Discussion in 'Hunting Reports Africa' started by gutterdoc, Jul 21, 2015.
Really enjoying this report.
June 8. Happy Birthday to Dad. The old man is keeping up. Today we hunt another property called Huntshoek with a PH named Egg. He too is young, spry and has eagle eyes. This place is Nyala heaven. Game is everywhere. I inform Dad that he gets all shooting opportunities today. I already gave him his birthday presents of Glenmorangie 18 year scotch and a fistful of Cuban cigars. Time for a stalk to get one. Dad has never seen a Nyala. I insist that he must harvest one. After a tedious stalk he drops a gorgeous Nyala. Old, big bull. I would be lying if I said I wasn't a little jealous and envious. One shot. Very nice. Time to find a Kudu. It has been on Dad's mind since he missed the last one days ago. Today is his day. We must capitalize.
The Great Fish River area is gorgeous country. I pass on a Bushbuck. Straight downhill standing on my nose. Marius says we can do better. We do in fact finally get on some decent Kudu. We give chase over three ridges and finally get a shooting opportunity, not the best, but the only one will will get. We take a chance. These animals can cover some ground! The bull has a steady head of steam and is moving at a good pace. We all tell Dad to hold on his back and when he stops, take him. The bull stops.......Crack! One shot, down! Very impressive bull. 280 yards. Dad almost cracks a smile....Almost.
En route back to the skinning shed I spot a warthog boar. Not a huge boar, but the only one we have seen in four days. Sticks go up. I wait, Marius waits. I wait, Marius waits. He asks me if I'm going to shoot the F'ing thing. I ask," May I?" "Hell yes, shoot", he says. BOOM! WHACK! All you see is his legs straight up in the air. The Barnes bullets are definitely doing their job. I admit to Marius later that I got stuck in the US rut of being told when to shoot. He laughs, this time because it still turned out OK. Things are different here, for the better.
After a quick sandwich, we go back to the area that held the elusive Blues and one rogue Red Hartebeest that has been killing all the others. We find the Red Hartebeest. He is hanging out with the Blue Wildebeest. Dammit. The better shooting opportunity is for the Hartebeest. Today is Dad's day, he gets the shot. It is getting dark. All of a sudden the last ray of light beamed down on this Hartebeest and he appeared to glow against the green veld. 160 yards. Crack! He goes down like a sack of hammers. Today was an awesome day, almost.
We go to recover the Hartebeest and cannot find him ANYWHERE. We look for quite a while and after an hour, decide to call it quits. We head back to the lodge a bit deflated. The ride home is quiet. The birthday boy isn't happy anymore.
Dinner was Nyala meatloaf. Fabulous. The staff had a cake ordered for Dad. It was a chocolate cake roll, filled with caramel, topped with chocolate cream frosting and coconut flakes. Dad is restless and upset about the failed recovery. We all know he hit him. We were supposed to split up tomorrow, but I decide to stick it out with the old man. Redemption will be served, I hope.
Sorry I have been incognito folks. My goal is to finish up this report!
June 9. We are up early. The past few days have been gorgeous for weather and we have been whacking and stacking. I have finally seen the Southern Cross. We have to go back to the concession and find the Red Hartebeest. We cannot find him anywhere. We have ranch hands out looking. We are looking. Other PH's are looking. The ranch hands finally spot him in the valley and they give chase to drive him towards us. Morale bruise for Dad because the Hartebeest is still very much alive. We wait for him where we think he should pop out of the veld. The road is lined with enough guns to outfit a SWAT operation. Guns everywhere. He never comes. I finally spot him across the veld on the other side of the valley. He gave everyone the slip and doubled back and was wasting no time getting away! Marius yells, "Get in!" Dad and I jump in the back of the bakkie real safari style. We haul ass down the paths, through the water, into the open valley. We hold on for dear life in what can only be described as "the ride of a lifetime". We both throw our guns up. Marius stops the bakkie. I tell Dad I'm going to shoot him if you don't in 3...2...BOOM! Dad shot him. The Hartebeest walks 5 feet and falls over. You can see the stress leave his body and his face. He smiles. Upon inspection, we discover that Dad did in fact hit it the first time. The shot was a little back, just under the spine and above the gut. That is the reason why it fell so abruptly the first night. Tough animal. Ju Ju is bruised, but not broken.
