SOUTH AFRICA: First Safari

Discussion in 'Hunting Reports Africa' started by Brent C, Jul 2, 2018.

  1. Brent C

    Brent C AH Member

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    Day 1 of my safari was blessed with this beautiful zebra and blesbok, I mentioned to my PH that I would like a zebra with strong white stripes on its face, as we sat on an overlook our master tracker Patrick came over and told us he had spotted 2 zebra so we took a look at them and decided one of them had the colorations I like on the face, the wind was blowing right to them so we Knew they were going to bust out of there, Patrick decided to hike around and above them to see if he could get them to move our way, we were perched on a cliff looking into the valley just above a plateau we thought they would travel on if they came back our way. As luck would have it the plan worked and I set up on the sticks, Willem ranged them at 260 yards and told me the one I wanted was the one in the back, I settled the 30.06 and touched the trigger. As the shot rang out Willem told me reload Incase we need another shot, the zebra ran into the thick brush and only one came out and ran over the hill calling out to the other. We sat there watching the brush to see if we could see any movement but the only movement we saw was from the wind, we decided to head off the cliff and see if we could turn it up, the shot sounded good, Willem said to me it looked like I hit it but we don’t know if it’s down and that zebra are very tough animals. We made it down to the brush we last saw it go into and found some blood, as we worked the corner of the brush Willem looks at me and says there it is right there, as he is taller than I am, I asked “is it dead”, the smile on his face and the hand shake and the congratulatory hug told me I had my zebra.. very excited I went to it and thanked him for its life and the beauty of the animal, I rubbed my hand from face to tail and told him he was beautiful, I am very pleased with my zebra and look forward to the pedestal mount to be finished so I can honor and cherish this beautiful creation for the rest of my lifetime Image1530570500.479130.jpg Image1530570527.411750.jpg
     

  2. Firebird

    Firebird AH Veteran

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    So far so good-can’t wait to see and read more. What bullet where you shooting?
     

  3. IdaRam

    IdaRam SILVER SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    Great start! Two excellent animals in the salt and it’s just day one :)
     

  4. Neale

    Neale AH Enthusiast

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    Very nice to have 2 trophies down on the first day. By the way that zebra looks to have long black stripes.
     

  5. gesch

    gesch AH Veteran

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    Great animals. I really like the zebra. Good shooting
     

  6. Brent C

    Brent C AH Member

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    Day 2 of my Safari, Willem and I decided to look for my black wildebeest, this I was really excited for, it is something I’ve always wanted, I think they are a very unique looking animal. Driving into the area we were going to hunt we spotted some very nice impala, we decided we wanted to make a stalk so we had to work the wind in our favor, we made it into 100 yards of this nice impala and I was able to make the shot, I never realized how beautiful these animals are, once again I rubbed my hand from nose to tail feeling the silky fur, it amazes me The different coloration and varieties of animals South Africa has, I am totally mesmerized by all the beauty here! After we took care of the Impala it was time to search for that black wildebeest, we came up on two old bulls separated from the herd we decided to make a stalk, but these animals are very weary and skittish, we ran out of cover to hide behind so we were stuck out in the open “busted” they started to move and Willem was able to whistle and get them to stop, 400 yards away with a strong cross wind blowing, I can say my shot wasn’t perfect but it slowed him down enough to keep him from running and mixing with the herd, we were able to get on the blood trail and find him down but alive, we pulled Brekkes the dog away from the animal and I put one last shot into him to ease his suffering, I couldn’t believe how strong these animals are, therefore I am very grateful I was able to harvest my beautiful bull! As we were heading back to drop the bull off for processing we came upon a steenbuck this animal wasn’t on my original list but as we saw him I said to Willem that’s a big one, he agreed and when the opportunity presents itself You take it. I was able to make a one shot kill and thus ended day three of my safari with three trophy animals that I will be proud to display forever.. #KUIUNATION

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  7. jeff

    jeff AH Legend

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    Who were you hunting with?
     

