SOUTH AFRICA: KMG Hunting Safaris, The Collector's Edition 2019

Discussion in 'Hunting Reports Africa' started by blacks, Aug 11, 2019.

  1. blacks

    blacks AH Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2011
    Messages:
    457
    Video/Photo:
    236
    Likes Received:
    883
    Location:
    South Australia
    Member of:
    Australian Deer Association, Australian Association of Wildlife Artists
    Hunted:
    Australia, New Zealand, Namibia, South Africa
    G'Day Folks!

    Soon after I returned from a fantastic safari with KMG in 2018, a group of fellow Aussies showed interest in accompanying me back on their first African visit. So I proceeded to organise the group through my taxidermy business, and before the dust had even settled, dates were agreed upon and another long year of planning and anticipation ensued. At this stage I hadn’t even thought about what I might hunt personally, as I already had most of the common plains game species that interested me on previous trips to RSA & Namibia.

    As the months rolled by, Marius threw a few ideas at me and I decided to tackle the mountain species – Vaal Rhebuck, Mountain Reedbuck and Barbary Sheep. The latter in particular was a species I’d always wanted to hunt, so permits were sorted and we locked it in. Marius told me to get on the treadmill, but of course, with a heavy work schedule, I barely did…

    The rifle I chose for this trip was the one I’d used on Tahr the prior October. My mountain rig, a Tikka T3 Superlite 7mm Rem Mag, in a B&C Medallist stock and scoped with a Z3 4-12x50 BT in Talley lightweight mounts. I’m not particularly attached to it, but as a tool it simply works; it’s lightweight and accurate. I’m shooting locally made Atomic 29 135gn CNC copper bullets, travelling at 3160fps. They’d worked well in all my testing thus far so was confident they’d do the job in the African mountains as well.

    20190725_221540.jpg

    Travel

    South Australia is a long way from anywhere, and Africa is no different. The condensed version is this:

    -5 hour drive to the airport

    -Fly Jetstar to Sydney & overnight there. Meet the group and head out for dinner and drinks. Find out our Qantas flight to Joburg the next morning is delayed by 6 hours! I contacted Adele at Hunters Permits and notified her of our late arrival, she also notified our accommodation which was great.

    -After a lazy morning in Sydney we finally boarded QF64 for the gruelling 14 hour haul to Johannesburg. Airport and permits provided minimal hassles and we finally settled into Nkanga Lodge around midnight, excited to finally have boots in African soil.

    -The next morning saw a short SAA flight down to East London found the familiar face of Marius Goosen, along with PH Karl and Lodge owner Andrew waiting for us, and we were off to camp!

    20190728_073337.jpg


    Arrival

    After being allocated rooms, we headed off to the range to check our rifles. Happily my 7mm still printed a decent group 2” high at 100m. That night we all settled into camp, 5 Aussie hunters, 5 PH’s, and lodge staff making for a vibrant atmosphere and over a few drinks and some Nyala fillet, I soaked up the familiar anticipation of the first night on safari; added to by a bunch of first-timers. With the group settled in, wish-lists discussed and plans made, we had an early night; as at 4:30am the next morning Marius and I would be heading 2.5 hours north to base ourselves high in the Stormberg Mountains for the first few days.....


    20190730_195554.jpg
     

  2. greyfox

    greyfox AH Fanatic

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2012
    Messages:
    517
    Likes Received:
    327
    Marius and Kim are wonderful hosts, and run a first class operation!
     
    Gemsbok Gangsta and blacks like this.

  3. blacks

    blacks AH Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2011
    Messages:
    457
    Video/Photo:
    236
    Likes Received:
    883
    Location:
    South Australia
    Member of:
    Australian Deer Association, Australian Association of Wildlife Artists
    Hunted:
    Australia, New Zealand, Namibia, South Africa
    DAY 1

    Arriving at the huge highland concession just after first light, we dropped our gear in our cozy rooms and headed straight out for a look. Vaal Rhebuck were our #1 target, and Marius had prepared me well for just how challenging they can be, and how amazing their eyesight is. As I saw Marius pulling on long pants, face veil and gloves, I knew he was not joking. I dressed likewise. Plenty of blesbok scattered as we crossed the high plains and headed deeper into the mountains. With camp at around 5000 feet and the areas we were hunting around 6000 feet ASL, this was similar elevations as my NZ tahr hunts, and I was quite surprised. Although happily, the hills were nowhere near as steep.