We head off to hunt something for me. Waterbuck is on the menu. It isn't there. Not today. Haven't seen it after three tries. We decide to go after zebra. We saw some while looking for the Waterbuck. We finally get into a shooting scenario that is suitable. BOOM! WHACK! It kicks, runs, stumbles and falls over. It is a gorgeous mare with wide black stripes. I decide on a rug. Too nice for a shoulder mount. My daughter wants a zebra for her room. I'll try for another for her later.
Off for the elusive Blue Wildebeest. We try for wart hogs first. No luck. We put a beautiful stalk on a group. Almost pulled the trigger. Something spooked them and as quickly as the appeared, they disappeared back into the thick veld. Damn. I'll try again tomorrow.
Off to the lodge on time...for a change. Blesbok kabobs and venison sausage. Off to bed. I hunt with Loew tomorrow. Graham got Dad's 300 dialed back in. YEAH! The bush pig has been coming in. Tomorrow I'll give it a go.
Good times! Lots of good trophies there. Those Hartebeast can be tough. I had quite a chase with my first one too. Nice pics. Congrats. Bruce
Ride of your life..
I can imagine.
Keep the tale coming.
Awesome report, wish i had that gift
Great memories with your dad thats for sure
June 10. We hunt around the lodge. Dad's tank is running low. He gets up a little later than usual. He normally gets up at 4 AM whether he is home or traveling. Africa is sinking her claws in him.I still feel good. Not overly tired or sore. I cannot express how much you need to train to hunt in the Eastern Cape. Walking alone will not suffice. You have to add elevation and crawling, kneeling, crouching; all with your firearm. So far we have experienced the best and the worst in weather. Today I'm after a second zebra and Dad is after his too. I am still looking for the friggin' elusive Blue Wildebeest. That animal will be my undoing.
We split up and I go with Loew again. We head out for the Blues first. They are on the move this morning and head to where we think they might be headed. They were in fact moving exactly where we thought they were going. One problem. They were moving faster than we anticipated and we quickly loose our advantage. We are pinned down and have the rising sun and wind to our benefit. Thank God. They whole herd comes out 100 yards away. No bull. Loew tries to find a better angle. I'm stuck in the open crouched down. He can't find the bull anywhere. He has been at the front lately, which is unusual. Today is the day he decides to stay at the rear. Something just isn't right. They quickly start to head back into the veld. I motion to Loew that I see the bull! He is the last one going into the bush. Sticks up SLOWLY. He stops. The only shot I have is full frontal. I have never shot anything frontal before. Always practiced for broadside shots. What a joke, now I know better! I can do this. 125 yards, Click, Squeeze, BOOM! THWACK! He is hit hard. Straight down. He is a beast. Heavy. Loew says I split his heart in half. I am happy, for now....
I hear another shot in the distance. It was Dad and his 300. Yes! Found out he shot a baboon out of the top of a tree, while hanging off a cliff, standing on a 6 inch ledge at 250 yards. If you have hunted the EC you know exactly what I am trying to describe. The thing runs quite a distance before it dies. When Dad gets to it, there is a hole the size of his fist from on shoulder to the other. I have no idea how this thing was alive. They are quite a trophy and highly sought after.
I head off for zebra. After a tedious cat and mouse game, I shoot another one. This time I aimed too low. It is hit, but in the brisket. Zipped. I feel horrible. To give an idea of how steep the shot was, the shooting sticks were at my waist to accommodate the steep angle, instead of shoulder height. Nonetheless, I pulled the trigger and I wounded it. There is blood. A lot at first, then it quickly goes away. We track it for miles. The dogs loose the trail. Marius and Loew know the land. I have faith. Marius and I press on. Loew goes ahead in the bakkie. I tell everyone who has a gun to take a shot if they can. I hear a shot crack. Please be done......I hear another. Damn. The radio wakes up. It is down. Loew did the deed and I have no objections whatsoever. Marius tells me it is a good thing he got it with the second shot because there were only two bullets in the gun. Lovely. I told you zebras are tough. Pictures are taken and my smile is forced. Back to the lodge for lunch. Tonight is bush pig.
We go early to set up and get everything straight. You cannot see anything and I mean anything once night falls. Dad stays at the lodge. Marius has the perfect setup for hunting bush pigs. We sit, wait, sit wait. Sit and wait some more. No sleeping! It is DARK. All of a sudden I hear a sloppy, chomping sound. Click on goes the night vision scope. I look for the boar. All of a sudden they all run!! What the hell! Did I make too much noise? No. Here comes the boar. He is big, really big. For the first time this whole trip, I get "buck fever" No excuses. I rushed a shot, not what I wanted to do and missed at 30 yards. Yep, 30 yards. Perfect setup. I am pissed and embarrassed. Marius looks dumbfounded. He should be. Well, a good miss is better than a bad hit. Yeah right. We go back for dinner. I don't remember what we had and I didn't care. Off to bed. Dad looks like shit. He is cold, grey and not eating well. He did go and get his zebra tonight. Finally. His African hunt is complete. He will stay back tomorrow.
