SOUTH AFRICA: Hunting Makuya With Motsomi

Discussion in 'Hunting Reports Africa' started by Neil Molendyk, Aug 12, 2018.

  1. Neil Molendyk

    Neil Molendyk AH Senior Member

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    This past June of 2018, I managed to complete my return trip to Africa, this time with Motsomi Safari, Pieter and Ria Potgieter of Limpopo Province, RSA. Pieter had made arrangements to hunt the Makuya tribal land adjacent to the Kruger National Park for Cape Buffalo. Our hunt took place just ten days or so after the unfortunate events that took the life of Claude Kleyhans, so understandably there was a somber mood at the lodge, but Claude's son Alec had picked up the torch and was completing the hunts that his father had booked previously. Good on him for carrying on in a difficult situation. Pieter Potgieter was unable to provide his services as PH on our hunt, something we had discussed prior to our hunt but he said that he would have his top PH, Marco Schoonwinkle , fill the PH role for us along with his tracker Issac. Pieter felt that Marco would be able to accommodate our needs. He could not have been any more right. Over the next 12 days we became a team, Marco, Issac, my son Kevin and myself. Marco had asked me what type of buffalo I hoped to harvest, and I had an old mature hard bossed past his breeding prime gentleman in mind. Keep in mind that we were hunting behind the red fence, these were wild buffalo and we had no idea of what quality we would run across. Well day one provided no contact with the buffalo but we were soon made aware of the poaching problem in the area as we came across two sites were it was apparent that poachers were successful in the past. We also encountered plains game on our travels but they were not on our menu in this area. Day two proved to be another adventure, contact made on three occasions with two separate buffalo groups, busted by the wind on all three occasions, circumnavigating around a lone elephant on one occasion. When we started day two we were informed that the poaching operation had stolen another buffalo the previous night. The animals we encountered on day two appeared very skittish, but that was probably their general nature. I retired to camp pretty much exhausted that evening after doing all the walking, stalking and crawling involved during the hunt. Mostly we saw black legs, from the knees down through the mopani and acasica bush. Only once did we get a reasonably good look at a bull, but he was laying down and quartering away from us, until the herd spooked and disappeared in the bush. Day three started long before sunrise as we were travelling a good hours drive away to reenter the hunting area at the south end. Shortly after entering the hunting area we came across a small herd and the hunt was on. After driving a mile past them as not to provide them with suspicion, we dismounted and worked our way back to where we spotted them, all the time keeping the fickle african breeze in our faces. maybe thirty minutes later we made contact , stalking and spotting the herd while scouting for an old bull. Marco felt confident that there was an old dugga boy in there. Marco had caught glimpses of one that I may be looking for but he always seemed to have another animal between us and himself. A commendable bull was observed but he was still a bit soft in the boss and probably the herd breeder so he was ruled out as he had other jobs to do. After what seemed like an eternity the herd spread out off to our side to both the left and right of us, but only twenty five yards away. And then as happened in the past, the group to our left caught and bit of our scent when the wind briefly shifted and bolted. The group to our right hesitated briefly then followed the others in their haste. I immediately thought this was over again but Marco grabbed his shooting sticks and urged me to follow him quickly, which I did to the best of my abilities. A hundred yards later I caught up to Marco and got set up on the sticks, all the while Marco was whispering to me " they went down the ravine in front of us and are coming up the other side. when the bull comes up the other side and if he is a good old dugga boy I will give him a grunt call to stop him. You shoot him". Just like we had hoped for it evolved. The old bull presented himself broadside, slightly quartering away, left to right slightly uphill seventy yards away. Marco made the grunt call, the bull stopped on cue, turned to look at us with that bill collectors look. A moment later the Swift A frame 400gr 416 bullet slammed into his chest just behind his left shoulder. He disappeared into the mopani bush with the stiff legged hop seen in so many videos I had watched earlier, with no opportunity for a followup shot. Third minutes later we advance to where we had last seen him and about eighty yards further on we found him laying down. He desperately tried to get up upon our approach but several 400gr Swift solids paid as insurance convinced him otherwise. I got my old dugga boy. Marco estimated him to be 1800-1900 pounds and fourteen years old, heavy solid boss and oozing character. All the books I read, all the videos I watched, nothing came close to the actual experience, all the expectations, frustrations, disappointments and finally elation can't be described by someone else. This has to be experienced firsthand. This was my dream hunt and I got to share it with my youngest son.

