Its More Than Just A Hunt...

AjFourie

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This morning I went for a walk and my mind started drifting a little bit, I got to thinking just what it really is that makes for a great hunt. Obviously, it is being outside being blessed by nature, walking, fresh air, a good climb, the sights, the smells, that feeling you get when you see the animal you have been looking for, a fresh track or the excitement of promising activity on a bait.

But it is more than that. To me at least it all begins with a dream, eventually meeting people and suddenly, the hunt kicks off! After months or years of research, planning, and arrangements it all comes together. The anticipation and the possibility of something incredible around every corner. You get the opportunity to discover new food, new cultures, or even some history. Those crisp winter mornings with the sun rising for yet another day only to be ended by the beauty of an African sunset which cannot be fully captured or explained by words or the best camera, especially when it is enjoyed from a mountain top or overlooking a mighty river.

Sitting around a campfire at night sharing hunting stories, jokes and discussing the days adventure of the hunt whilst building up comradery and friendships for years to come. Listening to the evening sounds of the night jars, the jackal, hyena, maybe even a leopard or a lion on occasion and don’t forget to look up and enjoy the amazing night sky.

We see animals and their interactions with each other during the hunt, the beauty and appreciation of small things like the sound of the oxpeckers or perhaps water trickling in a stream nearby? We get to share special moments with friends and family. Sometimes it goes smoot and easy and other times you have to face the challenges together, whether it is being busted by gusty or swirling wind conditions, heat, exhaustion, long and often cold nights in the blind, or any of the other many factors that prevents us from getting an opportunity and then battling through it to achieve a great accomplishment together and hopefully end up with a fantastic trophy that will be displayed, discussed, respected, and remembered for years to come!

This is Africa in my opinion, it is the dream and the imagination that we build up over years of reading books and looking at pictures. When the trigger is pulled, the hunt comes to an end but in between that moment and where it all started there is so much more that is often overlooked and not mentioned. Success will have a different meaning for every person out there but as far as I’m concerned, this is a great hunting experience and a safari to remember!

I’ll post a couple of pictures with this but let’s see what you would add to this?

Kwalata; Mozambique; sundowner.jpeg

(Image 1) Having a sundowner next to the Lugenda river in Mozambique.

Kwalata; Mozambique; Fireplace.jpeg

(Image 2) The fireplace in Mozambique overlooking the Lugenda River.

Kwalata; Limpopo; Tortoise.jpeg

(Image 3) a Leopard tortoise we came across early season.

Kwalata; Limpopo; lunch spot.jpeg

(Image 4) Taking it easy over the heat of the day at a lunch spot.


Kwalata; Limpopo; Bushman paintings.jpeg

(Image 5) Some Bushman paintings dating back over a thousand years old.
 

Doug3006

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Well said. Planning, the journey, who we meet, and what we experience are the most important elements.

Sunset over the Luangwa River. September 2014.

A6EC38BE-7AFE-4D92-B505-6522C155AE81.jpeg
 
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AjFourie

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Thanks for sharing!!
 

AjFourie

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"AJ practices what he preaches! How are those boots Brother?"
Screen Shot 2022-09-20 at 4.52.33 PM.png


Well worn but they just keep getting better!
 
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shotgungibbs

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If we truly enjoy the trip, to wherever, then the taking of game is just a bonus! Very nice photographs. Thank you all for sharing!
 

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Well said.

Sunset over the Eastern Cape.

cigar.jpg


Sunset over the Kalahari Desert.

Kalahari sunset.jpg
 

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This morning I went for a walk and my mind started drifting a little bit, I got to thinking just what it really is that makes for a great hunt. Obviously, it is being outside being blessed by nature, walking, fresh air, a good climb, the sights, the smells, that feeling you get when you see the animal you have been looking for, a fresh track or the excitement of promising activity on a bait.

But it is more than that. To me at least it all begins with a dream, eventually meeting people and suddenly, the hunt kicks off! After months or years of research, planning, and arrangements it all comes together. The anticipation and the possibility of something incredible around every corner. You get the opportunity to discover new food, new cultures, or even some history. Those crisp winter mornings with the sun rising for yet another day only to be ended by the beauty of an African sunset which cannot be fully captured or explained by words or the best camera, especially when it is enjoyed from a mountain top or overlooking a mighty river.