Damn Buck Fever will get you every time.
A bunch of good trophies in the salt.
Nice trophies, god I zebra hunting.
Love the black zebra! Already told the wife she has the green light to shoot one if it looks anywhere close to the one you took when we get to KMG next year.
Thanks for the feedback guys. It really helps when writing this thing up. I just hope I'm doing the hunt justice through my report and writing. It really was a trip of a lifetime.
@gutterdoc and BlueGoose. Congrats on what seems like a very nice trip you had and some fine critters you have put in the salt!!
Nice write up!!
All the best
June 11. I head off to another concession for Waterbuck. Dad stays back and starts packing. He relaxes most of the day and catches up on emails. Marius knows of a good bull. we pick up some extra hands to help navigate the property. WE see a couple of smaller, immature bulls. No shooters. We continue to ride around. We talk, tell jokes and just hang out. Nothing much happening. We finally decide to go to the lodge and actually eat a hot lunch, for a change. After lunch we check on Dad. He is better, not great, but better. He goes back to bed.
We stay around the property and hunt "opportunities" for the afternoon. We found a Bushbuck. Average. No need to be greedy. We see a lonely Blue Wildebeest. He must be lost. Duiker. WAIT! STOP! Black backed jackal. Shoot now! Just under him. Wait, Wait. Boom. Hair flies. Gave him a haircut. No blood. Damn, that would have been a nice ending to an already great hunting trip. Marius tells me they have been hunting this guy for 3 years. I got the closest. That doesn't count. Back to the lodge.
Forgot again what dinner was. Everything was good as usual. Hugs to everyone. Louw, Michelle, Graham were all great hosts and PH's. Friendships were made to last a lifetime. Off to pack.
The Savage worked well and did its job. Marius and Louw put us on the animals. We harvested 18 animals, with the first couple of days being complete washouts. Friggin' IMPRESSIVE if I must say so myself!
I'd have to agree.
Nice job with your write up.
June 12. Slow day. Breakfast. Pay final bill. Tips given. Finish packing. Dad is looking better. Finally. We load up and head off the Port Elizabeth to begin the long journey home. We are leaving with some extra items. Wink, Wink.
Marius sees us to the security checkpoint. No sense in delaying the inevitable. We bonded through thick and thin. Hugs and hand shakes all around. and then he is off as quickly as he entered our lives 13 days ago. We get on the plane for JNB and I fall sleep instantly.
Long layover in JNB. Go find the bags, ammo, guns. Get everything rechecked. We shop at Out of Africa. Good stuff, but over priced. Glad we came early and hit the craft markets. We got much better deals there for sure.
I couldn't sleep on the plane, at all. Note to self again, bring less stuff next time. We have the same flight attendant on the flight home as we did going over. She remembers us. Is that good or bad? we land without any major issues. Time for Customs.
Long and short is we made it through without any hiccups. WTH? I'm used to something if not everything going wrong. Car service back to the Communist State of Connecticut. We both fall asleep for the ride home.
At home, we are welcomed with wide open arms by my wife and kids. Banners are in place for the "Great White Hunters" Kids are all over me in an instant. Story telling starts. Souvenirs, trinkets, carvings. All the shit comes out. All of it. Everyone is happy we are home safe and sound.
Dad heads home to Tucson after 2 more days. I'm home for 5 before we head out to North Carolina for horse camp. Back to the grind...
This is and will be Dad's only trip to the Dark Continent. We did as much as we could within the limitations of the hunting gods. Here's to you Dad. Marius....THANK YOU!
I WILL BE BACK.
Thanks for all the support in writing this up. Did I miss anything Dad?
Dad has gone Awol!
Looks like you guys had a great time. Great report!
With a Sh!@ eating grin like that I haveI have no doubt, Congrats on an awesome hunt and thanks for sharing.
Kudos go out to KMG and the crew. Marius took great care of all the field prep and the skins were transferred to Hunters and Collectors. Kevin gets a shout out too!
Dennis received the skins from his tannery and he likes what he sees. The skins are some of the best he has seen coming out of the EC. Good job all.
Hopefully I'll be able to say the same for Dennis soon!!! LOL.
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