SOUTH AFRICA: Small Cats & Small Antelope Safari

Philip Glass

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I was hunting in Kwa Zulu Natal in RSA for my rhino but the original plan was a small cats and small antelope Safari. Having hunted lion and leopard it was time for me to pursue the small cats of Africa and I had a start on the Tiny Ten and wanted to try for a few more. I actually bought a donated hunt at DSC because I really had no plans to go on Safari this year.
The night after the rhino hunt we sat in a blind for bushpig but the wind was howling and we realized it was not going to happen. I spent the next two days stalking the sand forests for Suni and Red Duiker. This was right up there with the most challenging hunts I’ve ever done. Walking quietly as possible and the just a flash of red and it’s gone. We finally got a few good looks at female Suni and Red Duiker and even a very close look at an old Red Duiker that we decided to pass on. On the second day we finally caught a Red Duiker unaware but I had a very poor gut shot through the trees. I was about to squeeze the trigger when my PH finally saw horns and said he was good. I asked quietly which was his head was so at least I’d have an idea of what I was aiming at! I pulled the trigger on my suppressed .223 and got my Duiker.
Out of time for another try for Suni we headed for the Free State.
More to come......

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Congratulations on that very good Red Duiker Phillip!
 
We said goodbye to the beautiful Aloe View Lodge and headed to the Free State. We had plans to stop and hunt for an Aardwolf on the way. I have been regretting not hunting an Aardwolf for many years after passing one up in Namibia in 2011. We arrive at our destination and met a young and very enthusiastic sheep and cattle farmer who loved night hunting. I knew we were in good hands although we did have some wind blowing that night. We bundled up and headed out for the night hunt.
 
Congrats on the duiker!
 
The Aardwolf hunt proved to be a success and I was just elated to get this highly sought after trophy. As we were headed back a porcupine who was headed for the guys corn field received a bit of lead to round out the great night!

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Nice Duiker and Aardwolf!

I had a blast hunting Genet, Civet (x2) and African Wildcat last month in Zimbabwe, looking forward to "the rest of the story"!
 
Stalking Suni in those sand forests is a tough go.
Congrats on the Red Duiker.
 
I do love hunting night critters! Can’t wait for the next episode!
 
Congrats on the Ardwolf, Am talking with Reiner about archery ardwolf and serval for next year!
 
The Aardwolf hunt proved to be a success and I was just elated to get this highly sought after trophy. As we were headed back a porcupine who was headed for the guys corn field received a bit of lead to round out the great night!
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Now in the Free State to hunt cats....We got up early and took Reinier's hounds and worked some creek bottoms in some incredibly scenic country. What fun it is to see good dogs work! I will never tire of this type of hunting. As we continued down this very large and deep creek or some might call parts of it a canyon the dogs became interested but seemed the trail might be a bit cold. Persistence paid off and the guys kept the dogs working and things began to heat up. One of the dog handlers thought it could be a Serval but no one knew for sure. The creek bottom was opening up into a bit flatter country as the dogs got on the cat for sure. Everyone is getting excited at this point and we finally catch up with the dogs. Reinier has one dog handler that is like an olympic runner and can keep up with any pack of dogs! We ease down into the thick creek bottom and finally catch a glimpse of the big male Caracal up a fairly large tree. As I moved into position the dog handlers, Reiner, and my other PH Garth began frantically catching and leashing the dogs so they wouldn't tear the cat to pieces when it fell from the tree. I carefully aimed my Ruger .223 and took a shot. It was good and the cat came down. Now keep in mind the next pasture over was stocked with Merino sheep. So needless to say the farmers were all happy with me being there and hunting cats! More to come... This story is long but I am enjoying telling it!
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Congrats Philip, what a great safari!

What ammo were you using in the .223? We plan on hunting the night critters next summer and I planned on bringing a .223, and I can't decide whether to use FMJ or just a soft point.. Don't think I want to use a VMAX or any other ballistic tip due to cape damage...

Also, did you take the aardwolf in KZN or the Free State?

Thanks!
 
I’m loving this hunt!!! Hunting behind dogs whether after birds, mountain lion, bobcats, squirrels, rabbits or what ever is awesome! Whether you get the game or not, their enthusiasm is just exciting by itself!
 
Philip what was the weather like , was it windy?
 
Congrats Philip, what a great safari!

What ammo were you using in the .223? We plan on hunting the night critters next summer and I planned on bringing a .223, and I can't decide whether to use FMJ or just a soft point.. Don't think I want to use a VMAX or any other ballistic tip due to cape damage...

Also, did you take the aardwolf in KZN or the Free State?

Thanks!
I really was concerned about bullet selection on this trip. I was needing to take small cats without too much damage and be able to hunt larger animals as well. The 55gr stuff blows up gray fox and I knew that would not work. I decided on Barnes 70gr TSX 5.56 ammo. And yes my Ruger is stamped 5.56! I took some FMJ as well in case I needed it for smaller stuff but really a shot gun would be better as even rabbits run off from FMJ in my experience. Over all I did well and didnt have too much damage even on African Wildcat and put bush pig and Val Rhebok down fairly well with the same load.
The aardwolf was in the Free State and there are many of them.
Philip
 
Philip what was the weather like , was it windy?
It was terribly windy some days and ruined my chances for a big bush pig one particular night. It came and went and overall not too bad.
 
Love the Ardwold and caracal. The free state can be a bit colder:confused: than other hunting areas in SA. The night hunts are more fun than I expected. the next trip a caracal and african wild cat are on the menu. Will have to look into a ardwolf. Great report so far look forward to the rest of the story.
 
Great read looking forward to the next installment.


This really speaks to me as I love hunting varmints here in Texas be it in daylight or dark. Nothing like a set of eyes in the night
 
Congratulations on some great trophies.
 

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