Just got back from my first Africa hunt with Game 4 Africa. It was the best hunting week of my life! The hunting operation run by John, Colin and Wik was simply outstanding. Their website says 4 star but do not believe it...it's 5 star all the way! They made me feel at home the very first day I arrived. Colin's fiance, Clare and Wik's girl friend, Britney were incredible hosts and great hunters in their own right. The food and rooms were incredible with Africa views on all sides. I got to eat Impala, Kudu, Gemsbok and Elin. They were awesome! I told my PH for the week, Colin, I had three objectives for the week: 1. Do not disappoint my PH, 2. Kudu, 3. Zebra. Anything else was just a bonus. He laughed about my first one and made me feel so comfortable. I have hunted whitetail deer all my life and at 60 have taken almost 200 of them. I have never fired a gun in a hunt over 100 yards doing this. So for the past four months to get ready for the hunt I did three things: 1. Climbed a nearby mountain 3 days per week which was almost straight up. 2. Shot from 300 yards out at my farm. 3. Shot off sticks. Little did I know that the 200 rounds I shot getting ready from my Savage 300 WSM would come back to almost haunt me. On the first day at the firing range, we tested my gun. I had been putting 3 shots at 300 yards in a 4 inch circle and on a bench rest at 100 yards could put 3 shots in a half inch. Believe me I am nothing more than an average shot but the practice I put in had me confident. Well on that morning I placed 3 shots from the rest in a 12 inch circle and was all over the place to my shock. Colin could see on my face that something was wrong. He watched me shoot and saw no flinching and proper trigger squeeze and breath control. He said lets check your rifle....we found an important barrel bolt had come completely stripped making the gun shoot poorly. I had not rechecked the gun before my hunt given all my practice. Lesson learned! I thankfully was able to rent one of their Sako 7MM and it was a sweet shooting gun all the way! So please join me for my hunt each day: First Day The wind was blowing hard across the beautiful hunting area. Colin and I hunted in the morning and saw over 10 animals but nothing we wanted. They looked big to me but Colin said we were taking trophies and we could do better. We had a fabulous lunch and were back out for the afternoon where we saw 20 more animals but again nothing we wanted to shoot. Back at the lodge had an awesome Gemsbok steak dinner then off to bed. Second Day A great morning. We hunted for my Zebra and after a very satisfying hunt for 3 hours finally found a beautiful group of 3 stallions. Colin and I kept a good cross wind and were able to get within 70 yards of them where I made a good shot putting him down instantly for my first Africa animal! That afternoon we went after Impala and climbed up one mountain and down another looking for that special animal. We found a great group of 5 animals and Colin pointed out which one to take, set up the sticks and I made a 174 yard shot through the heart and he was mine. What an awesome day of hunting!!! Third Day One of my favorites because this was the day we got my Kudu but what a hunt! To set this up properly I had bought a bush stick which had both a front and back rest which was great....as long as you did not have to swing right or left. Well given you are hunting game in the mountains this became a problem highlighted at the start of the hunt. After a few hours of hard hunting Colin found a beautiful Kudu and we tried to set me up on my bush sticks...talk about comical...I just could not get them set up, swing with the animal and make the shot. I missed twice never having them set up right...my fault big time! Colin always used a tripod stick system which enables you to swing with no problem....needless to say I told him I was moving to his system. I was so disappointed in my performance which was dismal but Colin was not to be deterred. He told me it was like a football game which I had played in college, you have to forget about a bad play and look forward to another play and another try. Well, we picked up and were driving to the lodge for lunch when not 15 minutes later, Colin glances right up a mountain by the way, and stops the truck. We get out, look up the mountain and there is a beautiful Kudu 300 yards straight up the mountain looking at us. This time we set up on Colin's sticks and I made a 288 yard shot again through the heart. I had my prize animal!!! My trackers were incredible....they worked so hard for me finding animals and then getting them down from where I shot them back to the truck. I still do not know how they got that Kudu down from that mountain. He weighted over 700 pounds. Fourth Day I chose to take the day off and get some work done. Even on vacation, the work world carries on. Fifth Day What a day! I had my Kudu, Zebra and Impala....I had 2 more animals to take; Black Wildebeest and Springbok. The wind was blowing something awful but as always Colin was not concerned. I had the best time with him and he was such a pleasure to hunt with! Well, we chased both type animals all morning not being able to get a shot. Finally at 267 yards I got a shot at a nice Wildebeest but missed as the wind took my bullet according to Colin. We hunted until we were able to duck walk to within 60 yards of 7 Wildebeest when here came another lesson for me...The herd leader was looking straight at me...I was on the sticks perfectly when I made a mistake. I wanted to shoot in the middle of his chest about one third up his body but forgot about his chest hair that was hanging straight down. I made the shot, saw him hunch up, and thought a perfect heart shot. Boy was I wrong....it turned out I had only grazed him right where I was aiming but I had aimed too low given his chest hair. Off they go running up the mountain. Finally the herd pushed out the leader who we thought was hurt bad and we were moving in to make a final shot. At 146 yard I made a perfect shot and put him down. It was only when we walked up to him that we found what my first shot had done....lesson learned. Man was I excited!!! We rested up for an hour then went looking for my final animal, a Springbok. Now this is where it truly got funny...we moved into some trees by a water hole so I could relieve myself when Colin looked up and there were 5 rams at 500+ yards away. "hurry up and finish there Craig" said Colin and let's go. The animals were moving towards us at a 45 degree angle. There was a beautiful ram that stood out from the rest. The wind was blowing so hard from left to right. Colin put me on the sticks and told me the shot was 358 yards. Now this was the amazing part for me and teaches you to always listen to your PH..."Craig, hold a full animal in front of his nose and a half an animal high and make the shot. I had never aimed that way in my life but Colin was confident I could make the shot and I did!!!!! At the shot the animal collapsed shot through both shoulders and the Springbok was mine!!!! To say I will be back is an understatement! Thanks Colin, John, Wik, Clare, Briteny and all the trackers and staff at Game 4 Africa for the hunt of a lifetime!!!