GREAT story and can tell you really had some fun.. take the blonde with you next time... makes life a lot easier!!Prelude
Having booked some cull hunting for June 2015 I spotted http://www.game4africa.co.za/ offer for cull warthog !
I had the time free - a couple of quick emails to Wikus and everything booked ....... my first Piggie hunt 10 cull warthog included !
I was staying in the City Lodge PE , as arranged Lionel collected me promptly at 11 am as previously agreed .
The drive out via Grahamstown took about 1.5 hrs ... conversation was good and Lionel impressed me with not only his knowledge but checking what I was comfortable with in terms of range and fitness !
I can comfortably walk further than I can shoot !!!!!!!!
Arriving at the lodge !
The lodge is a single story complex .......... with 10 bedrooms all ensuite and named after some of the most famous rifle manufacturers ! I was staying in Winchester !
will save me posting the crap photos I took !
I was greeted by Lionel's wife - who was our chef for the duration - more later.
After a quick trip to the range to check zero - yep I hit the target !
We had a discussion that perhaps my 318 WR double - which I had trouble zeroing or my 8mm Remington magnum was perhaps a little too much for the piggies ! So I borrowed a 7x64 Sako with suppressor ,
The guys prefer hunting with suppressors and indeed can provide any Americans ,with a common threaded barrel, a suppressor on loan.
Quick zero check and we were good !
then back to the lodge for a sundowner and an excellent dinner of eland steaks !
8am next morning
as agreed sometime the previous night kickoff for breakfast was 8am -
then we left for the piggies ! the estate is stunning hills or mountains depending on your definition along with flat valley floors with perfect warthog lawns !
First cull Warthog !
after a tricky but comfortable stalk we cleared the ridge to a view of 30 plus warthogs !
after a few min on the binos Lionel offered me three potential shots - his only comment was tell me which one I was shooting !
225m at 40 degree angle ... quickly did the maths …….first piggie in the bag !
After things below settled down some pigs remained ........ Lionel gave me two more targets and dropped my second piggie at edging on 300m .......
We recovered the animals and set off for the next location ..........
the remainder of the day was similar ..........with skillful stalking provided by Lionel and almost adequate shooting by myself ......... well best not mention the complete miss @ 125m ........... anyhow quickly moving on ......
Four in the bag ...... before lunch ! We headed off to the on farm meat processing facility - or as I prefer the bone yard !
What a facility - very competent staff , clean efficient facility , dropped off the piggies and headed for lunch !
Now being an Irishman I love my fried breakfasts - that was lunch ,an amazing selection of home made game sausages ,home cured bacon so thick that it towered over the sliced mushrooms , fried tomato ......... with half an inch added to my waistline we waited out the "dead time " for piggies before recommencing the hunt .
The afternoon brought another four piggies - Lionel has changed my belief in psychic abilities , I was a disbeliever , a quick look to the horizon and off we would go to a new location , more piggies with lots of trophy pigs available ...... however as I am and always have been a cull hunter .....while impressive ....... I am a culler at heart !
Dinner & Food Things
returning to the lodge at approx 5pm we had the usual sundowners and Wikus and his brother Colin arrived………. great to put a face to an email !
Drinks over with another amazing dinner by Lynn - a game stew which if served later in the week when I knew the guys better I would have licked my plate @ the table! But typical Irishman abroad trying to be polite …...
The next day followed on from the previous however more game seemed to be moving around and got to see some amazing Kudu bulls , Sable , Buff , Bushbuck and a stunning Impala ram !
Day 3 - a mistake on my behalf !
So far so good - everything I shot dropped to the shot - the 7x64 being an efficient calibre - and the Sako more accurate than the MK1 human behind it !
pulled a shot on a cull boar and off he went into the bush !
Bossy - The hero of the hour
To describe the bush in words is damned near impossible - Bossy Lionel’s jack russell went to work - never have I seen a tracker dog work so efficiently , there had been six warthog and each had found a different route into the bush !
Bossy started checking tracks and I noted returning to me instead of Lionel ! Later explained as he goes with the rifle ! thats where the action is
On his fourth return to the bush he got the blood trail of the warthog and off he went !
much barking about 10 min later and quite a distance from our location we entered the bush !
Guys - I will try to describe the bush which as thick as you can believe - indeed plate steel has better visibility and then there are indeed the thorns , jumping cactus, and every prickly bush waited for me .... fighting my way through with Lionel’s help , Wikus who was passing spotted our truck and decided to help ………… after a couple of min in the bush the following occurred !
Wikus " You could not find a buff in here "
was met with the putdown
Lionel "If there is a buff in there he will find you "
We located Bossey who with courage beyond his size had holled the wounded warthog - a belly crawl around allowed me to pull him back and finish the job I had messed up !
The remainder of the hunt was similar - having exhausted my quota I was on a per animal cull ...
As my beautiful princess or “the blonde who must be obeyed” may read this I only shot a couple more over quota ...well maybe more than a couple ..... well maybe a few more than that ...... Alright guys I shot a hell of a lot !
the stalking was amazing yet every piggie than fell to the rifle was earned ........... I did bust a couple of stalks on Lionel …… apologies …. piggies seem to have a supernatural ability to figure out you are in the neighbourhood !
Yep it happened, people told me strange things happen to people who hunt warthog , The boar was spotted …… Amazing in size and tusks ……….after much procrastination I dropped a cull boar with a damaged leg - however that big guy stuck with me !
The last day !
My First Trophy Hunt
The previous night over another excellent dinner provided by Lynn and perhaps a glass or three of Stellenboch's finest I decided that the Big BOAR was mine !
Decided to go all out for this guy who seemed to occupy both sides of a piece of the steel plate bush as previously described !
Despite an all out day of checking stalking and re stalking - never did get to see him !
Should have dropped him when I could ! lesson learned !
So guys in conclusion, these guys are the real deal - everyone helpful ,committed, ethical hunters with an amazing estate and indeed some beautiful trophy animals covering all the major species !
If you come down next year I will be there 21 thru 30th May - Ohh the Blonde does not know …………. YET !
Going Again ?
Hell yes see above !
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