SOUTH AFRICA: BOWHUNT: Buffalo & Plains Game Rifle/Bowhunting With Limpopo Big Game Safaris In January 2021 RSA

Ryan

AH elite
Joined
Apr 16, 2011
Messages
1,081
Reaction score
1,409
Location
Anchorage, Alaska
Media
120
Articles
2
Hunting reports
Africa
3
Member of
Black Sheep Bowmen Archery Club.
Hunted
Namibia and South Africa
Day five: bow blind day

On the way home the day prior we passed another concessipn Bossie had, also in the mopane but a little drier area with just a couple waterholes and notorious for warthog among other species. Bossie got an idea to put up a two man tree stand near one of those waterholes. He cleared it with the land owner and by 10 am we had the treestand up and settled in. For a bow blind it couldn't be beat. And for this time of year, with the rains coming and going we were incredibly fortunate to be able to focus on a single waterpoint.

We spooked a large group of impala setting up and within the first hour we had young warthog come in. Throughout the day we had several bushbuck ewes and young rams come in. A few would have given me great shot opportunities had they been mature rams. The impala came back in but managed to avoid giving me any shots with the rams and the majority of the ewes staying on the one side of the hole that had some blocking cover.

A huge rock monitor, (aka the lounge lizard to me) showed up for a drink, a lounge in the water and then a swim around the pool in the mid afternoon. Plenty of birds and butterflies kept me entertained too. Heck, we even had some vervet monkeys come through and not notice us for a while, which is rather amazing considering their eyesight. Summer is not a quiet time.

Finally a nice common duiker ram showed up. I decided to take a shot at him. Bossie took my phone and started video as I drew. He was quartering away drinking as I drew. I released and.... I missed. The arrow hit the water, skidded across and stopped just over the edge on the other side. The ram exited stage left at something like mach 5 and I did a few curses under my breath. Looking at the video I pulled a bit to the right and the arrow went just over it's dropped head, quite possibly through it's little horns. Had it been a broadside anything else I would have a animal down. That's hunting.

By the late afternoon we were still impressed with the amount of game showing and hopeful for another good day tomorrow. We checked out the other waterholes and made secondary plans for stands at them just in case the first hole didn't work. On our way home we went through a couple bursts of rain, though nothing too long. Still, it's summer and you have to wonder.
20210115_100601.jpeg
20210115_104707.jpeg
20210115_114948.jpeg
20210115_163333.jpeg
 

Ryan

AH elite
Joined
Apr 16, 2011
Messages
1,081
Reaction score
1,409
Location
Anchorage, Alaska
Media
120
Articles
2
Hunting reports
Africa
3
Member of
Black Sheep Bowmen Archery Club.
Hunted
Namibia and South Africa
Day six: bow treestand and steenbok.

The night prior we got some rain at the lodge and the morning started with a beautiful sunrise. It also had us wondering what happened at our waterhole stand. A phone call confirmed there had been rain there too. But we decided to try anyway. Upon arrival we saw puddles everywhere. Animals didn't have to come in to the waterhole.

We sat until 11-ish with only a couple young bushbuck rams showing up. The trackers and DJ had driven around the property confirming there was a lot more standing water around. So we called it here and made new plans.

On the way back to the lodge for lunch and nap we decided to try for impala, warthog or steenbok again. A bow shot didn't seem possible so this time I was taking my rifle. We loaded up and headed back to Pieter's where we'd seen plenty of impala and steenbok from our previous times there.

Within an hour of arrival we'd spotted a couple warthog that did a fine job of disappearing. Finally a big one was spotted and we started a stalk in the grass, termite mounds and shepherd's trees. Soon enough it slipped us and we were looking around at nothing.

