Day 1, Oct 6, 2015: Finally in Namibia. 40 hours after leaving Grande Prairie, the plane touches down in Windhoek. It's 6 am local time and the daylight is just starting to show the landscape. Low brush that is mostly brown with almost no leaves, covers the flat Savannah area, it is the end of the dry season. There are good sized hills that are rocky and rough. Meet my ride, Richard and now on the road for 5 hour drive to Christie's Adventures. Met up with the outfitter, Madelein, Andre and my PH, Ruan, to complete the last leg into camp. Lots of questions and discussion exchanged on hunting in Africa and Alberta with Ruan. Great guide who knows his info on Namibia and the many unique animals that live here. It is dam hot, 40 C, way above normal for this time of year. Do a quick unpack and grab the bow to fire off a couple shots to make sure all is in order. The heat has thrown out the bow a touch, a minor adjustment, and all is back in line. Go over a few of the hunting details and what my expectations are and what animals are on my wish list. Give Ruan a new buck knife, very appreciative, he also has quite a collection going. Off to a ground hide that looks like a termite mound that overlooks a watering hole, to catch an afternoon hunt. Ruan and I are sweating buckets in our little "sauna". It does not take long before we have a ton of birds grabbing a drink at the watering hole. A warthog sow and her little one are the first critters to arrive; they have a quick drink and wander off. We spot a couple of young oryx bulls feeding back in the brush, they feed off and out of sight. An hour later, 2 eland bulls show up, they are cautious and hang up in the bush, after a bunch of glassing, 1 bull is a nice shooter. Not soon after a dandy oryx bull steps out of the brush and beds down about 75 yards from the watering hole. As daylight is fading, the tense waiting game begins if anyone will come in for a drink. All of sudden a duiker appears and comes straight in for a drink. Ruan gives the nod, he is a good one. Slowly ease out of the chair and grab the bow, just drawing and the duiker looks up and spots the movement, he freezes for about 5 seconds, then decides maybe something ain't quite right and he turns and walks directly away, no chance for a shot. Right at last light, a steenbok comes in but does not give us a chance. Daylight fades away and the eland and oryx stay at their comfortable distance away, offering no shot opportunities. A great first day hunting in Namibia! Back to camp for a couple cold beer and a delicious supper. A little conversation around the dinner table and it is off to bed, I am bagged. Day 2 starts at 6, beautiful sunrise, we are off to try another blind. It is an elevated steel, box stand over a water hole in a large dry river flat, 200 yards in diameter. 15 minutes in, a flock of 40 Guinea fowl come strutting in. 4 impala show up and walk across the dry flat pan towards the waterhole. 1 buck has a broken horn and is a cull animal, no shooters in the bunch. After 10 minutes of them jostling around, he finally gives me a 25 yard broadside shot, smoked him perfect, the silver flame zips thru easily and sticks in the mud. He bolts and drops about 75 yards away, was a perfect heart shot. My first African animal is down. He has 1 nice horn, old mature guy. Grab some pictures real quick and back into the blind. This has started the African memories. Wildebeest cow and 2 calves gallop in for a quick drink and run off. There are 3 dik diks feeding on far side of river bed, a mongoose has caught a bird and is having a snack. Hour later a herd of 20 wildebeest come in for a drink, milling and jumping around, couple young bulls, no shooters. Morning hunt over with strong winds starting up. Back to camp for lunch and a nap. Evening hunt we head out to another different watering hole. Spot is another open area in a dry river flat with a watering hole. The hide is a concrete dome structure. Get a look up close of my first kudu, a cow and calf come on to drink, beautiful animals so similar to our elk, very majestic! An hour later a young eland bull came across the pan towards the watering hole. Has a good set of horns and we decide to try for him. He starts drinking at a water puddle at 35 yards out, but is quartering towards me. As we are concentrating on this guy, a dandy oryx cow enters at the other end and catches us flat footed. Ruan said we need to take the oryx instead, so a quick reposition in the blind for the shot. Bit too much excitement, I pull the shot high, it is about 8 inches above the sweet spot, too high for Africa, arrow zipped thru the dead zone. The oryx bolts but then stops at 48 yards and faces the blind. Definitely not the follow up shot I want, but have to take it now. Couple deep breathes to calm the nerves, I