SOUTH AFRICA: I Finally Get My Kudu With Huntsoek Safaris

Chris.Wood

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Here is the latest write up on my November 2016 trip to South Africa, I hope you enjoy it.

http://ahuntersreflection.blogspot.com.au/

I finally get my Kudu.


With a big lunch under my belt and a couple of hours rest I felt ready to go again, after such a successful morning hunting Nyala we were going to try our luck and see if we could find me a nice Kudu. I had hunted Kudu previously but had not managed to get one, so I was pretty keen to try again. Hendrick said he knew of a Valley that held large numbers of Kudu with some nice Bulls, but we would have to have the wind in our favor as there were also lots of Kudu Cows and that meant lots of sets of eyes. I knew from experience exactly what he meant as that was one of the many obstacles I encountered on my previous Kudu hunts in the East Cape, Karoo and Kalahari.

A Kudu Hunt in Pebble Paradise.

We drove to a high ridge line and parked up, then started walking we dropped down into a long valley and contoured our way towards the River a few kilometers glassing as we went. It didn't take too long and we were seeing plenty of Kudu cows and the odd immature Bull, the only problem being the wind was not in our favor. The Kudu were crossing the Valley and exiting over the far ridge line and the way the valley ran there was no way we could get down wind of the Kudu. So we decided to back out and return to the lodge for sun-downers above the river, and with a little luck the wind would shift overnight and we could return in the morning with better results.

DSC_1183.JPG


We were treated to a Nyala Ewe walking past while enjoying the Sunset.
Whilst sitting on the pool deck overlooking the river we were treated to the sight of a young Nyala Ewe walking past the deck on her way to the river and a couple of Warthogs walking through the bush.


A pair of Warthogs making their way to the river.
Dinner was an amazing spread, Nyala steaks, fresh salad and roast vegetables, followed by chocolate pudding desert, I was truly full by the time I had finished. We sat up for a while enjoying the sounds of river and the animals, talking about past hunts and planning new ones. Richard, Greg and Dean telling me about the hunts they had filmed since we were last together, it was a wonderful way to cap off the day, and I made my way to bed late in the evening having agreed to start early in the morning. Once again I opened the windows wide and lay in bed and let the sounds of Africa carry me off to a very restful sleep.

I woke early and after dressing made my way to the lodge for what was now a familiar morning ritual, Coffee and Rusks. We discussed how we would hunt the valley with the Kudu and what we would do if the wind had not changed as we hoped it had before loading up and heading off, the cool morning breeze in our faces as we ride in the Bakki. There's something really enjoyable about the cool mornings in Africa that sets you up for the day, it gives you a sense of anticipation because you know in a few hours you will be sweating profusely and baking under the sun.

We parked up in the same spot as the afternoon before and were relieved to find the wind had changed, it was not perfect but we could hunt the way we wanted to. Once again we dropped down the valley and began contouring along the hillside towards the river, glassing as we went. We soon spotted a group of Kudu Cows and began searching for mature Bulls but found none so continued on. We continued in this fashion for quite some time, passing up quite a few Bulls along the way as either immature or just not the right one for me. Eventually we spotted a group of Bulls feeding away from the Cows and there were two in the group that Hendrick said were just perfect for me.

We began a stalk but were soon spotted by a group of cows however they were not sure what we were, just that they had seen something, so we sat still in the shadows and waited. Eventually they relaxed and began feeding again and we resumed our stalk. As we crossed an open patch of ground they once again caught sight of us and this time one of the bulls did too! We immediately sat down and began what was to be a long hot 40 minute wait in the sun with them looking directly at us. Eventually the cows thought better of it and began to cross the valley, then the Bulls did the same giving Hendrick a chance to get a really good look over them and pick out one specific animal for me. We took the chance and as they moved through the bush we set up the sticks and waited for them to cross a slightly open patch of ground.