Then we spotted a steenbok in the grass and all our attention was focussed again. We recalled a nice ram in this particular area when I was bowhunting and with their territorial habits it was a good bet it was the same one or its mate. Soon Bossie spotted it again hidden in the grass. So we crept up to a shepherd's tree, settled in and waited. I used a branch to rest my rifle and Bossie went up the tree a little to get a better look. It turned out to be the ewe. But with a ewe would be the ram, so we waited. Time dragged by with the ewes ears barely visible, then her head scanning around occasionally. Still no ram. Finally, Bossie spots the ram hidden in the grass off to her left. I'm staring through a scope looking and waiting. It stands and Bossie says it's a good one, I start following it waiting for a standing shot as it walks to our right at maybe 50 yards. Waiting, waiting, it stops, I settle and fire. It doesn't drop instantly, hobbling a bit and then falling. Perhaps it wasn't a perfect shot. So we wait. Soon it's head falls. It's down. We walk up and he's dead, but my shot was a bit low and back. Did it move at the wrong moment or did I ? Who knows. Thankfully it still passed quickly.

Picture time, which ended up being interesting as the ants seem to be everywhere this day and I have to lie down for the shot. Trust me there's a lot of me going "take the shot, take the shot...." From ants crawling all over me.

A big advantage of summer hunting is the long days, so we still had hours until sunset. We continued, mostly looking for the big impala herds we'd seen in the past days. Not surprisingly, now that we were looking for them they were nowhere to be seen. There was one nice herd with an impressive ram we all recalled that seemed to have flat out disappeared. The ones we did see all seemed to have young rams. Then the rain clouds started moving in. We could see some impressive bursts of rain in the distance and some were moving closer. Sprinkles started hitting us and we knew it would get worse so we headed out. We got to the gate to head out as the clouds let loose only to find it locked. Everyone crammed into the bakkie as it got a good washing and we waited for Peiter to unlock. Peiter showed, unlocked, got a free shower and wished us a good evening in short order. Not surprising for summer rains, we were out of it less than a kilometer down the road while Pieter told Bossie the next day the concession got a couple centimeters that evening.
IMG_20210116_045834.jpeg
20210116_171115.jpeg
FB_IMG_1612204288240.jpeg
20210116_164738.jpeg
 

Ryan

AH elite
Joined
Apr 16, 2011
Messages
1,081
Reaction score
1,409
Location
Anchorage, Alaska
Media
120
Articles
2
Hunting reports
Africa
3
Member of
Black Sheep Bowmen Archery Club.
Hunted
Namibia and South Africa
Day seven: impala

This is my fourth hunting trip to southern Africa and the first for me to hunt impala. This kind of surprised everyone since they are one of the most common game animals around. But they actually weren't where I hunted in Namibia and I had other things in mind for the East Cape. So today was my third day of hunting them seriously and they were again making themselves scarce. We opted for a day at Lianga concession, not far from the lodge. Showing up we saw plenty of ewes and a few younger rams but as we went looking for mature rams anything impala became scarce. Searching and busted stalks became the norm. I saw most of the other species on the concession from blesbok to giraffe to zebra and even a couple golden wildebeest, but mature impala were playing hard to get. We stalked one the owner warned us had managed to slip past him a few times and sure enough we got in range but he was giving us a fine southern view of a northbound ram before he ducked into the bush and then a few minutes later smelled us and bolted in a huff. One wily ram.

Late afternoon had us checking out a decent herd of ewes we'd only seen young rams with when Bossie finally spotted an older ram in the back. Now how to get to him with so many eyeballs able to spot us. We got dropped off a couple hundred yards from them and walked our way back to them using anything we could as cover. Bossie had a plan and sent the tracker in a wide loop aroud them to get them occupied with him and slowly move past us. We set up and waited. Rain clouds were moving in and we were actually losing light when the herd noticed the tracker. Slowly they started moving away from him and trickling past us at only 40-50 yards. I was waiting motionless on the sticks. Bossie spotted the ram all the way in the back and let me know. He made his way into an opening, I dropped the crosshair on him, squeezed and he dropped instantly. The herd busted and we walked up. I hit a bit forward right in the spine of his neck. A fine old ram with worn horn tips. I couldn't ask for better.