  8. Brent C

    Brent C AH Member

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    Willem De Beers, with De Beers Safaris
     
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  9. Brent C

    Brent C AH Member

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    Day 3 of my safari, my daughter Baylee decided to sleep in this morning so Willem decided we should try an area close to the lodge that way we could come back around noon and pick her up for the afternoon hunt. We arrived to the area we wanted to hunt and immediately seen game, about 25 giraffes, I jokingly said “Baylees not here let’s get one of those “ I knew if I was to shoot one I would never hear the end of it, so we just watched these magnificent large animals for sometime. As we were glassing, Willem noticed a couple gemsbok and mentioned to me that we should take a closer look and see if there was one I would like to take, without hesitation I agreed we should see how they looked, we made our way closer and closer using the thick brush and wind in our favor, until we came to an open area with no way of getting closer, I decided that i would take the shot, Willem set up the sticks and I took aim, the shot was around 190 yards and slightly quartering away, I put the cross hairs center of the rib cage hoping to pass through the opposite front shoulder due to the angle, I touched the trigger and herd the loud “ whop” of a solid hit, but it was still on its feet and heading over the hill, we took chase and came to where it was standing, Nothing, no blood, nothing but tracks, so our professional trackers started doing what they do, deciphering tracks from one another. I look at the ground and wonder, what the hell do they see? I can’t tell a track from a flat spot in this dry hard terrain. That’s why they are the professionals I assume. We follow the tracks for a couple hours with out a single drop of blood, then they split up, Patrick follows one set of tracks and LoLo follows another, and I’m just wandering aimlessly looking into the thickets to no avail. Everyone circled back and met up with each other and talked over the mornings event, we came to the conclusion that I had missed the shot, no blood, no animal down. They explained to me how they were reading the tracks of the gemsbok, they told me that when an animal is hurt there toes spread out further to stabilize the animal. Well, with no blood, no signs of a hit they decided I just straight missed, don’t know what the whop sound was, possibly one of the many hard ant hills that’s cover this beautiful place. As we were making our way back to the truck, Willem grabs my arm and pulls me towards him, I figured he found the gemsbok, but to my surprise he said there’s a monster warthog right there at 80 yards, he pointed next to a thick pocket of brush, and said do you see that branch? I saw the branch but no hog, until a slight flicker of movement, he set the sticks up and I settled in, “aim to the left of that branch” Willem says! I squeeze the trigger, “he’s down” I hear him say, we walk up to the hog and that’s the first time I realized how big these things really are, I was mesmerized by this strange creature, with huge tusks and gigantic warts, I was very proud to have my first warthog and a perfect one to display in my home for the rest of my lifetime, We loaded him up and went back to pick up my daughter. We make our way back to the area the gemsbok were in and spotted a group of them again, we plan the stalk but these damn animals see every little movement and bolt, well we chased this heard for the rest of the day and the light was starting to fade, then all of a sudden Willem sees a slight bit of white in the brush, he throws up his binoculars and quickly says, there they are, 300 yards into the thicket. The stalk was on again, we make it into 100 yards and come to a clearing, “dust clouds”, they spotted us and they were off! Except one, I took the opportunity that I was presented and settled the cross hairs and touched one off, “it dropped” Willem says excitedly, we head over to where it fell and realized I had hit the high shoulder which sent a shockwave through the spine and paralyzed the animal, I took aim at the chest and quickly ended the torment of my shot, I couldn’t be more pleased with the animals I have been able to harvest, once again I thanked the good lord for the creation of these beautiful animals, thanked the animal itself, shook hands and hugged my friends and daughter. My daughter says to me “dad, I think I’m your good luck charm” I had to agree with her. Whatever it was, it was another wonderful day in Africa with some beautiful animals and new found friends!



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  10. gillettehunter

    gillettehunter AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    Dang you are really getting the animals. One of my safaris I didn't get a shot until late evening of the 3rd day. You have what 7 in 3 days? Congrats. Hope to see a few more pics.
    Bruce
     

  11. Nyati

    Nyati AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Very nice animals so far, congrats !
     

  12. cpr0312

    cpr0312 AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Wow, your off to a great start! Congrats on all the trophies, look forward to the rest!
     

  13. Bwana Bob

    Bwana Bob AH Senior Member

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    Sounds like a great hunt so far. Can't wait to hear about the rest of the trip
    Congrats
     

  14. CAustin

    CAustin AH ENABLER BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Ambassador

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    Good hunt sir! Thanks for sharing with the rest of us.
     

  15. AZDAVE

    AZDAVE AH Elite

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    Nice report so far looking forward to the rest, looks like your first safari is off to a great start.
     