Luck was on our side and the Bull Hendrick had picked for me crossed in the perfect spot, I was set up and ready when Hendrick gave a low whistle and the Bull stopped and looked towards us. I steadied myself and began taking up the trigger, the trigger broke at the exact moment I wanted it to and I saw the bullet impact exactly where I wanted it to. The Kudu Bull dropped on the spot and I quickly reloaded and held on him just in case a second shot was needed but he stayed down. Hendrick congratulated me on a fine animal and he called for the Skinner's on the radio as we made our way across the Valley towards my Kudu. I had spoken at length with Hendrick about what I considered a trophy and this Bull was everything I asked for, old and past his prime, heavy horn bases big ridges and well worn tips. Just looking at the horns you could see the story they told and that was what I was after, not a massive spread or exceptional length but symmetry and character and for me a perfect trophy.


Hendrick and Myself with My Kudu Bull, photo courtesy of ITZ Productions.

While we waited for the skinner's to arrive we took a ton of photos, Richard and Greg had both been with me on all my previous Kudu hunts and now they had recorded this one, the culmination of all our efforts. Together we had walked many miles in search of Kudu and to me this was just as much their trophy as it was mine. I took the opportunity to study the detail of the animals horns and cape I took in every scratch and bald spot every stain and crack, I saw it's life story etched in it horns and hide.

Video of my Kudu Hunt By ITZ Productions.


When the skinners arrived we helped them with the Kudu until we got it to an area they could access with a vehicle, then we made our way back up the valley to our the bakki. The cooler in the back filled with cold drinks was a welcome respite from the heat of the day and we sat in the shade as we drank. After a few minutes rest and a couple of bottles of water each we climbed into the bakki and headed back to the lodge for some lunch and a few hours rest before embarking on an afternoon hunt.

Hendrick had another area some distance away he wanted to take me to, the plan being to try and find a nice Bushbuck and round out my now almost complete Spiral Horns Species. I had successfully hunted a fine Eland on a previous trip into the Kalahari, (see Eland in the Kalahari. ) and I had been extremely lucky so far this trip and had a fine Nyala and Kudu Bull, so Bushbuck was the obvious next choice. Rested and fed we headed off and spent the afternoon glassing the edges of the bush looking for Bushbuck but they proved elusive, we saw some pretty big Warthog, a nice Waterbuck and a whole variety of other game and birds but no Bushbuck. I had a very enjoyable afternoon and was not in the least bit disappointed when we drove back to the lodge that evening for dinner.


Updating my Hunting Journal with a glass of the good stuff at the end of a days hunting, the quill is from a porcupine and the projectile from mu Kudu Bull.

In the time between us arriving back at the lodge and dinner being served I took the opportunity to shower, change and update my Hunting Journal, recording the previous days events and enjoying a glass of the good stuff while writing. Dinner was once again wonderful fresh local produce and I was well and truly full by the time I had finished my desert. After dinner we adjourned to the deck and enjoyed a few cold drinks before one by one making our way to bed and in my case at least, quickly falling asleep.
 

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cpr0312

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Congrats and thanks for sharing!
 

rinehart0050

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Great write-up- congrats on a beautiful Kudu and thank you for sharing!
 

HuntingGold

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Its good to see Hendrick again. Looks good.
Kudu looks good as well! Congrats.
 

Shootist43

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Congrats, that is a nice Kudu. Do you have pics of the Nyala as well, or is that a story to come later?
 

CAustin

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Thanks for posting the pictures.
 

cls

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Congrats on a fine Kudu, enjoyed the report. What caliber and bullet were you using for that one shot drop?
 

Nyati

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Congrats for a great hunt !
 

Chris.Wood

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Chris.Wood

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Congrats on a fine Kudu, enjoyed the report. What caliber and bullet were you using for that one shot drop?
Hi cls I was using a .243 with 100grn Nosler Partitions loaded with AR2209 powder to 3070fps, I have a CMC Howa (now Howa 1500) with a 1 in 8 twist barrel, it is very accurate with that load and shoots very small groups, this is 5 shots at 400 meters, all shots are inside a 4" square. I hope that helps you out.
 

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Rob404

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Excellent looking Kudu Congrats
 

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Beautiful shot!!! Wow! Congrats on the great trophy.
 

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Really enjoyed the video as well as the nyala film. Have you got any more coming our way?
 

Kento!

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Another excellent report and video! Beautiful Kudu!
 

Ridgewalker

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Thanks for another very enjoyable episode! It is so nice to get to vicariously live your hunt with you.
OK, I'm ready for the next episode ;)
 

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