NAMIBIA: Surf & Turf With Eureka Hunting Safaris

Adrian

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Outfitter: Eureka Hunting Safaris.
PH: Chrisjan Potgieter.
Tracker: Franz.
Driver: Tertius Potgieter and Amon.
Rifle: Mauser M03 in .375H&H.
Scope: Steiner Ranger 2-8x42 illuminated.
Bullets: Norma Oryx 300gr.

September 2019 found me once again en route to Namibia. I had booked with Chrisjan and Tertius Potgieter of Eureka Hunting Safaris for their Surf and Turf hunting and fishing combination over a period of ten days, seven hunting and three fishing.

Included in the price were the trophies of a Hartmann's Zebra, Kudu, Springbok, Impala and Baboon.

I flew Heathrow - Johannesburg - Windhoek with South African Airways. I had booked after the firearms handling charge cut off date so had to pay this for the first time in my travels.

The flights went smoothly and during my lay over in OR Tambo while paying for my coffee I noticed an Africa Hunting Forum baseball cap a few people behind me. I went over and shook hands with Royal27 and his good lady.

Arriving in Windhoek I was surprisingly quick to get through immigration and collect my rifle and ammunition.
Chrisjan found me on the other side and we were soon out in the car park to load the truck and meet Franz who would be both tracker and skinner over the next week.

Before I left the UK, Chrisjan had explained that due to the drought conditions The Hartmann's Zebra were very scarce on the farm that was the base for Eureka so we would be hunting for this animal in the Khomas Hochland where they were more plentiful but also a nuisance to the farmers there as this was the best grazing for many, many miles and therefore eating the meagre grass, depriving the livestock of their food.

We met Chrisjan's brother Peter in Windhoek who had a contact farmer who wanted zebra culled and soon after we were out of the city and heading for the parched landscape of the Khomas Hochland.

Pulling up in the farmyard I made a quick change out of my travel clothing and put on some shorts and t-shirt under the gaze of several chickens and who I can only guess was the farm workers wife who must've had a surprise to see a stranger removing his clothes in her yard but to her credit, she didn't laugh and point.

I unpacked my rifle, attached the scope, got some bullets, backpack and camera and soon we were off hunting, stopping only to put a few shots through the rifle to check the zero which wasn't very far off where I expected.

Sitting in the back of the truck my fatigue from travelling soon dissipated and we were looking for game.
We drove around for a while through the rolling hills and dusty tracks, little did I know that this would be the least dusty part.....
A small herd of zebra crossed the track a few hundred metres in front of us so we stopped, dismounted and started the hunt.

Franz followed the tracks followed by Chrisjan and myself bringing up the rear, a familiar pattern to be repeated over many hours and miles over the next week.
We tracked for a while, never finding the zebra, they always were one ridge ahead of us. We did see warthog, duiker and steenbok.

Calling time on the stalk Peter brought the truck and we were back on board to drive and glass again.

Before long, Franz and Chrisjan spied a lone zebra a distance away and spent some time discussing it. It was alone which suggested a stallion but also looked small to be a stallion.
We went on a stalk anyway, picking our way through the tangled thorn bush and keeping the zebra and the wind in our favour.
It was heading away from us, grazing slowly so we made ground on it and soon it was within shooting distance. Franz and Chrisjan had further discussion and relayed their thoughts to me. It was a mare but surprisingly alone, no young or other herd members within sight.
It wasn't an old mare but neither was it young and her hide was nice. I was offered the opportunity to take a shot if I was happy to do so. We discussed it some more and I made my decision to take her.

I got up on the sticks and levelled the Mauser, chambering a round as I did so. I flicked the illuminated reticle on and placed the red dot in the centre of the cross hairs on the shoulder.
The rifle went off and the sound of the hit was clearly audible. The zebra spun around and ran, Chrisjan urged me to shoot again but the mare described a circle and then came back to almost where I had shot her and went down, kicking in the dust.

We approached slowly and she had expired. Hand shakes all round, I made the Mauser safe, it was the first animal I had shot at and taken with it, a very nice way to christen my new rifle.

We set up and took a few photos. Fortunately she had dropped by the side of a track and Peter was soon there with the truck.

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We took the zebra back to the farm and dropped her in the skinning shed whereupon Franz went about his business.

There was still some light left in the day so we had the decision to make the journey north to the Eureka farm or stay and do some more hunting here. Peter had a request from a contact for a Gemsbok if he could supply one so as we were here, the day wasn't over and I enjoy hunting in the highlands we set off for a Gemsbok with a couple of the farm workers on board.

