Discussion in 'Hunting Reports' started by toxic111, May 5, 2013.
Congrats, nice trophies, we ll wait for the story opcorn:
Congrates, i really like the springbuck and the kudu looks to have nice heavy horns!!
The tracker attempting to NOT be in the picture.. :happywave:
Looking forward to more after your recovery.
Finally the Story
May 8, 2013
Wow I'm here in Africa, a dream come true.
All I can say so far is wow, after 24 hours of travel on 4 different aircraft, including an 8 hour layover in Frankfurt, then a 2 hour drive from the airport. As I am writing this I am looking out from my chalet at the lodge.
After dealing with SAPS (South African Police) in Johannesburg, thank goodness for the permit agency we used. Using their VIP services we were whisked through customs, and the firearms office in under 15 minutes.
The last flight of the trip was from Johannesburg to East London we were finally to see what Africa looked like from the air. To tell the truth, it looked like home for the most part, it was just missing all the oils wells.
After being met at East London airport by Braun we worked our way to the Glen Boyd Lodge where would be staying, on the drive in we saw a young warthog, impala, blesbuck & nyala.
Once getting settled into our chalet's we made our way to the dining hall for lunch. Looking out over the field next to the lodge there were 6 white rhinos, yes rhinos! Also spotted in the field were countless guinea fowl, a nyala, vermin monkeys, several warthogs & waterbucks.
We are just taking a bit of a break after all of this travel, then the plan is to go for a drive this evening & check our rifles & scopes to make sure we can hit the broad side of a barn.
With some glassing I just discovered some cape buffalo came out as well. One very large bull (at least to my eyes), and several cows & calves.
This evening we went and checked our rifles to make sure they are still dialled in. Of course the first shot of mine was out. The second shot was pretty much the same. With a few adjustments everything was shooting good again.
What was really cool was seeing three giraffes at the range area as we pulled in.
After the range session we went for a drive to see what was moving about. With the high gusty wind not much was moving. We did end up seeing four kudu and one blesbuck though.
The first day of this adventure is about to close. Will be off for dinner & drinks soon with the PH and other guests.
Tomorrow the hunt begins.
May 9, 2013
Plan for today was impala and/or kudu. Left the lodge around 6:30am for the ranch where we would be hunting today. Once we arrive we talked with the landowner, and helped us with a game plan.
We drove into the area and set-up to the glass. First thing I saw was some warthogs, a sow & young. My PH points out some kudu cows, nut no bulls. We watch for awhile seeing a few more kudu cows and some impalas.
After awhile Braun (my PH) says impala ram. I'm looking across the valley trying to see it, meanwhile right in front of us 30 yards away is the impala. After a 30 second staring contest he snorts and bolts. That was very cool in itself.
We leave this spot, and drive further into the ranch. We get out of the backie and start a walk in.. We walk and glass trying to find something to go after. We see several impala and blesbuck, but nothing to try for.
After some walking we glass an area and the PH sees a couple good impala rams. He looks carefully and we start off on the first stalk of the adventure, me following close behind.
After 3/4's of a mile through thick brush, creeks and stooped walking the PH sets up the sticks and I bring the rifle up. The ram is facing towards us, and I centre the cross hairs on his chest and squeeze the trigger. The rifle recoils an I hear the wet whap of a bullet hit. We watch the impala run about 30-40 yards and collapse.
My first day, my first African animal is down a decent impala ram
After setting up and taking pictures, we drop the impala off at the house with the tracker/skinner so he can dress and skin the animal. Braun and I head back out for lunch and to glass the hillsides.
After awhile of that and not seeing anything we head back the tracker. With some text messaging with the landowner he comes out to show us where to set up and glass for the evening.
Almost forgot, the first thing we saw heading into the farm this morning was ostriches, very cool sight I thought, but they can screw up a hunt very badly according to my PH.
