SOUTH AFRICA: Hunt With Pawprint Safaris August 2017

RBurg44

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Ill start off with im not much of a typer or writer but ill give my run down of an outstanding hunt my neighbor and I had with the pawprints team this august.

We flew out of Dullas in DC actually went relatively smooth checking guns through and whatnot so that was a relief. Ate a quick burger and grabbed one for the plane ride over, 17/18hrs figured the plane food wasnt gonna be enough or great turns out i was right. anyways we booked a "direct" flight which turns out means you will refuel in either dakar on way there or accra on way home. false advertising but im sure it was in the small fine print of south african airways. plane was nice we had front row seats in economy class so extra leg room was great. was able to sleep 2/3hrs but yes its a long haul and sucked anyways you look at it.

arrive at joberg and was meet by riflepermits team at gate. which was very nice as we had no clue where we were headed once landed. vip is well worth it imo. got our bags meet with ph Jonathan from pieters team at pawprints turned out hed be my ph for the trip as well. grabs guns and off to the land cruiser for about 1.5-2hr ride to the lodge. easy ride crazy thing us americans found was the wildfires everywhere and no one really cares.

get to lodge grab a beer or two waiting for dinner talked and made plans for next day. sleep in till 830 i believe and then shoot make sure guns where in (they were) and off to hunt a near by place.

i wont be telling garys trip i believe he'll be posting one himself


meet joe my tracker/skinner and driver at times great and excellent at his job! and team "red beard" as Jonathan and i were dubbed were off. got out and started driving around and boom just like that a jackal runs out and Jonathan shoot! hit him on run at 65ish yards handgun finished him off when we got to him. first animal down for the trip.


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after a few pics we attempted some spot and stalks on zebra and were busted twice decided to comeback after lunch and see what we could do. we comeback and we are on the herd again but just know we are after them as soon as they hear/see us the take off! finally we come around a corner and they are about 75ish yards out and i have a very tight window to put a bullet first two take off no shot presented as i hold on the only hole to send a bullet there way jonathan says hes good take if you can and i fire. the zebra drops in her tracks and animals number two is down.

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day 2

up a little earlier as we are off for the "beast slam" i told jonathan the night before im like we doing the beast slam and he was like hell yea lets do it so plans for today was blue wildebeest red heartbeast and kudu. the farm we head to turns out to be my favorite of all i went to as i didnt even see half of what pieter has rights too. anyways pull in meet ranch manager as he drives with and neighbor drove truck with jonathan and joe in back of cruiser with me. pull in and within 5 mins start seeing blues pass on the first three herds and then forth jonathan sees a few bulls that he likes after a min or so he says take the 3rd one from back and fire when ready hes at a steady walk never stops and i tell him i can shoot him walking i got him and he says ok take it i pull the trigger at 135 yards and he does the classic dirt nap face dive after 30-35yrds dead when we get to him. not as wide as some but he has great drop curls which is rare and good bosses very happy!

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we go to load him and i have the gun setting in back of truck on seat and it falls off onto the floor of truck no good. we talked it over and said it was best to go sight it in before we go back out hunting. as we are driving to the range on the ranch we come across a nice red heartbeest and look at him for a min or two and still decide its best to go double check. good thing we do as its now shooting 10 inches high and left\right is still dead on take bout 6-8 shots and got it back right and off we go to look for kudu and red heartbeest. spot a good mature kudu bull jonathan says its prob 48/50" but being day 2 i pass as im looking for 50+. nothing shows though we do stare down a red for a good 5 mins and decide we can do better... back to same farm after lunch, we drive around mountain tops and down in savanna looking for kudu and reds getting late we decide to head around one last time on way to gate we spot a heard of reds and find a good one in the mix he runs around a bit and stops at 200 yrds and jonathan says hes good and asks are you good from here? i ask how far? he says 200 without hesitation i say helllll yea and put cross hairs on him fire and he runs 45ish hards does the death circle and drops forgot to zoom scope in it was still at 6 power. but another fine old mature animal in the salt. beers and and high fives at sunset to enjoy todays success.

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day 3

today we driving bout an hour to another concession after the black wildebeast and let me tell you these were by far are toughest hunt! crazy thing they are, after them all morning gemsbok busted us after a great stalk at 180 yards but then after that we were after them all morning never could get the right one in place to get the shot off before the herd took off again. after lunch we came up with another plan and back at them we did some "duck waddling" for bout 150 yrds and army crawled on our bellies for 100 yrds and got on them and they never knew we were there. finally had a good one separate from the herd a bit and fired a shot at almost 300 yards. heard the smack of the bullet hit but he didnt go down just stayed with herd that had no idea where the shot came from. joe and jonathan had the binos all on herd and found him me and jonathan had great communication no just now but through every hunt, told me where too look and found him saw blood coming down leg through scope hit was a lil low fired another shot hit leg this time, now on run both the black and us we stop real quick and jonathan saws let it fly and i do just that missed that shot he says focus he looks back at us and i fire again and down he goes 150 yrds from the first shot. and i got my beast slam!

