SOUTH AFRICA: First African Safari Complete! Wow!!!!


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May 12, 2021
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Hunting reports
Well I just got home from my first trip to Africa. I hunted with Eugene Erasmus at Intaba Safaris In the Eastern Cape. Let me just say that Eugene and his crew went WAY above what I expected in all areas of the hunt. Bring the east cape some of the concessions were of course high fence but huge areas. We hunted quite a few free range/low fence sheep/cattle operations as well for kudu and a few other animals. The mountain hunting was just incredible. Steep rocky cliffs and thick river bottoms and valleys. We hunted near Fort Beaufort/Adelaide area. I had 5 animals on my list that I really wanted but a few more that it given the opportunity at a trophy I’d consider taking. My original 5 I wanted were kudu, waterbuck, gemsbok, Nyala and zebra. If the opportunity arose I wanted an eland, bushbuck, warthog and an Impala. I also was gonna do a night hunt to try my hand at a jackal, porcupine and whatever else we seen. I’m gonna do a day by day hunt and try to post pics as I go. Gonna be long and new to posting pics so bear with me.

1st day.

We got up early and after a wonderful breakfast we headed to a high vantage point where we could see a big valley for about a mile. After about 30 min we spotted a group of 3 bull Eland. Eugene said there was a good bull but to be patient as we wanted to see what moved out of the bottoms to feed into the warming sun. This ended to be how we started every morning. The animals would just appear into to sunny spots to warm themselves after the cold nights. Amazing how they would just show up out of nowhere especially after u glassed an area time and time again. Well back to the story. I told Eugene I wanted a bull with a big red mop, black face and a big dulap. Horns meant nothing to me. Well soon as the sun came up 2 more big eland bulls came out onto the flat and started feeding. Both were very big but one had just an incredible mop that went half way down its face. I said let’s go! After about a 3/4 mile stock we got into the bottom where they came out of and sneaked up over the ridge. They were all feeding at 130 yards. There was no question which was the bull. His body was much bigger and more blue than the rest. He was lightly quartering to me. I put the Sako 375 H&H where his shoulder met his neck 1/3 up and squeezed. He reared straight up and almost went down. He regained he’s footing and went over the next little ride about 40 yards behind him. We slowly sneaked over the hill expecting him to be lying there but he was standing at the back of the group swaying a little. Eugene said put another one in him. So at 274 yards I dropped him with one well placed quartering shot. Man the feeling when we got up to him and seeing the sheer size of this animal was insane. He was everything I wanted and more!!! First bullet went in perfect and exited about 3” behind the off shoulder. Second bullet hit him in behind the last rib and the bullet was dug out of infront of his off shoulder. Bullet went right through the heart so almost 40” of penetration. I was shooting the 275 gr Hammer Shockhammers at 2640 under 73gr of RL15. Scope was a Leupold vari-X 111 2.5-8x36. Gun is a lefty Sako custom deluxe I bought off a guy here on the fire.

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After a photo session and watching how they load these big animals(which is amazing) we decided to get back up to the high point and glass some more. We got up top and within minutes spotted 1 lone gemsbok on the next ridge around a mile away. He believed it was a bull through the spotting scope so if we went. We drove around till we got above him and started the stalk. A few hundred yards later we peeked over the top and he was feeding in some brush just over 100 yards. Put the crosshairs of the 375 on his shoulder 1/3 up and squeezed. 10 yard death run and he crashed and rolled about 30 yards down the hill. Second trophy was down and in the salt. He was a gorgeous bull. Bullet smashed through the front leg bone, through the heart and out the other leg. What a gorgeous animal!

