You had an awesome first Safari! Happy for you. Thanks for the stories.Hi Everyone,
I thought I'd share my first experience hunting in Africa with you all. I read a lot of hunters stories on here before my first African hunt and found them very beneficial so I wanted to do a report incase it helps anyone else.
Like most hunters, going on a hunt in Africa is a dream. My hunting buddy and I have talked about it for a while and about two years ago we decided to make it happen. We talked to a lot of outfitters and hunters and Pieter Delport seemed to stand out from the hunters that we have talked too so we scheduled our first hunt with him for May 2019.
We landed in Windhoek around noon and Pieter's PH, Ben Van Wyk was waiting on us with a smiling face as soon as we got through customs. We made the 1 hour drive to Pieter's farm. We got settled into our private rooms, which were very nice, and relaxed a bit while talking to Ben, Pieter and a couple of hunters that were finishing up on their hunts. Later that afternoon, Ben took us on a ride through part of the farm so we could see the country and animals.
The first full day of hunting we left out for Oryx, we saw hundreds of them and made a couple of stalks before Ben found the right mature male for me. We made a very long and careful stalk on the Oryx and I guess excitement was too much for me because it was a clean miss. I was pretty down on myself, but Ben said don't worry, well go find another one. We went back to camp and had lunch and relaxed before we went on the evening hunt. Right away we got on a good group of Oryx and made our stalk. This time I didn't miss but, being from North America, I hit him a little too far back for African animals and he ran for about 1.5 miles. Ben and his tracker were on him following track and sign that I had no idea what they were looking at. We finally caught up with the Oryx and I was able to finish him off with another shot.
Day two we rode around looking for more animals on my bucket list but didn't see any with that were the right age/size. I did get to shot a sow warthog for Leopard bait for a hunter coming in June.
Day 3 we found a group of Red Hartebeest, Ben and I made our approach and had to wait for probably close to an hour for the male to get up and give me a good shot. He finally did and the shot was good. 23" Hartebeest down!
Days 4 & 5 we went to Pieter's friend Frickies farm in the mountains to hunt Mt. Zebra and Kudu. This was very rugged country but those Land Cruisers they use over there are some tough machines. Around 11;30am we get on a group of Mt Zebra. Zebra have got to be the spookiest animal, or at least from what I saw. We quickly got in a position to cut the group off for a shot but they wouldn't slow down. We hustled to the top of the mountain to try and locate them again. We didn't see them. Just as we were about to head back to the truck, Ben said "listen". I didn't hear anything but he motioned for me to come and we ran over the side of the hill and looked across the valley and the group of Zebra were about 220 yards away. Ben got his sticks set up and I made a good shot and put the zebra down right away.
The next morning we were going after Kudu. I guess rabies and the combination of the drought they have had over there has the kudu numbers down. We really hadn't seen a lot of them so far that week. But Pieter never gave up. Pieter and I followed the tracks of a couple of groups. The first ones we busted and couldn't catch up to them. The second groups of tracks we got on we found a group of a few cows and 4 or 5 bulls up on the side of a hill laying in cover. I was able to get a respectable bull and was thrilled and relieved!!
Day 6 Pieter and I went after eland. We got to the area we were going to hunt them early as Pieter told me that eland tend to move mostly at night so we needed to cut fresh tracks and stalk them. We found some fresh tracks of mature bulls and went on two different stalks that morning. But we never made up much ground so Pieter called off both stalks. The rest of the day we drove and glassed. Saw a group of females and some younger bulls and it was getting late in the day. Pieter told me well, you've still got another day so will go after them again tomorrow. It was 2 minutes later, Pieter motioned to his driver to stop. Pieter saw a group of bulls a ways off. We get out and haul but to try to get on them quickly as it was getting late in the day. We finally get the biggest bull in sight and I made my shot. This thing was HUGE!!
Day 7&8 Pieter and I were hunting warthogs to finish up my wish list. I can't say how many pigs we saw but hundreds. Pieter is very picky on what animals he lets you take. Most of the mature male warthogs had broken tusk. Pieter kept me patient and finally we see mature warthog that wasn't busted and I wrapped up my hunt.
Pieter really want his clients to have a great experience and take the best trophies available, just like the reference's told us he would. The meals were fantastic to say the least! I will definitely be going back to hunt with Pieter again.
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Ultimately it got the job done and I hear a lot of hunters take eland with that caliber and bullet.