NAMIBIA: Kowas Safaris In Every Way

Discussion in 'Hunting Reports Africa' started by JGRaider, May 19, 2014.

  1. JGRaider

    JGRaider AH Fanatic

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    I was in the central part of Namibia, about 90 miles S of Windhoek, a mixture of flat ground and rocky, sandy, with very large hills. I arrived in camp around 1:00pm and was shown to my room to get myself and gear situated. Once accomplished, we customarily headed to the range to check things out. My Gear:
    Rifle: Tikka 695 7mm RM
    Ammo: 160 Accubond, 71.5 Retumbo, 3110 fps
    Scope: VX6 2-12x42 duplex
    Binocs: Cabelas Euro (Meopta) 8x32HD

    I was sighted in at home 1" high at 100 yds. Turned out to be perfect and the rifle still grouped 3 shots within 1" off the bench. Then I told him I wanted to fire off the sticks. For some odd reason, and remembering all the advice here I learned about shooting off the sticks, everything seemed to "click" off of the sticks. I did practice quite a bit at home off the standing Bog Pod, and I managed to put 6 into a 3" group. I felt really good about that.

    To finish up my arrival day, we road around the ranch looking at game, and a lot of game there was. I was also treated to one of the most beautiful sunsets I have ever seen in my life that first evening…..

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    First hunting day came and I was reminded what I felt like when I was 11 years old, going on my first mule deer hunt with dad...you couldn't wipe the smile off my face, or the excitement. I love that feeling. After a traditional bacon and egg breakfast, we were off. My agenda was to do a cull/management hunt of 10 animals, plus two trophies including a kudu bull and mountain zebra. The landowner and PH felt that one of the more difficult trophies was going to be the mountain zebra, and in my case they couldn't be more right, so we decided to tackle this one first.

    We climbed a small hill after sunrise, overlooking a large valley with more hills intermixed. After 30 minutes of glassing, the PH, Matheus (Mathews) found a group of 5 with 4 mares and a nice stallion, so off we went on the 1/2 mile stalk. The altitude was no problem for me, but the sandy, rocky, knee high grass covering those hills was brutal on my arthritic knees. I could've cared less though. To make a long story short, we wound up stalking those zebra for over 4 hours and could never manage to get a shot off. They either stayed in nasty cover, winded us, or just managed to stay out of range during the whole adventure that morning. We broke for lunch at 1:00 pm. Matheus found them again about mid afternoon and we were off again. About 2.5 hours later we had managed to make our way to a point in which we could intercept the small herd and at about 5pm I was staring at the stallion through my VX6, set on 6x, at 130 yards. He made it to an opening and I fired and hit him almost perfectly through the shoulder. He twirled, whirled, and crashed within 60 yards......man was I happy, and wore smooth out all at the same time. This is absolutely one of the most gorgeous creatures I have ever seen.

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    The 2nd day we decided to go after springbuck. Now we would look for kudu every day as well, but I figured out you kind of need to be really looking for kudu in kudu country, primarily mountains with thick cover, to be effective. At least that's the way I saw it. Anyways this country was loaded with springbuck so locating some of them was not very tough. Several times during the day the PH's and tracker would climb up to aid in locating animals. Getting close to them was a little tough, but within a couple of hours we managed to do so, and I knocked this one down, quartering toward me, with one shot.

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    Backtracking a bit to the zebra hunt……
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    Last edited by a moderator: May 19, 2014
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  2. JGRaider

    JGRaider AH Fanatic

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    One day we're after a blue wildebeest, and the usual spot from the truck, plan the stalk, make the mile long stalk drill applies here as well. However, as you guys know there is lots of stopping along the way to monitor animal position, behavior, attentiveness, etc, and that's what we were doing. We hear this funny scratching sound in the short brush we were in and it got our attention. Shortly this prehistoric creature appears about 15 feet away.....

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    I had not the first clue what this creature was, but it kept creeping closer, closer, and closer, until finally it was literally at my feet, sniffing of my pants legs, boots, and snatching the little bugs off of me, and then he moved very slightly and did the same thing to the PH (green pants guy).......

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    Turns out it was a pangolin....the owner had only seen 3 of them in 24 years of owning the property. What a cool deal it was to get so up close and personal. He stuck around about 3-4 minutes then just slowly walked away.

    Anyway, we finished the stalk on this wildebeest and once again I was able to anchor him with one shot, quartering to. He whirled and fell over within 75 yards and was stone cold dead when we walked up to him.

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    That afternoon we were able to complete another successful stalk on another blue wildebeest. We had about an hour and a half to try to find a big kudu bull but had no luck. We did enjoy a fantastic dinner though.....grilled zebra steaks....awesome!

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    The next few days were filled with trying to find a big kudu bull, shooting another springbuck, a really nice oryx bull

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    ...a couple of nice red hartebeest like this one

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    ...and a few jackals. I was also able to kill a couple of broken horned impala rams that he wanted to cull out of the herd. Those impala are one sleek animal and really fun to hunt. I do not, for some unknown reason, have any impala pics. The tracker was taking the pics so I'll blame it on him.
     