We loaded him up and headed back to the owners house to relax and chat a bit before heading back to the lodge for a dinner made with my black wildebeest and the usual amazing sides including a local pudding I've never had. A couple drinks of South African brandy for the evening and the day ended perfect.
20210117_162830.jpeg
IMG_20210129_083244.jpeg
 

gillettehunter

AH legend
Joined
Sep 10, 2009
Messages
3,623
Reaction score
3,564
Location
WYOMING
Media
83
Hunting reports
Africa
6
USA/Canada
4
Asia/M.East
2
Australia/NZ
1
Hunted
Namibia, Kyrgyzstan(2) South Africa(4) New Zealand Zambia(2)
Good looking Impala. I've had some fun hunting them in the past. Congrats
Bruce
 

Frederik

AH fanatic
Joined
Apr 23, 2009
Messages
638
Reaction score
517
Media
142
Articles
1
Hunting reports
Africa
5
Member of
BASA
Hunted
South Africa, Namibia, Mozambique and Sweden
Good write up summers hunts can be good fun.
 

Tally-Ho HUNTING SAFARIS

Sponsor
Since 2015
AH fanatic
Reviews
2
Joined
May 14, 2013
Messages
928
Reaction score
1,080
Website
www.tallyho.co.za
Media
652
Member of
SCI, PHASA, SA Wingshooters
hey ryan

sounds like a great trip
glad you had a good time
bossie is a good man

regards
 

cpr0312

AH ambassador
Joined
Jul 21, 2011
Messages
10,088
Reaction score
13,093
Location
North Carolina
Media
346
Articles
1
Hunting reports
Africa
6
USA/Canada
1
Australia/NZ
1
Member of
NRA Life Member
Hunted
US (All over), New Zealand, South Africa(Northern Cape, Northwest), Zimbabwe, Zambia
Congrats on your hunt and thanks for sharing!
 

Ryan

AH elite
Joined
Apr 16, 2011
Messages
1,081
Reaction score
1,409
Location
Anchorage, Alaska
Media
120
Articles
2
Hunting reports
Africa
3
Member of
Black Sheep Bowmen Archery Club.
Hunted
Namibia and South Africa
Day 8: bowhunting nyala

Our bow tree stand site was still getting rain so we decided to stick close to home base for some stalking. We see plenty of nyala around the place the lodge is on. I don't think there was one day I hadn't seen cows, calves, or a bull or two. But of course seeing them and then getting on foot to hunt one is two different things altogether.

The morning started overcast and I noticed the wind kept changing direction as I walked around with my coffee. This was going to complicate things. After breakfast we put on our ghillie suits and headed out. We worked in and along the vegetation around a streambed where we usually saw bulls coming and going. We spotted a nice bull briefly in the brush, but the wind changed and he melted into the scenery as we attempted stalk. This continued with another bull briefly with the same result. The winds weren't in our favor, swirling constantly. So by late morning we took a long lunch break until mid afternoon when we often saw the bulls working along the edges and maybe the wind would be more consistent.

Sure enough, the sun came out and the winds became more consistent after lunch. Things were looking up. Mid afternoon we headed down a path when we turned a corner along a macadamia orchard and up ahead was a nice bull. Backing up we circled to get better wind and cover in the thick brush around the macadamia trees. Somewhere in there he caught on and disappeared into the same brush we were using as cover never to be seen again.

