NAMIBIA: Namibia, The First Time. A Family Affair

thank you all very kindly for the feedback.

Did you get your ammo back a couple-few days later?? Not a deal-breaker, but it pains the handloaders that dialed in their rifles so well with the perfect recipes, only to have to shoot meager ammo that the PH is also likely tacking onto your bill..

It certainly does pain us handloaders. This story has a happy ending. I promise I will get there.
Part 4, Regrouping or, a New Hope in the evening

We break. Back into the truck. I try to get the kid to nap but he’s pretty bummed. I say we might be able to get him on a hunt, but we can’t do that chasing kudu. I wish I would have gotten out of the truck at the store in Dordabis since I love looking around these little country stores but I don’t and we sit in the truck and I tell him we’ll hunt something else.

View attachment 556922
We pass onto a new ranch and then the pace quickens. Even after a very long day (or in this instance, days) of hunting we are energized by the new ranch. Jacques sees some impala on the way in but says we can likely do better. I am riding in the front and the trackers at in the truck bed and bubba in the back. We cross into the ranch, which is huge. We get up on a ledge and Jaq says “Eland”. I do see them after he points them out, but he says all small bulls. We cross another ridge and he stops very suddenly.

Jacques likes to play a game. It seems to make little difference if I am ready to play the game, but I am only aware of it once we are already playing. “Do you see the [thing]?” is the game. I am always behind.

We are headed up to our koppie. The game begins.

“Do you see the impala? Big ram.” We pause.
--I do not.

We reverse course down the road and cross quickly to the next road and are walking up towards the ridge. Bubba stays with joseph and Humphrey and Jacques says we have to move fast. The impala are somewhere in front of us this side of the ridge. We are walking down the road but walk right on top of them and they spook and blow out. We rush up the road and Jacques says we will get a shot. They are moving but in the cover and we get set and I’m on the sticks.

View attachment 556923

The herd is headed up and out of this draw but has to cross the open grass maybe 300 yards distant. I am on the sticks and finally do see the ewe cross into the open.

“See her?”

--I do

“The ram will pass.”

We hold and I am watching through the scope. There are ewes and then the ram does pass into the open.

“You see the ram? Yes? On the ram”

--I see the ram

“That’s the shot.”

The ram is moving slowly to the left and Jacques gives him a loud bark and he slows and lifts his head to see us as I push the shot. Jacques took a photo he shared with me later

View attachment 556924

There is a slap-back and the ram is on a dead run. But in only a few yards we see him roll in the grass, four legs in the air.

View attachment 556925

In Impala, as in whitetail, a “dead-on heart shot” is uncomfortably close to “you missed the whole animal”. Luckily in this case, it was the former. Although I get some gentle ribbing

“The shot was too far back since they were moving left”

--And low since they were further than I thought. But only in Africa is that shot too far back

“This is Africa”

View attachment 556926

View attachment 556927

Impala was NOT on my initial list but after three hard days I’m very happy to have had the opportunity, which came together very quickly. It’s a beautiful animal, sleek and muscular. Bubba is not thrilled and says it was his turn, but the trackers and Jacques all seem very pleased. They point out the long tips stretching up that indicate a good mature ram. Getting the impala loaded is a lot less involved than the hartebeest, so we are back on the hunt quickly with a bit more time. The sun is sinking.

“We may yes find some wildebeest if you are interested”

--I am interested.

We get back in the truck and drive to a very large open meadow. We get out and Jacques says we will poke into the meadow and there will be wildebeest. I can barely talk my little guy out of the truck. But he does get out. And this begins another remarkable sequence of events. We are working our way into this large flat meadow and then swing left and there is a large group of springbuck. They have seen us but are not spooked. Jacques stops.

“We could go back and grab the other rifle and hunt the springbuck. It would be a good opportunity for him. He would get back into it.”


I hurry back to the rig and get the 22-250 with the big can on the front and the other set of sticks. Jacques set up the sticks for my son on the range 3 days prior. He can get it set up almost like a collapsible rifle sled and the rifle sits there without anyone on it. The problem is that it takes more time to set up than throwing up the sticks. Here is Jacques carrying the “sled” and the 22-250. We are working through this broken grove of what look like Hazelnut trees back home. Beyond the line of trees is the meadow and the springbuck.

