SOUTH AFRICA: Hartzview Hunt 2015

spike.t

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bluey

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making a great report theer wheels, can tell this hunt is special to you .
keep it rolling ,mate.
Brandon is taking some nice animals .
where you really going to chew on, oryx nuts?
 

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Great report, looking forward to more. I gotta ask, how big is Ockert? Maybe it's camera angle or something, but he looks like a giant. Hunting with your son has to be a true blessing, lucky for me almost all of the hunting I do is with my sons.
 

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making a great report theer wheels, can tell this hunt is special to you .
keep it rolling ,mate.
Brandon is taking some nice animals .
where you really going to chew on, oryx nuts?


Thanks.

The oryx nuts was more of a joke at first. Then I thought Brandon needed to experience some. Herbert cooked up a couple from the hartebeest. Brandon said he would eat one if I did. Part of it was chewy....part of it was tender......part of it was juicy!!!:eek::eek::eek:
 

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Great report, looking forward to more. I gotta ask, how big is Ockert? Maybe it's camera angle or something, but he looks like a giant. Hunting with your son has to be a true blessing, lucky for me almost all of the hunting I do is with my sons.

Thanks, I appreciate it.

Ockert isn't that big. I think it is camera angle on that photo more than anything. I would guess he is 5'11'', 220lbs. Brandon is about 5'8" 130 lbs. It sure looks like Ockert has a big head though.:D:D:D

Glad you get to hunt with your sons. Hope your able to enjoy that experience all of your life.(y)
 

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Great start to the hunt. Nice to have your son go with you. Good pics. Nice animals. Bruce
 

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Great start to the hunt. Nice to have your son go with you. Good pics. Nice animals. Bruce

Glad your enjoying the report Bruce. Thanks for the kind words.
 

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Good report and great photos. Nothing like a hunting trip with your son!
 

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Great report and photos, I'm looking forward to the rest.
 

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Day 3


Early in the morning we see a nice kudu. He runs after three seconds. We follow up for 30 minutes before we lose the track.


We see some black wildebeest in a large open area. We work our way around to the edge of a 300 acre field with no cover on it. We can only get to within 300 yards of them. After a while they move further away. We decide to call the truck to come pick us up. We will go hunt something else.


As we drive across the field it feels like we hit a wall. We are all jarred as we slam over an ant bear hole and the left rear tire settles into it up to the axle and spring. Ockert gets all over Johannes for hitting a hole in the middle of an open field. Johannes thinks it is our fault for not telling him the hole is there. I don’t understand Afrikaans or Tswana but enjoy a colorful argument. A work truck with five guys shows up to help. They are entertained by the situation as much as Brandon and me. It takes about thirty minutes to jack up the Land cruiser and fill the hole with rocks to be able to get out. Landcruisers are pretty amazing vehicles. Nothing else of interest shows itself before lunch.

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Marius and Ria are the farm managers. They work in the office during our lunch break. I get a map from Marius. This helps me visualize the layout of the farm much better. From this point forward I ask Ockert where we are on the map. This helps me enjoy the hunt much more.


After lunch Ockert takes a different tack. AB is the tracker and Johannes is the driver. AB is dropped off to scout for kudu in one area. Ockert, Brandon and I are dropped off in another area to glass then to walk and stalk. Johannes drives to another area where he can look for kudu. Everyone is in radio contact if a good kudu shows itself. Ockert isn’t saying anything but you can sense he is feeling some pressure.


We come across four hartebeest bulls. They are all good. We stalk them and bump them five times. Brandon nearly had a shot right before the third bump. After the fifth bump, Ockert thinks it best to leave them and to concentrate on the kudu. There is only 1.5 hours of light left and we are in prime kudu time. Alas, the kudu don’t know realize this is prime time for them and darkness comes without a sighting.


We are all getting concerned about kudu. We haven’t had the opportunity to even pass on a shootable bull. When we are driving and see a bull they will only hold for 5 seconds max. When we are walking, we are just bumping them out of a bedding area without seeing them before they run. Hopefully Diana will smile on us tomorrow.


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Red dirt in South Africa isn't much different than red dirt in Oklahoma.

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Day 4.


Today we are up at 4:30, have breakfast and are out of the lodge by 5. Within ten minutes we see the ugliest most asymmetrical 50 inch kudu ever born. Okay, this might be a stretch but he certainly wasn’t what Brandon or I had in mind for a first kudu trophy. He stood there and watched us as we slowly drove around the hill he stood on. We stopped and he continued to stare at us. I was about to ask Ockert if we should drive on aways, get out and come back to take him when he said. We can do better. Brandon and I were both relieved with the decision.


We repeated yesterday’s exercise by dropping AB off to let him scout some ridgelines. Ockert, Brandon and I were dropped off to glass and walk. Johannes drove around looking for kudu.


