Lifetime titanium benefactor
Happy belated Bday.
Very nice adventure to celebrate with.
Very nice adventure to celebrate with.
There was nothing which I brought with me which turned out to be "crucial" in the usual sense (other than some prescription drugs). In South Africa, unlike, say, Benin or Ethiopia, if you forget something, you can usually find something like it somewhere nearby. So I don't worry too much about leaving something behind (again, other than prescriptions, which may not be easy to replace or fill anywhere other than at home) when I'm going to South Africa.Of the items you brought with you, what were most crucial and what would you leave at home next trip? Any extra tips that come to mind?
I’ve enjoyed this hunt report. I’m wheels up in 19 days... starting to focus on the packing items.
I thought based on your Cameroon report, you were endorsed, sponsored and part of the pro staff for Crocs.There was nothing which I brought with me which turned out to be "crucial" in the usual sense (other than some prescription drugs). In South Africa, unlike, say, Benin or Ethiopia, if you forget something, you can usually find something like it somewhere nearby. So I don't worry too much about leaving something behind (again, other than prescriptions, which may not be easy to replace or fill anywhere other than at home) when I'm going to South Africa.
I didn't bring enough warm clothes for the hunt - I had looked at the temperature for the Northern Cape, and I should have looked at the Eastern Cape, where I would actually be spending most of my time. Had Niel not been able to lend me a jacket which fitted me almost perfectly, I'd have probably had to make a stop in a local town to find something to buy.
Other than that, it was pretty much the usual stuff that I have on my checklist. I did bring only one pair of hunting boots - New Balance trail boots. I might have brought a second, but these were gore-tex lined so when it did rain, they didn't get wet inside. I've used Courtney's, Russells, and others, and I've returned to New Balance. They fit me well, they're light, and they're reasonably cheap.
Good luck with your trip - I wish I was still there!
Buzz Charlton almost exclusively hunts in Crocs.I thought based on your Cameroon report, you were endorsed, sponsored and part of the pro staff for Crocs.
A very astute observation. I can see why you are LivingTheDream.I thought based on your Cameroon report, you were endorsed, sponsored and part of the pro staff for Crocs.
Great report! Just so I am understanding correctly, when you shot the two eland with the 275, were you shooting the 139 gr SST bullets? Thanks!Day 14
We spent most of the morning looking for waterbuck and eland, but had no luck even seeing them. We began to head back for lunch and saw a springbok which looked like it might rescue our morning. I set up and took a shot from about 150 yards. The shot was a bit lower and farther back than I wanted, but it had the effect of unzipping his belly, so his stomach and intestines were hanging out. He didn’t go far and dropped near an anthill. Not a great shot, I thought, but it got the job done.
At that point a couple of his friends came by and must have kicked sand in his face or something, because he got up and began to trot after them, dragging his guts. Not a pleasant sight, but instead of slowing down, he actually sped up! We raced back to the truck and went after the three, which one of the trackers said went over a hill. We got off at one point and continued the chase on foot, but eventually lost the ones we were looking for. We had last seen blood by an open gate we had driven through chasing them, so John said “back to the last blood”, and we began walking back to the gate. It was Dean who announced, as we got nearer to the gate, that the springbok was lying dead beside the road. If we’d focused on the blood rather than where we thought he’d gone, we’d have seen him as we drove past him. A relief.
I felt good about that, so shot another one, as well as a fallow deer. Now we could return for lunch without being embarrassed.
A sable roaming the farm. Unfortunately (for me), it wasn't limping!
That afternoon we were hoping to find the eland again, but got sidetracked stalking a fallow deer. At one point Mendile said he’d just seen the eland on a mountainside some 800 yards or so away. Sure enough, there they were, so plans changed, and we began to stalk the eland. Now, when I say “there they were” I don’t mean I’d seen them. In fact, I couldn’t see them at all, but since I’d seen nothing, how could I argue that there was nothing there? As the lawyer in me would say, “absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.”
