SOUTH AFRICA: RIFLE: BOWHUNT: Bos En Dal Safaris 2019 Trip

Mark Biggerstaff

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The planning for this trip started roughly 30 days after my 2018 trip with Gerrit at @Bos en Dal Safaris. I had such a great trip in 2018 which was my first trip I became addicted to Africa!

Dates were set for May 27th arrival and departure for June 7th 2019. During the planning I originally was going to concentrate on more plains game and finish my Spiral Slam. I had two friends that were going to accompany me for there first time trip to Africa. After Gerrit posted up his Buffalo Special I switched gears and decided on a Buffalo/Plains game trip. My friends would be plains game hunting.

Two days before departure one of them had to drop out due to family issues. Monday May 27th arrived and myself and Bo were off to Houston for flight to Atlanta and DL 200 to Johannesburg. The flight was uneventful and boring as usual. We arrived around 5:30 pm on the 28th and Riflepermits meet and greet got us thru Immigration and SAPS quickly. Gerrit,Frikkie and Louie were waiting for us when we entered the main hall. We were off for the 2 hour or so drive to camp.

When we arrived at camp we were greeted by staff and a delicious dinner and drinks by the fire. We got settled in to our rooms and off to bed.
Day One to follow!

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Mark Biggerstaff

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Day One!
I did not sleep much and was up by 6:00 am sorting gear and getting ready for the day. We had a light breakfast of coffee, juice and muffins. We waited till sum was up and to range to check rifles. I brought my Remington 700 custom 375 HH loaded with Federal 300 grain Swift Aframes and a Winchester model 70 Safari in 416 Rem Mag shooting Federal 400 grain Aframes. Bo had his Weatherby in 300 Win Mag with handloaded 180 Swift Aframes. All guns checked good and we headed back to lodge to check bows. We both brought out Elite bows along for this trip. Bows were checked and it was around 10:00 am and Gerrit said “Grab your bows and we will go set some hides till around 12:30-1:00. I am hunting with Gerrit and Bo with PH Frikkie. Gerrit new I wanted a Nyala with my bow and said he had some pattered hitting a waterhole and salt lick mid morning so off we went.

We got settled into a nice bow hide and it wasn’t long till game started coming in for water. We had an Impala and 2 smaller Nyala come in and then a nice mature Nyala started in. After about 20 minutes it presented a perfect shot. The Nyala went only about 45 yards and collapsed. I am shooting an Elite Synergy set at 65lbs 30 inch draw with Gold Tip Ted Nugents 300 and Grizz Trick 125 grain 4 blade broad heads. After pics we loaded it up and off to skinning shed.

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Mark Biggerstaff

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Bo and Frikkie saw lots of game just nothing he was quite interested in. We had a great lunch. Bo and Frikkie headed out shortly after lunch to a different hide. I stayed in camp to sort gear and get ready for Buffalo hunt that would start the next morning. Bo saw lots of game but nothing that just jumped out at him. We had a delicious dinner and to bed early.
Day two to follow.
As a note. I decided to start my report as I sit hear in Atlanta Airport. Still trying to get connection to Houston. Weather delays have caused our 9:30 am flight to be delayed till 4:15 pm as of now.
 

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Nice start to the trip! Congrats on the Nyala!
 

