SOUTH AFRICA: Second Hunt With KMG Hunting Safaris

Dudders

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Well less than a year has passed since I last hunted with @KMG Hunting Safaris and on the 5th of April 2017 I was back to hunt the east cape with Marius. I took advantage of a cancellation hunt offered by Marius last year in the deals section of AH. The main focus of this hunt would be for Bushbuck I think Marius found it a little odd that I would be happy to spend the entire 6 days hunting the same species. As the trip grew closer my list gained a few additions as any hunt on the African continent so often does so the hunt would consist of

Bushbuck
Black Wildebeest
Blesbock
Cape Grysbuck

The dates were the 5th april 2017 t0 12th april 2017
ph Marius Goosen
Lodge Mpunzi

Now it seems to be a reoccurring theme that before I depart on my trips that I have some kind mishap just before departure this trip was no different and two days before I left while stock fencing I managed to hit myself in the face with a post banger lots of blood and a couple big cuts/ holes but no broken nose or cheek bone hence the plasters in the photos.

P1020130.JPG
 
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Dudders

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So after two uneventful flights I arrive in port Elizabeth at 12.30pm to be met by Marius. Now the plan was to hit the ground running as the grysbok area was close to port Elizabeth and hunted at night Marius arranged a place I could shower rest and get organised for that nights hunt, so half an hour later I am at Marius's parents house shown round and made to feel welcome. two hours later sat in there kitchen with Marius his parents and Kim we discuss tonight's options.
PLAN A : if done before midnight travel directly to the lodge
PLAN B : if no success which may mean a long night we would return to stay with Marius,s parents and travel to the lodge the following day.
With plans made we depart to meet the guide for the area at a petrol station where we have a meal while we wait for dark to set in . Just as the light fades we set off for the farms we were to hunt that night as we travel to the area we pass a large bush fire that was burning across the road being driven along by the strong winds this evening The east cape has missed the rain that the rest of south Africa has been getting. After 40 minutes we pull off the main road into a small gateway this was the hunting area, the lights are set up we get into the rear of the bakkie and we begin to sweep the fields looking for sets of eyes only to be fooled by a couple of nightjars. As we progress around the farm it begins to rain just lightly at first but soon it is pouring luckily I had taken my coat out ready now I was trying to keep the rain off the scope hold on to the bakkie and put on my coat. I was beginning to think that the night would be a wash out when just as we passed through a gate way we picked up a pair of eyes we stop and back up Lloyd takes the light and marius looks with the binoculars . Now grysbuck are difficult to judge as the horns line up with a dark stripe on there ears and the best view is when they turn away but that is just before they run, so plan is to line up straight away while they decide if it is a shootable animal and if you get the ok shoot quick . So I line up on the grysbuck as planed now not expecting the first animal we saw to be a shooter I probable was not paying enough attention and when marius said shoot , shoot I let fly with the shot and hit to far back the grysbok took off down hill towards us I had already reloaded when marius said shoot again , I was already tracking the grysbok as it ran down hill almost hidden in the grass picked my spot and fired and it dropped, Lloyd was sent to retrieve the grysbok when he picked it up their was a bit of chat sensing something was wrong I asked marius whats up he turns to me "you just shot it in the head " " really oh dear " was my reply marius did look a little bemused by this but whats done is done and it was more of a glancing blow to the one side but a very nice grysbock
P1020130.JPG


With the first animal down and only being 8 pm we were to travel directly to mpunzi. That evening there had been enough rain to put out the fire we had passed on the way to the hunting area stopping the fire just short of a group of houses in its path. we arrived at the lodge just after midnight after a long drive in the rain.
 

Dudders

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Before we settled down for the night Marius assured me that there would be no rain tomorrow not having had rain for two months at mpunzi the spots of rain would not amount to anything. we retired to our rooms having agreed to rest in the following morning. Well in the morning I awoke to the sound of driving rain on the windows of my room, so much for Marius and his forecasts, at breakfast we made a plan for the day we would go check zero on the rifle then look for a black wildebeest. The first break in the rain we go to the range, the first shot marius could not see so he walked down to take a look on his return ok it was in the black of the bulls eye we adjusted 1 1/2 inches up fired two more shots bang on 1 1/2 inch high at 100 meters all good to go . We return to the lodge and wait out the rain .
 