While walking Ockert got a radio call from AB that he was on a kudu. Johannes drove to pick us up and took us to where AB was waiting. We went to the last place AB had seen them and started following their tracks. As we followed the tracks we kept spooking hartebeest. At one point Ockert hears something and sees some nice hartebeest bulls. We lose the kudu and continue looking for where they went. AB sees some kudu horns above the bushes and we continue to follow. We spook a heard of zebra and think they took the kudu with them. We were on real rocky ground and lose the tracks.


Ockert takes us back to where the group of hartebeest bulls were. They are moving along the base of a hill and we are above them. Ockert gets Brandon on the sticks and searches for the best bull. There are multiple big bulls in this herd.


Hartebeest probably weren’t on Brandon’s radar prior to the trip. On the first day we drove through a group and the ones on the left side of the vehicle took off in a full sprint across the bow. Their speed was impressive. After that demonstration I think they went way up in his opinion.


Ockert finally sorts out the biggest bull. Brandon fires and 30 yards later he’s down. The bull is fieldressed, photos taken and another truck is called in to pick it up. We have to get a kudu! So far Brandon has been pretty impressive. After a 15 year layoff he is punching out one shot kills. Nothing else shows itself this morning


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After lunch we split up again to cover more ground. Ockert, Brandon and I are walking an area that eland hang out in. It is also an area that kudu come down into when it is windy up high. We spend time glassing, then walking through the area, stopping to glass from time to time. We aren’t seeing much of anything.


Ockert is on the radio. AB has seen a good kudu. Johannes is also on the radio and he is on the way to pick us up. We are now racing the sun. It takes 20 minutes to get to the place AB is located. He is on a hill 800 yards away from where Johannes parks. I am 30 yards behind Ockert and Brandon when we get to AB. With the sun setting soon I tell them to go on without me so I won’t slow them down. Ockert and AB talk and Ockert says we will be going slow now, my fat butt will be able to keep up. Okay, he doesn’t use the words fat butt. AB has left the kudu and come to meet us. We go a mile to where he last saw the bull.


The bull has moved and we follow. After 20 minutes we see the tops of bushes moving and some horns. The horns look nice. We work to get into position and a cow sees us but thankfully trots off the other way. There are two bulls. A nice one and one that will be nice in two years. We have to be careful and are moving slow. The young bull stares at us for two minutes as we freeze. He goes back to feeding. At about 70 yards we walk by a bush and Ockert says watch out for the snake. There is a boomslang eight feet away. We give him a wide berth.


At this point Ockert and Brandon leave AB and myself and move forward. There have been only head and neck views so far. When Brandon is 10 yards away I remember he has the scope jacked up all the way. It is getting dark quick. I focus on Brandon’s back and through telepathy tell him to turn the scope down. My telepathic powers are evidently poor as nothing happens. The big kudu now stares down Ockert and Brandon. They freeze. Slowly Brandon gets on the sticks. I hope there is good visibility through the scope. The shot is good. The kudu is drt. High fives and fist bumps abound. A lot of work and sweat has gone into this trophy. I have taken a few nice animals in my life but I have never been more excited about a trophy than I am right now. Fifteen more minutes and there would have been no visibility.


It takes 30 minutes to get the bakie close. The kudu is gutted then dragged and loaded. The kudu will go in the freezer. Photos will be in the morning. The question, “If I go can I get a kudu?” has been answered. The primary goal is accomplished. All else is gravy.


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Ockert, AB, Brandon, Johannes.



As we drive in, the headlights pick up a jackal. Brandon passes so I shoot it off the top of the bakie. I guess I have now hunted Hartzview too.

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After getting the kudu out of a remote area it is after 9pm when we get to camp. Herbert the cook is up late but has fixed another great meal. We will have to wait for light in the morning to take photos so we can sleep in. All is right in the world!


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James.Grage

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nice hunt
 

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well done ,
nice kudu
that jakal , wish l could bowl one over ,
good to see Brandon can still hold his , sounds like he has been out of action for a long while
did he do much practice before the hunt ,wheels ?
 

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nice hunt

Thanks James.

well done ,
nice kudu
that jakal , wish l could bowl one over ,
good to see Brandon can still hold his , sounds like he has been out of action for a long while
did he do much practice before the hunt ,wheels ?

Always fun to shoot jackals and baboons. Can never get enough.

We didn't get as much practice in as we should have. Our schedules and the winter weather didn't cooperate very well. Brandon did do a decent amount of dry firing off of sticks shooting through the windows. I think that helped a lot. This was the first time he had hunted off of sticks.
 

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Nice Report Bob
And i am sure it is a trip Brandon will remember for the rest of his time and i think you might have a new hunting partner for the trips to come!!!

All the best
 

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Nice Report Bob
And i am sure it is a trip Brandon will remember for the rest of his time and i think you might have a new hunting partner for the trips to come!!!

All the best


Thanks Gerrit.

