Philip Glass

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Eastern Cape Safari 2021

My first safari was in 1997. I was just 25 years old and it really changed my life in many ways. A love for Africa comes natural to most of us especially those who have been there. I decided a couple of years ago that it was time that I return to the place where I had my first African experience. After taking the Dangerous 7 and hunting in 4 different African countries I suppose I was a bit nostalgic about going back to where it all began. I didn’t just want to go on another safari this time however. I wanted to share my love of Africa, its animals, and people with others who have never had this experience.

I began to plan this trip after speaking to my friend and former PH Barry Burchell of Frontier Safaris at the SCI Convention last year. I was amazed how much detail he remembered from my safari 24 years ago! We had a great visit and our plans were set for a July 2021 safari.

Although on this trip I was truly going for the experience I was wanting to hunt quite a few different animals and I especially wanted to try to add to my list of the Tiny Ten. The Blue Duiker and Oribi were on the short list. I was going to hunt with Frederick Burchell, Barry’s oldest son, who was a baby when I was there before. This was a real treat for me.
I traveled to the coast to hunt the Blue Duiker and Oribi. The Blue Duiker was first and we put the hounds out very early morning and took a position in the very dense brush with a shotgun in the event a nice one came our way. The forests that the Blue Duiker inhabit are very dense and on cloudy days can be almost dark as night. Our guide on this property knew these duiker and their habits very well. He told me where it would most likely come from so I could be ready. It is a split second proposition as we must determine it is a mature animal and shoot in about a second or two! After missing my chance on a Blue Duiker on a previous safari I was ready, really ready. That very quick opportunity came and in a blink of an eye I was able to make the shot. Number 7 of the Tiny Ten is added to my collection.

More to come.....

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Sounds like a good time, congratulations on adding the blue duiker to your tiny ten list, looks like a beautiful area to hunt, looking forward to the rest of the safari. Those are some nice really clear pictures as well.
 
Nice start and congrats! Look forward to the report!
 
Congratulations.
 
Sounds like a good time, congratulations on adding the blue duiker to your tiny ten list, looks like a beautiful area to hunt, looking forward to the rest of the safari. Those are some nice really clear pictures as well.
More to come. Tired and jet lagged today☹️
 
After a fortunate hunt that morning we went to look for an Oribi. Getting an Oribi permit in the Eastern Cape is not easy. There are only 25 permits a year issued and many wait for years to get the chance at one. Barry was able to get me a permit with no problem, thankfully. We hunted in view of the Indian Ocean and the views were spectacular. The Oribi are under a careful management program on this large free range area. A conglomeration of landowners work together to manage these animals and they have had outstanding success. The population in this area has gone from around 250 in the mid 1990’s to 600 or maybe more today. The majority of the management revolves around strict predator management. All methods are employed on a daily basis to control Jackal and Caracal among others. The hunting allowed would obviously be old males and great care was taken when glassing to determine the one we were looking for. High winds hampered our hunt but we saw many groups of Oribi. This is open hilly country with pockets of brush which get more dense lower down. The population was very good here thanks to their diligent management. An old male that was solitary was located laying down from the strong winds. We put on a good stalk and got close but were waiting for him to stand up. He did and in a flash he was gone. We followed him over hills and back again with the same scenario. He would hide out and lay down and when we finally located him and approached he was gone. A final stalk proved successful and not only did I have my Oribi trophy but I had number 8 of the Tiny Ten. We capped off the morning with pizza by the beach in Port Alfred then headed back to the ranch.

