SOUTH AFRICA: My Hunt With Huntershill Safaris In The East Cape

Discussion in 'Hunting Reports Africa' started by Cam Moon, Mar 14, 2019.

  1. Cam Moon

    Cam Moon AH Senior Member

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    I'm finally getting around to doing a bit of a report. I guess it's better late than never.

    I have friend that was planning a trip back to Africa to spend a couple weeks at Kruger National Park. She was gracious enough to invite me to come along. She has been to Africa several times and knows that it is something that I've wanted to do, but didn't think was feasible. Once I decided to go it didn't take much to decide that since I'm going to be there anyway, I was going to fill a lifelong dream and Hunt Africa!

    I decided to hunt with Huntershill Safaris in the East Cape.

    October 29th 2018
    Jen and I were in a rush to get to the airport in time. We were delayed in part due to an "African roadblock". Within the park boundary is Skukuza airport. If she could get me there in time I would be heading back to Johannesburg to catch a flight to East London in the East Cape. If all went well, a representative from Huntershill Safaris would be meeting me there. It was close, but a few hours later I was in a vehicle chatting away with Cherelene on our way to Huntershill. It took a couple of hours to get there. I saw a few scrub hare on the way in and a couple of critters that Cherelene called Spring Hares. I'm met my PH Jason, and he seemed like a very enthusiastic young man! I enjoyed a nice cold beer and an absolutely amazing meal that I was very surprised to find out afterwards was lamb!

    The plan was to get up and out quite early in the morning to look for Kudu. I set my alarm for 4:15 and realized it was already past 11:00. I decided to have a shower and head to bed.

    I was up at 4:00 with very little sleep.... due to a combination of it being very warm and me being very excited! Jason showed up at 4:20 so we got off to an early start. Huntershill is very large but we went off the farm into the mountain area nearby in search of Kudu. Jason had seen some a few days earlier and wanted to check it out. We were very fortunate to have got the early start that we did, because had we been even a few minutes later, we wouldn't have seen the Kudu cross over the ridge. Now we know where they are!!! We set up a game plan and got the Land Cruiser as close as we dared. From there we set out on foot with Jason leading the way and me being already lost!

    We made our way across the top to where we had a good vantage point. Jason found the Kudu. Henry (our tracker) saw them. But do you think I could? Not a chance! Jason had to point them out to me and even then I kept losing them whenever they would move. I felt rather embarrassed. I've hunted for years and I may not be the best at spotting my quarry, but I do alright. Not here apparently! We watched (myself when I could) them come down into the ravine and at one point they stopped and Jason picked one out. I was using a .270 that they had provided, but I had not taken it to the range yet. Not something I would normally do, but we really wanted to get an early start. A clean miss. The second thing to be embarrassed about! They didn't know where the shot came from and they took off across the flat to the other side. The ravine had a turn in it and if they continued following it, it should put them almost directly across from us. We took the opportunity to relocate ourselves where Jason thought we would have the best opportunity for a shot. He was spot-on! As we watched them make their way along he picked out the one he wanted me to shoot. As I fired I could tell I had pulled left. Another miss?!? Good Lord!! I'm not off to a very good start! But as Jason watched, he said he thought it was hit. Well, then it's hit in the ass I said. I know I pulled left. We went off to check for sign and eventually found blood. Not much, but blood nonetheless. At this point I'm hoping that I'm not going to be paying a trophy fee for a few drops of blood! I've heard horror stories about how tough African game is and how many miles they can go if they aren't hit well. Then all of a sudden Jason's dog Rhonda went nuts! I couldn't see her, but I could sure hear her! And then there she was......she found the bull. He was smart and had looped around. Up came the .270 and I put one right in his neck. When we went up to him we found I hadn't hit his hind quarters, I hit him in the back leg! Well I don't know how, because I knew I pulled left, but if anything I shot high, and a .270 shoots pretty flat. He wasn't close by any means, but a .270 shoots 300 yards easy enough, and he was within that for sure. A mystery that was solved later on......



    But for now, let's take a look at my first Kudu bull. My first African animal period.



    I learned that the Eastern Cape Kudu is a lot different than a Southern Greater Kudu, which is what I was seeing in Kruger National Park. Unfortunately, it is a lot smaller, but as far as the Eastern Cape Kudu goes, Jason assured me it is quite nice! But I really have no idea, so please let me know what you think!

    IMG_20181029_233810.jpg

    IMG_20181029_233946.jpg
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 14, 2019

  2. RogerHeintzman

    RogerHeintzman AH Fanatic

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    Congrats, A Kudu to be proud of! Now onto the next trophy.
     
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  3. BnC 04

    BnC 04 GOLD SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    Great bull indeed, congrats. Keep it coming.
     
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  4. Ragman

    Ragman AH Elite

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    Great start...my first African animal was a Steenbok!!! Took me two trips to get a Kudu. Yours looks very similar to my Eastern Cape Kudu.
     
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  5. CAustin

    CAustin AH ENABLER BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Ambassador

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    Congrats on your trophy
     
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  6. cpr0312

    cpr0312 AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Congrats on the kudu!! Look forward to more!
     
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  7. Martin Rodriguez

    Martin Rodriguez AH Member

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    Nice Kudu! Congrats!
     
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  8. Matt_WY

    Matt_WY AH Veteran

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    Well done! Great first animal! Congratulations!
     
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  9. Nick Jackson

    Nick Jackson AH Member

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    Well done! I hunted Huntershill two years back and had a great time. Looking forward to the next instalment
     
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  10. Ridgewalker

    Ridgewalker AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    Very nice! Keep it coming!
     
