SOUTH AFRICA: Pawprint Safaris Hunt 2017

Discussion in 'Hunting Reports Africa' started by billc, Jul 11, 2017.

  1. billc

    billc SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    I made another trip for a shorter then normal 7 day hunt with @Pawprint Safaris. Had new ranches to check out and also visit a new business Pieter had bought into. I like to hunt the new areas so I can tell clients what we have to offer and then hit up some of my favorite spots also.

    On my list was nyala , bushbuck and bushpig plus anything else I may like when we spotted it. I did get some bad news before I got there that the pigs may not happen as the corn fields were not down and the baits were just not active now. Bushpigs see to be my animal that cause me great problems but I will be back for one.

    We decide bushbuck is what we will start with and I would be hunting with our newest Ph johan. He normally does the Limpopo area but has learn the northwest also. We would start at a place I have hunted many times now down the road only 3 miles. We met up with Riann who is the landowner and a good friend now after meeting him all 3 trips now. He knows how bad I want a bushbuck and is ready to go right away. He had a ram we wanted on trail cam that is 16" plus but knew I would take any good ram we found.

    We drive and walk around looking at all the normal spots no luck but as we head back to go have another look we spot a nice ram just above the dry creek bed. He thinks he is hidden but not this time. At only 50 yds there is no time for the sticks plus we are scared that time and movement just may make him run off. I decide to free hand the shot. I take the shot he bolts but start falling right away. He starts crawling but cant get his legs back under him. I take another shot as he is facing away and he goes down but still moving so I take another shot and he is done. All 3 shots found the mark but he was one tough old ram.

    My bushbuck was finally going to the skinning shed and I was so happy. Riann was so happy because of all the hunting he had done with me over the years looking for also. Johan got the ram ready for pictures and we just enjoy how it all came together finally. He is a nice 14 1/2" old ram with a thick neck and much of the hair rubbed off.

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  2. reedy0312

    reedy0312 AH Ambassador

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    Congrats on the bushbuck, look forward to more!
     
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  3. billc

    billc SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    After the bushbuck was down we decide to look for another one or one of the nyala bulls at rianns place. We saw plenty of animals just not what I was looking for this day.

    We decide to make a plan for day 2 to hunt a new area 20 minutes away. This would be another area we would search for nyala or anything nice I liked. After many walks and driving through some areas that looked amazing no luck. We have lunch and take a small break before heading back out. We search and see some young animals and plenty of females. Then off about a 1/2 mile johan spots some blue wildebeest that we will go after. We head off walking to them when we run across them but they had bedded down and we walked right on them and the stand off was on.

    After watching each other for what seemed like hours but was really 2 minutes they just walked off and we stalked after them. We kept the wind but all of a sudden blues were running all over the place. Then we see one old bull chasing the young bulls away. We stalked them for over an hour just following that group by the bulls grouts. Was on the sticks many time but he would never stop walking or chasing the younger bulls.

    We finally got a head of the group and set up right on the road watching for them to circle us and cross on the open road. Well they crossed but he never stopped again and we followed them one more time. It was finally getting late so we decide to let him go and come back tomorrow. We had about 30 minutes yet but he knew we were on him now so best to let him alone. We get back to the truck round the corner and the truck stops.

    Johan is like get out lets go. I have not seen what we ere after yet as the bush had my view blocked but off I went. We get down the road 200 yds and there is a group 6 bull blue wildebeest and one is even better then the one we had just left not 2 minutes ago. They start moving up the hill and we get on the sticks and johan whistles to get them to stop. The big bull turns and looks at us 175 yds away and I am on him. I take the shot and off the group goes hell bent on moving on. We heard the hit saw the bull react but they are out of our sight in a flash. We start walking up to the spot and johan walks to the spot he thinks they went only to walk in to the bull with in 60 yards of the spot he was hit. The shot was good and the 180 grains barnes ttsx did the job well.

    We get the bull set up for pictures and we were both very happy with the bull we had hunted.

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  4. reedy0312

    reedy0312 AH Ambassador

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    Nice wildebeest, congrats!
     
