SOUTH AFRICA: Running Report Of Hunting With Pawprint Safaris

huntinlabs

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Day 1
After 30 hours of flying and stuck at airports we finally arrived 0850. It only took about 15 min to clear customs since we didn't bring rifles it was get our bags and go. Pieter and randy were at the airport awaiting our arrival. Did a quick meet and greet and was off to camp. We got to camp at about 11 which gave us an hour to get settled in refresh ourselves before lunch. Over a quick lunch of kudu sausages we discussed plans for the afternoon hunt. We were told we would be the first hunters to hunt a new concession pieter just signed that had the big 5 on it. The place is about 12.5 thousand acres and we would be targeting my wifes blesbuck and blue wildebeest. As soon as we arrived we started seeing kudu after kudu. I mean they were EVERY WHERE! Then giraffes and more giraffes. Johan our PH signaled for our truck to stop and spotted a blesbuck ram. He decided he was a great one and we should try to put a stalk on him. He was a lone ram out in the middle of open grass but we were off. Seemed like we were crawling through the grass forever then Johan pops the sticks up. My wife gets settled and one shot he hit the dirt. When we got up to him we could see just how big he was. One horn was 17 and 3/4 the other was 18 and 1/4. Quick pictures congratulations and we are off.

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We start seeing wildebeest everywhere. We see a huge bull but after a quick discussion we decide to pass because he was still with a bunch of cows and was still a breeding aged bull. About 5 minutes later we see a lone bull. Johan says he is 26 and asks my wife if she would be happy with him. She looks him over and decides she loved the way he looked standing there and we are off. A quick stalk in on him and a herd of impala catch us and start running. Now we caught the bulls attention. He sees us starts snorting and stomping then runs about 10 yards and stops and faces us head on. Johan tells my wife where to shoot him and ask if she is comfortable with the shot which she was. She hit him right in the chest he takes off bucking but only makes it about 30 yards before crashing into the trees. When we get him back I was picking at johan and said no way he 100 percent 26 in so we pull out the tape and bam 26 on the dot. Wow this guy is GOOD!! It was an exciting and fast first day after only 2 hours of hunting my wife bags her first two animals. We had kudu backstrap and steaks for dinner that night and after we all sat around the fore and joked until we caught a frog then it was off to feed pies girlfriend Randy's pet crocodile. All I can say is this place is amazing so far and pieters crew is great we feel like friends not clients here.

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Day 2

Pieter told us to sleep in this morning as we are going to be the Guinea pigs of his new tented camp. While there it is finally my turn we are going to be going for my impala and my wife's steenbuck. We woke up at 7 am had a nice kudu sausage breakfast then was off to the new camp at around 830 or 9. We arrived at the camp after a 2 hour drive and were greeted by Johans wife and kids. We would soon learn that is was a great gift and pleasure to have them around from watching the kids play to telling jokes and comparing family photos. We ate a quick lunch decided at about 3 we would start a stalk for the impala. Man this place is thick! At some points we had to almost crazy through the bushes to keep going. We walked for about 45 minutes then johan spots a on impala ram. After a quick observation he says he is a nice mature ram and asks me to take a look and see since it's the first day. I liked how he seemed to carry his mass up his horns. I told johan I liked him so up the sticks went. It seemed like it took 5 minutes for him to turn back around and come out from behind the tree. As soon as he stepped out he gave me a hard front quartering shot. I hit a little high but got both lungs. We found him about 50 yards from where I shot. My first African animal and I couldn't be happier. He measured 23 inches. Now we were off for my wife's steenbuck. We seen a ton more impalas and kudu everywhere. We spotted a warthog but they were not on the list so we passed. We searched until dark for the steenbuck but couldn't find one. We went back to camp for dinner and relax then went for a night drive to see what we could find. But still no Steenbuck.