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  3. JGRaider

    JGRaider AH Fanatic

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    It was down to the final two days, and I still hadn't found the kudu I was after. It was decided that we would go to the neighbors 40,000 acre low fenced place that had more mountains to try to locate one. Luckily we could drive within 1/4 mile of the top of a mountain to start our glassing. It was app 3pm. Quickly spotted was a small herd of kudu which contained one bull about 48", too small. I about schitt my pants when I glassed that beautiful bull and couldn't shoot! We walked to another vantage point and the PH then informed me that he had spotted a much larger bull that was making his way down the hill. He felt he was heading for a water hole about 3/4 of a mile away. We were about 1/2 mile from the bull so we started off in a manner as to intercept him somewhere in the flats as he made his way. The PH was correct....he knew exactly where the bull was going and we had a great plan. It took about 45 minutes to an hour to catch up to the bull, but the entire time we were stalking I refused to even look at the bull again because I was getting very jacked up (OK, I admit it, I was getting freaking buck fever) at the possibility of getting a shot. The PH got me to within 125 yards of this beautiful 55" kudu bull. He didn't run 20 yards after the 160 accubond crashed through his right front shoulder.
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    I finished up the trip tallying 2 each of oryx, wildebeest, hartebeest, impala, springbuck, several jackals, a kudu bull, and the mountain zebra. I had one heckuva great time, learned a whole lot, got in lots of shooting, and just fell in love with Namibia.

    A word about my gear. I was very, very satisfied with everything I brought. The 7mag performed flawlessly, the VX6 is one helluva fine hunting scope, the 8x32 euros...well, they are even better than I already knew they were. They have a huge depth of field. I hardly had to focus them at all, all week long due to this. They are tack sharp as well.
    I was also very pleased with my shooting. Every animal was a one shot kill except for the terrible shot I made on one of the oryx. I drilled him through the neck, hitting no bone, but he was bleeding pretty a little, at times. I did get to see these African trackers do their thing though, as they tracked this thing over a mile where I was able to put a finisher in him. Often times the tracking was over and through grassy, sandy, rocky, and a combo of all three. Amazing to say the least.

    Here's the bullets and data for those who care:

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    These were the only 5 bullets recovered. The rest were passthroughs. The 160's were sizzling along pretty good at 3100+ at the muzzle. Combine that with impact at 100-140 yards, smashing through shoulders, etc. I was still a bit surprised that the bullet recovered from the zebra lost so much weight. Didn't really matter though, because the animals only ran from 0-65 yards are so before falling over.
     
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  4. Nyati

    Nyati AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Congrats for your hunt and nice trophies !

    Thanks for sharing.
     

  5. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN AH ENABLER SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR LIFETIME TITANIUM BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Having that Pangolin walk up to you is amazing. The rarest beast you encountered.
    Lucky man.

    If you don't get excited it is not worth going hunting. That's great.
    For that Bull you should be excited.

    Congrats. Thanks for the report.
     

  6. enysse

    enysse AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Thanks for the excellent hunt report. Awesome kudu!!! Love the red hartebeest!!!! He is so massive.
    Hard not to love Namibia!
     

  7. accipiter

    accipiter AH Enthusiast

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    That zebra is absolutely beautiful. Thanks for the detailed report.
     

  8. Wheels

    Wheels AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Thanks for sharing your hunt. The pangolin is a pretty special treat. Love the kudu.

    All the best.
     

  9. Royal27

    Royal27 AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    As awesome as all of your hunted trophies are the Pangolin is the best to me!!! I love to see things that few ever get to see...

    Great report!
     

  10. Velo Dog

    Velo Dog AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    JGRaider,

    Excellent report, excellent photos.
    The pangolin is indeed a very special encounter, you were blessed by the Hunting Gods no doubt.
    Thank you especially for posting well documented photos of your recovered bullets.
    I enjoy looking at recovered bullets as much as I do looking at horns, tusks and skins (It has been said that I was a quite strange as a child, yes quite).
    Thanks again for your report/photos.

    Regards,
    Velo Dog.
     

  11. billc

    billc AH ENABLER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Looks like you had one great trip.I so want a mtn zebra and hope to chase some next year or the year after that
     

  12. Toby Bradshaw

    Toby Bradshaw AH Senior Member

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    Hope you left a decent-sized kudu for me -- the one you have is a beauty!
     

  13. drew416

    drew416 AH Veteran

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    Congrats on all your animals. Very simetrical Zebra! A great report to read. Glad you know exactly how your Tikka 7mm performs. I too like to recover my projectiles and weigh them just for my own satisfaction. A quick e-mail to the bullet manufacturer always produces results for me either in the form of some give-a-ways or a photo of you in their next catalouge. Thanks for sharing, making me very keener to visit Namibia!
     

  14. garyleach

    garyleach AH Veteran

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    Nicely done!!!!!
     

  15. DCN

    DCN AH Member

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    I'm hunting Kowas in May this year. Thank you so much for the informative post.
     

  16. CAustin

    CAustin AH ENABLER BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Ambassador

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    Looks to me like you had a great hunt.
     

  17. kfet87

    kfet87 AH Member

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    Awesome report and brought back many great memories of our time at Kowas! So YOU were the guy who beat out my boys' kudus- lol! Beautiful trophy (It looked like you got at Mr. Harry's, right?)

    Amazing animals (my fave of course is your GREAT zebra)-loved and can so relate to the elation and exhaustion after a full day! Wishing you many more adventures with folks and places as special as Kowas!
     
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  18. johnnyblues

    johnnyblues AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Great safari. Congratulations.
     

  19. Scott Slough

    Scott Slough AH Fanatic

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    Great hunt ... great report! Congrats on both.
     

  20. JGRaider

    JGRaider AH Fanatic

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    I absolutely cannot wait to get back there to such fine hunting, and such a fine place to hunt. I cannot say enough great things about Kowas. Thanks for the kind words as well.....all of you. I cannot remember the name of the ranch where I got my kudu. I know it was not a high fenced ranch and it was big! Memories of a lifetime no doubt!

    I'm headed to DSC Friday and Saturday. First place I'm heading is to give Ansie a great big hug!
     

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