View attachment 556928

We get to the edge and there are the springbuck. We get the sled set up and get Bubba on the sled and then see what the issue will be. It takes time to get set up, and in that time if the spring buck move even a little they are out of the scope, and my little guy is only able to shift the rifle a little bit without having to move the entire sled and re-do the whole set up. We get set up on what Jacques says is a monster ram but I can’t get Bubba to get him square in the scope. I can tell he is very nervous since he is struggling to communicate with us.

“Can you see him? He should be in the scope”


--Bubba do you have him?


“I had him but he moved”

We quickly re-set but the spring buck will only let us move so much. They finally have enough and move further down the meadow, but for whatever reason they hang close to the edge where the cover conceals us. We re-set again, moving a few more dozen yards. Each time Jacques gets the rifle sled set up, then gets the rifle steady on the sled, then gets the scope set on/near the buck, then Bubba gets on the rifle and gets set, and then….we wait. And each time, the springbuck moves, or in the set-up we spook them. Over and over. The rifle is a full size Savage model 12, so it’s very big on him, plus it has a huge can on the front so the whole thing is very heavy and not easy to move, even in the sled. Finally we get a good set up and it’s all there and we seem to hang in the air there for a minute, and the buck hops two steps forward and then the herd takes off. Jacques sighs very deeply for just a moment, then turns and says “We will get another chance”. I know he must be running low on patience—as am I—but he collects our stuff and we take off again. We follow close, but coming around a small rise we stumble right on top of a small group of warthogs. There is a monster boar, not 40 yards from us. Jacques stops on a dime and we all see the boar, white tusks shining in the setting sun. Jacques seems to hesitate—the first I’ve seen of that—and I almost think he will re-set on the boar, which is fine with me. But the warthogs make the decision for us and we continue ahead and find a tree to hide behind while the springbuck ram feeds out in front of us.

One more time, sled set, then rifle set, I nudge Bubba forward.

“He should be in the scope”

“I can see him”

--Front shoulder Bud, squeeze slow

“Yes I see him”

The air stops and the time stops and we hang there in silence. I am praying. Jacques must be praying. I watch the ram and try to will the rifle to fire. If I could just stare at the rifle and the ram beyond and will it to fire. The ram is head down and feeding slowly but will take another step in a moment. We sit in silence

The rifle cracks. And the ram flops.

All at once we erupt.

“He fell! He fell! He fell and I hit it!”

"He’s down, GOOD SHOT!”

We hug and Jacques swings around to look through the scope while I snap a photo but I saw a clean spine hit and there’s no way that one is getting back up

View attachment 556929

View attachment 556930

The ram is down just as we are losing the light and the night is coming fast. We walk over and the shot was a bit far forward. When he fired Jacques’ rifle at the range he was shooting a few inches right. And true to form, the shot is maybe 3-4 inches right but that made it a neck shot that broke the ram’s spine ahead of the front shoulder. So down it went in a heap. We hug as we get to the down ram and Jacques ranges the tree we hid behind in the picture above.


--Bit of a poke, Bud

View attachment 556931

“Can we show Momma?”

--She will be there

View attachment 556932

It is very pleasant to sit there with the sunset and reflect. And we reflect on the time there. On the pressure to make a shot and the anticipation of approaching a down animal. On hunters and fathers and sons, of hunting for venison in wild places and chasing game:

“Behold now, I am old, I know not the day of my death: Now therefore take, I pray thee, thy
weapons… and go out to the field, and take me some venison; And make me savory meat, such
as I love, and bring it to me, that I may eat; that my soul may bless thee before I die “

“We will bring it back home?”

--Promise bud.

The rest of the family will be back from their photo safari when we arrive, and with both the impala ram and now the springbuck ram in the truck we are greeted as conquering heroes. Plus the story of Bubba’s first ever big game animal will be told around the fire light, smiling teeth and waving hands re-animating the story in the orange glow. When we arrive Papa already has a bourbon in his hand.

But for the moment there is no truck. We wait in the dust and the gathering dark, with a moment to ourselves. The sun sets on the day, and I think of the sunset and the hunt and my son.

View attachment 556933
Congratulations! Well done
My son got his first African animal there just last summer. Your post brought back great memories for me and of Kowas and the whole group. Congratulations and keep the story coming!
The driver of the truck is Mathus, the other PH. He is out of the truck and speaking urgently with Jacques in Afrikaans.

