NAMIBIA: Namibia Adventure 2017 With Schalk Pienaar Safaris

DLB210

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I joined AH this week after lurking for the past couple of years. I have thoroughly enjoyed everyones hunt reports, photos and wealth of knowledge, so figured it was time I joined. I have talked and dreamed of hunting Africa for years, but always put it off and procrastinated thinking that it was out of reach. Then 2016 hit and we had a booming year for business and decided it was time to start the planning and turn it into a reality. Since my trip, I have learned the Africa addiction is real and is something that motivates me every day to make a return trip happen sooner than later.

Prehunt/Planning
I will make this part short because I know everyone is wanting to scroll past the words to see photos. My father in law, his brother and I were all committed and began the planning. I spent hours upon hours searching for an outfit in Namibia. I came across Schalk's website and saw that he runs a combo hunt with Tholo Safaris and this seemed interesting. After communicating, I decided I would spend my entire trip in Namibia and planned to meet Schalk at DSC 2017. I was able to sit down and talk with Schalk and his wife, Amore, at the convention and we sealed the deal. To conform to everyone's schedule, the first week of September were the dates we selected. It was going to be a full moon, but we were reassured not to worry to much about it. We would all be rifle hunting and might have reconsidered if bow hunting. Next, we reached out to Lori at Travel Express to set up flights. No issues with our travel, we all brought rifles and everything went as planned. We flew out of San Antonio and took the Delta to Jburg and connected to Windhoek that evening. Only a 2 hour layover for the connecting flight to Windhoek, but it worked out well for us. Schalk picked us up at the airport that night and we made the 3 hour drive to the Gobabis area, where his farm is located. It was late and we were exhausted from the travel, we got settled in and could not wait for the adventure of the morning to follow.

Nightly view of lodge:
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jasyblood

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Looking forward to the story!
 

IdaRam

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Welcome and glad you decided to join. Looking forward to the rest of the story :)
 

DLB210

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Day 1
My post of each day will be a little shorter than usual due to being a year ago, but will provide the highlights that stand out the most. We were three hunters to two PHs and alternated being the single hunter daily. We all had wish list, but had an open mind when it came to animals we wanted to harvest.

We started each day with a great breakfast, something I am not accustomed to. I am the grab a banana and go type. We rode to the gun range to check all rifles. Before reaching the range, we were already seeing animals and were still in shock that we were half way around the world on a trip we will remember forever. A few quick adjustments and we were off. Within 20 minutes we spot a few Kudu bulls and decide to give them a closer look. A couple of young bulls and one non-typical bull that was large, but not what we were looking for being that it was our first morning, not even an hour into our first day. We saw oryx, wildebeest, impala, kudu, eland, zebra, and springbuck though out the day. A couple of failed stalks, a miss by my father in law and the day was coming to a close. Schalk wanted to check one last location before the day ended and it paid off. I was able to harvest a nice Waterbuck to conclude our first day in Namibia. I have seen photos, but could not believe the size of these animals. I am used to shooting Texas Hill Country whitetail, total shock. It was a great first day to get settled in and get a taste of the week ahead.

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DLB210

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Day 2

I would take a back seat today and let the other two hunters try their hand since I had an animal in the salt. Riding the farm, a few stalks and then a return to the lodge for lunch and nap. This afternoon we traveled to another farm to change it up a little. Within an hour, we were on a group of Blesbuck. After a short stalk, my FIL had his first african animal. I will post a collage at the end with his and his brother's animals. Plenty of daylight left, we continued on in search of our next target. After a couple hours, we spot two Sable feeding and decide to give them a closer look. We decide that one is a shooter and we should give him a closer look. They disappeared as we made our way to them and we figured out they had split up, right then the none shooter bull busted us and broke. We kept moving forward in the direction that we thought the shooter bull was heading and were able to cut him off. I got setup on the sticks and buck fever set in. I squeezed off the first round and hit him a little back. I was able to put a second round in him that hit his spine and he fell to the ground. I still to this day am in disbelief of having the opportunity at an animal this majestic. He measured 41 1/2"

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DLB210

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Day 3

We set out with a little different plan this morning. We would go out in search of Eland. I was the only one interested in Eland, so I would be the lone hunter today.

As with any plan during hunting, we were thrown off quickly. We came across a nice shooter Kudu bull. He was only 75 yds off the road, so we drove until we were out of sight. We began a stalk in his direction with the wind in our favor. Brush was thick and we were getting to what we thought was about 100 yds of the bull, just then a Red Hartebeest busted us and made his alert noise and took off running in the direction of the Kudu. We continued the stalk for a few more minutes and realized the Kudu left the area also. Schalk estimated him to be 53/54".

