SOUTH AFRICA: Hunt With Paw Print Safaris April/May 2016

cpr0312

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Ok here goes.....

This was my second hunting trip to SA, the first being in 2011, so this was long anticipated. I had spoke/emailed with Pieter in early 2015 to discuss some options, then later reignited the conversation in the summer of 2015. We agreed on a plains game hunt package, and I was just in a hold pattern until April 27, 2016. As time went on, I became more interested in something bigger, may dangerous game. Long story short, we also decided to add a buffalo onto the package. Now the anticipation would really build over the next few months.

Fast forward to April 27.... Atlanta, GA at the gate waiting for boarding
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I had spoken with many AH members regarding Pieter and Paw Print, one of them being CAustin. What do I see about 15 prior to boarding... CAustin!!! He was traveling through Atlanta and knew I was flying that day, so he came to wish me well. Unfortunately, neither one of us took a pic of the both of us to celebrate the occasion, oh well Thanks Charlie for taking your time to come meet me! Charlie did take a pic of me on the phone however
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Now onto the flight... I am one who cant sleep on planes, so these flights are always grueling. A few hours off the African coast however, I was bale to get this pic of the sun coming up
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Ok, now arrive at Joburg, Pieter waiting on me, all goes smooth with SAPS, now onto Flintbeck.
Great family and great lodge, very nice and accommodating people. Heidi, Callie, Thomas, Heidi(Thomas' wife) and Martin were all very nice and welcoming. Nice accommodations and great food
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Now onto the hunting... We started off after the buffalo and the hunt was in the Kalahari region of the NW province, so we had an early breakfast and drove 5 hours the first morning. Once we got to the lodge, nice lunch then off to track buff! The excitement had been building for months, now finally it was time to go into the bush after cape buffalo!!!
We got on some tracks mid afternoon and did some trekking, lots of thorn and scrub brush. After a few days of this, needless to say we all had lots of scratches on the arms and face to prove we have been in their territory! We spotted the buff late afternoon, jumped off the truck, had a good wind, and got within 30 yards. 2 or 3 good bulls in the herd, on the sticks....... Busted. Oh well, hey at least it didn't end right after we started! Great afternoon, lots of other game also. Back to the lodge, nice dinner, a few Windhoek's, early night.
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Next day, early start, lots of game, lots of buff track, lots of stalks on buff. Long hot day in the Kalahari. We had another herd we got on, a few opportunities through the day. A one less branch here, or 3 more seconds there and we would have had a buff! Oh well, enjoyable times!!
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One of the many amazing sunsets of the trip
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The next day was a repeat of the previous day, lots of tracks, stalks, and almost shots. More game and amazing beauty.

Day 4,
Early breakfast, more track, tracking, stalks, etc.
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Mid afternoon we find a herd resting in the shade. Wind is pretty good, devise a plan, ease up to them and lets see what happens. The anticipation was building and it was almost surreal thinking this was perhaps the best opportunity we have had to make it happen. So we get to them, some of them look, some don't, a few get edgy like its time to run.. Pieter throws up the sticks, there is an clearing that I am looking at with a few buff, they all clear except one, like its meant to be. He stands there looking at us, and even though it was only a few seconds, I will never forget the look the buff had and the picture I saw. So all clear, I see the buff before I put the gun on the sticks and get him in the scope, my untrained eyes know its a good one. I ask if its ok to shoot, yes. I ask if I shoot for the chest, Pieter says shoulder, I shoot. Since they have been on edge, I didn't want to waste time, so I got him in the scope, got my target and shot! BOOM... Buff drops down like its a center point hit to the heart/lungs, lunges away and I don't have time to put another in him. After the shot, we listen and then start to discuss, how did it feel? It felt good. Then more discussion about where I hit him and how he was standing. In my mind he was standing full quartering almost straight on, some of the other guys said no, he was only slightly quartering almost broadside... Uh oh.... Well off to track. Tracked for 3 hours until sunset, found blood, some spotty, and a few spots were there was a lot. Bad news is no sign of lung blood, looks like mostly just flesh wound/muscle type stuff. OH NO, deflated, disheartened, now we have to wait until morning. After further discussion, it looks like in my mind I shot where I thought he was standing when in reality he was standing more broadside, long story short, I got "buck fever" or in this case I'll call it "buff fever" and in a split second of wanting to get him before he ran, made a major misjudgment.

