SOUTH AFRICA: KMG Hunting Safaris : Cull Hunt April 2024


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Feb 27, 2015
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UK, South Africa, Namibia, Sweden
MARIUS@KMG posted an offer on AH for a cull hunt on one of the areas they hunt over. Marius had two years to recover from my last visit and also I was inneed of a new cap so after a brief chat he came up with a week at the end of April that had become available due to a cancellation. So flights were booked all was set for the last week of april.
To cut along story short my flight was delayed by 18 hrs due to technical difficulties so instead of arriving at 7am on saturday morning i arrived at 12.30 am on sunday morning it was 1.30 am by the time i had gone through passport control and collected my luggage in johanesburg. I had rebooked my flight to east london for 7am on safair for that morning i also booked a room at the airport hotel but for three hours i would have been in the room decided to just wait in the airport and save the £350 i would of had to pay. I found a couple of seats near to the checkin area and began the wait when a young lady came and asked if she could sit by me while she waited for her connecting flight we had a good chat i found out she was a pilot flying crews around the mines in milawi and was on her way home for 3 week break it certainly made the time flyby. Checkin opened we booked in and checked luggage and went our separate ways. I grabbed a breakfast in the wimpey and then headed to board for the flight.
The flight was uneventful we landed in east london in rain and mist great just like home only difference being it was warm. Marius was waiting for me as i walked out we headed to his new toyota truck 2 weeks old and headed out to start an adventure.

We arrived at camp mid afternoon we were shown our accomadation a nice little chalet we would share we got settled in and Marius asked if i wanted to sleep or rest for the afternoon knowing i had not had much sleep in the last day and a half but i was keen to get going. Marius then suggested i took a shower, I was like no i am good lets go. Marius replies " are you sure you know just to freshen up " thats when i took the hint i stink go shower. All showered and ready to go we head to the range to check the rifle i am renting a 300wm from Marius. The position you shot from was passed its best but we made do then we realised that nobody had brought a target to shoot at, a bit of head scratching and i found a plaster to stick on the pallet of wood as a point of aim took a shot all good and we headed off.

Before i get to far on the hunt was for 10 animals 5 blesbok females and 5 black wildebeast females over a three day period. The property we hunted was a beef and sheep farm several hours away from KMG's main base. The terrain was a mix of flat rough pasture which was stock fenced into large blocks with areas of alfalfa for cattle feed raising up to bare rock mountains with rough grazing pasture on the lower slopes and valleys between.
After sighting the rifle and still being mid afternoon the local farm guide suggested we should look in some fields out the back of the lodge first. We park up and began to walk we were heading up a small rise we had not gone far when a herd of black wildebeest were spotted grazing in the paddock we all got down and began to crawl and shuffle to a slab of rock which would give us a bit of elevation to look across the field. As we worked our way across the slab using the odd scrubby bush to conceal our movements we began to realise how bloody rough the rock was, every movement lead to a loss of skin it was like a very coarse sand paper, I rolled the sleves of my shirt down just to try and provide some protection to the elbows. We managed to get into a position we could view the animals in the field and shoot from. There were about 40 black wildebeest in the field a mix of old and young bulls and females with young . Marius and the tracker picked out an old cow who had no calf with her we talked through which animal she was made sure we were all looking at the same cow when we were all happy we set up for the shot we were waiting for her to turn when she lay down facing away . This was now a waiting game while we waited a group of blesbok which had been hidden out of view in a gully stepped out between us and the wildebeest so we switched our attention to those there were females and a male in the group the only animal that presented a shot was the male the females worked the ground never offering a shot. the wildebeest then began to move so we switched back to the old cow knowing she would soon get up to follow the group after a couple of minutes she did what we expected and stood up as soon as she turned broadside i shot and the old cow dropped on the spot. A quick reload incase but the herd took off and over the hill into the next field and gone without looking back.