hit it just off centre and about 6 inches above the brisket, arrow buries completely, love those silver flames. The oryx wheels and runs 30 yards, then slowly walks into the bush. We are at fading light and give it 10 minutes. Find good pool of blood with bubbles at 30 yards, walk 20 yards into the brush and we jump it from its bed, lots of good frothy blood, give another 10 minutes and continue in sneak in. See it laying at 75 yards in thick bush, sneak in and put one thru the boiler room and it’s done. During the cleaning of the animal, the head on shot took out one lung completely and just nicked the heart, arrow stopped in the hind quarter. Way too long an escapade for my liking, but I have a great 36" oryx. All hands on deck to quarter it up in the bush, 30 minutes later it is loaded and we are headed back to camp. Give Fredrick, our driver and field skinner, his new Outdoor Edge swing blade knife, he is very happy and thankful. He used it on all the rest of the animals. A cold rum and Coke never tasted so good. Have a fantastic supper of barbecued wildebeest steaks. Day 3 finds us camped out early back at the same spot. Ruan has noted this one of the best spots for wildebeest. Guinea fowl come for their early morning drink, over 40. A herd of 15 wildebeest show walking in slowly in the early morning rays. 3 bulls, 2 decent bulls, but Ruan notes there are bigger guys around. The herd walks off 200 yards and starting feeding and having a few dust bathes. Winds pick up at 11 and we call it a morning. Head back to the stand which we sat in first night, good setup for the blind on a waterhole surrounded by bush. A young oryx bull came in followed by a herd of 6 eland, 1 huge cow and a young immature bull in the bunch, they are huge bodied. Wind picked up and only had a bunch of birds come to sand bathe at last light. Day 3 in the books, still amazed at the variety of game we have seen so far, never know what may wander in. Day 4 is off to the elevated stand to try catch impala or wildebeest, only 300 yards from camp when a small herd of Impala cross the road heading to a nearby waterhole. Quick change of plans and we head over there to try catch them. Lots of springbok in the area as we sneak into the blind, not 30 minutes later the impala herd heads in to the watering hole. The ram is a very good one, long sweeping horns. He comes and extends in to grab a drink. Let the arrow fly and hits him just behind the front leg. He bolts and does 2 bounds, over 10 feet in the air, he runs off 100 yards and starts walking, can see the exit hole is about mid body, as he was quartering towards me, which I had not noted at the time of the shot. We watch him as he stops at about 150 yards and looks a little wobbly, I am sure he will drop soon, he meanders into the brush line another 100 yards and lays down, perfect. Ph says the entrance was good, we check the video and shot looks good. We will give him an hour. Meanwhile springbok are coming to water, couple shooter bucks in the herd, but neither offer any shot, but both within 30 yards, will try for them tomorrow. Head out to find the Impala, almost no blood, finally find a couple drops, but cannot find him, we find his track and begin following, though no blood. Track this bugger for 3 hours and like 2 km, how can this guy be still moving? Finally lost his track in the rocks. Ruan and I are dumbfounded and wonder if we got a wrong track or what. Do a walk thru of surrounding area, nothing. With the shot on video, we know we got part of a lung. I am pissed at myself and the shot, for not noticing his quartering towards and how I should have been 4 to 5 inches further front. Am finding out the hard way, just how precise shooting African animals must be with the smaller kill zones. Shot my antelope in 2013 the exact same way and he only went 150 yards. Ruan has nick named this guy, Super Impala, as he said they are not known for their toughness, and this guy should have died after 500 yards max. Head out for another check of the impala area on our way to our next hunting spot, walking in 39 C is not that much fun, nothing after a couple hours of zig zagging thru the area. Fredrick picks us up and we drive into the elevated stand, time to rest in the sauna, feet feel they are burning off. As we were coming unto the watering hole, we spook a dandy wildebeest bull that was just on his way to drink. We get a good look at him as he gallops away, Ruan is excited and says this an old mature bull on his own, definitely of trophy quality. We get into the stand as quiet as possible and get set up. An hour goes by, 4 dik-diks show up, a good buck with them, got some good video. A big female warthog and a bunch of Guinea fowl occupy the water hole for the next 15 minutes. Then across the flat, the wildebeest bull appears, he