SOUTH AFRICA: AfricaHunting/Wintershoek Safaris Hunt 2019

MAdcox

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Huge bull and a great story to go with it. Whilst I feel the pain you went through that day- it would have been a lot worse if you lost him in afternoon and had a sleepless night with the shot replaying over and over in your mind. We have all been there!
Yes sir, that would have been a miserable night.
 

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Congrats on the gemsbok! Feels good to connect after a miss! We have all had that feeling before.
 

MAdcox

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Congrats on the gemsbok! Feels good to connect after a miss! We have all had that feeling before.
Thanks Charles, it was a huge relief to see that bull coming at us thinking we had lost him for sure.
 

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Well done, thanks for the report. It's funny how sometimes things just work out. Congrats on a nice gemsbok.
 

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On the our last day we decided to go after a Zebra. Christina has always giving me a "how could you" look when I have mentioned hunting one, so I didn't think there was a chance with her there with me. But it was actually her idea. Having seen them while hunting almost everyday she realized it really had no resemblance to shooting one of our horses out of the pasture. Yvan jokingly gave her a bad time about it as two days earlier, while stalking Gemsbok, he had us within a hundred yards of a herd with a beautiful stallion. But she hadn't made up her mind then and we passed. But now we were serious and still hoping for a Steenbuck as well.
Despite my 300 yard running shot on the Gemsbok, I have to admit that my confidence in my shooting from sticks was shot. I just couldn't get my poor shooting out of my head. We started the morning walking along the ridges were we had been stalking gemsbok and seeing so many Zebra. It got pretty exciting as there were 9 Rhinos in view as we went along. We always managed to stay upwind of them but at times were within 30 to 40 yards of the prehistoric looking giants.
We spotted a herd early but they were in a very unapproachable spot on top of one of the ridges. As we backed out to try and circle behind them we spotted another group moving in our direction from the opposite ridge. We set up in the closest cover we could get to and watched them come in. We realized it was group of 5 stallions and picked two out that seemed the biggest and best colored. As they turned up the valley they stopped at 300+ yards. I was on the sticks but just couldn't settle in. I called the shot off. I just couldn't get comfortable at that distance, standing on sticks. We moved further up the valley and soon noticed another small group In a low spot we could approach. We made it to cover at about 350 yards and Yvan picked out the stallion and said he would be a good one to take. We then crawled through some low scrub to the top of a little rise and were at the end of the cover. I was on one knee on the sticks at 200 yards and felt very steady. At the shot we knew it was a solid hit, but once again I was watching an animal I had hit run out of sight over the hills. The blood was easy to find but it looked like I had hit him too far back. We followed and caught up to them as the stallion was lagging and finally separated from the group. We felt that was a good sign but we still weren't catching him. We finally bumped him and he took off. We called Richard in the truck and caught him again hanging in a group of young Sable. This time I was rock solid at 200 yards and at the shot knew I had ended it. But in disbelief I watched him jog over the next hill. I was mad at myself again. It didn't feel like yesterday because I knew he was hurt bad and we would get him, but again my shooting was causing problems and this time I had felt really good on both shots. Then we lost him. His tracks joined a bunch of others and we couldn't spot him and I did start to feel sick all over again. 30 minutes later Richard radioed us he had the tracks singled out again and we were looking in the right direction. Christina is actually the one that spotted him while Yvan was driving us to a high spot to glass. We closed to within 300 yards but couldn't get him to stop. Yvan said "he is just getting farther away, better shoot" so at 400+ yards I held it over his back a foot, led him a lot, and fired. To my complete amazement he dropped. He came back up, but was obviously hit hard and only made it another 100 yards and was down for good. Both of my first two shots had felt dead on his shoulder and were an inch apart in his gut. A foot from where I called the shots?? How I keep screwing up good shots and finishing at 300 -400 yards on running animals is beyond me. But again we had a wonderful animal after Richard and Yvan worked their butts off and bailed me out of poor shooting.
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We finished the trip with a late lunch. We had a wonderful braai under the buffalo thorn trees along the creek that Kareekloof was named for. We ate an awesome meal of lamb's tail and hiked up the nearby hill to look at some of the bushman rock drawings. It was a great ending to a trip of a lifetime for both my wife and me.
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Glad the two of you had a great hunt!

Thanks for the report.
 

MAdcox

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I would like to thank AfricaHunting and Wintershoek Safaris again for this amazing hunt donation. The week Chris and I spent at Kareekloof created great memories and wonderful friendships we will always cherish. I met Johnny Vivier in Dallas this year and he told me they tried to have the properties and wildlife for the men, but the lodges brought the wives back year after year. Kareekloof lodge does not disappoint there. What has been done to turn this 130 year old ranch house into a premier hunting lodge, while still preserving and showcasing the history and authentic ranch feel of the place is amazing. The rooms are over the top nice, with great gathering areas, fire circle, cigar and wine bar, a little museum showing the history of the property and the area, and great outdoor areas. The food, drinks, snacks at the fire- everything was more than I could have even asked for. It has Christina already planning our return.
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But more than the lodge is the people there. Gideon is the camp manager with his wife Lezzan (spelling??) and while he looks like this big, dry retired pro rugby player- he is always quick with a joke or smile or trying to pick up a hunter who is feeling a little frustrated about his shooting. Aretha is an amazing cook and makes sure you have more good food than any one person should eat in a day. The staff are always smiling, friendly and make sure you have everything you need or want. Ryno is a young man who works in the skinning shed (or where ever else they need him) who immediately becomes your friend. Chris and I got a few chances to visit with him during the week and he drove us back to Kimberley. When he gets his PH license he will be a great guy to hunt with. Richard was an excellent driver/tracker and although he was kind of quiet, he was always quick with a smile. And of course my wife finally had him talking by the end of the week. She has that gift with everyone.
I especially want to thank Yvan and recommend anyone hunting with Wintershoek ask for him. I met several of the other PHs while we were there and have no doubt they are all great guys to hunt with. But I could not have asked for a better hunting companion than Yvan. He has a ton of knowledge about everything we were doing- hunting or just sight seeing. He was always gracious and mindful of my wife and eager to make sure we were having fun no matter if on the hunt or at the lodge. He and Georgeana were great companions for Chris and I to spend a week in Africa with.
On the drive back we also stopped at the wildlife rehab center Wintershoek operates and got to see some of the animals they have charge of. It was very neat to see how this hunting organization also operates this center for animals captured from smugglers or victims of poachers.
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Across the road from there we got a tour of the taxidermy shop from Karen. The work they do in there is top of the line. The custom work as well as the more standard taxidermy was as good as anything I've seen.

There was absolutely nothing I could have asked to change on this trip (except my shooting of course!). I have rarely been somewhere that blew me and my wife away on every detail, but our 8 days at Kareekloof did!
 

kevin masters

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Man, what an awesome hunt! so glad you and the wife got to share such a great time.
 

MAdcox

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BRICKBURN

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Thanks for sharing the good the bad and the ugly details.
Glad 99% was good for both of you.
Congratulations.
 

MAdcox

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Thanks for sharing the good the bad and the ugly details.
Glad 99% was good for both of you.
Congratulations.
Yes sir, it really was a great trip. It was to much fun to pout about my shooting very much.(y)
 

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You know you have scored a 3 pointer when the wife had such a good time and already planning on going back next year!!! Your "lodge" was nicer than most hotels I have stayed in!
 

MAdcox

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You know you have scored a 3 pointer when the wife had such a good time and already planning on going back next year!!! Your "lodge" was nicer than most hotels I have stayed in!
Nicer than any I have stayed in, and when you add the staff’s attention! I barely knew how to act:D
 

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Congrats on the trip!!
 

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What an absolutely grand place! I can’t imagine seeing so many rhinos! And the lodge looks beautiful! You are a lucky couple to win this and it really sounds like they treated you well! Very nice!
Thanks for taking us along on your adventure!
 

MAdcox

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What an absolutely grand place! I can’t imagine seeing so many rhinos! And the lodge looks beautiful! You are a lucky couple to win this and it really sounds like they treated you well! Very nice!
Thanks for taking us along on your adventure!
Yeah, I figure I’ve used up all my luck winning this, then having such a great trip too.
 

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Awesome report, thanks for sharing!!
 

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What a well written report! I thoroughly enjoyed it. I appreciated the honesty in it. Not every shot is as good as we hope, and I really felt for you with the Gemsbok. It's a terribly sick feeling. I was cheering on my head with the excitement of you thinking it was lost for good and then it was right there! What a wave of emotions! Congratulations! It sounds like you had an amazing time and you took some fantastic trophies. So awesome that you got to share this experience with your beautiful wife. That is so special!
 

MAdcox

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What a well written report! I thoroughly enjoyed it. I appreciated the honesty in it. Not every shot is as good as we hope, and I really felt for you with the Gemsbok. It's a terribly sick feeling. I was cheering on my head with the excitement of you thinking it was lost for good and then it was right there! What a wave of emotions! Congratulations! It sounds like you had an amazing time and you took some fantastic trophies. So awesome that you got to share this experience with your beautiful wife. That is so special!
Thank you sir, it was a very special trip not only getting to show Africa to my wife but also having her enjoy it so much. And yes that Gemsbok was quite the roller coaster
 

Nyati

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Congrats, you had a great hunt, with its ups and downs, but you know that´s hunting.

I have gone past the Wintershoek gate a couple of times, and will be hunting in the area in September.

Good report (y)
 

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