We loaded up the wildebeest and decided to just go and see if the herd had stopped over the hill and perhaps have a chance for another female. We closed the distance in the truck before setting off on foot cut around the side of a small hill and perhaps get ahead of them, that plan did not last long as we got spotted by a couple of cape mountain zebra who then alerted a couple of wildebeest bulls that were just out of sight below us who came to to investigate what the fuss was about, we backtracked and decided on just taking a more direct route heading in the direction of where we last saw the herd heading. It was not long before we were back crawlling over the hard ground again we had spotted a herd of wildebeest in an open river valley below us as we came over the rise, This was a different herd again we set up and began the process of picking out a suitable female from the group. Once identified we began the same procedure of talking through the animal to make sure we were all on the right one it took a while for the cow to present a shot when she did it was a second wildebeest in the bag.
The shot was taken from the hill in the background.
We decided that would do for the afternoon loaded up the second wildebeest and headed back to the lodge
After a good nights sleep so much so Marius had to knock the door to wake me we headed out for breakfast, the weather overnight had changed it was cooler and the wind had picked up and a fleece was in order today . The plan this morning was to try and get a couple of blesbok in the bag and apparently the blesbok on this property are a bit wild. The local tracker had a plan in mind and thought he knew where a large herd of blesbok would be hideing out of the wind the plan was formulated and we would drive to high ground and walk in from above them, that plan did not last long as we began to drive up onto the high ground a herd of 200 blesbok jumped up from a small valley and took off flat out over the hill. After a quick discussion it was decided to continue up the hill and perhaps catch them on the opposite side we drove to the top and parked up this is the point we noticed the true strenght of the wind.

looking down on where we shot the first black wildebeest the day before.

our accomodation is below us by the trees in the bottom left corner.
we head of into the gale force wind it is picking up little bits of grit and dust ond blowing into our eyes as we walk, we heading to a area where the tracker had seen a small group of blesbok lead down out of the wind and were hoping to sneak in on them after climbing through a couple of stock fences and keeping off the skyline we popped up at about 340 meters away looking across at the blesbok leying up on a hill opposite just below the ridge, Marius picked out a old female and we waited for her to stand the blesbok would stand graze alittle then lay back down we just waited for her to take her turn Marius checked range 340 meters the wind was blowing left to right after a quick discussion Marius sujested aiming for the crease of the hind leg were it joins the body the female stood up i picked the point aimed high on the body and sent the shot the ewe dropped on the spot the bullet had hit in the neck. The bullet had travelled almost 3 feet right on the wind. the rest of the group took off over the hill but the tracker knew they would try to head back out over the opposite hill we quickly changed locations and set up on the exit route and left T man to walk around the hill to push the blesbok back our way the plan worked and the blesbok headed our way there was a female in the group who had broken her leg at some point and it had fused pointing out forwards it was decided to take this animal they began to walk past us at 250 meters the ewe stopped we again made an allowance for the wind and and took the shot the ewe stumbled and dropped this time the blesbok took off through the fence and over the hill we signalled to T Man to wait and we went to pick up the truck .
We got back to the truck and were about to load up when we noticed the blesbok were heading towards us but lower down the hill side we quickly dropped over the side of the hill and began to work towards them we spent the next 45 minutes in a game of cat and mouse with them until one of the ewes made a mistake and we got a shot unfortunatly i did not allow for the wind as we were under 100 meters and the shot was to far back a quick follow up and the second shot was enough.

first ewe with deformed leg Marius's new truck and the hill where the first blesbok was shot.
Having loaded up the blesbok we went to the cold room to gut and get them cooling by now it was nearly eleven o'clock. Marius had organised packed lunches incase we found our selfes at some far part of the property. We had some of our food while the two trackers worked on the blesbok when they had finished they shared some of our food and we decided to keep on hunting and try to find the large herd of blesbok from the morning, the farm tracker thought he knew where they might be and they may have settled down by now as the wind had eased from earlier the cloud cover had gone and the sun was out and the day was begining to warm up. Marius was more than happy to get three blesbok considering the conditions that morning and the fact that they are abnormally skitish on that property partly down to being poached alot with dogs they tend to start running as soon as they see anything they do not like. We headed back to the area we had shot the wildebeest the previous afternoon and parked up. we would walk in from here over the hill and onto the one behind and hopefully in the valley behind that there should be some blesbok. As we reached the plateau of the first hill we disturbed a jackal fast asleep in the grass it looked a little bit shocked to see us there. We left it alone as we did not want to disturb the blesbok if they were in the area. As we continued higher the ground began to change it became large slabs of bedrock covered in smaller rocks from fist size to large boulders with bits of grass and scrub hanging into the cracks and small areas of gravel.As we approched the second hill top i hung back as marius and the farm tracker went forward to look. Marius was soon signaling for me to get down and crawl forward to join them. We were looking across a wide valley with a small stream in the bottom there were several small groups of black wildebeest hanging around in the valley bottom on the opposite slope was a couple of cape mountain zebra and the huge herd of blesbok from the morning at about 800+ meters away. A plan was formed T man would double back around the hill and try to get behind the blesbok and when they spot him we hoped they would be inclined move down off the hill into the valley to a more suitable range. The plan sort of worked in that they moved unfortunatly they took off to the right heading higher up the hill along a well worn goat track we again quickly change location to try to intercept which worked to a point. The whole herd proceeded to walk over the hill top single file at about 500 meters. Marius and the farm tracker were trying to spot shot opertunities but none were presented and we watched the last blesbok dissappear over the hill typical landscape as you get higher

