NAMIBIA: SOUTH AFRICA: Otavi & Leeukop Safaris KZN (the whole tale)

Discussion in 'Hunting Reports Africa' started by BRICKBURN, Aug 23, 2011.

  1. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN AH ENABLER SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR LIFETIME TITANIUM BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Just looking at my last post about Day two and my firearms encounter.

    My friend got to encounter the cartridge limitations on airlines first hand and proceeded to take a selection of bullets from my ammunition case. Both types of cartridges had Barnes in them that had blue tips. MRX and TTSX in 150 and 130 grains respectively.
    I discovered that they do not shoot in the same hole that day at the range. It finally dawned on me that I was shooting different bullets. I did not know my friend had done a mix and match without any organization in the ammo box. Oops. (He had to do it at the last minute at the airport.) He brought all that were allowed within his weight restrictions.

    The 130's were accurate and exactly what I had sighted in with at home. The rifle was on. I just brought the 150's because of the suggestion about "heavy for caliber" being better. It was insurance, if the 130's did not perform.

    Thankfully, there was an accurate scale and we just weighed each cartridge and determined what was what and I was set. I'd use 130 TTSX and that was it.
     

  2. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN AH ENABLER SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR LIFETIME TITANIUM BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Onward and upward.
    I had my wish list: Nyala, Kudu, Bushbuck, Eland, Cape Buffalo, Impala, Warthog, Springbok and Gemsbok.

    I had already taken care of the Eland, Gemsbok and Warthog in Namibia. That would allow me to focus more time and energy on the rest. If I saw a monster Warthog I would certainly add him to the list again.

    I held some very certain ideas of what and how I would like to hunt for my desired trophies and my goal was a huge Nyala and Kudu and a Buffalo with my Bow.

    I determined after much research and reading along with getting some good supportive advice from AH posts on the matter; I wanted to hunt where Nyala were endemic and where they grew best and that is in KwaZulu Natal in South Africa.

    I found Leeukop Safaris myself through an purposefully restricted internet search of web sites. It was through searching for more information about Leeukop, like many others members since, that I ended up finding Africahunting.com. It was through Leeukop Safaris donation of a free hunt that Google led me to AH. Noting that Leeukop Safaris supported the community through a hunt donation provided further information and the new knowledge helped really focus the selection process.

    I did not want to hunt on a small property and to make sure I converted Hectares to acres to figure out how big this property was. That calculation sort of helped, but the landscape picture from the mountain top really did it. You could not possibly shoot a rifle across this property.

    The railway bridge and the ferry crossing, center right.
    bridge and ferry.jpg


    One of the bends of the Pongola on the property.
    mtn top 2.jpg mtn top.jpg

    The "far side"
    mtn top 3.jpg


    Since they have 7200 hectares of there own and the properties are linked directly through dropped fences with a much larger ecosystem they are able to participate in the maintenance of a large variety of endemic species. They are actively participating in a Black Rhino reintroduction program, White Rhino have to be dodged while hunting and they also have resident Hyena who insert themselves into your hunts with regularity, Elephants who rearrange the trail networks at will and keep your stalks interesting, Hippo and Crocs guard the river and lake shore within the bounds of the property so you pay attention as you approach water edges there.



    They have six lodges and from those it was suggested that our group would take over an entire lodge to ourselves; Mvubu River Lodge.
    The fact the Spa and a host of activities area available for the non hunters also helps clinch the deal.

    The view from our veranda in the morning.
    6073628764_09c088b658_o.jpg

    Found on the north slopes of the Pongola River overlooking a lush river flood plain where you got to watch true “Wild TV” every morning, afternoon and evening without interruption. BlueWildebeest, Warthog, Reedbuck, Nyala, Kudu, Impala, Elephant, Crocs, Hippo, etc. were always moving across the screen.


    IMG_0178.jpg


    The PH’s assignments were settled on by lottery, not that it mattered. I had done a lot of email interaction with Kemp so he was stuck with me.
    Kemp-Landman-with-75kg-Tiger-27th-August-2015-2xfffxx90jdzn9tiais4jk.jpg

    Niel ended up with Nathan, Mfanus got Richard for company, and Malcolm got Jack. It turned out that the personalities were all well matched.

