SOUTH AFRICA: The Tootabi Hunting Safaris Report & Hunt Of a Lifetime In The East Cape


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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
As many know this report has alot of people wondering how all went.Long story that ends up perfect in the end for client and outfitter.
After a short flight from jo-berg to the cape and leaving our friends at paw print I got to me loodt.He was waiting on us as we landed.I already felt like we knew each other forever and was greeted like family.
Myself son dakota and my moms boyfriend len were going to make tootabi our home for 7 days.A short 45 minute ride and your at the main lodge.
We had the 300 win mag and 257 weatherby mag to do the task we had planned on the trip.
Now loodt will make it like we made him do things but I will just say we did not twist his arm to make him try his new PH out fit on

After seeing how much he liked his new pink outfit I decide me and my son would hunt with lammie and len hunt with loodt.LOL
We settled in and made plans to just take a drive to see some of the free range area with just cattle fence
After a quick snack we take a drive.With in 5 minute we had warthogs and jackal in the sights but no good shoots to take.Here is the only part of the trip that went wrong and I was just not fast enough.WE drove deeper into the ranch and I see a pig start running and low and behold it a bushpig during the day.My dream animal and he gets away over the hill before I could shoot.Was a big boar so gray I thought he was just another of the warthog crawling all over the ranch.We hunt on look over alot of kudu cows and small bulls but nothing worth taking as of now.So back to the lodge for dinner and to meet loodts mom and dad.
Pink is good...

Now for the pictures with the T-shirts and trophy's.
After a great nights sleep we decide to go to addo park to relax after already hunting 10 days with paw print.Loodt helps out at the park and knows it so well it is amazing.WE have a great breakfast and head out.WE see all kinds of game and I will tell anyone going to loodts you must do the park for a day or two.I will load more pic's of the park but here is a few.I have so many I am still going through them all.After 5 hours of touring the park and then a great lunch there we decide to go check the guns make sure they were still on then take another drive looking for free range kudu and bushbuck.We seen many kudu cows and wart hog but the bulls were hiding well from us.We ended the day with a great dinner and good plans on how we would start the real first day of hard hunting for more on our list.
Start the next day with a plan of dakota looking for a black and common springbuck and me anything I may like.Len was going with loodt to look for a bushbuck or impala.
Lammie our ph had a blackspringbuck ram in mind and we would take the best common we could find.We take a hour drive and get to a ranch that is just loaded with game.Kudu,nyala,springbucks,wildbeast,impala,zebra and many more all over the place.We start glassing for springbucks and the males are rutting hard.We would find one and then another would run him off.
After a few failed stalks we catch the one we want chasing females and a young male away from his herd.What seemed like all day but was real two hours we get dakota on the sticks.The next thing I hear is he is in the opening take him.Dakota squeezes the trigger and the 257 does the job.The shot was 220 yds and he dropped right there without taking a step.Lammie was shocked how good dakota did on the long shoot of sticks.All that practice and using up those good reloads of tims payed off.We never did measure him but figured him to be 14" or alittle bigger.
So off we go after loading up the springbuck to look for the black springbuck.As we hunt we see game all over but the big boy is staying hidden.
We start driving and I notice some impala off to the right side.We glass and I think they look good and then lammie goes there he is we need to get that one.Then I see him and wow he is one big impala long and wide and looks more like a ram you see in the limpo area.
There is many great rams on this ranch but lammie has been chasing this one for a few month and he always gets away.We get out start the stalk and they just keep walking away from us.The lead ram finally turns and the two go with him.
As they work through the brush then change spots but lammie stays on the ram and tells me which one he is.I stay on him having a better angle to watch.They step out I am steady but they get ready to run.Lammie whistle but they decide to move on now.
The whole time I am on him rock solid with lammie not seeing this as he is focus on the ram.
They start walking and then one takes off.I see lammie out of the corner of my eye look like all was over but I was on him to good.Just as he starts to trot the 257 barks and down he goes in his tracks.Thats when the holy shit what a shot comes out and I just start laughing.It was a 250 yd walking shot right through the shoulders.
He thought he was going to get away again but not this time.
When we get to him he was not in great shape and passed his prime for sure.His back leg was broke with a bone sticking out but healed over.You never seen him limp and he stayed right up with the other rams.
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What a long Impala.....exellent trophy also the Sprimbuck is very good.......great write up for the hunting and I wish to have one of those tootabi t-shirts.......we wait for more.....well done for you and Tootabi people.......!!!!!!
So we load the impala and head back out to search for the black springbuck lammie wanted to hunt for.WE glass 10 or 12 black males but the big one is hiding well.
Lammie decide we can hunt another ranch on the way back that has few common but a hundreds of black springbucks on it.So off we go to try another ranch.WE get there get a tracker from the ranch and off we go.
We spot some kudu and stenbuck and a bunch of black springbucks.We look over about 10 rams almost taking a chance on one but lammie thinks we can still do better.
So we take a new road going to the back corner of the ranch.We spot a few rams and ewes that we think we should make a stalk on.As we start to stalk a good ram shows himself and is the size we would be looking for.Dakota gets on the sticks after getting to about 120 yds and waits for some ewes to move and give a clear shoot.
The ewes move the 257 barks and the ram does not take another step.1/2 the springbuck slam down plus a good impala down.
We head back to the home ranch for another great diner made my loodts mom and boy did we eat good.
tomorrow will be the report on the white/copper springbucks and the surprise monster eland I could just not pass on with the deal loodt made me.
Lovin' the report and pictures Bill! Keep it coming.
So the plan is white and copper springbuck with thoughts of the eland offer in the back of my head.We are heading 2 hours away to the area known as the karoo.The drive goes well and we get there and meet the landowner who is ready to start hunting when we get there.
The only problem on this part we did not keep the good shooting going.Dakota was just to hard on himself after missing and that just made it get worse for him.We chase the whitespringbuck we wanted with him always giving us the slip.
2 misses and a very alert springbuck makes us try for the copper which is on the same ranch but about 20 minutes away in another area of the ranch.We have about 4 hours to try and find a good copper ram before dark.I am just hoping dakota can get it back together.The whole time the landowner and lammie are trying to get him back on track and letting him know they have seen alot worse and have missed themselves.
The springbuck are all over so we get dropped off and the landowner takes a drive around to look and get them moving around some.We see a group with a great ram in the herd but they give us the slip.
We get back on the truck to take a drive to set up again but they are on to us and we dont get a chance again.The landowner decide to get his 4 wheeler so they could move around with out being noticed as much.
I let dakota know if he sees one he likes he can take it but try for the big ram first.
Me and lammie go glass and they head out.WE spot some kudu aand lots of common and copper but not what we really want.
Then we get the call they found one dakota wanted and then stalked him to within 75 yds.Was not the biggest but the stalk made it special and dakota made the shoot.