Anyway afar glassing to near dark, we head back to the truck. We saw several kudu cows & bulls, but no shooters. So we head back to the lodge for supper of springbok roost & potatoes.
I head to bed exhausted but with dreams of what was yet to come.
May 10, 2013
Woke up to the alarm on the phone ringing at 6am. I stumbled out of bed, got dressed and headed out to the dining lodge for breakfast. The day was cloudy and cool.
The PH and I ate our breakfast and then loaded the hackie for today's hunt for kudu, since we were not able to find a shooter yesterday.
After a hour or so drive we arrived at the gate to Johnny's place. We had to wait a bit for the landowner to arrive and unlock the gate, once the introductions were made it was time to hunt.
Johnny (or Jonathan) joined us on this hunt. Minutes into glassing the hillside we had a good bull and the stalk was planned. Four of us worked our way to where the bull was seen. Working through the brush, cactus and hills we jumped the bull and some cows.
Spooked a little they took off, but we were able to get on them again. After what seemed like miles, but was probably only a few hundred yards. I was able to get a chance at around 100 yards. The PH set-up the sticks, I eased the rifle into position and settled the cross hairs on the shoulder.
"CRACK!" the rifle reported, but no sound of a hit. Both Braun & Johnny were not sure of a hit and where able to watch the bull disappeared over the neighbours fence. I missed at 100 yards an animal the size of an elk. Though I think I hit a branch on the way there.
After the miss we pulled out and drover further into the property. We stopped several times and glassed the hills looking for more kudu. More walking and glassing as well. Several cows and a few bulls were spotted but no shooters were seen.
After a hour or so of that we spotted a good bull. The stalk was on again, thins time through thick bush. Jonathan asked me if I can make a 300 yard shot, I told him I'm not confident in that long of a shot, I would prefer 150 or less. Without a real comment we continued the stalk.
Working our way through the bush we were able to close the distance to around 250 yards. Braun set-up the sticks again. I settled the scope on the shoulder and pulled the trigger. On the recoil I could tell I missed. Argh! Two kudus Two misses!!
After these misses I was a funk, was it me or the rifle? To settle things down Braun suggested we go into town for lunch as Johnny had to go in for a bit as well.
We drove into Fort Beaufort, about 15 minutes front he property we were hunting on. It turns out it was Braun's home town, so he told me a little bit about the town and showed me his old school as we drove by.
We saw lots of local residents along the road selling oranges. They collect these off the ground at local orange groves and sell them for extra income.
One thing I forgot to mention was the impala rams chasing ewes we saw while looking for kudu. These rams got as close as 20-30 yards chasing their girls, all the time grunting like whiletail deer chasing does back home.
So we were back at the property after one of the best chicken sandwiches I ever had, glassing for kudu. We drove, we glassed, we waled, we glassed. Finally Johnny spots a good bull, and the stalk was one yet again.
We worked our way around to the till the wind was right, then started working our way through the bush till we had a shot opportunity. Finally the sticks came out, this time I used Braun's shoulder as extra support for my shooting arm.
I set up, but the bull was behind some brush and there was no shot. I held the scope on that bull for 2-3 minutes and the bull never moved from behind the trees. Johnny suggests moving the sticks over a few yards maybe presenting a clear shot.
I settle the cross-hairs in he shoulder about third of the way up and squeezed he trigger. the rifle recoils against my shoulder and we hear the distinct sound of a bullet hitting flesh. The bull looks hit hard, but I cycle the bolt again and fire again, the second shot also flying true Two perfect shots at 260 yards after the two morning misses.
I can't believe it, my second African animal is on the ground & it is only the second day.
Light fading for good pictures we set up and the pictures done. Johnathan heads to get his bake and some help to get this 600lb animal out, as we cannot get a truck to it. We load the kudu in a tarp (this time 'we' means 'them') and we drag the kudu about 60 yards where we were able to get the backie to.
We head down to the skinning pole and my skinner got to work with help from Johnny's helpers. By the time the cape and backskin was off it was dark.