I think it is engrained in the memory pretty good. Hopefully we will be able to hunt more in the future.

All the best
 

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Day 5.


We are up late, have breakfast and leave at 6am. Take photos of the kudu then head out. We have not had any opportunities on a warthog so decide to look at a springbok instead.


Being a PH has got to be difficult when you are dealing with a client the first time. You have no clue how they shoot until they prove themselves. Especially when they are using a borrowed rifle. So far Brandon has five animals in five shots, ranging from 30-150 yards. Ockert feels comfortable with him shooting out further if need be.


While driving around during the week, there have been numerous opportunities to shoot a springbok. Now that we are looking for them they have disappeared. It takes a while but we find a herd. We start following. We get on them a couple of times but are busted. The third time we can only get to 211 yards from the buck we want. Brandon is on the sticks with a fairly stout side wind. Dirt kicks up right above the bucks shoulder as he runs off. Humility takes different forms.


After lunch we get back on the same herd of springbok. They are pretty jumpy and don’t let us get close. At one point they walk past a nice old blesbok. The blesbok doesn’t pay attention to them and we decide to put a stalk on him. We get up to 100 yards. Brandon shoots and the buck runs 30 yards and starts to wobble. Another shot is fired and the buck goes down.

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This will be the last animal taken at Hartzview. Brandon states he is disappointed in not getting a springbok and will have to come back to finish the job. As they say in RSA, we may “have to make a plan”.





Epilogue


Brandon had a great hunt. The size of the property was no issue to him. Ockert, AB, Johannes, Herbert and the entire Hartzview gang did a great job. Also special thanks to Jacques and Phil for making the hunt happen. Brandon and I had a blast.


The day we left Hartzview, Ockert drove us back to Tambo. That night Brandon and I flew to Dar es Salaam. At Dar we immediately went through customs, got our luggage and then went to departures for another flight. They stopped Brandon’s luggage at the x-ray machine and made him open his checked bag. No bullets had been recovered from any of Brandon’s animals but he had kept four casings as souvenirs. The agent asked what these were. I said souvenirs. He asked where our guns were. We said we didn’t have any. He said where did you get the bullets. I said we had hunted in South Africa. He asked for Tanzania paperwork. I pulled out the South African Hunting Register. This alleviated his concerns some. I also showed him some trophy photos from my phone. He said it was illegal to have bullets without the Tanzania paperwork. I said we didn’t have bullets. Just casing’s that are souvenirs. He said no they were bullets. There was no point arguing the point. He said we had to go to the police station at the airport. The head of police didn’t speak English but another person interpreted. The policeman didn’t know what to do with the casings. A report was going to have to be made. They made a copy of the South African Hunting Register. I wondered if we were going to make our connecting flight. After some discussion it was agreed that we would leave the casings and proceed to check-in. TIA. To give them credit, the airport workers were cordial about the entire situation.


Two days later Brandon finds another casing in his checked bag! It didn’t take much discussion to just leave it in Tanzania.


After returning home, the spring issue of African Hunting Gazette had arrived. Brandon saw it laying on the table and said, “My hartebeest is better than that”, referring to the red hartebeest on the cover. He then went through the entire magazine looking at photos and pronounced, “My trophies are better than most of the ones in here”. This observation only enhanced his thoughts for Hartzview and the hunt.


A few days ago Brandon said he would go deer hunting with me this fall!


One evening after we had returned home from Africa, I had the TV on. Steve Scott’s (AH member) show, “Safari Hunters Journal” was on TV. I realized they were hunting Hartzview and that Ockert was the PH on the hunt and recorded the show for Brandon. Roxie (Jack Russell) and Brandon had bonded on the hunt and were great buddies. Roxie was shown on the show. I texted Brandon to say that his African girlfriend was on TV. Brandon happened to be at his girlfriend’s house at the time and his girlfriend picked up the phone and read the text!!!


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Brandon and Roxie


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The Circle of Life…


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…A father takes his son hunting…

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…The son becomes the father…


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Dedicated to my father who took me hunting….and all fathers who take their sons hunting…

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…And all sons who go hunting with their fathers…


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…Thanks Dad……I love you!
 

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Fantastic report Wheels !

The hunt was great, but more than that was your satisfaction of taking your son hunting in Africa, this can be seen in your face. Congrats :D Cheers:
 

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..................

After returning home, the spring issue of African Hunting Gazette had arrived. Brandon saw it laying on the table and said, “My hartebeest is better than that”, referring to the red hartebeest on the cover. .....
.....

I was sipping some nice English Breakfast tea as I read this report and I nearly spit the tea all over my computer screen when I read that line. :ROFLMAO:

Congratulations to Brandon on some obviously awesome trophies.

One of the only times I like be on the sidelines is when I am watching a kid do the hunting. Does not matter how old the kid is.

Great report. Thanks Bob.
 

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