  16. Brent C

    Brent C AH Member

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    Day 4 of my Safari, Willem decided it was time to go look for the grey ghost “kudu” since the season was now open. We headed to his family’s property which was an hour away down some of the roughest roads you could imagine, these guys are not only professional hunters they are also Baja truck drivers, they know the roads like the back of there hands and navigate it like the vehicles are computer driven. We make it to the driveway of the family farm, but when I say driveway, it’s more like a 5 mile road leading you to the promise land! As we are going up the drive our master tracker Patrick notices some movement and taps the top of the vehicle to get us to stop, we immediately pull over and start glassing, the game here is plentiful, we glass up some impala, blesbok, and springbok then I hear this sound I thought was King Kong bellowing down at us, I ask Willem “what is that”? He replies with “baboons” they were on alert and already in the cliffs warning the others of our presence, it is a very eerie sound. Meanwhile, we kept glassing and we turned up a kudu cow at some distance away, I point it out to Willem and he says we need to get in closer and see if there’s a bull with her since they are rutting, I agreed with him and the hike was on. You may think of Africa as flat open terrain, at least I did, it’s not! Deep valleys, large cliffs, tall mountains, and thick brush with 5 inch long thorns on them that rip at your clothing like they are trying to strip you naked. So we make it through this obstacle course and get to a vantage point where we were in some shade trees and started glassing, immediately we spot the cow, and bedded below her we see the twist of a horn, “ the grey ghost”, we sit there watching as she was feeding, watching the horn move here and there, then finally he stands and we see his head. His vitals are blocked by the thick brush so the waiting game was on, we waited for him to feed out from behind the brush, and when he did I was already set up on the sticks, sitting down, elbows rested on my knees peering through the scope, anxiously waiting for Willem to say take the shot. He says “268” yards aim right where you wanna hit, I touch the trigger and the 300 win. Mag barks, Willem hits me on the back and says “you dumped him” he was down before I even lowered the gun, I caught a glimpse of movement and see my kudu bull rolling down the steep slope and he comes to rest in a very large thicket of thorns. Now the work was to begin, we make our way back to the vehicle and head up the mountain to retrieve my bull, we call in reinforcements, Willems father, brother, friends and the ranch hands “trackers”. We made our way up the mountain and look down to see the cavalry on there way, as we get to my bull we see he is still alive, I knew what had happened, I hit him high and paralyzed him, so I took aim once again and put another bullet in to this magnificently beautiful creature, I felt bad as my first shot wasn’t an immediate kill and I apologized to the animal as I walked up to it after I sealed the deal. We as hunters want the fastest most humane kill possible, it doesn’t always happen, we miss, we make poor shots, this is reality! We respect the animals we pursue and don’t want any suffering. Once again I touch this beautiful animal and thank everyone around for letting me come and experience this. Now to get this thing off the mountain! Back home we would clean, cape, and quarter an animal of this size, but not in Africa, these guys are animals in there own, the cavalry shows up, jump out of the vehicle, long metal rods and they make there way down to the bull. They roll the bull onto the rods, “kind of like a gurney”, and start counting, on 3 they all move one step at a time, over and over they do this, and they make there way up to the vehicle within 10 minutes. I was amazed to say the least. We set up and take pictures, load the elk sized animal into the truck, then headed back to the processing shed to drop the bull off. We make our way back to another area a little lower on the ranch and we spot some springbok, we take a good look at them and see a nice one in