Sitting around a campfire at night sharing hunting stories, jokes and discussing the days adventure of the hunt whilst building up comradery and friendships for years to come. Listening to the evening sounds of the night jars, the jackal, hyena, maybe even a leopard or a lion on occasion and don’t forget to look up and enjoy the amazing night sky.

We see animals and their interactions with each other during the hunt, the beauty and appreciation of small things like the sound of the oxpeckers or perhaps water trickling in a stream nearby? We get to share special moments with friends and family. Sometimes it goes smoot and easy and other times you have to face the challenges together, whether it is being busted by gusty or swirling wind conditions, heat, exhaustion, long and often cold nights in the blind, or any of the other many factors that prevents us from getting an opportunity and then battling through it to achieve a great accomplishment together and hopefully end up with a fantastic trophy that will be displayed, discussed, respected, and remembered for years to come!

This is Africa in my opinion, it is the dream and the imagination that we build up over years of reading books and looking at pictures. When the trigger is pulled, the hunt comes to an end but in between that moment and where it all started there is so much more that is often overlooked and not mentioned. Success will have a different meaning for every person out there but as far as I’m concerned, this is a great hunting experience and a safari to remember!

I’ll post a couple of pictures with this but let’s see what you would add to this?

View attachment 490696
(Image 1) Having a sundowner next to the Lugenda river in Mozambique.

View attachment 490695
(Image 2) The fireplace in Mozambique overlooking the Lugenda River.

View attachment 490694
(Image 3) a Leopard tortoise we came across early season.

View attachment 490693
(Image 4) Taking it easy over the heat of the day at a lunch spot.


View attachment 490692
(Image 5) Some Bushman paintings dating back over a thousand years old.
Well said! Substitute virtually any destination (might have to remove the heat, lions and leopard references) and you have distilled the essence of what most of us, certainly me, look for in a good hunt. The game pursued, even as it the incentive to go, is secondary to the experience of the journey to find it. There are some who are not satisfied unless the quarry is bagged, but everyone I've met that truly hunts wants the entirety of the experience, not just the kill.
The pictures of things that aren't of a trophy taken often exceed those of the animals that are. That time in camp, the sunrises and sunsets, landscapes, brings the journey's culmination into focus. While I am still in that planning phase of Africa as a destination, seeing the photos others have shared of their time spent there, gives me a taste of the diversity of experience I might have when the time to go arrives. The hunt has already begun.
 

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Well said! Substitute virtually any destination (might have to remove the heat, lions and leopard references) and you have distilled the essence of what most of us, certainly me, look for in a good hunt. The game pursued, even as it the incentive to go, is secondary to the experience of the journey to find it. There are some who are not satisfied unless the quarry is bagged, but everyone I've met that truly hunts wants the entirety of the experience, not just the kill.
The pictures of things that aren't of a trophy taken often exceed those of the animals that are. That time in camp, the sunrises and sunsets, landscapes, brings the journey's culmination into focus. While I am still in that planning phase of Africa as a destination, seeing the photos others have shared of their time spent there, gives me a taste of the diversity of experience I might have when the time to go arrives. The hunt has already begun.
Agreed, and let's face it, even the planning, dreaming and building up part is a whole lot of fun!
 

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It is the whole experience, not just the shooting that makes these excursions have so much depth and make them so much more memorable.

I will often sit quietly and record the sounds. This works very well when you are sitting alone enjoying those very sounds in a blind, your tent, under a tree, etc.

I have a recording from a blind from my very first hunt and when I play that recording I am taken back instantly to that evening as the sun slowly sank behind the bush.

The Doves coming in to water, then Francolins, soon followed by a Jackal and then a falcon swooping in looking for dinner. All with the back ground sound of water slowly trickling into a huge cistern behind me.
Never even considered raising my firearm once. I sat and enjoyed it.


I stood on a hay bale in the farm compound to get this picture. The gate was locked and I needed some height to avoid the chain link. The barbed wire just added to the image. The sun sinking in the west with the Otavi Mountains and that absolutely foreign tree. Amazing.

IMG_0923.jpg





Getting out of bed early in Hluhluwe-Imfolozi. It was an awesome sight to see the mist, the tall grass and those incredible hills as the sun rose higher. We were all done game viewing, in absolute peace, before the hoards were even done breakfast.

IMG_5016.jpg




This was the guesthouse in our family friends yard in the Karoo in the early morning. The kindest, warmest people you could ever meet. They live in this absolutely beautiful part of South Africa miles from anywhere in wide open prairie like space. It took me home just being there. The architecture is so telling.


