SOUTH AFRICA: Rhinoster Hoek Trip Report

dobber

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So trip of a life time part 3, and figuring plans for the 4th trip
Rhinoster Hoek is about an hour north of Port Elizabeth with a view that is tough to beat, the peak of Cockscomb mountain always a reminder of the wonders of where we were. I will be getting on the full trip report once i sort through the pictures and trying to put things into place. A great visit to Addo Elephant park and the wives went off one other day for spa treatment, had to change venues due to the tire burning across the highway closing Addo down for a few days, but at least we got to experience the labor struggle in SA

The weather was not too bad, cool in the mornings and night and warming up nicely throughout the day, even had rain and one morning a little frost. The mountain weather didn't work out for me this year, had plans to get up to Cockscomb but clouds and rain put a damper on that, its not a trip that can be done on the fly, the mountain rivers can be impassable at times.
The flight from Toronto had no problems, except the French cabby that took us to the wrong hotel in Paris and me forgetting my iPad on the flight. Flights home were a little different as SA express was apparently grounded so we had an extra flight thrown in the mix with not much waiting time, from PE to Jo'Burg we literally had to run to the next boarding ramp to catch it on time, and the worry that luggage wouldnt make it. But luggage made it and made it home safe and sound. Only complaint about the flight was we had upgraded to duo seating (not much of an upgrade but much more cosy) and got on the plane to find out we didn't get our seats, but too tired to fight after everyone was onboard so a quick dispute the charges and money put back in my account. Not sure if that mess up was when we tried to upgrade to business class once we landed in Cape Town, either way my long legs managed to come out with just puffy ankles

IMG-20180526-WA0001.jpg
 
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Hutch01

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I harvested my first kudu on Rhinoster with Lammie Ferriera in 2013. We hunted all day and finally got on a great bull coming off the mountain at dusk. We crept up a deep washout, broke sticks in half, arse on ground and squeezed at 250 and dropped him dead. Then went back to headquarters and visited with Mr and Mrs Ruudman, had a celebratory Scotch and drove in the night south. Magnificent experience all around. Beautiful country up there! Great people! Thanks for reading.
 

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dobber

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We arrived at camp a little too late to do any shooting, but after a great dinner, some catching up on things around the fire we headed to bed for a well needed sleep. Up first thing in the morning and to the range, everything checks out good, shooting about 1" high and away we went for the first hunt of the trip.
The plan for me was to take some cull animals, a steinbok and a snorter of a Kudu. Both Warren and myself are fairly easy going and we get along great. Was much cooler this trip and to my surprise no shorty shorts were worn on this trip by Warren.
Kudu are all over the place and i really couldn't tell you how many i saw on this trip, was certainly in the triple digits, be it from afar or within 30 yards.
We drive to the hunt area for this morning and the cruel realization that we have mountains to climb on the first hunt kicked in, the legs came through though and up we went. Too many times i heard no not that one, another year for that one as we glassed Kudu which was good with me, Warren knew what i wanted and i trust his call.
As we were walking down the trail we actually snuck up on a bushpig having an early morning drink "want to shoot this one?" was asked with a "give them sticks to me" and a minute later i had my first bush pig down. Not often you see them in the daytime i have been told, so i took the opportunity as it came. Its funny when you hunt here, your hunt starts off with a Kudu in mine, turns into a warthog hunt, then switches to a bush pig and then ends with a springbok, you never know what you will run into and must take each hunt as it comes.

bushpig1.JPG
 
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billc

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Very nice dobber. Bushpig by chance is my dream animal.
 

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Lucky man, a bushpig in full daylight !

And I still don´t have mine :cry:
 

cls

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Looking forward to the rest of the story.....
 

dobber

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The second morning hunt was to a place we hunted last year so i knew what to expect, we stalked to a valley and sent the tracker around the back side of the West ridge, then he crossed and went around the ridge to the East.
5 different Kudu bulls came down the West ridge down each giving me a shot opportunity but Warren kept saying "not that one" "not that one" "thats a great Kudu, but not that one" they didn't come down all together, they almost came in 1 minute intervals making my adrenaline pump after each one. Down at the bottom of the clearing we were in a couple of warthogs came out and headed up the ridge, but they weren't on the menu this morning.
Now time to watch the East ridge, which was a little tough as the sun was just starting to pop over the horizon, which is likely an hour after it rose but due to us in the valley bottom it took a while to hit over the top of the ridge.
I am glassing and see a Kudu, what i thought was a big bull (but thought the first 5 were big bulls as well) pointed it out to Warren but by the time he glassed it, the bull had stopped behind some tree's and it didn't give a good clear look at the horns, even looking at it there it appeared to only have one horn, so Warren said it has one horn, take it if you want. Quick discussion about what i saw at first we waited till he took a few more steps and Warren says ahh he does have both horns. Expecting the "not this one" i was just happy to see another good bull and he leans over and says "You must shoot this one" huh "you must shoot this one"
On the sticks, eye to scope and i can't find the dam thing, so some bino to scope to bino to scope, crank the scope up a bit and settle in on the shot (the sun was giving me issues in the scope) deep breath, safety off and squeeze the trigger. That bull jumped and took off running at mach 4 along the ridge and went into some thicker brush and we hear him pile up. Kept the glasses on the area for a few minutes and waited for the tracker to come down and check out the shot area and walk towards where we thought the bull was.
The old bull was a warrior, a few notches in his ears and his teeth were loose which no doubt caused him pain, this was a great bull. To say i didn't shed a tear would be a lie, an emotional event that most people who hunt get, and this old bull deserved some respect
IMG-20180526-WA0001.jpg
 

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Looking good, and look forward to reading more! Congrats on then day time bushpig and nice kudu!
 