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Good start
After a photo session and load up Back to the lodge for lunch we went. Food and accommodations were phenomenal. We headed back out to see what else we could find. He said this property had some exceptional Impala and asked if we wanted to see if we could find one I liked. I told him if it was exceptional I would for sure but wasn’t high on the list. The 375 H&H went back in the case and out came the lefty 7mag. A rifle I bought off Kurt (30338) here on the fire! He named her “The Flamer” so I kept the name. The Flamer wears a VX-6 3-18x44 firedot. I was shooting 180 Lapua Scenars at 2956fps surpressed with RL26. After looking over a few groups we found again 1 lone ram all by himself up in the side of a very rocky hillside. Once again we drove around to the top of the ridge and spotted him. After a short stalk to the edge we found him again and at the same time he seen us and turned straight on. Centered the crosshairs and squeezed. To my amazement he ran over the hill. Went over the edge and nothing. No “Whop” and not much reaction. PH and tracker both thought I missed. I said “No way”. Shot felt perfect and was dead on his brisket when the shot broke. No blood at all so we got 10 yards apart. 100 yards down the ridge I found him laying there. Center heart and bullet was deep inside the guts somewhere. No blood except for about 10 yards from him. Just massive internal damage and great penetration. Just no exit which explains lack of blood trail. Loved the performance but was a tiny bit concerned on lack of blood. Just amazed me the animal ran that far. Well he was an exceptional ram that measured 22”. I was stoked again. 3 animals in the first day. I couldn’t have been happier the way the first day went!

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Day 2. Off looking for kudu. We went to a huge concession at the base of the mountains. We got up once again on a ridge to look over a giant valley. We spotted 2 good bulls. We also seen some cows and small bulls over the huge valleys. The bigger bulls seemed to be just searching for cows. They would just cover lots of ground, find a cow, sniff then leave. Eugene said they were just starting to rut. Both hills he believed were in the 42-45” range but very tight But deep spirals. Just not what I was looking for. About 9:30 behind us across the valley the tracker Neville spotted a waterbuck cow. So we started picking apart the lower hillside. Slowly we started seeing a few moving through the thick bushes. Ended up being 5 bulls and 7 cows and calf’s. Could only get glimpses of the bulls. We knew 1 looked really good so we decided Neville would stay there and guide us to get closer. They were about 850 yards out. So down the hill we went. Once we closed to within 250 yards walking hunched over behind bushes slowly the whole way we got into position. We could see a nice gap(30 yards wide 60 yards long) and decided to wait to see if they would come out. After about 30 min we stared to see bits an pieces as they fed. We found the small bulls but couldn’t see the other 2 bulls. Neville said there were 2 good bulls. One was lomg and heavy but had the whitish fronts of the horns(signs of maturity) 1/2 way up and was heavy. The other he only seen for a second. Said looked very good as well but looked very mature as the horns were 90% white. But couldn’t tell for sure if it was a shooter. That bull was behind and above the group. We couldn’t see him. Another 2O min went by and I seen the lower bull step out. I got behind the flamer, bipod open and almost got a shot but he made it through the opening. Damn it!!! So we waited some more. Few min later I seen a cows head pop out 100 yards farther up the hill and behind the main group. I told Eugene and just then he said holy “bleep” shoot that bull. He stepped out about 40 yard above the cow just looking down at her. I got the gun moved over ranged him at 340 and got ready. Again this bull stepped into some cover. He stood there for 45 min. Didn’t move except for just moving his head back and forth. We could see he was long , heavy and old! Of course the other 4 bulls along with the one big shooter that we originally wanted to shoot. Eugene said we may regret not shooting that bull but we knew the other one was there as well. We couldn’t see the above bull to the extent that we wanted. The tracker Neville insisted we wait on him. So we did! After an hour the tracker said the bull got up so we got ready. He stepped out and already knew he was 340. Setteled the crosshairs and wham! Loud whop and he raced down hill. 40 yards later he did a front flip and rested in a little depression. Man what a hunt! I was stoked! Took us quite awhile to hike back to the truck then drove around the ridge and up the other side to above the bull. We dropped off Neville to find the bull. He came back up the hill with a big smile and said “little bull” and shook his head. Then he looked up with a big smile and said “giant bull!” And laughed. When Eugene and myself we got down there all he could say was Wow, just wow. This was one of the 2 biggest bulls he had the please of guiding. He is just over 31” and super heavy! Giant body bull as well! The bullet guy him 2” behind the shoulder, went through his heart and dug out the pieces in his off shoulder. Once again massive damage but an insane blood trail. This is what I’m used to with the Scenars. Always heavy blood trails but I’m used to exits Then again I’m not used to shooting 500-700# animals. Lol.