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We stood up having watched the herd of blesbok disappear over the hill. Marius was in talks with the farm tracker then Marius is "right lets go " i'm "ok back to the truck" Marius " No over that next hill there is a good valley over the next hill they may have stopped there". As i looked up at the next hill i could not help but think he was trying to get a head start on punishing me for something that i had not done yet. The ground was just bare rock and was quite easy to walk over although steep. We did stop a few times on the way up but actually was not to bad a climb the temperature had now risen to the mid 20s celcius but the wind helped to keep the worst effects off. The next valley came into view not a blesbok in sight but there was a herd of about 20 black wildebeest in the valley bottom plans were changed and they became our next target. We crawled down over the skyline and slid down and around the side of the hill to a point where we were looking down on top of the wildebeest another old cow was selected from the group we waited for her to move clear of the others amd shot she spun around and collapsed the remaining animals took off over the next hill. The tracker remarked how accurate the rifle was I replied " its not the rifle its the man behind it " to which he and Marius began laughing. The tracker headed back to get Tman and the truck and me and Marius went down the hill to the wildebeest the walk down was much harder than the walk up which is often the case, it was steep there were lots of small rocks hidden in the grass making our decent very slow and we both managed to slip over on the rocks , luckly Marius volentered to carry the rifle on the way down.

We shot from the ridgeline on the left side of the hill in the background just below the summit.
Dudders, Congrats on a great hunt! I have hunted that exact area before for a Barbary Sheep and can attest to the loss of skin on knees and elbows. I was actually supposed to do this hunt in March but broke some toes a couple days before departure! I'm headed back in June. Looking forward to the rest of your report and congrats on some fine shooting!
Congratz on a great hunt. Marius is a great guy to hunt with. He under-promises and over delivers.
Looking forward to the rest of your story. Also if you like climbing you need to do a Val Rehbok hunt with him.
Darn good shooting. Looking forward to the rest of your report.
I’m enjoying your play by play. Really like the concept of your hunt, culling the herd! Congrats on your fine shooting in the wind, hope it continues through the remainder of your adventure
Congratz on a great hunt. Marius is a great guy to hunt with. He under-promises and over delivers.
Looking forward to the rest of your story. Also if you like climbing you need to do a Val Rehbok hunt with him.
Thanks but we have already done the vaal rehbok and that was some steep country
Dudders, Congrats on a great hunt! I have hunted that exact area before for a Barbary Sheep and can attest to the loss of skin on knees and elbows. I was actually supposed to do this hunt in March but broke some toes a couple days before departure! I'm headed back in June. Looking forward to the rest of your report and congrats on some fine shooting!
Hi Marius did tell me about about that hope you are all sorted now.
We waited almost 2 hours for the trackers to get back to us with the truck partly due to the terrain and part due to the fact they were terrified of doing any damage to Marius's new toyota. We gutted the animal there and loaded up and were away quickly as marius was concerned about spoiling the meat as it had began to get quite hot this afternoon. As we traveled down the hill and reached the pastures there was a lot of shouting from the back of the truck i looked out the window and there was a large puff adder next to the truck a disscusion followed and Marius was asked by the farm tracker to shoot it which he did using his 9mm using a shot cartridge.