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Fred and I began to hunt for Bushbuck, Nyala, and Sable and in no particular order. Frontier Safaris owns 75,000 contiguous acres here in the Eastern Cape so it is big country and it is basically free range hunting. This means big wide open spaces with serious mountains to climb and massive areas to glass for game. I can not get over the diversity of the topography here and how the land changes so much from one part of the ranch to another. There are true mountains, grass lands, dense riverine forests, and a variety of rolling hills and valleys on this single game ranch. We worked hard each day to climb to a glassing point to search the dry riverbeds for Bushbuck and Nyala. We spotted many Nyala daily on this trip but Bushbuck seemed to really be able to hide in the dense brush and can stand perfectly still for hours. Fred and I were discussing how the wary Bushbuck would stand for hours and no sooner than we had discussed it a female did just that and stood perfectly still for over one hour! It was getting late on the 3rd day of the safari when Fred spotted an old Bushbuck in dense cover by a dry riverbed. We were up high on a cliff overlooking the riverbed and it would be a steep downhill shot but not terribly far for me and by Blaser R8 in .300 Winchester Mag topped with a Swaro Z8i 3.5-28 X 50. One shot and he was down but now to figure out how to get over there before it gets dark. I was pleased with this old bushbuck with well worn teeth and I was reminded of how hunting any of the spiral horns really gets me excited.


The next day we decided to hunt some of the higher ground and see if we can locate some Sable. We began this day with very windy conditions and they persisted much of the time on this hunt making everything more difficult. The weather was not too bad with some fairly cold mornings but by midday it was really nice most of the time. This country needs a rain and thankfully while we were there some rain fell but certainly not enough to quench this dry land. Fred and I were in some really rocky ground with some trees and bushes but some of this area was fairly open. There were patches of trees here and there and of course our quarry most likely laying down from the wind at a nice vantage point to spot any approaching concerns. As we climbed the steep, rocky hillside we found a Sable bull. We got too close and were pinned down by this big boy. We stood in an uneasy and uncomfortable position in the rocks for what seemed like 10 minutes with the wind blowing and the bull staring at us not sure of what we were. He finally ran off but we had an idea he was not too spooked since he didn’t wind us and we stayed very still. Fred and I continued our climb. As we arrived at the top we spotted the Sable in an open area about 175 yards away. I made a good shot and he ran a ways and laid down. He was not down for good and took a serious beating from 4 more well placed shots from the .300 before it was all over. Did someone say “use enough gun” in Africa? It seemed to me I needed my .375 for this big animal. What a majestic animal this is. I was in awe and humbled to be able to hunt this beautiful animal.
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The scenery and the little stuff can really add to what is a great hunting adventure! This Hyrax came out right next to me as we were sitting and glassing from a cliff.
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Congrats on the Oribi and #8 or the 10!
 
Congrats on an amazing start to your safari @Philip Glass ! Can't wait for the next installments!

Did you bring multiple barrels for your R8? Or just took advantage of it's short length for the travelling?
 
I just took the .309Win. Perfect for PG
 
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As day 6 arrived we again left camp early to glass for Nyala and as usual we say plenty of females and young to middle aged males. As we were hunting my PH asks me what all plains game I have not taken. I had to think about that for a bit and other than what was on the agenda for the hunt I was coming up short of ideas. Then he asked if I had hunted ostrich and I said as a matter of fact I have not. On the way back to camp for lunch we decided ostrich was on the menu for the day! Ostrich may not be on your short list but I can tell you they are a challenging animal to hunt most anywhere. We would only be after a mature male so when one was located in a group I jumped out of the truck and ranged to dial with my new Swarovski EL Range binos. These things were running so I had to put a couple extra clicks on the Z8 scope. Fred got my ViperFlex quad sticks ready for me and I was ready to line it up for a running shot. I was at 410 yards and they never stopped but slowed just a bit when I pulled the trigger. I was able to make this very long shot off of sticks due to my equipment and my practice with it before the hunt. We continued our pursuit of Nyala after lunch and again were glassing from high cliffs down into the dry riverbeds and thick brush. As it was getting dark we finally found a mature male and then we lost sight of him. Finding the bull once again I sat down on a big rock and spread out the sticks. I can’t remember the distance as I was so excited but it was about 250 yards. I had connected with the trophy that would finish the SCI Africa 29. What a milestone for me after all these safaris.

