Hunting the Free State

Discussion in 'Hunting Africa' started by vancewalker007, May 28, 2019.

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  1. vancewalker007

    vancewalker007 AH Senior Member

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    I've been poking around on this site for a few days now but I haven't really run into the info I am looking for. My wife and I got a good deal on a 7 day (5 hunting 2 travel) trip for 2 hunters. The camp and the hunting will be in the Free State. I hunting in the thorn brush country of the Limpopo a few years ago. It reminded me a lot of south Texas brush country. I have casted around on the web and it appears the Free State are is more open county than anything. What should I expect a hunt in this area to be like? Should I expect it will be like hunting the open country in the western US (which is am very familiar with)? Any info of folks experiences hunting the Free State, good or bad, are welcomed.
     

  2. Nyati

    Nyati AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    The free State is big, the farm where I hunted had a few hills, or kopjes, as they call them.
     

  3. vancewalker007

    vancewalker007 AH Senior Member

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    Thanks for your reply. So what methods did you use to hunt the big open spaces? Did you mainly hunt plains game?
     

  4. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN AH ENABLER SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR LIFETIME TITANIUM BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    What are the GPS coordinates for the property you are hunting?

    When you get them drop in on Google Earth and have a look around.
     

  5. IvW

    IvW AH Elite

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    Where in the Freestate will you be hunting? Terrain can vary, but yes a lot more open than Limpopo.
    What animals will you be hunting?
     

  6. vancewalker007

    vancewalker007 AH Senior Member

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    My list of hopefuls are Black Wildebeest, Nyala, and Bushbok. My wife's list is Blue Wildebeest, Impala, and Blesbok. You know how it goes, once you there things can change. I was blessed on my last trip to the Limpopo to take a really nice Greater Kudu so I'm working on my spiral slam this trip and going after a Black Wildebeest which didn't live in the area we hunted last time.

    We had been researching a trip to the East Cape but we kind'a fell into this trip via a fund raiser dinner that had it on a silent auction and the price was too good to pass up. At the time we only had some basic info on what the hunt would consist of but not the location.

    We had not done any research on hunting the Free State area so now I'm engaged in understanding more about it. I have been sending questions to the Safari company. They have been very helpful so far.

    I had hoped to get some feedback on others experiences hunting in the Free State. Since its a lot of fairly open country I assume a lot of the game we will see will be the open country herding types like the Wildebeest, springbok, Blesbok, Zebra etc. I guess Great Kudu are around but I assume they will be hanging in brushy areas like Koppies and canyons. In the responses I have gotten on Nyala and bushbok are that they may take some driving to get into the right area.
     

  7. Nyati

    Nyati AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    My camp was in the Northern Cape, I just hunted in one farm in the Free State specifically for Common Reedbuck. This was a hilly area, where we spent the entire day going up and down those kopjes (hills), until I found a nice one at the end of the day.
     

  8. AZDAVE

    AZDAVE AH Elite

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    What time of year are you going over? The free state is colder than limpopo. We hunted for a Few days last year in june and had a couple nights that were 24-26 degrees. The area we hunted was hilly and open with treed bottoms. If you think NE Wyoming or SE Montana you will have a idea of the terrain. We saw Springbok, blesbok, mountain Reedbuck, red lechwe, black and blue wildebeest. Everything was spot and stalk. You will have to ask you outfitter about the terrain in his area and what to expect as far as game species in his area. Very beautiful area with hills and water. On the south end of the free state we crossed treed low mountains
     

  9. vancewalker007

    vancewalker007 AH Senior Member

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    I think we are looking at Sept time frame just because of various other commitments. I had heard it can be colder there.
     

  10. IvW

    IvW AH Elite

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    Where will you be hunting in the Freestate?

    Not a good area for either Kudu, Nyala, Impala or Bushbuck and some places BWB. Some driving means for Nyala, Kudu, Impala and Bushbuck means driving to Kwazulu Natal......
     

  11. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN AH ENABLER SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR LIFETIME TITANIUM BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    ...... or the Eastern Cape.
     

  12. vancewalker007

    vancewalker007 AH Senior Member

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    The outfitter says 40 min drive to hunt Bushbuck.
     

  13. vancewalker007

    vancewalker007 AH Senior Member

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    We are shooting for Sept 2020 to do the trip. The outfitter says he has Nyala and Great Kudu, but it's a 40 min drive for Bushbuck.
     

  14. IvW

    IvW AH Elite

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    Yip depending where they are planning on hunting in the Freestate....
     

  15. evertb

    evertb New Member

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    You will enjoy the Free State, we hunt there a lot.

    Like mentioned it all depends where in there Free State you are going.

    Some areas are like Limpopo thorn brush country others are open like Wyoming with only a few trees in sight, if there is some Koppies around it will be an advantage for stalking.

    Hunting is mostly done by Spot and stalk, expected to see lots of animals.

    As for Kudu, Nyala and Bushbuck they have been introduced to certain areas in the Free State. So you will be able to continue with your spiral slam.

    As for Bushbuck, we were hunting an area that was cattle fenced (Low Fenced) and saw a rather good Bushbuck of about 15" in the River bed, so they are there.

    The Free State is good for Black Wildebeest, Springbuck, Blesbuck, Lechwe, Mountain Reedbuck and Common Reedbuck.

    If you are into Wing Shooting take the shotgun with as it is a great area for Ducks and Geese.
     

  16. Shootist43

    Shootist43 AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    I 've hunted both Limpopo and the Free State but only one time each. I agree with Brickburn, get the GPS coordinates of the "various" hunting sites and do the Google Earth thing. I found the Free State to be a little colder and some of the shots were more wide open but not all of them. Hillier, yes. My Free State hunt was for a Spiral Slam. The number one animal on my list was a big Kudu i.e. min 55" as I already have a "representative" Kudu hanging on the wall (not mine but my son's.) Both the Kudu and the Bushbuck eluded me but I did take a big Eland and Nyala. Although to be fair I had several opportunities to take Kudu estimated to be in the 51" to 52" range. Be prepared to "augment" the price of your auction hunt to get the animals you want if not included. They are generally offered as a "loss leader" and sound good until you get into the store so to speak.
     
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