    I want to thank Jerome of Africahunting.com for his wonderful website and the contributors that provide guidance for this hunt by providing opinions and thoughts and discussions that all went into my planning of this adventure. And Marco Schoonwinkle of Motsomi as well.



    IMG_7350.jpg
     
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  2. stug

    stug AH Fanatic

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    Congrats on a great looking old bull!
     

  3. Izak1979

    Izak1979 New Member

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    Awesome animal. Congrats Neil
     

  4. BenKK

    BenKK AH Fanatic

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    Awesome animal! Congratulations!
     

  5. Nyati

    Nyati AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Congrats, great bull !
     

  6. cpr0312

    cpr0312 AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Congrats on your buff!
     

  7. Adrian

    Adrian AH Fanatic

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    Congratulations on a successful hunt and for taking the perfect Buffalo.
     

  8. gillettehunter

    gillettehunter AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    Very nice buff and you had to work a bit for him. Good old bull. Just what you want. Any plains game after that to tell us about?
    Congrats
    Bruce
     

  9. Graham Hunter

    Graham Hunter AH Fanatic

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    I hunted Buffalo with Motsomi last year and took the one in my avatar. Marco is an awesome PH
    Returning next year with 2 friends .
     

  10. AZDAVE

    AZDAVE AH Elite

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    If you were hunting in the first part of June? My wife and I were hunting and had a small group of friends along to experience Africa on a photo trip with Motsomi and RIA took great care of them while my wife and I hunted. Marco was leaving the main lodge to go pickup a gentleman on a Buff hunt a few days before we finished our safari. My guess is that it was you?

    Nice old buff with a tone of chartacer!!! CONGRATZ!!!

    Pieter and Ria run a first class operation.
     
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  11. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN AH ENABLER SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR LIFETIME TITANIUM BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Dandy Bull. Congratulations.
     

  12. Wheels

    Wheels AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    You don't see many buff that old these days. Tons of character in those worn down horns. Congratulations and thanks for the post.
     

  13. Neil Molendyk

    Neil Molendyk AH Senior Member

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    Plains game followed at Limpopo View and Motsomi's Sable Lodge. Also very successful. Will post a story line and pics in a few days. Thanks for the "Likes" from everyone.
     
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  14. Neil Molendyk

    Neil Molendyk AH Senior Member

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    Most likely, we had a great time. Marco became like a nephew to me, lots of laughs. would do it again in a heartbeat but i don't think that's in the cards. I got too old before I discovered Africa but no regrets once I did
     

  15. huntermn15

    huntermn15 AH Fanatic

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    Congratulations on a great hunt and a solid buffalo! I'm looking forward to the plains game report. Thank you for posting.
     

  16. cls

    cls AH Elite

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    Congrats on the great Buffalo and thanks for the report. Nothing like hunting them on their terms.
     

  17. Neil Molendyk

    Neil Molendyk AH Senior Member

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    And now for the rest of the story. After having a great Cape Buffalo hunt in Makuya with Marco Schoonwinkle we spent a day washing hooks in the Luluvu river in the hope that a suicidal tiger fish may impale itself on one of them,, but to no avail.