He is a beautiful ram and about 10 to 10 1/2" long not the biggest as there was one pushing 13" but made for a happy kid which means happy dad.
We get some pic's and then see we have about alittle over a hour of light so we think lets go back and try for the white.We make the drive back and find him right away.At this point he has used up about 5 lifes with us.
WE get set up on him but it is about 325yds facing away.Dakota wants to take the shoot but use my 300 as he does not feel good with 257 at this point.I agree let him try.
The gun goes off and lammie just goes shit the shot is back and the ram is off.He just shoot to far back on him and dakota is not happy with himself at all.So we head off trying to get another shoot on him.Dakota misses another long shoot so I decide I will try just to get him down as leaving him overnight seem like a risk with the jackal and carcal around.
So now dad even gets a shoot and pulls the shoot badly and off he goes up to about his 8 life now.Everyone is just thinking what we must do but dark is coming.As the sun sets we know we must leave him for the morning but the landowner is not worried at all.
He tells us go enjoy your hunt and at first light they will get all the helpers out and find him no problem.WE talk it over and dakota wants me to hunt the eland tomorrow so we head out back to the main ranch.It was a long drive back with highs and lows of the day but then we realize we are in south africa cheer up and enjoy your trip.
I will let you all know we got the call before I got my eland they had found him by 9 am and the pressure was off.I will have a pic soon to share just waiting for lammie to email it as he is hunting now.