“Hartebeest?” Jaq asks

They do this kind of crazy thing while speaking. All of them speak 3-4 languages, so things usually start in Afrikaans, but then every 6-7th word will be in English, or some Afrikaans word that I can understand (“Hartbeest, wildebeest”) and then occasionally they also slip into Ovambo, which is the language native to the trackers and Mathus, although Jaq speaks it too. I am not really trying to follow what they are saying, but Hartebeest are on my list. Mathus is talking very fast and Jacques is clearly interested in whatever it is he is saying.

“We are going to go” Jacques is looking at us.

--We are not helping?

“They say they have it and we need to find the hartebeest on the other side of this koppie”

We are back in the truck. On the way out Jacques says that Mathus – one way or another—had recent intel that there are a bunch of red hartebeest that have been hanging out in the meadow in the mornings on the other side of this farm. Since it is early and we are already on the right farm, we can likely find then in the open and intercept them before they bed. So we are back on the truck and off again.
View attachment 556624

When we reach the other area, which is not far away, we do not see anything from the truck and there is no glassing knob. But there is a windmill. Up go Jacques and Humphrey (the tracker/assistant guide).

View attachment 556625
Bubba is NOT happy that he is not allowed to climb way up the windmill. After a brief debate we settle on the “third bar” and no higher. He is then very happy with himself. I tell him we are not going to be here long, as Jacques clearly has something spotted and I warn Papa too that we are about to move. I am not sure what we are going to do, but clearly we are about to do something. Jacques and Humphrey are both gesturing and pointing as they conference on the top of the windmill.

View attachment 556626

After a few more minutes Jacques comes back down

“We are going to move quickly—we need to cover about a mile”


“There is a large herd of hartebeest and at least one good bull. They are heading to bed but we can catch them if we can move now, but we have to move fast”

--Let’s go

I try and take a few photos of this stalk. When we are trying to get into position I never seem to take photos, generally since we are all trying to move, not spook anything, etc. It is the hardest part to take photos of on an entire hunt. But here we do drop below a little rise and can move quickly with the wind hard into our faces. This whole morning has moved very, very quickly. And now all of us are on a half-jog covering ground. Here we are moving up the rise and the windmill is behind us in the background.
View attachment 556627

If you are like me and have never even seen a herd of hartebeest they look like this in the distance. It’s a big herd and this is the best I could get with my phone.

View attachment 556628

Over the course of the next few minutes, several things happen in a very fortunate sequence that really helped us. This story has a happy ending. First, we had this roll in the plain that let us knock off the last ~quarter mile without being seen. Next, the herd seems to “hang up” and stopped to feed instead of just booking it across the property line to our right. We cleared the ridge and then stopped and the whole herd is below us, maybe 5-600 yards out feeding in this very tall yellow grass that’s maybe waist high. Jacques says we can clear another 100 yards but then there is an obvious break in the cover and no more big bushes to hide behind. I can see the bush he is looking at. I tell my son he is going to hang up and watch from here, and he and Papa sit behind a blackthorn bush. Jacques and I crab walk and belly-crawl anther 100 yards and stop, panting, behind another big blackthorn brush.

“Might be 400 yards—can I see your range finder?”

--400 yards on the sticks?

“Yes, 380”

--That’s a long shot

The grass is high so there is no getting prone for this one. But at this instant the third very fortunate thing happens. Compelled by the Holy Spirit or forces of nature or good fortune, a cow hartebeest breaks off the herd and starts jogging directly towards our blackthorn bush. We are crouched down and holding position, watching. Seeing the cow peel off, a young bull pursues, and they are both swimming through this grass sea headed directly to our little refuge behind the blackthorn bush.

“Wait, here they come”

--Yes. I can see.

Seeing two of the herd break loose, the larger herd bull turns to follow.

We hold, crouched down. Now, the fourth and final bit of good fortune we are blessed with: The initial bull and cow pair get within 100 yards of us and bed. Seeing this, the larger bull also beds maybe halfway between the break-away pair and the main herd.

“We are going to stand, and when we stand you are NOT shooting the small bull that is right on us.”

--Got it

“The pair will spook but the bigger bull will get up. Then you will get a shot as he stands”

--Right. Ready.