    Niel UYS is (was) the maintenance manager at the reserve and having a tradesman to interact with worked well.
    IMG_2033.jpg


    Malcolm Thomson is the Manager of the reserve and that temperament worked well with Jack.

    gun range malcolm.jpg

    63702_100265730150786_646011907_n.jpg

    Mfanus was an interesting match for Richard, as they are both very quiet.
    MFANUS.jpg




    Now as hunting buddies that have been together for many years we carried one of our hunting traditions to Africa. We have a good natured bet that has followed us for years where we put a bottle of expensive booze for the “biggest” trophy for each species that we all hunted. Three guys buy the bottle for the winner. This is not a real hardship, who do you think helps drink the bottles anyway?! Just bragging rights for a year, really.

    The PH’s all jumped on the bandwagon of our “bet” with good natured teasing going on throughout the entire hunt. Texts, radio messages etc. When the young guy got ahead and shot three trophies quite quickly one of my favorite lines of the trip came out. Mfanus said, “Let the young ones feed and then the big lions will loose and feed!”

    Nice way of saying don’t panic!
     

  3. Roan

    Roan AH Enthusiast

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    Wish I had that luck. I have been trying on and off for the past 8 years. No problem with owning a marker to you. I am hopefully going to go to Pongola is October.
     

  4. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN AH ENABLER SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR LIFETIME TITANIUM BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    I am definitely lucky. Drop me a PM and I'll give you some likely spots you can try.
    You never know though, without me there it may not work.
     

  5. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN AH ENABLER SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR LIFETIME TITANIUM BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    July 26 Rhino Hunting Kudu Hunting

    In my many discussions with Kemp he knew what the “list” was and we started to work on the priorities. Big Kudu, likely the most sought after and hardest to obtain a Rowland Ward trophy in bushveld cover in my mind.

    We spent the first day fending off the rain.
    Note the rain drops falling in the picture in this picture that was taken at 07:45
    IMG_3417.jpg


    Natal game does not like rain, it hides in the bush as deep as it can get.
    IMG_3436.jpg
    IMG_3435.jpg


    It was a record cold year in South Africa and when we arrived it had not changed any. Oh well, with these temperatures we were quite at home. Get the rain coats on and lets go hunting, we were only here for another ten days.

    This is an indigenous species of Zululand that really does not like the rain.


    Moosa.
    Moosa.jpg

    My constant companion in the rear of the Bakkie. No rain coat.

    Not a ton of pictures this morning because I was not prepared to be protecting the camera from the rain. It's supposed to be the bloody dry season!

    We head back to the lodge to try and wait out the rain. This afternoon we will have better luck when the rain stops or the sun comes out.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2017

  6. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN AH ENABLER SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR LIFETIME TITANIUM BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Kemp had been chasing a particular large bull with other hunters before my arrival to no avail. The staff, PH’s and Karl (Kemp’s dad) called it Kemp’s “White Whale”, which was quite funny actually. Seeing people shaking their heads at someone is nothing I am not personally familiar with personally, specially regarding hunting. This situation worked for me, just the kind of worthy trophy to be going after.

    I know from AH that many hunters bring the “one species first” view to hunting and lose out on opportunities. There was something about this Kudu hunting that made me want to forsake all other trophies until we succeeded. I had the conversation with Kemp that if another species presented itself before I got my Kudu it “had better be a world record”. I did not want to risk spooking this Kudu Bull for anything else and then have an even harder hunt.

    So, then we started a still hunt beside a large dry drainage moving slowly from the height of land down toward the river scanning the cover for any small sign of grey, white, cream, black, shine or movement, anything at all. Near the start we heard something in the bush and scanned with the binoculars, nothing we could make into a Kudu.

    Well, not four hundred yards later Kemp says “There’s an Impala”! I said, “Yes, there is an Impala”, as I gauged it through the binoculars. He looked pretty decent. (Now you have to understand that after staring at Horns and judging horns for 10 days I felt I had a reasonable idea of what the heck I was talking about.)

    Kemp looked at me as though I had lost my mind. I was treating this like it was just another sighting in the spotting game I was playing with Moosa. I was hunting Kudu. Kemp looked at me imploringly and said it’s big. I resisted further and he again implored “It is big, trust me!!”