Next up is my treat of the trip my eland bull
Well after some bad gone good with the springbucks we decide eland time.I told loodt I would take the bull only if it was the kind I like.Eland to me must look a certain way or I will pass.Eland was not on my list this trip and after dakota taking a monster early with pieter I thought it was just talk.When I said to loodt he must be big or I will pass he just smiled.
I had no idea what to think at this point but had nothing to lose either.
We head off about 30 miuntes away and start the hunt.We find fresh tracks and off we go.The bush is thick and dense and hard to see 25 yds in front of you.WE see fresh dropping and know they are not far away.We walk slowly and the tracker utty spots the eland 20 yds ahead.I can not see them but hear then when all of a sudden I see horns over the cactus and a massive face with horns looking right at me.No shoot but this is when I realize if I most spend the rest of the trip here I will hunt the eland till the end.
They spook off and we chase on with the heat just getting hotter.We catch them 3 more times with no shoot chance.Its 1 oclock now and we take a break.
We restart at 2 with it getting to about 90 degrees and very hot.Lammie decide we will wait on a trail giving me a great shoot if they come through.Loodt takes utty the tracker to the corner of the ranch to start tracking but hopeful to have the eland smell him and bring them out of the thick cover.The eland will have the wind but we dont care because we are waiting with the wind to us.
Well the plan works at they wind utty.I see the first cow hit the opening and then the rest.I get on the sticks with lammie having no idea as he is watching the other way.He hears me say eland turns around and there all walking 50 yds in front of now.
He looks and said last one which was like a ok moment I think I can tell that.LOL the bull makes the other eland look like impala size wise.I am steady and on the bull as he walks by me at 50 yds.
I just keep the gun moving and squeeze the trigger and hit him solid in the shoulder.I see the hit he buckles up but takes off running I work the bolt run out and take a shoot as he runs and take him 1/4 away driving a bullet through both lungs and he runs out of sight.
We wait about 5 minutes and look for blood which is everywhere.We get on the blood and walk 50 yds to find him piled up stone dead.
Loodt dakota and len hear the shoots and start heading are way.I did nt know but lammie started walking to them as he wanted to pull a joke on loodt.They get there and loodt seems worried about what happened.
Then I see the smile and how happy he is I took advantage of the deal.
Then lammie lets me in on the joke he did to loodt.He told loodt I shoot the wrong eland and had taken a cow and the deal was not so good now.Loodt is like who picked which one to shoot and lammie is like bill did it its his fault.LOL So loodt is like oh no now what.
We all had a good laugh till we had to load him in the truck.The bull is massive with a gaint body long thick horns and a tuft dreams are made of.The pics do not do him justice at all but the mount will when done

This eland showed me what kind of outfitter loodt will be for sure.This deal was passed on to me with money left on the table loodt could have made.Again I have a outfitter think of me more then money he could have made.Loodt said I remember how you stuck by me when must wanted my head.You never had a doubt in me and this is a small part of what I can do for you.With his thinking and young fresh mind he is going along way in this business.He is a family and friends first then business and money.
So we have the springbuck slam done with one monster impala and eland to.Time to try for some bushbuck and a carcal we tried to make happen last minute.Lammie new a guy with dogs so loodt try to make it happen on a last minute chance.We get the news the guy can do thurs and fri if we wanted to try.Len wanted one so we said yes book it.

Loodt again was fast to act and make our wishes happen.The area for the carcal had bushbuck also plus some things not on the list.The area was other new one along the coast.Loodt dakota and len went there me and lammie went to another place for bushbuck and kudu.

We hunted hard but nothing for us but get a call they took something I hope it is ok.Loodt will not tell me any more.We meet back at the lodge to see a pic of a blue duiker a gift from loodt to dakota.

Then they also get dakota his bushbuck to boot.

Then loodt gives me more news as the place they went has a special permit left if we want it.Here goes more of dads money I think to myself.We get a chance to go for orbi so how can I pass.People wait years for the chance and here it is right here right now.
I say yes lets go for it plus have a chance for my bushbuck there.
The weather did not work out for the carcal at all as the rain washed the scent away making it very hard to get on any cats.So offwe good to find one of the orbi then wanted taken.
We see many of them and search for the one.After a few hours and weather making it hard to hunt then we head off for my bushbuck with plans of coming back for the orbi.
As we pull in to the next ranch we spot some more orbi and dakota is going crazy wanting one.We drive to the sand dunes were the cover is heavy looking for my bushbuck.Lammie spots one about 1000yds away.We drive to about 800 yds and get out to make the stalk.