We worked our way down the path again when I looked over into the streambed area and spotted an nyala bulls body with his head behind the brush. Bossie and I went into stalk mode, easing closer to see if he was mature. He disappeared in the brush as we moved closer. Then we saw him through the brush and he was mature while another bull could barely be seen farther back. We worked into a good shooting postion as he eased over into an opening behind a log. Bossie whispered yardage, 27 I believe, and as it turned to us I drew, figuring now or never. He looked my way, possibly trying to figure us out, but our ghillie suits kept our pattern broken up. I settled the pin on his chest knowing my arrow would go through any bone there and released. I knew it was a good shot as my pink fletching disappeared into his chest and out his far shoulder. He spun and ran into the streambed brush. We moved up to where he had been and I found my arrow on the ground. Dark red blood covered the shaft. We gave him a few minutes and tracked. He had gone into the brush and was still showing signs of life so we eased off and waited. A couple minutes went by and his head fell and he kicked a bit and then stopped. I eased up and could see his eyes open and glazed. A quick touch to the eye with an arrow from behind proved he was down.

What a day, what a trip.

I decided this was my last animal of the trip and we started making plans for an extra day to add on to a fishing trip we already had planned. The views here at the Soutpansburgs are amazing and w enjoyed an amazing sunset, meal and drinks around the fire.
FB_IMG_1612290330078.jpeg
FB_IMG_1612290343608.jpeg
20210118_172731.jpeg
FB_IMG_1612290381534.jpeg
IMG_20210119_173741.jpeg
20210118_174831.jpeg
IMG_20210118_190927.jpeg
20210118_193832.jpeg
 

Ryan

AH elite
Joined
Apr 16, 2011
Messages
1,081
Reaction score
1,409
Location
Anchorage, Alaska
Media
120
Articles
2
Hunting reports
Africa
3
Member of
Black Sheep Bowmen Archery Club.
Hunted
Namibia and South Africa
Days nine on
Fishin is the mission

My original trip plan had two days of tiger fishing planned. Covid shut down travel to the park we were to fish. So, we switched gears and headed to Nandoni Dam resevoir for bass, carp, barbel catfish and bream aka tilapia. Bossie and his son DJ love fishing as much as they do hunting, so we had the equipment and skills to catch them. We fished bass and bream in the day and set out carp and barbel rods at night. We all put in the time and effort but in the end things didn't line up well for me. We had great braai and enjoyed a few serious rain storms pass through sitting on the deck. I managed to catch a couple bream and while DJ kept bringing in bass, I kept catching weeds and water. Finally, using a big spoon I got my trophy bass I travelled all the way to South Africa for.

Behold!

IMG_20210119_184421.jpeg
20210120_110348.jpeg
20210121_212020.jpeg
IMG-20210123-WA0000.jpeg
FB_IMG_1612370698142.jpeg
 

Ryan

AH elite
Joined
Apr 16, 2011
Messages
1,081
Reaction score
1,409
Location
Anchorage, Alaska
Media
120
Articles
2
Hunting reports
Africa
3
Member of
Black Sheep Bowmen Archery Club.
Hunted
Namibia and South Africa
Final evening and travel

We got back to the lodge after fishing and relaxed on my final evening. A drink or two was poured and a fine meal was set out. Tonight we ate boerwors made from my nyala. It is great to enjoy some of what I hunted, I truly appreciate that. Bossie and the rest of the crew were all great this entire trip. They knew I was a big fan of doing my own meat processing and passed along some local biltong seasoning I will be trying with caribou sometime soon. Many thanks.

Travel had been complicated in recent days. First my flights got a time change, no big deal. Then the Netherlands came out and shut down travel through Amsterdam from the 23rd of January on. It just so happened that was the day I was to fly. So I had been in contact with KLM to confirm this and then Lori at @TRAVEL EXPRESS to get a new itinerary. Lori was on it and I managed to get flights through Paris to LA and up to Seattle and Anchorage. I was a little worried about firearms through France on such short notice, but they were OK, apparently getting the prior notice as needed.

Bossie took me to JoBurg early and dropped me off at Afton as he had some business to attend to and Elize was gracious enough to allow me to wait there and drop me off in the late afternoon for my flights.