    Well, now I have to get a better look. My wife was with us at this point and she sat down and watched while I moved forward with Kemp. As we closed in, the Ram noticed something and started to stare in our direction and Kemp got a little concerned.
    IMG_3462.jpg
    IMG_3454.jpg
    The ram was staring straight at us at about 90 meters from just below a lip of rocks so the lower part of his chest was covered leaving a higher shot placement than we all might like. I had crawled this far and I decided it was time to agree with Kemp. I took my time and wanted to place the bullet at the base of the neck.

    He dropped in his tracks and we waited right where we were without moving. Five minutes passed and we got up and slowly made our way to the ram who was lying right where I shot him.

    The bullet entered his neck, exited the neck and entered the shoulder and never came out. There were three large holes in the cape. Oh well, no shoulder mount.

    He is a beautiful trophy.
    IMG_3451.jpg
    The poses and pictures were over and then Moosa’s tape came out in the Bakkie. He taped the ram at just under 25 inches; Rowland Ward!
    IMG_3448.jpg

    A very nice trophy for Natal that was also old and wasted from a broken leg and would not have made the end of winter. So, I saved one from the Hyena! Oh well, the species specific plan was out the window, no Kudu in this valley anymore! It is strange to be happy and disappointed at the same time.
    IMG_3449.jpg IMG_3450.jpg

    Back to the skinning shed and and then the Kudu hunt would continue in the mountains.
    IMG_3478.jpg IMG_3483.jpg



    A plan is formulated and drive is decided. Everything is in the thick stuff staying warm.
    One push through the mountains with me being cut off man at the pass. Moosa spooked the Big Bull out and he ran across the mountain face using all the available cover to make certain that he was never seen by the cut off man. I only his tracks when he crossed a trail. Well, that is one damn smart Kudu.

    While I was laying in wait, I got the PH’s precaution: you have to be ready and not be looking through your binos. It made sense, but after not seeing this Kudu and only hearing stories of it and seeing tracks and broken branches I wanted to actively look in every nook and cranny and see it, across that mountain valley, in the bush and then plot the stalk on this elusive creature. I was hunting and had to get in the groove of hunting in Africa with a PH. It is strange adjusting to new people and the manner they hunt.

    Onto the next plan. We moved around the mountain and started another still hunt. Moosa was off to the side a few hundred yards paralleling our progress. Kemp, my wife and I worked through dry cover toward a hiding spot where they figured he may have run to hide out. With the dry grass and twigs I would be amazed if we came within a mile of this animal, but we kept trying. As we closed on the hiding spot we heard one loud sharp “bark” and off they went through the cover and did not present themselves in any opening in the bush.
    Obviously it was a Kudu bark, but..... We rushed up the slope to try and cut him off or try to at least get a glimpse before he disappeared over the next ridge. Nothing! I walked the ridge road looking for tracks where he might have crossed. As I did so Moosa called Kemp and told us this beast had doubled back between us and continued north in the cover dodging us yet again. The White Whale was living up to his reputation in full.

    We drove around the mountain further and tried to cut him off yet again. Another stalk in parallel and again the phone call about how he had managed to out fox us by sensing the pursuit and spooking at a much greater distance. So far ahead of us we never even heard a sound.

    I finally got to see proof that he was not an apparition. Fresh tracks, big tracks in the still moist soil heading back toward where we had originally seen him.

    My wife almost caught all three of us with the binos up.
    IMG_3476.jpg


    This was the only time I ever saw a fence on the property while I was out hunting. That Kudu could have cared less how close he came to that fence and he was not hemmed in by it, that’s for sure. He left his running tracks for us to try and make the next guess where to find him.
    IMG_3474.jpg
    On our drive back to meet Moosa and head to camp, my wife spots something, from the front seat, she thinks is a Kudu and points it out to Kemp, he says “that’s him”. Moosa is walking to our designated meeting spot and Kemp and I jump out with the sticks in hand and start up the hill. All I see are smaller bulls in the bush at 200 yards and they disappear before we have gone 60 yards from the truck. No surprise. We turn around and head back to the vehicle. Earlier Moosa had said he had seen Buffalo in the area and I had not paid any attention. Now just to demonstrate how little attention I was paying and how focused I was on Kudu; as Kemp and I walked back I noticed these big black things in the bush about thirty yards away and they were moving off slowly and then they stopped and turned to watch us. How the hell did we walk past them and not see them? It is thick cover, but that makes you wonder.