    Luluvu river.jpg

    We departed Makuya and proceeded to Sable Lodge, one of the hunting areas that Motsomi has, to hunt the plains game that my son Kevin had made prior arrangements for. Kevin's wish list consisted of Gemsbok, Impala, Kudu and Zebra and basically it became a hunt of whichever presented the opportunity for a good trophy first. I had taken my old duggaboy and didn't really have any other game on my wish list. The trip from Makuya to the lodge took about two hours if I remember correctly, adding some time to pick up groceries and billtong at Mesina on our way. I cant get over the price of fresh fruit and vegetables compared to the cost of the same items in western Canada, they are dirt cheap in South Africa and so fresh. We arrive at the lodge at midday and after unloading our gear Marco and Issac take us on a tour of the property for a scouting trip. We come across some giraffe, royal sable, impala, zebra and gemsbok but don't engage in any tracking or hunting as Marco felt it would be better to start early the next morning with fresh tracks to intercept. That evening Kevin and I were introduced to the culinary delights that Grace, the cook (chef) that accompanies Marco would create, and we would enjoy for the remainder of our time with Motsomi. Not to mention the comforts and remoteness of Sable Lodge. The next morning, after a hearty breakfast of eggs and bacon, and as we would find out, fresh home made muffins daily, we left the lodge to see what we could see, just as first light was breaking the eastern sky. The terrain at Sable Lodge is relatively flat with a few gently rising slopes and it is crisscrossed with truck trails so essentially hunting is spot and stalk and relying on the tracking skills of Marco and Issac to identify the species and freshness of the tracks. Soon after our travel starts, Issac discovers the tracks of a group of Gemsbok and we dismount the Landcruiser to follow them. Now this was Kevin's first adventure hunting in Africa and he was shooting a 375 H&H in a lovely Ruger No 1. I had decided to bring two rifles to Africa, my 416 Rigby CZ 550 as my primary rifle and the Ruger as my backup rifle, not because I was expecting any issues with the CZ but because Kevin is a southpaw. Kevin is a well experienced hunter, taking game like whitetail and mule deer, moose and blackbears but maybe it was a little bit of buck fever on his first African animal. A short walk following the gemsbok tracks and they were observed in the brush adjacent to the truck track. A group of half a dozen animals were seen as they reversed their travel direction and were coming into a clearing in front of Kevin and Marco. As the first two passed in front of them, Marco set up his sticks and Kevin positioned himself for the shot should a proper Gemsbok present itself. Animal number three was such an animal and at at 100 meteres or so Kevin fired hitting the gemsbok. A resounding smack of impact was heard. But he was a little too far back and after a brief stumble the gemsbok took off into the brush following its herd mates. Kevin was beginning to discover the robust nature of African plains game. After a short wait to let the gemsbok lie down, Issac and Marco began following its tracks with Kevin at the ready. An hour after they commenced tracking they came upon the gemsbok. Blood loss and fatigue had taken its toll and Kevin dispatched it and congratulations were awarded. It was a fine respectable trophy with horn lengths of 37 and 36 inches. Kevin was thrilled with his first African trophy.

    kevins gemsbok.jpg

    I think it was just after we delivered Kevin's gemsbok to the skinning facilities that Marco asked me if I would be interested in taking a giraffe. I hadn't given a giraffe much thought up to this point but Marco informed me that there was an old cow that was past her breeding age and as conditions were dry at Sable Lodge there was an opportunity to hunt for her. We had spotted her earlier in the day and she had a very distinctive feature, her horns were canted in towards each other, not to mention that she was very dark in coloration. I told Marco that I would give it some consideration. I also mentioned that the royal sable we bumped into earlier that morning while on the track of gemsbok had caught my attention.