We didn't see any Gemsbok but soon found a reasonable size herd of zebra. As the landowner still wanted them off his land we could still cull some for him for a small fee for the right. I agreed to the $100, it's not every day you get the chance to hunt a Hartmann's Zebra for such small money.

I followed Chrisjan and one of the farm workers and we approached the herd. They were grazing and moving halfway up a slope which was in shadow now. Every time I looked I saw more zebra than the time before, now it was a matter of picking a shootable animal and trying to get into a position to shoot.

This was easier said than done. The herd stallion was on the lookout, there was no cover between them and us except for the large smooth rock sticking up from the earth like a massive dragon scale and the one next to it that was flat on the ground.
It was clear air across the ravine between us.

The stallion was unsure. He knew something was amiss but as we were hidden apart from our eyes and binoculars looking back at him. The rest of the herd milled about, not apparently aware of us.

After what seemed an eternity but in reality was only a few minutes, the stallion moved and Chrisjan motioned to me to get into a prone position on the flat rock. It took some doing in full view of the zebra but somehow we managed it. Unfortunately the angle of the rock was an issue to bring the rifle to bear so I rested on my backpack after more furtive shuffling.
Still not right.
I slid out of my binocular harness and used them on top of my rucksack under the fore end as a makeshift bipod. This just about worked with the addition of a folded hat.

Chrisjan was studying the zebra. There were two noticeably large animals, the stallion and another. We made sure I knew which ones to be aiming at and shooting at if I got the chance.

The second animal presented a chance first but the stallion was moving and coming into my line of fire. He was a little low to start with but he was moving higher, I asked Chrisjan to range him, just about 200m on the nose.

Unbelievably the stallion kept moving into my shot and so I aimed a little high, supported by mother earth and my binoculars and squeezed the shot away.

The sound of the hit came back in amongst the echos from the slopes and rocks around us. I saw the stallion go down on his backside and start kicking. I said a silent payer that he would not kick himself into the shallow ravine but he lay still where he dropped.

The rest of the herd milled about, the echo confusing them. Some headed over the ridge, some hardly moved.
The second largest animal that we had considered shooting was one of them, it moved towards the fallen stallion and Chrisjan said to shoot it. My rifle had already been reloaded after the first shot so I fired again and the hit was once again loud.
This zebra reared and ran, through the thorns, over rocks, stumbling and falling, blood appearing on the chest area before laying down and kicking weakly.
The rest of the herd disappeared.

The light was now going quickly so Chrisjan and our farm worker friend went back to the truck. I opted to go over to the fallen zebra and wait there. The second one was still moving and I wanted to make sure it was dead.

Chrisjan went one way and I made my way across the 200m to find the second animal was still clinging to life so I dispatched it with a shot to the chest. My original shot had been a little too far forward and while undoubtedly a mortal wound I was not happy to watch an animal suffer.
Unfortunately this zebra had damaged it's hide on the sharp rocks and thorns in it's death throes which was a shame but the meat would still be valuable.

The truck arrived and we set up the stallion for a few pics beneath the rising moon. This was a massive animal. It was solid and heavy and everything about it was just big.

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Somehow we got both beasts into the back of the truck and headed back to the farm. I had only been in Namibia a few hours and somehow had taken three zebra in that time. It was an awesome way to start my trip.

Chrisjan suggested to me that I take the big stallion as my trophy animal and if is was paying $100 bucks for the privilege of hunting I should also take the hide from the first animal from earlier was well.
It was a good deal to me.

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The guys skinned late into the night by the headlights of the truck. I opted for a cape and back skin from the big stallion.

By now I was hanging. I had managed a few hours sleep on the plane but I had been on the go for over 24 hours by now so tried to make myself useful by holding my torch.

Chrisjan asked if I wanted to go the the farm tonight, a four or five hour drive or if I wanted to spend the night at Peter's house in Windhoek. The latter seemed the best option so we arrived the late at night, Peter's wife had cooked us some food which we gratefully consumed and I was shown to my room to take a much needed shower and then sleep.

So ended my first day in Namibia, eventful, exciting and very worthwhile.

To be continued.......
 

Adrian

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The second day dawned and I awoke after a great night's sleep. We had coffee and rusks and loaded up the truck for the long drive north, said our goodbyes and thanks to Peter and got on the road.

