SOUTH AFRICA: NAMIBIA: BOWHUNT: Four Hunts One Trip

jeff

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nyala.JPG


My wife and I booked a bowhunt with Tsala for five full hunting days. I hunted with Rouan a couple of years ago for sable and other plains game and after a few emails decided to head back late Sept. Rouan had moved his hunting operation in the Limpopo to a place he just purchased near Vaalwater. I was somewhat concerned that since he just moved that maybe the new hides wouldn't be finished, but that worry was totally unfounded, all was ready for our hunt. They had constructed top quality hides out of block at 3 different locations and have a couple more in the planning.
Rouan met us at Tambo for our Delta flight and after 2.5 hours of waiting to get through passport control we collected our luggage but one bow was missing, after about 20 minutes they figured out that it was at the Police station by mistake. We met up with Rouan and went and got the bow and drove to the lodge and had a quick bite and off to bed, by then it was about 12:30.

We got up about 7:30 had a bite, shot our bows and went to the hides. My primary animals were nyala and bushbuck and my wife said she'd make up her mind when she saw something. We decided to split up and each go with a PH. Pulling up to the hide we ran off 2 nyala bulls, unfortunately that was all we saw that morning. My wife Sue saw quite a lot of game at their hide, eland, warthog,impala and waterbuck but no shots. Back to the lodge for a great meal and a nap and then back to the hides and you guessed it, there was a nyala bull again! We got in the hide and about a hour and a half he comes back but stays out of range. Neal my Ph says he thinks we can do better as it's the first day but after watching him for about a hour I said if he gives me a shot I want to take him, Neal says that's probably a good call if he looks good to me, in a few minutes he walks in and gives me a 11 yard broadside and he's down in 35 yards! After pictures and the truck takes him back we get back in the hide and see a good sable bull, a very nice gemsbok bull and lone blue wildebeest bull.

Sue's PH was Rouan's son Brandon and they had a lot of action but no shooting. Day 2 Action was slow at our hide this morning with just a few critters coming when the radio crackled and it's Brandon, he says Sue just shot a great bushbuck and they watched it go down! So off we went to take a look and get photos, it was a awesome ram! After the excitement we went back to our hides and about 11:30 we decided to head back for lunch and and before we could pickup Sue and Brandon the radio came alive and Brandon says that Sue had just shot a huge waterbuck! After a short track of about 130 yards there lay a extremely heavy massive horned bull, she was grinning from ear to ear, I don't know who was more excited and proud, me or her. Both shots were 23 yards with #50 Diamond Razor Edge and 480 grain arrows. The picture just doesn't do the mass justice.

Day 3 quite a lot of action at the water hole today but nothing I was wanting but a good day none the less, the same for Sue.
Day 4 Saw baboon, eland, giraffe and impala this morning and shot my best warthog to date, 20 yards he went about 70 yards. Sue took the morning hunt off for some sight seeing and went to a game park which they had arranged for her to visit. That evening we decided to sit together and Sue got a shot at a impala ram but shot just under him. I forgot to mention that Neal is on a anti poaching team and got called out on a rhino poaching incident so Rouan was my Ph some of the time. Fortunately they caught 3 of the 4 poachers and were still after the last one when we left.
The last day we took off from hunting and Rouan took us on a hike on a neighboring property to see some Bushman rock paintings and then we went and toured a crocodile farm and in the evening we went on a drive so Rouan could show us the property as we hadn't seen that much just sitting in the hides. The property has a lot of different topography and is a great place to hunt. A couple of highlights was seeing klipspringer and a . The food was absolutely fabulous. Rouan's wife Charmaine is a great cook and fun to be in camp with! The Tsala crew were excellent and went above and beyond. Since they own the property they are committed to making improvements on their land and lodge. Sue and I want to return!!
The following morning Charmaine took us back to the airport for our flight to Windhoek Namibia for another leg of our adventure.

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siml

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Great stuff Jeff. While photo's were downloading, the top of the blind looked like elephant skin.....nearly thought you had taken elephant...:ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:
 

jeff

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Sorry for the duplicate photos, I don't know how to remove them!
 

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Thanks for sharing! great looking trophies- I like your nyala- mine evaded me on my safari, so I'll be chasing one on the next trip
 

SpiralHorn2

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Congratulations on your trophies. Looks like you had a great hunt.
 