the group, we make our way into position over looking the valley they are in and they are heading our way. We sit and wait as they file in 1 by 1 until the male comes into view, I’m set up on the sticks just as I was when I shot my kudu, Willem ranges him, “184 yards” I squeezed the trigger and it was a clean miss, the animals are looking around at this time wondering what’s going on, but I still have a shot, I squeeze the trigger again, and another miss “what the hell” I’m steady as can be, they bound of but in our direction, Willem says to me calm down we will get another shot, sure enough at 125 yards he stopped, Willem tells me “aim a little lower, your shooting over him” so I squeeze the trigger another time, I look up at Willem after the shot and ask “ did I hit him”? He laughs at me and says nope, another miss, how? what the hell was I doing? I was starting to doubt my ability now. We hiked out of the area and started to glass for them again, as we are glassing I spotted another kudu bull, Willem says to me “he looks like a wide one”, I really wanted a wide one, but I had just taken a beautiful bull, well let’s see how close we can get and look at him a little better. We worked our way down the mountain side and get within 218 yards, we catch movement in the brush and throw up the binoculars, cow and a calf ! With x-ray vision Willem picks apart the last spot we saw the bull, he grabs me and points to a dark spot in the thicket, “that’s the bull right there”, I look into the shadows and can see the magnificent wide warrior standing broadside and without hesitation I settled the cross hairs and fired, we see him flip over backwards, but not knowing if he was down and out we sent in the trackers while we sat and watched the escape route, within a few minutes the trackers were on him and they started to yell, not knowing what they were saying, I asked Willem, he replied, “he’s down and dead” we make our way up to this magnificent bull and that’s when it hits me, wait a minute, I just shot 2 great bulls in one day, before lunch, I was in awe and utterly excited, from the highest of high to the lowest of lows, the adrenaline was wearing me out. We loaded up this beautiful animal and made it back to the processing shed, cut out the liver and the back straps, fired up the bbq and grilled up the best tasting meat I have ever eaten, I ate like a king, fresh squeezed orange juice, kudu liver and fillets, and a wonderful South African pastry as desert. I was fat, full and tired, but we still had a few hours to hunt, so we loaded up in search for those elusive little bushbuck, we get into an area and we start glassing, immediately, Patrick spots some mountain reedbuk, and the stalk was on, once again this animal wasn’t on my list to take, but we had an opportunity. We make it up the steep terrain to the last area we saw them, Willem grabs my arm, “500 yards up the hill”, tells me where to aim, I fired and missed, over the hill they went, frustrated at missing again Willem tells me that’s a very small target at a good distance with a strong cross wind, “everybody misses” I shake my head and laugh it off, then he tells me “but not everyone gets the opportunity to shot at a trophy Vaal reehbuck” dumbfounded I said “what? I thought it was a mountain reedbuk” well unbeknownst to me when we crested the hill there were more than Mountain reedbuks, I just missed the holy grail of a trophy! Well you can’t win them all! As we start working our way side hilling it back to the truck, Willem tells me to get down, he sets up the sticks and I crawl over to him, he points out two animals and tells me the one on the left is the male, 198 yards, squeeze the trigger and he drops, we made our way over to the animal and I had my very first mountain reedbuck. Apparently with the suppressed rifles those animals didn’t hear my shot just minutes ago, we set up for pictures as the light was fading quickly, hauled the animal to the vehicle and headed back to the lodge for some much needed relaxation, 2 trophy kudu bulls and a mountain reedbuck in one day that I’m going to happily display in my home forever. #KUIUNATION Image1530667551.674744.jpg Image1530667574.001040.jpg Image1530667609.001991.jpg
     