slowly starts walking across, he is a huge bull with black curling horns well outside his ears. Ruan is giving the thumbs up and getting the camera ready. The bull stops and does a roll in the dirt, then continues in. He stops numerous times, he gets to the watering hole which has a large series of puddles in the mud, the one he stops at is at 30 yards and is quartering towards me hard. Am already drawn, but need to wait for him to turn, a minute goes by and he finally finishes the drink, he turns to go and Ruan gives a grunt to stop him, he is now facing the other way and is quartering toward me slightly, put the pin on his shoulder and let fly, he takes a step just as I release, but the arrow blasts thru him and comes out low at mid body on the exit. He spins and heads up the bank, dirt flying off his hooves and blood gushing out the exit hole. He runs hard into the bush 75 yards away and we lose sight of him. Hear a loud crash with brush breaking not 10 seconds later. No more noise. Is he down? We give him 15 minutes and then start following the easy blood trail. Start into the brush, we squat down 25 yards in to see if we can spot him, sure enough, he is piled up another 50 yards in. Right on, he is an awesome bull! High fives and handshakes. Pull him off the thorny bush and set up for some pictures. Ruan and I note this shot was not as good as the shot on Super Impala, but yet the wildebeest piled up quick. The impala was shot with a straight 2 blade, the silverflames, and this guy with DRT, same design but big bleeder blades. We debate if the broad head cut is a partial reason why the impala got its super powers? We get this guy loaded up and get back into the stand, still have an hour of hunting. 5 minutes later 4 Impala rams run into the water hole and start splashing around and having a drink, no shooters, now a congress of baboons is on its way in, 14 animals. Ruan motions to get ready to try for one. Baboons are overpopulated, cause a lot of damage to anything they get their hands on, the water pipes and pumps, anything left in the hides, this outfit wants to take out as many as possible. Just as they reach the waterhole, a large male seen a bit of movement or the glint off the camera, he gives a loud alarm bark and sends the impalas and all the baboons running for the bush. Just at last light we can hear the clatter of hooves as a herd of animals is on their way in, a huge herd of 40 wildebeest walk in single file from the bush, not 20 yards from the stand. The herd bull is not as big as the bull I had shot earlier that afternoon. Ruan asks me if I can see my pins, as we need to cull wildebeest. I cannot, the wind is swirling and the herd catches our scent and they bolt across the flat. My wildebeest shot was a double lunger going thru bottom of shoulder blade on entry, DRT had bent tip but was easily reusable. Day 4 is in the books, another spectacular day in Africa, if only super impala had not been so dam tough and I had made a better shot! Back to camp for a couple cocktails around the fire and another delicious supper. Day 5 has us sneak in early for the springboks. Herd is out early feeding on the savannah. Glassing and enjoying the calm morning. An hour and they should be coming in for their morning drink. No luck, over a 100 out on the savannah but nobody for a drink. Kudu and eland were also out at the far end. Pack up and head out to elevated stand, looking for Impala and eland. Slow morning a small herd of 15 wildebeest hang around for most of the time on the flat, along with the dik diks and a couple of young kudu bulls and cows wander by. Head out at 3 to a new blind, this one is another termite setup, surrounded by brush in a rocky area. See a dandy oryx bull only at 150 yards from the blind as we come in, he scampers up and over the rocky hill and out of sight. We settle in, 4 hours with not 1 animal. Ruan notes we will try this spot tomorrow as there is a ton of tracks and its probably being used for mid day drinking due to being so bushed in. Back to camp and get cleaned up to head to town for the local Octoberfest. A family affair with good food and drink. Get to meet a few of the local people, this area is a very popular hunting spot and many farms do the game outfitting. Got to watch elephant dung rolling! You race against others by pushing a ball, 6 inches in diameter, of dung with your forehead while crawling along on your hands and knees, fun to watch! Get a chance to talk with Ruan on the local outfitting business and the outfit that he has started. Day 6 is breakie at 6. Watching the savannah area in the predawn and looked like a cheetah ran across it, wish it had been 10 minutes later. Another spectacular sunrise. We head back in the springbok stand, nothing around as we sneak in. 30 minutes later a herd