Discussion in 'Hunting Reports Africa' started by Ragman, Aug 7, 2018.
Ragman I know how you felt because kudu was my main animal. Congrats and Marius is a top notch PH.
I know just how you feel about the dogs! I owe the recovery of my Kudu to my PH's
Jack Russel charlie. They are truly amazing little dogs!
Now that the spiral-horns were in the salt, it was time to turn our attention to Waterbuck. We would be hunting the same farm as yesterday so we drove to the main yard to pick up Doug again. The area where we hunted the Kudu wasn't very far from the yard, but the part of the property where the Waterbuck lived was an hour drive away. That's driving on the same piece of property for an entire hour and I don't think we hit the end of it then! This farm was a working livestock farm with hundreds and hundreds of Angora goats as well as many sheep. Tina was particularly enamoured with the Angoras as they were quite woolly at the time.
When we came to the area that we were to start hunting, we parked the bakkie and started walking along the "road" and stopping every once in a while to glass. One spot in the road we were walking had a nasty hole in the one track. Inside the hole was a large stick pointing upwards. As Lloyd would be following up with the bakkie, Marius and Doug made a pile of rocks so that he would see the hole without driving in it. Doug was a pretty straight-faced fellow that I had been trying to get a smile out of for two days without success. So when they were finished stacking large rocks, I picked up a little robin egg-sized stone and set it on the top of the pile. I gave Doug a big stupid grin and a thumbs-up and said "I helped"! Finally I got a laugh out of him!
Soon after, either Marius or Doug (I forget which already) spotted a little group of Waterbuck. There was a bull and a couple cows and they were close. Marius slipped off his boots and instructed me to do the same. I figured that there was an awful lot of sharp, pokey things on the ground to be walking around in sock feet, but when hunting in Africa you do exactly as your PH says. As we snuck towards the Waterbuck's location I could hear them start to trot away across some rocks. We topped a little rise and they were standing less than 100 yards away. The bull looked good to me, and I figured that this was going to be an easy shot compared to yesterday's 250 yard poke. Marius was looking through the binoculars without setting up the sticks and I thought that I hoped I didn't have to make an offhand shot! Then to my surprise, Marius turned and shook his head. Not big enough? He replied that he was a good bull but "A Day 8 bull. Not a Day 3 bull". Gotcha. He called Lloyd on the radio and before I knew it, here he came with our boots! I slipped mine on and figured that I'd lace them up when we got to the bakkie, but to just let you know what kind of a guy Lloyd is, he stopped me and tied them for me!
The second area that we tried also produced some Waterbuck cows. After a short time scanning the area with the binoculars, Marius spotted a bull laying in the shade under a tree about 300 yards away. This bull deserved a closer look, so we snuck in closer, all the while being careful not to alert the cows. We finally got to a spot where we could get a good look at this bull, but this one was also not ready yet. We crept back to the truck and let the bull continue his nap. By now it was lunch time.
After lunch, we went to a third area. This place I found particularly scenic and enjoyed walking through it. As we walked along we came upon a very good warthog. I was almost tempted, as this one was bigger than the boar I shot in Namibia, but we were on a Waterbuck mission. However, Marius said that he had a guy coming in that wanted a trophy warthog, so he figured that he would be bringing him back here. As the afternoon progressed Marius pointed to his nose and whispered that he could smell Waterbuck. We slowed right down and stayed alert. As we started to crest a small hill, Marius suddenly went down and motioned for us to do the same. He told me to move up beside him but to stay low. When I reached him, he told me where to look and as I peaked over the edge of the hill, I could clearly see the neck, head and horns of a Waterbuck about 130 yards away. However, his entire vital area was covered by the bushes he was standing in. He was not aware of us, but was facing our way so we had to be very careful. Marius decided that we would wait to see if the bull would take a few steps to expose his shoulder. I asked if that meant he was a good one, and Marius just nodded and gave a thumbs-up. At this point it was a touch past 4:30pm. Getting late. After a half hour of waiting, the bull still hadn't moved. We were now starting to get concerned as the light was just starting to fade. Marius made the decision to send Lloyd and Doug way around the bull. The plan was for them to just talk at a normal volume so that the bull would hear them but not spook right away. However they hadn't gotten far when some female Waterbuck started moving out. This caused the bull to finally move, so we had to quickly get set up on the sticks. While we were sitting and waiting Marius had told me to really concentrate on my shot because I wouldn't get away with a bad shot on a Waterbuck like I did with my Kudu. I kept that in mind as I put the crosshairs on the bull and squeezed the trigger. At the shot we heard the thump as the bullet hit home and the bull bolted into the bushes to the right. Seconds later he came flying out to the left, across an open area and them back behind some trees. As we discussed the shot, Marius said that he thought he saw him go down. We were running out of daylight, so headed straight to where we last saw him. Sure enough we found him laying dead after a 100 yard death-dash. Marius declared "You don't know what you've done here. That is a Proper Chief!" He was right...I probably didn't truly understand. But I do know that I was very happy with him! Beautiful bull.