We set out and inspected a couple water holes with no sign of large bulls. As we were driving, we crossed several hoof prints in the road, but came to a screeching halt when we noticed a large bull had crossed the road recently.

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We all got situated and set up with water and rifles and were ready to walk until we could find the herd of bulls. We walked and walked and walked a little more, walking slowly makes you feel like you walked further than actual. Following the tracks, we came to a large thick patch of brush. We could see a couple of Eland cows bedded, but the bulls were not there. We got back on the tracks that circled the brush and within 200 yds of the cows were the bulls standing in some more thick brush staring us down. The bulls broke and all I could see was Eland running away from us. So.......we ran. We ran rather quickly for what I would estimate 4-500 yds. Just then the group stopped to look back at us and within two second, the shooting sticks were in place and the shot was sent on its way. The Eland took off again at this point and we rushed to the sight of impact, approx an 80 yd shot. Not a single drop of blood, but I felt like the shot was good. We picked the tracks up in the sand and followed them for approx. 150 yds where my Eland expired. I was overwhelmed with emotions.

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Quartering away entry from the 7mm Barnes 160gr TSX

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After seeing this entry, I am actively on the search for a .375 H&H. My guide would have preferred me to use his, but I was too comfortable with my own gun and glad I stuck with it for this scenario. I will post photos of the retrieved bullets at the end. Only ticks I saw on the trip were on this guy.

We tried to relocate the Kudu later that afternoon, but no such luck. I was on cloud nine after three days of hunting.
 

DLB210

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Day 4/5

The other guys bagged a couple animals each since arrival, but told me that I needed to take a back seat since I was having all the luck. I hunted with them and made all their stalks and had just as much fun as my own. At the end of day five, a nice warthog appeared and I was the only one who expressed interest in one previously. A downed warthog at the end of day 5 was nice after laying low for two days.

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DLB210

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Day 6

I took over the lead today and was after an Oryx. I did not want my hunt to conclude without taking an Oryx in Namibia. I had made a several stalks on them in previous days, but none worked in our favor. Today our stalk on this bull came together and I was able to send a round his way as he was about to cut out. He dropped on the spot, beautiful animals.

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jasyblood

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Beautiful animals....I especially like that sable!!
 

cls

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Well done so far, waiting for the rest of the story. Thanks
 

DLB210

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Day 7

We concentrated on finding Kudu. We drove the majority of the day and made several stalks. The couple bulls we found were not to the standards of our guide. Not shooting a Kudu just makes my return trip that much more to look forward to.

We ate great every day. Large breakfast with eggs and bacon, a casserole or such for lunch and backstrap/ tenderloins nightly, the food was more than I could have asked for. We ate Sable backstrap one night, and realized that it was not our favorite due to the toughness, I swiped the tenderloins before the others had a chance and they were great. The sides, salads and desserts were all amazing. SA wines and local beer daily, with a bottle of Woodford Reserve to celebrate a successful seven days of hunting and the friendships we made. Only food photo I took because all the salads were beautiful.

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I brought a 7mm Rem Mag with me on the trip because I shoot it great and was extremely comfortable with it. As you can see in my previous post, the Barnes 160 gr TSX did its job. I was very satisfied with their performance and have began using them in more of my rifles. The middle bullet is from the Eland, one pedal missing. Pass through shots on the Oryx and Warthog, so these were the three recovered.

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My FIL and his brother's trophies:

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We had a great trip, but I will definitely stay for a longer period of time on my next excursion. We used Ingwe Wildlife Art for the dip/pack and everything showed up at our taxidermist in great shape when it arrived in April. Safari Life Taxidermy in San Antonio will be performing the taxidermy work and I will post up some pictures then.



Thanks for letting me share my adventure and I look forward posting a lot more in the future.
 

stug

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Fantastic hunt, that sable is impressive! I was never really impressed with Eland, but the more I've seen of them the more I like them.
 

cagkt3

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Great trip, looks like everyone had a blast! Congrats!
 

gesch

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Well written report. Thanks a lot for the report. I hunted twice south of your location at Uitspan Hunting near Aranos. Great area. Really appreciate the Eland.
 

TXhunter65

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Great hunt report and pics. Wonderful experience.
 

BRICKBURN

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Better late than never.
Congratulations on your success.
 

Neale

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Thanks for posting a report. You got some nice trophies there.
 

crudeoildude

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what a bunch of beautiful trophys,Ill bet your in the early planning stages of the next hunt already,nice starter collection
 

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Congrats for a great hunt.
 

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