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we drove around for a bit looking for a monster impala we saw earlier in day and we see him at 75yrds brush is covering is lower area so i decide to aim a little high on shoulder and totally forget that im 2" high at 100 and shot right over his back.

day 4

getting up early and staying out all day we drive bout 2-2.5 hrs to go after the big boy. pieter jonathan and i talk about shot placement and if need be if i was okay with jonathan taking a follow up shot if he doesnt drop after first shot. (which yes that was fine) so after the drive we meet up with johann another ph that is more familiar with this HUGE concession. giraffe hide quite well when your hunting for them, otherwise they everywhere it seems. but bout 2 hrs in we spot the bull and we get closer he ducks into the thick brush. drive past and turn around knowing hed prob head back to his cows. gave it a few mins and he did just that, while trying to figure out where he went jonathan went over another option a lower shot in neck where it meets body bc we couldnt get the high neck meets head shot earlier. it was great bc we had a cow giraffe in rd looking back at use with a nice crease right where he wanted me to take if i needed to on bull. anyways drive 50 more yrds and there he was we try for an angle there and nothing move up and we have a clear shot. well not a high shot but tell jonathan i have the low shot if he wants me to take it he says if im good hes good and i pull the trigger. he drops straight down! follow up with neck shot and hes down for the count! one of the darkest colored giraffes ive ever seen and what a rush to take one down! not to mention the hours upon hours it took two skinners to get it ready 12+ was my last count.

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while getting giraffe out we spot a baboon and i use jonathans shoulder as a rest at bout 100 yrds he just falls flat on his face dead as a door nail. land owner was quite happy about that kill as he watch from the loader they use to get giraffe out.

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finished day off driving around mountain top looking for kudu passed up on another 50ish one there still holding out for the 50+ for sure animal.

day 5

slept in just a touch but not much plan is too look for kudu. as we are driving around see a few cows no bulls but on neighbors property we spot a decent gemsbok so while im taken a nap back at lodge after lunch jonathan has gotten in touch with the property owner and gotten permission to hunt the one we saw. so out we go and we are spot and stalk only on this place. we walk and walk and get bust 4/5 times and we gave up for the night headed back to the truck we are about 25 yrds from truck and i start making noise to get jonathan and joes attention as hes popped out right there in front of us at 80yrds he fumbles getting sticks out and high enough (apparently i like mine higher then most) i say its fine i got this just set it i fire and boom he takes off bout 40 yrds and folds up and down for the nap! what an exciting way to end this day!

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day 6

Kudu day! drive around back on same place as i got the blue and the red. we drive in and within 15 mins we are 60 yrds from a very mature kudu bull. i have cross hairs on him and tell jonathan im ready just let me know. he looks and looks and says its just not quite what your looking for and we pass hoping i didnt make a mistake as this is my #1 dream animal. anyways we drive to around and eagle eye joe spots something waaaay up on mountain side and after explaining where he was we both find him and start looking and looking then looking more mind he hes 600+ yards up there thats just me guessing. i get down off truck take a piss and grab camera bc i know we going after this thing before jonathan tells me we are and boy was i right. after id say an hour getting up this mountain we are approx where he was we get a phone call from our driver saying it went off to the left we send joe to track and he says they went up and over the mountain what a bummer!! anyways this what came mind when we got up there:


we get back down and decide to come back after lunch as he may come back over to drink from a watering hole. we get back around 3pm and start looking out drive past the spot twice where we thought he come out and nothing. its getting later and later we drive down again and boom theres a good bull in road. he freezes and we looking at him and waiting for him to turn his head so we can be 100% sure its who we want. well all of a sudden the truck alarm starts going nuts joe jumps off back and turns it off all mean while im still holding cross hairs on him, but he turned his head and jonathan just says take him ever so calmly and i fire it off... was guessing he was at 200 yards turns out he was about 250 as the shot was a touch low. he went up mountain side bout 30 yrds and then came right back down fire a shot through thick brush missed. tracked him farther deeper into brush have clear shot high and back he says take it so i do he rears up and kick its a hit track him a lil more and put one more in wheel house and hes down for count. joe and jonathan both guessing hes 53 or 54" so we got what i was looking for! either way i am happy as they come! well what an ordeal getting him out 250yrds down this mountain and in some really thick brush they make a new road driving over a couple trees and putting a huge dent on the side of the truck! 8 guys later its loaded on truck back to lodge we go!