of 15 show up with 1 shooter in the bunch. They are milling around the watering hole, the herd buck is making his way in. Draw my bow and ease into the shooting window. A minute and half later I am still waiting for a clear shot, finally it is clear, oops no, another steps in front, another wait. Now it's clear, settle the pin on his chest as he is quartering slightly towards me. Just a split second before I release, he swings his head to go, too late, trigger was touched. Broad head enters his right side of his neck and exits his left shoulder, complete pass thru. He bolts a 100 yards and stops, Ruan notes he is bleeding heavily, it walks into a little brush patch. We give him 5 minutes and start in to the bush, he is bedded just on the other side in the open. We watch him for another 5, he gets up and starts running, we scramble thru the bush, he is back down after 50 yards. We sneak to 40 and I put another one into the vitals, he jumps up and goes another 50 before piling up. This guy does not have drop of blood left in him. Amazed at the sheer toughness of these animals. Back to our stand from last night. Have the perfect wind for this hide. 30 minutes in, a herd of a dozen kudu cows and a young "spike" bull appear out of the rocks and walk in single file not 10 yards from the blind, they casually walk in to water, got some great video and see them up close for almost 10 minutes. As they are leaving, a flock of 30+ guinea fowl come in for their drink. 30 minutes later a warthog and her 3 young piglets circle the hide and then come in for some water. Great morning so far, hoping eland or oryx will show up! Getting hot in the blind at 11 o'clock, lots of water and snacks, sit till 1, had 2 kudu cows pop in for a drink was all in the last 2 hours. Lunch sounds like the plan. Wind is now from the south, a different direction from the usual east or west, so we try a new hide. This one is a huge concrete termite mound that could easily sit 4, it overlooks a slough bottom area and is in the shade, built into a hill, a bonus. 2 young warthogs run into the watering hole, have a long drink, then wallow in the mud, cooling themselves off. 2 more warthogs trot in for a drink, one is shooter with about 10 inch tusks, Ruan says he is yours for the taking, probably won't see a bigger one. The first pig clears out and I have a perfect broadside shot, fire off an arrow and it finds its mark, a bit of deflection off the shoulder blade and the arrow exits out the lower neck. He blasts out of there, leaving a massive blood trail, goes about a 100 yards and drops dead. DRT did a bang up job. Take a few quick pictures, load up the hog and scramble back into the blind for final 2 hours of prime time. Final hour starts with 3 kudu cows coming real slow and cautious, maybe smelling the warthog blood? 2 out the 3 get their drink and they quickly slink back into the bush. As the sun begins to set, we spot movement in the brush on the far side, a bunch of oryx are making their way in. Then in the opposite corner we see the brown shapes of eland emerging from the brush, lots cows and calves and a couple young bulls, 30 animals in the herd, they walk in to the water as kings of the savannah, lots of jostling around with all grabbing a drink. Meanwhile the oryx cruise in and start getting their thirst quenched, 15 in the bunch, 1 old bull but not great horns. We are waiting, as this herd of eland are leaving, another begins to file in. At the back of this herd is a huge bull, he hangs up at the edge of the brush. Ruan points to the left of me and in come 2 nice young kudu bulls, low 40" range, first decent bulls we have seen, the rabies epidemic has really knocked the hell out of the population everywhere in Namibia. We have the video camera rolling to catch this amazing amount of animals. The kudu and oryx have their fill of water and the new herd of eland now start strolling in, the big bull in tow. I draw as he nears the water hole, he settles in for his last slurp. Other eland are blocking any shot, then he is finally clear. Let fly my CE Maxima red with DRT broad head, watch the nocturnal zip thru him and bury in the mud in the fading light. I hit him real tight behind the shoulder, could have been 4 inches further forward, blood sprays as he leaps forward over the watering hole and runs off. He circles around the slough and is walking slowly inside the brush edge, he turns to head into the bush, just keeps walking along slowly out of sight. We give him 5 minutes and then walk in. He is down 100 yards in, looks like he fell over in mid stride. He is a huge bull with close to 40 inch horns with deep curls, a fantastic bull. This is the biggest eland Ruan has taken guiding. Quick congrats and we begin to try move this beast in position for some last light pictures. Ruan takes some time lapse photos in the dusky light, they come out fantastic. We call Fredrick to come and get us. Ruan scouts out a trail to get the land cruiser in for loading. What a day in Africa capped off with this monster of a bull. It don't get much better than this! Got real lucky trying the new spot, wind is huge in deciding where to sit. Load up the eland and back to camp. All are impressed with the big guy. Shot got both lungs at the back, did not touch the heart. 