IMG_5866.jpg
 
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This morning I went for a walk and my mind started drifting a little bit, I got to thinking just what it really is that makes for a great hunt. Obviously, it is being outside being blessed by nature, walking, fresh air, a good climb, the sights, the smells, that feeling you get when you see the animal you have been looking for, a fresh track or the excitement of promising activity on a bait.

But it is more than that. To me at least it all begins with a dream, eventually meeting people and suddenly, the hunt kicks off! After months or years of research, planning, and arrangements it all comes together. The anticipation and the possibility of something incredible around every corner. You get the opportunity to discover new food, new cultures, or even some history. Those crisp winter mornings with the sun rising for yet another day only to be ended by the beauty of an African sunset which cannot be fully captured or explained by words or the best camera, especially when it is enjoyed from a mountain top or overlooking a mighty river.

Sitting around a campfire at night sharing hunting stories, jokes and discussing the days adventure of the hunt whilst building up comradery and friendships for years to come. Listening to the evening sounds of the night jars, the jackal, hyena, maybe even a leopard or a lion on occasion and don’t forget to look up and enjoy the amazing night sky.

We see animals and their interactions with each other during the hunt, the beauty and appreciation of small things like the sound of the oxpeckers or perhaps water trickling in a stream nearby? We get to share special moments with friends and family. Sometimes it goes smoot and easy and other times you have to face the challenges together, whether it is being busted by gusty or swirling wind conditions, heat, exhaustion, long and often cold nights in the blind, or any of the other many factors that prevents us from getting an opportunity and then battling through it to achieve a great accomplishment together and hopefully end up with a fantastic trophy that will be displayed, discussed, respected, and remembered for years to come!

This is Africa in my opinion, it is the dream and the imagination that we build up over years of reading books and looking at pictures. When the trigger is pulled, the hunt comes to an end but in between that moment and where it all started there is so much more that is often overlooked and not mentioned. Success will have a different meaning for every person out there but as far as I’m concerned, this is a great hunting experience and a safari to remember!

I’ll post a couple of pictures with this but let’s see what you would add to this?

View attachment 490696
(Image 1) Having a sundowner next to the Lugenda river in Mozambique.

View attachment 490695
(Image 2) The fireplace in Mozambique overlooking the Lugenda River.

View attachment 490694
(Image 3) a Leopard tortoise we came across early season.

View attachment 490693
(Image 4) Taking it easy over the heat of the day at a lunch spot.


View attachment 490692
(Image 5) Some Bushman paintings dating back over a thousand years old.
You are all over the experience of Africa that stirs my blood and brings me back year after year!
 

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Yes, to all of this. For myself, as an amateur birder, it was spotting so many new species. It was getting to know my PH and his wife, and family, beyond what they were providing for me. It was sharing camp with Everett and Bryan, brothers from Mississippi, and hearing stories I will never forget. It was all the little side stories (Me to Wik: we've got eyes on us) that continued to build, day after day. It was getting up at 4 AM on the day of my buff hunt... so I could watch a livestream of my daughters performing at a music concert back in Alaska. Don't get me wrong: I am very happy with the ten animals I was able to bring home. But they were just one piece of a very big pie.

I would add: it's not just Africa. Sunday I'll go on a caribou hunt with my daughter. We're going to a spot I've been to maybe a half dozen times before, to hunt for caribou. It is one of my favorite places on earth, for a thousand reasons having nothing to do with the caribou I've shot there. And I fully expect to add a whole lot of new reasons on this hunt, beyond whether my daughter kills one or not.
 

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After my third trip my mother asked me "What is it about Africa than I love so much?" I thought about it before I answered and told her that as I sit on the deck the first morning with a cup of coffee with my eyes close I can hear every sound and smell the earth of Africa and i just speaks to the very core of me and says welcome home.

It is the complete experience from the day you first read about it, to the dreams of going, to planning/booking to all the adventure once you are there to staring to plan your next trip on the plane ride back. The hunts and friends made are the icing on top.

Alaskan mountains and interior is the other place that also touch a special place.
 

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Very well said. I have nothing new to add, just agree and emphasize what's already been said.

