SOUTH AFRICA: Kudu 2006

Discussion in 'Hunting Reports Africa' started by flat8, Feb 28, 2019.

  1. flat8

    flat8 AH Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2017
    Messages:
    397
    Video/Photo:
    101
    Likes Received:
    489
    Location:
    Phoenix, Arizona
    Member of:
    DSC, NRA
    Hunted:
    USA, RSA
    Another small excerpt from the book I am finishing. Most of the story does not involve hunting, but after working on this for two years now it's nice to be able to get a bit of feedback! Thanks for reading.


    KUDU - EASTERN CAPE

    We have killed several animals, and although all have been significant, we have been thwarted in our search for a particular kudu. We are on a high plateau when Greg finally spots him grazing by a creek in a distant valley. We are very far away, and I can hardly make him out through the spotting scope. Once I do, I see that he is magnificent.

    “There’s a lot of country between here and there,” Greg tells me, “There’s deep brush behind him, and if he senses we are coming he’ll know how to use it. My guess is that he spooks by the time we get there, but he’s our kudu. I say we have a look.”

    “Let’s go,” I tell Greg.

    According to some African legends, the animals have two kings, the python and the kudu. The python represents wisdom, while the kudu embodies skill. Over the past few days, Greg has told my Dad and I that a kudu uses his skill to frustrate and confound his human adversaries, and that they are known as Africa’s grey ghost due to their elusiveness and ability to disappear without a trace. His warning that we will probably lose this kudu before we get into shooting position is based on years of his hard-earned experience.

    It takes us a few hours, but after slowly and quietly navigating a series of descending steps of rocks and thorny brush, we arrive at a position parallel with the kudu. The huge antelope is now just 100 yards away, and from our vantage point we have a clear view of the large bull. His body is the color of rusted iron – delicate yet taunt - and broken only by a half-dozen or so vertical white stripes. A shag of hair hangs from his throat and what looks like almost a juvenile lion’s mane rolls off the apex of his back. Striking mahogany horns erupt from his huge ears and spiral gracefully past his shoulders. At the end of the curls, tips reflect the sun like small flames flickering in a dimly-lit room. He is the most elegant, regal animal I have ever seen in my life.

    “He’s a good shooter,” Greg whispers. “I’d say 500 pounds at least. Maybe forty-five to fifty-inches. Tips worn clean. He’s an old male, exactly we are after. Settle and take the shot.”

    The kudu is facing directly towards me and is oblivious to my presence. I center the crosshairs of my rifle’s scope on the tuft of hair that grows over his heart. We have searched for him so long, how can we have gotten so close? Still, although I have what seems to be an easy shot, I estimate that even if I my aim is perfect, he is so big and powerful that he will be able to run several hundred yards before death will take him.

    I take a full breath, exhale a bit, and squeeze the trigger. The hammer drops, striking the primer, igniting the gunpowder, and the bullet is set free of its casing. As soon as I hear the crack of the shot, I also hear the telltale "thud" of a clean hit. The kudu disappears from the field of vision in my scope, and I am sure that he has run. When I lower my rifle though, I see that the huge beast has simply collapsed in a heap where he stood. There will be no tracking of this animal, and I am left shocked by the speed of his death.

    “Perfect, perfect!” Greg shouts.

    We set out to cover the final distance to the animal behind an excited Podgy. When we reach the kudu, we find that the bullet made a textbook strike right into the heart of the huge, old ram and seems to have passed through and shattered his spine. He died instantly without pain or struggle, and I can’t help but find something beautiful about the precision and focused energy of this kudu’s death. I feel his body and his horns, and my eyes well up with both gratitude for his life and my own sadness for taking it.

    I know that if I return home and tell this story, most people will never understand. Instead, there will be hatred of what I have done – even horror – but how many times have those who will so easily judge me eaten the flesh of an animal without owning the death that makes such a meal possible? I say a quiet prayer over his body, I know that at this moment I appreciate him more than anyone ever has and ever will again.


    IMG_1630.jpeg
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 1, 2019
    JakeH, CAustin, HuntingGold and 6 others like this.

  2. Witold Krzyżanowski

    Witold Krzyżanowski AH ENABLER AH Legend

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2013
    Messages:
    3,639
    Video/Photo:
    15
    Likes Received:
    1,670
    Location:
    Trzebiatów
    Member of:
    1977; Polish Hunting Assotiation
    Hunted:
    Namibia, Zimbabwe
    It's cool written.
     
    flat8 likes this.

  3. Nyati

    Nyati AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2011
    Messages:
    6,485
    Video/Photo:
    78
    Likes Received:
    1,866
    Location:
    Madrid, Spain
    Member of:
    RFEC, RFETO
    Hunted:
    Spain, Finland, RSA ( KwaZulu Natal, Limpopo, North West, Northern Cape, Free State ).
    Great story, and very nice kudu.
     
    flat8 likes this.

  4. gillettehunter

    gillettehunter AH ENABLER AH Legend

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2009
    Messages:
    2,819
    Video/Photo:
    46
    Likes Received:
    2,102
    Hunted:
    Namibia, Kyrgyzstan(2) South Africa(2) New Zealand
    Enjoy your writing style. Nice Kudu.
    Bruce
     
    flat8 likes this.

  5. Eventually_Africa_Again

    Eventually_Africa_Again AH Enthusiast

    Joined:
    May 3, 2016
    Messages:
    420
    Video/Photo:
    27
    Likes Received:
    444
    Location:
    New Mexico
    Your right, that is a wonderful tale and a grand old bull. Regarding the hypocrites back home who ask things that boil down to "how dare you show reverence to the cycle of life by participating in it?" well bugger them. We as hunters understand that we are not above the life cycle, we are participants in it and someday our time will run as well. I can only hope it is as quick and painless as a bullet after a life well spent rather than the slow decay of cancer or decent into the twilight realm of Alztimers or something similar.
     
    flat8 likes this.

  6. CAustin

    CAustin AH ENABLER BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Ambassador

    Joined:
    May 7, 2013
    Messages:
    12,269
    Video/Photo:
    185
    Likes Received:
    8,494
    Member of:
    Courtney Hunting Club, NRA Life Member, SCI Kansas City Chapter
    Hunted:
    South Africa, KwaZulu Natal, Kalahari, Northwest, Limpopo, Gauteng, APNR Kruger Area. USA Georgia, South Carolina, Arkansas, New Mexico, North Carolina and Texas
    Thanks for sharing
     
    flat8 likes this.

  7. enysse

    enysse AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2009
    Messages:
    10,808
    Video/Photo:
    104
    Likes Received:
    3,184
    Member of:
    Northeast Wisconsin SCI chapter, Lifetime member of NRA,RMEF
    Hunted:
    Namibia, South Africa (East Cape, Guateng and Limpopo)
    Nice kudu! Great story for a wonderful kudu.
     

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