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Congratulations on a wonderful first safari!
U don’t realize the sheer size of a waterbuck bull. Damn they r huge! As big as a mature kudu bull. Here he is beside the kudu my buddy shot. He is here on the forum as well. He will post his own write up with pics.

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Day 3…..

Off to look for kudu again. While at dinner the night before Eugene got a call from a sheep farmer telling him his son and came hands kept seeing a bull come down out of the mountains and jump the fence into his sheep pasture and was eating his sheep pellets. Then go back up into the mountains in the morning. He said his son seen him with 2 cows in the big river bottom and actually got a pic of him with his drone before they moved off. Eugene showed me a pic and yep that is what I was looking for. Beautiful shape, ivory tops that flare out and a beautiful cape and mane. So we decided to go glass for a while and see if we could find him. Now this was all low fence sheep pasture. 100% wild so please don’t think this was a high fence canned hunt and oh by the way we watched both eland bulls and kudu jump the 8’ fences with ease. Back to the story. Glassing we seen 1/2 doz cows but no bull. So off we went to the mountains. We spotted 3 more bulls but once again passed. We went back for a wonderful lunch. Back out we went around 3. Eugene wanted to stop and pick up some whisky, brandy, and wine for the ladies at camp. While we were in there the ranch band called Eugene and said they spotted the bull coming out of the hills on the very back edge of the property while he was looking for sheep. So off we went. As we got there and was driving to the back we spotting Patrick(farm hand) waving his hat on the top of the ridge. We parked gathered the rifle and off we went. When we got to the edge of the ridge we glasses and could just see the tips of the horns feeding on a big bush. I laid down and got all set up. Ranged him at 354 and got ready. Of course he turned and walked back into the thicket. I knew sooner or later it was gonna happen. He couldn’t get out without me a seeing him. A cow walked through an opening and I got ready. A few min later I could just see his nose and he started taking the bush. Finally he stepped out and Eugene said “wait, there is brush in the way”. I told him I had about a 8” ga. I said I could do it and squeezed. Whop and he stumbeled about 10 yards and turned quartering away on he other side so I fed him another. Mid ribs and into the off shoulder. Down he went! Heck yeah! I got my kudu and what a stud he was! 48” and heavy. Great ivory tips and good curls. Beautiful cape for sure. Just the whole story with the drone pic and all Mde it so much more special! Got all the pics and back to camp. Both bullets made an X in his lungs. Both bullets made it to the hide in the off shoulder. Almost identical entrance and bullet paths through the animal. God I’m in love with africa!!

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Day 4…..

We went after Nyala and bushbuck. We seen about 5 Nyala bulls and 3 cows. 1 pretty good one but passed. Seen a few kudu cows and 1 big kudu bull as well. Not much activity after that for me. Was very hot and windy. Decided to do a night hunt and see what we could get into. Took the 22 and off we went. Ended up seeing an aardwolf which was freaking awesome! Can’t shoot without a permit but just seeing it made my trip. Ended up shooting a couple big rabbits, got my big porcupine, and a great steenbok. We seen a doe and a small one earlier in the night. I asked Gary(the other Ph) about them as I had no plans of shooting anything like that. He told me if we seen a really good ram steenbok or common duiker he said I should take one. Well about an hour later he spotted a really good one and said it’s a shooter for sure so I had my steenbok with one well placed shot behind the shoulder with the 22. I had no clue how small they were. He was 5.5 and 5.75”. They said he was a very very good ram! I’ll take it! Lol.

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Day 5…..