    This was the most open spot to take a picture. Incredible boss on this animal.
    IMG_3505.jpg

    I thought that we had nothing to worry about as we had already walked past them once down wind when I was oblivious, so what would it hurt to get some pictures. I went to the truck grabbed my camera and proceeded to walk back out to take pictures. My wife saw this and decided to join me. Just as I am closing the distance to about 25 yards Kemp noticed and says “they can be on you in a second” and we should get back to the vehicle. I got my picture of “Helmet head” and his cohorts and off we went. The buffalo felt safe in the bush and did not move a muscle except to stare and we left safely and without incident.

    It certainly showed me I had better turn my head a little more as I walked around this place and not be quite so single minded. Another lesson learned.

    A few things we ran in to.

    IMG_3471.jpg IMG_3467.jpg


    An Elephant had already hidden in this cover from me. Now it was the Zebras turn.
    IMG_3472.jpg

    More Nyala ewes.
    IMG_3473.jpg

    Now I started to hear the reassurances from the PH. You know the ones, “We’ll get him”; “We’ve been close”; “Our luck will change”. To tell you the truth, I did not need the reassurance, from either my abject stupidity or plain old confidence. I am not sure which. I did not expect to drop a huge trophy just because I arrived on the property with a rifle. Maybe Kemp was used to other hunters with wild expectations and had to start to manage that type of hunter. I said “we would get him”. Certainly never crossed my mind we would not be successful.


    One last pass through the Impala drainage and we found nothing. No sign of Kudu.

    IMG_0505.jpg

    I went to bed that night with that loud bark echoing in my ears and those tracks for comfort.
     
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  7. enysse

    enysse AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    What a great impala!
     

  8. gillettehunter

    gillettehunter AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    Love your stories Brickburn. We feel like we are there with you. The pics, as always, are great. That is a fine Impala that anyone would be proud to take. Good job. Bruce
     

  9. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN AH ENABLER SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR LIFETIME TITANIUM BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    It was fortunate that I gave in to my PH and remembered that the Impala was on the list. I have only run in to one better in all the hunting I have done.
     
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  10. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN AH ENABLER SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR LIFETIME TITANIUM BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Thanks Bruce. I'm glad you are enjoying it. Taking notes sure helps you to recall some of the details.
     

  11. dg2

    dg2 AH Member

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    Very interesting reading and pictures, thanks..
     

  12. Powdermaker

    Powdermaker AH Senior Member

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    You have a knack for writing! As I sit here on a snowy January afternoon, you've managed to transport me right back to Africa. Thanks.
     

  13. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN AH ENABLER SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR LIFETIME TITANIUM BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    The next morning, I got up and was up ready for the third day of the chase.

    With morning Rusks, the group had now been officially diagnosed me with the same illness as Kemp. Ishmael and Ahab would be off chasing the White Whale again this morning. Ahab was good company in my mind! (At least on this adventure)

    My bride took the big camera today and would make use of it on a game drive.
    game drive.jpg egyptian geese.jpg

    Little did I know just how much I would regret that decision this morning.

    I left the lodge and we were to look in on that Impala drainage again. It was a preferred secure route to the river and the reed cover along with water which provided plenty of cover to hide in. He had to be coming down here, sometime right?

    We parked and the glassing started.

    I am treating this just like a Big Horn Sheep hunt. Pick the likely spots and go over everything systematically. I am looking for small parts of color or shape. For some reason, I decide to look across the river onto some steep slopes and was methodically scanning every clump of bush when I spotted something strange.

    Can you see it?
    leopard in bush.jpg

    Can you see it here?
    leopard in bush test.jpg

    I'll forgive you for not seeing them. I had 10x Binos. Each of the Leopard's is just above the red dots in these images.
    leopard in bush marked.jpg leopard in bush test marked.jpg
    It was a light color that should not be there in this expanse of red and deep browns. Then the color moved. No, it is not a Kudu, it was too small and too low to the ground. Bloody hell, it’s a Leopard. I am flabbergasted to be seeing a wild Leopard in daylight less than two hundred fifty yards away staring back at me. I then steady my glasses on my elbows and looked more closely at the colors. Something about the shape is off. It was two Leopards. I pointed them out to Kemp and Moosa and told Kemp where to look. When Kemp realized, I had found Leopards he was more excited than me. The Phone calls started flying all over the place. I never expected to see wild Leopards and as a matter of fact, they were on the list of least likely to see at all. Here I am sitting with binoculars and no camera large enough to take a decent picture of this encounter.

