SOUTH AFRICA: Hunting South Africa with Jacques Spamer of HartzView Safaris for Rhino

GSTONE

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My wife and I just returned from another hunt with Jacques...this time for a Rhino dart and plains game. This is the fourth year in a row...and every year gets better and better!

We left Reno and arrived at Johannesburg on the 19th of September. We were met there by a representative of riflepermits, and cleared the rifle...then were taken to Africa Sky Guest House for the night. A WONDERFUL place to stay after a long flight!

We flew out the next morning for our rhino hunting area. Once there, we scouted the area and saw several nice rhinos. They didn't see too upset by a vehicle, so I thought the hunt should go well. The next morning I shot the dart gun to get used to it, and was instructed as to the best areas to shoot the dart. After that, we started our hunt.

Hunting on foot for rhino is NOT as easy as one would think. Their ears are constantly moving, and the shifting winds ruined several stalks. Their sight may not be good, but their other senses are very, very good! I was told we would try to get within 25-30 yards of the rhino before we would try for a shot. That proved to be a lot harder than you would think...especially when there were a LOT of rhinos in the area. I finally got a quick shot off, but shot over the neck on a fairly nice rhino. Frustrating, to say the least.

We loaded up another dart, and moved back into the bush...and then saw several rhinos ahead of us. We finally came out in a small opening, and there was a nice rhino in front of us. I brought the dart gun up...and then, out the corned of my eye, I saw a HUGE rhino pointed directly at me. I turned to him, and he turned and gave me a good angle on his neck. I aimed the dart gun and squeezed... and watched the dart hit him squarely in the neck!!! He then turned away and started running the other direction (whew). We followed him for quite a distance, and then we could see the dart started affecting him.

They finally got him down, and we took pictures and measured him. He looks like he will go gold medal in the SCI book. The final member of the Big Five, and Jacques came through again! After that, they had everybody get to the vehicles, and then gave him the antidote. He was up in a minute...with no signs of ever being darted...and he decided to go the other direction. The rhino dart hunt is very exciting, as is being next to such a magnificent animal!

We then proceeded to our next hunting area. I wanted to get a Bontebuck, and Jacques said we might get a chance at a caracal that had been killing sheep in the area.

We arrived at Liam Urry's Fairydale Lodge late on the twenty-second of September and proceeded to check out my rifle (Weatherby .340 Fibremark with a Leupold VX-R scope) at the range. I had trouble with it after my hunt two years ago...apparently the baggage handlers love throwing my Pelican gun case around, and the result was a broken base mount screw. I had my gunsmith go over the gun, so I hoped everything would still be OK. The target looked good, so we were ready to go the next morning.

We hunted the morning, and saw LOTS of Bontebuck...and saw an exceptional one that Jacques said I should take. I took to the sticks and dropped him at 330 yards with a single shot. The gun is good!

We went back to the camp for lunch, and we were notified that the caracal was being chased...and that we should come as soon as possible. We arrived at the scene and the caracal was treed...and what a caracal! I took him, and then we came up to him. It is a BIG caracal weighing in at 35 pounds and really big in body.

We left the next morning and started driving south to the Eastern Cape to Andri Fox Safaris in Alicedale to finish the hunting. We arrived about 5 PM that day. Andri has a beautiful place, and the country reminded me of Oregon...lots of green, with a marine climate.

We went out early the next morning, and I took a fine Common Reedbuck at 160 yards. They are really a beautiful animal. The weather was wet and rainy, but 28 years living and working in Oregon made it seem like home sweet home. We then went to lunch. We went out later in the afternoon to try to get a Mountain Reedbuck, but decided to go back to camp as we were way ahead of our schedule and the animals were "hunkered down."

We left out early the next morning to an area north of Port Elizabeth and started hunting for a Mountain Reedbuck. We saw a nice animal, and I got him with a 300+ yard shot. The Mountain Reedbuck is really a beautiful animal! I love their whitetail big and bushy tail...reminds me of the American Whitetail deer.

We continued our hunt and saw a nice Vaal Rhebok an hour and a half later. I took him, and he has great horns! I can't believe we got a Mountain Reedbuck AND a Vaal Rhebok in that short time. Andri and Jacques really did a great job of getting me within range of two great animals. We then headed back to Andri's, and went out for a Cape Bushbuck that evening. We saw a female, but no males.

We went out the next morning, and immediately saw a Cape Bushbuck! I took a shot at him going away and heading into the bush at about 250 yards. He went down hard...then got up and hobbled into the bush. Uh-oh! A wounded Bushbuck is NOT good. We went over to the area, and he tried to attack the dogs. Jacques and Andri took snap shots, and he dropped for good. They certainly live up to their reputation. We continued our hunt, and spotted an exceptional Red Hartebeest at about 300 yards. I took a shot, but he did not go down. We hunted for him for about an additional 2 1/2 hours before I finally put him down for good. He is a magnificent animal, and certainly one who does not give up easily. He backtracked on us several times, and was in and out of the bush numerous times. Frustration was the best description I can give for hunting him, but he was certainly worth it when we finally got him bagged. We headed back to Andri's after that and called it a day...a loooong day!