Back for Nyala, warthog and whatever else we see. We ended up seeing a giant warthog about a mile away through the spotting scope. No way to get to it without spooking other game between us. Seen of course more kudu, some Nyala cows and a big bull but couldn’t find him after looking for about 1.5 hours. Went back for lunch with hen decided to go to a different place about an hour away. Man did I love this property. I was super steep and brushy hillsides with deep canyons and ravines so perfect Nyala/bushbuck property. We hiked up onto a big cliff and glassed this huge basin. When I say vertical cliff it was 400’ or more straight down to the bottom. Man was it thick. Eugene stayed back to take the women horseback riding so we went with my buddy and his son to look for a kudu or Nyala for his son and their Ph Gary. My tracker Neville and myself glasses together as they went off to hunt on their own. I spotted a Nyala cow, a kudu cow and then finally a small bull below us. Neville said he was gonna go around the hill and glass the next basin. He came back and said he found a big nyala. We went over and glassed him. He was only 550 yards but from where we were there was no place to lay down for a shot. Too steep and too much brush. We watched him walk down into a little river bottom and Neville said he would feed out into the open on the other side. He said let’s drop off the cliff(good god) and get above him and glass the bottom or wait for him to feed out. Took us about 45 min to get down and as we went up the other side we seen a stud warthog with a doe and a bunch of piglets. Neville said shooter but pass as to we wanted the Nyala. Worked for me. So up we went. Holy [bleep] it was steep. Atleast we were able to side climb and not have to go straight up. We found a spot about 3/4 the way up and got onto another rock ledge that offered us holes into the bottom thicket as well as a good vantage if he fed up the other side. Neville went about 30 yards to my left so he could see a little different vantage. 30 min later he lightly whistled and motioned for me to come quick. Slid over and he showed me a little opening and said get set. Man it was perfect. 45 deg angle or steeper. I ranged the hole in the brush and got 209. No need to adjust. I was ready as he moved into the opening. Boom…. Flop! Down he went. I had my big Nyala bull! Another awesome insane hunt. God I love this terrain! Bullet hit him square through both shoulders. A hair high but anchored him with the high shoulder shot. He was an old bull. Was told they r almost black(dark chocolate) when mature but as they get old they almost get a grayer look to them. Pic is the cliff I shot it from!

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Day 6…..

Lots of animals seen but no killing for me! Of course 2 more big kudu bulls spotted. Still no bushbuck. Really wanted the spiral slam. We did spot a big fallow and told Eugene that may be a back up if we can’t find a bushbuck. I big fallow in the mountains would be awesome as well.
Day 7 decided to go get for zebra and maybe run across a warthog. Where we were going had a good amount of them. Eugene said they see lots but been a long time since they seen any real giants. I told him it wasn’t a property but if we seen a big one I’d definitely try! After getting to the top of the ridge we started glassing. Neville hissed BIG PIG!!! We spotted 2 warthogs laying in a patch of dirt sunning themselves(was cold) on the side of a hill. 1053 yards away. Eugene said this was a real east cape trophy and we should try for sure. Not much cover to close the distance but we would try. Once we got off the top it would be hard to see so Eugene stayed behind the spotting scope and myself and Neville went after it. We closed the distance to 450 and Eugene came on the radio and said ther were 2 more big board in there chasing around a sow and she mush be in heat. The giant was chasing off the other 2. We could hear them even at that distance smashing tusks together and grunting. We made it to about 400 yards and could see the sow step out. There happened to be a little and hill there. I set up with the bipod open and it made like a 3 point shooting bench. I was very steady. The boar stepped out and turned the dial to 400 yards squeezed and whop! Once again straight down! Heck yeah man I had my stud warthog! The 180 Scenar is bad medicine for these or any critters. This was the off shoulder!

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Day 7 evening…..