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Day 3
We woke up had some coffee then were off looking for the illusive steenbuck. Man these things are hard to hunt. We came across an ewe with a baby so my wife got some pictures but no ram. After seeing so many great warthog I told johan that I am open to take one if it is a big one. We went back to camp and had breakfast then decided to go sit in a blind over a waterhole and see if something comes in. We had a group of bachelor impala come in with one being at least 24 according to johan. I regret not taking it. At about 130 we went back to camp for a late lunch and to relax until 330. We go out again looking for steenbuck but this time warthog as well. Still no Steenbuck and we had 3 blown stalks on warthog. We headed back to camp for blue wildebeest steaks and some beer.
 
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cpr0312

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Congrats so far! Look forward to hearing more!
 

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There will be more to come as time goes on. So far we are having the best time of our lives with @Pawprint Safaris thank you @billc for helping set this up.


I am so glad your having a great time. Johan is awesome to hunt with as we hunted together last year and had a blast. Good luck on the rest of your trip
 

CAustin

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When you get a chance tell us more about the tent camp. Looks like you and the wife are taking nice trophies. Congrats!
 

375 Ruger Fan

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You are off to a great start for sure. Look forward to more.
 

huntinlabs

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I am so glad your having a great time. Johan is awesome to hunt with as we hunted together last year and had a blast. Good luck on the rest of your trip

He is. He constantly keeps us engaged in animals and laughing the whole time.
 

cagkt3

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Great start, looking forward to the rest!
 

BRICKBURN

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Congratulations to you both.
 

IdaRam

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Sounds like you two are off to a great start (y) Keep it coming and good luck on the Steenbok.
 

Royal27

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Glad you're having a good time.

Y'all earned a little relaxation after what you've been through recently. :)
 

Nyati

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Congrats, great start !
 

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That Impala carries his mass up very nicely. Good Blesbuck for your wife. Looks like your having a great time. Congrats
Bruce
 

cmnhunt

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When you get a chance tell us more about the tent camp. Looks like you and the wife are taking nice trophies. Congrats!
Probably he took a record book nyala, kudu, waterbuck, bushbuck, and a roan for kicks. I like that tent camp idea for sure.
 

huntinlabs

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Day 4.

We woke up this morning had coffee and were off still looking for steenbuck and warthog. We didn't see any of those but saw two very very good kudu a nice red heartebeast that no one knows how it got there and a bunch of younger blue wildebeest including the golden one which was a great sight to see. We headed back to camp for breakfast. After breakfast we said a short but sad goodbye to johans family as we didn't feel like clients to them but family friends. We both felt like elwe have known each others family, not just meeting 2 days ago. We then headed back to pieters main lodge. We got back had a great lunch then decided we would all like to take a nap and give the steenbuck another try when it started to get dark. We seen a steenbuck ewe some nyala kudu impala and Duiker. After super we went out for a night drive to try some luck at jackal and maybe a steenbuck. While out we seen blesbuck more duiker and 2 jackal but my wife wasn't fast enough to get them in the scope. The steenbuck eluded us again. We were both tired so at around 10 we decided to stop and make a plan for tomorrow. It's my day on the gun and we are going to go for black wildebeest and springbuck.

Day 5.

We woke up at 6 had a quick but hearty breakfast and headed out at around 730 for the farm with springbuck and black wildebeest. We arrived at the farm talked real fast to the ranch owner and he said he had a very nice black wildebeest bull that fits what I am wanting which is big hard bosses and a drop below the eyes. We finally find him and it takes a while following them around for the one bull to step out. I am looking at him through the scope and agree he is the one that I would love to try a shot at. As we are waiting luck must have been on my side he steps clear johan says take the shot and bam. He takes off but you can see blood pouring out of him he makes it around 80 yards and tumbles. That's it I finally got the black wildebeest! After a quick photo shoot we load him up and start searching for impala. The ranch owner and johan both spot a ram out alone and get excited they say he fits what I am after. A nice mature ram with worn horns but still good length and Carrie's his mass up. We get to about 120 yards johan says this is as close as we can get take him. So one shot and he drops. We are going to go after Steenbuck later this afternoon but I wanted to post this since I can't contain my excitement!
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rinehart0050

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Looks like your hunt is going great! congrats on the trophies - nice photo of your springbok with his hair standing up!
 

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