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Congrats on the Grysbok, can't wait to hear the rest of the hunt report!
 

johnnyblues

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Congratulations on the Grysbok. I didn't realize you hunt them at night. Have to add to my ever growing wish list!
 

rinehart0050

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Congrats on your first trophy.. looking forward to hearing about the rest.

The Band-Aids and bruises just add character to the photos... tell people that a vicious grysbok jumped out of a tree and attacked your face. You heroically fought him off with bare hands before finishing the deed with your rifle.
 

KMG Hunting Safaris

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... tell people that a vicious grysbok jumped out of a tree and attacked your face. You heroically fought him off with bare hands before finishing the deed with your rifle.

That is the story that he is sticking to. The truth is, this is what a guy looks like when he does not listen to his PH.:D:D:D
 

Dudders

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So I sit and drink tea, Marius paces up and down every time he thinks the rain eases he his out the door looking for our chance to get out and hunt. Finally the rain eases to a fine drizzle and we set off for a Black wildebeest .We had been watching them from the lodge on a far ridgeline in a grass clearing, So we had worked out our approach already we left the bakkie and proceeded on foot working our way around the impala past some kudu cows down to where we had last seen the wildebeest. We caught sight of them just milling around on the edge of the scrub Marius tried to get a good look at them but they were not very settled the wind which was still strong and swirling around us must of given us away and they moved off not to quickly but with a sense that all was not right. We decided to try and see if we could catch up to them in a different spot and wait for them but as we got to the area the rain became heavy again the scope glass was covered in rain drops and we had nothing to clean it with we decided not to push the wildebeest to hard in the poor conditions and brake for lunch and hope for a pause in the rain this afternoon.
 

billc

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great report so far. Never even thought about hunting grysbok but they look like a pretty cool animal that just may make the list one day.
 

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The picture do not do justice to this little fellow it was pouring while we tried to take the photos and the white flecking through the fur has not shown up that well they are a pretty little animal
 

Llywelyn

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That is the story that he is sticking to. The truth is, this is what a guy looks like when he does not listen to his PH.:D:D:D
Or could be when you hit yourself in the face with a post banger!
 

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We had lunch at the lodge and went through some ideas about the rest of the program for the week during which time the rain died away the afternoon became drier with only the odd shower but still the strong wind remained. We drove out to where the wildebeest hang around an area of grass dotted with lots of scrubby bushes and what at home we would describe as tumps ( small areas of raised ground ). We left Lloyd with the bakkie and proceeded slowly on foot the wind blowing strongly into our faces again we had to manoeuvre around other grazing game mainly impala and springbok taking our time we crept through the scrub carefully checking each clearing we came to before breaking cover and proceeding forward. Marius freezes and signals to get down we had walked right into the heard of wildebeest, luckily then had not noticed us this time the strong wind was working in our favour and we waited as the group fed away from us for the next hour we played a game of cat and mouse as we followed the group looking for a good bull trying and to get into position for a shot unnoticed by the group. Marius picks out a good looking bull from the group all we need now is for him to separate away from the others . Again they move behind the scrub we leave it a couple of minutes and then follow up behind them, as we round a small area of scrub we find them again 60 meters away. The big bull is with them and the main group is feeding away from us marius puts up the sticks and says get ready, one of the females suddenly becomes aware of our presence, but is unsure of what we are and stands looking right at us the bull is more interested in feeding and takes no interest he is to busy feeding around a patch of scrub heading towards us we wait for the broadside shot and just as he turns full broadside a young bull walks and stands right behind him we wait for what seems like an age until the big bull moves away from the younger animal and as soon as he is clear I let fly the bull drops on the spot rolling onto his side with his legs stuck up in the air. the rest of the heard scatter I reload and we walk up he was stone dead, we called up Lloyd and prepared for the photos .

P1020147.JPG
P1020153.JPG
 

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@Dudders it looks like you had a great hunt! Congrats sir!
 

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Congrats and thanks for sharing!
 

