SOUTH AFRICA: First Time Hunting In Africa & Its With Paw Print Safaris

Discussion in 'Hunting Reports Africa' started by norfolk shooter, May 20, 2016.

  1. norfolk shooter

    norfolk shooter AH Fanatic

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    Well where should I start. I know where the discovery of this forum! Until I came across AH I always thought I would struggle to afford a hunting trip to Africa, but the outfitters on AH showed me otherwise. I came across the aptly named Introduction to Africa package marketed by Pieter at Paw Print. I had a little look at what you get for the money and sent the chap a message. After some procrastinating and a good level of communication between the two of us I booked with him to go in May 2016.
    With the knowledge of the fact that this was all getting very real now I stared getting kit together. The was rather easily done apart from my Tuffpak which I got direct from nalpak in the USA (I live in the UK).

    So on the along came the date of my flight out (11 May 16). I chose to use SAA as there are only one of two airlines operating out of London that don't charge extra for firearms (the other being Virgin (and Branson is a BIG anti)). Checking in with my rifle was easer that I thought it would be, with all that out of the way off I skipped to the gate and boarded my flight out while bidding a fond farewell to a wet and grey England.

    I'm fortunate to have the ability to fall asleep most places and an aircraft is one of them so after dinner, a little drink and a movie that's what I did knowing that I would need to have my as the Americans say 'A' game on when I land.

    (12 May 16) Land we did indeed with no problems. I was to be met by two chaps one by the name of Prop (pawprint) and another from Afton House for my firearms permit. The collection of my rifle and ammo went so smoothly I would highly recommend this service. Now back to Prop (or Proppy as his chums call him). In England we have a long standing thing that a nick name is given opposite to how the person is in fact constructed. So I wasn't sure if Proppy was a small chap or a rugby prop forward type (I was called loffty in the services but only stand at 5'3!!). Anyhow Proppy was double my weight and stood a good foot plus above me. With introductions out of the way off to the truck we went.

    We drove for about 1.5-2 hours to get to Flintbeck lodge along the way we had a good chat about everything from what we enjoy hunting, what the weather had in store (more on that later) and the meaning of life believe it or not!! Flintbeck was perfect the Schlotfeldt family where very welcoming and made me fell like a family member from the go. It was hear I met Pieter and a young apprentice PH by the name of William (or Wolf as he liked to be called). Pieter informed me at this point that Proppy shall be my PH and Wolf will be in tow (Pieter was with us for most hunts apart from one). We had a light lunch and went off to the range to check zero my 375 H&H. I was rather confident that she would do the job well but to my surprise the shots went al lover the place (2 not even hitting the target!!). Proppy suggested my scope could have worked loose through the travel. With this I glanced down and noticed that the quick release claw mount had popped out. I pushed it home with the correct amount of force applied. A few more shots where fired and she was perfect as ever. We went back to the lodge I got changed and off we all went for the first hunt.
    We got to the concession and picked up the owner who looked a lot like a younger taller blonde Billy Crystal. Within moments of moving off we saw a small group or Blesbock. We had a quick glass on them there was a bit of chat in Afrikaans with this I got my rifle up and then we drove off. I asked Proppy what happened to which he replied there wasn't a good one there. I now felt very much at ease they could have just as easily said shoot it and fobbed me off with that as a trophy. I wouldn't have known any better. I felt good about them as an outfit first given all the good feedback I've seen on AH and now I felt even better. So off we drove a little further only some 4-5 minuets and chanced upon a few Wildebeest. To start with there was one good one. I then spotted something coming out to the left of the bush where this lad stood.Now this was a Wildebeest. I mentioned going towards them on foot and the realised that they would be gone the moment our feet hit the ground. With this I was behind my rifle quarry in sight. Proppy gave the shot indication front of left shoulder and with this the shot was taken.
    It was a hit!! I felt the blood that was just running through my vanes move up a notch to a full on torrent. What I thought was two perhaps three Wildebeest was in fact around 15!! So thick was the bush it hid them like a well camouflaged sniper. This mad me panic a touch and I found myself repeatedly asking if they where sure I hit him. After a bit blood was found I shouted 'I'VE FOUND BLOOD'! I then got a shout back from Pieter and the owner 'WE FOUND THE WILDEBEEST'!! And there he laid. The 375 H&H had done the job well with one shot he was down. The shot was placed well but there was no exit wound hence the lack of a good blood trail. Hands where shook and photos taken.