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  11. Nyati

    Nyati AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    It may not be as large as a Southern Greater Kudu, but it is a really beautiful animal, and it was a well earned trophy.

    What do a few inches matter ?
     
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  12. Witold Krzyżanowski

    Witold Krzyżanowski AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    Nice bull. Congrats.
     
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  13. cls

    cls AH Elite

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    Congrats on the kudu, now the rest of the story...…..
     
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  14. Cam Moon

    Cam Moon AH Senior Member

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    My first morning and a Kudu as my first animal. (y) I still have no idea how "good" he is or what he's going to measure, so just for fun let's get some guesses and feedback! Honestly, he's going up as a mount anyway because for me it's always more about the experience than the trophy. (Know what I mean?) Nonetheless, I'm very curious! lol

    We came back to "the farm" and I watched as Henry and Straulie skinned/caped out my Kudu. I had another great meal and went back to my chalet for a few winks of sleep and had some thoughts of my girl back home.

    Jason picked me up again at about 3:20 and we went out looking for Springbok. As it turns out I was actually the one that spotted them (unlike the Kudu!) And up the hillside we went. We had a good stalk, but not good enough...they caught sight of us and quickly looked for some new real estate! We decided to continue up and across to see what else we could spot and managed to find another herd. We closed in to shooting distance and got ourselves set up. Jason said that there was an ok ram, but that the first group I spotted had a REALLY impressive one and it was enough to get him excited! I had originally booked a package that included a Springbok, but had substituted it for an Impala. Once I was at Huntershill, I had decided to change it back again. (indecisive newbies! lol) Jason and I had talked about the Springbok being their national animal and he said that quite honestly he thought that as far as trophy's go they had better Springbok than Impala. He really wanted me to get a nice one, so we decided to pass on this group and keep on searching. As we circled around, we spotted a group coming across the side of the hill towards us. We hurried ahead and got set up and waited. Jason thought it may be the ones that I had first seen, and that they knew we hadn't followed them, and so they were circling back in case we had gone around to try to cut them off. As we waited he became more and more excited, because he was sure it was the same ones, and he was looking for that big ram! Once they got closer he confirmed his suspicions, and pointed the big ram out to me. We waited it out for the right opportunity and I took my shot. I thought perhaps I had shot a bit high, but he went down right away. When we got to him Jason was pretty happy and said how nice he was. Now I really have no idea, but I felt happy that I had decided to change my Impala back to a Springbok, as the hunt itself was pretty awesome! I think Jason could tell, and took the opportunity to put the thought in my head of going for my Springbok slam! Boy, this could really get expensive! Ha ha!

    What a great day! Two animals down and I also saw Baboon, Steenbok, Blesbok, Ground Squirrel, Rhino, Cape Buffalo, Giraffe, Zebra, female Kudu, Wildebeest, Sable, Waterbuck, Reedbuck, Eland, and other Springbok. All from quite a distance aside from the Buffalo and Zebra.

    We got back and Henry and Staulie were skinning my Springbok when the owner of Huntershill, Greg Harvey, came down and introduced himself and took a look at the Springbok. He too said it was a nice one. Greg and I went to the lodge and had a few drinks, and then another amazing supper. Jason was really good as far as me switching out animals and working with me with prices. Our plan for the next day was to try to find some Barbary Sheep and see if we could take a nice ram. If I could, I'd replace my black and blue wildebeest with it. I was already hoping to come back and may get my beast slam then. (Black and Blue Wildebeest and Red Hartebeest) and maybe Nyala or Waterbuck.......
    It's certainly easy to see why people say it's so addictive!
    Please have a look at my Springbok and give me some honest feedback. The experience was amazing, but it would be nice to see what other, more knowledgeable hunters think, because I really don't know how to judge if it's good or not. For me it's awesome either way!
    Thank you!
    IMG_20181030_091746.jpg IMG_20181030_091927.jpg
     

  15. MikeNC

    MikeNC AH Senior Member

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    Congrats on two great trophies!
     
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  16. johnnyblues

    johnnyblues AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Congratulations on two very nice trophies! But...I will be the first to say a 270 on kudu?..No insult intended bear in mind. Two trophies to be proud of no matter what!
     
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  17. Cam Moon

    Cam Moon AH Senior Member

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    Well, I have (had) absolutely no experience with hunting African game, so I won't claim to know about them specifically, but I am curious as to why you say that. Is it because of the Kudu specifically? Or any animal that size?
    And thank you to everyone for their comments!
     

  18. gillettehunter

    gillettehunter AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    I suspect that many feel that a .270 is a little light for Kudu. Part may rest on what the actual bullet weight was. There is a bit of difference in a 130 vs a 150 grain bullet. You can stir up a LOT of debate about the suitability of a given caliber for a given animal. I would prefer a new thread and not messing with your hunt report thread. If you or someone else wants to start that thread then I'll participate. I am anxiously awaiting the rest of your report.
    Bruce
     
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  19. Graham Hunter

    Graham Hunter AH Fanatic

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    Apparently the 270 worked fine! I have shot a lot of Elk, Moose and Bears with a 270. It always goes back to shot placement and bullet performance. Can't kill anything with a 416 in the back leg or a Howitzer if you miss!
     

  20. Cam Moon

    Cam Moon AH Senior Member

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    @gillettehunter I'd chime in my two cents on that thread for sure! I'm very aware that my thoughts on the subject are quite different from many others. I'm more on par with @Graham Hunter . The bad part on this occasion however, was that I hadn't shot this particular rifle and gotten comfortable with it. (Bad on my part perhaps)
    Thanks again! I'm loving this site!
     

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