It's only the end of Day 3 and four of my six animals are done. Have to start thinking about making an addition!
Rayman, all fine animals! Of course if you’re not happy with one, you’ll just have to return to Africa......sad situation!
Since we still have a whole week left in the hunt, I decided that Tina should get to have a day of something that she would like to do as she has been such a trooper following us all over the hills and through the thorns. It was decided that Marius' lovely wife Kim would take us to Port Alfred for a day of shopping. We travelled through changing terrain going up quite high in elevation. Started to see trees that were a little more familiar looking until we started going down again and then we were in pineapple country! Beside one pineapple field, there was a giant pineapple tourist shop. I told Tina that we must be in Bikini Bottom and that's SpongeBob's house. But I think I thought it was funnier than she did!
Finally we reached Port Alfred, another lovely seaside town. When you live in the prairies and never get to see the ocean, anytime I do is very exciting to me! After checking out some shops and picking up some souvenirs, Kim took us to a restaurant down by the ocean and we all had pizza. I thoroughly enjoyed just sitting there and watching the waves come in with the company of two beautiful ladies! We were all entertained by a bunch of surfers as well. Aside from my fear of sharks, I think that if I was a young man again, I would like to try surfing. After lunch we hit some more shops and picked up a few more souvenirs. And Tina managed to find a certain pair of pants that she's been dying to buy...something she calls "Elephant Pants". Definitely look a lot better than they sound! On the way back we stopped in Grahamstown for the famous milkshakes of Friesland. They were definitely tasty. I got the chocolate. Marius had sent a cooler with us and an order for a dozen for him to last him the rest of the week!
Thank you Kim!
Just one problem. I'm extremely happy with every animal I took! Couldn't have hoped for more!
Dang man, you are racking up some great trophies! Nice waterbuck!
Thanks! I'm not a fussy hunter, but Marius said that it often works out that the guys who aren't hung up on measurements seem to always get really good trophies. But it's all thanks to him...I was just the triggerman!
Now I have to catch up on your Zambia report!
Great hunt so far, very good trophies, congrats !
Love that waterbuck @Ragman, Flex and Rigby had to bay mine right before dark for a third shot. First hit was a double lung and second was just under the heart. They are one tough animal for sure.
Thanks! After the Kudu incident the day before, I was definitely happy that the Waterbuck was down in one shot!
Day 5 & 6
The morning of Day 5 we returned yet again to the same farm to see if we couldn't put a Common Springbok down. This was another one of my target species in Namibia that I was unsuccessful in obtaining. It didn't take long to find a few different herds and the hunt was on. These little guys were really switched on and we were having trouble getting close enough to really look them over. Adding to our difficulties was a group of Impala that kept spooking the Springbok on us. There were some very nice Impala rams on this farm! The only Common ram that we could find eventually gave us the slip and we could not relocate him. The Black rams however must have known that they were in no danger from us and taunted me quite a few times! I was a little annoyed at the time, but it's funny now! We decided that it was a futile effort to keep after these Springbok, so we headed back to the lodge for lunch.
