Discussion in 'Hunting Reports Africa' started by Johnny7604, Dec 31, 2017.
LMAO no Sammie didn't get my boots. He was pretty well geared up.
He is such a great tracker that I suppose he is very well Tipped and has a collection of equipment given to him by greatful hunters, He liked my boots and I promised him my pair if he put me on a Kudu, needless to say I went home Bootless
Congrats on the vallie also!!
Congratulations on a wonderful adventure! It’s a gleaming example of what a family safari can be.
The photos are also excellent. Thank you for sharing.
Great stuff, Congrats and thanks for sharing!
Part 7 – Midlands Hunting day 2
The next day we headed off to another concession nearby. This place was huge….I mean huge, rolling hills as far as the eye could see and there were herds of animals on every one of them. That’s no exaggeration; everywhere you looked there was wildlife. The most common were Black Wildebeest (which we were here for), Blesbok, Waterbuck, Impala, and Red Hartebeest. We also saw Kudu and a handful of White Rhino that had mixed in with a herd of Cape Buffalo. Keep in mind we didn’t explore even a fraction of the concession. We didn’t need to, although if I ever wind up back there I would love to see the whole place. There were some real dandy trophies there as well.
After seeing the sheer volume of Black Wildebeest I was sure this was going to be a 10 minute hunt……wrong….. Man those little buggers are spooky as hell. They hung out in wide open areas and wouldn’t let us get within 500 meters of them. We stalked them for what seemed like hours. Every time we thought we were getting within shooting distance they would take off like a flock of sparrows.
My poor daughter had been getting sick and it was seriously impeding her at this point so we decided to stop chasing them on foot for now and make a move on a different herd.
We spotted another herd of black wildebeest several kilometers away. They had perched themselves on a hilltop surrounded by other hills. This was a huge herd and getting close would be an arduous task. Using the laser we were able to determine that the next hilltop over was roughly 500 meters ways from the herd. I know my daughter could make the shot under good conditions however when I spoke with her and she did not want to hunt anymore, she was really feeling quite poor and asked me to take the shot and put an end to the day.
I found a small knob that got me above the grasses and set up for a distance shot. Picking out a quality animal that would offer a shot at this distance with binos was pretty challenging for Chris and Evan but they played along and finally after what seemed like an eternity one presented itself. The rangefinder showed me 575 yards and the wind was a gusting between 10 – 15 mph. I dialed in the scope and readied for the shot. I just needed the wind to hold steady for a few seconds.
Finally the wind settled and I squeezed the trigger. The wildebeest was perfectly broadside and the bullet struck the animal just behind the shoulder. Farther back than I had intended but still within the kill zone. The entire herd took off running, the injured wildebeest went with them, I watched him suddenly veer off after maybe 100 yards and pile up in the dirt. High fives and handshakes followed. In retrospect I should have stayed on the scope until he stopped moving; once again I underestimated the toughness of a wildebeest.
After I had gotten up and started walking back towards the truck he got back up. Not understanding Afrikaans I didn’t realize what was going on. Finally Chris told me he thought I should put another one in him, I turned around to see him standing up all by his lonesome in the middle of the hill.
I quickly got my rifle set back up and readied for a second shot but right on queue the rest of the herd came back over the hill and in behind the injured wildebeest. I could not make a shot without risking hitting another one with the pass through. We hopped back up and made our way to the truck to go in and finish him off up close. This proved un-necessary as he lay down and expired seconds later. I discovered after the fact that after the bullet passed through the ribs it took a sharp left turn and exited just in front of the offside hind quarter. This was the third time this trip the barnes bullets had done that to me.
We did recover bullets on the Nyala and Red Hartebeest and they were not your typical flower petal. Both had petals broken off. I suspect the high velocity of the Lapua was causing the petals to sheer off on impact and take erratic paths instead of the nice straight wound channels they should have been. Something to watch out for if you use barnes. Lesson learned.
Note: These guys look huge and absolutely brutish in the scope but are actually relatively puny up close. Something to keep in mind when trying to judge different. They are deceptively small.
Part 7 – Midlands Hunting day 3
The next day my daughter continued to get sick and she asked to stay at the guesthouse we had rented. After a brief discussion her and my wife decided they would stay behind and I would go out and try to get a Common Reedbuck. We went back to the concession where the Vaal Rhebok was taken.
It didn’t take us long for Chris and Sammie to spot a nice Reedbuck in the tall grass just off of the fields where they typically fed. We moved up to the rocks above the fields to try and get a shot on the lonely guy. By time we got there he had bedded down and was not about to budge for us. Sammie decided he was going to go try and circle around the side and scare him out of the bush. The reedbuck was having none of it, he was clearly comfortable in his camouflage and didn’t give a tiny rats ass who was making all the commotion on the other end of the field.
The whole time I was set up for a shot, I remember Evan had told me that when these guys get spooked they typically jump up run a hundred yards or so into a clear area then look back to see if they are being pursued so I ranged the middle of the field next to him as this seemed the logical place to go if he followed the behavior.
Sammie finally managed to jar the furry antelope loose and he jumped up with a shot and headed away from the noise. After about 50 yards he cut right and out into the center of the field, stopped, turned broadside and looked back exactly as Evan said he would. I already knew the distance was 300 yards so it only took a second to settle the crosshairs 2/3 of the way up the shoulder and squeeze. The bullet stuck exactly where it was supposed to and he spun 180 degrees and went face first into the grass. The whole ordeal was over in a matter of a few seconds. I love it when a plan comes together.
As it turned out we managed to take this guy within a half kilometer of the Vaalie.
We were batting 100 at this point and only one animal remained on the list, the one that eluded me the first time and the finale to my South African Spiral Horn Grand Slam. If I only knew what was waiting for me.