The flight from South Africa to Paris via Air France was probably 90% full, taking the normally scheduled passengers and a lot of the passengers from the cancelled KLM flights. Not surpisingly, the JoBurg Air France desk was a bit chaotic, but honestly not horrible. Firearms check in (or is it check out?) Worked out fine. South Africa does require one more health survey to leave, just like they did coming in. After that the flights were sparcely filled and Charles DeGaulle airport is one of the nicer I've passed through. I got a Covid test in South Africa before leaving, it took a bit of time but they sent results via Whatsapp and US authorities were happy with it when I got to Anchorage 36 hours after arriving at the JoBurg airport. It was a long long day.

FB_IMG_1612370949910.jpeg
FB_IMG_1612370953782.jpeg
FB_IMG_1612371039288.jpeg
FB_IMG_1612371066130.jpeg
 
Last edited by a moderator:

TRAVEL EXPRESS

Sponsor
Since 2010
AH fanatic
Reviews
23
Joined
Jan 19, 2010
Messages
1,000
Reaction score
477
Website
www.travelexpressagency.com
Media
55
Articles
5
Hunting reports
Africa
1
USA/Canada
1
Member of
Safari Club International, Dallas Safari Club, Wild Sheep Foundation, Boone & Crockett Club, PHASA
Hunted
Zimbabwe, South Africa, Namibia, Tanzania, New Zealand, Argentina and throughout North America
Ryan - Nice report and photos, glad it was a successful trip!
 

Nyati

AH ambassador
Joined
Jan 15, 2011
Messages
7,949
Reaction score
3,417
Location
Madrid, Spain
Media
117
Hunting reports
Africa
6
Europe
1
Member of
RFEC, RFETO
Hunted
Spain, Finland, RSA ( KwaZulu Natal, Limpopo, North West, Northern Cape, Free State ).
You really enjoyed yourself, which is what it´s all about, and had a great hunt on top, congrats :D Cheers:
 

Ryan

AH elite
Joined
Apr 16, 2011
Messages
1,081
Reaction score
1,409
Location
Anchorage, Alaska
Media
120
Articles
2
Hunting reports
Africa
3
Member of
Black Sheep Bowmen Archery Club.
Hunted
Namibia and South Africa
Random shots

Since a trip isn't just hunting here's a few more shots.

There's the lodge grounds including the one of a kind mobile firepit, welded on to a plow. I'm going to follow suit with my own on a wheelbarrow some day.

Then there's Storm, their new dog, who was growing by the day. A GSP/Rhodesian Ridgeback. She will be a big one soon.

The amount of butterflies, moths, other cool critters and flowers in the summer is staggering, so here's some I saw.

Last is a couple shots I forgot from Leadwood concession.


20210110_193443.jpeg
20210115_055943.jpeg
20210114_055020.jpeg
20210111_053109.jpeg
20210111_053139.jpeg
20210112_081112.jpeg
20210117_061733.jpeg
IMG_20210118_075809.jpeg
20210115_075628.jpeg
20210116_210729.jpeg
20210111_054505.jpeg
20210111_053518.jpeg
20210115_060124.jpeg
20210114_182831.jpeg
20210119_163147.jpeg
20210114_182831.jpeg
20210114_174534.jpeg
 

AZDAVE

AH elite
Joined
Jul 26, 2013
Messages
1,993
Reaction score
2,978
Media
169
Hunting reports
Africa
4
Hunted
South Africa, Alaska,lower 48
Great report! Looks like a wonderful trip.

Do you by chance have a link for the "South African Health Survey" and did you fill it out and submit it on line? With a response back from SA? or does it need to be filled out on paper and take with you to the check-in counter?
 

Ryan

AH elite
Joined
Apr 16, 2011
Messages
1,081
Reaction score
1,409
Location
Anchorage, Alaska
Media
120
Articles
2
Hunting reports
Africa
3
Member of
Black Sheep Bowmen Archery Club.
Hunted
Namibia and South Africa
Great report! Looks like a wonderful trip.