It was a great ride back to camp with smiles all around. I felt a that I redeemed myself. After a great supper and conversation headed off to bed with kudu dreams.
May 11, 2013
Today we planned to hunt springbok on the Glen Boyd property. After breakfast we loaded the hackie and headed out.
We drove out to the area where the springs usually hung out and started glassing. We found giraffe & impalas, but no springboks. We moved down the road a bit more and glass some more. We find a half dozen in the distance, but we were not able to tell if they were males or not.
We drive closer then get out to close the distance. We bump into some impalas and they spook a little, but not enough to spook everything. We finally get a good look and see no males in the bunch.
Frusterated we hop back in the hackie and drive around that part of the property looking. Lots of other wild life but no springs. We head to the other side of the property and park the hackie and get out to walk. We see red hart beast, dukier & several nyala, including a nice ram and of course several impala.
Braun, having had enough of not seeing any springboks decided to head back to the lodge for lunch, and he was going to check with some land owners he knew to see if he could find a better location.
After lunch we headed out for a property near Gramestown a little over a hour away. We arrive at the property and drive in. We finally spot some springs and plan a stalk.
Using the wind and the little cover we worked our way to a group of males. We belly crawled the final distance and Braun set-up the sticks. I seed the rifle into position and take aim at the animal and as soon as the right one was clear I hit the trigger. They take off, with no animal hit, miss number three for the week!
The springs were not as spooked as I would have expected and we were able to stalk up to the same group again, again the sticks and again a shot, again a miss? What the heck. Both shots were what I thought to be over 200 yards.
I found out later that I was fooled by the size of the these animals, they are smaller than our pronghorns.
We spent the rest of the evening walking trying to get on one again; to no avail. We headed back to camp after dark with me feeling depressed on my crappy shooting skills. The lack of practice I wanted to do before the trip was beginning to really show.
We had to get it done tomorrow as we were moving to the Kubusi camp over two hours away, and springboks there are few & far between.
May 12, 2013
Springbok in the fog
We arrived at the same property we hunted yesterday at first light. The fog was thick so we decided to walk a bit and find a spot to sit and wait for it to lift.
As the fog started to lift I spotted a warthog moving towards us. I pointed it out to Braun, with one look with his binos he says its a good one and he grabs his sticks and we see if we can get in position for a shot. No go, that hog was on a mission and wasn't going to stop.
The fog finally lifting we started waling into the wind to see if we could spot the herd from last night. We finally spot some and start to see if we could get on them, but it was not to be, they either spotted the hackie or the tracker and headed out of the country.
We decided to get back into the truck and try a different piece of the property. Getting out at this new spot something felt good.
Braun grabbed his sticks and I grabbed my BOG-POD which I have set for short sticks, maybe my shooting will be better from a sitting position.
We started again walking into the wind. We jump a couple steenbucks which I thought were rabbits based on their size & the way they ran. We also had a real nice dukier at 60 yards or less. It just stood there for 30 seconds or more. I kept waiting for the sticks to go up, not knowing we couldn't shoot them there.
Not much after the dukier Braun spotted some springboks. We worked closer to them to get a better look. After a bit we were close enough to see that there were some decent males in the bunch. Now it was time to get much closer.
We duck walked for about a quarter mile keeping low and behind what brush we could. Finally we had to belly crawl the last 200-300 yards trying not to put a body part in a cats, I managed with only a couple pokes.
Finally we were as close as we were going to get, and my PH set-up my Bog-Pod. I slowly got the rifle up. This time I had time to get settled in. I lined up and waited for the ok for a shot from Braun.
He game me the ok to shoot, and I squeezed the trigger. I heard the bullet hit, but did not see him go down. I asked Braun if I got him, his smile said it all. He had dropped in his tracks. We hurried up to him to get some pictures done before his white guard hairs on his back relaxed.
Once we had all photos done it was off to the skinning pole to get him capped out.