On to the track after a sleepless night. We get on the herd early morning, after a few stalks and buff running, we catch up. Luckily the bull gave us an opportunity slightly away from the herd, get another in him in the shoulder, he starts to run get another in him the middle somewhere. He is pumped full of adrenaline and lead at this point. He is slowing though, catch up again. Another in the high shoulder, he runs again, one more in the backside. I think we was dead and didn't know it yet. Lots of dust and crashing trees, finally it settles and no more noise, the herd has gone. We make it to him and..... elation! I cant believe I have come back to Africa to be fortunate enough to hunt again, and to top it off, I have got to go after Black Death!!!!!!! And he is here in front of us, I cant believe it right now. He is more than I ever could have hoped for!!!! I am truly blessed and thankful beyond words. I'm not even sure if I was coherent at this point. The next few moments were a blur..

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The next 5 1/2 days would be going after plainsgame and golfing. On the way back to Flintbeck, we stopped in a few small town and I got a taste of some of the local culture. As I have seen on the site before, many of you have spoken of Simba Chips, so I had to try some, I must say the best flavor I tried was the first kind I tried
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Back to Flintbeck, more great meals and amazing days.
A real good day was a Nyala in the morning and a waterbuck in the afternoon!!
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Pieter had delivered in spades, tons of game, beauty, hospitality, and quality game!!

Final few days I was able to get a blesbok and a zebra, as well as go golfing with Jonathan to Magalies Park, very beautiful course with lots of nice mountain views. Blesbok, bushbuck, monkeys, and wildebesst all on the course!!!!
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This was an amazing trip, tons of game, beauty, and great people.

Thank you Pieter and Paw print Safaris for taking me on this journey! I would highly recommend Paw Print Safaris for your hunting destination in South Africa. Would I do it again... you bet. Am I already daydreaming of next time.. Absolutely.

Pieter runs a great operation, you will not go wrong!!!

Goodbye Africa... for now!!

Thank you Lord for allowing me to travel safely to Africa, to meet so many new and wonderful people, and to experience your beauty you have created!

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BRICKBURN

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Gorgeous picture.... About says it all. Congratulations on a successful trip.
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gillettehunter

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Good report. Sounds like a great safari. Looks like a good buffalo and you definitely worked for him. Glad you got him in the end. Congrats. Bruce
 

Aaron N

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Congrats once again on a successful trip!
 

cpr0312

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Thanks Guys!
 

cpr0312

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Yeah @BRICKBURN ,

Perhaps the best sunset I have ever witnessed!
 

billc

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Reedy I an glad the buff worked out in the end. I just dont know how you got all worked up when getting ready to shot the buff. LOL buff fever is a little bit stronger then buck fever I bet. One day I hope to find and see what buff fever feels like.

Plus now you can plan to go back get that bushbuck. Maybe even find one of those big blue wildebeest ,red hartebeest or eland bulls you saw when out hunting. It is amazing how they show themselves when they know there safe.


Thanks for hunting with pieter and paw print.
 

Royal27

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Glad you had a great trip!

And yeah, those sunsets are amazing.
 

cpr0312

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Another pic I meant to add, a buff track next to my track (size 12) Big tracks these things leave behind!
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dory

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Its been torrential rain and 50 knot winds here on Stewart Island for the last week .
I clicked on to AH this morning and had to read this !
You have defiantly stuffed my day ( and my poor suffering wife )
All she will here about is Africa for the rest of the day .HA!!!
Dream trip with great people Reedy !!
Wonderful photos .
Am I jealous ??? you bet !!
Cheers Dory .
 

BWH

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Great report.... Sorry I missed it earlier. A sleepless, sick night on a wounded animal..... Been there.... SUCKS!!!! Can't think of much else worse. Congrats on a kick ass hunt/trip/bull.... Damn dude.... A 40"er!!!!!
 

sheephunterab

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Simba chips are the best. Looks like a great hunt.
 

Lee M

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Reedy. We'll done! The animals you work hard for like your Buff are the ones you remember the most.

I can't wait to get there in late July. I'm adding simba chips to my wish list. I can handle that extra trophy fee!
 

RogerHeintzman

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reedy,
Congrats on a successful hunt. Memories that will always stay with you.
 

rinehart0050

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@reedy0312 Thanks for sharing this report. Congratulations on an outstanding buffalo! Sounds like you had a great time... I'll have to try these simba chips everyone keeps talking about....
 

huntermn15

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Reedy,

Congrats on a successful hunt and a great buffalo! Thank you for the report and photos.

Mike
 

cpr0312

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Thanks Gentlemen, its certainly a hunt I will always remember! Amazing times and memories made!
 

AB2506

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Simba chips are the best. Looks like a great hunt.
Not sure if I tried the Simba chips (definitely didn't try Monkey Gland!), but I have developed a soft spot for Tempo bars and then Twizza has a broad range of soda flavours that are quite tasty.
 

Nyati

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Congrats for a great hunt, nice buff !
 

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