SOUTH AFRICA: The Curse Is Lifted: 2018 Group Hunt

CAustin

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So after the picture taking the team got to work skinning the beast. I wanted the feet, skull and full skin hide. We stayed around for a while but around two we went back to the lodge for lunch
Another great lunch served by a real waiter and prepared by a real chef and just someone calling himself one. Man was it excellent. The food was presented on the plates like a pro and it was hot! Not to mention there was more there than you could eat! My PH had a slab of fish that was pan fried and must have weighed a pound. If you asked for it you got it immediately. Everything made to order!
After lunch I took a quick shower and then we went back to the water to see the progress but on the way saw the truck coming in with meat. Now that was a load.
 
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CAustin

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Quartered Hippo Guys! The staff at the resort was buzzing because they knew that they would be getting some of the meat.
I had hoped to partake of some myself but my PH forgot the tenderloins the next morning when we departed at 0400 hours. So that was a BIG disappointment.
We went back out to watch the skin getting loaded which took seven men to do it.
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And note the cows never stopped watching what was going on!
 
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Ridgewalker

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Oh no! No hippo lips?:eek: You have to start all over! It doesn’t count without hippo lips!:(
 

gillettehunter

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Great report. Love that not taking a shot your not comfortable with. Been there done that. Most PH's understand. Congrats on lifting the curse. You have done very well indeed.
Bruce
 

CAustin

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Dinner that night was another private boma meal with several choices to be had. I picked the Ox tail which was simply outstanding! Good wine with the meal and fine bourbon before and after. Then the chef tempted me with chocolate lava cake prepared and baked at the time of order. It’s one of those items that takes about 20 minutes but very much worth the wait.
I have had some less than good meals in South Africa......like creamed corn served cold and straight out of the can......a box cake with some canned cream poured over it and passed off as something special.....cold eggs and under cooked meats....but not at this place folks. If you are ever in the Zulu Lands this place is worth staying at.
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CAustin

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Left this for the crocs to eat.
So no hippo lip reports and not even a small cutlet of the meat!
Maybe next time!
 
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CAustin

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By the time the sun was rising Skobbie and I had already been on the road for a couple of hours. The 7.5 hour drive was broken up with a few stops for fuel and smoke/restroom breaks. I saw a lot of rural South Africa for sure. One of the most interesting things that I didn’t get a good picture of was of the uniformed children headed off to school. Kids are really the same the world over. Walking slowly to the school house or bus stop and playing with friends. But come afternoon when school was out it was a mad dash home!
Near noon we encountered a bakkie loaded down with Buff on the road at Rustenburg. As it turns out this was my hunting friend @TOBY458 headed to the skinning shead with his trophy.
Our bakkie was loaded down with the hippo skin and making better fuel mileage once the driver learned that that automatic transmission needed to be set in “D” and not “S”. Funny how you can’t use all five gears in “S”.
 

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I think the success and fantastic food have spoiled you!
 

CAustin

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More work needed to be done on the hippo skin once we reached Pieter’s Lodge. As you can see the skin must be scored a lot to allow the salt to get in.
One great thing about hitting the hippo in the neck is that my trophy skull only has nature’s holes in it.
 
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Ridgewalker

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What can you do with the skin?
 

CAustin

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The following day “we made a plan” to go after Golden Wildebeest! This guy should make a nice wall mount.
The Ruger #1 performed perfectly once again, the animal was walking away at an angle from right to left. Once again I had to lead the animal for the shot. So I aimed for the front of the shoulder and pulled the trigger. Bang Flop!
Then it was picture time!
 

CAustin

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I think the success and fantastic food have spoiled you!

Perhaps it has. But I would say the lifting of the curse made for a good trip.
 

CAustin

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The final element of the curse to be lifted was Springbuck. On this next day I had the pleasure of hunting with @Art Lambart II and PH Carlos. We were headed to a farm I was most familiar with called Roland’s place. This place s the farm where I took 25 shots trying to hit a Springbuck. I wasn’t wanting to repeat that performance. I was first up to shoot when the chance presented itself. We passed on a couple of groups but frankly the numbers of springbuck were very limited....not like I had remembered from two years ago. Finally we found a younger ram in a group that had just started turning his horns back. Art ranged him at 197 yards and I adjusted the custom dial on the Leupold scope to “2”. Art kept feeding me the range as the ram was walking away. When I pulled the trigger he was at 210 yards. This time it was bang flip and run a little then he went down. Carlos and I walked to where I had shot him as Art directed us fromthe truck. There was an amazing amount of blood everywhere. Sure enough a few yards past we found the ram lying down. He was not dead yet and suffering so I put another round through the spine to end it. These are very tough animals. That first shot tore his chest apart....so much so that he was dropping bone on the ground as he ran.
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CAustin

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Art got a nice spring buck next and we took some good pictures together.
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Sweet redemption. Congratulations Charlie.
 

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Great report and congratulations!
 

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Great Report Charlie, I love all the details you included. I really need to take more pictures on safari they add so much more to the story.
 

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Thanks for taking me on the ride, glad you got your Hippo and made it back home for the stone work.
 

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Charlie, I´m really happy for you, I know how much you wanted that sea-horse, so congrats :D Cheers:

Are you going to make a coffee table with the skull ?

I was supposed to go after my own hippo this year, but family health issues are preventing it, so it is planned for next year.
 

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