SOUTH AFRICA: Hunt With Tootabi Valley Safaris 2017

Discussion in 'Hunting Reports Africa' started by Hank2211, Aug 1, 2017.

  1. cpr0312

    cpr0312 AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Thats some serious shootin there!
     

  2. ActionBob

    ActionBob AH ENABLER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Wow, awesome Hank!
     

  3. gillettehunter

    gillettehunter AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    Holy cow. When you said you were doing a cull hunt you were not kidding! Gotta laugh about your buddy taking some trophies. Looks like a heck of a trip. Congrats Bruce
     

  4. rinehart0050

    rinehart0050 GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Nice work Hank! Well done.

    Very cool seeing the mountaintops cloaked in rain clouds. I'm strongly considering doing a mix of cull and trophy hunting on our next trip- seems like a great way to get a good bang for the buck! both literally and figuratively.
     

  5. Hank2211

    Hank2211 AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    I always like a good pun!
     

  6. Red Leg

    Red Leg AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    Enjoying the ride along Hank. Thanks for sharing. Really nice shooting.
     

  7. Hank2211

    Hank2211 AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Day 9

    The next morning we had to leave Niel’s place. It was tough to go – the house, the food, the game and most of all Niel himself, combined to make this a truly special place. Grant said we should come back and do this every year. I would love to do that – if I didn’t have to organize the people!

    Once on the road, we stopped to visit a taxidermy studio in East Somerset – African Wildlife Artistry. I haven’t had a lot of luck with taxidermy done in Africa, but I had met Rudolph, the owner, at Niel’s one evening, and he seemed to both know his work and to take it seriously. He was trained in Helena, MT. While that's not too far from me, that wasn't what sold me - it was that anyone who would tolerate a winter in Helena, must really care! Grant and I decided to leave our taxidermy to be done there (all I had were two zebra skins (so far), but Grant had quite a few animals).

    After that, it was a short trip to Bean’s place at Tootabi. Beans has restored an old farmhouse and an impressive job he has made of it. The house is very comfortable and well situated. There seems to be ample game in the immediate vicinity, and like much of the Eastern Cape, you don’t have far to travel to find whatever you might wish to hunt. The shower is great (that matters a lot to me!), there is plenty of good food, the company is top notch and the beer is cold. I was set.

    DSC01537.jpg
    Beans, John and Vuvu (apparently from Vuvuzela, I asked!) looking over the property

    DSC01540.jpg
    "Camp"!


    John and I spent the afternoon in search of bushbuck, and while we saw a number, none appeared old enough to take. Grant had the same issue with kudu – he saw a number, but all were a bit young.

    This was the end of the hunt for Grant. He was leaving early the next morning, while I had one more day. I used that day to look for bushbuck at a nearby property. We saw plenty of bushbuck, and I even had a shot at one mid-day, but missed. It was late afternoon, with about 10 minutes of shooting light left, that I finally found an old bushbuck and brought him down. Fortunately, I made a decent shot. Another gun bag!

    IMG_1093.jpg
    Glassing for bushbuck

    On returning to Tootabi for dinner, Beans said he had an idea. Apparently he had two bushpigs that had been visiting his gut pile every night. He had a light there, he said, and if I was interested, we could go and see if they were there after dinner. If not, we wouldn’t stay, but if they were there, we would try to get them both. I thought about it for a nanosecond and said yup, I’m up for that.

    So after dinner, I was armed with a double barreled shotgun loaded with buckshot, and off we went. After we got out of the truck, and began walking, it occurred to me I might have told Beans that I had poor night vision. As it was, I stayed very close to Beans, with John to my right, and we walked slowly on a road for some distance. At one point we turned off, and I could tell we were walking uphill, but I could see almost nothing. We then stopped, and we were (sort of) looking down on an area that was very dimly lit. Beans whispered ‘shoot’, but I wasn’t sure what I was shooting at. The white thing? Yes. So I shot and two bushpigs started to race, one coming towards us. I shot that one again, and it turned and ran away. John shot the other with his 25-06 and it fell dead about 40 yards away. We never did find the male which I shot at (though we looked the next morning), and I can only assume that I missed it. In my defense, they were closer than I expected, and the pattern on buckshot is not wide at that distance. Anyway, that’s my story. But it was great fun anyway!

    My hunt was now over, and I spent some time the following morning driving around Bean’s ranch (after we looked for the pig), and then getting ready for my own flight home. A quick trip to Port Elizabeth, and I was on my way.

    This had been a much different hunt from any I had previously been on. I’ve always had at least one major trophy in every hunt, but in this case, I was happy to be along for the ride, and to experience the hunt from the perspective of a first-timer. And I always love hunting the Karoo, particularly in the mountains. The land is both stark and beautiful, and to have experienced driven shooting in such an area was great fun. I would return for the culling and driven shooting without a doubt.

    My PH John Tinley is an exceptional hunter, and, working in collaboration with Beans, did an excellent job of organizing (and re-organizing as our numbers changed) this hunt. It is difficult to get groups to commit to a hunt. I’ve suggested to Beans that he organize a couple of dates – three-day periods – when he can offer driven shooting, and those who may be in Africa for a trophy hunt elsewhere could come along at the end (or beginning, or middle!) of their hunt. I think 4-5 guns would be ideal for this sort of thing. Perhaps an AH hunt!

    Of course all good things must end, but this had been a great hunt. As someone said (more or less, I think), there is a simple pleasure in carrying a gun in good country in the company of friends. Thanks to Beans and Tinley. They made it happen.
     
    Beans, LivingTheDream, cagkt3 and 2 others like this.

  8. Redruff

    Redruff AH Enthusiast

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    Great report as always. Thanks Hank!

    R.
     

  9. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN AH ENABLER SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR LIFETIME TITANIUM BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Thanks for sharing the tale.
     

  10. Buckdog

    Buckdog AH Enthusiast

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    congratulations,
    super shootfest! Beans is a great guy. I stayed at his place last year and we did some hunting with him. He helped me get a super trophy steinbuck and big bushbuck and I love the lions:)
     
    ActionBob and Royal27 like this.

  11. Hank2211

    Hank2211 AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Thanks all. I may have a few observations on the hunt in a bit. For the time being, here is a picture I forgot to include. Ain't she cute?

    DSC01531.jpg
     

  12. Riksa

    Riksa AH Veteran

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    Thanks for the report Hank! You need to hunt more often so that we can enjoy these great stories. If I may wish, please make sure there is a bird included on your next hunt target list.
     

  13. gillettehunter

    gillettehunter AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    Always enjoy your reports. Good pics too. Sounds like a great time with a lot of shooting. Congrats. Bruce
     

  14. cagkt3

    cagkt3 AH ENABLER PLATINUM SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Fantastic! I think we all need to convince @Hank2211 to write his collection of hunting reports into a book!
     
    ActionBob likes this.

  15. Nyati

    Nyati AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Congrats Hank, seems like you really had a great time.

    And thanks for sharing !
     

  16. LivingTheDream

    LivingTheDream AH Legend

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    Thanks for the report! As many have said I really enjoy reading them!
     

  17. enysse

    enysse AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Thanks for the hunt report!
     

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