    Kemp had said our luck would change and here was the good omen. Leopards.

    Here I had a mating pair lounging in the afternoon sun in full and partial view. We moved within 120 yards of the pair and they started to get a little antsy with us moving closer but they did not run off. We sat quietly watching them from the sand bar across the river. They were acting just like Big Horns on a height of land overlooking the valley with plenty of escape routes and no need to panic.


    While the entire countryside was on its way to see the Leopards, including my wife with my camera, I watched this pair. The male did not mind one extra vehicle showing up, but he moved off into thicker cover. When the third vehicle came barreling into view that was it. The pair made their official departure. I only got a few shots of the female.

    Oh, well, some proof just not national Geographic stuff.

    leopard 2.jpg leopard 3.jpg



    Moosa shares he has seen some Buffalo. I am not sure where, I have not seen them at all. We continued spotting other areas and decided it is time to go see the Buffalo up close. The Kudu is just not cooperating. Perhaps they need some more heat to draw them out of the bush.

    These Buffalo are up in the mountains on the other side of the property, they are not close by. We see a decent Mountain Reedbuck and some more Nyala bulls as we make our way to the buffalo.
    mtn reedbuck.jpg nyala young.jpg

    Buffalo Bull pictures taken, it is time to go back for lunch.
    buffel.jpg

    Some of the locals sun bathing on the Pongola.
    way home for lunch.jpg

    Lunch time was interesting.
    Not to be outdone my friend Richard was hunting Kudu high up a few miles away and the tracker had a near encounter in the bush. Sadly, he was not carrying his big camera at the time.

    Do you see his Leopard?
    Richards Leopard.jpg

    Just above the red dot again.
    Richards Leopard marked.jpg

    The afternoon hunt has great promise with the Leopard omens promise of better luck.

    We mounted up and took off from the lodge for the afternoon hunt and not 1 km in we saw some Kudu bulls. They were in the same vicinity where we had seen four young bulls in the morning the day before.

    Kemp hissed, in only the way he can, “it’s him”. We stopped momentarily, to look them over and they did not appreciate the adoration and started heading off higher up the mountain side into thicker cover. I took one picture of him as they started off into the thick cover.

    Can you see four Kudu? This is what we were looking in.
    kudu in cover.jpg

    Some other company.
    eles in bush.jpg


    Now we have excited chatter, Kemp and Moosa were planning while I was marking the sighting on the GPS and off we drove away and circled up the back of the mountain, up and up and up. I thought we should pull over at one hair pin in the road as I watched us get apparently close to the waypoint I had just marked, but we kept climbing. Finally, we pulled off and parked.

    The stalk started in earnest. A little excited I had managed to forgot water, but had the important bits; rifle and GPS. We started the downward descent, stalking in a swirling cross wind. I cursed the swirling breeze several times.

    As we were getting closer during this slow laborious stalk, I felt we were going to be cutting in too soon and blowing the stalk. I then shared my GPS info with Kemp and then the discussion started with Moosa. Moosa led off further down wind as I suggested. Kemp kept checking in with the GPS technician, comparing the marked spot to our progress. Finally, we reached a spot where we should turn and begin the final approach. All confirmed the decision and we cut into the wind and slowed right down, not that we had not been going slow already. We were certainly being beaten across this slope by the snails. Walking on top of ankle twisting rocks was a new way of not breaking twigs and rustling grass. I watched where Moosa placed his feet and tried to copy him every step of the way. I was not going to be the cause of the Whales getaway. Size 13 on size 5 rocks, hmm..., it was sure tough on my ankles and certainly kept you focused.

    rock hopper.jpg

    We moved in closer and closer to a point where we thought they should be. We were hunched over ducking under branches and finally with Moosa leading the way had peered over a lip of rock and found them. We were within 70 meters of the bulls and they had no clue we were there. We all sat down and waited. Moosa and Kemp spotted the Kudu as I was keeping my head low in the rear-guard position and I had not seen them yet.