Mark Biggerstaff

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Day 2
Up at 5am. Light breakfast and game plans laid out. Bo put the bow up and broke out the 300 win mag. Frikkie and him will be hunting Kudu today.
Gerrit, myself, PHs Louie and Jan load up for 45 minute drive to Buffalo area. I will be using my Winchester 70 416 Rem Mag 400 grain Swift Aframes. Optics in it are Leupold VX5HD 2-10x42 Firedot. I had discussed with Gerrit the type of Buffalo I was looking for. Width on the horns did not matter to me, I was looking for one with nice drop in the horns and good solid bosses with character. When we arrived we were met by PH Francios who manages this property. He will be driving and video the hunt if possible. The property is around 10,000 acres of mountains and valleys with thick thick brush and very rocky.
I was told this herd of buffalo hand not been hunted is several years and only a 3-4 bulls will be taken off of it this year. Since the roads are solid rock and little dirt there is no dragging the roads and then looking fir tracks. Plan was to drive up to the top and get out on foot and work our way down hill looking for the Buffalo. Well lady luck was on my side, about 3/4 the way up group of buffalo was spotted at edge of an area that had been burned off earlier in the year. They were about 400 yards away. A quick look at them it was determined that most where young bulls but some others were back in the brush that looked promising. We headed on up to the top and made a plan. We would have to work our way down and around to get below them with the wind direction. So off we went, very slowly not making any noise. After an hour or so easing thru the rocks the group was spotted. Some were bedded down and some standing. Over the next 30-45 minutes we moved forward to close the distance to 75 yards. We could see the head of a good bull bedded down. He was in some thick brush and the waiting game began. I was on the sticks waiting for the bull to stand up for awhile. When he stood up I had a perfect shoulder shot and took it. The bull went 20-25 yards and fell. We waited for a few minutes and slowly moved in. Buffalo bull was down!!
We took alot of pics and then the crew loaded it up and off to skinning shed.
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Mark Biggerstaff

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This Buff was everything I was hoping for and more. The skinners recovered the bullet when cleaning. It was lodged under the skin on the opposite shoulder. Both lungs were hit and top of the heart was hit.

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Nice buff, congrats.
 

Mark Biggerstaff

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While the skinners were busy with the buff we went and had a nice lunch at an area in the bottom of one of the valleys. When the skinners were finished with Buff we loaded it all up into vehicles and headed back to main Bos en Dal Farm. We spent the rest of the day looking for warthogs there.
We all gathered for a nice fire and dinner later that evening. Bo had seen some really nice Kudu but had not been able to get a shot off at one.

Day 3
Up at usual time and light breakfast and we were off at daybreak. Bo was still after Kudu and decided he might want a Sable also.
Gerrit and I were off to possibly look for a Giraffe! We went back to the property where we hunted the Buff as there was a dark bull giraffe there. After several hours looking for him he was spotted up on top. We started working into position for a shot and how an animal as big as a giraffe can vanish over a rise and never be found again is a mystery. We looked and searched for him till around 3:00 pm and then called it for the day. That giraffe new his area and just vanished into one of the valleys and we never found him again. We headed back to main Bos en Dal farm. When we got there we found that Bo and Frikkie had an awesome day. Bo connected first on a really nice Sable and then an hour later a great Kudu.
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Mark Biggerstaff

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Day 4
Up at usual time, light breakfast and off by 6:45am. Both Bo and myself back to bow hunting this morning. Gerrit and I hunted till about 11:00am. Saw plenty of animals including ostrich, Impala, Eland and blue wildebeest. Nothing I was interested in shooting. Bo and Frikkie had success! Bo got a nice Impala!
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After lunch we all headed back out.
Bo and Frikkie started looking for a good blue wildebeest. Gerrit and I headed for a water tank dam to sit the afternoon till dark looking for warthog. We saw Kudu, Nyala and several Warthogs just no big tuskers.
Bo chased blues all afternoon and never got a shot at the one he wanted.
We came in and cleaned up and went to Gerrit’s parents house for a big family bbq. It was wonderful. We had buffalo tenderloin and Nyala kabobs over the fire.
 

Mark Biggerstaff

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Day 5
We slept in a little later than normal it being Sunday we decided not to get a real early start. Bo is back to rifle hunting for warthogs and blue wildebeest. I decided to not go back looking for the Giraffe and swapped to Sable Hunting! Gerrit and I headed out looking for a nice Sable. We hunted till noon not finding any and came back to camp for lunch. Bo had been playing tag with the herd of blues but no luck either.
The afternoon went about like morning. Alot of walking and looking. The brush is so thick and green that about the only way to hunt is putting the foot miles in trying to locate them. We finally spotted a good Sable late afternoon and started a stalk in closer. We were at 15 yards and the bush is so thick there was no shot even with the 375 HH I was carrying. Finally after what seemed like hours but was only probably 30 minutes the wind shift and he busted us and left out fast.
Bo still playing chase with the blues all afternoon and still not able to seal it. Gerrit’s place is mountains with valleys and flats. Very rocky and super thick bush. Makes hunting very challenging and you have to work for your animals. That is what I like about it. Day is over and a delicious meal as always and campfire the best part of a safari.
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Mark Biggerstaff