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Well day two of the hunt and well today is going to be a special kind of day young Graham has been trying to gain access to an amazing area for bushbuck that an acquaintance has control of and today is the day the one and only day that he will let us go. So the plan is for Graham to take his hunter in the morning and if he is successful we will go in the afternoon, so in the morning we will hunt blesbok but not any old blesbok we are to hunt a heard that have not been hunted for over 6 years and I will be the first person to hunt them. Now like me you may think that it would be a walk in the park but apparently they are " as wild as coots" we would say the minute they catch sight of anyone they take off into the distance and don't stop. Marius says we will have one chance and that will be it. We load up and head out to the neighbouring farm where I have previously hunted springbok pick up the keys for the gate and head back up the road we pull into the field and park up. Now the blesbok hang out in a grass area that forms a bowl at the head of a valley full of scrub the approach is across flat grassland with little cover the plan is to get to the edge of the bowl and wait for the blesbok to emerge and start to feed. We have two things in our favour this morning the wind is still strong and blowing the right way for our approach secondly the fog which came in as we arrived . We geared up and set off into the fog as we made our way across the open grass we flushed several steenbok from small patches of thick grass as we approached the edge of the bowl we could make out the faint outlines of blesbok through the fog we made for an area of scrub to provide some cover as we reached this the fog lifted and we could see the blesbok scattered around the bowl. Marius began to look for a good male having located some animals for a more detailed inspection but we needed to get closer that's when the fog drifted back in so we moved closer we did this several times wait for the fog move closer fog lifts we lay down and wait and scan the blesbok Marius picks a couple of good animals but we need to move to a shooting position the fog has gone we crawl on our hands and knees 50 meters to a little bush to set up behind with the fog gone more blesbok begin to move about a good blesbok ram crosses in front of us Marius says that's a good ram and I think here we go than Marius adds we didn't come here for a good ram you can get those anywhere we want a great ram . There were two that we were interested in but both to far away 500 meters plus after watching for over an hour we decided to make our move. We would back out and come around from the opposite side and se if we could drop in from above them, but how to get out of our position without spooking the blesbok in front now the fog had disappeared we went for the crouched brisk walk head down to the nearest bush when we reached it we took cover and looked back the blesbok had not noticed us or were not that concerned we began to head back to the bakkie when we spotted two rams far away to our right we sat down and on inspection Marius thought the one looked good with little cover we crawled on our hands and knees 100 meters to a bush on the fence line. Marius looked again yes he's good old ram we crawl through the stock fence on our bellies then back on hands and knees for another 50 meters to hide behind a bush little more than 2 feet high x 2 feet wide to work out our next move . We wait for there heads to drop and start feeding then we shuffle to our right to use a lone scrubby tree about 300 meters away to block there view of us. we both decide our knees have had enough and shuffle on our backsides for another 150 meters stopping to check on the blesbok and take a breath every 20 meters. Half way to the scrubby tree the blesbok split the bigger ram moves more out into the open field and the other one goes to our right heading for the same scrubby tree as us , we drop on to our stomachs in stuck out in the open, we can not go for cover as the other ram would see us , we can not go forward as the blesbok we are after will cut the wind and smell us so we begin to shuffle on our bellies to our left hoping to keep our sent ahead of him in the wind when is head goes down to feed we move when he lifts his head we stop we do this for another 60 meters then the ram picks up speed and closes into about 200 meters. I shuffle back place the rifle across Marius back I wait for the ram to stop the cross hairs rise and fall with Marius's breaths I tell him I am going to shoot and he holds his breath I fire the shot and the old ram drops, We both get to our feet I reload and we move in the ram is trying to get back to his feet I shoot again but miss load the final round move to a better position and finish him with a third shot.
P1020163.JPG


Marius and I both worked hard for this blesbok the skin has nearly grown back on my knees Lloyd fetches the bakkie and we load up and Marius gets word that the others have been successful with there bushbuck so we are go to go for the afternoon.
 

gillettehunter

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I like your BW. They are a cool animal. Nice Blesbuck too. Good shooting. Congrats Bruce
 

adgunner

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Great Blesbok, can't wait to hear about the bushbuck!
 

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