This is a report for a 1 day hunt I took with Pieter on my last day in RSA and on my way home. Pieter graciously fit me into the schedule. He picked my gun up for me from the guest house and I did not have to do any running around to catch up with my belongings. Much appreciated. John did a greta job on the bird side of things. This was a whirl wind day. Pickup at the airport, drive to Pieter's Erasmus' (Paw Print Safaris) main lodge, excellent Steak dinner and specially made Tomato toasty , wake up early and head to the concession and start looking for a Black Wildebeest. Time was a huge factor on what was going on today. Pieter did a great job of arranging this in the middle of his schedule with a less than one day hunt duration. After several blown stalks, you know what Black Wildebeest are like. Crazy, run in circles take off over the hills. Search again. Finally got an approach angle on these guys through some trees. The valley between my vantage and the top of the far hill is very short grass and stopped all plans of closing in for a shot 260 plus yards with another nice August "breeze" to assist with bullet flight. We both glassed the herd and determined which was biggest. At that distance there was not a lot of refined trophy judging. I went on length and mass of the hooks. Bases were not part of the equation. These guys are hard to judge properly. I lay down on the bipod for the shot and Pieter was just getting down when the herd was a bout to pull another Houdini. My bull moved behind another and then came out broadside to stand for a moment. That was it. I squeezed the trigger and heard the sound of a successful hit. Pieter had not managed to get his field glasses onto it yet. The herd was moving off and the bull did not just drop. Hmmm? One fell behind quickly and stood and then went down. It was not convincing..... We made out way over and I asked Pieter to hang back with me as I thought it would get up. Spidey senses were right on the money. He got up and ran and I panicked and missed the shot at 30 yards. When he stopped at about 80 I ended the chase with one through the shoulders. We could not figure what happened with the first shot. Too many holes in the wrong places. During autopsy, it was discovered the Wildebeest had started to swap ends after I shot and the bullet went in the neck, out the neck and into the chest, lengthwise. Bizarre. The second shot was quite clear what had occurred. Never found the first bullet, it did not exit though. We loaded and arranged permits and headed back to the lodge and a relaxing afternoon wait for the trip to the plane. Little did I know that John, Pieters partner was plotting a bird hunt. I did not want to horn in on another guys hunt and was told it was no issue. So, we head out after lunch with a definite end time to ensure delivery to the airport. We sat on some water for Ducks and a duck and dove managed to come by in range. It was great fun making some noise, but really a little early for proper flights. Panorama of the duck hide. IMG_3793.jpg At this point John asked if I'd like to try for some Upland birds and hunting with his dogs sounded good to me. The prompt reply was, "sure". The dogs were excellent and worked hard in the heat. At one point one of the dogs disappeared from my sight and I knew we had not been paying enough attention. She was on point. I scanned hard and found her on the edge of some bush and started the fast walk to the location. I was too long in my arrival and the Orange River Partridge started to flush out of range. Too close to the dog for a safe shot, not really out of range. Pretty birds We tried to find them in the bush again, but it was not to be. They are extremely hard to do a second locate on. On we went down a fence line with the dogs working well. It was interesting being on the guided side of one of these bird hunts. The instruction in a constant flow: "Watch the dog now", "Ready, ready!?" I was fairly quick to prove I could read the dogs and be ready for the flushes. Hunting over flushing dogs, English Springer Spaniels, requires way more focus than hunting with the pointers. Reading these dogs was easy, they never lied once. They were spot on. John dove to the ground once in expectation of being "swung through" as a Francolin flushed and veered behind him. I potted it at 50 yards and the exclaimed "Good shot!" was a loud enough to be heard in Joburg. The dogs were also quite happy now. Something had hit the ground. A couple of doubles on Greywing later we started our way back to the Bakkie and managed into a flock of the Orange Rivers again. I took one down and then was reloading, my natural instinct with my own over and under ( I like two loaded barrels when I am in a covey.) This habit bit me in the ass, as the birds had waited until I was standing with a broken action and uncocked gun to make their escape. I did manage to get one of these little premier birds of the grasslands. They are fast and smart. I walked the tree line on the way back and pass shot doves. Now I see why everyone gets so excited about these little birds. Quite the challenge. Have to do all this again with my own shotgun. I took several ring necked doves down and retrieved them myself. (forgot to get them into the picture) There were also several that were quite prepared to humble me. (Just another challenge for the future.) This whole upland hunt was conducted inside 40 minutes. Time again the big factor. What an awesome way to end the hunting in Africa. Bird hunting over dogs. (I missed my dogs) Grey Wing Francolin and Orange River Partridge, John and the Girls. The smiles say it all.