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Beautiful bull my friend.
I enjoyed sending messages back and forth while you were there and know you had a great time. I am very much looking forward to reading more.

Randy
 

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Its always a great thing to take an old animal thats on its last legs in life. Nice Kudu. Congrats
Bruce
 

dobber

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Yes Randy, we had some good laughs when he was sharing texts with you, always good to share the story as it happens
Back to the hunt, the recovery team was gathered and away they went to work, that Kudu buggy is a great tool to use to carry animals out of tough spots
recovery crew.JPG


After a good lunch we went off on another stalk to see what was about, had to take advantage of the one spot i was glassing with the background trying to steal the show
glassing the hills.jpg
 

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Congrats on your Kudu and the pig my friend.
 

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Well done!

Rhinoster Hoek is truly a special place.
 

dobber

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After the great morning hunt and a bit of a stalk we decided on an evening sit, nothing special on the list for this sit, but did need a Duiker for the pot and who knows what else might come on by. We did have a Duiker walk on through but was about 180 yards away and never stopped, so was just good to watch as the sun was setting. Was a nice evening for a quick little nap as well, well for someone it was, i won't mention any names as to who it was, i told Warren i wouldnt do that to him as it would be wrong lol
Kudu off to the right started to come in, was a great looking bull, about the same size as the one i got that morning, and thoughts about a double pedestal mount started to pop into my head. This old bull walked past us about 50 yards, maybe a little less. Another bull came out, a young bull and as he walked towards us he stopped and picked up a vertebrae bone that was sitting there and started chewing it. Was quite the site watching him chew away from one side of his mouth to the other, then spit it out and walked past us at no less than 30 yards.
3 more bulls came out the same spot on the right and one only had 1 horn, well i didn't need to be convinced that this cull animal needed to be taken. As he came in the same path as the first, 50 yards he stopped and took a round, jumped and was staggering behind a tree, i snuck over a bit and put another round into him, he fell down for the count after a 10 yard stagger.
Since it was only Warren and myself for this sit, the Kudu needed to be gutted so we could load it into the truck, so i took the knife off Warren and gutted my first Kudu, a complete hunt
cull Kudu.jpg
getting my hands dirty.jpg
 

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DSCN2618.JPG

Was this the same bull we chased as last year or another one horned fiend? I cant tell from the photo... too far out.
 
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dobber

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the one i chased last year is still walking and i believe there is at least one more out there. You know as well as i do and a few others just how many Kudu are roaming them hills, As Royal noted a truly special place

Is that the spot with the dried pond bed to the left? that tree looks familiar and was at the 180yard mark from where we sat. So many trees look the same though lol
 
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BRICKBURN

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Great stuff.
Nothing like hands on experience to finish the hunt.

Congrats.
 

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The second morning hunt was to a place we hunted last year so i knew what to expect, we stalked to a valley and sent the tracker around the back side of the West ridge, then he crossed and went around the ridge to the East.
5 different Kudu bulls came down the West ridge down each giving me a shot opportunity but Warren kept saying "not that one" "not that one" "thats a great Kudu, but not that one" they didn't come down all together, they almost came in 1 minute intervals making my adrenaline pump after each one. Down at the bottom of the clearing we were in a couple of warthogs came out and headed up the ridge, but they weren't on the menu this morning.
Now time to watch the East ridge, which was a little tough as the sun was just starting to pop over the horizon, which is likely an hour after it rose but due to us in the valley bottom it took a while to hit over the top of the ridge.
I am glassing and see a Kudu, what i thought was a big bull (but thought the first 5 were big bulls as well) pointed it out to Warren but by the time he glassed it, the bull had stopped behind some tree's and it didn't give a good clear look at the horns, even looking at it there it appeared to only have one horn, so Warren said it has one horn, take it if you want. Quick discussion about what i saw at first we waited till he took a few more steps and Warren says ahh he does have both horns. Expecting the "not this one" i was just happy to see another good bull and he leans over and says "You must shoot this one" huh "you must shoot this one"
On the sticks, eye to scope and i can't find the dam thing, so some bino to scope to bino to scope, crank the scope up a bit and settle in on the shot (the sun was giving me issues in the scope) deep breath, safety off and squeeze the trigger. That bull jumped and took off running at mach 4 along the ridge and went into some thicker brush and we hear him pile up. Kept the glasses on the area for a few minutes and waited for the tracker to come down and check out the shot area and walk towards where we thought the bull was.
The old bull was a warrior, a few notches in his ears and his teeth were loose which no doubt caused him pain, this was a great bull. To say i didn't shed a tear would be a lie, an emotional event that most people who hunt get, and this old bull deserved some respect
View attachment 232064
Yes sir, I understand the tears. These hunts can be very emotional. It is a serious sport, and requires a serious person to do the animal justice. I will never forget the owner of our outfit telling us how seriously he took the picture aspect of these hunts. That is the last measure of respect that we can give that animal, whose life we just took. It is our responsibility to make sure that the remembrance of those animals is respected. I am really enjoying your report. Sounds like an incredible hunt, with some obviously awesome trophies. Looking forward to the rest.
 

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Such a grand time! I’m really enjoying this! Thanks!
 

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