3 inches further back would have missed lungs. This huge animal’s heart and lungs are half the size compared to a moose. Relax with a cold drink, can't get that big grin off my face. Day 7 is back at the same spot as the ever so slight breeze is still perfect from the south, hoping for a big oryx or red hartebeest. Only the regular birds the first 2 hours. Guinea fowl run in for a drink, has to be over a 100. They get lined up at watering hole, let fly, get 3 birds with the shot, arrow stuck in last, supper for tonight. A lone young kudu bull walks in to drink, no curls yet forming. Bunch of different warthogs come in to drink, overall a slow morning. Afternoon hunt, has us head back to same blind hoping the action repeats from last night with a good oryx or hartebeest in the mix. A few different warthogs come in to drink. A lone eland bull comes in early around 5 and quenches his thirst. Down to the last hour of sunshine, Ruan and I are reading some hunting magazines I brought along, chatting about some of the stories and the new bow hunting technology. The blind is built into a hill so the back part of the viewing slots are at eye level with the slope. I look across to Ruan's side and see a friggin snake motoring towards us not 6 feet from the blind. I jump up and holler "^$%#@ SNAKE"! Ruan bounces up and comes over to my side of the blind (10 feet in diameter). The snakes comes in and goes along the top of the brick edge and stops in behind Ruan's backpack hanging halfway up the wall, it is 6 feet from us. Ruan says this is a zebra snake (Angolan spitting cobra) and is very poisonous, it will kill you. He tells me to get my glasses on quick, I do. The frickin adrenaline is pounding! We each grab one of my arrows to try and protect ourselves. Ruan tells me try and sneak out the door. OK- this sounds like fun! I slink out the door watching my left side if that dam snake starts moving, I am making the mad dash out of there. I get out and Ruan is right behind me. Ruan's gun is next to his backpack so shooting it won't work, especially with the hide being bricks and concrete. Ruan heads back in with the arrow to get the snake to move away from the backpack and wall and hopefully gets outside where we can shoot it. I am holding the door open as it does not stay open on its own. Ruan gives it a poke with the arrow and the cobra comes back towards him, he scrambles back and the snake goes out the viewing slot but comes around a tree and towards us, Ruan swings at it with the arrow and it turns and slithers back into the blind, this time down onto the floor and behind the cooler at the front of the blind. Holy sh#t! This is a lot more of an African adventure than I had wanted! Ruan gets a big stick, along with the arrow and heads back into the blind to get the cobra out. He throws a clump of dirt at the cooler, no movement. He steps in further and pushes the cooler with the stick, the cobra comes out spitting and flaring, Ruan is ready and has his glasses on and his large hat covering the rest of his face, the venom splatters on his hat and glasses. I am shaking watching all this, holding that dam door open with one hand, arrow in the other. The snake moves towards the door, which has some holes in the dirt next to the bottom step, Ruan stabs the cobra with the arrow, getting a good poke at him near his head. “Give me your arrow quick!” he yells to me. I pass mine in and Ruan gets a second broad head into the snake. Repeated stabbing, alternating the arrows, with the snake withering like crazy trying to escape. Finally after about a minute, the snake stops thrashing around. Ruan slowly pulls out the snake with an arrow, the dam thing has some life left, falls off the arrow and slithers to the front of the blind, 2 quick smacks to the head with the stick from Ruan and it is finally dead! This ordeal has been more heart pounding than any of my bow shots in Africa! Ruan lifts out the snake with the bloody arrows and throws him out on the ground, +5 footer, a big cobra! Big kudos to Ruan for slaying the killer snake!! No time for pictures, need to get back and setup as it is prime time and things are going to be happening. Back in and get things back ready, legs are a little rubbery after all the excitement. 30 minutes later the last rays of the sun are dropping below the horizon, movement on the far side of the flat, a red hartebeest is walking in, easy to see it is definitely a shooter, big old mature bull. Grab the bow and stand as Ruan keeps an eye on him, 5 minutes later his head is dropping down for his drink. He has stopped on the far end of the hole and is facing almost head on, quartering slightly at 25 yards. Ruan whispers to take him as they do not have a thick chest and he will not stop once he is done drinking. I draw and settle my 40 yard pin on the bottom of his brisket, this puts my 25 yard pin 9 inches up, dead centre of his chest, I let fly and the shot is absolutely perfect. The red nocturnal vanishes into his chest. He wheels and runs 75 yards to the bush edge, he takes a few steps in and begins to wobble, about 10 more steps and down he goes, dropped within 30 seconds. Congrats from Ruan on the great shot, “It must be the snake adrenaline that makes you calm for that shot”, he notes laughing. Get out of the blind and we walk over to him, a heck of a bull, heavy mass and great length. The DRT broad head did another great job. Get him setup for some pictures at last light. Load him up and head back to the blind for the rest of our gear. Get some pictures of Mr. Cobra to remember that unique escapade. Checked out the shot, went right thru dead centre of his heart. Another memorable day in Namibia! Snake story back at camp creates the buzz for the night. Have delicious eland steaks for supper, melt in your mouth. Day 8 is our coolest morning as we drive to a new spot, now looking only for kudu and oryx. Head to an elevated blind overlooking 3 waterholes in cattle farming land. Beautiful spot and can see for miles in each direction. Cattle and sheep come in for their morning drink. A few different warthogs come to drink but that is all. Afternoon sees us checking out 3 other water holes in the area. On the way to the first one, we spot a good kudu in the bush 100 yards in, but he is already on the move, we hop off the truck to try a stalk and get a better look, no luck, do not see him again. A giraffe is drinking at the first waterhole, he wanders off as we drive up. Check it out, blind is not set up for this spot, 50 yards away. On to the next, it is a good spot with lots of sign, but no hide. There is a big tree at 30 yards, will build a blind tomorrow for a next day sit. Off to the third one, good kudu and oryx sign, has a square mesh blind at 30 yards that works nicely, just need to add a tarp overtop and brush it in a bit more, will sit here tomorrow all day. Back to tower blind. Get set up at 5. Warthogs again are first to arrive. Had a huge +39 oryx cow come in, a dandy. A small herd of kudu come in at last light, only a young bull. Back to camp for Andre's pizza night, a great feast of different meat lovers types. Head off to bed stuffed with pizza and beer. Day 9 has us heading in to the black mesh box ground blind, a few quick mods and it is good to go, get settled in, test the shooting set up, perfect. Tons of birds, Guineas, sand grouse and various varieties of song bird types. Mid morning snack is cold pizza, still delicious. 1 o'clock, no kudu or oryx have shown, there were fresh oryx tracks this morning when we checked the watering hole, thinking kudu will be in late morning or early afternoon, waiting game continues. Lone young kudu cow comes in for a drink at 1:30. Lunch is eland steak sandwiches, hits the spot! Late afternoon, a few warthogs come in, an oryx comes in for a drink at last light followed by 2 giraffe bulls, they are huge creatures, their heads towering above the brush. Day 10 is for kudu, we are going to the far hills to walk and glass for them. Halfway there, Ruan spots a bull, we stop and see 4 bulls as they drift deeper into the bush. 1 looked good, we are going to try tracking and stalking these guys. Catch up to them 400 yards in, 1 spots us and spooks, off they go. Follow tracks, 300 yards and we spot a bull, standing in thick stuff, can only see his horns, he walks away and another crosses the lane, we manoeuvre to try get closer, get in 100 yards and see a bull looking at us, a loud snort and the sound of hooves on rocks as they bolt out, heading downwind, can not catch them now. Drive to the hills to have a bird’s eye of the savannah. Spectacular view. See a dandy oryx but that is all. Back to camp for lunch, check the various water holes for tracks, spot a couple of groups of kudu cows. Do an afternoon walk in the hills and glass the savannah again, walk into a couple of valleys, no critters to be found. Spot a bull at last light just off the brush, 200 yards in, Ruan leaks the sneak and we got to within 40 yards, only maybe a 45" at best, pass on him. Day 11 has us back glassing off the big hill, see a herd of kudu, with 3 Bulls, 2 are in the 45 range, we pass on the stalk. See a ton of oryx, couple shooters, but keep focused on kudu. Do some driving and a couple short hikes up to some vantage points, don't spot any more kudu. Back to camp, Ruan talks to Madelein about hunting his property, 30 kms away, he had seen a couple of kudu shooters there last week. That is the plan for the next 2 days, new country to explore. Ruan shows me a shed where he has all the pick up horns from animals that have died from rabies, a bunch of dandy kudus. Head into the area where Ruan had seen the bulls a week ago, one is high 50s, maybe 60? Climb 10 minutes up a step rock hill to overlook the whole open area, what an awesome view, glass for 30 minutes, but only see oryx, a couple shooters. We walk a mile to the next hill and glass, see some kudu cows, no bulls. Day ends with no sightings of the grey ghost bull. Have a feast of traditional African cuisine, sheep's head, sausage made from liver, pork rind (not my fav) and intestine, along with sheep's foot stew, hoof and all. Lots of fat, not quite my taste, but it filled the belly after a good day of hiking those rocky hills. Day 12 find us up on the hills at first light checking the big plain adjacent to the one we scouted yesterday. Finally spot a decent bull just off a dry river bed 800 yards out, looks like he has huge curls. We stalk in to check him out, he ends up on the side of a small rock pile, we get within 40 yards, above him, as he thinks he is hidden in the bush. He has great curls, close to 50, is a young bull so Ruan says we need to pass, he has potential to be in the high 50s, 2 or 3 years time, when I may be back again. We drive the rest of the morning and see a big herd of eland, red hartebeest and oryx. Head out for the afternoon hunt, checking another new high hill spot to try and find those elusive buggers. See kudu cows, couple small bulls, but nothing to get excited about. We spot a huge oryx that has just gotten up and is heading for a large meadow to feed, maybe 2 kms out. We decide to try and get lucky to intercept him. We get in halfway and are walking a fence line when a herd of oryx cross, looks like a good bull, but was it the big guy, not sure, need to stalk in to check. Took us an hour to catch up to the herd, got in tight within 75 yards to the herd bull, real heavy but short, maybe 34 or 35. We make a quick discussion, he is not the big guy we seen, we pass again. Neat to get so close and be undetected. Sneak back out and head up the nearest rock pile for a last light glass, no big oryx and no kudu bulls. Shut out again. Tomorrow is the last kick at the cat. Day 13 - D-day, still looking for the elusive grey ghost, head into a new area along an old, dry river bottom. We see some oryx and giraffe within the first 500 yards, stop to glass a rocky hillside and see more oryx and also zebra for the first time. See a few kudu cows, get to our first lookout spot, Ruan and I climb to the top, nice cool morning, but I get winded jumping up those dam rocks. Settle in, see a huge herd of eland leaving a water hole, 1000 yards away, a couple dandy bulls in the herd of 25. Keep on glassing and I finally spot a probable shooter kudu, about 1500 yards away and starting to meander to the watering hole. We scramble down and start heading to the water hole, timing will be tight. Halfway there we run into a few kudu cows and have to detour around them as they are also on their way to the water hole. Finally get the waterhole in sight and see a bunch of kudu drinking. We sneak in to a little over a 125 yards and see the shooter bull there with the cows. Only a neck shot as he is on the opposite side of the concrete barrier, he is calm so we will wait till he walks out. He turns 180 and hops the fence with the cows into the bush, opposite to where we needed him to go, no shot. No problem, wind is in our face, perfect to stalk, we can catch them in the bush, we sneak alongside the herd 100 yards, catch glimpses of cows and a smaller bull, but none of the big guy, 30 minutes of dogging the herd and no bull, he must of slipped off. We head back to the watering hole and pick up his track, he left the herd and had angled off on his own and was now heading back exactly where he came from. We track him easily in the red sand for about 750 yards. We spook a giraffe and it goes running off in the same direction as the kudu tracks, there's a whole bunch of hooves clattering on the rocks now, the eland herd and probably the kudu all got bumped by the giraffe. We call Fredrick to come give us a hand by taking over the kudu track and we are going to a large nearby hill to glass and maybe spot the kudu. We get to the top and see Fredrick on the trail, starting to come into one of the valleys, we walk across the top and just break the other side, when a kudu jumps up and runs down into the valley. Ruan pops up the sticks, we see the kudu bull headed up the other side, Ruan says he is a good bull, get ready to shoot. Just as I set up, the bull stops 3/4 the way up the other side, quartering away, 200 yards. Slide the crosshairs just behind his left shoulder and squeeze off the shot. The favourable smack of a solid hit follows, Ruan reaffirms -"perfect shot man!". The bull goes up the hill 30 yards, staggers and drops in his tracks, down in 20 seconds. A second bull, another shooter scampers up the hill to our left and out of sight, could have pulled a double. Hand shakes, high fives and a big yee-haa. Oh, boy do we have some work, we scramble thru the valley and get up close to the big guy. Real old bull, that is just past his prime, big mass, with ivory tips that are already worn down a few inches. What a trophy! We worked our butts off for 6 days and it finally paid off. It is hot up here, flies are absolutely nasty, cut some branches to get some shade on him as it will be a while before we get reinforcements up to help. Fredrick gets to us and we set up for pictures. Ruan calls Andre to get the guys coming and directions to find us. Ruan goes to scout a trail out. Fredrick and I have a good chat waiting for the help to arrive. Fredrick thanks me again for the knife. Ruan gets back, I throw him my last new swing blade knife and say you are now the owner of a kudu knife. He laughs and says, we need to get that skin off now. 15 minutes and we are done, just as the other guys arrive to get out the meat. We head down and meet Andre, off to town for a well deserved beer and lunch. Driving back to town on the back of the truck, we go thru a rainstorm, it feels absolutely wonderful, cool and refreshing. Have a tasty zebra steak downed with 3 cold beer. Back to camp, 2 hours left for a last sit at a blind, head out to the “eland, warthog, hartebeest, snake” blind. 2 oryx come in at dark just as we are getting out, too late to shoot. Enjoyed a last, stunning sunset. The Namibian hunting trip is officially over. What a great day capped off with the trophy grey ghost, he measured out at 54". Relaxing last night at the fire with a couple of rums. Day 14: Ruan scores up the horns. The kudu, eland, blue wildebeest, red hartebeest, springbok and oryx all go gold in SCI. Heck of successful hunting trip, the African bug has set in, I will be back! Square up the bill with Andre, leave tips for all. Give Owen, the main skinner, his swing blade, it goes on his belt and a big thank you with a smile. Ruan drives me to Erindi nature reserve, have a great chat on hunting and his coming to Alberta to hunt elk in 2017 and me coming back to hunt with him in 3-5 years. Get to Erindi, have a last lunch with Ruan, relive the fun moments of the hunt and our future plans. Tip him well: for guiding, for rifle use, for killing that doggone cobra and extra for the last day kudu! He made the trip, very relaxed hunting, few good laughs with awesome adventures & memories! Erindi is a high end resort with a beautiful setting, my room is right off one of the water holes. The dining room overlooks a huge water hole with hippos, crocs and elephants all there during lunch. Head out for the evening game drive. See a pride of lions, springbok, impala, giraffe. Have a cocktail snack with the group, watching an amazing sun set with a huge thunderstorm rolling in. A couple from Namibia, that outfit for bowhunters and their client, a couple from Denmark, talk hunting and Namibian politics. Head back for supper, great oryx strip loin, have a couple rums and watch the night activity at the water hole. Great thunder and lightening show! See some lion cubs at the watering hole from my room before bed. Day 15: early breakie and off for morning game drive. See a black rhino, huge beast, very skitterish, spotted him after the truck spooked him. Next was blue wildebeest, honey badgers, single male lion sleeping in a dry river bed, drove right up to him, black wildebeest, there were a couple of monster bulls, real neat looking creatures, then a couple of male cheetahs laying by a termite mound, finally a bunch of giraffes. Last we are at a watering hole watching impalas, when a herd of 3 elephant cows with calves show up. The lead cow comes to the truck and does a bluff charge, gets with 10 yards. Pretty cool, a little unnerving. Have a late breakie watching the water hole. Richard picks me up and we go to Joe's beer house in Windhoek, neat junkyard type bar, great kudu steak. Off to airport. Stop at taxidermist shop for a quick visit, huge operation, fantastic trophies in the show room. Louw, the owner, is a friendly fellow bowhunter, talk about my hunt and elk hunting in AB. Check-in at the airport, and off to home, trip is done! Will definitely be going back, it is now in my blood!