The signs of the drought were telling. Enterprising locals were harvesting the long grass growing by the side of the road and bundling it to sell to those in need for their goats. In fact the best grass I saw was growing on the wide strips of land each side of the road. The warthogs also knew this and many a fine set of tusks were on display along the route.

We stopped in Okahandja for a coffee to go and continued on our way.

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After a good journey we arrived in Otjiwarongo and called in to Kings Taxidermy to drop off my zebra hide, cape and back skin from the previous day. It was nice to be able to wander around here, see all the different and interesting things and trophies harvested by other fortunate hunters.

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After our visit here we went to Chrisjan's house to get his kit, pick up a young lady who would be staying with us on the hunting farm and who would be washing my clothes and keeping house.
We packed our cases and everything in the back of the truck in bin liners because there was a dust problem on the way to the farm.
A quick fuel stop and we were headed to the farm located at the base of the Ugab river terraces.

They were not kidding about the dust. Talcum fine dust was coating everywhere. I have never seen dust to fine and almost liquid which is ironic. The rains had been poor in recent years and the dust would be constant during my stay here.

The hunting lodge was a twin bedroom single storey building in the middle of the bush. We crossed the dry Ugab river to reach it.
There is a kitchen/dining area and another separate kitchen and storage room out the back with washing machine. A bathroom and comfortable area to sit in the entrance.

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I made myself at home, unpacked and sorted out my luggage. There was a chef already there, Evelina who would always be on hand to cook and keep the house running smoothly.

That afternoon we went for a drive to see if we could find some game and see what happened. Chrisjan's brother Tertius was there and he drove the truck.
Less than 100m from the house we rounded a corner and from under a thorn bush a springbok ram stood up with a couple of ewes. He looked nice and Chrisjan was off the truck with me following and we tried to catch up with him but to no avail. he gave us the slip in the bush but Chrisjan promised that ram had my name on it.

We drove around until the sun went down seeing animals before returning to the house for a shower and change, a cold beer and a braai. Evelina had prepared the food for us and she departed with Franz to the main farmhouse further into the bush and tucked right under the terraces.

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With a full stomach I retired to my room for the night and found my room mate waiting for me who posed for a quick photo before disappearing under my bed.

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Matt_WY

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Great start to the hunt! keep it coming! :)
 

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The second day dawned and I awoke after a great night's sleep. We had coffee and rusks and loaded up the truck for the long drive north, said our goodbyes and thanks to Peter and got on the road.

The signs of the drought were telling. Enterprising locals were harvesting the long grass growing by the side of the road and bundling it to sell to those in need for their goats. In fact the best grass I saw was growing on the wide strips of land each side of the road. The warthogs also knew this and many a fine set of tusks were on display along the route.

We stopped in Okahandja for a coffee to go and continued on our way.

View attachment 334447 View attachment 334448

After a good journey we arrived in Otjiwarongo and called in to Kings Taxidermy to drop off my zebra hide, cape and back skin from the previous day. It was nice to be able to wander around here, see all the different and interesting things and trophies harvested by other fortunate hunters.

View attachment 334448 View attachment 334449 View attachment 334450 View attachment 334451 View attachment 334452 View attachment 334453 View attachment 334454 View attachment 334455 View attachment 334456

After our visit here we went to Chrisjan's house to get his kit, pick up a young lady who would be staying with us on the hunting farm and who would be washing my clothes and keeping house.
We packed our cases and everything in the back of the truck in bin liners because there was a dust problem on the way to the farm.
A quick fuel stop and we were headed to the farm located at the base of the Ugab river terraces.

They were not kidding about the dust. Talcum fine dust was coating everywhere. I have never seen dust to fine and almost liquid which is ironic. The rains had been poor in recent years and the dust would be constant during my stay here.

The hunting lodge was a twin bedroom single storey building in the middle of the bush. We crossed the dry Ugab river to reach it.
There is a kitchen/dining area and another separate kitchen and storage room out the back with washing machine. A bathroom and comfortable area to sit in the entrance.

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I made myself at home, unpacked and sorted out my luggage. There was a chef already there, Evelina who would always be on hand to cook and keep the house running smoothly.

That afternoon we went for a drive to see if we could find some game and see what happened. Chrisjan's brother Tertius was there and he drove the truck.
Less than 100m from the house we rounded a corner and from under a thorn bush a springbok ram stood up with a couple of ewes. He looked nice and Chrisjan was off the truck with me following and we tried to catch up with him but to no avail. he gave us the slip in the bush but Chrisjan promised that ram had my name on it.