We stalk to about 250 yds and he spots us moving.We get the sticks up as that is as far as we can go without spooking them off.I get on the sticks and make a bad shoot but he goes down in a pile.I hit high spine and put another in him to finish the job.
AS we were driving looking for bushbuck on the new place we did drive by a orbi they thought we maybe able to take also.So a call to the landowner and we get the green light to try for him.
We head back to search and they only moved about 50 yds in that hour.
We look at him and dakota likes his look as he has one horn turned out.WE have them found but they are bedded down.Not a easy shoot but we figure if they get up now they will be gone since they see us to.
I give the ok to take him in his bed.I just tell him dont worry about the grass in front of him just take him on the shoulder.
The angle makes it no good for the sticks so he takes the shoot free hand at about 50yds and the orbi never moves.
The tiny ten are falling out of sky it seems on the whole trip.
The next day we decide I will try for my zebra as loodt again makes me a offer I could not pass on.Me and lammie head out as dakota and len go for his bushbuck.
We get to the gate of loodts family ranch and the blesbuck(SA goat) are waiting.We check them out and see a massive one but pass thinking maybe later if the zebra give us a hard time.
WE see some great eland bulls and nyala as we search for my zebra.WE find a herd start looking for the stallion.
As we look we see him about 20 yds away from the herd.We range him but dam 320yd away and up hill.WE move down the road get 280 move again 250 and lammie is he is now dead.He is thinking I am still the sniper at this point.LOL
I get on the sticks and feel good and let it fly.He hunches up but takes off.WE wait as utty goes to look for blood.
He finds blood so we drive around to get up the mountain side.AS we drive the herd runs in front of us and down the hill but no stallion with him.Then we get the call utty is on the blood and trying to get him out for a follow up shoot.
We meet up and get on the blood and hear him take off.We keep on the blood as he starts down hill.I get to a place I can see and there he is.He breaks out walking slow and I shoot over him and he bolts.I steady again find him and move with him and put the next shoot right on the mark.He goes 25 yds and piles up on the road for a easy loading not 25yds from were the hunt started.

WE look to see why he made it so far and from the up hill angle on my first shoot I only got one lung.The 3rd shot after the missed second shoot took him behind the ribs going up and out the chest
Zebra down and still time for the blesbuck.I did not want one but just to show some guy from texas what they really looked like I thought what the hell why not.Plus this one was as thick as I have ever seen.
The places I have hunted before I have looked a hundreds and none jumped out at me like this one.We start back and spot the group.We glass and see two good ones.Then look next to them a few yards and there he stands.The thickness of his horns makes his length look short.
Lammie decide his is the one to take.We make a easy stalk to within 100yds as he starts to walk away.I am on him and by now lammie knows I will take the walking shoot.I squeeze the trigger and blesbuck run all over.I am like dam I must of pulled the shoot but lammie tells me he is down.I am like no he is running away.
The little mound of dirt he fell behind hide his body from me but not the 6'5" ph who seen his last kick before never moving again.

After picture I realize the hunt for animals is over as the last day is here.The hunt was so good I will relive it over in my head forever.Loodt made somethings happen that he should be proud of and just showed how his young age does not mean you dont know how to run a hunting business.This young man will be going very far in this business and will being growing each day.
He has a great family and friends backing him that will only push him farther in this business.I will go as far to say tootabi safaris will be around for a very long time and making families like mine dreams come true.Thanks loodt and family as well as lammie for doing a great job with everything.
I will add a few more details later of things we did.
Dang shot my blesbok AND my eland. :)

I am going to file a formal complaint with the U.S. Justice Department. Maybe Eric Holder will go to Pennsylvania and South Africa and do an investigation?

Congrats to all involved for pulling off a great hunt. You and Dakota got it done, and it is obvious Lammie, Loodt and Utty had your satisfaction in mind with everything they did.

8 months and 23 days until Kathy and I leave for Tootabi!

Again crazy me I forgot dakota last night of hunting.WE gave it one last chance for a cape kudu.WE have seen a few good bulls but no chance to get on them.So lammie and dakota try a blind out while me a braun another of loodts ph try glassing one up.
WE hunt see a few just no go ones to stalk.WE head back to pick up dakota and lammie and we get this big smile.WE never heard a shoot but knew something was going on.They tell us he took a shoot in the last 5 minutes they could but he ran off.Not sure how good the hit was though.
I am thinking dam we will be looking all night but oh well it is part of hunting.WE drive to were they say he hit to look for blood and the two of them are laughing.I look up and there is the kudu already posed for pic's.He shoot him and it went right down.That 257 did another great job and speed does kill.

A great 45" cape kudu in the last 5 minutes of the hunt.He has beautiful ivory tip with heavy bases .Great cape also that is going to make a great mount
Tim you reloaded to much ammo for me thats why I did the blesbuck.LOL Was more a test for you not because I want to.Your ammo will get the job done test over.
Oh yea baby, that is going to make a beautiful mount!

You guys really do like playing tricks... :)

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jgraco33 wrote on 85lc's profile.
Is your 22HP still available? If so have the original case?
tacklers wrote on ianevans's profile.
Hi Ian, I'm contemplating my first outing, leaving UK via Dubai to Africa, taking rifles as you did.

I presume it went okay for you, would you have done anything differently? Cheers, Richard East Sussex
A.A. wrote on Msprenger!'s profile.
Are you still looking for a 375 H&H?