I am no lover of snakes they just freak me out but i can not help but look i know its weird but it is what it is , I will say it was the most amazing colour a vivid yellow and black and about 31/2 feet long.
We dopped the wildebeest off in the shade under some trees with a good breeze blowing over it we then went to head up the next valley to see if we could find the blesbok again. As we reached the beginning of the valley we stopped, Marius checked his watch then spoke with the farm tracker they decided on a change of plan it was getting late and the time it would take to get where they wanted to go it would be almost dark when we got there a pointless exercise, so we took the decision to leave the blesbok until tomorrow and go after a herd of black wilderbeest that had been hanging around in one of the pasture blocks.
We formulated a plan of action. The grass paddocks were in a line at the base of a slope which lead up to a vertical rock face the paddocks were about 80 acres a piece and stock fenced and flat with no cover apart from a concrete water storage tank right in the middle and a small raised bank that divided one of the fields. According to the farm tracker the wildebeest would just run from one paddock to the next when disturbed and and were well used to the location of the field gateways and would use these to make there wayout and if pushed hard enough run back into the hills. So we decided to set up at the base of the slope in the corner of the last paddock on a bit of a grassy knoll over looking the fields aand a gateway that the tracker was certain they would head for as there exit into the hills Tman and the farm tracker then drove around behind the herd and parked the vehicle in view this would hopefully stop them heading the wrong way to the opposite end of the paddocks they then began to walk slowly back towards us just making themselves visable enough to move the wildebeest but not enough to make them stampede off into the distance. So for the next hour we sat as one of the trackers would show themselves and the wildebeest would take off in no particular direction run madly around for 5 minutes to end up back in the same spot, it was funny to watch the ammount of times we thought they we coming to us for them to turn and head back again. As the trackers began to get closer the wildebeest finally began to move towards our corner of the field. Eventually they took off and ran to our right to the base of the slope away from the gate way and stopped at about 230 meters Marius picked out a female right on the edge of the group and well clear of the trackers we confirmed we were both looking at the same cow and i took the shot the cow ran a short distance and dropped i reloaded as the main group took off again this time heading straight for the gateway as we had hoped but they span around just as they reached it and stoped right in front of us I was scrabbling to move the rifle around into a better position without giving away our location as they were now within 80 yards of us. Marius spotted an old cow with a broken off horn had stopped right below us i quickly found her in the scope and took the shot the old cow took off and then crumpled up and dropped to the floor. the herd took off again towards the gate only to swing again this time heading straight back towards us Marius jumped up told me to get up quick and start making noise the herd turned and ran back down the paddock before turning again and this time exiting the gateway and back into the hills. Marius said he was worried that the wildebeest were going to run over the top of us and people had been seriously injured by that before.
With six animals in the bag today Marius was super happy his best day so far had been five so a new target had been set with a fair bit of work for the trackers to do we loaded up and went back to our accomadation and let the trackers go deal with the carcases. The night ended on a high with arsenal Marius's soccer team beating chelsea 5 to 0 a good day all round

a view from the lodge looking back towards the hill with the paddocks below
Nice hunt Dudders, keep it coming, but you really should make Marius work harder than that;)
Day three and today we had a foggy start

The plan was to head to where we abandoned our plans yesterday and head up into one of the seldom traveled valleys and see if we could find the blesbok. We began to travel up into the hills on a track running parallel to a stream along the valley bottom with rock to one side and a six foot drop on the other. We reached a point where the track became very narrow which had no more than 8 inches more than the width of the toyota. we were carefully navigating this narrow stretch when we spotted a big washout ahead of us with no other option we decamped from the truck and set off on foot into the fog.We walked for about 20 minutes up the valley bottom and after a quick disscussion our plans changed. It was decided with no vehicle access extraction would be extreamly difficult so me and marius would go back go to the next valley over where we could extract from easily and set up and the two trackers would continue to walk up the valley and hopefully push any blesbok over into ours.
the valley we were walking up
The access track in this area was the rock strewn riverbed with pools of water a couple of feet deep.
We returned to the vehicle and Marius jumped in and attempted to reverse out but the truck kept trying to slide towards the drop on the wet grass with no way forward because of the washout and at that point we noticed the undercut behind the truck. At this point we stopped Marius went to get t man and the farm guide. Marius returned with them both and with no other vehicles available to help tow constuction work began to build some support for the banks with four of us and a good supply of rocks from the river it was not to long before we were able to extract marius's truck.

After Marius had reduced his heart rate we headed to the next valley where we parked up on a flat piece of ground with no acess issues we walked up a stream which had cut a 6 foot deep gully up the valley to hide our approach just incase animals were lurking in the fog. A fallow buck walked out of the gully ahead of us and headed up the side of the valley to some scub to lay up for the day he was oblivious to our presence it looked like and smelt like he haad chosen the gully as his prefered rutting spot. We headed to a mound which would give us a good shooting position at the head of the valley and sat and waited, Marius range various point for reference.

