SOUTH AFRICA: Nick Bowker Hunting East Cape South Africa

gesch

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Congratulations on a great experience. Your shooting skills are obviously top notch. As a person trying to improve my skills I would be interested in how you learned your “craft” of marksmanship? Also in view of the positive experience with Nick I would like to hear how you decided on going to hunt with Nick originally. Great report. This was a great start for my day.
 

FightingSioux

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Congratulations on a great experience. Your shooting skills are obviously top notch. As a person trying to improve my skills I would be interested in how you learned your “craft” of marksmanship? Also in view of the positive experience with Nick I would like to hear how you decided on going to hunt with Nick originally. Great report. This was a great start for my day.
Thank you!!

I grew up shooting a lot and always thought I was a decent shot. Things changed after my 1st trip to South Africa. I didn't realize how much shooting would take place off of sticks and really didn't practice that prior to my 1st trip. I was very disappointed in my marksmanship in 2012 (even though I did get everything I went after)! After that, I upgraded to a high-end custom build 300 Win Mag from Long Range Rifles. Topped it off with a Nightforce NSX 5.5 x 22 x 56. Hand load bullets to ensure the best chance at consistency. Accompany this setup with a G7BR2 Rangefinder that calculates the appropriate MOA in milliseconds. This gun shoots much better than what I am capable of, but a lot of practice has made me even better. If I miss, I know it is me, not the rifle. Also, I did a lot of shooting off of sticks prior to this trip. Only a few with my 300 Win Mag, but several hundred with one of my AR's and many more than that with a .22LR. This practice off the sticks was this biggest game changer for me between 2012 and 2019. Still, not my preferred method of shooting but at least I'm not shaking in fear of missing as I'm looking through the scope due to the practice. IMO, shooting and practice is the only way you become more comfortable and I did it enough prior to this trip to ensure I was comfortable placing a solid shot off the sticks when that type of shot presented itself.

In regards to how I got hooked up with Nick Bowker Hunting: One of my elk hunting buddies met Nick at an SCI event in 2001. He went on a trip in 2002 with Nick and had a phenomenal experience. During several elk hunts, he would always say "We should go to South Africa were we could shoot 6-8 trophies for the cost of one of these elk hunts" (minus airfare). It was tough to believe that was true as I always heard how expensive SA hunting is. Because I trusted his judgement and his one-time experience, three of us gave it a try in 2012 (two of us for the first time, one person went for the second time). Shortly into this 2012 trip I knew I would be returning. Honestly, due to our experience we didn't even look at or consider going with a different outfitter. I am sure there are several great PH's, but what Nick provides is exactly what I want. No high-fenced hunting, all fair chase with the ability to see thousands of animals a day. Nick's knowledge and skills allow us to identify shooters and position us for ethical shots. His accommodations are perfect for what I want. Not a 5-star lodge with 6, 8 or 12 other hunters, but just our group. Extremely comfortable accommodations, top notch staff and fantastic food and drink! Not once in my two trips with Nick have we seen another hunter in the field. His access to free-range hunting is amazing. I guess you could say I was lucky to know the right person that happened to meet and go on a Safari with Nick!
 

Matt_WY

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Well done and thanks for the trip report!
 

flatwater bill

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Well done.............love the trophies..........speaks well for you and your guide.......................FWB
 

gesch

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Thank you!!

I grew up shooting a lot and always thought I was a decent shot. Things changed after my 1st trip to South Africa. I didn't realize how much shooting would take place off of sticks and really didn't practice that prior to my 1st trip. I was very disappointed in my marksmanship in 2012 (even though I did get everything I went after)! After that, I upgraded to a high-end custom build 300 Win Mag from Long Range Rifles. Topped it off with a Nightforce NSX 5.5 x 22 x 56. Hand load bullets to ensure the best chance at consistency. Accompany this setup with a G7BR2 Rangefinder that calculates the appropriate MOA in milliseconds. This gun shoots much better than what I am capable of, but a lot of practice has made me even better. If I miss, I know it is me, not the rifle. Also, I did a lot of shooting off of sticks prior to this trip. Only a few with my 300 Win Mag, but several hundred with one of my AR's and many more than that with a .22LR. This practice off the sticks was this biggest game changer for me between 2012 and 2019. Still, not my preferred method of shooting but at least I'm not shaking in fear of missing as I'm looking through the scope due to the practice. IMO, shooting and practice is the only way you become more comfortable and I did it enough prior to this trip to ensure I was comfortable placing a solid shot off the sticks when that type of shot presented itself.

In regards to how I got hooked up with Nick Bowker Hunting: One of my elk hunting buddies met Nick at an SCI event in 2001. He went on a trip in 2002 with Nick and had a phenomenal experience. During several elk hunts, he would always say "We should go to South Africa were we could shoot 6-8 trophies for the cost of one of these elk hunts" (minus airfare). It was tough to believe that was true as I always heard how expensive SA hunting is. Because I trusted his judgement and his one-time experience, three of us gave it a try in 2012 (two of us for the first time, one person went for the second time). Shortly into this 2012 trip I knew I would be returning. Honestly, due to our experience we didn't even look at or consider going with a different outfitter. I am sure there are several great PH's, but what Nick provides is exactly what I want. No high-fenced hunting, all fair chase with the ability to see thousands of animals a day. Nick's knowledge and skills allow us to identify shooters and position us for ethical shots. His accommodations are perfect for what I want. Not a 5-star lodge with 6, 8 or 12 other hunters, but just our group. Extremely comfortable accommodations, top notch staff and fantastic food and drink! Not once in my two trips with Nick have we seen another hunter in the field. His access to free-range hunting is amazing. I guess you could say I was lucky to know the right person that happened to meet and go on a Safari with Nick!
Thanks for the information. I have tried to practice a lot also. I shoot with my .223 Remington 700 and .22 for practice (much less expensive ammo!) I am from a frugal german/dutch ethnic background! I have also been trying to dry fire more. I think this helps as well from several perspectives--working the action and focusing on the basics of marksmanship. Thanks again.
 

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