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As day 7 arrived we had some different plans. We had a houndsman who specialized in hunting bush pigs join us to see if we could find some of the big ones hitting our bait piles. As dawn was breaking he let his team of hounds take the track. We waited and listened and waited some more. These pigs do not bay easily and will run for many miles. I knew this and was beginning to dread the marathon that was ahead. We hear that the dogs have one and try to drive over that direction. We got a bit closer but had about a mile run/walk ahead of us. We get there a bit out of breath and the dog handler wants me to shoot the big boar with his .222 to reduce the risk of shooting a dog on a pass through. I shot it right on the shoulder and it ran to the left a bit and I hit him again. Well that was the last cartridge in his gun and it appeared the boar had seen us and may be heading our way. The two excellent shots from the .222 did absolutely nothing to this wild hog! I call for my .300 in a bit of a panic and hammer the boar just behind the shoulder and it was game over. I had just caught my breath and Fred says they have another one bayed up this spring draw that goes up the mountain. I said yes but I would not be able to run the whole mile up there so off we went. It was steep, beautiful, riverine country with huge trees and rocks. We were truly in a different environment than the rest of the ranch. After a long climb up to where the dogs were we found a big sow in some really thick bushes and trees. I rested my Blaser on a tree and tried to thread a bullet through all these tree limbs. Although the brush moved my impact a couple inches I nailed the hog in the head. Now to walk back through all this thorn brush and rocks. We got some great pictures and video of this hunt and it was one of those days afield I will never forget.

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Day 8


At this point I had worked down my list quite a bit and decided we would head out in search of a Golden Wildebeest. I have never hunted any of the color variants but I decided this was one special animal I was interested in. We traveled a bit and were met by more scenic country and big ranches. As we arrived the rain began. We have been hunting in strong winds and now rain is going to slow us down. With our optics wet we had a hard time finding these animals then trying to identify a nice bull. There was a mixed herd of Blue and Golden Wildebeest bulls and cows here along with many other types of game. The rain actually helped us as we were able to use the little thickets of brush to give us a chance to get in shooting range. Normally these animals would see us from far away and be gone. I had to make a quick shot and put the golden bull down on the wet ground. After some wet photo taking we were off to glass for what what next. I had an idea to go after a Black Impala but really just wanted to hunt and enjoy the landscape here. The rain stopped and with it any chance of getting close for an easy shot on anything. There were mixed herds of Impala here and they were wary. There were open areas all the way down to big gorges that the animals can hide in. We made a stalk and the black male was not as big as we thought but there happened to be a White Flanked Impala ram there and I decided after a long stalk to take a shot. It was 250 yards so I just held over a bit and made the shot. What an interesting animal.


I didn’t want the hunt to be over so we began another stalk on a totally different herd. As got in range the wind swirled and they were gone. We stalked for miles up and over hills and made our way into some sort of position for a shot. It was again about 250 yards and since all was quiet I decided to dial it up and take the shot. My third trophy was down and we headed to the skinning shed and to cook lunch and by this time it was 4PM. We cooked a pile of lamb chops and relaxed a bit. Wow were we tired after this long day!





Day 10


Our last day of hunting and I am just coasting enjoying the hunt at this point. The group of hunters that I put together have all done very well and most of them went to the coast for deep sea fishing. We spent another morning glassing and enjoying the scenery. Our videographer happened to spot an old off color Nyala in some tall dry weeds and Fred immediately stopped the truck and went for the sticks. It was a really good one! He was quite far and my binoculars showed 400 yards, I dialed quickly and got on the sticks. For some reason I could not get steady so he grabbed a sandbag for me and I dropped down prone to try to make the shot before he disappeared. I took the shot and it felt good but I didn’t like the sound I heard. We left the tracker in the vehicle as a spotter and we walked over to where he was last seen. Fred put his dog on the track but the Nyala was just 20 yards from where I took the shot and it was indeed a perfect shot. What an end to my safari and what an epic return to visit the place where I first set foot on African soil. I look forward to returning to Africa and getting the chance to share a first safari with many new friends to come.

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Massive Golden Wildebeest carcass!
 
Just awesome! I'm glad everything went well and you had a fantastic hunt. Those were some great looking animals and those light colored specimens are very interesting.

Did you try eating any of the ostrich just for kicks??
 
Thanks.
Congrats on the Oribi and #8 or the 10!
Just awesome! I'm glad everything went well and you had a fantastic hunt. Those were some great looking animals and those light colored specimens are very interesting.

Did you try eating any of the ostrich just for kicks??
I wanted to eat some ostrich but didn’t get to. There is always next year!
 

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