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day 7

slept in no real plans eat breakfast and peiter says he want to take me to skinning shed to show me somthing. so we get down there and he pulls out the kudu horns and a tape measure the true measurement come in at 56" on left side and 59 3/8" on right side what a monster! so glad i had passed on the others earlier in trip! rest of day its just whatever africa puts in front of me that i may want no meat today!

prefect one for after this morning:


day 8

plan was to sleep in and sit at a waterhole where some warthogs were using. welllll i drank a lil much and was hungover so we just took it easy and didnt do much drove around in afternoon and stalked a good duiker just couldnt get on him

day 9

went off after impala and springbok. the impala had turned into my white whale missed a few this day. several stalks no good rams or none at all. but where connected on a good springbok in morning. were looking over a herd and thought we were talking about same one and as we were talked he was like no wait i said ok and he tells me his heads down and i look again and when he pops up im like "ooooooh that one" we both got a good laugh out of that later as he was def much bigger then the one i was on drop him in tracks at 60 yards frontal shot.

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afternoon back out for impala after another miss. i finally found one on way out and put him in dirt this time! 200yrds dropped 15yrds later

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day 10

quick bird hunt slept in and did a bunch of pictures of one of the concessions easy day!


little quick thing that popped in mind as we got on back of cruiser everyday:



im sure i missed plenty but all i can say is you cant go wrong with these guys!! overall i had and excellent time and pieter and his crew went above and beyond from kobus behind bar to claudius the chef everything excellent i will be back in 2019 to do it all over again! anyone is welcome to pm and talk about hunt as it is something ill never forget! want to thank jonathan for putting up with me and we made a great team thanks again!
 
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cpr0312

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Congrats and thanks for sharing!! Some nice trophies, including a great kudu!
 

CAustin

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Man it looks to me like you had a great hunt. That kudu is a beast and your right the giraffe is a great dark trophy.
Ok time for you to plan the next safari.
 

Ridgewalker

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What a great hunt! You took some excellent game! Great kudu! I really like that dark dark giraffe! But being a long time varmint hunter, the jackal was awesome and probably my favorite!
So, when are you going back;)?
 

peras

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Ryan, thank you for posting, it was huge fun having you! I am looking forward to 2019!
 

billc

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Ryan I am glad the whole trip went well. It was a lot of fun planning this trip with you and gary.

2019 will be here in no time.LOL this wait maybe harder now since you now know what Africa is like though. Good thing is you now know it is worth the wait. Your taxidermist is going to love you.
 

RBurg44

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since i cant figure out how to edit my original post this quote goes with kudu day after making our own trail through woods:


then on way home from kudu day this came on radio and jonathan and i called it the theme of the hunt

 

cagkt3

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Congrats! Very nice kudu and giraffe
 

Nyati

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Congrats, that was a great hunt with very good trophies !
 

lwaters

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Congrats on the nice trophies you toke.
 

Gemsbok Gangsta

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What a trip!! I like the Jacksl cool way to kick it off. Congrats.
 

gillettehunter

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Looks like you had a great trip. Congrats on some nice animals. Bruce
 

Lee M

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Ryan, Sounds like you got everything you were looking for plus a few. Lol. Glad it turned out well --> congrats! That is a smokin' Kudu. I think the deep curl accounted for the crazy high measurement. Looking forward to Gary's write up as well. I thing he may have wacked a few with the bow.
 

rinehart0050

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Congrats on your hunt- great looking giraffe.

Thanks for sharing
 

RBurg44

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Picked up two skulls this weekend kudu and possibly giraffe will be next! Need to put a move on the addition! Replacing hvac system on old house wasnt part of my plans or budget haha!

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CAustin

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Ridgewalker

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The wife told me I need to put an addition on with her a highly windowed studio and a lower level man cave. Sounds nice, but I’d rather spend the money on hunts:whistle:. JMO and I only have so many healthy years left to hunt. I can’t afford to skip any. The next one could be my last one.
 

kevin masters

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awesome kudu, and looks like you pretty much racked up!
Congrats!!!(y)
 

RBurg44

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Yup thee addition is for my african game/master suite. Got the drywall up and primed now just need final pointup and then ill start to tile away on the bathroom! I already tryin to plan my “wish/hit list” for my return trio with pawprints the only to they constantly come up is buff and sable! Cant bet the deal they have running right now for them two! Plenty more will be added though!
 

Ridgewalker

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Can’t wait to see pictures of your new trophy room!
 

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