For a few months prior to my hunt with KMG I had been contemplating whether or not I should add a Blue Wildebeest to my list. I always thought they were an incredible looking animal, and to me the just scream "AFRICA" as much as zebras, giraffes and elephants. And the more that I saw on AH, the more I wanted one. I flip-flopped back and forth for weeks as it would add nearly a thousand dollars to my trip cost. And I said as much to Marius. But when I got there and saw some, I decided that I had to have one. Besides, adding one to this trip would cost much, much less than coming back another time (not that I've decided to never return!), so Blue Wildebeest was added to the menu!
After lunch and a short siesta, Marius told me that we were going to try for a Blue bull that was on the Mpunzi property. Several other PHs had tried to hunt this old loner and all had failed. Sounded like a plan to me. Off we go...driving to a starting point to start walking from. Before we got there, Marius spotted a Golden Wildebeest that lives on the property. He thought that maybe the Blue bull would be with him, so we backed up and parked the bakkie. We began a stalk to where we had seen the Golden, but he was gone and his tracks indicated that he was heading away from us on the road at a good clip. We kept walking along and it appeared that he had picked up his buddy, so we kept following. And following. When it was apparent that we weren't going to catch up, we backtracked to a cliff that overlooked the valley. We got ourselves comfortable and commenced glassing. It wasn't long until Marius and Lloyd located the Golden bull across the valley. Pretty soon it looked like the Blue was with him. We made a plan and drove back down the hill and up the other side. When we were still far enough away that we wouldn't spook the bulls, we started walking again. Not too far into this walk, Marius said that it was time to go into stealth mode, so off with the shoes. Groan...another walk through the rocks in my socks!!! There was all kinds of small and medium rocks in this area, so the walk was particularly painful! After sneaking along for 20 minutes or so with me following about 6 feet behind Marius, chaos erupted. Marius had stepped over a large hole (aardvark burrow I think) and I was just about to when a huge commotion began. He spun around as he thought I had fallen into the hole. But right when he turned, the first warthog came barrelling out, straight at him. He reacted quickly and turned the pig to my left with his shooting sticks. Then out came a second warthog. And a third. And a fourth, fifth and sixth! As each pig emerged from the hole, Marius would turn them aside with his shooting sticks. Right, left, right, left and right. These were not little piglets either...they were all full grown or nearly so. Marius said that if they had hit him, the resulting injuries could have put a serious dampener on his season! After he turned the last warthog away, I was still choking on dust and pig-stink. We looked at each other for a few seconds and then both burst out laughing! What else could we do? The way he fended them off with his shooting sticks made me think of the story he told me of looking for @blacks bushbuck in the long grass. Handy tool...works great for shooting AND self-defence! After that little adventure, we had Lloyd bring our shoes (I tied my own this time) and we called it a day.
As Day 6 was a Sunday, we stayed on the Mpunzi property and tried to track down the elusive Blue bull, but were unable to find him. Marius had texted the other PHs who had tried for him and told them that we had gotten him. They of course demanded pics, so Marius sent a pic of another Blue that someone had killed. Then of course they wanted to see pics with me in them. Checkmate. Before supper we went to check on the Bushpig bait that is being prepared for an upcoming hunter. Fun day.
