Around Sept 2016 started chatting with Juan and Lauren on Africa Hunting
Found them to be very knowledge and quickly established what we wanted
Yes guys the Blonde was coming ……..
A busy 8 day cull hunt - inland then down to the shore - so 2 hunts in one with very different terrain
The pricing was fair actually better than fair - and plans were set dates agreed
Then a mention of a Giraffe that had to come off one of the properties ….a very fair price was agreed -
Then what to do with the skin - living as we do in Iceland in Igloos (apartments but don't tell the tourists ) of a massive 100m2 with the love of my life - and the Blonde !!!!!! (Husky comes first )
Anyhow what to do with the skin - carpet a bedroom - this was left to be decided
As we were finishing up some other business we decided to meet in Grahamstown at a certain butchers - where I have been asked to leave because of my consumption of Biltong ….. Yep I can live on that stuff !
Lauren and Juan arrived at 11am depriving me of my usual biltong thefts
After a short 2 hr drive much discussion about Africa and hunting etc
We arrive at the amazing lodge - this place is off the register - it is a primary breeding farm of 40k hectares with the usual accompaniment of all the African species - and some very special cape buff bulls - why I cannot tell exactly where it is ! But suffice to say the level of trust they have in Juan and Lauren is amazing
Again the level of trust they placed in The Blonde and myself - respect
Also some White or vied Rhino on the estate which made stalking more interesting !
Zero the Rifles
Rifles worked - the Blonde shot better than me - but moving swiftly along
As the day was still young - let's try a few Impala - our list was extensive for cull animals
So off we went - The Blonde claimed first blood 180 m dropped to the shot with her Swedish Varberger 7x64 -
So I am up next another easy shot at 150 in the fridge
The Blonde finished the day @ 200 on an Impala
Off to dinner
Dinner was amazing cooked by one of the lodge managers - Kim also a qualified PH
After one two three - whatever beers - we slept in the lodge which could be described as palicial …
Well living in an igloo ….. It was amazing
Breakfast the next morning was the usual fare - rusks coffee and lets go hunting - back on Impala detail a busy morning saw 5 in the fridge - we split up so became a boys against the girls team
We were doomed to failure ……… but optimistically believed we would win ,
On our way back to the lodge Juan spotted a old bushbuck - he was on the way out - skinny and the flies already put the word out -
So a quick stalk and relieved him of his troubles !
My first bushbuck
Afternoon was back on Impala with success - OK the girls won - even with the bushbuck which as an act of kindness rather than hunting
HONOUR had to be restored - after another amazing dinner and beer plans were laid for the Giraffe .
My first actually- how hard can it be ? they are six metres tall and and and and
The morning - I must admit I was slightly nervous - I have culled maybe 250 African plains game ,,, but never a giraffe - plus my 8mm was playing up and my double 318 WR were both out of commission one requiring a new barrel the other the scope mounts had come loose before the trip .
So as I was using a 7mm rem mag - thought a little underpowered for Giraffe
Anyhow borrowed a 300 win mag and after a zero check let's drop a giraffe !
Now as Stefanno was the lodge manager a professional hunter sometime the previous night after the beer and the Klipdrift (brandy) it was decided he would guide me as he knew access roads and the estate intimately, having been manager there for five years
So a 27 year old is looking at old grey beard with 50 within a year thinking he is drinking like an Irishman should and we are walking after a Giraffe... Tomorrow will be interesting
Well after two hours I am bumping him up the hill towards the giraffe
Husky walking - makes you tough !!!!!!!!
- trying to get him on an access road - finally a shot on his neck @ 200 m I Missed - I don't know but a miss
The bull moved and offered a perfect frontal chest shot facing me so I took it dropping two bullets in there … that had an effect
He wheeled and after a spirited walk up another hill … had a perfect neck shot as he slowed - with suppressor on the rifle I could maintain sight picture - as I was gripping that rifle like the holy grail !!!!!!!!
Guys seriously you have to do this - it's like dynamiting a building straight down -
The Blonde who was up the valley on the bakkie with the rest of the crew had a side on view
Juan later said his legs were in the air his ass on the ground before his head hit the ground
A quick 200m trot and we were where he fell dead as hope !
After a couple of pictures the recovery crew came in 700kgs of meat and the skin - more about the skin later
We decided to take an early one after that ….. So over a beer - not only had I completely won Stefannos respect as I could walk - 17km as the counter would tell later …….. Well the Love of my life we walk 10k each and every day !!!!!!!! (Husky )
Juan had done a deal on the skin to a taxidermist for a full body mount for a client - He was an amazing bull..
Juan told me what he would receive and removed that from the trophy price - as I had told him I did not want the skin - a honesty I appreciated ……..
And have been promised photos of the finished mount !!!!! AMAZING
I did however keep the forelegs (shins ) for knife handles so he will always be with me !!!!!
So an amazing day - one I hope to repeat again with the double rifle !!!!!!
The last day before the move to the coast
Sometime in the previous night Zebra were mentioned ….I had a vague memory the next morning over rusks and coffee …. Then let's go hunt Zebra apparently the owner had promised some skins from the very overpopulated herd of Zebra to a friend - as we had (the boys) lost on the numbers but won on the kgs of meat we got !!!!!!! a final day for a Zebra each would work -
A difficult stalk and the dominant stallion quartering on … it did the Zebra sneer “take him “ was all I heard … With Juan’s excellent advice on shot placement the 7mm rem mag barked and he thumped …. A 10m run and he was down and gone.
The Blonde pulled an amazing shot on a quartering away zebra and our cull was finished - time to move to the coast !!!!!!!
Well what a suprise dinner was Giraffe fillet and some Buff on the same plate -
A fitting end to the first half of the hunt
To be continued