SOUTH AFRICA: BOWHUNT: Legelela Safaris Hunt

jeff

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lodge1.JPG
serval .JPG
serval 2.JPG
ardwolfe and dog and me.JPG
lodge 2.JPG
springbok rug in room.JPG
Butte2019.JPG
butte20192.JPG
butte20193.JPG
Black wildebeast 2019.JPG

After talking with the Legelela guys at the Western Hunting and Conservation Expo for several years I finally booked a bowhunt for serval ardwolfe and caracal for the first part of Oct. 2019. Due to getting a super price on a Delta 200 flight with alternative dates I arrived on Fri. the evening of the 27th of Sept at Joburg. It was nice to go straight to my lodging with out a long drive. I stayed at the airport Game Lodge which my wife and I have stayed at before, Its very adequite and they serve a great buffet breakfast that is included in the price. They have blesbok, ostrich, springbok, guineas and fallow deer for your viewing, a pool and some hammocks for a midday snooze all for $45.00 bucks a night. I had a down day the next day which was Sat. met up with a friend and went to lunch, then that evening our good friends from Tsala , Rouan, his wife Charmane and their daughter Leila that I've hunted with 3 times before picked me up and we went to a great seafood dinner and caught up on some visiting. The next morning after breakfast Garth my PH arrived right on time and we were off to the lodge in Kwazu Natal. We hunted in several provinces depending on what we were hunting and it was confusing where we were at often. We got settled in the lodge and I shot my bow to make sure everything was ok and a slight adjustment to the right was needed. We waited for dark and went out on a drive, we saw several night critters like yellow mongoose, jackal, rabbit, among others and then a serval, the serval blended in so well that I had trouble seeing it but finally did and shot from the back of the truck, the cat jumped straight up and I thought I had undershot but we found blood and put the dog, JD on it. He's only about a year old but has a lot of heart in no time he had the cat bayed and a quick arrow dispatched him, the first shot was low but would still have been fatal. I couldn't believe we had a serval on the first night!
 
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jeff

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Day 2 I slept in shot my bow and we went out mid morning looking for steenbok and who knows what else. Saw a few common Reedbuck and a female steenbok and scouted fresh ardwolfe holes and set up a pop up blind with the idea of waiting for one to come out. Saw one coming past us well before dark with hyena like peculiar gate but too far away and then I spotted one in a good place for a stalk and we left the blind, the stalk seemed to go well but we busted a couple reedbuck females and they must have spooked him, we never saw him again, then the wind and the rain start in earnest, after waiting a hour we could tell it was settling in for a real storm so we called it a day, it was just getting dark by then, back to the lodge for a brai and a beer. It rained 17mm that night.

Day 3 We again slept in and went out early enough to get to the hunting area a hour before dark, in no time we began seeing numerous ardwolfes. I missed 4 shots from the back of truck before I connected on a large male. He ran in a hole and died but I couldn't quite reach him so we told JD the pup to bring him out which he did, which saved a bunch of shoveling. The hunt isn't for everyone as many don't want to shoot from the vehicle but with a bow it's about the only way. I was absolutely amazed to have taken a ardwolfe with a bow, I have yet know of any other ever taken with a bow!

Day 4 We went out mid morning again looking for steenbok and spotted a good ram so the stalk was on, crawled to 32 yards using a termite mound for cover. drew back and leaned out for the shot but he saw the movement and exploded out of there. Later in the day I got a longer shot and shot over a good ram. saw a good common reedbuck ram and 3 ardwolfe in the daytime, this place is crawling with ardwolfe ! Back to the lodge for dinner and a beer. I took a steenbok at night from the truck the year before and it just didn't feel right so I wanted one in the daylight, don't ask me why in my mind it's ok to hunt serval and ardwolfe at night but not steenbok, I guess since steenbok aren't strictly nocturnal I felt guilty.