Today we were back on the road to a new farm. This one had Springbok, Blesbok and Blue Wildebeest on it...all three species remaining on my list. This farm was a bit farther away and required quite a bit of travel on the blacktop highway. As we drove along, we came to some highway construction. As everyone on here knows, in Africa they drive in the left lane. Due to the construction, our left lane was closed, so they had a stop-and-go set up. We waited until the on-coming traffic had gone by, then they opened the right lane for us and the vehicles that had queued up behind us. In the middle of the highway they had these two-feet tall, 10-inches wide signs (they called them chevrons) set up every 10 or 12 feet indicating traffic to stay to the right. As we were driving along, a pickup with some kind of utility topper decided that he was going to pass us in the closed lane. But before he could get past us, a big yellow barrier appeared in from of him and he had to pile on the binders! He got back in line behind us and didn't try again, but then a little Volkswagen Polo decided he was going to attempt to pass us!!! Cripes! The area we were travelling in at the time was quite high up and right off the left shoulder was a sheer rock face. This is right where the Polo driver decided to pass us. And he was hauling ass. He got by us and just as he was nearly to the car that was immediately in front of us, he clipped one of the chevron signs which caused him to start fishtailing. He came within inches of the car in front of us and suddenly veered head-on into the rock face. One of the chevron signs flew right over top of us as the Polo bounced and slid along the cliff before coming to a stop. This all happened mere feet in front of us, but it was like watching it on a TV or something. We were all in a state of shock and wondered if the people inside or alive or dead. But as we came to a stop, a young fellow got out of the drivers seat to investigate the damage. The whole front end was crushed and he put his hands on his head in dismay. Wonder if it was his father's car? Luckily Marius' Toyota never suffered a scratch. Holy crap, what a start to the day.
Before we got to the farm house, we were driving down the road and spotted a big Blue Wildebeest bull that had a Hartebeest buddy with him. Marius said we were going to try for him after we picked up the farm tracker. When we got there, I was introduced to the tracker whom Marius knew and had hunted with before. This fellow's name was Freeda and was my favourite farm tracker of the hunt. Very friendly and talkative.
We decided to try for Springbok to start with. It didn't take long to find them and after scanning a couple of groups, we spotted two rams off by themselves. Marius said that they were both shooters, but the front one was a little bit heavier in the horn. The stalk was on. We were only able to get about 150 yards away from them before they decided they didn't like us getting any closer and started to walk. We then took a parallel course to them, walking along in the same direction while angling in slowly. It seemed to put the two rams at ease as they slowed down and then stopped. Marius said that we would walk a little farther and he would set up the sticks when the ram came into the clear at 130 yards. When he stopped and set the sticks, I got the rifle on them, located a broadside ram and asked if I should shoot. Marius gave the affirmative and I fired. The ram collapsed on the spot, but Marius said "Reload, he's running away!" Huh? "Yes, he's running!" says Marius. I said, "No he's not...he's laying right there!" Then it dawned on me that I just shot the wrong ram. The ram that was now struggling to regain his feet. However his hind legs would not work. As we approached the ram, I was preparing the .300 WM for the finishing shot but Marius said to not shoot. He handed me his 9mm handgun to use to avoid destroying excess meat and the cape. I quickly approached the ram and ended his suffering as fast as I could. I hate it that I didn't kill him cleanly. My first shot hit him just in front of the hind quarters. Piss poor shooting on my part and I'm sorry for it. But he is a beautiful ram and I asked Marius if he was really the wrong one. Marius said that it didn't really make much of a difference. The other one was slightly heavier, but this one's horns hooked back nicer. I love the hooks, so decide I shot the right one after all.
After we completed the photo shoot and loaded up the Springbok, we headed back to the general area where we had seen the big Blue. We parked the bakkie about a half mile from where we figured he was and Marius, Freeda and I started to walk. As we walked along a nice Mountain Reedbuck jumped up and ran off, and a little farther on a Steinbok ram. Already have a Steinbok...Mountain Reedbuck a future possibility! We were just getting to a distance where we would have to be very alert when a pretty nice Kudu bull jumped the fence to our right and headed off in the direction that we thought the Wildebeest and his Hartebeest partner were. Sure enough, there goes the Hartebeest. No Wildeb....no wait, there he goes. Dang it. Oh well...we have to go back to the farm to look after the Springbok and have lunch anyway.