Some of my favorite times growing up was anticipating opening day of deer season with my friends and our dad's. The shooting sessions leading up - usually in the pasture in front of the house with feed sacks against a creek bank. Then those early, frosty mornings of watching bobcats slink through the brush, hearing the crows start up at as the sun warmed the morning, all watching every shadow and starting at every leaf fall, expecting it to be that buck.
The months and weeks leading up to first my African trip will always be incredibly special. It was a family trip with 5 hunters. We got together as often as possible that whole summer leading up to an August trip. We shot, worked on loads, watched videos, and got more and more excited all leading up to that magical day we woke up in an African Camp the first morning of our hunt.
I still get those feelings with every hunt, and now as I have started taking my kids, the joy for me has increased more than I could have imagined. Watching them experience all those same things is twice as much fun.
 

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It is the whole experience, not just the shooting that makes these excursions have so much depth and make them so much more memorable.

I will often sit quietly and record the sounds. This works very well when you are sitting alone enjoying those very sounds in a blind, your tent, under a tree, etc.

I have a recording from a blind from my very first hunt and when I play that recording I am taken back instantly to that evening as the sun slowly sank behind the bush.

The Doves coming in to water, then Francolins, soon followed by a Jackal and then a falcon swooping in looking for dinner. All with the back ground sound of water slowly trickling into a huge cistern behind me.
Never even considered raising my firearm once. I sat and enjoyed it.


I stood on a hay bale in the farm compound to get this picture. The gate was locked and I needed some height to avoid the chain link. The barbed wire just added to the image. The sun sinking in the west with the Otavi Mountains and that absolutely foreign tree. Amazing.

View attachment 491170




Getting out of bed early in Hluhluwe-Imfolozi. It was an awesome sight to see the mist, the tall grass and those incredible hills as the sun rose higher. We were all done game viewing, in absolute peace, before the hoards were even done breakfast.

View attachment 491171



This was the guesthouse in our family friends yard in the Karoo in the early morning. The kindest, warmest people you could ever meet. They live in this absolutely beautiful part of South Africa miles from anywhere in wide open prairie like space. It took me home just being there. The architecture is so telling.


View attachment 491172

I quite like the plan with the recording you have, great idea especially as those are the kind of things that slips out of your mind after a couple of weeks usually! I always encourage people to write down a specie list of things they have seen because of this reason, you will see it and enjoy it while you are here but eventually it gets a bit hazy...
 

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You are all over the experience of Africa that stirs my blood and brings me back year after year!
LOL thanks man, Thank goodness Africa always has something to come back for!!
 

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Yes, to all of this. For myself, as an amateur birder, it was spotting so many new species. It was getting to know my PH and his wife, and family, beyond what they were providing for me. It was sharing camp with Everett and Bryan, brothers from Mississippi, and hearing stories I will never forget. It was all the little side stories (Me to Wik: we've got eyes on us) that continued to build, day after day. It was getting up at 4 AM on the day of my buff hunt... so I could watch a livestream of my daughters performing at a music concert back in Alaska. Don't get me wrong: I am very happy with the ten animals I was able to bring home. But they were just one piece of a very big pie.

I would add: it's not just Africa. Sunday I'll go on a caribou hunt with my daughter. We're going to a spot I've been to maybe a half dozen times before, to hunt for caribou. It is one of my favorite places on earth, for a thousand reasons having nothing to do with the caribou I've shot there. And I fully expect to add a whole lot of new reasons on this hunt, beyond whether my daughter kills one or not.
Agreed! Post a couple of pictures on this thread after Sunday if you want, and show us a piece of your spot and happy place, good luck and enjoy!
 

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Very well said. I have nothing new to add, just agree and emphasize what's already been said.

Some of my favorite times growing up was anticipating opening day of deer season with my friends and our dad's. The shooting sessions leading up - usually in the pasture in front of the house with feed sacks against a creek bank. Then those early, frosty mornings of watching bobcats slink through the brush, hearing the crows start up at as the sun warmed the morning, all watching every shadow and starting at every leaf fall, expecting it to be that buck.
The months and weeks leading up to first my African trip will always be incredibly special. It was a family trip with 5 hunters. We got together as often as possible that whole summer leading up to an August trip. We shot, worked on loads, watched videos, and got more and more excited all leading up to that magical day we woke up in an African Camp the first morning of our hunt.
I still get those feelings with every hunt, and now as I have started taking my kids, the joy for me has increased more than I could have imagined. Watching them experience all those same things is twice as much fun.
Are you planning on doing some hunting back home this season? The picture that I posted from the lunch spot was a father and daughter, she ended up getting her first African animal late that afternoon after a great stalk! She got an old Impala male playing cat and mouse with us in thick brush until we finally got the perfect opportunity.
 

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