couldn't pass up the chance for such an unusual kudu. He squeezed off a round and connected with a perfect hit. The Kudu didn't go far. This was the one animal that has eluded dad for awhile, and he finally got a nice kudu bull.

    July 2nd
    Pierre and I took a day to try our luck with Klipspringer. While Dad and JK went to look for a big Hartebeest bull. While sitting on a high rock ledge looking for Klipspringers we saw a Caracal hunting for the they prey we were after in the rocks we where glassing. We first spotted the cat at 750 yards slowly working its way thru the boulders. It was making its way along the rock ledge angling towards us. The was a ravine it would have to cross to get in shooting range around 500 yards. We watched it disappear into the ravine and we waited for 2 hours for it to pop out or to spot it in another location. But it never reappeared. I wanted to get that kitty, I figure one cat could be hard on the Klipspringer population, after watching is smoothly work thru those rocks. We got a call not to long after that Dad had scored another great trophy, and that JK hadn't seen a big bull Hartebeest like this in awhile. So the luck just keep on coming for us. When it came to the Klipspringer hunting our luck ran out. We spent the rest of the day crawling over the side of the mountains seeing a couple rams but never getting a chance at a shot. We saw plenty of the little bugger, but never got a good chance at one. This will give me a good reason to come back. Later in the afternoon dad collected his 5th Springbok a beautiful Copper ram. I believe my dad with have to put an addition on his house just for Springbok.

    July 3rd
    Final day of the hunt. We have pretty much filled everything we dreamed about. I did want a white springbok so we headed to a large farm just up the road that was wide open and flat, and had a lot of Common and white springbok on it. It didn't take too long before I saw a ram I wanted. He was very wide and you could tell he was declining in health. We made a stalk as close as we could get. I sat down and got a good rest and dropped him with the .257 wby Mag at 400 yards. While glassing for springbok Pierre saw a nice Black wildebeest Bull that he thought we should take a look at. After looking him over for awhile I decided I couldn't live without him. He was a wise old bull that it took about three stalks and 4 hours before we finally got a clear shot on him. The .257 wby Mag did its magic again, and I ended up with a great trophy bull that will look great next to my Blue Wildebeest I got last year. After seeing my Fallow deer Dad decided he needed one as well. So early that morning JK and Dad headed to the farm I hunted. It took all day and a lot of walking, but they got a nice Fallow buck. The beers flooded freely that night and stories told around the fire

    July 4th-7th
    We spent in Port Elizabeth and the surrounding area playing tourist, and pinching ourselves on how lucky we are to get to experience this.

    I couldn't be happier with the experience Pierre and Annalie Moolman gave to us on our 2nd safari. Pierre and JK work very hard getting us the best trophies they could and we passed up a lot of very nice animals. Sun Africa Safaris will be where a bring my hunting buddies when I come to South Africa again. Africa is in our blood, and know we are planning or trip for Buffalo and crocs in MOZ.

    Thanks

    Steve
  18. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch AH Legend

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    Nice write up. Sound like you guys had a great time.
  19. adgunner

    adgunner SILVER SUPPORTER AH Veteran

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    Thanks for keeping the journal, made for a great read!
  20. Bobpuckett

    Bobpuckett GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Thanks for the Story Loved it. Congrats again to you and your Dad.

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