LivingTheDream

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That Nyala and Bushbuck are so nice you showed them twice! Great job, that is pretty awesome, can't wait to hear about the next leg of your trip!
 

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Thanks for sharing and congrats! Some nice looking critters
 

jasyblood

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Congratulations on some fine animals and a great start to your safari! I'm booked with Rouan next year for sable, bushbuck, waterbuck and a few others and after reading your report and seeing your animals, next May can't get here soon enough!!! Looking forward to hearing about the rest of your trip!
 

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That second blind is interesting.

Congratulations to you both on your success with the bow. Seeing your wife's smile over her trophy would be worth the flight.
 

jeff

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2ND LEG: Jaco van der Merwe the owner and outfitter of Namibia Safari Corporation met us at the Airport in Windhoek, immigration was easy, about 15 minutes and we picked up our luggage and were on our way, about a two hour drive to the lodge which sits on 109,000 deeded acres that Jaco owns and is low fenced and no fenced. The area was very mountainous, rocky and scenic. We had dinner and turned in early.

We decided to split up again as we both had the same package blesbok, gemsbok and springbok. He said if we preferred we could take a second springbok instead of the blesbok which we both would rather do. After a good breakfast we head off to our hides, Sue with Jaco and me with Efriam. I hadn't been in the hide more than 8-10 minutes when I see a springbok ram coming, he looks heavy and good, I realize that's very early in the hunt but Efriam says he good so a 23 yard shot and he runs about 35 yards and is down. After pictures we're back in the hide and a larger ram comes in with numerous good rams and ewes, I think he huge and decide to take him, hes broadside at 27 yards with his head down drinking and I blow the shot, I shoot about 10 inches forward and with his head down I just clip the top of his neck with a superficial nick, we watch him for about 30 minutes and I can tell that he was unconcerned about the nick. The wind was blowing fairly strong so thats my excuse LOL. I decided to hunt that hide for a few days and see if he comes back which he never did but every day we saw springbok rams that we hadn't seen before, with hundreds of springbok I knew it wasn't likely. Back to lodge for a great meal and a nap and then back to the hides, saw a few kudu, warthogs and more springbok. Sue's morning and afternoon were kinda slow with some game coming in but no shooters.

DAY 2 back to our same hides, springbok, kudu and gemsbok ! The bull wouldn't give me a shot, I drew on him three different times finally at 25 yards I got a slightly quartering away shot and we watched him pile up about a 125 yards from the hide. The bull was abnormally heavy and 34.5 inches long. That evening a herd of black wildebeest came and had one very large bull but he never gave me shot. Sue's hide was having wind issues so she opted to sit together since the hide I was at was having a lot of action. A jackal came in but got spooky and I thought I better take the shot, Sue ranged him at 38 and I shot in front of him again, as I didn't allow any windage and the wind was blowing pretty hard, DANG!

DAY 3 We sat together again and a large springbok came in and Sue drew on him 4 times but he wouldn't stay still log enough for a shot when he paused just as he was leaving at 24 yards she made a perfect shot and he was down in 40 yards, he was great ram, a little better than mine! We had warthog, baboon, kudu and a group of young gemsbok come in but no shooters. The afternoon hunt we had a good kudu bull and some cows and a small bull come and drink and then gemsbok with a decent bull, the shot was 28 yards and she held her 20 pin high and the shot was too high. I feel partially responsible as I was was the one ranging the bull and I should have told her to shoot the 30 pin dead on, but buck fever caused a error in judgement. We could keep the bull in sight so after a while the PH was able to put it down with the rifle. Sue at first was pretty upset at making a poor shot but then realized that it's just part of hunting and you have to take the good with the bad!

DAY 4 The next morning we drove around and got to look over this magnificent piece of real estate and saw a lot of game include one very nice kudu bull. We got into position for a shot at a steinbok at 46 yards and I allowed for some windage and still shot left by a couple inches, I needed a little more DANG! We went back in the hide that afternoon and several large springbok came and one was really exceptional and it eventually gave Sue a shot at 24 yards and she made great shot and we watched him pile up! There was warthog , and that same group of young gemsbok there when she shot and they didn't really spook they run off just a little and then came back, then a large herd of Hartmans zebra stated to come in and about 60 yards out the wind swirled and everything took off. if the wind could of held another 5 minutes I think it would have happened DANG!! Jaco said that was very rare as they had never had a bowhunter get one from a hide as they almost always water at night or circle the water hole and check wind. He has arrowed 3 but all walk and stalk.