Once the work was done we headed back to the lodge for lunch and to load up to move to the other camp.
This shot I paced off 160 yards, the bullet hit right where I was aiming.
May 13, 2013
Blesbuck & Wildebeeste
Day 5 dawned sunny with some light winds. After breakfast at the new lodge, we loaded up & headed to the property we were going to hunt that day.
First up was blesbuck, we saw a good ram with some cattle as soon as we entered the driveway. The day was looking good so far. We saw several more as we headed to the ranch house.
We talked a bit with the landowner and his wife finding out where the blues hang out on the property. We soon headed back up the driveway to see if we could get a crack at the first one we had seen that morning.
After working our way over the fence, and through the bush we had some cattle spook, and that was the end of that.
We headed back to the backie and headed down the road to see if we could locate some more. Once we discovered where they were at we planned our stalk again (recurring theme again I know).
Walking with the wind our faces and slinking behind cover we got close to where we thought they were. Suddenly my PH squats down, there they were in front of us. Braun set-up the Bog-Pod and I got in position. The ram started coming towards us and kept coming, he didn't know we were there. He stopped at around 60 yards facing us.
The .300WSM barked once and he went straight down. Another animal on the ground & it's not even 10am yet. We set up for and take pictures. The tracker field dressed him and we carry him to where we can get the backie in. Then its back to the farm house for the skinning.
While the skinner was working away Braun and I headed out to see if we could find out where the blues were bedded down for the midday. Our first cruise around the property turned up nothing. We came back around and we were heading up the driveway and Braun spots some in the bush.
He asks me if we should go have a closer look. I forgot about lunch and grabbed my rifle and sticks and we headed out. Braun got us to about 200 yards and we set up, I was given the go ahead to shoot the one.
After the recoil of the 300 I swear I saw the bull stumble, my PH thought so too. He headed back to the truck to get the dogs and we started tracking we he was back.
The dogs seemed confused on what we were looking for, not a good sign. We tracked those bulls for over an hour before my PH called it a clean miss. Which I agreed with as I felt I pulled the shot to the left severely.
After this I was exhausted and dehydrated, so we headed to the land owners lodge that they offered for our use. After lunch we headed back out to see if we could find another one.
After more walking and glassing we found three male together and worked our way into position for a shot. Finally coming out of a creek bed we could see them. We set the sticks up and I was directed to the best one.
I settled the crosshairs on the shoulder and squeezed the trigger. The animals took off, none of us heard a bullet hit, but I felt sure of my shot, everything was steady. We headed over to where he was standing, all separate spots. We looked for signs of a hit, blood, hair, a body, nothing. I even went back to where I took the shot from to clarify where it was standing.
All of us feeling it was a hit, felt we should have the dogs. Seeya (the tracker) was sent back to the backie to get them, while Braun and I kept looking to see what we could find. It must have been less than 15 minutes later when the radio comes to life. A smile comes to Braun's face, he says Seeya found him.
We go over to where he said he was down, behind the only piece of bush we didn't look at. He only went about 50 yards before piling up. He was not a big bull, be an old one, his bosses were full of large cracks, the skull and hide will still look good.
May 14 & 15 2013
Days 6 & 7
Not many stories here, we walked many miles, glassed many more, but never had a shooter. Had many smaller ones under 50 yards, and a few even under 20 yards.
The other first timer I met up with got a nice one in a field we were heading to for the first morning. But that is hunting, you might not get what you are looking for.
On the second day it was just cool to be 20 yards from giraffes and to see big elands on the hill.
Overall I had a great time and took five great animals, and have some for the next time. The only thing bad about the trip is getting there, 48 hours on airplanes is not fun.
No 48 hrs is not fun but when the hunt is over it's worth every minute of it. Congrats on a great hunt and thanks for sharing the great pics and report with us.
The 48 hours just adds to the adventure is all. What a great hunt. Nice pics. Congratulations.
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