The view once the fog had lifted.

The shooting position.
It was a beautiful place to sit and wait in the end all that we saw was a single male blesbock and two cape mountain zebras which came from the next valley not long followed by the two trackers.
I see that Gypsy was supervising.
We regrouped at the vehicle with T man and the farm guide and we were to go and try an area at the back of the property it was a bit of a treck in which the toyota was in low range most of the way the track was marked by by a a line of stones which were moved to create the clear path to drive along
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the terrain on the way up the views are amazing but the going is tough you are constantly bouncing around in the cab of the truck. We stopped for a while to watch a herd of barbary sheep on the opposite hill that numbered into the 70s before moving off again

there were some areas of cover on the slopes some contained mountain reedbucks. It was very open country.

half way point stopped for a break.

looking back to where we had traveled up from between the two hill tops on the left you can just make out the track between them. We traveled on some more and finaly began to see some promising looking valleys
We came to stop out of sight on a flat area near the summit of one of the hills, Just around the corner was a wide grassy valley there were several herds of black wildebeest and blesbok grazing this was looking like our best chance for our last two blesbok. We sat and had some lunch while a plan has hatched. The group of females we would be going after were at the far end of the valley but we needed to pass the wildebeest and the batchelor blesbok to get to them, The valley had no bushes to hide our approach The only option was to travel up the stream on the left hand side of the valley hoping it would cover us on our approch and allow us to sneak past the other animals without disturbing them. Following the stream would lead us up behind a small spur that came out of the hillside which should cover our exit from the stream and allow us to approach out of view and provide a shooting point over looking the blesbok. But first we needed to get to the stream luckily the only cover on that valley was down the hillside between us and the stream it was only four to five feet high but should be ok to cover our movement. So off we set it was a steep desent down to the stream, We stopped a couple of times just to check we had not alerted anything to our presence. As we reached the stream we would need to cross about 20 yards with no cover. Marius checked the valley again and said ok go we made a quick dash across and dropped into the stream. The stream was about eight feet deep and provided plenty of cover and the wwind was blowing directly into our faces so far so good, the stream was covered in rocks and boulders with deep pools and the banks were soft black dirt we spent 20 minutes hoping from rock to rock and rock to bank hoping that the rock would not roll away as you landed on it having safely made it to our exit point with no more than a damp boot we sat down. Marius carefully crawled up to look out over the edge of the stream we had made it with out being noticed by the animals we had passed, we proceeded a bit further up the stream so we would be better screened from those animals when we exited. When we emerged we slowly walked up the back slope of the spur as we reached the ridge Marius signaled me to sit down and he and the tracker slid forward to the edge for a look a few moments later he waved me to move forward but to get down and crawl up to them when i reached them i could see the blesbok out ahead of us at about 250 meters slowly grazing to our right after a look over the herd an old female was chosen she the second animal from the right we adjusted postion so we could have a clear shot between the rocks where we were sat. Marius told me to watch her and be ready to shoot when told, as they were going to pick a second female the plan being the tracker to watch the second animal while we shot the first allowing for a quick shot on the second. We were all set Marius told me to shoot the first female when i was ready, at the shot the herd took off heading right as the blesbok ewe dropped to the ground the herd changed direction and headed off to the left then stopping to look back the second ewe being watched by the tracker was quickly identified and after a quick position change as the angle was blocked by rocks the shot was taken and the second blesbok was down less than 20 seconds between the two shots. Marius and the farm tracker would head back to get the truck and clear the path down as t man would not drive the truck down the hill side, I would stay and keep watch.

looking back to shooting position
view looking down the valley

looking back from shooting position to where we started from you can just make out the track going behind the hill.
It took a while for the guys to get back to me while i waited i dragged the blesbock together to make pick up easier and quicker it also seemed to impress T man and the farm tracker when they got here. While i laid in the grass waiting a large bird not sure if an eagle or vulture took alot of interest in all the bodys laying there it had a bit of a shock when i stood up it flew off up the hill and watched from a distance after.
So the drive back to the lodge was as rough going back as it was going on our way out of the valley we did have to make some more emergency track repairs but again plenty of rocks around to fill in the washouts on the tracks.
Just some views on the way back


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