SOUTH AFRICA: KMG What A Hunt

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Nice bushbuck! Congrats! Looking forward to hearing more...
 

Gemsbok Gangsta

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Well right now we are packing for Hawaii so I better continue with day 2 !! I know I know rough life.. Before we start into the hunt its important that I share with you this hunt is on top of my list. Marius and his wife Kim were wonderful hosts as well as Louw and Michelle Pieterse. Marius and Louw are partners and grand gentlemen to be around. The overall experience at Mpunzi and with KMG was excellent. From start to finish I truly enjoyed myself. Its funny after day 5 I was running out of gas,a little jet lag and trying to keep up with this young buck was kicking my butt. Marius pushed when he needed too and pulled when he thought needed. I cant say enough good about this guy. I learned a tremendous amount just by watching and keeping the ears open a little difficult when at 53 you think you got it all figured out..not so quick something to learn everyday if you are a willing participant. I recommend KMG highly!! Graham who is the lodge manager and Michelle's brother is a great young PH and did his job well. He was busy with a hunter most of my time but a great kid. Quick mention don't worry if you are a dog guy like me you will not miss your dogs much with the likes of Flex,Rigby and Bolt around.Darn near every morning I was greeted to a rather vocal and ankle rubbing Flex man that guy can talk up a storm!! We started the day with a little breakfast and off at 6:30. We were heading to another farm about a 30 minute ride from Mpunzi. As customary at this particular farm we had to pick up a hand before going afield. It was pretty funny as Marius and the owner talked and spoke of the difficulties of Kudu hunting he wished us luck,and my PH says.. "we'll be back straight away". Well now were off with an extra hand in tow and yes very quickly Lloyd taps the roof of the Toyota and Kudu are spotted. There is a bull in the group and we are off and running into what would be the stalk of my life!! They were a bit off maybe a half mile or better and the wind was good so I assumed my position behind Marius and we were off. Pretty easy going with just a few cactus in the ankle. Pause,glass,move,pause,glass,move bush to bush cover to cover until we were at 200 yds and he was broadside the only thing on this Bulls mind was his ladies. Lots of eyes in the bush but Marius kept us in good shape the entire time,I would say the stalk was between 30 and 40 minutes but hard to keep track when the heart is pumping with adrenaline and trying to move quietly.(Marius yes I will keep practicing) and no peaking!!! We got to the last bush and we were going no further. Marius decided I was going to shoot sitting from the bipod, so he snuck out got a clear view of the Bull I passed him my rifle which he got set up and then I snuck out and got behind the rifle. At this point I was cool as a cucumber my opportunity was right in front of me now my turn to do work. I received the green light from Marius and let the powder burn. The 165 NAB cut his liver straight in half and he did a little dance and went down. Yes I shot a second time and missed but I figured he was on his feet I would have none of that. I can tell you the first thing Marius said to me was "what a stalk" with a big grin on his face and for sure a tear in my eye that was my Bull and he was down!! Putting my hands on that Bull brought to mind hunting with my Grand Father Norm Erstad. He started this fire in me as a little boy and its still burning bright!! God Bless you Papa.....Well after a bunch of pics and a wrestling match with the Bull we were back at the skinning shed by 10. Im thinking this guy wasn't kidding straight away it was!! After Lloyd skinned out my Bull we were on our way back to Mpunzi. Lloyd is a great guy pretty quiet and nothing shy of a gentleman. He did great work on my capes and Im sure I will be very pleased with the mounts when complete. After some lunch it was back to the same farm to chase Springbuck for the afternoon,evening hunt. And that we did no shots fired but again Marius got me on a very nice Ram but they just did not cooperate to his liking so Springbuck can wait till tomorrow. Today was a big deal and I could tell Marius was just as happy to help me get this Bull as I was Thankful for his hard work. A day not to be forgotten material things come and go but experiences stay forever and for this I am grateful.
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adgunner

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Congrats on the bushbuck and Kudu, looking forward to the rest of the hunt!
 

Gemsbok Gangsta

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Day 3
Well today was about miles walked. Started with a solid breakfast and off for Springbuck. We were at the same farm the Kudu was taken on yesterday.Today we worked hard for an opportunity to no avail. Spring buck were everywhere you looked,it seemed as though you would head to one group and the next thing you know there are springbuck to your left,right and behind you. I wish I had this problem deer hunting at home!! We headed for the lodge for lunch about 2 and snuck in a little nap. Spent the evening looking for Blesbok straight out from the deck at the lodge but no deal tonight. We were certainly hunting the right way today and I learned a few things,stay behind your PH,pay attention and try to keep up...Im trying Im trying. I slept well tonight after Michelle prepared another great meal and a couple wobbly pops. Today Africa was making sure we did some work for sure..

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Gemsbok Gangsta

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Day 4 "The Miss"
Well the title tells just part of the story. Today we went straight away after Blesbok. Lloyd,Flex and Rigby held down the toyota as Marius and myself started out on foot.Almost immediately Blesbok were spotted and the Stalk was on.Lets get straight to it Marius got me on a nice Blesbok at 84 yds for me to shoot over his back,one word shit!!! I believe my PH was a little perturbed and I was a little pissed off, how in the hell did I miss that shot 84 yds,broadside?? We noticed while sighting in I was a little high so we cranked her down and headed to the lodge for lunch. No excuses from my end just a little disappointed and that feeling when you miss...you all know that feeling like a little bug gnawing your gut.
Redemption comes at strange times and certain measures and this is one.. Marius and I headed back out after lunch after the same herd we knew right where they were. We got the wind right and headed up hill toward them when Marius turned and asked If I was OK and my response was "yes this is punishment" one word response "good". With some work and eagle eye Marius had me on the sticks only to be busted again,SHOOTS. After a bit of a tither Marius with the sticks and myself with some head shaking and voices in my head we were off again. About 15 minutes later we were on em again up come the sticks and binos and suddenly Marius says "see the blood on the shoulder that is the Ram you shot at this morning". I had hit him high and creased the top of his shoulder. We had to hurry he was getting a bit nervous, I was shooting at him quartering away and uphill I pulled the crosshairs into his arm pit trying to hit him in the heart. I steadied got tight in there and squeezed. We followed up to his location and there was a blood trail easy to see. Now my PH is going to tighten the screws, I think he is jaw shot looks like jaw blood dont go anywhere we need the dogs to track him. Now as you can imagine Im just about ready to spin myself into the ground. Jaw shot my aching ass there is blood everywhere?? Here come the troops, Flex does not even follow the blood but goes less than 50 yds to a very dead heart shot,broken shoulder blesbok!! I look at Marius and not a word was spoken but his smile said it all,I gotcha!! Now this sure could have been a whole lot easier if I had done my part this morning. Grace comes at strange times in a persons life and this certainly was one of them,finishing what I started this morning without killing another Ram. Today was a lessen learned day and Im Thankful for the lessen.. What another great day with KMG!!

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BRICKBURN

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................. Now my PH is going to tighten the screws, I think he is jaw shot looks like jaw blood dont go anywhere we need the dogs to track him. Now as you can imagine Im just about ready to spin myself into the ground. Jaw shot my aching ass there is blood everywhere?? Here come the troops, Flex does not even follow the blood but goes less than 50 yds to a very dead heart shot,broken shoulder blesbok!! I look at Marius and not a word was spoken but his smile said it all,I gotcha!! ......

Brings a quote he tried working on me with; "That's a nice solid 12"

He has a good sense of humour. Twisted, but.....

Congrats on your Blesbok.
 

Gemsbok Gangsta

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Well day 5 started a little later as we were hunting next door on Louws brothers place. A little breakfast and off for springbuck again.Of course so far my experience with hunting this little bouncer was pretty crazy,been close no shot,walked a few miles busted,busted again,hey see the springbuck right over there lets go,busted see the springbuck over there yes I do weren't we just there? Yes lets go,kind of like the Springbuck circus!!! Rolled the truck up jumped out and within a few minutes Springbuck. The first bunch Marius could see no mature rams so we moved on by foot to an area we could overlook and just glass. After a bit we saw a baboon or 2 and heard them off in the distance. Marius decided we would head to the truck and drive a little further into the farm for more snooping around and all of a sudden there are Springbuck walking right at us and at 50 yds is a Ram with a copper blaze its on!! On the sticks I go and then he moves so we make a move and back on the sticks again,he is 50 yds in front of me and straight on and all I hear is hurry shoot him. I settled in and hammered him he went down where he stood!!! Now here we are before 9am taking pictures and such huh.. We headed back to the lodge after dropping Lloyd at the skinning shed and apparently we are going to nap, relax and go after Baboon and duiker this afternoon I for one think this is a grand idea 2 full hunting days left and only an Impala on my original list. Everyday has been an adventure and new up to this point so I'm all in. Good day for an early hunt as Kim Goosen is up for the weekend which is a great thing as it cant be easy being a PH and always away from home. Kim made pizza for lunch and DO NOT turn the nose up at bacon ,banana pizza it was great. Rested the feet,rested the eye lids all is well. Headed out this afternoon to a pretty cool place to just overlook a valley and see what happens. This is where I truly experienced the Toyota that bugger went down and up a very steep incline and never and I mean never even grunted for a second. Its pretty clear why the US govt wont let them be imported into the Country (besides being paid off by the big 3) jeep and the small truck market would be owned by this vehicle very quickly, I want one!! Spent the late afternoon til almost dark glassing and watching pretty cool stuff. Saw kudu and blue wildebeest one beast bull was a monster!! What a great day and I better Thank Lloyd again for getting my binos from the truck, Thanks Lloyd..

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Gemsbok Gangsta

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Well day 6 started a little earlier since we were hunting about an hour away. Had some breakfast,picked up Lloyd and on our way. Today we were after Impala and hunted a neat old farm. I found out on the ride over that my PH may have missed his calling and some day could end up with a top 40 hit, he's a radio road singer and he aint shy fun ride!!! Why are these baboons on the public road dam I want to whack one of these little buggers. Once we got to the farm it was on pretty quickly, lots of blesbok,warthog and Impala. Today I even saw Ostrich several times and man they can screw up a stalk quickly and Marius has very little love lost for the big bird. Within an hour we had a ram in range but as Marius explained he was not "open enough" so we kept on moving. We backed out and went to the end of the flat we were hunting and got the wind right and here we go again. There were so many blesbok to deal with and several times Marius became concerned if we spooked them they would blow up the entire area so he was moving around and quickly at that. Today these 53 yr old electricians legs and knees were a little woozy and as some of you guys know being in construction for 30 yrs and 2 right knee surgeries the struggle is real. Marius stayed patient but the look on his face showed a tad bit of "hurry up please". I was doing my best. Soon enough we were on another very good looking ram well within range but as Marius explained "there are bigger on property but the choice is your's" well I decided not to shoot and we kept moving. We went to the old farm house and had lunch. The house and surrounding were abandoned after the owner had passed and this property told a story of a very good life on the farm. I wandered around and looked at all the old rust and horn laying around neat place and I was happy to visit. After lunch out of the cooler we went driving around looking and sure as heck we saw Impala. Marius was watching a bachelor herd of rams and then he spotted the herd ram working his Ewes. Now let me tell you this ram was a mile or better away down and across a dry river bed and my legs were saying no and I think deep down inside was hoping we could "drive up" to the ram. Marius asked me do you want to go after him? After a little friendly banter back and forth and my psychologist/PH had me on my way. After the hunt on the way home Marius commented he felt like he was losing me today. I believe he was right sign of a good PH he got me going again. Gotta remember left Seattle 5 hour flight,4 hour layover New york,15 hour flight to Joberg,4 hour layover,1.5 hours to Port E and I have not stopped. Lesson learned next time in the middle going to take 2 days off and smell the roses. By the way Marius I am working my next list and will let you know by end of year. Now back to the hunt. Down the slope we go into the dry river bed and bang we jump a waterbuck bull,super cool man I hope he does not spook the Impala..A little ways further and bang jump the same waterbuck and some cows PLEASE dont spook the Impala!! We were lined up on the herd ram by sight when we left the Toyota and Marius had a tree in line and in contact with Lloyd on the radio for any adjustment we may need to make as we were out of sight of the Impala the entire time. We made it through the bush and broke back into the open and got eyes on the herd again. Marius got us as close as possible and the next thing you know he says "we have to crawl to the next and last bush" Shit my knees hurt" and crawl I did but a very unorthodox way for sure. Marius is probably still either scratching his head or laughing!! He got us to 165 yards and me on the short sticks sitting on my butt. This ram is very busy working his herd and wont stand still and Marius said 2 or 3 time lets move we will follow them. I had another thought Im shooting this Impala from here. Finally this ram slowed and gave me a decent broadside shot and the lead was on the way. 165 yds through the neck and dropped in his tracks!!!! I looked at Marius and he said he dropped where he stood. Today was a good day but a tough one. We went to the farmers house who is also an outfitter and skinned out the Impala. There was some BSing and a couple beers for me what a great guy and stories for sure. Piles of Kudu horn in his shed,stick throwing for Flex,a singing PH and a late evening drive back to Mpunzi for another great dinner. I had a good day mostly because my PH kept me in the game. What a day!!!!

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Pheroze

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Good for you for pushing through. I was just reflecting on how hard it seemed at times with relatively good knees! And, great photos BTW.
 

Gemsbok Gangsta

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Well here I am day seven and my list is complete,what to do hunt Duiker of course. I had seen one a few days earlier laying right next to a 2 track when we were on foot neat animal and Im pretty excited for a chance. We stayed on Mpunzi today gonna be a good day. After an hour or so glassing and moving about Marius says to me do you want to shoot another Springbuck? My response was sure where? Thinking we may move to another spot. Response right here across the Valley!! With any luck they will cross right in front of us at 170 yards on a two track opposite us. On cue the Ram stayed at the back of the group and when they reached the agreed upon opening Marius gave them a little Springbuck talk big mistake he stopped and got crushed right there!! Marius had me on my backside his sticks tucked under my elbow and the bipod under the rifle simply stated plenty of time to set up,I was rock solid. What a great last day,we were able to drive straight to the Ram what a beauty. Pictures taken and off to the skinning shed. Spent the day around the lodge and relaxed a bit. Spent the evening calling Jackal but no luck. I had a fantastic trip and this is not my last trip with KMG I promise!! The Lodge was great,vehicles in good maintained order,room spacious and very comfortable,food great,evening sodas great and most importantly the people fantastic! Marius is a great PH and fun to be with. If you have any questions on his operation feel free to PM me. No hesitations here great overall experience.

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@Gemsbok Gangsta I'm glad you included another picture of Turd in his new harness. The other pics of him had me rather confused as the harness looked to be studded with rhinestones but now I can see it appears to be some sort of reflective thread. Was beginning to think Rigby looked more like Liberace's lap dog than the fearless beast he is.
 

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Thanks for sharing all the pics and stories, enjoyed it!
 

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@Gemsbok Gangsta I'm glad you included another picture of Turd in his new harness. The other pics of him had me rather confused as the harness looked to be studded with rhinestones but now I can see it appears to be some sort of reflective thread. Was beginning to think Rigby looked more like Liberace's lap dog than the fearless beast he is.
What a great pair of Dogs They were a hoot..
 

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