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Day 6
Up at normal time and we are gone at daybreak. Bo and Frikkie still looking for blue and warthogs.
Gerrit and I off after Sable. As we got to the area where the Sable like to hang out we spotted one headed uphill. We parked and headed off after him on foot uphill. After about an hour we got within shooting distance and looked him over. He was young and not what we were after. Gerrit had one particular Sable in mind he was trying to find that he had recently seen. After about 2 hours walking up and down the rocky terrain we spotted a good one! We closed the distance to about 100 yards and Gerrit looked him over and said thats the one we needed to take. Sticks went up and I was on them. Today I was packing my 375 HH with 300 gr Aframes. The Sable was feeding away from us at this time and had no idea we were around. Now the waiting game for a shot. Well as it usually happens the wind switched and he scented us. He spun and looked straight towards us. Gerrit said frontal and take him. The 375 rocked him backwards and stumbling he took off to our left into thick bush. We gave him about 15 minutes before starting after him. We got to where he was standing and took off from. No blood!!! Gerrit tracked him following the turned rocks and drag marks from his front leg. After about 50 yards Gerrit spotted him standing at 15 yards in a thicket that was so thick all I could make out were his horn tips and part of his back. I calculated about where his shoulder should be an punched another 375 thru the brush and he went down. What a tough animal the Sable is. Gerrit radioed for a recovery crew and they packed him out into an open area for pics. What a magnificent beast he was!!
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We followed the crew to the skinning shed and I watched the skinners dress him. I wanted to see where and what first shot on the frontal had hit. It was a little left of where it needed to be and the sable was at an angle with his rear. Bullet took out right lung,liver and lodged in left hind quarter. The bullet was not recovered. They tried to find but was somewhere up in the joints and bones in hindquarter.
 

Mark Biggerstaff

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Bo and Frikkie where successful and got a really good warthog this morning!
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The rest of the day Gerrit and I spent walking ravines and checking water holes for warthogs. Bo chased his blue wildebeest again trying to get on them still
 

Mark Biggerstaff

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Day 7
Today was a more rest and see what we can find day as I had really no other animals on my list for this trip. Gerrit and I sat a bow hide this morning to see what was moving. We saw all sorts of animals. Kudu, Nyala, Waterbuck and Eland. Bo chased his nemesis the blue all day. He had seen one particular bull he wanted and was not going to settle for any other one but it.

Day 8
Gerrit and I bow hunted in the am and walked checking water holes in pm looking for warthogs. Bo and Frikkie finally got a shot on the blue they had been chasing just before sunset. What a blue it was! 29 inches wide!!!
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Mark Biggerstaff

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Day 9
This is our last hunting day. Bo has taken all his desired animals for this trip so he and Frikkie head off to do some day time jackal calling and just looking.
I got to thinking about Spingbok during the night and new Gerrit had some on a property across the road from the main camp. So I asked Gerrit about going after one and could I use his Musgrave 243? Of course the answer was “Lets Go”!!
We got there and started driving trying to spot them. This property is more open and rolling hills with brush and grassland. We spotted a few but most were females. After a little while we spot a good ram with 3 females. The stalk is on. After over 2 hours stalking and loosing them in the tall grass or brush. They actually never knew we were after them they were just moving and feeding. We finally got on them in an open area and the sticks went up and shot taken.
Gerrit’s 243 with 103 grain hand-loaded Hornady ELDX did its job. Beautiful Springbok down.
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Mark Biggerstaff

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This was truly a fantastic hunt with great people. Gerrit and Frikkie made sure all our needs were taken care of. Bo and myself had an awesome time and I am already planning a 2020 trip back to hunt with Gerrit.
Thanks to Gerrit and Bos en Dal I have become an African hunt addict. I highly recommend anyone considering hunting Africa go for it. You will not be disappointed!
 

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