SOUTH AFRICA: The Pawprint Safaris Report & What A Trip


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Feb 10, 2011
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united state- Co Nm Mt Wy Pa , canada ,mexico ,south africa- Northwest, Limpopo, freestste.Northern cape,East cape, namibia

After years of waiting we finally made the trip to jo-berg to hunt with pieter and Paw Print Safaris.Was a group of 5 that started as 3 of us.I had exchanged thousands of emails with pieter over that time and all were answered.We became great friends which made for a great hunt and one that words can not tell the whole story.
The only bad thing was pieter got me at the airport before I could get him.I was attacked at the airport by a rather large PH who had my pink hat on me before I could say hi.
We loaded a whole lot of of gear in 3 trucks and meet the guys from paw print.
WE had a 5 hour drive to alldays were the hunt would start.We stopped grabbed some burgers for lunch and got the supplies for the first few days and started the trip.
Getting to the ranch we some some sites that just made you know it was going to be a great week.Seen many animals just driving into the lodge and made for some tough sleeping as we all wanted to hunted.
We had a nice dinner cooked out side and called it a night ready for what the morning would bring.
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After a nice night of sleep we all feel good and ready to hunt.Dakota will be chasing eland with me looking for wildbeast or impala.This is were my list goes out the window.I talk with pieter about maybe taking a giraffe but did not know if I would or not.If I had not seen some chairs at a show made of giraffe hide I would never have even thought about it.Pieter had two big bulls that needed to be hunted because they were messing up fences and getting way old.The dark bull had me thinking hard.
So off we go looking for eland.Down the road not two minutes gaint impala seen pushing 25" or more but len was to slow and he gets away.No biggy we are 5 minutes into the hunt.
As we drive away not a minute or two later we spot some giraffe.Some females and young but all that nice dark color So I am thinking I am in trouble now seeing what they look like.AS we scan the area looking for more of them pieter says there he is as I dont see him yet.How 8 giraffe hide right in front of you I dont know.I start looking around and now there is 12 and then oh my he jumps out to me.I see him and pieter looks and ask if we are hunting giraffe now.I take another look and say hell yes we are.I grab my 300 win mag and off we go to make the stalk.We get set up and I think it is on and he sees us and moves on.He made the mistake of looking back to find his friend and trys to figure out what we are.I get on the sticks and pieter tells me were to take him in the neck to bring him down.I feel good and take the shoot and down he goes like someone dropped and hammer on his head.Now pieter starts telling me get up there quick dont let him get up.I am thinking your crazy pieter he dropped like a brick.As we move up I am like oh my god he is still moving.They he is up and running with pieter yelling shoot him dont let him get to running.I fire a second shoot see no reaction and he is off running 3 rd shoot no reaction and running faster.Now the next bad part I am out of ammo.Things start so fast I had nothing with me and pack is in truck.So I go running back yelling for the kid to bring me bullets.I am watching out the corner of my eye and running to the truck.All going on film like I am some chicken running from a giraffe.I get some rounds start running back only to see him fall.Pieter has me put one is his back and he is down for good.AS we look at him we see lung blood pouring out of his mouth.After watching the video we see the second shoot took him in the lungs as he ran away and the 3rd we found hit him on the back of the head bouncing off and hitting his horn.

After all that then the work begins.Took 8 of us plus a frontend loader and tracker with a trailer to get him loaded.Then all the skinning was 2 guys for about 12 hours.Pieter and all who seen him said it was the biggest bull they ever have seen or taken.There was some big giraffe there and he did make them all look small.
You can see in the picture were the bullet hit and bounced off into the horn.So in the end I was happy atleast all 3 rounds hit the bull.There is more then enough target to shoot at even running.I was very happy the way the 200 grain a frames work as in the end the bull did not run more then 75 yds before piling up.
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I also did a quick measurement were the bulls neck join his body so the taxi would know how big he really is.He was 78" around right were the neck joins the body
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So the helpers take the giraffe and off we go to find some more to hunt.Then pieter cell goes off as sammy the tracker has spotted some blue wildbeast.
3 lone bulls all by themselves pushed out from the herd.So of we go driving about 5 minutes to were we can make a stalk.We get to about 85 yds and there watching ever move we make.They start to get neverous as pieter is glassing them to see which is best.
They all look about the same width wise but pieter picks a heavy boss bull out of the 3.I get on the sticks as he turns and gives me a perfect 1/4 away shoot and the gun goes off.The 200 grain a frame hits right behind the shoulder he kicks and takes off.We could tell the shoot was good and then watched him pile up 75 yds away.
We both guessed him at 29 wide and I would still bet the house he is.We checked him and he is 27 1/2 wide but with some of the best bosses I have seen on a blue wildbeast.He has a great cape that will make the wall ped. look amazing to me.