    20190731_100747.jpg

    20190731_103125.jpg

    A few scattered vaalies were seen coming from water, but no rams. Marius picked up a couple of mountain reedbuck feeding on a slope, but the spotting scope revealed a young ram so we pressed on. Eventually mid-morning we glassed a mob of vaalies feeding their way from the flats back into their mountain bedding area. Circling around a few kilometres, we left the Cruiser and came in over the mountain to tackle them from above. As we neared the edge, we went from stooping, to crawling, to sliding through the rocks flat to the ground like a pair of pythons. Although the back python appeared to have recently consumed a gazelle…. :ROFLMAO::whistle:

    Reaching the edge, we carefully glassed and the mob was still present with the ram at the rear. They were still over 500 metres away, but the way they were travelling it looked like they’d pass within our 300m range. Slowly they edged closer, until one of the keen-eyed ewes stared straight at us from 503 metres, peeking from behind a rock on top of the mountain. “We are busted!”, Marius whispers. “Bullshit!” I reply. But busted we were, and I got schooled in just how good these little antelope are.

    20190731_110343.jpg

    They headed out across the plain toward another mountain to our left. We backed out, and repeated the whole exercise, going around and over the next mountain. This time, we found ourselves perched in some rocks looking down on the mob at 300m. I slowly moved the rifle into position, fully camouflaged and not wanting to attract attention. They slowly fed into 280 metres. I looked at the crosshair at 12x on the tiny target below. Marius watched the lead ewe who was still moving and knew the ram would follow eventually, so we waited. Finally he stood broadside at 250 metres. This was it. I steadied my aim and squeezed, the shot felt good and the ram dropped, hit hard. But as quickly as he dropped, he found his feet again, running 200m across the plain before dropping again.

    Marius and I worked our way down the hill and across the plain via a large washout. Circling around, we came within 150m, and off the sticks I put in a good finisher and my trophy was secure. My first shot had hit the point of the shoulder but I hadn’t allowed enough for the downward angle, so the bullet missed the bottom of the heart and smashed the offside leg on the way out. He was never going far though.

    Now ground shrinkage is not uncommon but the opposite is a lovely feeling, and that’s exactly what happened here. Marius knew he was a good mature ram with heavy bases, I’d had a good look at him and thought he was very good compared to pictures I’d studied. But in reality he was better than we’d both anticipated; old with worn teeth and tattered ears. Neither of us hunt for the tape measure (in fact in the 11 trophies I’d hunted with KMG, this was the first we have laid a tape on) but at the end of the week we were impressed when he came in just shy of 9”. A trophy to be proud of, a fantastic mountain hunt, and in the salt just before lunch on day 1. What a start!

    20190731_115159.jpg
    20190731_120705.jpg
     

  4. Tra3

    Tra3 AH Veteran

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2019
    Messages:
    238
    Video/Photo:
    2
    Likes Received:
    230
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    Member of:
    SCI
    Hunted:
    Namibia
    Enjoying the report thus far! Thanks for the photos of other details, keep it coming!
     
    blacks likes this.

  5. cpr0312

    cpr0312 AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2011
    Messages:
    8,008
    Video/Photo:
    262
    Likes Received:
    6,540
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Member of:
    NRA Life Member
    Hunted:
    US (All over), New Zealand, South Africa(Northern Cape, Northwest), Zimbabwe
    Enjoying the start! Congrats on a nice vallie!
     
    blacks likes this.