I finally managed to see one or two of the eland when we were a couple of hundred yards away. I could see John was trying to make a plan to get us closer, which was a good idea, since I really didn’t want to take a shot at eland in heavy brush from 200 yards with a .275.
Slowly – and I mean slowly – we closed the distance to about 100 yards, moving from cover to cover, when we thought their heads were down, feeding. At one point a springbok came walking by not 30 yards from us – “unbelievable” I was thinking to myself – our stalk gets busted by a springbok! But we froze, the wind was in our favour, and while he looked at us from time to time, he didn’t seem disturbed and just kept going. That was the really unbelievable part!
At another point a cow saw us, but we froze and while she stared at us for what seemed like forever, she eventually lowered her head and we slowly moved behind a bush.
By this time, daylight was running out. We’d only seen a few of the eland and the one John wanted, the male with the one horn, he’d spotted initially but hadn’t seen for some time. All we knew was that there was a group ahead of us, higher than us on the side of the mountain, but they were moving in and out of heavy cover. It was possible that some had used the cover to move away around the base of the mountain. So I kept the rifle on the sticks, and John kept telling me not to move, and we kept discussing if I should wait to find the bull or shoot one of the cows. One cow in particular (the one which had seen us) had longish horns but they were oddly shaped, so likely a good one to take. Eventually, the decision was more or less made for us. We were starting to lose the light and we hadn’t seen the male in some time. So John said “if you’re comfortable on the cow to the left, take her.”
Dean, who was doing the video, had no idea that I was going to shoot the cow. From his position, he had seen the bull and focused on him, but we didn’t know that – from where we were standing we couldn’t see the bull. So he missed the shot on the cow.
View attachment 403138
When I pulled the trigger on the cow, she stood for a moment and I wasn’t sure what had happened. But then she fell and did a summersault down the hill, so I figured the shot was good. John had been watching through his binos and as the shoot rang out, the rest of the herd suddenly showed themselves, including a group which were no farther than about 50 yards from us, in a bit of a sloot, which we had no idea about (lucky we hadn't gone any further - they'd have busted us for sure). But John also saw the one-horned bull and said “there he is . . . shoot him!”
I saw the bull standing, looking towards us, but surrounded by others. I got him in my sights and waited until I thought he was clear, and took the shot. He ran forward a few yards, stopped and looked back. I think the shot would have done it, but given that he wasn’t down, that it was getting dark, and that I’d had too many bad experiences on this trip with dead ones getting away, I gave him another, which dropped him on the spot. I should point out that when I took my first shot, the bull had a young eland behind him. Had I seen it, I might not have taken the shot (Dean did say that it was there, but I couldn't see it so thought it must have moved). Having said that, not one bullet passed though either of the eland, which is not a surprise.
Two eland down, in less than 40 seconds, with three total shots from a .275, using about as traditional (non-premium) a bullet as you can get these days. I impressed myself!
Given the weight of one eland, let alone two, we called for help from camp and within 20 minutes Niel showed up with his Land Cruiser and a half dozen workers. They made short work of getting the eland loaded up and back to camp.
A great way to celebrate my 63rd birthday! Of course, the very tasty chocolate cake with cream cheese icing which they made for me was pretty nice as well!
No. I'd stopped shooting those because the point of aim seemed unreliable in my rifle. I was shooting 140 grain Remington Cor-Lokt's.Great report! Just so I am understanding correctly, when you shot the two eland with the 275, were you shooting the 139 SST bullets? Thanks!
The fine is something like $3000, and staying in the hotel was a small fraction of that. Besides, as much as I hate to admit it, it was nice to get back (even if not all the way) and not have to deal with all the home things right away. So no complaints about the hotel.Enjoyed following along with your report. Sounds like you had a great time. The quarantine crap on returning back to Canada had me delay my safari until next year. I thought you might skip the quarintine and just go for the fine. I might have missed it but did you quarantine at home for the 2 weeks as well? Thanks again for a great report.