SOUTH AFRICA: Excellent Experience With Tsala Hunting Safaris

LivingTheDream

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So two years of planning and 7 days of great hunting and it is now time to report back! This trip was different than my previous safaris as I had 4 first timers with me, one of which had never hunted before. We had an awesome time and I think total we took 23 animals. I am slammed with work but will do my best to get quickly file the report.

The trip exceeded expectations and the hospitality and food was amazing! A big thank you to Rouan and everyone @Tsala Hunting Safaris

IMG_20180807_171310517.jpg
 
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cpr0312

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Look forward to hearing and seeing more!
 

Ridgewalker

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Yikes! One fine buffalo! Can’t wait for your report!
 

jasyblood

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Sounds like you guys had a great time! Looking forward to hearing all about it!
 

gillettehunter

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Looks like a great buf. Making me wish that I had taken you up on the invite to go.... Work can wait. We want to hear about your hunt!
Bruce
 

LivingTheDream

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Day 0

So no traffic on the way to the airport, no wait at ticketing, TSA was friendly, no line at Duty Free and the plane was on time. This never happens and I couldn't believe it. We have been having awful Thunderstorms and today not a cloud in the sky. Needless to say everyone was super pumped and though I was pretty exhausted I could barely sleep. I will spare all of the details but SAA business class was ok, it was better than economy but compared to other business classes it was lacking.

We land in Joburg, and rifle permits was waiting for my group as we came off the plane. Quickly cleared customs and go and wait for our rifles and luggage. Even more amazingly, everything made it. In my previous 3 trips internationally my rifle never made on the same trip as me. So everything is on time and made it?!?! This is too good to be true!

Meet Rouan and clear our guns and we are off to the farm. The 2 and 1/2 hour trip went pretty quick and we even saw a decent Bushbuck right outside the property. Once we got there, we meet Brandon and Willem (other Ps), unpacked, and had a beer around the campfire. Plans were made and we had a good idea on how the week would go. It was very good to be back in South Africa, but it was really hard to sleep as there was so much to look forward to.

My list was Cape Buffalo, Sable, and Bushbuck. But I am big believer in take what Africa gives you. The other guys list had changed so much (and kept changing) that it will impossible to list as it was tough to keep track. But that is what made this trip so fun was watching how everyone really enjoyed themselves and embracing Africa.
 

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A nice buff to start with, congrats !
 

LivingTheDream

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Day 1

6 am – I was already awake when the alarm went off. Which is kind of awesome. My dad is dragging, finally he is the one saying 5 more minutes. But after those 5 minutes he is like a firecracker getting showered and ready. One of the other guys stops by with coffee, none for me but he told me where the coffee was, so I guess that was a nice gesture. We get everything figured out and worked out, loading up all of the gear, half of which really isn’t necessary. It is cloudy and windy which is super rare and as many of you know is horrible for hunting in Africa. So it is actually the perfect morning for sighting in as we need the sun to come out and warm up things up so the animals start moving.

Sighting in was uneventful, my 300 wsm was spot on. My 416 had an awesome group, just 3 inches high and 3 inches to the left, make the adjustments and bull's eye! The rest of the group gets sighted in and off we go! For today, I was going to be riding with my dad and Glenn. We would have two PHs with us and would split up accordingly. The sun had come out and it was warming up, you could tell it was going to be a great day!!!

Well we come around the first bend and there is a group of impala, with a good ram in the group, I was just thinking maybe I should add an impala to my list, when Glenn goes "Impala is on my list", we drive a little further, stop the truck and Glenn starts to stalk the group. About 5 or 10 minutes later a shot rings out, and the phone call, Glenn had got his first African animal and it was great Impala. The length was there with it being over 23 1/2 but the mass was truly impressive. It was a great ram! As we are taking pictures we hear a shot in the distance...we get the phone call and one of the other guys had a blue wildebeest down! What a start!! It was all pictures, high fives and good times. The next couple of hours were rather uneventful, we saw some animals (zebra, wildebeest, impala, kudu) and the guys had a few stalks but due to a light swirling wind the animals spooked. We did a see a Golden Wildebeest and this really caught Glenn's eye. At lunch we were discussing it and Glenn made the change and decided after lunch we would go after it. We drove to where we left them and in the heat of the day, they hadn't gone more than 200 yards and bedded down in the shade. The golden was even on the outside of the group and with a quick stalk and one shot, Glenn had his second animal! It was beautiful!! A few stalks for my dad on wildebeest, saw a good waterbuck, and some female hartebeest but pretty quiet. Glenn put a stalk on a Nyala, which given his luck I was sure it was going to happen, but this time it didn't due to a few impala spooking the Nyala. In the impala was a cull one, and my dad was immediately up, what seemed like forever and finally BAM. We get the call, and it is I think he missed...what!! A miss! We drive over and in the road is the impala...in the tall grass is my dad and the PH looking for blood. They had marked the wrong spot and in the grass lost sight of it. If they had gone a few more feet there was a blood trail that Ray Charles could follow. We had some laughs about that, picture time and animal #4 was in the salt for the day.