  6. blacks

    blacks AH Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2011
    Messages:
    457
    Video/Photo:
    236
    Likes Received:
    883
    Location:
    South Australia
    Member of:
    Australian Deer Association, Australian Association of Wildlife Artists
    Hunted:
    Australia, New Zealand, Namibia, South Africa
    My Vaalie cleaned up on the hook...to become a shoulder mount. I found their fur to be just like a kangaroo.

    20190731_123957.jpg


    More Vaalie country....

    DSCN3247.JPG


    Another view of my Vaalie. Shot from the mountain behind, the red washout is the one we walked down. Excuse the 'beanie hair' :ROFLMAO:
    DSCN3262.JPG
     
    Jeff75, Edge, Bailey Vinac and 5 others like this.

  7. blacks

    blacks AH Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2011
    Messages:
    457
    Video/Photo:
    236
    Likes Received:
    883
    Location:
    South Australia
    Member of:
    Australian Deer Association, Australian Association of Wildlife Artists
    Hunted:
    Australia, New Zealand, Namibia, South Africa
    DAY 1 (cont.)

    With lunch sorted and Lloyd having dealt with the cape on the vaalie, we headed out again to a different area on the large free-range concession to look for mountain reedbuck. Plenty of black wildebeest and hundreds of springbok covered the plains, with zero cover they’d make for a challenging hunt!

    With the afternoon wearing on, Marius spied a group of reedbuck half way up a bluff, with a promising ram at the rear. Bailing out with the rifle, radio and sticks, we left the trackers to take the vehicle around the bottom and watch through the spotter, and up the slope we went at a rapid pace, half way between a fast walk and slow jog. With me puffing and panting along, Marius reminded me that he’d told me to get on the stepper. I replied that I had, it was just the thin air playing havoc with me. He didn’t believe me. And he was right not to :ROFLMAO:

    DSCN3276.JPG


    Pinned down behind some rocks, we could clearly see 3 females within 300m, standing statue-still and starting in our direction. But the ram was nowhere to be seen. Asking the trackers, the radio crackled back that they could not see him either, but there were more females hidden from view in the kloof before us. The ram had to be with them, we figured. We now had a ‘discussion’ on whether to go up or down…..Marius won so up the mountain we went. Three-quarters of the way up, Lloyd radioed that he thinks we should come down and approach from a different angle below. At this stage I suspected that my dear wife had paid Marius extra to give me some exercise.

    So we dropped right down to the flat and circled in from below. Eventually we found the ram and kept picking our way uphill, the setting sun now at our backs and working in our favour to block the animal’s vision. Just as we approached the mob spooked and ran uphill to our right. We followed, and they eventually paused on the edge of a bluff. The sticks went down, and with my heart racing, I followed the ram until he paused at 220 metres. I rushed the shot and hit him too far back but he went down. Annoyed at myself, we rushed uphill and put a good finisher through his shoulder. A very nice ram and a physically challenging hunt, with photos quickly taken just as light ran out.

    DSCN3281.JPG

    DSCN3285.JPG

    As we raced downhill I slipped and landed on my scope. Happily, a confirmation shot at a bottle on a post showed my zero was not affected.

    It had been a fantastic day, with the mountain double I’d come 12,000km for, achieved on Day 1. And a pair of beautiful trophies they were.

    DSCN3292.JPG
     
    Jeff75, Edge, Hunting Hitman and 8 others like this.

  8. Firebird

    Firebird AH Veteran

    Joined:
    May 16, 2017
    Messages:
    223
    Video/Photo:
    171
    Likes Received:
    377
    Location:
    Utah
    Hunted:
    South Africa
    That’s a really great first day-excited for more about your hunt and how your friends did as well-thanks for posting!
     
    blacks likes this.

  9. Nyati

    Nyati AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2011
    Messages:
    6,963
    Video/Photo:
    100
    Likes Received:
    2,230
    Location:
    Madrid, Spain
    Member of:
    RFEC, RFETO
    Hunted:
    Spain, Finland, RSA ( KwaZulu Natal, Limpopo, North West, Northern Cape, Free State ).
    Fantastic vaalie and very good Mt. Reedbuck, congrats !
     
    gesch and blacks like this.