    DSCN3156.JPG DSCN3154.JPG

    The Wildebeest was loaded up and off we went back to Flintbeck. Pieter needed to nip off so the three of us (Me, Proppy and Wolf) went for a scout and hunt on the Flintbeck farm. We saw some female Kudu as well as some nice scenery. I also saw some very very very nice Sable but he was to fast and scampered off before I could get a shot off (with my camera that is). DSCN3177.JPG
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    This photo is just to show how dense the bush was.
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    So now it was back to camp for some well earned drinks. On the way we met Thomas Schofield and one of his friends so a sun downer was had there and then. Thomas is a loon like me in that we both have classic land rovers despite the constant ribbing we get from our chums. That night after a very nice steak and Kudu borewurst I was told that the Wildebeest might be big enough for a Rowland Ward entry and with this I was introduced to the drink called Kalahari ENO!!! The rest of the evening became a bit of a blur after this and water was taken to the room.

    (13 May 16) Today happened to be Friday the 13th. Unlucky for some but bad luck didn't hit me!! How little did I know this day was to be a rather fruitful day indeed. After a rather hearty breakfast we made our way to a concession that was only about a 30 minuet drive from Flintbeck. Once again the four of us (Me, Pieter, Proppy and Wolf) where on the hunt for the three remaining on the list. This was a Blesbock, Impala (rouebok) and a Warthog. We drove around the place for a bit saw a few Impala and the same thing was told that they wouldn't make good trophy's. I was happy with this so we drove on. We saw plenty of Wildebeest and some other game. After about an hour or so we came across a herd of Blesbok. Me and Proppy got off the back and went in slow and steady but hot pursuit. We got to within about 60-50 yards of them close enough to hear them snorting. We took some cover behind a bushy tree that had rather large thorns (I may have just described most of the plant life in Africa). There was a decent sized male there but every time I got ready he moved further and further into the herd. After some fifteen or so minuets we called no joy and headed back to the truck. We drove a little move then spotted what looked like a scene from a zoo. There was Zebra, Wildebeest, a few female Impala and more importantly a rather nice looking Blesbok. This chap only had one thing on his mind and that was a seed spreading session! There he was running around and sniffing all the females, his face covered in the liquid secreted by the glands that are about 4 inches below there eyes. It was getting rather tedious as he would not stand on his own and I didn't want to take a shot have it pass through and wound one of the females in his harem (most of them looked pregnant to me but that could have just been my lack of knowledge). After some waiting he got into a good position, the shot was safe so I took it. It was a slight uphill shot at a distance of around 140 yards or so. Once again the shot hit the vitals he ran all of a few paces and went down like a Blesbok that had the top of his heart shot off by a 250 grn bullet from a 375 H&H. You can see the entry from what I can recall he was stood at an angle facing away from me hence its just behind his shoulder.
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    He was loaded up and off to the Sanders concession we went. I have just remember there was another member of the team on this hunt but only this one and that was Steve the skinnier.
    The Sanders Game Reserve has been in there family since 1867 from what I can remember. It sits at the foot of the Magalies mounties and includes a section of it in the grounds. It felt like driving around in Jurassic park we saw game a plenty Zebra, Giraffe, Vervet monkeys, Baboons, Wildebeest, some rather big male Kudu and once again a few small Impala. The Warthog has availed me to this point and has not even made a brief appearance let alone present a shot. We drove around this concession for most of the morning I took in the atmosphere that could only be described as ethereal and enjoyed the wildlife that was in such abundance. By now it was pushing on for lunch time and the food at Flintbeck was calling.
    After lunch and quick siesta (which was needed after last nights shenanigans!!) it was decided we would head back to the Sanders concession in pursuit of Impala and Warthog. On the way there we (Me, Proppy and Wolf) saw a Zorse!!
    DSCN3183.JPG DSCN3182.JPG

    I'm sure you would agree its a most peculiar looking animal but then again they may think the same of us. We drove around the concession and called no joy. As it got closer to the golden hour we headed back to the grounds from where the Blesbok came. We saw a nice thick horned Red hartebeest and some Wildebeest too. As we continued our drive Wolf spotted what we were after. A good sized group of Impala. Proppy and I started to glass the herd a nice mature male was selected and I got into position for the shot. Where he stood however was rather thick and he kept disappearing behind rock, bush and trees! He then presented a shoot full broadside it was too!!! I was unable to so the target area as the grass was soo long, I could however make out the line where the coat turns pale. I confirmed with Prop a shot of 3-4 inches below this line he was happy with this. I estimated and fired a shot into the long grass! It was another perfect impact. He jumped up in the air turned and ran straight into a tree with some force then dropped. We went off to have a look there was a fair amount of blood everywhere and we needed to wash him down for the photos. What surprised me though was the shot was essentially a blind one but was placed in such a manner his shoulder had completely broke (good luck or good judgement I shall let you decide).
    DSCN3188.JPG DSCN3186.JPG

    And a close up of the exit.
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    Now it was off to camp for drinks and dinner followed by more drinks.
    (14 May 16) Well what can I say it RAINED!! I mean it RAINED. We had 80mm of rain in one day, most of the morning was spent chatting about the previous days success then we went to a local pub for drinks and catch a game of rugby. I met a few local chaps there one of whom had a rather nice gold coloured vintage BMW 633 I know how I waved at a few days ago. We had lunch at Flintbeck and had a snooze as it was still raining. It rained so much it felt being back in England!! The Schofields had some friends over from Germany and I was asked by Thomas if I would care to join them in the main house for a light bite a drink followed by a game drive IF the weather improved. Needless to say I jumped at the opportunity and with some luck the weather improved for just enough time. The game drive was in the dark but this made it all the more exciting. We (Me, Thomas, Heidi, Christian and x3 friends) all drove around the breeding pen, and saw a very good looking Sable bull some young Sable and Sable females along with some Nyala it made for a rather interesting activity.
    We all ate and drank together (one of the Germans was effected by the drink enough to try and cut his steak with a spoon!!!). There was a healthy amount consumed by all.

    (15 May 16)Please see above!! Yep it rained again. We went to the chameleon village for souvenir shopping and a bite to eat. We all had some jam jars to drink and I must say I have never felt more gay in my life!! No offence intended but that is one camp drink and a man with a moustache like mine shouldn't be having one but it was fun.

    (16 May 16) On account of the still poor weather we left off the morning and had a late breakfast. We headed out in the afternoon to the Sanders grounds after the elusive Warthog. It was now getting to the point that I was dreaming about the things. We didn't see any they must have all still been in there little burrows. What we did see however was a monster of a Red Hartebeest and this guy was HUGE!!! Another day went by with no shots fired :cry:

    (17 May 16) The weather gods are with us at last! After a good breakfast we went back to the Sanders place as the guys wanted to show me the view from the to of the mountains I think I shall let the photos do the talking.
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    As you can see there is a small size difference between me and Proppy.
    We also took this opportunity to glass the area below for game no Warthog activity was found:(. We went back down the mountain and along the way the cape vultures put on a little show for us.
    DSCN3209.JPG

    Anyhow we continued down the hill and headed to some water holes that are well established and some new ones created from the rain we had. Some good Warthog tracks were found at one of the well established water points and they looked rather big too! By now it was lunch time so that's what we did. We went back to the water hole but to our horror there was some brush cutting being done by means of exceedingly noisy petrol powered cutters on a road nearby!!! That scuppered any plans of sitting in wait for the Warthog. It was off to another watering hole this one looked to be a popular drinking joint for many animals so there was a good chance that some Warthog would make an appearance. We set up under the cover of a tree some 150 or so yards away in some folding chairs that we took from camp.
    DSCN3230.JPG DSCN3229.JPG

    While we sat in ambush we saw some Giraffe in the far distance and then there it was. I saw a Warthog sow with three young Proppy said it wouldn't make a good one but for me even if she was a good one I couldn't have on account of the young being there. After a few minuets a troop of Baboons piped up. To start with it was a female in a tree some 250-280 yards away calling. She moved a bit and this gave me there position. I remember Pieter mentioning that if you use binoculars they can spot you from the slightest of glint off the lenses so this was to be done with the naked eye until the last minuet. At the base of the tree I saw something rather gigantic move, yes it was the dominant male daddy bobo!! Once in cover he then called with a deep Barry White like voice (not as smooth thought). Me and Proppy looked at one another and simultaneous said he is f"%king big! There mas some movement in the thick areas of the bush as they all came towards the watering hole with this I got behind my rifle and in position to take a shot if need be. Most of them didn't brake cover much but the big guy came out and sat in the sun for a bit warming up. This was rather comical as he gradually parted his legs and seemed to be sunning his ball sack!!He then proceeded to scratch himself and sniff his fingers before getting up and leaving. I should have shot him at this point but there was too much hesitation and I didn't want to make an unnecessary racket and scare off any Warthog that may have been around. They proceeded to flank round to our left strategically using every bit of thick cover they can and if it wasn't for the noisy female it would have been hard to pinpoint them. This was like being at war again trying to spot the target before they spot you only this time the intended target isn't armed mind you it is Africa!! Every so often they would pop out of cover and have a little look around but only for the briefest of moments not long enough to get a good sight on them. As they worked around the also worked away and finally came to a a few large rocks about 450 yards away to the left of our position. It took a few moments for the big lad to get into a position where I could see his centre of mass I aimed about an inch or two above his head set my trigger and and started going through the breathing etc involved in taking a long range shot. Then just as I was about to squeeze off the trigger he moved! I exclaimed "YA MA SE PUSS" (I think that's how its spelt) he then popped out again and sat about 1 foot the left of a large rock still at the same distance though! I aimed up again at the same elevation with the trigger still set and not a moment to loose the shot was taken. The report from the rifle echoed against Magalies mountains and resonated for a good 10 seconds. Proppy was spotting for me it was an unfortunate miss. He informed me that the shot hit the rock next the where the bobo was sat. The elevation was cock on but there was a little cross wind blowing from left to right. The thing that got me the most was the Baboon looked at the rock after the shot hit it scratched his nuts again and just casually walked off! Man I was pissed with myself had I have accounted fro that 4-5 mpg cross wind I would have had a Baboon that was bigger than me!!
    After hearing that bang Pieter and Wolf came to us to see what we had got. As it was nothing and we had spent some time there we decided to move off and have a drive about as they had heard some Warthogs rummaging about. The sun was setting behind the mountains and this gave us even less time. We saw another sow with young but theses young were very small so we left them, after all we as hunters have to conserve too. As we drove along we saw that huge Red Hartebeest again there was a halt and an admiring look at him. This was when the cogs in my head started turning it was my last evening in Africa I got the opinion of the guys on the big Red Hartebeest and elected to go for him. We changed position so as to have the sun behind me to prevent glare in my scope. No sooner did we stop and the shot was taken. Proppy commended me a well placed fast off hand shot around 90-110 yards. Once again it was a one shot kill and went precisely where I intended. This was a once in a lifetime animal hands were shook and hugs given I was over the moon with this.
    DSCN3244.JPG DSCN3241.JPG DSCN3243.JPG

    Far too many folk have said that he needs to go in the Roland Ward book, I will this advice and have him measured with a hope of an entry.
    Spirits high and souls alive off to Flintbeck we went for plenty of drinks and a very good meal. This was the first time I had seen Proppy eating salad. I was surprised to the point that I had to take a photo
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    More fun and frivolities were had. It was at this point I thought I'd better have a look at what time my flight was departing. To my horror I saw it had left 3 hours ago!! I was having such a supreme time I lost track of what day it was!! There was a moment of OH SHIT then all three of them said TIA. To that I nodded my head in agreement raised my glass and said TIA.
    DSCN3246.JPG DSCN3248.JPG
    Points to note; in this photo you will see Wolf (centre) with two catapults. This is the apprentice PH version of the double rifle.

    Pieter vanished to his room and came back after a few minuets and informed me that Susan (Pieters sister) will get onto the airline in the morning and try and get me on t a flight out that evening. I was very impressed with this as to all intensive purposes it was my f!*k up.
    Morning came we packed up and loaded the trucks. I said my goodbyes to the Schofield family which was hard on both sides Callie looked as though he had water building up in his eyes as we repeatedly shook hands and hugged. Thomas hugged me so tight twice it felt like my head was about to pop off and Heide just said three words that have stayed me. We'll miss you. To which with a heavy heart I replied me too. At the risk of becoming an emotional mess I headed to the truck where I saw my bag loaded and ready to go to the taxidermist.
    DSCN3250.JPG DSCN3251.JPG DSCN3252.JPG DSCN3253.JPG

    After a visit to the taxidermist to discuss mounts etc we popped to Pieters house to conclude the Safari. Things I would change next time would be catch the correct flight and stay longer and maybe take my long distance 6.5mm Rifle for the bloody Baboon!