We drove around until the sun went down seeing animals before returning to the house for a shower and change, a cold beer and a braai. Evelina had prepared the food for us and she departed with Franz to the main farmhouse further into the bush and tucked right under the terraces.

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With a full stomach I retired to my room for the night and found my room mate waiting for me who posed for a quick photo before disappearing under my bed.

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Well written report!

Do you know what kind of bug that is?! My ignorant self would just assume every bug in Africa wants to kill me (along with every snake of course) and would have to have found it and given it a full 300 grains of .375HH...anyone know what flooring cost per square foot in Namibia?:ROFLMAO:
 

Adrian

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Well written report!

Do you know what kind of bug that is?! My ignorant self would just assume every bug in Africa wants to kill me (along with every snake of course) and would have to have found it and given it a full 300 grains of .375HH...anyone know what flooring cost per square foot in Namibia?
Mike, it's a solifuge, camel spider, sun spider, whatever you like to call it.
Have a Google, very interesting species.
 

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Mike, it's a solifuge, camel spider, sun spider, whatever you like to call it.
Have a Google, very interesting species.
Oh my, yeah I've heard all about those from my buddy that did two tours in Afghanistan! He has pictures of massive ones. Me, I'm not a spider fan, especially those that cause necrosis. I'd be hunting spider that night lol
 

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That lion in the taxidermists looked familiar. No,I didn’t shoot it but the pose seemed to remind me of one I’d seen. There it was in my photos at a country fair outside Outjo in April ‘17.
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Adrian

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The next morning I awoke to my alarm, outside a vehicle pulled up and Tertius, Franz, Amon and the two ladies had arrived to begin the day.
I washed and dressed and went outside to take in the African sunrise, it never disappoints, the bush was stirring and the cool of the early morning air would swiftly be replaced by the searing heat of the sun.

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Evelina provided us with bacon, eggs, sausage and there were cereals and toast as well as tea or coffee.

Breakfast done we got our gear together and set off into the bush for the first proper morning of hunting. To get the wind in our favour we would usually head out, down into the dry Ugab river bed and drive along it, looking up and ahead of us to look for Impala or Kudu.

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As we drove along I became aware of a dodgy feeling in my stomach. I figured I had eaten too much and would soon walk it off but it persisted making me very uncomfortable. We drove for a while and then spotted some Kudu.
We left Tertius and Amon with the truck and with Franz in the lead, Chrisjan following and me bringing up the rear followed the antelope into the bush.
Several times Franz got us close, very close. More than once the tantalizing spiral horns were less than thirty metres away, the grey striped bodies obscured by bush and no shot on offer. The Kudu would move off and slow and we would close again.
The Kudu then split up forming two groups and Franz had a particular animal in mind, it had a slightly elongated half a hoof and it was easy to track for those who weren't me.

From then on, the morning became a blur. We tracked the Kudu on foot for hours, through thorn, mopane, over rocky ground, over dusty ground, over hard packed earth and the heat became more and more intense along with the discomfort in my stomach.
We walked miles after the animals before Franz and Chrisjan stopped and discussed some Leopard tracks we came across.
Seizing the opportunity I grabbed some paper from my pack and disappeared into the bush to attend to nature.
I felt bloody awful, I didn't feel physically sick, just not right, sweating profusely and weak.

The truck was called and Tertius found us and I gulped back a bottle of water and then a Coke to try and get some sugar and energy back into my body. Chrisjan asked if I wanted to go on and I did. Amon accompanied us now and he carried my rifle for which I was grateful. I was still savouring the cold Coke as we once more set off after the Kudu.

More bush, more heat and more dust and we came out in a clear area, the Kudu were gone but we saw a Baboon under a bush a few hundred metres away and as we walked, Chrisjan asked if I wanted to have a shot but as this was not the 'big boss Baboon' I declined.

The truck appeared along a track and we mounted up, I sat inside and we headed back for a late lunch at the house.
We drove back through the river bed and I was being lolled into shutting my eyes when some Impala were spotted.
I became fully awake and we put in a stalk, scrambling up the steep sides of the river bank, the soft ground giving way easily under our feet and making the going tricky. The Impala were gone so we made it back for lunch.
I felt wasted but I ate lightly and then got a quick shower, a change of clothes and a sleep before the afternoon hunt.

Mr Potgieter Sr Chrisjan and Tertius' father had been in touch from his house near the terraces and said he had seen a group of Kudu bulls not far from his home so that afternoon we went to look for them.

Driving along a track the Kudu suddenly appeared in front of us, four of them. They were of the the left of the track and they stood contemplating us.
Chrisjan jumped off the truck and set the sticks up, I followed soon after with my rifle and I loaded it as I mounted it.
There were two mature bulls and two younger ones. Chrisjan made sure we were looking at the same animals and he said both of the older beasts would be good to take, whichever presented a shot first.
I studied them through my scope while I waited, they were a little over 100m distant. I knew which one I preferred and the other one presented himself. Sod's Law.
I waited a little longer and finally I had a clear shot on my favoured bull.
It was stood quartering away from me, looking back at us so I lined the shot behind the rib cage to angle the bullet forwards through the cavity and into the vital region of the chest.
 
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I know what it’s like struggling along feeling green and rotten, looking for kudu. That precious roll of paper back at the Toyota was a life saver!
 

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I settled the red dot in front of the haunch and behind the ribs and the shot went off. The kudu lurched to the shot as the sound of the hit travelled back to our ears.
We waited for a short time, I took a couple of photos, the first is along the track, the kudu were stood inside the fence on the edge of the brush.
The second is a view south to the opposite side of the Ugab terraces.

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While we waited, three kudu bulls broke across the track further down. This was encouraging as if these were the same group, one of their member was missing.
We approached the site where the animals had been standing and within a few metres of where we had seen it first a kudu bull stood.
It ran as we saw it, crashing through the thorns. Chrisjan, Franz and Amon followed at pace, I did my best to keep up feeling weak as a kitten. Shortly after we found it laying up so I gave it a final shot and my bull was done.

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The four of us managed to half lift, carry, slide the bull to a better place to take some pictures and get a proper look at him, he was a dandy.
Nice curls, big bases and length topped off by ivory coloured tips. One horn had a slight broken area on the top but it didn't affect the length of the magnificent horns.
He was an older bull, just past his prime, condition going back slightly as his ribs were visible.

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It was a superb bull and I was made up to have taken another fine kudu.
There was the small issue of retrieving it from the bush, from behind the fence but we managed it somehow and took the bull to the farmhouse and the facilities there.
 

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The following day the stomach issue was over. I felt 100% better and had a full breakfast. I was glad, I had never felt ill in Africa before and although I felt crap, I wouldn't class it as being properly ill.

We would be hunting for impala today, not the most exotic and to some, not worth a second glance but I love seeing them and hunting them.

We set off down the dry Ugab river once more to benefit us in the wind. A curious giraffe watched our progress. I think we saw giraffe every day I was on the farm.

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The rest of the day we followed impala. A group was spotted just in the bush and we crept up on them, I had the rifle on the sticks once but they vanished so we tracked them, occasionally we would get a glimpse. We found gemsbok, a small herd of zebra that all spooked.

It was a hot day, miles of walking through the bush, the heat was intense, the mopane flies settling whenever we stopped.
We stopped for a drink and set off again, refreshed and determined to find the elusive impala. It was the hardest days hunting I think I've ever had but I loved every second of it.

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We saw more giraffe.....
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The impala had beaten us this day but there is never a bad day to be in the African bush.
 

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Dawn broke the next day and I rose for a coffee and to watch the sun come up before breakfast.

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The truck was ready and once we had eaten it was back out into the bush to look for impala.
We drove some miles that morning, glassing, getting the wind right, the fine dust coated everything and the sun beat down, the pale earth reflecting it back in our eyes.
At the waterholes the guys checked the trail cams to see if the impala had been there recently but no joy.

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We did come across a pair of Damara Dik-dik who were busy with the affairs of nature. The tiny antelope taking no notice of us as we stopped to watched them for a while. Chrisjan said the male was a particularly good one but as I only had the .375H&H he was in no danger. I tried to snap some photos but its's tricky to get them when they were running around in the brush.
I did manage to get this poor photo of the ram facing away from me.

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Back to the house for lunch and a short sleep before the afternoon hunting beckoned.
We had been keeping an eye on the springbok during the lunch times. There is a water point not far from the house, maybe a couple of hundred metres and each afternoon the springbok would move out of the bush to drink.
Today a few ewes were about, moving in, having a drink and then retreating back to the shade.

To break from chasing impala we would look for the springbok ram we had seen on the first afternoon. He was nowhere to be seen as we drove the tracks away from the house.
The blocks of bush were intersected by tracks and Amon circled each one, we were looking, glassing, trying to spot a ram or the ram. We went for about half and hour and finally came back almost to where we started.

As we rounded the corner Amon jumped on the brakes, a springbok ram stood up from under a bush and advanced a couple of steps, Chrisjan shot off the truck and set up the sticks, as he did so I was getting my rifle out of the case and following suit.
It was the ram with my name on it, it's wide horns identifying it from the first afternoon.
It was 100m away almost dead on so I took the shot and he dropped in his tracks. It was a great ram and after the effort we put into the impala, a welcome lucky break.
A few photos and it was up to the skinning shed to get him in the salt.

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It was a fine end to the day and satisfying to have something at the end of our hard work over the past couple of days.

More to follow.
 

Adrian

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After the springbok was safely taken care of there was still light in the day so we drove the racks to see what was about, hoping to see impala but they were nowhere to be seen.
We saw kudu bulls in the bush and crossing the track in front of us.....

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And more giraffe.....

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And more dik-dik that ran around just a few metres from us but failed to stop to have their photo taken.....

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The day done and with a beautiful springbok in the bag we retired to the house and had our evening meal, a beer by the fire and went to bed.
 

Adrian

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After a good night's sleep breakfast and coffee were taken and the truck loaded for the day's adventure. To do something different we would be heading to the terraces. I had expressed an interest in looking for a klipspringer and so this morning we were going to do some climbing and escape the thorns and the dust of the baking hot bush.

The point of departure for our hunt was from Mr Potgieter Sr's house at the bottom of the cliffs. As we arrived in the yard one of his farm workers, a young lad called Doomba (I don't know if this is the correct spelling but it's how it was said.) was there.
I had seen him the previous day when we took the springbok to the yard and Chrisjan had said he enjoys the hunting and is enthusiastic about it so I mentioned if he wanted to come along at any time it would be good.

Chrisjan shouted at him to change from his blue overalls to his brown ones and with a broad grin he scampered off like an excited puppy to change. He was back within minutes still fastening his clothes.

With some water bottles in my rucksack and the rucksack on Doomba's back, Chrisjan and I followed Doomba and Franz out of the yard enclosure and started up the face of the cliff. It looked daunting from the base but there was an easy path to follow and after a short breather our party made it to the top.

Almost instantly we bumped a pair of klipspringers and they set off around the top of the cliff. Watching them as they went the four of us held back to let them settle and to see if the male was a shootable animal.

The small antelope had gone down over the cliff side so we kept back from the edge and followed Doomba and Franz. To be honest, I didn't see where they had gone so I concentrated on my footing and watching the others to see where they were going and where they were looking.

Eventually it seemed the klipspringer had stopped at the base of a sandstone butte so Chrisjan laid his sticks across the very edge of the cliff and I shuffled forward on knees and stomach to look over the precipice.

Across the drop, opposite my vantage point I finally saw the pair. Chrisjan pointed me to the ram, stood slightly behind and slightly above his partner.
Resting my rifle on the foam grips of the sticks I lined up the shot. I felt like I was hanging over the cliff and hoped someone might grab my ankles but obviously it wasn't as bad as that. Chrisjan had hold of his sticks saying he didn't want to lose them over the side when to be honest I was more worried about my rifle disappearing into the void.

I lined the red dot of the cross hairs a little further back than usual, not wanting to hit a shoulder and blow the little animal up and squeezed off the shot.
After the recoil and being thankful my rifle was still within my grasp I was rewarded with the sight of two perfectly healthy klipspringers bounding off amongst the rocks.
In my excitement I had neglected to account for the downward angle of the shot and Chrisjan had watched my shot hit an inch over the back of my target.

Feeling pissed off and annoyed at myself I withdrew from the edge, made the rifle safe and cursed my mistake. I have no problem missing a shot, it's my fault. I'm more annoyed at letting the people down who had got me into position to take it in the first place.

Apologising to everyone and everyone being very polite about it we had a drink and carried on to see if we could spot the animals again.

After a short time Doomba and Franz had seen them again, not too far away so once more we negotiated the cliffs, the rocks, the downs and the ups of the gullies and arrived at a spot looking down upon them.

Another cliff edge shuffle and I was again looking down into an area of rocks and thorn bush, trying to see two very small animals in the shade, under some short trees and exactly the same colour as everything else around them.
Eventually I saw them, I couldn't tell male from female but the sharp eyes of my companions assured me the male was to the rear. Both were looking away from us, looking back to where they had been shot at before. My shot had echoed off the cliffs and it was hard to determine exactly where it had come from.

I got a comfortable position and lined up what was a tricky shot for me. Laying down and looking over the large rock we were on, trying to find the klipspringer in the scope, getting comfortable and trying to find an aiming point. This was a steeper angle than before. I had a view of the back of the ram, his backside being all that was on view.

Chrisjan told me to aim just at the top of the haunch and the shot would be good. Relying on his judgement I took the shot and heard the hit.
Again, glad I was still holding my rifle I had lost sight of my target. The others hadn't and they assured me the klipspringer was down and my shot had been good.

It was down there somewhere.....

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Relieved I hadn't let my companions down again we had a drink and contemplated how to get down to retrieve my trophy.

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A customary clifftop pose from the rock where I had taken the shot.....

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Chrisjan had been on the phone to his father and while we picked our way down the cliff he was en route to our location with his vehicle and a barrel of brine to get the klipspringer into as soon as possible to prevent the hair slipping.

Doomba disappeared into the bush to pick up the animal while the rest of us made it to a better location to take a few photos.

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We got the little animal into the cold salty water as soon as possible and headed back to the farm to get him skinned. It would be a shoulder mount as by bullet and the angle had made a mess of his rear half.
It was a great hunt, the views were amazing and a good morning in Africa.
 

Ridgewalker

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Outstanding report so far! Great animals as well! I really enjoy all the excellent photos of the country! Something most don’t do.
By the way, your 375 has some extremely handsome timber on it!
 

Adrian

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Thank you Sir.
I like to include some scenery, landscape views, shots of the accomodation because if anyone is thinking of hunting at Eureka and are researching, it shows exactly what to expect and what everything is like. It breaks up constant trophy shots where you can't get a good idea of the surroundings.
Thank you for noticing the rifle too. It was a lucky break that led to me owning it and I'm very pleased I do.
 

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That afternoon we would head back out to see if our luck had changed with the impala. We drove around on the tracks cutting through the bush, stopping short of waterholes and stalking up to them, seeing nothing and moving on again.
The impala were kicking our backsides, we just couldn't find them, they had disappeared.

The sun was going down as Amon stopped the truck and Franz, Chrisjan and I stepped off and headed up a shallow gully through the mopane trees.

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We were approaching a waterhole and Chrisjan motioned to me to load my rifle which I did and we stalked in to where we prayed the impala might be.
There was nothing at the water but as we moved around, there was movement in the bush, finally we had outwitted the impala.

Chrisjan set up the sticks and I got the rifle on them, the ram stepped out from some brush and looked at us. There were some ewes moving around and suddenly he was clear.
He offered a perfect broadside shot, facing right to left. I remember seeing the sleek red coat as I lined up on his shoulder.
The red dot came to the right place and I fired. I heard a hit and he leapt forward and out of sight.

I smiled with relief as Franz ran in my direction. I thought it was a bit weird that he didn't have a pleased look on his face but maybe he was concerned about tracking the ram in the failing light.
Chrisjan wasn't looking happy either.
Down to our right the ram appeared and Chrisjan had the sticks up and wanted me to shoot, I made to do his bidding but the ram was gone.

We set off at a run, through the bush, the mopane and to the edge of the river bed. It slowly dawned on me that I had in fact missed. I was shocked to be honest. How the hell did I miss? I was steady on the sticks, held perfectly on a broadside target about 80m away, it couldn't have been any more perfect if someone had actually picked the impala up and placed it for the optimum shot.

I was convinced I heard the hit, convinced I had shot my impala after so many hours and miles looking for it. Then, when everything was in place, I f***ed it up.
I was pissed off. Absolutely pissed off. I can get over missing, everyone does it occasionally and I forget about it quickly but I was gutted and embarrassed because I had let down Chrisjan and Franz who had worked tirelessly to get me in that position and I had messed it up when it came to do my bit.

Amon came up with the truck and we went to the house. A warthog appeared and ran ahead of us as we drove but that's all I remember about the journey.

I close my eyes now and I can still see that impala ram standing there looking at me.
 

Adrian

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We agreed that evening that we would try one final time to find impala in the morning. If we had no joy then we would pack up and try at another property just outside Otjiwarongo. Chrisjan had a friend with a large property and many impala there.

So, the next morning we were out as soon as breakfast had been eaten. We headed up the river bed for the final time, the rising sun behind us and casting a long shadow over the soft sand.

