SOUTH AFRICA: 5 Weeks In Africa! Report #1 With Bushmen Safaris

rinehart0050

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Great report so far. Looking forward to the rest!

I'm sitting in a tree stand right now- bad shots happen to everyone. Best to learn from them and do better next time!
 

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Great hunt so far...:A Popcorn:
 

jpomazi

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wonderful Impala. Not sure if its angle or what, but the blue Wildebeast looks huge. Congrats!
Bruce
Thanks Bruce. Maybe a little bit of the angle but he was huge. I have a hard time judging them sometime but when he came in, like most big animals there was no doubt. Horns extended past the ears by a lot!
 

jpomazi

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Great story John. At 78 I'm down to crossbows only. I just can't draw my 70 LB. Matthews back anymore. I sight in my Excalibur Matrix every year prior to hunting with it. Sometimes no adjustment is required other times I need to make one. I'm enjoying the story. I'm hoping to see that your girls "dirty" their hands before heading back home.
My wife has a bad shoulder as well, that's the reason for the crossbow. Tried for a few months but just couldn't get up to the needed draw weight. Bought the crossbow only a month before we left. It's awesome to shoot but was kind of fighting to sight it in. Finally got it straightened out but honestly anything out to 30 is good using the 20. Just different then a compound. I'm sure there are few 78 years olds that can pull back 70#. No shame in that!
 

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Don't tell my boss but I'm not very busy today so on with the report.
Hunting day number 8. Still waking up early. Usually around 3 am, which makes no sense since that is 6 pm at home. I always shoot my bow every morning just to make sure. It is dead on so have to shake off yesterday and move on. Shoot the crossbow as well and find out it's a couple inches high at 30 yards. Tell Barb she was right on with her shot yesterday and not to worry about it. Wasn't her fault. Just be confident.

Head to a new blind this morning in hopes of zebra. Had a young male eland show up and hang around for an hour. Average male blesbuck shows up and I ask if Barb wants to shoot him? She says no but you should. I have the crossbow set up and instead of moving it I decide I'll shoot him with that. Never shot an animal with one before so here goes nothing. He's at the far side of the water around 31 yards. Turns broadside and I shoot. Blood was pumping out of his side and his off leg was totally red in a few seconds. Thought he was going to go down right there but managed to stumble off. Whatsapp Gert and wait for him. Blesbuck ended up going about 50 yards into the bush. Carried him back to the blind area and took pictures. After we are done with that I'm going to go try and find the arrow. I watched it on video and thought I knew where it was.

While at the Afton House with Gert I told him, just to let you know snakes love us and every time we are here there is some type of encounter. Hopefully we can just get it over with right off the bat and be done with it for the trip. Usually we are here during the winter and it's always, the snakes are still hibernating you won't see any. Well apparently the black mamba that came into our blind in Namibia didn't get that memo so I don't believe the whole you're not going to see snakes spiel. September 1 was the first day of spring and it's warming up, so for people that see snakes in the winter we are absolutely going to see them now.

Anyway I'm off to look for my arrow. Chili, the tracker sees me take off and follows along to help. I get to this brushy patch, where I believe my arrow is and start digging around. Chili gives the universal sign for lets get the hell out of here and I oblige. Turns out there was a Mozambique spitting cobra in that patch about 2' from me that I failed to notice. Gert came over and took care of him with his 375.

Okay, glad we are done with that. Back in the blind by 11:00. Very slow. Had a monitor come in and drink which was cool. The one we saw a couple days ago and this one are the first I've ever seen over here. Decent waterbuck bull comes in then a nice warthog. Haven't seen many males pretty much all females with piglets. I ask Barb if she wants to shoot but she's not interested. I'm going to take him if he gives us a shot. Starts on the far side where the blesbuck was and wallows around. Then he walks around to the right and is at the most 10 yards away. I'm going to make a lot of noise trying to move the crossbow out of the way so I figure, what the hell, I'll shoot him with the crossbow. Gives me a broadside shot and blood explodes out of him with the impact of the arrow. Whatsapp Gert and find him fairly quickly. Man, that crossbow is almost unfair. Lots of fun though. I tell Barb it's dead on now and she can trust it's going to hit where she aims. Very slow the rest of the day with the highlight being a group of mongoose staring in the blind window at two feet. Only about 25 animals today after averaging over 100 up to now.
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Day number 9. 9/11 and Lydia's birthday. Barb is with me in another new blind with hopes of zebra. They have an abundance of giraffe and have a special on them so Gert is out looking for a nice male. I've always wanted to hunt one with a bow and brought along my buffalo arrows on this trip just in case. If he finds one he'll come get me and we'll give it a try. A really cool waterhole and we see a ton of animals. Around 50 impala and 20 blue wildebeest before 10. A lone oryx comes in about 1. I think he looks pretty nice and ask Barb if she's ready. She is! A single baboon shows himself on this mound about 50 yards away and sits there like he's watching a show. Think he sees us and doesn't stick around long. Tell Barb to be patient as the oryx is not presenting a shot. Finally after 20 minutes he turns broadside and stands still. Barb hits him perfectly and off he goes. Watch the video and it confirms that it was a great shot. Notify Gert and he shows up in a few minutes. Open the blind door and he's by himself in the vehicle. Seemed strange as he usually has Chili with him. Come to find out Chili had to move the oryx out of the road because it died right in the middle! Nice old bull.

Back in the blind by 2:30 but fairly slow with mostly a few waterbuck bulls. Gert found the female giraffe but no bulls. Thought it would be fairly easy. Tomorrow is the last day so hopefully he can find one.

Celebrated Lydia's birthday with another fantastic meal and called it a night.
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jpomazi

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I know a lot of people find a safari company they like and never go anywhere else. I get that, but when I hear them say, they are the best, I have to think, how do you know? You've never experienced anything else. I'm loyal and will have been with Dries Visser 4 times after this year but also like to try new outfits and see new areas. I had always been interested in Bushmen and wanted to check them out. Some of the things I learned or loved that they did were:

Used fishing line to pose trophies. Genius. Never seen this before. How many times do you struggle finding the right stick and fight to get the head posed correctly.

Blinds with built in benches and cushions. Long time to be in a blind so take turns napping in the afternoon in comfort.

A toilet for the girls.

Packing your own lunch box with whatever drinks you want that day and having crushed ice to put on them.

Ozonics. Again, don't know if I'm sold but haven't seen that before.
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jpomazi

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Last day. Back to the rhino blind where I shot the duiker. Gert says there is an old steenbuck that hangs around there. Besides zebra it's one of the last animals on my list. In the blind early around 7. Gert off to look for Giraffe. Lots of action with a jackal right off the bat but doesn't stick around. Couple duiker and female steenbuck.

Nic was saying a couple days ago that the zebra got so smart that they wouldn't go to waterholes during daylight. Got rid of all of them and traded for new ones is my understanding. I'll never pass one up as I think they epitomize Africa.

Around 11 a female steenbuck comes in and then a nice male. He goes to the far side of the water and is basically facing head on at 25 yards. I think this is the one Gert was talking about. Take him with the compound and he goes down within sight. Call Gert and on inspection he's the one. Very old. Blind in one eye and on the downward turn. Had worms as well.

Saw some nice waterbuck bulls and had pretty consistent action through out the day. Gert couldn't find giraffe. Guess I should of decided earlier I wanted one. Who knew giraffe would be that hard to find! Oh well a great safari that didn't disappoint.
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After much planning and lots of overtime it was finally wheels up on Monday August 30th. I would be joined on this 5 week adventure by my wife Barb and 14 year old twin girls Mattie and Charlee. We would be flying Alaska Airlines from Portland to Seattle then Qatar to Doha then on to Johannesburg.
This will be are 5th trip to Africa and safari’s #6,7 and 8. We used Qatar on the last trip in 2019 and were very pleased. I booked everything without a travel agent and had no issues. I did the same this time but was wondering if maybe that was a mistake in the COVID era. I guess we‘ll see?View attachment 430766
We flew there back in April and felt perfectly safe. We will never fly Qatar again but felt safe all the way there and back.
 

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On an archery hunt like this what’s the role of the PH? I’m surprised reading sounds like he doesn’t sit with you if I’m reading correctly?
 

jpomazi

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On an archery hunt like this what’s the role of the PH? I’m surprised reading sounds like he doesn’t sit with you if I’m reading correctly?
If you want them to sit in the blind with you they will. One day. Every day. Whatever. I like just being by myself or with the wife or twins. I'm a DIY guy except when it's required you have a guide. I've been there enough times to have a fairly good idea on what a trophy is for most species. Some guys on here are going to say by law you must have a PH with you at all times. It's pretty widely known that they operate that way so if it was illegal I'd think they'd be in trouble by now. I know other operators that do this as well. Maybe it's just a blind thing. I really don't know, but enjoyed having it that way.
As far as the role of the PH in this situation. He would pick a blind with the right wind direction as well as one that species I was looking for frequented. Obviously once something was shot he would come and track, take pictures, ask how you wanted your trophy prepared and take it to the skinning shed. In my case he was also looking for bull giraffes. In most blinds I could Whatsapp him and if I was on the fence on something send him a picture and he would give me the thumbs up or down. Usually it was down so I figured if in doubt probably not a shooter.
 

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Congrats on your hunt and thanks for sharing!
 

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Great hunt. You did well. Congrats
Bruce
 

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Couple of good animals like the eland.
 

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Awesome hunt! So many animals to get to see.
Glad Barb got that tooth fixed so quickly. That could have made the entire trip a horror story for her!
I like your mix of photos.
 

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We flew there back in April and felt perfectly safe. We will never fly Qatar again but felt safe all the way there and back.
Hi NTH, never heard anyone not like Qatar other then they don't know their own policies on firearms. I'm a bowhunter so I've never had to deal with that but just curious what you didn't like.
 

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Saw the info about your bow but can you tell us your arrow/broad head set up? Fun hunt, I’ve been watching Bushmen for a while and will get there. . . Someday
 

jpomazi

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Saw the info about your bow but can you tell us your arrow/broad head set up? Fun hunt, I’ve been watching Bushmen for a while and will get there. . . Someday

Saw the info about your bow but can you tell us your arrow/broad head set up? Fun hunt, I’ve been watching Bushmen for a while and will get there. . . Someday
I used goldtip 7595 arrows with an Ironwill v100 broadhead. Weigh in at about 525 grains. I also took along my buffalo arrows just in case I needed them. They are Easton FMJ dangerous game 250's with a Ironwill Buff 250 grain broadhead for a total of 925 grains

You will have a great time with them. We can't wait to go back.
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