  10. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN AH ENABLER SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR LIFETIME TITANIUM BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    Messages:
    21,623
    Video/Photo:
    411
    Likes Received:
    14,183
    Hunted:
    Namibia, South Africa, Botswana, Mozambique, Canada, USA, Mexico, England
    Nice trophies.
    Glad you did not break your neck, never mind the rifle.
     
    Gemsbok Gangsta and blacks like this.

  11. Sand Rat

    Sand Rat AH Fanatic

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2013
    Messages:
    720
    Video/Photo:
    108
    Likes Received:
    925
    Location:
    Texas and Saudi Arabia
    Hunted:
    Texas, Mississippi, Kansas, Botswana, Eastern Cape
    Fantastic Vaalie! Love the mountain reedbuck as well.
     
    blacks likes this.

  12. Brent in Az

    Brent in Az SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2015
    Messages:
    2,275
    Video/Photo:
    2
    Likes Received:
    3,707
    Location:
    Arizona
    Hunted:
    USA - Az, NM, CO, MT, MN.
    Excellent! Nice looking country that you are hunting.
     
    blacks likes this.

  13. Neale

    Neale AH Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2015
    Messages:
    430
    Video/Photo:
    100
    Likes Received:
    430
    Location:
    Cape York, Queensland Australia
    Member of:
    SSAA
    Hunted:
    Australia, South Africa ( Eastern Cape, Free State, Limpopo,KwaZulu Natal )
    Great story Blacks. Its going to be tough to beat day 1.
     
    blacks likes this.

  14. TheoR8

    TheoR8 AH Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2018
    Messages:
    53
    Video/Photo:
    1
    Likes Received:
    31
    Location:
    Melbourne AUSTRALIA
    Great stuff Tim. (y)
     
    blacks likes this.

  15. cpr0312

    cpr0312 AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2011
    Messages:
    8,008
    Video/Photo:
    262
    Likes Received:
    6,540
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Member of:
    NRA Life Member
    Hunted:
    US (All over), New Zealand, South Africa(Northern Cape, Northwest), Zimbabwe
    Heckuva first day!
     
    blacks likes this.

  16. Smitty

    Smitty AH Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2018
    Messages:
    68
    Video/Photo:
    13
    Likes Received:
    83
    Location:
    Northern California
    Hunted:
    Plains Game
    Thanks for writing your report. I am looking forward to the rest of it! Well written, and funny too.(y)
     
    blacks likes this.

  17. Mark R

    Mark R AH Veteran

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2011
    Messages:
    164
    Video/Photo:
    66
    Likes Received:
    296
    Location:
    Australia
    Hunted:
    Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Namibia, Zimbabwe, South Africa
    Nice work Tim. Certainly a very productive first couple of days mate ....
     
    blacks likes this.

  18. Witold Krzyżanowski

    Witold Krzyżanowski AH ENABLER AH Legend

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2013
    Messages:
    4,504
    Video/Photo:
    15
    Likes Received:
    2,077
    Location:
    Trzebiatów
    Member of:
    1977; Polish Hunting Assotiation
    Hunted:
    Namibia, Zimbabwe
    Great story, nice trophies. Thanks for sharing.
     
    blacks likes this.

  19. BenKK

    BenKK AH Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2018
    Messages:
    999
    Video/Photo:
    128
    Likes Received:
    1,210
    Location:
    Northern Territory, Australia
    What a day! Very cool!
     
    blacks likes this.

  20. blacks

    blacks AH Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2011
    Messages:
    457
    Video/Photo:
    236
    Likes Received:
    883
    Location:
    South Australia
    Member of:
    Australian Deer Association, Australian Association of Wildlife Artists
    Hunted:
    Australia, New Zealand, Namibia, South Africa
    Thanks one and all! (y)

    I'll get on with it soon!
     

Share This Page

 
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice