So the wife was now content having seen a leopard and the elephants and starting to believe this trip was not just an excuse for me to go hunting we set off after the elusive eland we had not gone far when there came a tap on the roof and we came to a stop. After a quick chat with Hendrick on the back of the truck Philip said there were some eland in the scrub ahead of us and we should go take a look. Philip, Hendrick and I decamped form the truck and headed off.View attachment 337123
at this point I still had not seen the eland Philip directed me to where they were located I could see females with just their horns showing above the scrub and every now and then a head would appear in a gap, I could not see a male but Hendrick said he had seen one in the heard so we should move in for a closer look.View attachment 337128
With the wind in our favour and using the scrub as cover we began our approach keeping low as we slowly move in on there location. View attachment 337130
As we disappeared into the bush so did our quarry as we neared the area we had last seen the eland they had vanished nothing was said but the look on Philips and Hendricks faces said it all as we began to stand upright again Hendrick dipped back down and waved for us to do the same. Hendrick had caught sight of a female just beyond where we had first seen the eland there was a hollow and the eland had just dropped down into this area and were still unaware of our presence. We back tracked a way so we could alter our approach just to keep the wind in our face's. we changed positions Hendrick leading followed by me and Philip bringing up the rear. We slowly began to move in closer moving from scrubby bush to scrubby bush Hendrick checking each time before we moved all of a sudden the sticks were up, I placed the rifle on to them still unaware of where the bull was then I caught sight of him 60 yards away he stood the eland bull was between to bushes looking straight at us, I asked is that the one looking straight at us both Philip and Hendrick replied yes at the same time , I placed the cross hair on him and squeezed the trigger there was a resounding thud and the bull took off and vanished into the scrub I reloaded and turned to Philip as the heard took off to our left and we watched to see if the bull was with them there were about 15 females and two bulls running away but the Philip said that he was sure that neither were our bull then at the same time me and Hendrick spotted a big cloud of dust rise off to the right and we headed off in that direction as we closed in I could see the horn just above the bush the bull was down but not quite done I gave him a second shot just to speed him on his way, he was a magnificent eland. He was everything I could of wished for.View attachment 337134View attachment 337135
Up nice and early once again and today we were leaving Philip behind as he had the pool man coming to discuss lining's for the new swimming pool that was under construction. Also yes the wife is still here she had been spending her time around the lodge drinking tea and watching the animals from the veranda come to feed and drink at the water hole. We had also arranged for her to go horse riding with Philips mother this morning. As usual I met with Hendrick and Marius and we headed out we would return to the same green valley as yesterday and see if we could catch up with a blue wildebeest. We drove into the area and parked up Hendrick said today we walk a lot I grabbed some water and off we went walking through this green oasis in the middle of the burnt off land.View attachment 339046
We began heading down hill using the available cover taking care as the ankle twisting rock was buried buy the plant growth. As we meandered through the scrub I was thinking this place should be attracting lots of game. As always seems to be the case just as you start to relax and and your mind begins to wander the two guys ahead freeze, I do the same Hendrick turns to me and signals we wait and then make a move to the nearest bush for cover they had found a blue wildebeest and were waiting for him to look away before moving we spent a couple of minutes to access him as he was covered by some scrub Hendrick said he thought it was the same bull as yesterday we slowly moved into a better position and got set up as we did the blue began to move off and we could not get a shot we quickly moved again, the bull must have sensed something was not right as he appeared between two bushes head on looking straight at us I was already on the sticks as Hendrick whispered 200 meters I settled the cross hair on this chest and fired the bull lurched and took off the shot felt good and sounded like a good hit , But it was a blue wildebeest and through personal experience I know how tough they can be. The three of us stood listening we could hear the clatter of hoof on rock as the wildebeest ran what sounded like to our right and round behind us then silence was that good or bad we headed off in the direction of the last sounds after a couple of minutes searching nothing . We returned to where the bull had been stood there was blood and we could see where he had run through the green plants we began to follow the trail and there just in a hollow lay the bull he had run in totally the opposite direction the sound of his hoof running on the stone must of echoed back and gave us the impression that he had run behind us. We were all relieved to see him lying there.View attachment 339051View attachment 339052
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