SOUTH AFRICA: Eastern Cape With Lucca African Safaris September 2016

Discussion in 'Hunting Reports Africa' started by cls, Nov 4, 2016.

  1. cls

    cls AH Fanatic

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    This was to be our second South African Safari and although we had a fantastic first 2012 Safari with Cruiser Safaris in Limpopo we had decided to try a different area of South Africa. So after some searching we settled on the Eastern Cape (The Karoo specifically). We booked our Safari with Lucca African Safaris after meeting Eldre Hattingh the Owner/PH through a hunting buddy of mine who had hunted with Eldre on two previous occasions.
    We set off from Edmonton Alberta On September 13/16 and arrived in Port Elizabeth SA on September 15/16 after overnighting at Afton Guest House In Jo'Burg. No Issues with the firearms. Eldre met us at the airport and we were off on a 3hr drive to the Mountain Lodge but not without a stop for meat pies! We arrived at the lodge midafternoon and as it was getting late we decide we would sight in the rifles in the morning then head out from there.

    Day 1 of the safari arrived not so bright but early as I was wide awake by 4:30AM. After coffee and Breakfast we were off to sight in the rifles, both my Sako chambered in 300 Win. mag. and my CZ 550 in 375 H&H mag. had survived the 4 flights to get here!
    We were off up the mountain to see what was moving on this fine morning. I was pretty open as to what I wanted to harvest so we were going to just play it by ear. In the first couple of hours we spotted springbok, waterbuck, kudu, lechewe, impala, Vaal rhebok, mountain reedbuck, Steinbuck, Bontebuck and giraffe just to name a few. What a place! We decide to head back down to the lodge for lunch but on the way down on one of the goat trails Eldre spots a mountain reedbuck laying up under an acacia bush catching the morning sun. He looks to be a shooter so the stalk is on. After a 20 minute stalk we are about 100yds below the ram. The sticks are up and now the wait begins as I can only see his head above the grass, after what seems like an hour but is actually only minutes the old ram begins to get nervous and stands up broadside, I hear the magic words "take him", the 300 Win. mag does the job. One mountain reedbuck on the way to the skinning shed.
    This would be the start to an amazing 10 days and 13 spectacular trophies harvested from the mountains to the dry windblown plains of the Karoo.
    DSCN7339.JPG
     

  2. CAustin

    CAustin BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Ambassador

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    Nice trophy sir!
     

  3. cls

    cls AH Fanatic

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    I am headed out for whitetail in the morning but hope to add more of the safari later on
     
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  4. reedy0312

    reedy0312 AH Ambassador

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    Looking forward to more pics and report
     

  5. KMG Hunting Safaris

    KMG Hunting Safaris SPONSOR Since 2013 AH Legend

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  6. gillettehunter

    gillettehunter AH Legend

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    Nice start to your safari. Bruce
     

  7. cls

    cls AH Fanatic

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    Day 2 dawned cool and raining with the clouds hanging down into the valleys, after much contemplation we decided to head out. The prior evening we had tried to get in on some Red Lechwe that were feeding in the valley close to an area that had been dammed up to hold water, but they kept giving us the slip in the thick bush. We decide to back off and leave them alone with hopes that they would be here in the morning. As luck would have it the Lechwe were no where to be seen so it was decided to head up the mountain to glass down into the valley. The rain and wind started to pick up so Eldre made the decision that we should head back to the lodge and wait out the rain but on the way back down Boy spotted the Lechwe making their way across a plateau below us. Eldre and Boy made their way over to the edge to have a better look at the group of Lechwe and after a few minutes I was waived over. I crawled into position and the sticks were put up but as I was sitting and shooting at a very steep angle it was not easy to get a good rest. I was told that the ram in the back was the one and to shoot when I was ready. Due to the steep angle and poor rest my first shot went high, but I was quick on the reload (something that I had practiced after my first trip to Africa) and my second shot was true and the Lechwe was down. A true African trophy was headed to the skinning shed. On our way back to camp the guys spotted the Grey Ghost making its way through a thick draw but I told Eldre that I was not that interested in going after it as I hot harvested a fine Kudu in the Limpopo on my last trip so we headed back to the lodge to dry out and warm up.
    The afternoon would prove to be very interesting DSCN7355.JPG ....
     
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  8. cls

    cls AH Fanatic

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    Day 2, Part 2:
    As Eldre would later say "Sometimes good things just happen". We decide that because of the weather we would just stay back at the lodge and stay warm by the fire. As the afternoon wore on the rain let up and the sun tried to shine. We were starting to get a little stir crazy so Eldre suggests that we should go out back and do some spotting up behind the lodge. We find a patch of open grass and sit there with the binos spotting up this deep valley to the rock wall above us. Not more than five minutes later Eldre spots a Kudu bull making its way through the brush just below the cliffs. He points it out to me and tells me that we have to go up after this guy but I explain to him again that I really don't want to shoot another Kudu as I already have one hanging on the wall back home. He explains to me with no lack of excitement in his voice that this is a trophy Eastern Cape Kudu and guys will spend their whole hunt looking for a trophy like this one. Due to his insistence that I need to go get my boots and rifle I head back to the lodge to gather up my kit. My wife asks me where I am going with the rifle? I explain to her that Eldre is insisting that we need to head after this Kudu as it is a true trophy. After a short discussion with my better half we are on our way up the valley to see if we can get a shot at the Grey Ghost. We finally find an open spot in the brush about 200 yds down slope where we can see the Kudu feeding across an opening below the rock wall where we had spotted him earlier. The sun is beginning to set below the mountains so it is now or never. Up come the sticks and the whispered" take him " is answered by the loud report from the 300 Win Mag. It sounds like a good hit but the bull heads into the bush. I see 2 bulls exiting on the other side of the brush and I am on them, Eldre exclaims, "Don't Shoot" that's not him. seconds later a third bull emerges and I am told to shoot when he clears the brush. I squeeze the trigger a second time and the bull drops to the shot and slides down the slope coming to rest under an acacia bush. I can't believe the excitement from Eldre, Boy and Samuel, I guess this is an exceptional bull. I am told that this is a gold medal bull (what ever that means). I am just happy that I was able to harvest this magnificent animal, he looks to be the twin of the bull I harvested in Limpopo.
    It is dark by the time he brought down and headed to the cooler, at least it was down hill. What a finish to my second day on the Karoo. IMG_6082.JPG
     