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  5. BnC 04

    BnC 04 AH Fanatic

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    Congrats Bill, keep it coming...
     
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  6. GA Hunter

    GA Hunter AH Enthusiast

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    Good stuff. Congrats. Waiting for more.
     
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  7. billc

    billc SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Well after seeing this picture of actionbob zebra done by RELIVE and Paul smiths crew in SA I decide I needed another zebra.
    Zebra wall plaque.jpg

    So plan for day 3 was hunt zebra in the morning and Nyala from a blind with my bow by 11am. Started off well as we drive in we spot zebra and just drive by them as we good to pick up tracker. We get the tracker walk back and start stalking them. Get on the sticks 2 or 3 times but never a good shot to take. We keep following them as they try and shake us but we circle ahead of them and get ready. They come out about 200 yds away and I am ready. Johan whistles and they stop at a spot I can take the shot. Once again the barnes does the job but she did make it 150 yds before going down which really shocked me after seeing were the bullet hit her at.

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    I really like the pattern of her strips as they are nice and thick.


    So know the plan is get to the blind and wait for them to come to drink. I was losing the moon at this point for bow hunting but knew they were coming in late afternoon to drink. We wait and after 1 hour we get some movement coming in. We see a small young nyala female then the mom nyala also. They take 15 minutes before moving in to the water and then I see him standing there watching them. A great nyala male is coming in to drink. I decide right away he is a shooter and wait for him to drink. He is only 13 yds away but here is were my heart sinks as I mess up big time. I wanted him so bad and he was easy 28" to a 29" bull and I let that get to me I guess. He gives me the perfect shot which I blow by shooting way to high and hitting the spot that has nothing vital to hit. I am below the spin but above the lungs and I watch the arrow hit and he is off. No blood and just a nyala in high gear running off. We get out to search and no blood just like I thought. We search for 2 hours with no sign at all. The staff helps look also but I knew in my heart there would be no chance to find him.

    It was a hard pill to swallow but anyone who has not had something like this happen has not hunted much or just full of it. Here is looking out of the blind at the water hole.

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    The staff at the area will keep there eyes out for him but I think he will live and be taken by someone else one day.
     
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  8. billc

    billc SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    So day 4 comes and I need to shake off the nyala and get back in to the right mind set. We will be heading to a new area for free range bushbuck , kudu and impala. This is in the Limpopo area and is out side the fenced area we hunt also along a nice river. Johan is really wanting to show me this area as he knows it well. We head in and not 100yds later there is a 16" bushbuck waiting in the field looking at us. We get out of the truck and start the stalk only to watch him jump 2 times and disappear in the 4ft tall grass.

    We spilt up and try to jump him up which we do but he heads the way I had no shot at. We follow and see him two more times but no shots and he disappears. We see some more females and some smaller males along the river. as we turn to head back to the truck we run in to some impala but they give no chances.

    We decide to head up in to the mountains to look for a kudu or impala. After a short drive we see kudu cows and some nice impala rams but no shots. We decide we will hunt some water as there is a chance for a noon bushbuck or kudu. We have 4 mountain reedbuck come in with one small ram. They drink and walk off. We are sitting there for 2 hours when all of a sudden I see a bushbuck walking in. Then another bigger older ram behind him. They have no idea we are there and come in to drink. They are only 50 yds away but give me a chance and I take it. My 2nd ram is down and I can not believe how lucky I am after how hard bushbuck have been in the past for me.
    He is another old ram worn down round tips and 14 1/2" also.

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    After pictures we take it back to skin and go look for kudu and impala. We see a bunch of nice impala rams many in the 23" plus range and I was shocked by how many. We also spotted many kudu cows and one group with a 50 to 51" bull with them that we left go. he was to young and will be a great bull in 2 years.

    We head back to the river part to search and see a few more bushbuck and I miss one walking in the bush. I also see a impala ram I wish we had more light to see as he was 24" plus and think more like 25" when I compare him to the 24" ram I have taken before.

    We do some spot lighting and see some genet but I pass deciding my 300 will make a mess of them. We head back to the lodge after a long day of hunting and enjoy another nice dinner.
     
