Graduation Hunt

Discussion in 'Hunting Africa' started by Mort Hill, Aug 18, 2017.

  1. Mort Hill

    Mort Hill AH Senior Member

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    Well, I pulled the trigger. I booked a safari with Graham Jones Safaris in Limpopo for June 2018 for my son and I for his High School graduation. Africa is the one hunting destination that he has dreamed of most, talked about most, but never thought he would ever get to go. Fortunate for him, our SCI Chapter caught me at a weak moment at our banquet and before I knew it, I was the winning bid of the father-son trip.

    I was hoping that the AH community could share some thoughts on what he should hunt, trophy wise, and outside of hunting, what he should try or pay attention to while there.

    It is a 7 day plains-game safari. We fly into Joberg a couple of days early on Qatar Air, so he should be well rested.

    I have hunted in Africa 7 times, but only once in SA. Like most 17/18 year olds, my son thinks the old man is full of it, and he knows it all. Not really, he is a fine young man, but you get the picture. That is why I would love your input to share with him over the next 9 months as we prepare. Thanks in advance.
     

  2. reedy0312

    reedy0312 AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Thats awesome! Congrats and lots to look forward to with your son!
     
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  3. reedy0312

    reedy0312 AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Maybe build in a trip to Kruger or another park. As far as what to hunt... wow that field is wide open. What have you hunted before? What have you not taken? I would also ask your son what species tickle his fancy.

    So many choices, but I would at least suggest since you will be in Limpopo to try for bushbuck, nyala, or kudu. Or preferably some combo of those species
     

  4. 3S Safaris

    3S Safaris SPONSOR Since 2017 AH Enthusiast

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    Congrats! Took my son in 2014 loved every second of it memories for a lifetime for us both as will you. Everybody want a Kudu and for good reason beautiful animal to see them and disappear into thin air at their size amazing. I really enjoyed the Bushbuck hunts very rewarding to work hard and finally get one . Good luck and happy planning.
     

  5. Mort Hill

    Mort Hill AH Senior Member

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    I will be very selective as this hunt is really, truly for my son. I have only a few remaining plains game species that I would take, so I might just focus on some night critters. Evan, having never been hunting outside the USA, will be open to everything, but alas, time and more importantly, my wallet, will limit his choices.
     

  6. CAustin

    CAustin AH ENABLER BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Ambassador

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    What a great gift for your son! I hope you have a memorable trip. I thinks maybe you sit down with your son and share some pictures of some of your hunts. Perhaps he would like a trophy or two like his dad has.

    As mentioned above you guys may want to take in one of the parks while in SA.
     

  7. gillettehunter

    gillettehunter AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    For sure get him practicing off of shooting sticks. It would be best of he is familiar with them. Nothing worse than wounding and losing an animal due to unfamiliarity with equipment. I would suggest that your son look through your trophies or online. Look at the animals commonly found in the Limpopo area. I suspect that some of them will be cool looking to him and he'll decide that is one that he wants. If you reload it might be a good time to get him involved. Good father/son time. Be sure and use a good quality bullet in a caliber adequate for the animals on his wish list.
    Another item well worth the time and money is to pick up the book The perfect shot. He can then study shot placement. Something that again might save a lost animal. Have fun and good luck. Bruce
     

  8. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN AH ENABLER SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR LIFETIME TITANIUM BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    What did you take on your first safari?
     

  9. Mort Hill

    Mort Hill AH Senior Member

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    Shooting sticks - got them. Practice makes perfect. Perfect Shot Book -got it, although slightly dog-eared from use. Look at pics/taxidermy for ideas. Park visit - fantastic idea. Thanks so much so far. I take so much for granted because I have been doing this Africa thing for twenty years. It is awesome to be reminded of the things I need to my son aware of so that Evan can have an awesome trip.

    By the way, I think it always helps to see who you are talking to. This is pic 8 years ago with first dear, and this year pre-fishing for a HS tournament.
    IMG_1767.JPG IMG_1713.JPG
     

  10. Whiskey1

    Whiskey1 AH Veteran

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    Since you are in Limpopo a big kudu or bushbuck has to be a possibility. Then (if your teenager is like my two) I'd suggest let him get in some shooting on impala, warthog, blesbok, duiker, or other of the less expensive animals so he can get a lot of experience, a lot of shooting, and several trophies to enjoy. Impala was my son's favorite animal to hunt on our recent trip.
     