    The next day began as usual, an early breakfast provided by Grace and off on the hunt before daybreak. Once again we were after one of Kevin's chosen animals. Our journeys throughout the property proved fruitless except we came upon the giraffe group that contained the cow Marco had offered. She was easily identifiable by her distinct horns and she also had the median horn growth found on older animals. I had convinced myself by now that because it was a particular animal we would be hunting and not just a giraffe, and that I am a commercial cattle rancher in Canada and I also try to recover salvage value from an old beef cow, this was no different, except of course there is no auction mart to sell old cow giraffe like there is for beef. But Marco thought it was too late in the day to pursue hunting her as he said daylight could run out on us if things went sideways and he wanted to be sure enough staff would be available to assist in the skinning and processing. We left the giraffe herd and continued to hunt for one of Kevin's plains game choices.

    About mid afternoon a zebra herd was spotted moving in the brush about 300 to 400 meters in front of us and as the wind was proving favorable Marco and Kevin began a stalk on them. I was following close behind with the camera but as we got closer to the herd I opted to stay back and not blow the stalk by creating any more noise. Kevin and Marco continued on for another 150 meters to where they could barely make out the herd passing through the brush 100 meters in front of them. Once again the 375 spoke and a distinct sound of the bullet smacking its target was heard. I saw Marco and Kevin race toward the zebra and no further shots were heard. By the time I reached them they were standing beside the Zebra stallion. No buck fever this time for Kevin, he placed the 300 gr Barnes TSX straight through the heart and still it had ran 90 meters before collapsing. Kevin was now two for two, with another fine specimen, this time his Zebra. By the time all the events were over it was once again dark.

    kevins zebra.jpg

    We returned to Sable Lodge after dark this evening but once again in spite of our lateness, Grace had horderves ready and another fine supper was presented and enjoyed. And once again we returned too late for sundowners but other refreshments were enjoyed as darkness overtook the lodge, the only other light visible was from the Zimbabwe border post way off in the distance.

    The next day broke without a cloud in the sky. After breakfast we drove through the predawn twilight until 7, but its simply amazing how such a large animal as a giraffe can hide in plain sight. It didn't take Marco too much longer to find their fresh tracks and Marco quickly confirmed that the old girl was in the herd, easily identifiable by her unique horn structure. On previous sightings she appeared nonchalant to our presence, but not so this morning. After stalking her and a couple of "on the stick" attempts that were unsuccessful because of brush in the way or another herd member impeding the shot she finally gave me a clear opportunity broadside and the 416 Rigby spoke again in Africa. Now I had read in the book "The Perfect Shot" that the anatomy of the giraffe is significantly different from other plains game with the heart and lungs so much higher in the chest cavity than the others. I thought I had shot a bit on the high side but she wasn't about to stick around to show the error in my judgement. She was gone, crashing through the trees and brush with the rest of the herd, no sign of any debilitating injury. My heart sank when we picked up the spoor and blood trail and Marco commented that it appeared to be a muscle wound. Follow up tracking appeared to substantiate Marco's assessment but a sporadic blood trail allowed us to track her with the herd. On numerous occasions we could hear the herd ahead of us in the mopani bush but she never gave me another shot. Issac our tracker continued to track the herd while we followed Marco to a clearing where he was hoping that she would go to and provide us with an opportunity to end this fiasco. A few minutes later she appeared into the clearing and at about forty meters I fired a shot into her chest, followed by another and as she raced by she took another round from the 416 and one from Kevin's 375. We all agreed that she appeared to be fatally wounded. Once again we waited the obligatory two smokes of a nervous PH before following her tracks.

    I expected to find her in a heap but when we came upon her she got to her feet, mortally wounded but still quite alive. Marco had set up the sticks again and as I was about to shoot her again Marco said "shoot her in the head" . Follow your PH's advice. I finally dispatched the old gallant girl. Don't let anyone tell you that giraffe are easy to kill, mine certainly wasn't. They are huge and determined beasts. All of this took place in a hectic 45 minutes. It was now 8 am and the real work was about to begin for the trackers and skinners.

