SOUTH AFRICA: Hartzview Last Minute Lion

vinnymbogo

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Hartzview Last Minute Lion

I'd only been home from Africa for 10 days when I gave my lovely wife the bad news that I would be returning.....this year! Fortuitously, I received whole-hearted approval. Having never hunted with Jacques or his crew before, my research offered no evidence precluding a booking with Hartzview, while making all the arrangements through Jacques and Hartziew administration proved painless. (Please feel free to use me as a reference). Canadians require a “firearms export permit”, and while easy to procure, I was not prepared to risk dealing with the logistics/immediacy of the compressed timeline and the time-off that I was able to schedule. Jacques ensured that I would have the appropriate rifle at my disposal. (it turned out to be a tack driver: a CZ 550 375 H&H). 5 extra days to pursue species previously unhunted were added to the lion package at an incredibly reasonable rate.


I lodged at Africa Sky Guest House (a short drive from OR Tambo in Kempton Park) for a couple of days to recover from the long and exhausting flights before I continued to Kimberley where I was met by my PH, Ockert (pronounced exactly as spelled). A two hour trek to Hartzhoogte Ranch in the North West Province was followed by a delicious meal prepared by Herbert the chef. The luxurious accomodations, meals, and hospitality met and exceeded ones' expectations due a South African Hunting Lodge. I can honestly say I have never eaten better than when I dine in Africa.


Ockert, his crew and I hunted Hartzview for 2 days (blesbok and springbok in the salt) before we loaded the “bakkie” for the trip to the Kalahari where we were to meet Jacques for the lion hunt. For those of you who haven't been to the Kalahari, a short description might be appropriate; it was a first for myself as well. This specific property is large and very close to the Botswana border. The Kalahari is comparitively flat and sandy and you'd be hard pressed to find any rocks or stones here. It is populated by many of the acacias and blackthorn shrubs; in spots thick and virtually impenetrable to places where it presents a more open savanah and bushveldt type landscape. As the day heats up from mid to high 30's Celsius, the sand gets softer and walking gets tougher. During our hunt the sun was hot on your back, the skies were clear and mostly cloud free.


Day 1: Following introductions, Jacques, Ockert, trackers, and myself immediately set out to search for fresh lion spoor. While looking for paw prints, a very shootable black wildebeest was sighted. Long story short, once the bull was down he proved to be more than just “mature and shootable”; he was massive!


Day 2: After a long day under African skies tracking, pushing, and a few bonus sightings of the big male (plus a blown opportunity by myself), Jacques and Ockert reassured me that they would not quit until I got my lion. I was prepared to reschedule flights if necessary and as the pictures prove, no change of plans required.


Day 3: This lion had travelled a quite a distance since the previous evening and it required about 2+ hours to determine and isolate his freshest prints before the tracking and stalking could begin. On this day we were blessed with six unique sightings before the seventh and final encounter. The heat and relentless pushing by 2 PHs, 2 trackers, and a client had finally exhausted the lion. He presented a frontal shot at about 35 meters where he was resting in the shade of one of the larger Kalahari trees. As we approached the downed lion he was more impressive and heavily maned than in Jacques' AH trail-cam posting. In the excitement, I could not remember if I fired 2 or 3 times, Ockert assured me it was only twice. What else can one say.....a dream come true! Words cannot express my gratitude for such a rewarding adventure, and it did not end with the lion; there were five more exciting days of hunting with Ockert left.

To Jacques, Ockert, and Hartzview staff and crew: absolutely no dissapointments, a heart felt thank you my friends!

A word of advice to all AH members: when the deal of a lifetime presents itself, àct quickly!

Lion.JPG
Black Wildebeest.JPG
Black Wildebeest teeth.JPG
Blesbok.JPG
Springbok.JPG
Blue Wildebeest.JPG
Gemsbok.JPG
Eland.JPG
 
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PHOENIX PHIL

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Congrats Vinny!
 

gillettehunter

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Looks like you had a great time. Beautiful lion. Bruce
 

Wheels

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Congratulations on some great trophies.

Thanks for the report and photos.

All the best.
 

adgunner

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Congrats, fantastic lion!
 

James.Grage

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looks like you had a great time ... with some good trophy's thrown in

Thank you for sharing
 

vinnymbogo

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Looks like you had a great time. Beautiful lion. Bruce
Thanks Bruce, I did have a great time...great weather too. Came back to -27C when I got back home Saturday night though!
 

vinnymbogo

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vinnymbogo

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looks like you had a great time ... with some good trophy's thrown in

Thank you for sharing
You're quite welcome. Hartzview is a great outfit!
 

BRICKBURN

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Those 60 degree changes in temperature are tough to take.

Glad you took action on an opportunity and succeeded.

Congratulations.

I'll guess your wife's trip to some warm destination at Christmas will be fun too.
 

vinnymbogo

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Those 60 degree changes in temperature are tough to take.

Glad you took action on an opportunity and succeeded.

Congratulations.

I'll guess your wife's trip to some warm destination at Christmas will be fun too.
Thanks Brickburn! You're absolutely right about the +27 to -27 differential, and the wife does have her trip planned, and who am I to say no?
 

BRICKBURN

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……………. the wife does have her trip planned, and who am I to say no?

Dog houses are way to cold this time of year. Best to stay out of it.
 

enysse

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Congrats, some great trophies taken!
 

Diamondhitch

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Congrats, I really like that Eland as well
 

vinnymbogo

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Congrats, I really like that Eland as well
Thanks Diamondhitch, the eland was a challenging hunt in itself! He gave us the slip one day and we didn't know if we'd ever find him again as the Hartzview property is so vast.
 

Royal27

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In the excitement, I could not remember if I fired 2 or 3 times,

Congrats!

If you were so focused that you don't remember how many time you shot I'd say you did it right! :)
 

vinnymbogo

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(y)
Congrats!

If you were so focused that you don't remember how many time you shot I'd say you did it right! :)
Thanks Royal27, it was pretty exciting!(y)
 

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