Got the w warthog pics taken, loaded up and back to the cold room. Went to look for zebra! Let me tell u these things are crazy. For those that think they are an east trophy think again. I’m 100% serious to tell u that if they see or even hear the truck they bail and don’t stop running till they r a LONG way off on the iutber side of the valley. They r literally nuts! Finally found a group with that we may be able to sneak up above and get off a shot. Started out as usual. Moved to the top of the ridge above them and stated to sneak out to a big water tank we knew was about 400 yards above them. We would make our way over to the tank and slowly see if we could find them. Before we got to the water tank we found a small zebra cold dead. Eugene said the stallions kill the young male colts to eliminate competition. A shame but it’s nature. So we continued the stalk. When we got to the edge we peered over and started glassing. Eugene said they are right here, get ready. I got on the sticks and they came out on a little bench 140 yards below us. All I could see was heads. Finally 3 came into view and then 6 more off to our right. They knew something was up and started walking over the edge of the hill. Eugene said he couldn’t promise if it was a stallion or mare but said the left and right of the middle 3 we’re the biggest. Neville said he thought all 3 were stallions so centered the crosshair and shot. WHOP. Perfect, and a 40 yard run and he crashed just before he went over the steep side. Even where he fell we didn’t know how we were gonna get him out. Let me tell u those Toyota HiLux are Insane and can go pretty much anywhere. I still don’t know how Eugene got it down there. Neville guided him a path and would move big rocks and cut trees out of the way. Crazy how they do stuff over there. Lots of pics then had to winch it about 40 yards up the hill to where we could get it loaded. What a gorgeous big stallion and will make an awesome shoulder mount! Once again through the heart and made it to the hide in off shoulder. Scenar does it again. TONS of blood on the ground on this one.

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Day 8…. Last and final day!

Told Eugene let’s go after that big fallow we spotted in the mountains the other day. He said we can definitely try. He said there isn’t many but the rut was over and he should be in the same area recuperating from a hard rut. We got to the area and spotted a different stag. He was very big but 1 side had a bunch of his top points broke off. I passed. I told Eugene it wasn’t a bud deal and already taken more than I planned. lol. I said if we find the one then so be it but no pressure. We kept moving from glassing point to glassing point and finally found him feeding by himself on the side of a steep hill all by himself. Man he looked big. I said let’s do it. Neville and myself made a long stalk while Eugene guided us. We got set up where I could lay down and use the bipod again. We could get no closer. 454 yards. Could just see his palms above the brush. Waiting game began. After about 30 min he finally moved out enough to give me a shot. Just a tine bit of brush which I believed the bullet would arc over. Turned the dial, let out half a breath and squeezed….. whop! Lost him in the recoil. I knew I hit him but Neville said guts! I was upset at myself. All felt good. He only went 10 yards and layed down but couldn’t see him. Eugene said he layed down right past where I shot. Eugene stayed there and told me to stay put and be ready. Neville did the hike to above him and snuck up to where he pile see him. He tossed a rock down into where he was laying. He stood up and stayed walking down the hill. Found an opening about 100 yards below where he got up. Soon as he hit the opening I squeezed another. Straight through the shoulders and down he went. I don’t know if I nicked the tip of a little branch or just enough wind to drift the bullet 8” to the right but either way it is that it is. He was down and I had a big low fence fallow. He was so OLD. Teeth worn to the guns and literally skin and bones. Perfect stag to take! What a way to finish my first trip to Africa!

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I’ll share a few pics of the lodges we stayed at. Eugene uses 2 lodges as base camps for moving around. 2 different styles but both beautiful. I’ve already booked again for 2025! Can’t wait! Anyone want to go??? Lol

First lodge!

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Great hunt and great animals, congratulations!
Congrats on a very successful hunt. Is taxidermy in the mix?
Congrats on a very successful hunt. Is taxidermy in the mix?
Yes sir. Full body mount of the steenbok, 1/2 mount Nyala, flat skin of porcupine (like a beaver circle for high up on the wall), euro of the warthog, and shoulder mount of the rest. Just doing pack/dip and my guy here at home is doing the work.


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hunt 65 wrote on neckdeep's profile.
Hey neckdeep.
looking for a new stock for my Husk 8x 57, any ideas on exiting or custom stocks to purchase? Thanks for your feedback if available. Neil
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Hey Flyfish-
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Also, could you use other ammo such as Barnes etc...
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Also, more pics of female #2(black ticked). Thanks, Neil
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