    The really good news is that the meat from all the animals we harvested is donated to an orphanage that Pieter and Ria Potgieter of Motsomi supports. The feed stock that is provided to the animals at Motsomi will be better utilized for younger stock. And I definitely got more than I bargained for on an exciting giraffe stalk and hunt.

    giraffe.jpg
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 18, 2018
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  18. gillettehunter

    gillettehunter AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    That giraffe acted more like a buffalo with what it took to put her down for keeps. Congrats.
    Bruce
     

  19. Ironhorse375

    Ironhorse375 AH Veteran

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    Awesome hunt.
    Wonderful old buffalo. Congratulations
     

  20. Neil Molendyk

    Neil Molendyk AH Senior Member

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    Hunting Makuya with Motsomi continued:

    I forgot to mention on my last post that there was still more to the story. As I mentioned earlier, I had discussed with Marco that a Royal Sable might be in the cards if we could come across a good old boy. The day after the Giraffe hunt we planned on hunting for an Impala ram and if we came across the sable we had seen earlier we would possibly pursue it. After leaving the lodge just before daybreak we passed a watering site and there in the first light of day stood the sable. Being an ethical PH, Marco said that let him go into the bush, shooting at the waterhole was not sporting. Some people call the Royal Sable a noble and aristocratic antelope, and they certainly are with the way they can stand there all high and mighty. I think its a bit of arrogance. Anyway, Mr. Sable wandered off into the bushveld as we continued searching for fresh impala tracks to follow. The morning was spent spotting small groups of impala but none of those encountered contained any rams of significance. As noon came we returned o the lodge for lunch and a bit of relaxation. Later, around three in the afternoon we returned to hunting. The impala we bumped into seemed twitchy and never gave any opportunity to stalk a good ram but we came upon a fine Royal Sable in our tracking efforts. Earlier in the day when we found the sable it acted arrogant and aloof, now he was flighty and evasive as we began tracking him. we could hear him moving through the bush ahead of us but a shot never presented itself. It was almost like whitetail deer hunting at home in Alberta, or maybe pheasant hunting without a good dog. He would run ahead of us and then wait, hidden in the brush and as long as we were moving following him, he would hold his position if you didn't encroach on his flight zone. But when we stopped to listen for him or glass the bush for a sighting, he would wait and then suddenly break from his hiding spot at full speed to put a comfortable distance between us. This happened several times and soon the sun was setting and we returned to the lodge with an empty game bag. Maybe tomorrow.

    Up again at 5, another wonderful breakfast and Issac is at the lodge at 6 to start another day of impala and sable hunting. Around 7 we catch our first fleeting glimpses of impala as the scoot away into the bush and after waiting 10 minutes or so we take up the tracks with Marco taking the lead, Kevin right behind him and i follow with the camera. A sort 25 minute walk through the brush proves to be fruitless and we return to the landcruiser to relocate to another area and continue looking for fresh spoor. By eight o'clock we again catch glimpses of another group of impala and this bunch has a few respectable rams Marco feels are worth pursuing. The wind has picked up a bit and as Marco and Kevin leave to track the impala, I choose to remain back at the Landcruiser with Issac to lessen the noise of tracking. There was very little dew on the fallen leaves and the tracking is noisier as the leaves dry out. About thirty five minutes later Marco radios Issac to bring up the Landcruiser to their new location as he and Kevin have chosen to cease the tracking due to the noisy conditions. While we drive to their location Kevin and Marco wait by the side of the dirt track, Kevin notices a Sable exit the brush and stand by the dirt track about 400 meters upwind from their location. So as we drive up to Marco and Kevin, Marco frantically motions for me to grab my rifle and dismount the truck. I still am clueless as to what's happening but as we duck into the brush by the side of the dirt track Marco explains to me the situation. There is a good looking sable 400 meters from us, he is unaware of our presence but he won't stick around if he finds out about us, Marco explains, so lets see if we can sneak up closer to him. The wind is favorable for us and as we scurry through the brush closing the distance Marco frequently peaks out of the brush to see if we have been spotted by the sable. Everything is still in our favor as we close to 100 meters of him before Marco puts up the shooting sticks. I still haven't seen the quarry yet but Marco assures me that I will when I get on the sticks. As I get into shooting position I can see the magnificent bull standing broadside to us and I squeeze off the shot as the crosshairs settle just below the point of shoulder. One shot from the 416 and he is piled up 20 meters from the point of impact. All I can say is WOW. He is a solitary old bull, cracks are starting to show in his heavy horns and he surpasses the magical 40 inch mark. Another great trophy from Motsomi Safari. Sometimes things just fall into place and the hunting Gods reward you.