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Exiting the river bed we wound our way through the mopane. A jackal ran from the side of the track and stood there looking at us. The truck stopped and my rifle was out of it's case, loaded and pointing at the jackal withing seconds.
There was no time for sticks, resting etc, I shot free hand, aiming just underneath it because it was close and the sound of the report and the hit were as one.

Missed an easy impala off a rest but hit a small jackal in a rush free hand. Go figure.

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The sunrise was again, a thing of beauty.

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For the next few hours we drove every track on the farm but to no avail. We admitted defeat, myself still ashamed of the previous evening and we dropped the jackal off for skinning, I wanted a skull.
Back to the house we ate lunch, packed up and departed Eureka Farm. I was quite sad, it had been an amazing few days, superb accommodation, great food, fantastic hunting and wonderful people.
But now it was time to hunt once more and the embark on the second part of my trip and head west to the Skeleton coast.

The truck loaded with belongings, trophies and people we headed for Otjiwarongo, dropped off hides, capes and horns, said goodbye to Evelina and her helper, dropped the trophies off at Kings and went south to the property of Chrisjan's friend.
We got there and drove onto the property. Blue Wildebeest and springbok moved out of our way and we came to the dwellings, made introductions and very soon we were off to find a nice impala ram.
Chrisjan explained the owners were involved with game capture and relocation but operated a limited amount of hunting to take off excess stock and with the drought and the lack of food, it was a good time to be there.

We hadn't been driving very long when we looked down a track and saw a group of impala ewes and a young ram crossing.
Franz said a ram was just out of sight in the bush but he was heading after his group. I grabbed my rifle and we started in the direction of where we had seen the herd pass.
Franz was saying the ram was coming so we stalked a little closer and set up on the sticks. Sure enough, he appeared and stepped clear. He was still walking slowly but I took the shot and he dropped on the spot.
Finally.
After all the hard miles in the heat, I had a break and I had my impala and he was a nice one.

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We were at the base of a koppie and while we were conducting our hunt, kudu were moving through the bush and a troop of baboons were scrambling up it and barking from the crest.

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Chrisjan asked if I wanted to finish my hunt with the baboon that we didn't see many of at the farm. I certainly did. I'd never hunted a baboon so a new experience for me.

The vehicle went back to the skinning shed with Franz to begin his part and we stalked closer to the koppie.
Slowly and under the gaze of the noisy apes Chrisjan and I crept closer until we reached a point the was going to be it. The baboons were lined up looking at us, barking in the late afternoon quiet of the bush.

I got the rifle on the sticks and waited and watched while Chrisjan tried to find the big boss baboon. The youngsters were being youngsters, the adults were going about their business and three were just watching us.
Chrisjan said the big boss was out of sight but if I wanted to I could try for one of the other adults. He selected one of the three who were staring down at us and ranged it at a little over 180m.

I switched on the illuminated reticle and placed it on the head of the chosen baboon. I knew that firing uphill the bullet would fall.

If I'm honest, I wasn't expecting what happened next. I had a small target some distance away, uphill, through branches and an unusual stance to thread the bullet.
I fired and through my scope I saw, in slow motion, the baboon topple forward, a splash of red on it's chest. I was gobsmacked. I know I should never be surprised when I hit something but I genuinely was.

I think Chrisjan was as well.

My view of the top of the koppie after the baboon had departed.

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Now we had to find it and retrieve it.

By now the owner of the property had arrived so the three of us left our stuff where it was and started to the base of the koppie and started climbing.

To start off it was fairly easy but then the boulders got bigger and it was difficult. Chrisjan, who is a little under ten feet tall was okay. He could reach over the top of the large rocks and inch his way around and up. Myself, being vertically challenged called it quits and abandoned half way up.I simply couldn't get a grip and a firm footing at the same time and looking over my shoulder at the fall I could potentially take and not remembering the small print of my insurance I wondered if I was covered for rock climbing to collect a dead baboon. I decided that perhaps I wasn't.
This is the rock that defeated us shorter fellows.

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It was a nice view from up there though.

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I went back down, followed our footprints to our gear and guided Chrisjan to where I believed the baboon to be.
He found the baboon, it was in a crevice and he decided against bring it back, it wasn't as big as he had hoped so he left it where it was as food for the leopard he also found up there......

Perhaps the baboons were actually barking at that and not us.....

Everyone made it down in one piece and we went to find Franz who was skinning the impala.
 

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