DAY 5 Since we had already filled our packages we decided to take the day off, slept in, took photographs and that evening we went to high overlook pass and had Marula sun downers and watched the sunset disappear, it was spectacular! The meals were awesome, great accommodations and the fire time in the evenings was very relaxing. The next morning we measured our springbok and my gemsbok and all were gold medal! We then left for Windhoek and had lunch when we got there and also went by NAPHA and picked up our medals, it was kinda of expensive but we thought it's a good way to support hunting. Jaco dropped us off at a bed & breakfast that we had booked on line, a little hard to find but nice enough and clean. Jaco and his wife and son picked us back up at 6 p:m and we went to a a outdoor restaurant and had a very relaxing dinner and then they took us back to the B&B and it was time to say goodbye, we already want to go back!! We booked this hunt 2 years ago at the Western Hunting and Conservation show in Salt Lake, We had talked to Jaco for 4 years at the show and got to know him before booking. It was a great hunt in all respects! Jaco was the Namibian national archery champion and had traveled to the states to compete. A side note was for two nights there was a couple who were leopard hunting with their PH and stayed at the lodge and when checking baits they killed a real 60 inch kudu!! It had everything, deep spirals, wide and tipped out at the top with ivory tips! Will post pictures shortly and write part 3
 
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50by50

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Great report! Excited to see these springbuck and the 60" kudu!
 

jeff

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2ND LEG: Jaco van der Merwe the owner and outfitter of Namibia Safari Corporation met us at the Airport in Windhoek, immigration was easy, about 15 minutes and we picked up our luggage and were on our way, about a two hour drive to the lodge which sits on 109,000 deeded acres that Jaco owns and is low fenced and no fenced. The area was very mountainous, rocky and scenic. We had dinner and turned in early.

We decided to split up again as we both had the same package blesbok, gemsbok and springbok. He said if we preferred we could take a second springbok instead of the blesbok which we both would rather do. After a good breakfast we head off to our hides, Sue with Jaco and me with Efriam. I hadn't been in the hide more than 8-10 minutes when I see a springbok ram coming, he looks heavy and good, I realize that's very early in the hunt but Efriam says he good so a 23 yard shot and he runs about 35 yards and is down. After pictures we're back in the hide and a larger ram comes in with numerous good rams and ewes, I think he huge and decide to take him, hes broadside at 27 yards with his head down drinking and I blow the shot, I shoot about 10 inches forward and with his head down I just clip the top of his neck with a superficial nick, we watch him for about 30 minutes and I can tell that he was unconcerned about the nick. The wind was blowing fairly strong so thats my excuse LOL. I decided to hunt that hide for a few days and see if he comes back which he never did but every day we saw springbok rams that we hadn't seen before, with hundreds of springbok I knew it wasn't likely. Back to lodge for a great meal and a nap and then back to the hides, saw a few kudu, warthogs and more springbok. Sue's morning and afternoon were kinda slow with some game coming in but no shooters.

DAY 2 back to our same hides, springbok, kudu and gemsbok ! The bull wouldn't give me a shot, I drew on him three different times finally at 25 yards I got a slightly quartering away shot and we watched him pile up about a 125 yards from the hide. The bull was abnormally heavy and 34.5 inches long. That evening a herd of black wildebeest came and had one very large bull but he never gave me shot. Sue's hide was having wind issues so she opted to sit together since the hide I was at was having a lot of action. A jackal came in but got spooky and I thought I better take the shot, Sue ranged him at 38 and I shot in front of him again, as I didn't allow any windage and the wind was blowing pretty hard, DANG!