  11. Mort Hill

    Mort Hill AH Senior Member

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    Well, like a lot of guys on this site, I thought I would go to Africa once. So I took some customers, and we went to three areas of SA. I took eleven plains-game animals. My favorite were kudu and mtn reedbuck, followed closely by zebra and black wildebeest. The kudu was special not because of the size, but the side story. It was the first kudu I saw. I shot it about 300 yds across a ravine. I shot low, and there was not much blood spoor. We tracked, lost spoor, circled, and kept tracking from mid-morning until dark. No kudu. That night, I pronounced at dinner that if we found my kudu, I would dance naked for the whole camp and staff. All my customers hoped we would not find it(because they did not want to see me naked) and all the PH's and trackers were bound and determined to find it. At dawn, we took up the trail, but soon lost it at the bottom of a large escarpment. The tracker said something to the PH, which when I asked, was told that he thought the kudu had gone up on top. Sure enough, an hour later after a steep climb, we found my kudu stone dead were he had bedded the night. And yes, good to my word, I danced naked for all the staff, PH's, trackers, cooks, women and all. And only two customers threw up.....
     
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  12. Mort Hill

    Mort Hill AH Senior Member

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    I have a lifesize impala mount, and three other shoulder mounts. Much like your son, they were and still are one of my favorite animals to hunt. Reminds me of an African whitetail.
    IMG_1157.JPG
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 19, 2017
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  13. IdaRam

    IdaRam AH Elite

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    You, sir, are a good dad. I hope you guys have a great hunt.
    The wonderful thing about hunting experiences shared with our children is the memories seem to get even better as the years go by.
    My daughter still talks about her first duck she shot when she was 12 years old.
    Sharing the experience and the memories will likely be more important to you both than what specific animals either of you choose to hunt.
    Enjoy the planning. Let Evan be involved to the degree he wants to be. Teenagers are all different. He might want to be involved in every aspect, or he may not. My daughter loved the "doing", but not so much the planning.
    You are doing a great job so far! (y)
     
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  14. Shootist43

    Shootist43 AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Mort, introduce your son to AH if you haven't done so already. Let him see what "other" folks hunt on their first safari. Even though he won't admit it in public, I'll bet he thinks you are a pretty good Dad.
     
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  15. Mort Hill

    Mort Hill AH Senior Member

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    Well, I made two mistakes already. I showed my son the Qatar Airlines web site where I booked some really inexpensive and awesome Business Class seats. He now thinks he is the Sultan of Nashville. I also showed him AH site. He is thrilled beyond belief, but now I can not get him off of the AH site to do homework. Momma, as supreme commander and chief, has now gotten onto me about his disinterest in homework. So once again, I have to play heavy and remind him that all things in moderation, while silently just loving the crap out of his excitement.
     

  16. 3S Safaris

    3S Safaris SPONSOR Since 2017 AH Enthusiast

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    This how excited mine was . lol He didn't sleep a wink in anticipation of the big trip , we didn't even make it 9 miles and I took this photo and I'll be damned if I didn't get pulled over for speeding less than a 1/2 mile after I took photo. We were packed in the rental car like a bunch of hobos gun case 2 bow cases and our luggage didn't think it was all gonna fit. But it worked out , I just wanted him to have a good trip regardless if I took anything or not. Enjoy your planning and most of all cherish that time with your son.

    iphone 387.JPG
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 22, 2017

  17. Ridgewalker

    Ridgewalker LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    Great gift dad! Like already suggested shoot over sticks every time you get to the range! Forget the bench!
    Maybe give him a budget and let him choose how to spend it?

    I got a cardboard box to move my stuff out of the house for high school graduation. After reading all of Robert Ruark's books and articles in the Saturday Evening Post for years, I would have given anything to go to Africa. Kenya back then was "the" place.

    Best of luck!
     

  18. Mort Hill

    Mort Hill AH Senior Member

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    So a bunch of great ideas so far, but I know there have to be others with ideas. Think back to your first safari and let me know what you know now you wish you had known then. Evan is eating this stuff up and really appreciates the collective knowledge on this site.
     

  19. VonJager

    VonJager AH Veteran

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    Spend more time enjoying the experience. The days are long as you know. As are as what to shoot, it depends on many factors. What you see, what they cost, and his personal taste. I haven't seen the pricelist for Graham Jones but I try to look at what animal is "cheap" compared to the broader market at a given place. Generally means they are plentiful usually. For example in Namibia red hartebeest was $550. It wasn't high on my wishlist, but I knew that was a steal compared to others places so I took one. Looking back, wouldn't have had it any other way.

    But try to pick one primary quarry, and let the bush decide the rest.
     

  20. siml

    siml AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    You have definitely booked with a outstanding professional hunter, Graham Jones is first class and one of the first in the hunting industry. I have done several hunts with him. Enjoy.
     

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