No sable and no bushbuck for me. We did blindly stalk some waterholes hoping to get lucky. I love this type of hunting where we are sneaking through the bush, playing the wind, and keeping an eye out for everything. It is what I love the most about Africa.

I did see a klipspringer and I have seen them before but they are really growing on me. If I decide to hunt the tiny ten, I totally blame Tsala for giving me that bug.

Dinner was fantastic and of course time around the fire was well spent. It was a great day and it was cool to sit back and watch everyone else really enjoy the moment.

Day 2 - My dad and Glenn would be hunting Cape Buffalo - I would be hunting still be chasing Sable/Bushbuck!

IMG_20180803_154254879.jpg
 
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LivingTheDream

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Day 2 - Cape Buffalo and Endless Stalks

Today Dad and Glenn went to hunt Cape Buffalo and I was riding with Kilian and Ben. The morning started off normal with a breakfast and with beautiful weather. My breakfast mostly consists of nicotine and coffee, but that is pretty much the way I like to hunt Africa. Today the weather was much better, Glenn and my dad had left at some ungodly hour to go for their Cape Buffalo, the word was the buff were being quite aggressive. On a funny note, Glenn fell asleep sitting upright reading the perfect shot book which is awesome. Those guys were pumped.

So I was joined by Ben and Kilian and those guys had a much more impressive list than me. So it was pretty much a ride a long but get to know the area and get to see maybe would make something happen. But it was cool it to be with them and maybe get to see Ben take his first big game animal. Who knows maybe the Sable would cooperate.

We weren’t far into our trip and we saw the Zebras almost right where we last saw them yesterday. Both Ben and Kilian get out of the truck to do a stalk. While sitting there BSing, along comes a covey of grouse. 5 or 6 of them and they were talking the whole time. They came super close to the truck and almost walked under it. It was truly a joy watching them and gave me a strong desire to do some wingshooting. I think their slang name is Stoney Grouse. It was pretty cool.

The guys did a lot of stalks, and just couldn’t make it happen. I did take a walk across the property and snuck up on about 8 warthogs at a watering hole, not on my list and I just enjoyed watching them. It was rewarding enough to know we had a good stalk.

Kilian did miss a waterbuck, I think the shot was too easy and too open and I am pretty sure he had his barrel on the sticks and not the stock. Off to lunch, no need to over think it.

We did get a phone call at lunch that my dad and Glenn had got their buff. It can best be described as a fire fight, with each buff taken at least 5 shots. Each first shot was perfect but this buff were just insane and pissed off. I can’t really do the story justice. But the best part of the story was Glenn had shot his (turns out to be in the top of the heart) and they are tracking it, so of course everyone is on full alert and come around to an opening and there is a cape buff eating grass and just nibbling along….can’t be the shot buff…it turns and looks at them and has blood running out its nose. This buff had been shot in the heart and decided it was time to eat grass, crazy! These animals are tough.

That afternoon with the guys, it was stalk after stalk after stalk…I think 2 stalks on different kudu, stalk on impala, stalks on zebra, lol just no connections. We didn’t see any Sable either but that was ok. It was great to be out there but the animals were skittish and there isn’t much you can do about that.

It was a good day again, dinner was fantastic, but campfire time was short, everyone tired and had hunted hard, tomorrow morning would be coming early.

On a separate note, part of the reason I chose to hunt with Tsala, was that from previous hunting reports, this was going to be tough hunt. We hadn't seen a Sable in two days and this was perfect. Tomorrow was full on anticipation!
 

enysse

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Nice cape buffalo! Beautiful golden wildebeest!
 

huntermn15

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Great beginning to the report and a fantastic buffalo!
 

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Enjoying the report!
 

LivingTheDream

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Day 3 - Sable

So I am riding with Glenn and my dad again. But I felt like today is going to be a good day, wind was calmer and it was warmer. I get in my standard backseat position. I know the drill but after not seeing a Sable in two days I would be lying if I said concerns weren’t creeping in.