nice giraffe and bwb , bill. congratulations
you and the young fella are living the dream
Giraffe is next in my list for sure.....very good trophys.......congrats...!!!!
The rest of the day we see numbers of impala,zebra,oyrx,duiker,steenbuck and kudu.The eland have hide well today but we will be after them again day two.
Day two after a quick breakfast we decide to sit at a waterhole the eland have been using.We get all set up and a good duiker comes in that we let dakota try for.He gets a rest and the muzzyloader goes off and the duiker runs into the pond and sinks.Now the fun starts as it is about 6 ft deep and he is gone from sight.This is when of of the funniest things take place.Jan the video guy gets down to his underwear and goes in looking for the duiker.Mud and 50 degree water is not a fun combo to me but he is having a blast looking and boy does it make for some good video.The search comes up empty and we decide to go and wait till he floats up in a few days.

After 2 days he floats up and dakota has his duiker trophy.The video we got when jan goes in again is priceless and I hope pieter can post it here for all too see or I will try to.Day and 2 and 3 were alot hunting but passing for us a we seen eland cows,kudu,impala and everything else the ranch had to offer.The other two hunters were taking game as we hunted for a much smaller list on this part of the hunt.
The next few days we seen more game then you could count taking two steenbuck as me and dakota just had to hunt some of the tiny ones as we hunted for eland.The cover from the late rains made the eland hunting very hard but we still had the northwest area to hunt for 4 days.

I also took a running shot at a impala but never found him as I only took a chunk of meat of the inner leg.It was a running texas heart shot.
Len did take a blue wildbeast as we hunted for dakotas eland.It was a very good one at 28 1/2" wide and heavy.The best part being the tracking sammy did to find him.Tracked it about a mile with no blood at all.Tracked it by track only as the shot was back and hit the liver but all en
ded well thanks to the great tracking job.
Up next will be the trip to the northwest and a bunch of animals hitting the salt.I will post a few pic's of the group and the animals taken in the limpo area
Lee Gemsbuck.JPG
lee Duiker w john.JPG
lee steenbuck.JPG
With 5 of hunting I am sure I am missing some pics of what we took in the limpo area.I will make sure I have all the pic's by the end of the whole hunt.

We start our 5 hour drive back to the northwest area.Dakotas surprise and other plains game on the list for the group.
The fun had on the first part of the trip is hard to put in words.We got pieter hooked on bow hunting spent many nights around the fire.Even had jan playing the guitar during the night.Some great fun with john at the bow range watching him try to pull the crossbow back.Lets just say some guys are meant to shoot rifles not bows.LOL But what fun to watch them try
Pieter did uphold the SA ph honor with the bow shooting and hunting though.Taking a female duiker with the bow.
Well after good night sleep we are ready to hunt the northwest area.The main goal was a eland bull for dakota.WE head out were pieter knew there was a few good bulls with one old giant.WE hunt hard seeing many animals like zebra,kudu,wildbeast and eland.WE get a look at one good bull but come up empty.WE keep glassing and driving hoping to find them again.
The ranch owner decide to head down a road they never really use.Then out of no wear we see eland in the thick cover.They spook off and we hear them go but stop.WE are scanning the thick brush when I hear pieter say shoot dakota take him.We both look at him like your crazy we dont see him.Up to this point I have spotted everything and more then what most normal do but this time I feel like I am blind with pieter still saying take him.
WE try and pick him out but nothing is there.Then I look up and there in a wide open space there a great bull with another very good bull is standing not 75 yds away.Were pieter is standing it is clear as day but not for the two of us.
When we get on them they move off with no shoot taken.WE circle around I catch them moving over the ridge but no shoot offered.
The day ends with the eland winning the day but we will be back in the morning.
The next day we even start earlier and spot a small bull with alot of other game.We glass and drive looking for the giant from the day before or the big old bull we wanted.
The search ends a noon with no luck but pieter working on other plans for eland.After pieter making some call he decides we must most try another place.We head off about 30 minutes away to another ranch with 2 good bulls know but one we could take if found.
WE head off down the dirt road with hopes our luck would change and boy did it.It shows how hunting can change just like that.I think we may have been there 10 minutes when we see some impala,blesbuck and kudu.Then right in the middle of them all a group of eland with the two bulls.WE look them over as pieter knows what I am looking for dakota to take.The bull we can take is the older of the two and a great trophy with all we want.Dakota gets set up for the shoot pulls te hammer back on the tc muzzlerloader.The gun goes off and the bull goes down in his tracks.
I look at pieter and he is just shocked how the bull went down as I am.Dakota had pulled the shoot but hit him square in

20140807_133125_resized (1).jpg

the neck and the bull never moved a muscle after the shoot.The 290 grain bullet did the job.