DAY 3 We sat together again and a large springbok came in and Sue drew on him 4 times but he wouldn't stay still log enough for a shot when he paused just as he was leaving at 24 yards she made a perfect shot and he was down in 40 yards, he was great ram, a little better than mine! We had warthog, baboon, kudu and a group of young gemsbok come in but no shooters. The afternoon hunt we had a good kudu bull and some cows and a small bull come and drink and then gemsbok with a decent bull, the shot was 28 yards and she held her 20 pin high and the shot was too high. I feel partially responsible as I was was the one ranging the bull and I should have told her to shoot the 30 pin dead on, but buck fever caused a error in judgement. We could keep the bull in sight so after a while the PH was able to put it down with the rifle. Sue at first was pretty upset at making a poor shot but then realized that it's just part of hunting and you have to take the good with the bad!

DAY 4 The next morning we drove around and got to look over this magnificent piece of real estate and saw a lot of game include one very nice kudu bull. We got into position for a shot at a steinbok at 46 yards and I allowed for some windage and still shot left by a couple inches, I needed a little more DANG! We went back in the hide that afternoon and several large springbok came and one was really exceptional and it eventually gave Sue a shot at 24 yards and she made great shot and we watched him pile up! There was warthog , and that same group of young gemsbok there when she shot and they didn't really spook they run off just a little and then came back, then a large herd of Hartmans zebra stated to come in and about 60 yards out the wind swirled and everything took off. if the wind could of held another 5 minutes I think it would have happened DANG!! Jaco said that was very rare as they had never had a bowhunter get one from a hide as they almost always water at night or circle the water hole and check wind. He has arrowed 3 but all walk and stalk.


DAY 5 Since we had already filled our packages we decided to take the day off, slept in, took photographs and that evening we went to high overlook pass and had Marula sun downers and watched the sunset disappear, it was spectacular! The meals were awesome, great accommodations and the fire time in the evenings was very relaxing. The next morning we measured our springbok and my gemsbok and all were gold medal! We then left for Windhoek and had lunch when we got there and also went by NAPHA and picked up our medals, it was kinda of expensive but we thought it's a good way to support hunting. Jaco dropped us off at a bed & breakfast that we had booked on line, a little hard to find but nice enough and clean. Jaco and his wife and son picked us back up at 6 p:m and we went to a a outdoor restaurant and had a very relaxing dinner and then they took us back to the B&B and it was time to say goodbye, we already want to go back!! We booked this hunt 2 years ago at the Western Hunting and Conservation show in Salt Lake, We had talked to Jaco for 4 years at the show and got to know him before booking. It was a great hunt in all respects! Jaco was the Namibian national archery champion and had traveled to the states to compete. A side note was for two nights there was a couple who were leopard hunting with their PH and stayed at the lodge and when checking baits they killed a real 60 inch kudu!! It had everything, deep spirals, wide and tipped out at the top with ivory tips! Will post pictures shortly and write part 3
 

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Enjoying the report, congrats on this leg of the trip!
 

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Congrats, very good trophies !
 

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Nice trophies, great pictures! Those springboks are huge, I would have shot too!!!!!!!!!!!! Love those heavy oryx.
 

