SOUTH AFRICA: A Great Time With Warthog Safaris

slam8031

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On 20 June 2017, my family, including my 9, 11, and 13 year old daughters, my 16 year old son, my wife, my mother, a hunting buddy and I boarded a Delta flight from Raleigh, NC and connected through Atlanta to Johannesburg via flight 200. The first travel tidbit that I would like to offer is this--if you travel internationally, I have found that Global Entry is a real advantage (my first available appointment was the day before we travelled through ATL, so we chose to do our interview during the layover--it took 10 min on the computer and 1o min in the airport--on our return, my number was already in the system, there were 500 plus people in line for customs when we landed in ATL on 2 July 2017, there was one person in front of me in the global entry line--well worth the $100 for the privilege). My daughters had never harvested an animal, my son and wife were repeat safari hunters, so this trip was going to be a blast!

Our first day of hunting was 22 June 2017. We checked the rifles we brought, a left handed Browning SS in 375 H and H shooting 300 grain A frames, and a cerakoted 25.06 Howa with a Silencerco suppressor. Our outfitter and PH, Tienie Bamberger, also brought along a 22 mag for my daughters to shoot as well. After a ride around, we decided we would begin with trying to get the girls on female impalas first. Two daughters sat with me and a PH in a hide over a water hole, and the youngest daughter, my son and wife sat with another PH at another hide. I cannot say that I enjoy hide sitting in Africa, but we knew for my daughters to get shots and build some confidence, this would be the best play. My oldest daughter took a nice impala ewe the first afternoon with the suppressed 25.06 using 117 grain Hornady interlock--great shot and super happy daughter. Friday my son took a great wide blue wildebeest and the middle daughter took a impala ewe with the 25.06. All three shots were one shot kills, or as the oldest daughter has learned--DRT--dead right there.
Saturday we went again for the third day to get my daughter a shot--we had a great time in the blind but nothing she could get a shot on--she was extremely frustrated. At last light, on the way out, she was able to make a great shot with the 22mag and she finally got the impala ewe. It was incredible to watch my three daughters and their responses to harvesting their first trophies--and we were able to enjoy their harvests on the braai!! During the day Saturday, the Warthog Safaris team prepared a meal for a local village school of approximately 300 students. We served the school a meal, and distributed wool socks and toothbrushes. You cannot imagine the poverty unless you have been to places like that. Only Haiti strikes me as being measurably worse! My children had only seen things like the poverty there on TV. This was a shocking truth of life that they now are beginning to understand. Warthog Safaris has been feeding and caring for this school monthly for the past few years and are looking for anyone who would like to help with this project. They are hoping to find sponsors for each class (13 in all) so that they can provide school supplies yearly and meals monthly from harvested animals. If any are interested, please PM me!

Sunday we got started chasing after my primary animal--sable. However, I am a sucker for a great impala and love getting dirty and remembering scratches from thorns as a great memory! Late Sunday afternoon, 25 June, we got to within 200 yards of a very nice isolated impala ram, and I took a shot ranged at 205 yards with the 375 H and H with 300 grain Swift A-frames--a one shot kill! Monday was another day to search out sable--we put in long hours on the truck trying to cut tracks and spent several hours in the bushveld giving chase, but no sable! There is always another day!

Tuesday, we loaded up and went to another concession in hopes of finding another hunter a blue wildebeest and Zebra and to photograph some giraffe. Our friend was successful on the wildebeest but wounded a Zebra stallion that survived the shot. They were unable to find the stallion unfortunately. However, I gave in to my impala issues and found a very nice 25 inch impala! Tuesday evening, we found a pair of sable and gave chase up and over a mountain on foot but were unable to get close enough for a shot. Dejected, we headed back to camp and happened upon a group of blesbuck. My middle daughter made a marginal shot with the 22 mag and we didn't locate the ram until the following morning. However, she was extremely excited with her ram as well.

Wednesday was family surprise day--we loaded up the family and travelled to a reserve that has elephant interaction, learning and riding the elephants as part of an educational opportunity. They were blown away!
We rushed back to try to get on the sable again. We happened upon a great sable nearly hidden in the grass while bedded. We waited what seemed like hours (it ended up being about 3 minutes) before the wind shifted and he stood to exit. The bark of the 375 H and H broke the stillness of the day and 50 yards later, the great hunt for sable was finally over--many miles on the bakkie and many miles on foot--but it was all worth it!

Thursday began with a phone call.--I will finish the report and add pictures later!! Happy fourth of July!

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Erny

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Would love to see some photos.
 

CAustin

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Thanks for the report so far. Looking forward to pictures!
 

chiefdale

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are you going to use any taxidermist near raleigh for your mounts.I live about 60 miles from raleigh still deciding on someone local
 

slam8031

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I have decided to use Dennis at Artistry of Wildlife--he has been fantastic in communication with me. I had used Highveld previously but I decided to have Dennis do the Sable and ...
 

slam8031

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I left out a Tuesday afternoon hunt! My son was able to take a decent waterbuck across a pond shooting the 375--He made a fantastic shot at just about 120 yards, the waterbuck spun and ran about 35 yards and was done. It was a good shot from that distance with the 375 for a 16 year old! Proud daddy moment for sure--
 

Bruce

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Great to get the family involved and some fantastic trophies and shooting by all.
Well done..a great story as well!+
 

slam8031

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Thanks!! I have a little more story to tell and a few more photos!
 

Nyati

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Good going, so far ...
 

cpr0312

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Congrats on the safari!
 

slam8031

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So for the rest of the story...
I have not been a big fan of the color variants. I enjoy seeing them and have been fascinated by their markings, but I had no interest in hunting them. However, I was offered a chance at a King's Wildebeest, and once I saw it, we made a plan to make it happen. The old female was 13 years old. She had a visible tumor in her udder that prevented her from feeding and she had several cancerous tumors around her eyes. I decided we would make a move to get her. I was using the suppressed 25.06 with 117 grain interlock Hornady's. The frontal shot from 85 yards was the only shot given. 40 yards later, the beautiful animal was recovered. The markings and colors are remarkable. I can't wait to see the finished mount from Dennis!!

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slam8031

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I must admit that I have seen few animals dead on the road that I would not stop and take a photo of--so the Civet that we saw on the way back to camp was calling for a photo op--the hair was pulling unfortunately...
 

slam8031

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My oldest daughter was next on the list--she had made her first shot on a female impala, but it was her turn to pursue a male--we thought that might be a blue wildebeest, but we happened upon a small bachelor group of impala rams--she was able to take a 100 yard shot with the suppressed 25.06 and harvest a great ram! The video we took shows the value of the suppressor--the bullet strike was heard audibly before the report of the rifle, and although the other rams moved off, they didn't blow out of the zip code
 

slam8031

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The last night we set out after supper for one last predator pursuit--this would be our fourth night with nothing to show so far. The first surprise was a very large Genet--my son took the shot with a 22mag and we had collected the first predator. 100 yards down the road we spotted a second Genet, but we passed on him. Approximately 20 minutes later, after hearing jackals doing their thing, we happened upon what we thought was a spring hare under sweet briar bush. After several seconds of assessment, we determined it was not a spring hare but a Caracal. So in 20 minutes, we had a unique double--a genet for my son and a caracal for me!
 

slam8031

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my second impala of the hunt--I couldn't help myself...
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