    Moosa finally ID’d the big guy and determined that he was furthest away seemingly leading the way deeper into the bush. After five to ten minutes of watching them milling in the hollow they started to move slowly back toward the south west with the smaller boys leading the way.

    I moved very carefully to get closer to the edge beside Kemp and he attempted to point the Kudu out to me. Now I have proof that Kudu in heavy cover are a bitch to see even at close range. I could not see them instantly, which was immediately frustrating to me. How do you shoot something you can’t see? Thankfully, I picked up some movement. One of the smaller bulls started to walk and Poof! they all magically materialize!

    From a kneeling crouch, I sat down again for the hurried planning for a shot. Kemp and I discuss in whispers where an alley in the trees is located where the Whale would cross as he followed the smaller bulls. The decision is made and I got set with the rifle rested on top of Kemp’s shoulder with him holding his fingers in his ears; not your conventional shooting rest. Then to the left I saw the big guy start to move. I was set up for my clear shot down the alley, I confirmed that he was the right one and when he moved into the opening I squeezed the trigger. As he leapt forward I was absolutely certain I got him.

    My first instinct was to reload, stand and see where he was for a follow-up shot. Kemp not so gently hissed and motioned me down and to wait at the same time, which I did instantly.

    The Kudu had not bolted, he just leapt forward and moved along the same trial into some thicker cover out of our sight. Of course, he was out of sight in that cover! I shot through the only open space visible.

    We all sat and waited and whispered about the result. After witnessing these men’s capacity for observation, I trusted them. Moosa initially thought it was a total miss. Hmm, I started to wonder and doubt. After a few minutes of peering over the rock lip we all saw the big guy walking slowly off in the original direction. Now the verdict was certain, he was not hit well enough, that was for sure. I found another shooting alley to my right and the Kudu were starting to slowly walk toward it. This time I was in a sitting position resting on my own knees and steady as a rock.

    Moosa then whispered he saw blood farther back. DAMN! Well, I was not wounding this animal and having him get away. He was not spooked as he continued his walk into the shooting lane. I waited until he was fully in the open. I was lined my rifle up down the hill, acquired the spot right on the golden triangle on his shoulder and squeezed the trigger. After the shot, I proved I was trainable by keeping my seat and remaining low while I reloaded. Moosa did not see it hit and did not hear it and I am now hoping the bush was in his line of sight. Doubt creeps, no, it floods in. Now I am wondering if I ever learned to shoot at all and needed some more lessons. This is not a long shot, with the Kudu significantly under 100 yards.

    We are all still sitting in a nice tight little group on the same spot and Kemp asks “Where did you hit him? Where did you shoot?” This is all due to the strange reaction of the Kudu.

    I am emphatic that I was steady and decide to mimic my shooting position and shot for him. I position myself in the same manner on exactly the same spot and mime my shot. Kemp, follows the barrel and two feet in front of the barrel he spies a branch that has a lovely half-moon cut out of it. DAMN!!!!!!!!!!

    Now we are both worried. I’m worried enough for all of us.

    We get up very slowly and crouch over and very, very slowly start to parallel the Whale’s direction of travel. Not a sound is made as we stalk along beside them. We had not gone 30 or 40 meters when the bull was spotted, still slowly walking with a minor limp. I saw the evidence now, one hole in his side by his kidney and another in the lower chest. This is bizarre, he is moving much too well.

    Now Kemp is saying “Shoot him!” Can you tell he’s worried?! I could understand it very well as the Whale is about to disappear in this cover again and he has just spent some days before my arrival chasing another wounded Kudu for a client. A nightmare he does not want to repeat obviously. From my following position, I move myself up in front of the line and take a sitting position on the rock ledge. I make certain there is not a stick, twig, branch, grass frond or bug anywhere in sight down this shooting lane. I get set and wait. The Whale steps into the small opening and I sent one home into the high heart lung area with a resounding whump! Everyone on the reserve must have heard that one hit.

    The bull charged off down the mountain into a more open area and we watched him fall. We still sit and wait and I reload again out of habit. We wait a few minutes and the young bulls finally begin to wonder what is going on. They start barking and know something is up but have no idea where we are. We sit as a group and do not move a muscle until they have moved off on their own volition. This method sure keeps the game calm and keeps the negative association with humans down to a minimum.