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  17. Brent C

    Brent C AH Member

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    Day 5 of my safari, We woke up with some much needed rain and a thick fog, I had been admiring a beautiful waterbuck mount in the lodge. I mentioned to Willem that I would like one if we were presented with the opportunity (this was not on my initial list), he told me he knew of a place that held some nice ones so we started our drive that way. The fog was starting to lift as we drove down the dirt road and Patrick taps on the truck letting us know he spotted something, we got out of the truck and ran to the nearest piece of brush and looked at this animal and it turned out to be a monster mountain reedbuck, Willem tells me the yardage and I put the cross hairs on him and squeeze, he dropped. When we got up to him I realized how big he really was, he is a stunning animal, once again we shake hands and I thank everyone and pet the fur of this glorious animal, we take pictures and load him up to take him to the processing shed. It doesn’t take long and we make our way to the area the waterbucks Like to hang around, immediately upon arrival we spot a lone cow and with further glassing we turn up a magnificent bull, the stalk was on. We made our way into the thickets and when we came up to a swampy pond we noticed there were cows and calves above us, then we glance to the right and the bull was bedded under a tree, Willem sets up the sticks and I settle in,, he ranges him at 146 yards, just then the bull stands up, here’s my shot! , I fire, and I hit a limb I didn’t see through the scope, clean miss. We take off up the hill and crest the top only to spook the herd back around where we had originally spotted them. We try to make a plan but the wind is not in our favor, we circle around where they had gone but they just vanished. We look in every nook and cranny but we can’t turn them up, then all of a sudden we spot a young bull, as we are looking at him, Willem catches movement to his left and it’s the bull I had missed, he was on the move heading back to where I shot at him the first time, we make our way to the top of the ridge and see the cows and calves heading up the other hillside. No bull, we waited and watched hoping he would follow the herd, finally we catch him sneaking up the draw, he sees us and starts to hightail it up the other side, but decides to stop and look back, sticks are set, range is 467 yards, Willem tells me where to aim, I fired and missed, 7 feet to his left, well I didn’t account for the wind. He turns and starts heading away, I aim at his head but 7 feet to the right, and hit him but just a flesh wound down the side of his leg, he turns and heads down the hill and finally stops broadside, I aim and fire missed again to the left, Willem says to me the height is perfect just aim more to the right the wind is strong in this valley, listening to him, I did what he said, leveled off the height and then moved the scope to the right until he was just out of it, squeezed the trigger and heard a solid hit, reload he says, I chamber another round but as I settle in on the sticks he does the drunken stagger and falls over backwards. We make our way down to the fallen warrior and I was in awe at the sheer size and beauty of this animal, he’s an old bull, mass for days, worn a few inches off of his tips and I couldn’t be more proud to have had the opportunity at hunting this magnificent creature, all in all, he ended up falling within 50 yards of where we originally spotted him, the sneaky elusive warrior had done a figure eight and almost gave us the slip, this wasn’t his first rodeo! After pictures and driving to the family farm for processing, we decided to try for a springbok, we get into them almost immediately, find the big male at 120 yards and I miss again, I’m beginning to think I’m not meant to get a springbok, as we are glassing, Willem receives a phone call, his friend has a monster bushbuck spotted and wants to know if I had already taken one, we decided to head to the property his friend owns and make our way up the rocky terrain and meet up with his buddy, he points down the steep hillside and says he’s in that draw by the single tree, we sneak over so I can see him, 1 goes left and 1 goes right, Willem said to me the one on the left is the one you want, 178 yards, aim where you wanna hit, “well”he’s still out there running around! 3 strikes and I was out! Walking back to the audience with me head down I thanked them for letting me shoot, his friend jokingly says, “hey that’s why they call it hunting”! Well I was bummed, but when Willem showed my the photos of this buck his friend had taken just prior to us arriving, I was really disgusted, this was a once in a lifetime bushbuck “huge” Willem says to me, I’ve never seen a bushbuck that big, I laughed and said thanks for rubbing it in, we joke and prod each other as we make our way off the mountain. The sun is starting to fade when Patrick spots 2 bushbuck down in the river bottom, I lay down in the prone position and Willem ranges it, 340 yards, tells me where to aim, I fire and we hear the sound of a hit, but he’s in the thickets now. We glass trying to turn him up but it’s getting to dark to see, we decided to make our way down there and work into the brush “a wounded bushbuck is very dangerous” Willem tells me, he takes the gun and says if I have to is it ok for me to finish him off? I agreed, as I didn’t want any one or Brekkes the faithful dog to get hurt, almost instantly when we make it in the thickets Willem spots him, head up but down, Brekkes makes her way towards the wounded buck, but Willem yells for her to get back, he says to me “he’s down but he’s still alive” with Brekkes pulled back he hands me the rifle and tells me where to aim, I pull the trigger and watch as he lays his head down for his eternal rest, I was scared to walk up to him but thankful nobody was injured, he’s not the monster bushbuck, but he is my buck, and I will proudly display him and tell the story to anyone that will listen. We quickly took pictures and loaded him up as it was dark now, we still had an hours drive back to the lodge, making our way out of the bottoms, the lights shine on some glowing eyes, they turn on the spotlight and realize it’s a duiker, I jump out chamber a round and squeeze the trigger and he drops, holy crap I said, walking up to this miniature animal, I rub his fur and was amazed at the little horns, It happened so fast, I couldn’t believe we had just gotten a bushbuck and duiker within 40 yards of each other, we managed to take some pictures and load him up. We Made the long drive back to processing shed, and my master tracker Patrick went to work taking care of my trophies, we made our way to the lodge and laughed and joked about the days events, as I tell another PH about not being able to hit the springbok, he says everyone has a certain animal that is there Achilles heal, the springbok is yours! I agree and figure I have 1 more day to try! #KUIUNATION Image1530752944.138003.jpg Image1530752957.801949.jpg Image1530752979.153385.jpg Image1530753002.383767.jpg Image1530753029.997514.jpg
     

  18. Jay Bucher

    Jay Bucher AH Member

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    Congrats, who have had an awesome Safari!

    Jay
     

  19. Bob O

    Bob O AH Member

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    Wow! That was amazing story-telling, it put me right there with you! Thanks for the visual descriptions and congrats on a fabulous hunt!
     
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  20. Shootist43

    Shootist43 AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Apr 25, 2015
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    4,480
    Video/Photo:
    22
    Likes Received:
    3,535
    Location:
    Grosse Ile, Michigan
    Member of:
    NRA
    Hunted:
    Michigan, Texas, Missouri, Limpopo Province South Africa
    Dittos on the fantastic hunt and story telling. Thanks for sharing. You made some really lo...ng shots. Do you normally practice and hunt at those distances?
     
    Brent C likes this.

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