    royal sable.jpg


    After pictures and the delivery of the sable to the skinning shed Marco suggests that tomorrow we change hunting area, Marco believes that the concession at Limpopo View will give Kevin a better opportunity to successfully hunt impala and kudu. The afternoon is spent relaxing and enjoying the venue at Sable Lodge. Tomorrow will be an early and busy moving day.

    June 17 is concession moving day. The day starts a little later with all of us packing up our belongings and Grace and Issac packing up the camp supplies as we prepare to travel to Limpopo View. The drive to Limpopo View, alongside the Limpopo river and just across the river from Zimbabwe takes a couple of hours including a stop in Musina for fuel and top up of provisions. Arriving at the lodge just after noon, we spend a bit of time getting set up in our cottage while Grace and Issac restock the kitchen. The geography here is again different from Sable Lodge and Makuya. Here the terrain is more hilly and rockier than Sable Lodge and the vegetation includes many numerous Baobab trees of all ages and sizes. The hills are from 50 meters to 200 meters in elevation with seasonal water runoff stream-beds intersecting the landscape. After settling in at camp Marco, Issac, Kevin and myself go for an introductory drive throughout the property looking for spoor of impala and kudu. This definitely strikes me as great kudu country with all the hills, trees and dry seasonal waterways. As sunset approaches we return to the lodge. Kudu sign is evident as well as impala so tomorrow looks promising. We all retire early this evening as morning always seems to come early.

    The next morning we again leave before the sun breaks the horizon. After spending some time driving the dirt trails checking for sign Marco takes us up to and elevated lookout point overlooking Kate's Hope Plains. From this vantage point it is possible to view an area where multiple plains game reside. We spot giraffe, gemsbok and three herds of impala, one a bachelor herd and another a herd of females and young with a ram frantically trying to keep the herd together while warding off any potential rivals. After watching for a while, and with no kudu sightings we resume a drive through the concession hoping to pick up sign. We take a drive to a watering sight where Marco sets up a trail cam hoping to get a picture of what may be attending the area. Returning to the lookout point to see if anything has changed we spotted a lone impala ram, probably recently deposed by the new herd patriarch below our vantage point maybe 1500 meters distance. After watching for a few minutes Marco decides he is worth making a play on and he and Kevin begin their stalk. Issac and myself remain at the lookout point watching to see the stalk play out. None of the animals below us were aware of the approach by the hunters as they snuck from bush to bush on their stalk of the impala ram. From our vantage point we saw Kevin get set up on the shooting sticks 100 plus meters from the ram and then a puff of dirt kicked up on the other side of it and the ram bolted away . A couple of seconds later the sound of the gunshot reached my ears and the ram collapsed 50 meters from its original position. Kevin had now collected three of the four animals he was hoping for, all of them fine examples of their species, now just the elusive kudu remained. Once again we returned back to camp late in the afternoon but we got back before sunset this time.



    Kevins Impala.jpg

    The following morning began as usual with a very satisfying breakfast and back on the dirt trails before sunrise. Our objective was to find the Grey Ghost, he seemed to be living up to his name, we were seeing sign but only sign. Checking the trail cam at the waterhole didn't really give any positive information and the day was spent looking for any encouraging spoor. we returned to camp for lunch and a bit of downtime before checking again in the late afternoon. Two hunting days left. Maybe tomorrow. Keep the faith.