After the bull is down I realize even more then before how happy clients mean more to pieter then money.I know he paid more to hunt this place and lost money on the eland.He made the call to find the bull after thousands of emails knowing how much the bull would mean to me and dakota.This is were pieter now became uncle pieter and like family to us.The hunt till this point was already amazing but he did things with out even worrying about the money he would make just to make a kids dream come true.A true working mans outfitter
Silly me I forgot another part of the hunt as we chased the eland.As pieter had not already done enough he tells dakota he wants him to take something with his bow.So as we drive we find a cull blue wildbeast dakota can take.WE get to about 25 yds away and the kid lets the arrow go and hits him just a touch low.

The bull takes off but is hit hard but they are tough.We give him sometime but not enough and push him to early.Now we need to head off to get the eland at the new place so the landowner tells us no problen go and we will get him in a few hours and let you know.
They found him and we will being making a skull and flatskin out of him.We did not get pic's as we had the eland down and did not get back.It was a young bull but great for him to take with bow.
Some more pic's of other game with the group.

The animals taken were great and we took some great quality stuff.Nothing will be ever entered in a record book but we did measure some of them.Lens red hardbeast is a monster as was 24 1/2 and both nyala over 26" with great shape I think.On oryx was 37" female the other a 37" male.Also a old warrior black wildbeast with great bosses.

For all those who think you need to pay crazy money for quality trophies think again and a cheaper hunt does not mean you only get small animals.WE hunted ranches from 4000 acres to 10,000 acres with pieter so big does not equal more either.WE got way more then are moneys worth in everything.
A few more animals for the group
Up next the lioness for my son.
We left early one morning to go for lens black wildbeast and dakotas surprise lioness.The hunt for the black wildbeast went well and we took a great one.The whole time dakota is just there for the ride having no idea what else will be happening shortly.After we are set up we break the news to him and he is kind of speechless and in shock.That is till pieter looks at him and said get your gun we have a lion to hunt.He is at that point saying ok I am ready to go.We go over the does and donts if things happen that we are not ready for.

With just a few days left to hunt for the lioness we decide to try and track her but use bait if needed for the best chance.After seeing a few tracks in the sand we decide to hang a bait and then go on.The female was one of 6 lions in the area we had to hunt.
The tracker hangs the bait wrapping the wire around a leg of meat like he thought a monster was going to take it.
The baits hung and off we go to find some tracks.We drive just looking in the bush and road watching for tracks or movement.We see other game that are there for the lions to hunt on there own.We see wildbeast,duiker,red hardbeast and giraffe plus tracks of kudu,impala plus others.
The lions are just not moving well so we decide to check the bait.The PH from the lodge walks to see if it has been hit as we get ready.We get the call on the radio it has been hit but she scared off.WE head to him to see if she will come back.Piter is sure she will as she did not get the bait all.
The wind is just going all ways and making it hard to decide which is the best way to set up.
At this point as a dad I have a hard choice.With everyonbe there for my sons safety there was just to much scent around.I decide to wait back and let him head of with just pieter and the other PH.It was killing me not being there with him but I wanted him to have the chance.
They move out of are sight which is only about 50yds.The light is going away and we are down to about the last 30 minutes to hunt.Then all of a sudden I hear the rifle go off and pieter saying shoot again.
At this point I am moving towards my son to make sure all goes right.Then I hear the gun go again and again.Then a shoot from pieters 458.
This whole time I can here the lioness grawling and making some noise that sound like she was not very happy.I get to were I can see them all with my son standing there rifle ready.I had no idea if he would run or stand his ground or what.
I have brought him up the hard way and the way I was raised so I thought he would hold his ground.
I look out about 50 yds from the group and there she layed.Dakota hit her all 3 times as well as pieter shoot.She started 75 yds away and came at them till dakotas second shoot turned her at 50 yds.

I just had to know what pieter thought and he just smiled and said he did great.Never moved and did what he was told.The other ph from the lodge was amazed as well how good this 15 year stood his grown as he did it before.
Was a great day and sad day all in one as I came to realize my boy turned into a man that day.
Everyone there was so proud of him and what he had done.
I can never thank pieter enough as with out him I could not have done or afford to spend this much on one animal.He wanted dakota to have this chance before something may happen to stop lions from being brought into the states.

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