This pic reminds me of a story that I forgot to tell. Tina says I can't, but "I don't listen too good"! Anyways, as anybody who has hunted with Marius knows, Flex is an animal when it comes to stick fetching. Tina enjoyed throwing sticks for him, but her accuracy is not top-tier we shall say. The sticks often flew out of her hand 90 degrees from the direction that she intended, which often confused poor Flex. Well the afternoon that I shot my Waterbuck, she was playing fetch with Flex while Lloyd and I were moving my Waterbuck onto the tarp for loading. Out of nowhere comes this stick flying through the air and "Whack!" Hits poor Lloyd right in the head! We thought he was hurt at first as he was holding his head and kept checking for blood. Tina was mortified and almost in tears. She kept asking if he was OK and he kept assuring her he was. He was just concerned at first as he thought he had been hit with a rock! I thanked her and asked if she realized we would have to give Lloyd a bigger tip now! Lol. There...when she reads this I'm a dead man.
Day 7 cont...
After lunch it was time to get serious about Blue Wildebeest. I was both very excited and also terrified by this prospect. Excited in that I think the Blue is an incredible trophy and produces one of the coolest skull mounts and terrified in that every story I have ever heard or read about them goes on about their legendary toughness and if you wound one, they just get stronger and stronger. While I haven't missed a shot yet, on three of the five animals I've killed so far, the initial shot was off the mark. Bushbuck in the neck. Kudu in the guts. Springbok in the hind quarters. I really need to get my act together and this fact was confirmed by my patient PH.
We drove to another location where Marius, Freeda and I again went for a walk. As has become the routine, Tina stayed behind with Lloyd to read her book while she waited. A bull had been located and we left them to begin the stalk. The bull we were after was bedded down in the shade of a tree sleeping, so he would have been relatively easy to sneak up on, but he had a Blesbok buddy there with him that we had to avoid spooking. When we got as close as we dared on foot, we carried on, crawling on our hands and knees. We finally reached a lone tree that we were going to use for cover and sat ourselves down underneath it. The bull was only 120 yards away and fast asleep...the Blesbok was not in sight. We had forgotten to grab the short sticks when we left the bakkie and we weren't going back for them now. Marius adjusted and readjusted the long sticks until they were somewhat comfortable for me to shoot from. However, after a few minutes, Freeda spoke up and said that he thought we should stand and get on the sticks that way. So we stood up and I got on the sticks again. Marius asked if I had a clear shot and I said that I did at the moment, but if he stood up his vitals might be screened by branches. As we sat back down, the bull did indeed stand up. Now we weren't set up to shoot at all! I rested the rifle on a branch of our tree but couldn't get steady, so Marius tried to get his sticks set up under my elbow. It didn't work to well at first and that's the first time that I saw Marius getting a bit frustrated. Finally he got them just right and I said I was good. The bull was standing slightly quartering away and both Marius and Freeda reminded me of the importance of an accurate shot. I told him that I was shooting for the opposite leg, and suddenly my jangled nerves calmed right down. Boom!!! The bull bucked and took off to the right. I quickly reloaded and he reappeared running back to the left, then swerved and was running straight away. There were trees between us, and just as I was losing sight of him, I was convinced that I saw him flop over. Marius hadn't seen that so we very carefully worked our way in that direction. Then we noticed his Blesbok buddy looking at something on the ground. He would trot, then stop and look. Trot around and stop and look again. Marius set the sticks up and I got ready while he looked the Blesbok over. Soon he decided it wasn't quite what we were looking for so we continued on to find my Blue. Once we got to the general area where I thought he had fallen, I looked between two bushes and could see a hook shape sticking out of the grass. There was my Blue Wildebeest...dead with a perfect shot right in the pocket! What a relief! I have my poor-man's buffalo!
This bull turned out to be my second favourite trophy of the trip. I am so glad that I added him on. They are such an impressive, solid animal. Even with the hide off, they look strong. The carcass reminded me of a small moose.
Time to hit the highway for home. Hopefully there are no car wrecks in front of us this time!
at least you got most of the report written.
Great story about the stick. Just don't let her read the report. Nice BW.
Nice Wildebeest, congrats!!!
Congratulations on a great hunt. Great trophies! Welcome to the KMG family of happy clients.
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