Part 8 – Once in a lifetime
I write this last part conflicted. My conflict is with the incredible fortune to have had this opportunity vs the fact that I may never have the opportunity to top it.
We were after Bushbuck. The little guy had eluded me on my first trip and as we progressed through this one I was getting the feeling he may elude us again. The word on the street was that they were mostly nocturnal in this area. The odds of finding one that would come out during the day were slim.
Evan was on the case though and when it came to the day to hunt them he had found us a spot that both him Chris thought would give us the very best opportunity. Through his contacts he had reached out to a landowner that had a large cattle ranch, according to the owner there were many bushbuck in the area and there had been no hunters on the ranch in several years.
Good enough for me. Trust in your PH’s I have learned. We loaded up and headed out. The area was high in the hills and heavily forested…perfect Bushbuck country.
From the ranch we formulated a plan. In the distance there was a large pasture that extended up to the side of a steep hill. The hill was completely treed and there were no cattle in the pasture. It was far away from the ranch that it would not be disturbed often. There was a small knoll that overlooked the majority of the pasture and the tree line on the adjacent hill. We were going to head to the knoll and wait until dusk hoping that something would pop out.
Off we went and before we knew it we were in the pasture head for our little hilltop outlook. What seemed like second later we hear frantic thumping on the rooftop and urges for us to stop…stop…stop. I don’t know what was said (I really need to pick up some Afrikaans).
After what seemed like an eternity Chris spoke only four words, “there’s a white one”. I made the not so risky assumption that this was a big deal by the way the energy level had risen by about 10,000%. Everyone’s binos were out and sure enough there was one lonely Bushbuck right against the tree line with fur whiter than Chris’ hair.
We had no shot from where we were so we quickly decided that we would move up through a burned area next to the pasture to try and get into a shooting position. We moved as quickly and quietly as possible through the burned out brush on an intercept course with the Bushbuck who was lazily feeding his way across the hillside.
Finally we were in a position for what would be roughly a 250 yard kneeling shot off the sticks. This is where I should have opted for a different position. I am not sure if it was the fire that caused it but for whatever reason the feet on the shooting sticks would not grip the hard soil and kept slipping out. I tried to brace the shot as well as I could, caught up in the excitement I decided to go for it. This was nearly the biggest mistake of my hunting career.
I dropped the crosshairs on the little guys shoulder and squeezed. Like it often does when we make a catastrophic mistake everything slowed down to a crawl. As I squeezed the trigger the right leg of the stick slipped ever so slightly and the crosshair jerked to the right….BOOM…… I didn’t wait for the confirmation I was racking a round and I believe my words were “that shot was dogshit”. Evan confirmed, you hit him…..in the leg….
At this point I was running on training. The little guy bolted into the trees and abruptly turned around to face whatever bit him. I could hear Chris and Evan telling me he was just inside the tree line. I could see him facing us. He was almost completely head on and about 4 feet in the brush. This would be the most difficult shot I have ever made. I had maybe 6 inches of opening to shoot through with a full frontal shot. I pulled down on the sticks as hard as I could to ensure the feet were anchored this time and locked into the rifle. A slow breath to calm the nerves and a slow squeeze. I don’t remember the report of the rifle or the recoil. I only remember hearing “he’s down”.
The bullet had struck exactly where I wanted it to, just left of center chest to counter for the slight right quartering he was giving us. That was quite possibly the worst shot of my life followed up with the best.
I don’t think I realized how rare an opportunity I had, Chris, Evan and Sammie were ecstatic. He will never admit it but Chris and Evan actually hugged each other. I think we have it on film. As it turned out the Bushbuck wasn’t completely white as well. His body was mostly whit but his face, legs and a strip down his belly were a rusty brown.
It was an incredibly memorable moment and sharing it with my family and friends was the cherry on top.
I have at least one more safari left in me. I still have a score to settle with a Buffalo and a Waterbuck.
I couldn’t be more proud of my daughter, she took top shooting honors with perfect shots on both her animals and toughed out her illness even though she suffered greatly. She is excited to complete her Springbok slam and have the opportunity to hunt Kudu and Eland.
I found a new level of respect for my wife and will always remember her belly crawling through rocks and dust to get her Zebra, and patiently sitting on scope for an eternity waiting for the shot on her Impala. She speaks about going back often and I’m pretty sure there is a mountain Zebra with her name on it.
Thanks a million Chris, Sabina, Sammie and Evan.
WOW! Nice bushbuck not even taking into consideration the color, but with the color holy cow, congrats!
Your taxidermy budget just went to hell.
Absolutely unique trophy.
Ya you got that right. Wasn't planning on any full mounts but that's out the window.
Wow. What a special trophy- only made more so by the shooting drama.
Congratulations. You better be getting a full mount of that bushbuck or the moderators might have to ban you!
Thanks, it will be getting full mounted so no banning required.
Wow, incredible Cape Bushbuck! Pleased to see that he will honoured in a full mount.
Chris is a top notch guy and runs a great outfit. Thoroughly enjoying your report. Thank you for taking us along on the ride.
Very keen to do a similar hunt in that area someday so that my wife and I can visit Isandlwana.
Awesome report, thanks for taking us along! Incredible looking bushbuck! Congrats to you and your family!
Awesome bushbuck! Congrats!
You will love the area and the battlefields. I recommend seeing both, they are very close together. It's a very "Out of Africa" region. Quite beautiful.
Thanks very much. I appreciate the compliments.
Thanks, he was a real dream come true.
Congrats, that was a great hunt, and that bushbuck...never seen anything like it !
Thanks, there were alot of firsts on this hunt. It was a very unique experience.
Probably doesn't need to be repeated but can't help it, that bushbuck is one of the most beautiful animals I have ever seen!!
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