Day 5 Went looking for steenbok and saw female and the same ram I missed but he was having no part of me today. Saw another ardwolfe in the daytime and a female duiker. I will add that all this hunting was not a high fenced , just sheep and cattle farms so there's not a huge concentration of plains game. But at lodge there was a lot of game, one morning 4 large nyala bulls came out and grazed a hundred yards from the lodge but I didn't hunt there as I have already taken most of the common plains game.
 

jeff

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Day 6 We moved to the Free State today to a new lodge and looked around about half a day saw a lot of game, blesbok, springbok, blackwildebeest. red lechwe, zebra, fallow deer, a large waterbuck that I think was better than 30" just nothing on my wish list. Went out for a night drive to see if I could get a spring hare, we saw several but were never able to get close enough. They were very spooky, I think they had been drawing a lot of rifle fire. On the way back we saw 2 otters in the double ponds in the photos. The bedroom of mine had a very large beatiful patch work rug made up of springbok pieces and the lodge had a fire place that we used every night as it was cold at night.

Day 7 We met a houndsman at daylight and spent half a day looking for caracal with no luck, we did tree another serval. That evening we took another drive and the land owner said I could hunt black wildebeest cows for a $100 so the stalk was on but since there was no cover it was hard to even get within rifle range. Just as the sun was setting we had a good wind and could put the sun at our backs and was able to crawl to 42 yards and made a good shot , the cow ran about a 100 yards and piled up. We couldn't believe we pulled that off but the with sun just about to set you couldn't see anything looking into the sun. I didn't save the skull and now wished I would have to show people the difference between a bull and cow.

Day 8 Put up a pop up blind and decided to see if I could get a zebra. Zebra started to come in and were within 35 yards when the wind switched and they were gone, had a few fallow deer come in and then the wind really started to pick up and we took the blind down and left for the next leg of 2nd hunt in Limpopo with another outfitter.

Summary. The lodging was good in Kwazu Natal, The lodge in the Free State was very good. The food was excellent with home made desert every night! The tracker's name was Garay and he was a pleasure to be around he also did the cooking and was multi talented. My PH Garth was very knowledgeable from big 5 to small night critters. Legelela Safaris specializes in night critters from the smallest up to the spotted hyena. Their vehicle was newer and in great shape. On the down side there was some miscommunication, Reiner the other owner besides Garth had told me in 2018 that if I could put off my hunt till 2019 he would personally be my PH as I had always talked to him at the SLC show. When I finalized my hunt in 2019 he was at a different show and another PH Deon was manning the booth and I made a change on the hunt, my wife wouldn't be coming with me like we had first discussed so they removed the observer fee. When it came time to pay Garth didn't know anything about the change and I had to show him the contract where the day fees were lower. I think that comes from talking to one person, the contract amended by someone else and the PH not be in the loop. The change was approved by telephone with Renier when we booked at the show. Also we were supposed to do quite a bit of hound hunting when we discussed the hunt the previous year and we only hound hunted one morning which was disappointing. I believe if we would have hunted a few days we would have gotten a caracal as there were quite a bit of sign. I never did see Reiner during the hunt. But all in all I would definitely book another hunt with them, it was a good hunt and I would like to try for a spotted hyena with them in the future. I for got a case of arrows at the lodge in the Free State and called Garth and he said Deon was there with a client and when he took the other hunter to the airport he would drop the arrows off at a guest house close to airport for me to pickup when I was done with my second hunt which he did, they went out of their way to help get me my arrows.
 

cpr0312

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Congrats on the hunt and thanks for sharing!
 

gillettehunter

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Sounds like you had a good time. Congrats on the trophies. Nice animals!
Bruce
 

Nyati

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Congrats on your hunt, these animals are not easy to get !
 

jeff

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I should have mentioned that we hunted in the dark moon phase.
 

Hunter101

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Nice hunt so cool of a cat
 

Philip Glass

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I hunted with Reinier and Garth last year. They are very good hunters and I would go with them again anytime!
Glad you had a great adventure!
Philip
 

jeff

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I used a Bowtech Assassin 63# with lighted nocks and lighted sight pins. With lighted knocks I never lost a arrow. I used some inexpensive imported nocks, they are about 6 years old and still work good. I have bought some Nocturnal brand knocks and they didn't perform as good as the cheap ones.
 

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Great report and a fun time I bet............some unusual animals taken.............not the average "plains game" package, that's for sure. Love the terrain. Thanks for posting...............Bill
 

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