  9. reedy0312

    reedy0312 AH Ambassador

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    Very nice, congrats on the lechwe and kudu!
     

  10. Traditional Mozambique Safaris

    Traditional Mozambique Safaris SPONSOR Since 2015 AH Legend

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    3 great trophies, what a brilliant start, for EC that is incredible bull.
     

  11. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Nice trophies.
    Nothing like a PH jumping up and down to change your mind.
     

  12. cls

    cls AH Fanatic

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    Day 3 dawns with a clear blue sky and frost, we had decided that today we would go out later in the day so as to give everyone a break after the late day we had yesterday. Today we would be headed back up into the mountains to do some spotting and see if our luck would hold. So we head out at around 2:00 to see what is moving. We head up the mountain on some goat trail and as I am not overly fond of heights I am feeling a little uncomfortable. We finally reach a plateau where Eldre and Boy head over to the edge to do some glassing of the valley below, I wait back from the edge. After some time Eldre and Boy come back and tell me that they have spotted 2 lone Black Wildebeest bulls on the slope below us but it won't be an easy stalk as we need to traverse around the side hill to come up above them. So off we go, I am not too sure I like being a mountain goat but for these guys it is all in a days work. We come up above the two bulls and once I catch my breath we pop up and the sticks are up. Eldre points out the bull and tells me to take the shot. This time I am using my .375 H&H, but just as I squeeze the trigger the bull turns to quarter towards me. I hear the tell tale thunk of a hit but I know right away I have hit him too far back for a quartering shot, the bull runs off and we watch him as he makes it across to the opposite slope where he stands in the open. Now we have an issue, a wounded animal in the open with the main herd above him and sun starting to set quickly behind the mountains. We watch him for a 1/2hr hoping he will bed, which he finally does. Now we need to plot a plan and there is the second issue of the main herd of wildebeest are on the top of the mountain above where this fellow has bedded down. We don't want the main herd to head down the mountain where the wounded bull may join the herd. We will be trying to stay above the wounded bull but between him and the main herd. After about a 1/2 to an hour we have traversed around the mountain and above the bull. Due to the terrain and my issues with heights I am not so sure I can get myself into position in the rocks above the bull, I tell myself that I am the one that got us into this mess so I have to be the one that gets us out of it. I inch my way down to the rock outcrop above the bull and there below me is the bedded wounded bull, the sticks come up and Eldre whistles for the bull to stand. I shoot and this time the shot is true and the bull is down. Now as darkness begins to descend on the valley below we need to get down off the mountain. After quick pictures I am sent down the mountain while Eldre and Boy will follow with the bull. It is way past dark when we finally arrive back at the Lodge. My nerves have finally settled down and I IMG_3244.JPG have to admit over a sundowner that this had to be one of the hardest most gratifying stalks I have ever done. Tomorrow we head to the flats of the Karoo for Springbok which will be welcome relief from hunting these mountains.
     
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  13. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Nice BWB! :E Crazy Eyes:
     

  14. billc

    billc SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    All great animals you took so far. Good luck on the springbuck as they are a blast to hunt. One of my favorite to chase each trip I take.
     

  15. cls

    cls AH Fanatic

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    Day 4
    This would be the fourth day of a 10 day hunt and we are headed out to the flatlands of the Karoo to hunt for Common Springbok which unknown to me at the time would begin my quest for the Springbok Slam. So as not to bore you all as I have in the previous posts I will just say that this day would prove to be very successful as I managed to harvest both a Common Springbok and a White Springbok with Eldre ending the day back at the Lodge with a toast to a grand start to a Springbok slam!
    DSCN7405.JPG DSCN7410 retouched.jpg
     
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  16. reedy0312

    reedy0312 AH Ambassador

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    Congrats on the wildebeest and springbok, looking forward to more of the report!
     

  17. jeff

    jeff AH Elite

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    + 1
     

  18. Nyati

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    Congrats, great trophies !
     

  19. cls

    cls AH Fanatic

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    Day 5
    Today was my 60th birthday and what a birthday present! Late in the day we managed to harvest a magnificent Waterbuck that we had to enlist the aid of some horses to bring down off the mountain in the dark a true fitting end to my birthday.
    DSCN7442.JPG
     
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  20. reedy0312

    reedy0312 AH Ambassador

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    Congrats! Heck of a birthday present to yourself!!
     

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