Up we go onto the sticks and only now can I fully see that the pair of hartebeest are only maybe 75 yards away. Our very sudden appearance rising up from the grass sea is of considerably concern to the eloping pair, and they spin and start to head back into the main herd body. Seeing the movement of the young bull, the larger bull, maybe 200 yards distant, snaps to attention. I’m already on the sticks and the rifle is up and I am on him. He stands and turns to intercept the returning pair and this puts him broadside to us.


I’m already into my squeeze and the shot flies almost immediately. There is a clean slap-back and the bull stumbles. He gets to his feet and the herd moves off but he is clearly lagging in the back.

--Another one?

“No, I think we’re good”

And sure enough down he goes. About the time I come off the rifle Papa and Bubba are already to us and we get to share the moment, the second down animal of the morning

View attachment 556629

On our way over we find his bed

View attachment 556630

And there he lays. Jacques is telling me to put the shot flat onto the middle of the shoulder, further forward that what I would normally do. So this one that is well forward for me is –apparently—perfect.

View attachment 556631
Jacques is pointing out the things that mark a mature bull—the hard bosses at the base of the horns and the grey patch in the forehead. We take a bunch of pictures. They are very particular in the way they pose the animals there, but the photos do come out kind of cool.

View attachment 556632
--OK, but at home we would do it this way

View attachment 556633

This one we can get the truck right up to and then it’s onto the winch and straight into the back of the rig. Pretty slick. Bubba supervises.

View attachment 556634

We get the animals hung up and into their skinning and butchering shed, which is also a nice set up. The kudu is there waiting for us. We cover some ground after we rest in the afternoon and glass some at sunset. But it has been a heck of a day and the sundowner that evening is a very good time around the campfire. We drink a cold beer and tell stories of the day and the memories and Bubba tells Grandma the story of the animals we found on the rocky koppie or in a yellow grass sea.

Continued in part 3
Fantastic write up. Sounds like a wonderful trip so far and am looking forward to the rest!
Part 5 – A very good day

Coming down from the excitement of the evening prior, but I am still up early. We left the kudu hunt a bit puzzled the day before. There are a TON of kudu bulls on that place but they are way up high and we were sitting down low, and have proven to ourselves now twice that it is very difficult to wait for them to come down. There is an obvious solution of course: Go Up. So we resolve to change our strategy on our 4th kudu day and “hunt up”. Papa and Bubba are both going to sit out of this one, and Jacques warns it could be a long day. I mention that elk hunting back home we are always “hunting up” so I’ll be fine – if anything it will be a fun break from sitting and glassing. Jacques mentions it’s rare for them to sit water on rifle hunts too, but today we will do something different. Or so we think.

Back to the farm and to the same tank of water where we first saw the good kudu bull two days back. We drive in early and the plan is to glass and either bed one for a mid-day stalk or find one that’s already in his bed from watering overnight. It’s Jacques and Humphrey and myself. We stop to glass the far ridge and our game begins anew:

“Good bull, Do you see him? That’s a good one, we would shoot that bull.”

--OK, where?

Jacques points him out on the ridge. In this photo there is a “roll” in the ridge maybe two thirds of the way over to the right edge and some timber that is clearly a little bigger. He is at the top of that timber chewing on a green tree. We have the stockade fence to lean on and sit and glass and discuss our plan.

“He will come down”

Jacques’ confidence seems misplaced to me, since we have spent the past 2.5 days watching kudu bulls that generally did NOT come down, but even as we watch I agree that he is—very slowly—working his way towards the water and very slightly losing elevation. And after all, I am not a kudu hunter, so what do I know? We glass some more. It’s maybe 7am


There is a smaller bull with the big bull and they are milling about feeding up on the ridge. Jacques says he will go climb the windmill to get a better look. Maybe half an hour later he comes back in a rush and says there is a small bull coming in and we need to let him drink in peace and this will give the bulls on the hillside more confidence to come down. And this is when things start to happen. It had previously occurred to me that we were glassing from a VERY exposed spot where we had seen huge herds of kudu watering over the preceding two or three days. The smaller bull comes in but he is MUCH closer than I thought, maybe 40 yards from us. Humphrey is immediately to my left against the fence. When I look over he is absolutely motionless, curled up. He could be a sleeping cat. My foot is asleep, elbow digging into the fence wire. My entire body just wants to stand up and stretch. But the bull is drinking very, very warily and will only take a sip and then pick his head back up to carefully eye the new “rocks” leaning against the fence in the corral. We sit. But as we wait more cows are coming in with the bull, so instead of having the bull leave now we have a whole herd of kudu at the tank right on top of us. Finally the bull turns and as he does we have a small break to scramble back to the cover of the corral. As I stand I see a very large set of horns through the brush in the bottom of the valley. I did not see the bull coming in but can sure see it now, and this one is very different from the smaller bull that was just drinking. But in a moment he is back in the brush and hangs up there. There is a small stockade wall and I crouch and find Jacques and motion to Humphrey