    Thanks VERY much to Paw Print Safaris and Flintbeck Lodge they took exceedingly good care of me and I WILL be returning soon. If anybody want to know more feel free to PM me.

    Manish Ghelabhai CGC,MC
     
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  2. cpr0312

    cpr0312 AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Congrats on the safari., thanks for sharing! I had many of the same experiences just the week prior to your arrival at Flintbeck
     

  3. billc

    billc AH ENABLER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Norfolk you look to have got all you want for your first hunt. Glad you had a great hunt.

    I am sad though I do believe there is a special picture you did not post that I did see. I hope you have it yet?
     

  4. Aaron Nietfeld

    Aaron Nietfeld AH Enthusiast

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    Looks like another great hunt with Paw Print! Congrats on the trophies! How can you not love that big SOB Prop!
     

  5. norfolk shooter

    norfolk shooter AH Fanatic

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    For some odd reason the photos of my Wildebeest didn't come up on the report DSCN3156.JPG DSCN3154.JPG
     

  6. billc

    billc AH ENABLER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    If your going to miss your flight taking a 25" red hardebeest is a good way to make the most of that mistake.
     
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  7. norfolk shooter

    norfolk shooter AH Fanatic

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    Bill I had a super time is this the photo your on about buddy?
    unhappy hunter.jpg
     

  8. cpr0312

    cpr0312 AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    I'd agree with that statement Bill!
     

  9. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN AH ENABLER SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR LIFETIME TITANIUM BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    What a great report.
    Thanks for sharing your adventure.
     

  10. Mekaniks

    Mekaniks GOLD SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    Congratulations :D Cheers: Thanks for the great hunt report!
     

  11. billc

    billc AH ENABLER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    That is the picture. I was proud you offered to wear the pink shirt without me even asking. That made my day and I am sure they all got a good laugh.
     

  12. AfricaHunting.com

    AfricaHunting.com AH ENABLER FOUNDER AH Ambassador

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    I just added them to your hunt report. Congratulations and thanks for sharing your time in Africa with all of us! Glad you had a grew time and already looking at going back.
     

  13. gillettehunter

    gillettehunter AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    Looks like you had a great time and made some new friends. Congrats and thanks for the report. Bruce
     

  14. jeff

    jeff AH Elite

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    Congrats on a successful hunt! I also enjoyed the folks at Flintbeck.
     

  15. Divernhunter

    Divernhunter AH Elite

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    That shirt is what you need to hunt in. Might make some of the animal males stay around longer....either looking for romance of just laughing at you. :)
     
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  16. norfolk shooter

    norfolk shooter AH Fanatic

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    I thought he was bigger than 25"?! Do you know how many likes the pic has got on PawPrints facebook??
     

  17. Aaron Nietfeld

    Aaron Nietfeld AH Enthusiast

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    Where did you get the BW at?
     

  18. billc

    billc AH ENABLER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    He is 25" in length which is like a 60" kudu. he is super heavy for his length to. My friend took a 24 1/2" and that was a monster but thinner bases. Must reds that get taken are between 22" to 23 1/2". I did not look but I would think he is top 25 maybe a super gold level trophy.

    I did see the likes adding up on facebook.
     
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  19. Royal27

    Royal27 AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Member of:
    DSC, NRA, SCI
    Hunted:
    USA - TX, CO, GA. Africa - Zimbabwe and South Africa (Limpopo and EC)
    Great shirt!!!

    Uhm.... I mean hunt. ... Great hunt.... ;)
     

  20. norfolk shooter

    norfolk shooter AH Fanatic

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2012
    Messages:
    942
    Video/Photo:
    6
    Likes Received:
    669
    Location:
    Norfolk, UK
    Member of:
    BASC
    Hunted:
    UK, Norfolk, Cambridgeshire, Dumfries and Galloway (Scotland). RSA, North West
    It was about 30 mins away from Flintbeck. Turn right at the road drive then turn right again. Thats the best I could give you
     

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