    Up at 530, out of camp by 630, scouting for kudu before first light. Just 15 minutes from the lodge Issac spots a kudu bull just off the side of the trail in a dried up stream bed. Marco and Kevin quickly depart the Landcruiser but 20 minutes later they return unsuccessfully. Once everyone is loaded up again we head to the waterhole where the trail cam is set up to check for activity, but 10 minutes before we get there Issac again spots a good looking kudu bull just 90 meters in front of us along the ridge were driving on. Marco abruptly brings the truck to a halt while urging Kevin to dismount and get on the sticks. Kudu bulls don' wait to see what all the commotion is all about. As Kevin squeezes the trigger he realizes that the safety is on. After taking the safety off he squeezes the trigger again but just as he does the kudu turns his head and the shot goes to far to the left of his intended aim point. The bull is hit but not as well as hoped and quickly descends off the ridge to our left.He can be heard thrashing about in the brush. After waiting about 30 minutes Marco and Kevin descend off the ridge to where they heard the noise, off to their left while Issac descends but off to the right. While Kevin and Marco investigate the area they jump a kudu bull, but a different considerably smaller one and fortunately did not take a shot at it. Just then Issac calls from his location announcing that he has discovered blood. Now the real tracking commences. Kevin at the ready follows Issac and Marco around the point of land, down the rocky slope and back up again, through mopani and acacia thorn bush, occasionally finding blood trail, but after about three hours of tracking through numerous other kudu spoor they decide to call off the search for now. The kudu bull has never indicated bedding down but kept ahead of the hunters by a safe distance.

    Kevin looks tired and disappointed as Marco suggests that we return to the lodge for a late lunch, with plans to return around three in the afternoon with Plan B and C. By not pursuing the bull it is hoped that he will start to succumb to its injuries, weaken and stiffen up and begin to bed down.

    When we returned after lunch and a bit of rest we began Plan B. Plan B was to try to reacquire the kudu's tracks and by crisscrossing the area in the bush Kevin rediscovers the blood trail, but they soon realize that the bull had gone in a different direction than they originally thought.

    Marco and I went back to where the trail cam was set up to retrieve it in anticipation of setting up near the waterhole in the event that the bull would come up for water at first light.

    Meanwhile back in the bush on the trail of the wounded kudu it became apparent that he was bedding down to rest frequently, a sign that he was weakening. As Issac and Kevin continued to follow the spoor they noticed that the blood trail was not drying and bits of fatty tissue were observed. Issac contacted Marco informing him of the new development and their pursuit so Marco thought it would be best if we set up shop adjacent and parallel to the dirt road where Kevin and Issac were tracking in the event that they might spook the kudu and it crossed the trail. After 15 minutes Marco said "watch the road in both directions, I'm going to go into the bush to drive the kudu to Kevin". Not even twenty minutes later a shot rang out from deep in the bush. Marco's radio came to life calling Issac " did you get him, did you get him" but no response was offered. He then called me asking if I had taken a shot to which I replied that I never. But why no reply from Issac? As it turned out they were too busy celebrating the successful closure of a nine hour tracking job to either hear or respond to the radio. Kevin and Issac had tracked the kudu bull to within 20 meters of where it was standing when Kevin applied the coup de grace. The western horizon glowed as I walked my way to the hunters location. A road would have to be hacked through the Limpopo bush by the light of the half moon, but a small price to pay after all of the days events. By 830 that evening we returned to the lodge with Kevin"s kudu, tired, hungry, thirsty and very happy.

    Kevin's kudu bull measured a very respectable 55 inches with 10 inch bases, nice ivory tips and a priceless experience.


    kevins kudu.jpg




    And so hunting with Marco Schoonwinke, Issac the tracker and Grace the chef from Motsomi Safari comes to a close with a sunset at Limpopo View


    sunset Limpopo View.jpg
     
    Izak1979 and cpr0312 like this.

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