The next day was rain, wind, and lightning. We were still ahead of schedule, so we took they day off and enjoyed the camp. Andri Fox Safaris is a beautiful place, and certainly different in topography and weather from the Northwest Province...and Zimbabwe,

We went out the next morning at 0730 to look for a Southern Bush Duiker and, possibly, a warthog. Andri said he heard an Oribi permit was available and asked if I was interested. I said I was, so we added that as an animal we would try to harvest. We found a Southern Bush Duiker at about 0830, and I was able to harvest it. He was a nice specimen, but the .340 was way too much gun for him. Andri suggested I use his .308 to hunt the Oribi, and I thanked him for the offer. We broke for lunch and waited for the weather to subside. We went out again about 3 PM. It was raining and the wind was blowing...Oregon weather! We spotted the Oribi bedded down below a Reedbuck. We made a stalk, but the Reedbuck spooked and the Oribi was off. It was a long hunt with a few misses, but I finally got the Oribi. His horns are about 6 inches per side...a really nice specimen. As you can see in the picture, Jacques, me, and the Oribi were soaked...but it was a great hunt.

The continuing weather forecasts predicted rain and stormy weather for the next week, so we decided to put off the warthog until a another trip. We headed back to Johannesburg and spent a night at Africa Sky before our flight out. Thank you Lori Spears, for getting our return tickets moved up a day.

I started hunting Africa in 2011. I did research and came up with Jacques Spamer and HartzView Safaris. I have stayed with Jacques every year as he has been exceptional in getting me into great areas and his ability to get me in range of some fantastic animals. In four years I have harvested the Big Five and 27 plains animals with Jacques. I thank him again for his hard work, and his friendship.

I also want to thank Andri and Liam for their wonderful hospitality and their exceptional hunting areas.

I am planning on taking next year off from Africa. I am planning to try a Alaskan Brown Bear hunt next year and then thinking about Hippo and Croc the following year with Jacques. Only time will tell!

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GSTONE

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Pictures are posted in my album. :)
 

hunting4sanity

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After looking through your photos I can see why you keep going back to Jacques, some very nice trophies! That rhino is a very impressive specimen. Best of luck on your future hunts.
 

James.Grage

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Nice report...
 

PHOENIX PHIL

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Great hunt Geoff, that Caracal was for me the highlight of your hunt.....of course in addition to the rhino!
 

Royal27

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Enjoyed the read and the pics!

Going back time after time sez it all to me! Come a client and leave a friend!
 

BnC 04

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Great report and some fine looking trophies for sure, congrats.
 

GSTONE

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Thank you all for the comments.

Phil: I agree...the caracal was a fantastic animal. Body looks like a mountain lion I shot many years ago...smaller...but not by much! I especially like the picture where Jacques is holding him up and I am beside him.

Also true about starting as a client and leaving as a friend. I am proud to have him as a close friend. :)
 

Bobpuckett

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Congrats! Jacques did it again great hunt thanks for sharing.
 

BWH

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So.... Only 32 animals in 4 years????
Haha... Just kidding.

That is awesome!!! Congratulations.

Yes, Jacques is one hell of a dude & Hartzview is a great operation you are a testament to.
 

Nyati

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Congrats for a great hunt, and thanks for sharing !
 

GSTONE

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I forgot to include an important part of my hunt: I used Hannes Pienaar Productions to film the hunt again. This is the fourth time I have had a hunt filmed, and I highly recommend their work. Frikkie Nieuwoudt did the actual filming this year and he is quite experienced in filming hunts. Frikkie is also a PH, which gives him a professional insight to the hunt.
I originally thought about the filming as a remembrance of the hunt, but I have found my family and friends also really like living the experience by watching the DVD. The cost seems reasonable, and you see many things you might have missed because of the excitement of the hunt.
Thanks Hannes and Frikkie...and sorry about the omission during the original hunting report.
 

vgruan

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Good day my friends,

Good to be back on the forum after a busy season and not much time to get on AH! I have a couple of weeks off before heading to Mozambique for a leopard hunt, last one of the season!

Geoff I would like to thank you for the kind words towards our operation and personally want to thank you for your LOYAL support towards me and Hartzview, we have many memories to cherish for a very long time and I am certainly looking forward to many more successful hunts my friend! You do make my job a little easier with the great shooting it shows time and again!

Thank you once again for putting your trust in Hartzview Hunting Safaris and that you trusted me even when taking you to other countries in Africa where we did also harvest exceptional trophies!

Looking forward on seeing you and Marleen in Janmuary my friend!
 

GSTONE

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Thank you Jacques. I have really had a great time hunting with you! Hope to see you in January! :)
 

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GSTONE,

Congratulations to you, Jacques and all involved for getting the Big 5. Pretty impressive accomplishment these days. Oh yea.....plus all the other trophies.

Thanks for the report.

All the best.
 

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