So we take off and there goes my dad again looking for a Blue Wildebeest. This guy loves to stalk them as it seems he has to do it all the time. We drop him and Brandon off and drive on. We come around a corner, I see the ass of a Sable. I get Rouan’s attention and we back up, we start a stalk and they are keyed up and on to us immediately. We did confirm there are two bulls and one is good the other is great. Roaun tells me they usually don’t go far and we just need to stay on them. Apparently, They didn’t get the memo as we bump them and I am getting on the sticks, we are jogging trying to keep up with them. We come around a corner and they are gone. So the way to think of this scene, is low land brush with a savannah rolling through it, that butts up to a hill and the cover runs parallel to the base of this hill. So the sable were running parallel and then they were gone. We found a small cut that we think they ran up as an escape path, we also talked with Willem and Ben and they said they were coming the opposite direction and saw us stalking something. This also told us the Sable definitely didn’t keep running parallel as someone who have seen them. They could have cut down the valley, but either way they had an escape route. Score one for the Sable.

We go pick up my dad and then we head to the other side other hill and we are going to work that ridge to make sure they weren’t just bedded up there and laughing at us as we walk by. The walk, though beautiful, didn’t provide any results, it was like they had disappeared. But we were back to the truck and riding around seeing if we can make something happen. The wind was picking up quick a bit. But we were hopeful we would get lucky, I think my dad did another stalk on a wildebeest but I can’t entire remember. Rouan and I decided to take a stalk in the general area that we had seen the Sables and see if we can make something happen. We go into the trail on the other side, to cover one potential escape path and a frequent hang out area, basically walking along the side of the mountain covering a hidden field, and then cross it where we lost the Sable. We then go over the parallel hill and sneak around, we finally decide to just sit down by a waterhole they sometimes come to. It was hot and it was mid day, made sense to me. The makeshift blind had fallen apart but we just sat in the shadows under a tree. The wind was so bad it was perfect, it was blowing towards the waterhole but we were about 150 yards away and you could see it swirling, meaning our wind was so bad it was perfect!

So Rouan and I are both playing on our phones, pretty much whitetail hunting at this point, when I look up and there is a Sable way off starting to make his way in. It isn’t the 2 from earlier and as this one is alone and has a black mask. He looks good and every time I see him turn his head I go wow! So we figure he will get water and head to the salt lick. He is completely calm and sure enough he gets his drink and starts walking to the salt. Im on the sticks and on him the whole way, Roaun tells me wait for him to stop wait wait wait….he stopped…BAM!! Sable DRT. I am pretty pumped and so excited that I almost threw up. It is a magnificent sable and I couldn’t be happier. I got a few minutes to myself to be thankful. We get him set up and then everyone starts coming to get pictures, high fives and congratulations. I did notice I hit it a little higher than I wanted, we determined we might have been 120 yards away and not the originally thought 200, hence the slightly high shot. Dead is dead though.

While getting pictures we hear a shot off in the distance, Kilian had another one in the Salt and it was the big breeder bull eland. I knew Kilian or Ben would get it, they are an awesome animal and this one was old with worn down horns and big dewlap. They thankfully had a wench which made life much easier.

It was then lunch time and the afternoon hunt. Lots of high fives for everyone at lunch and story telling, it was one of the more lively lunches.

I was pretty much on cloud nine and was spotting for my dad again. Rouan had gone with Ben and Kilian now to help them with their list and to get Ben anything. A few blown Wildebeest Stalks and that was that. We did see a few other ok animals. But we couldn’t find a kudu or wildebeest or red hartebeest. I also find out that my dad wants to shoot a warthog, this would be handy information for your spotter. In fact in the last light, we come around a corner and just as we pass a warthog comes out of a hole and it is apparently a good one. We pull the truck around about 100 yards and my dad does a quick stalk and BAM!! Suddenly the brush explodes 20 yards from the truck, and here comes his warthog and just as he gets within eyesight, he starts to go down. I whistle for my dad and finally they come over. Brandon and I load it quickly in the truck. It is a good one and I think maybe 8 inch tusks, old male either way. Pretty cool watching them come out of the hole.

So Dinner was steak and potato as well as some lamb. Definitely putting on weight. No drinking and an early night for me – black death was up.

Sable.JPG
 
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jasyblood

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Congrats on a beautiful sable!! I love the shape of the horns on that one!!
 

cpr0312

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Nice sable, congrats!
 

cagkt3

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Beautiful looking sable, looking forward to the buff! Congrats
 

buck wild

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looking good
 

gillettehunter

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Nice sable. Great shape to his horns. Nice mass. Great trophy. Glad you got him.
Bruce
 
 

 

 

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