    We slowly stand and smiles start to spread and hands are shaken with congratulations all round. Then we all back off a bit, with the last twenty minutes fresh in our minds, maybe we should just wait a bit for the celebration.

    We know the Whale is down very close by, we just don’t want to look foolish.

    We start the decent toward where I know he is and I lead the way now, just in case. I spot him and I have enough respect to check his eye with the rifle, just to make certain.

    Congrats all round now boy! I let out a “Whoop” loud enough they heard me at the lodge around the mountain. Literally!!

    He is a tremendous trophy and exactly what I wanted. Magnificent.
    IMG_3785.jpg

    I did not carry a tape measure but one always managed to appear from somewhere.
    kemp measuring.jpg


    casings.jpg

    Now I know what bush close to the rifle can do. Lesson learned.
    hits on kudu copy.jpg




    As we are moving him around for some pictures Kemp touches some scars on the side of his neck that show he is a real warrior. I do not notice and neither does Kemp, that there is something very strange about the Whale.


    It dawns on me when I try to focus a close-up profile view in the camera. He has no ear! He is missing an ear and it is completely healed over.
    no ear.jpg no ear 2.jpg

    He is one of a kind and you have to respect something that can live that long and be hunted that hard and do it with half the hearing! Incredible animal.
    Picking rocks for propping the Bull up for pictures I got my first encounter with a Scorpion. Thankfully, not one of the bad ones.
    scorpion.jpg

    Zululand Photography was on site.
    zulu photography.jpg

    The "clearing" he ran into.
    kudu clearing.jpg


    team kudu.jpg

    This bull is carried off the mountain on a tarp rig through those same ankle twisting rocks. Very tough people they grow here. I carry all the gear and let them wrestle with the Whale.

    There are no roads close by. Gravity decides the direction.
    extraction.jpg hauling out.jpg



    He gets loaded into the original Pongola Bakkie that Karl Landman used when they started this reserve. A small green 2-wheel drive Toyota pickup truck that is at least thirty years old and still running. Can’t think of a better chariot to take the Whale off the mountain.

    This trophy will be front and center in the trophy room.

    sunset on another day.jpg
     
    Pheroze likes this.

  14. Neale

    Neale AH Enthusiast

    Joined:
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    Hunted:
    Australia, South Africa ( Eastern Cape, Free State, Limpopo,KwaZulu Natal )
    Great story, I look forward to each installment. How long was he?
     

  15. enysse

    enysse AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Hunted:
    Namibia, South Africa (East Cape, Guateng and Limpopo)
    What a kudu! Congrats!
     

  16. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN AH ENABLER SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR LIFETIME TITANIUM BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

    Joined:
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    Namibia, South Africa, Botswana, Mozambique, Canada, USA, Mexico, England
    Glad you are enjoying the tale.

    57.25 at the end of it all. Rowland Ward.
     

  17. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN AH ENABLER SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR LIFETIME TITANIUM BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Thanks E. I could not agree more.
     

  18. gillettehunter

    gillettehunter AH ENABLER AH Legend

    Joined:
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    Unique bull that is a trophy to be proud of. well done. Bruce
     

  19. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN AH ENABLER SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR LIFETIME TITANIUM BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

    Joined:
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    My hunting buddies have been hard at it as well.

    DSC02866.jpg IMG_0422.jpg


    Kudu high up in the hills.

    P1000222.jpg P1000233.jpg

    Impala in the salt.
    IMG_3481.jpg



    Rowland Ward was participating in Richards hunt.
    Wildebeest Trophy.jpg P1000149.jpg



    My friend was tickled about this Bushpig for a host of reasons. A few of which were all the novel methods that we can not use at home. Night hunting, small caliber and a suppressor.

    DSC02882.jpg DSC02862.jpg

    The Game Drives produce some interesting results.


    IMG_3562.jpg



    The best result is this little scouting picture.
    IMG_3583.jpg
     

  20. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN AH ENABLER SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR LIFETIME TITANIUM BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

    Joined:
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    Last night, as only good friends that have been hunting together for years can do, I was subject to the good natured derisive commentary after my latest trophy. After learning the Kudu had only one ear, I was told that I was not really hunting if I could only shoot cripples.
    Everyone was having a good laugh.
    I took this as the true sign that the boys felt some of the bottles were slipping from their grasp..
     

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