--There is another bull, a bigger bull

“The bull at the tank was small”

--Yes, there is a bigger one that is in the bottom now

“Humphrey did you see it?


There is an unspoken look between them: The American saw something we didn’t?

“OK stay here”

Jacques sneaks back to the windmill to try to get an angle that would provide a better view. He comes back in a BIG hurry and I know we are going to move.

“You have your rifle? Now, yes, here, we need to get set up. That’s a big bull. Where did he come from? You saw him on the mountain?”

--No, only in the bottom

“We can get set”

We swing right and are on our bellies to stay out of view from the kudu cows coming into the tank but such that we can see this narrow strip of trees at the bottom of the valley.


We re-locate the new bull. He is standing behind this small yellow-green tree just right of center frame.

“OK. If more cows come into the water this bull will come in. He will step clear. Can you range that?”


“OK, can you do that?”

--Off the bipod on the ground I can do that.

The day before on the shot off the sticks that we almost took I had no time to think—we were running to get into position and then rushing to get the sticks up and there was no time to worry about anything. Now we sit. Oceans of time to think about how I can mess up this shot and what if he comes out and doesn’t stop or I can’t get steady. Nothing but time. We lay on our bellies in the dust in the hot sun. I try to shift from elbow to elbow to keep my arms from falling asleep. There is no way to sit up without spooking the cows so we are flat as we can be.

--We could close some distance. We could shave off 100 yards?

I am looking across the flat dusty stockade yard, nothing between us and the fence

“We certainly can try, but if we move and those cows bust us we are done for the day”

As we debate this Jacques swings his binoculars up the ridge. The big bull from this morning is gone. He is gone because he is coming down.

“We need to move”

--To cover the gap?

“No, the big bull is coming down. We will get a shot.”

--The big bull behind the tree?

“No, the first bull, the big bull, the, the… 7am bull”


Now having waited for a big kudu bull to move for the last three days we are about to have two down with us on the valley floor within a few minutes. We hunt for three days for a shooter bull, and now we're over-run with them. We crab-walk back to the edge of the stockade I can only see horns coming in, but sure enough, here is a big kudu bull coming down off the mountain, closing distance very fast. I swing my binoculars right and the “Yellow bush bull” is still there, only his head and horns just visible, carefully watching this new traffic coming into water. The “7am bull” closes the remaining distance down the mountain very quickly. We are pinned down and cannot move around the fence and he is already out of the cover and into the open. A few more steps to water. He comes in and scatters the cows, stomping in the flat dusty yard.

“You set? Drop the bipod. We will get a shot here”

I’m on top of the outer stockade fence but the middle fences are higher

--Through the fence?

“What other choice? Do not shoot Up or down, just straight through and I will watch. It will work”

I am not sure if this confidence is mis-placed, but I already doubted Jacques once this morning and he was correct, so I will trust the process now. Besides there is no time to argue. After all this waiting I come up on the scope and there is the kudu bull, huge and chasing the cows. He turns away from the water and starts to work back across the dusty clearing, but decides to double back and comes to the water again.

“He will pass that trough between us and him and then he’s clear. Your scope backed off?”

I center the rifle just passed an old rusted-out feed trough between us and the bull, inside the corral. He is walking beyond the outer fence on the other edge of the old cattle pen. Deep breath. From the right edge of the scope I can see him disappear behind the fence and the old rusty trough. Here come the horns, then the bull stepping clear. A gray shoulder crease in the sun. Tight squeeze and the rifle barks. Cows scatter everywhere, throwing dust in the air as they wheel and run. The bull is flopping around in the dust and we come around the edge. He’s not 70 yards away. The shot was a bit high and Jacques says one more. I fire offhand and he’s down hard.

Again, there is no ground-shrinkage on this one.


The story in one photo: To the left edge, the ridge top where the bull started his day, then the windmill we climbed to glass, and the fence and tree (center right) that we fired from. The old trough I was waiting for him to clear to get a clean shot is almost dead center frame inside the corral fence



Jacques says “He will measure” and I have no doubt of that. But more than the score there is just an overwhelming sense of relief that it came together. So much for climbing the mountain and 400 yard shots off the sticks. In the end the bulls finally did come down, but on their own time. We take just a moment to be grateful, then start the loading process.



It’s a bit of Tetris but they do get him in. Basically they winch him up three times: Back feet up, front feet up to the back feet, head up to the front feet. And he’s in. It’s noon. The last step is they dump water all over him to get the temperature down as we ride back. Namibian air conditioning, such as it were.

Looking at the little musty old tank I feel a bit like The Lord of the Rings: Funny, so much trouble over such a small thing


We arrive back home all smiles and share the story of the morning. The family are all back from their photo-safari trip and we share the tales of the hunt and what they saw on their trip. Now, the only thing left is Oryx and it is only about lunch time. So we pause here and will do one more update to cover the Oryx hunts and then that final hunt will be the end of our adventure on our last day
The last hunts

Given as long as this is getting I am going to cover the oryx since that was a lot of fun. There is a wildebeest hunt too but I had no intention of writing a novel here, so we will move onto Oryx.

We take a brief break, but the kids are very tired and we will split up. Papa chased oryx this morning while we were finishing the kudu hunt and got on some animals but didn’t get a shot off. So he and Mathus will head out and I will go off once more with Jacques. We drive to a non-descript fence. If you had just picked me up and set me here and it could just as well be that we are in Wyoming on an antelope hunt like we did before the kids were born, years ago.


The koppies in the background are where we are headed. So it’s a quick drive and we settle in to glass again. It had previously occurred to me that we spent nearly 4 days to get a kudu and now we are down to the last day and a half to close on TWO oryx. But Jacques says this will not be a problem. I try and relax. We get to the koppie and all take out our binoculars. I left my big 50mm objective binos at home and that was probably a mistake. I cannot keep up with Jacques on glassing. Part of this is lack of experience here, clearly. And it may well be a bit of small mercy that I do not have my 50mm Swaros since then I would have no viable excuse at all. We reach the top of the hill and get out of the truck.

“Do you see him? That’s a good bull”

Humphrey nods

--I do not

A sly smile. “The edge of the black thorns in the shade.”

After some coaxing we all do see him, including me. On the edge of the cover in the distance a bull oryx is sitting in a narrow clearing in the shade. As best we can tell he is alone, but there is a ton of cover around him and could be more animals that we cannot see. We head out, closing distance to the thicker trees in the distance. The bull is bedded there.


Our stalk-to-shot ratio has been pretty good all week, so I am wondering if this is actually going to happen. As we get to the little dry creek bed in between us and the trees we all feel it a once. Jacques kicks up the sand and it blows straight out away from us and the wind is hard at our backs. A look and a furrowed brow. There is not much to do now but try and make it work. We close the gap until we are at the edge of the blackthorn trees. I end up shooting from below this larger tree to the left.

Once we are in the cover of the big tree we can see the bull and he is still bedded. The wind is definitely behind us and the bull is not 250 yards away. Not sure if he is just fast asleep or indifferent but we decide to move quickly before he starts paying better attention. Jacques is trying to maneuver the sticks as I am crouched down. The bull is still bedded. Now, as we have done previously, it is time to stand in one fluid motion, get on the sticks and find the bull and then shoot. When I stand both Jacques and I will be in plain view of the bull, but we’ve done this several times now. But this time it all goes sideways. I look up to make sure there is no branch I am going to stand up into but I do not look far enough behind me. So I stand up and immediately get snagged by these vicious little barbed thorns of this tree. My hat, the backpack, my neck, my shirt, everything is snagged. I try to pull loose and that makes an awful racket with the bone-dry branches banging together. But now I can’t step forward onto the sticks either since the tree has snagged me where I stand. Very frustrated I just pull free, and the dry branches of the tree make a sound like if you put a bunch of wood into a shoe box and threw it down the stairs. I anticipate coming into the scope to see a cloud of dust where the oryx retreated back into cover but instead see very clearly in the scope a bull oryx, still at peace and bedded maybe 250 yards from us.