jeff

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3RD LEG Pieter our PH from Eland Pro Safaris picked us up in Windhoek at the B&B at 7:30 in the morning and we started the 5 1/2 drive north to their lodge. We enjoyed the view from the car and saw a lot of country from the seat. We arrived and met the owner Gerrit who ordinarily is the PH but his son was getting married that week and they would be gone most of our hunt. That was fine as he let me know months in advance and Pieters mother had come to cook and we got along very well and really had a good time. Their place is low fenced. We only had 3 1/2 days of hunting before we had to leave for SA again. We had a small package of One warthog, a blesbok and a baboon. The first day we arrived there was enough time to hunt that evening, Sue decided to rest so Pieter and I went to a elevated hide and saw several fairly large sows, impala, and kudu, but the wind was swirling some and nothing I wanted came in. DAY 1 The next morning Sue and I sat together in the same hide but again the wind was swirling some and we didn't have any shot opportunities at anything. We had a few hogs, kudu and impala come in but no shooters, wildebeest, gemsbok and zebra winded us. The evening hunt was much the same with one nice kudu bull catching our wind. DAY 2 The next morning we sat the same hide as the wind had finally straightened out and we saw blue wildebeest and impala, but again no shooters. One thing that we did see was a eagle swoop down and kill a guinea right in front of the hide at about 15 yards, spectacular!!! That afternoon we sat a different hide where they said black wildebeest like to water and a black was high on my list!! The first thing to show was jackal but he must have seen or heard me as I got ready to shoot and took off. DANG!! Next came about 25 blesbok with one large ram, they stayed around for 15 minutes within range and he was always in front or behind another, Sue never did get a shot even though she drew 3 different times! Then just before dark we heard the unmistakable clicking of eland bulls walking, 4 large bulls came in, the largest bodied bull just never would give me a shot, this went on for 15 minutes but finally another bull turned broadside at 22 yards and I took the shot. I lost site of the arrow and didn't know where I hit but there was a loud crack on impact. We waited 45 minutes and took up the track in the dark but could never be sure which eland we were following, no blood, after a couple of hours we found a little blood about 4 hundred yards from the hide, we marked the spot and would resume the search in the morning. It was clear the bull wasn't shot where he needed to be, a million things kept running through my head along with a very sick feeling in my stomach. Sleep was impossible!!! To make a long story short the trackers found the bull about 150 yards from where left the trail the night before. It was a difficult tracking job as there was almost no blood and there was a large herd of eland cows and a few bulls that went through after my bull. It was evident that the bull had just died, the meat and the cape were still good. While I was elated to recover the bull and not have it go to waste, I was very disappointed with my shooting!!. The arrow hit the right height but too far back, the loud crack was the arrow centering a rib on entry and cut it off, went and stuck through the off side rib but didn't exit. I was shooting #63 Bowtech Assassin and Magnus stinger 4 blades with a total arrow weight of 450 grains. That evening we were back in the same hide when a lone blesbok ram came in but before he presented Sue with a shot a herd of black wildebeest came running in to the water and ran him off. There was one good bull in the group of 23, he finally gave me a perfect quartering away broadside at 20, I passed as I was hoping I could do better. After watching the video and sharing it with another PH I regret that decision but it's another excuse to return! Several kudu and one very large bull came in but the bull stayed out of range, he was spectacular as he had the shape that I love when the horns come all the way around and tip out! DAY 3 Our last day we sat the elevated hide but the wind swirled all morning, we saw game in the distance but they never came close. That evening we sat the hide where I shot the eland and didn't see anything until just before dark when 2 large eland bulls and a few cows came in, both very nice old bulls. The next morning we headed out early for Windhoek to catch the plane back to SA. We had comfortable accommodations, good food and a good time. This place would be awesome place to rifle hunt free range eland bulls as they do it the traditional way of checking water holes, find a bull track and follow it up. In 3 days we saw 6 mature eland bulls and dozens of cows and young bulls. No wonder they call it Eland Pro Safaris. Will post pictures tomorrow and write the last leg of our adventure.
 

50by50

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Hey Jeff. Awesome report man! I'm enjoying reading it and can't wait to see the pictures from this third leg. I'm hunting namibia next summer and can't wait to check out that land. Did you get a picture of the big kudu that wouldn't commit? I love those big bulls that flare at the top to!
 

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flatwater bill wrote on john stroud's profile.
Leopard Legend....................Hi John.............I see that you have not visited AH in awhile. Hope all is well. I am looking for a hunt in Namibia..............would like to ask a few questions about your hunt.............all the best..............................Bill
Cervus elaphus wrote on Bob Nelson 35Whelen's profile.
Hi Bob, how's things going in Wyong?. Down your way a couple of years back but haven't been in NSW since Ebor for the fishing. just getting over some nasty storms up here in Qld, seeing the sun for the first time in a few days. I'm going to NZ in the spring and hope to clean up a few buns while there and perhaps shake the spiders out of my old .303LE (currently owned by my BIL). Cheers Brian
A couple pictures of the sable i chased for miles in Mozambique, Coutada 9!! We finally caught up to him and I had the trophy of a lifetime. Mokore Safaris, Doug Duckworth PH
sable Coutada 9.JPG
sable 2 - Coutada 9.JPG
Safari Dave wrote on egrmpty507's profile.
Did you purchase your hunt at a US SCI fundraiser?
uplander01 wrote on colorado's profile.
Heard you may have load data for the 500 Jeffery,.....any info would be appreciated. Was thinking 535gr, but already had a response that the 570gr would be a better way to go, not sure why.
 
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