Do you by chance have a link for the "South African Health Survey" and did you fill it out and submit it on line? With a response back from SA? or does it need to be filled out on paper and take with you to the check-in counter?


Then click on entrering South Africa.

I did it on my phone in the airport. It did give me a response back immediately, which is what Delta wanted. I think it was a text. KLM did ask about it in Amsterdam, but another passenger did say they asked him, he said he'd fill it out on the plane and they were good with that. I never heard a thing about the online one when I arrived in South Africa. I had to fill a paper one out on the plane that they took when I arrived, and then they checked my Covid test and took my temperature. And then when I left everyone filled out a paper survey that they took and checked my temperature before allowing me to head to passport clearance and security check. I haven't heard a thing from them since.
 
Last edited:

AZDAVE

AH elite
Joined
Jul 26, 2013
Messages
1,993
Reaction score
2,978
Media
169
Hunting reports
Africa
4
Hunted
South Africa, Alaska,lower 48
Thank you!
 

Ridgewalker

Lifetime bronze benefactor
AH ambassador
Joined
Aug 8, 2016
Messages
6,875
Reaction score
8,238
Location
Colorado
Media
231
Hunting reports
Africa
3
USA/Canada
3
Hunted
South Africa: Limpopo, Northwest; USA: Ak, Mt, Wy, Co, Ne, Ks, Nv, NM, Tx
WOW! An absolutely grand trip! Good for you making it happen! Not sure I am still tenacious enough to go through all that.
Thankfully it still passed quickly
On the steenbok, this is what we all should hope for. But, as you said, they can tend to move at just the wrong time. A fine looking trophy! One is still on my list.

Thanks so much for sharing such a grand adventure! I needed this!
 

Justhunt

AH senior member
Joined
Feb 15, 2015
Messages
57
Reaction score
31
Location
Montana
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Member of
NRA
Hunted
Namibia, Canada, RSA, USA
Great report! Glad you had a good hunt. Thanks for posting
 

Edge

AH fanatic
Joined
Apr 1, 2016
Messages
825
Reaction score
1,270
Location
Between dreams and reality
Media
468
Hunting reports
Africa
3
USA/Canada
1
Hunted
PA, NM, ND, Al, FL, MD, Eastern Cape South Africa, Zimbabwe x 2
That sounded like a great hunt and very nice animals!

Did the 300gr Peregrine stay in the Buffalo? They really expand and wouldn’t be surprise. I used the 300 gr on a Buff and Zebra in 2018, great performance.

Curious if you shot the light rifle since you’ve returned and if it was “on“ or possibly something other than H414.

Appreciate you taking the time to put together a detailed report with lots of pictures!
 

Forum statistics

Threads
37,359
Messages
712,531
Members
66,595
Latest member
ToryBrumba
 

 

 

Latest profile posts

degoins wrote on Treemantwo's profile.
I have a like new VC .450 I might part with. I had it built in 2013 and it has served me well. Also have a VC fitted leather trunk case for it along with the plastic case it came with. I'll take 14000 for all of it.
Matt W wrote on Jody's profile.
Hi Jody,
I have been looking for ideas on the best way to display my European mounts from Africa. I came across some of your shield work and was wondering if you would be willing to make one for me? If so, please let me know the cost. I like the shield with the two spears that you built for a member years ago. Thanks.
cal pappas wrote on Mnelson2's profile.
Nelson. Is this message a PM format. I want to send you my email, but don't know if this is the cirrect way to do it. I'm at <pappas@mtaonline.net> Send me an email with your phone and I will call you about a skull I have. I went to school in Boston and am from Bernardston in the west part of the state. Moved to Alaska in 1984 adn never looked back.
BeeMaa wrote on Justbryan's profile.
Sold a Blaser scope mount to him. He was a pleasure to do business with.
BeeMaa wrote on 375Fox's profile.
Sold a Blaser scope mount to him. Was a pleasure to do business with.
 
Top