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  9. billc

    billc SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    So day 5 I decide I need to go after a bigger black wildebeest then I took last trip and we have a new area to hunt them 25 minutes from the lodge. It is a very opened area compared to the other place we hunt them at. Hunting this critters is just different as they are just crazy. Going in we see red hartebeest and some springbucks that I pass on. Then we find a small group of 12 blacks with 2 good males. This is perfect as they are away from the big group of them as there is over 300 black wildebeest on this place.

    They don't let us get with in 300 yds of them so I decide I will use the truck as the rest instead of the sticks. This was my choice and is what I thought was best for a quick clean kill. After 30 minutes of them running around switching spots the big bull goes outside the group and stands just right for the long shot. I take the shot and hit it right on the sweet spot and a 25 yd mad dash he falls over.

    Nice old spilt up horns and nice mane. Very happy with him and will look great next to the blue I took on this trip to.

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  10. billc

    billc SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Day 6 I decide to go with ah member Preston goldsby on his hippo hunt and to see the bird area. I will let him give the details on that part but dam I wish I had a shotgun with as the birds are all over the place. Did not bird hunt with the chance the shooting would mess up the hippo hunt. The sunset at the area before we went back to lodge.

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  11. billc

    billc SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    My last day I went back looking at rianns for another nyala bull but came up short. We saw some nice blue wildebeest and zebra. A few blesbucks , warthogs and impala to but no nyala to be had this day.

    So I put another great hunt with Paw Print safaris and Pieter in the books and just wait for the next trip now. Thanks to johan for being my Ph and once again all the fun I have with Prop and Jonathon around the fire giving each other a hard time.

    Was also great sharing camp with 2 ah members. I was there in camp with sierrone and his son and then Preston goldsby and his wife also. Was fun meeting them all and made for some good fun to.
     
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  12. MarkD

    MarkD AH Senior Member

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    Keep it coming. Can't wait to begin planning my next trip myself!!!
     
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  13. Royal27

    Royal27 AH Ambassador

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    Great BW, Bill.

    I know you'll appreciate the bushpig when you get one. We all have our white whale, or in my case blue. ;)
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2017
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  14. reedy0312

    reedy0312 AH Ambassador

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    Nice Black WB also, congrats!
     
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  15. billc

    billc SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    That is for sure and one day it will happen. It is good I think to have that one animal that makes you work for it. Though I hate you have one and I don't. LOL I guess I need to go shot one of those blue things before you now to be even. :whistle:
     
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  16. Ridgewalker

    Ridgewalker AH Legend

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    Yep, that's one fine black Wildebeest! Fine bushbuck! And I'll have to agree with you on that zebra, i.e. Those are some beautiful WIDE stripes for sure!
    Man is September ever going to get here!:(
     
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  17. Lee M

    Lee M AH Fanatic

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    Dang. I need to get back. Got to find a way to make this happen in 2018!
     
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  18. Edge

    Edge BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    @billc

    Basic question: I am still learning about the African animals after just completing my first Safari hunt a few weeks ago, trying to understand if it is normal to shoot female Zebra? Like the wide black stripes!

    My PH passed on several Zebra females and a male that was torn to shreds before we found one that he said we would be happy. I shoot Whitetail does and bucks so I'm not biased either way as they all taste great!

    Second question: Nyala bull - you say you hit him high but there was no blood, did you have to pay the trophy fee for the Nyala?

    Edge
     
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  19. billc

    billc SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Edge female zebras are shot all the time as there is more of them then males. Most Ph's will let the client decide if he is ok with a female. Females get taken because of better skin normally and for the mount I wanted done it was my choice. I have taken a big stallion already and when I hunted Mtn zebra I also went for a stallion first. It was a good question and hope I helped you with my answer.

    As for the nyala yes I paid the trophy fee because I saw I hit the bull. I did what I thought was right in this case.
     
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  20. Edge

    Edge BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    Thank you and hopefully the Nyala heals up!

    Congrats on the Bushbuck!

    Edge
     

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