--No way

“Lucky” says Jacques

--I can shoot.

“Let me get him to stand”

Jacques gives a hoot and then a louder hoot and a bark. Nothing. For a moment I wonder if this oryx is in some kind of vegetative state since nothing we can do—wind or noise of cat calls—can apparently disturb him. Finally, after a series of more aggravated barks the oryx does indeed rouse and stands to look for the source of his annoyance. I fire. He spins once and comes down heavy into the red sand



We are all pleased with this and relieved that we have now finished “the list”. As it turns out it will take Papa one more day, and also a 3 km tracking job as his first shot was very rushed and hit quite low. BUT even though that was a bit unfortunate it does give an opportunity to showcase the tracking ability of Mathus and Joseph. Papa remarked that there was significant tracking through huge collections of scattered tracks and across bone dry rock and the like. At one point when we were out looking for wildebeest the next day the phone rang and I could tell something was up.

--They got an oryx?

“He says they hit one but are tracking. He says they will find it.”

--A bad hit? They have been looking for a while?

“All I know is that if Mathus says they will find it, they will find it.”

And they do. Apparently during the stalk they came over a rise and a whole family of cheetahs was also on the stalk and they walked right past the bunch of them (you think where you hunt has predator issues?). Apparently they considered briefly stopping for photos but Papa was dead-set on closing on the oryx. After a bit of walking and another shot or two they did get Papa’s oryx as well.


On our last meal we feasted on kudu tenderloin and sat by the fire to reflect. Our hosts were very amused that I so enjoyed this local double IPA that is made in Windhoek but could be a sticky Portland beer served in any of the pubs back home. Apparently it had been in the bar fridge for 6 months since none of the Texans that visit will drink it (Thanks y'all!). Not too many Oregon beer guys come visit? But we did a number on them over the week. On our last morning we took the kudu skulls out of the salt for one last photo


And finally, one last trophy – at last when we arrive back at the airport in Windhoek what do we track down but Papa’s ammo case, which somehow was lost on the plane and logged an untold number of miles going back and forth from Jo’berg to Windhoek over the course of the week. Then we finally got a hold of the right person that could go retrieve it off the plane and hold it for us. Not that it did us much good on this trip, but at least it will be there for mule deer season back home.


Then finally leaving and a long wait at the airport to reflect. We discuss it all—with nothing but gratitude. We say farewell—or at least, until next time -- to our hosts and get ready for the LONG trip back. It has taken year and I can’t help but think of it like the ending of your favorite song – sad to see it end but so gratefully that you heard it and experienced it, especially with others. This place, at once so foreign but similar to being in places that we have hunted before, like something new that reminds you of the hunts from long ago. Or lyrics from your favorite song that you can’t help but remember at times “I toured the light-- so many foreign roads. For Namibia, forever ago.”

Enjoyed your report. Congratulations on a great time with family.
Man, what a wonderful report and your excellent writing made me feel like if I was right behind you, especially on the kudu hunt. LOL!!!! Thanks for taking us along.
Man, did I enjoy reading this report.

Our stories really overlapped, as I recognized so much of the terrain you hunted. In fact, after confirming with Jacques, I was about to draw on the very Impala you killed before a Kudu strolled into the water, which I shot instead. You're welcome!

Thanks again for taking the time to share!
A great story well told. Great job using dialogue. And sincerest congrats on an amazing adventure.
What a great family hunt! I am curious why you didn't check through to Namibia and skip the RSA firearms permit process (JNB Hustle I call it)?
What a great family hunt! I am curious why you didn't check through to Namibia and skip the RSA firearms permit process (JNB Hustle I call it)?

Hey thank you! Best I can tell there is no such thing as "check through". When we boarded in Portland the bag tags all said "WDH" but that still obligates you to give your friends in Jo'berg their cut. The RSA permit is a "transit permit". If there's another way I'm all ears.

Forum statistics

Latest member



Latest profile posts

My simple jackal rig , if it work dont mess with it

Badjer wrote on Dunderhead's profile.
Hello, I'm in Pewaukee. By the 5 O'Clock club, if you know where that is.
big Eland spotted on the plains this morning!

Daggaboy spotted this morning at the mud-hole!