SOUTH AFRICA: TIA

Thank you for sharing your adventure with us. Having your beloved as a hunting partner is truly one of God's blessings. For all the headaches and frustrations that can occur (and often do) traveling to Africa, I still find it worth it all.

Safe hunting
 
You are so right @SFRanger7GP .

This afternoon was supposed to be more hunting for my fiancé but we came to this huge open are that had at least 500+ animals in it, including about 40 Black Wildebeest. My fiancé said “you should take one, you’ve talked about it”. Wow how nice.

Okay now how to get within 200 yards for the 375 with over a thousand eyes looking at us. We paralleled the herds gradually closing the distance. Back and forth a few times.

Finally closed to 250 yards. I got on the Wildebeest I wanted as animals continued running and milling around.

I was on him for probably six or seven minutes as animals move in front of or behind him.

Finally got the shot. Beautiful animal with a mop of hair on its nose that had never noticed in photos.

8F790E02-EFFF-470D-8BA9-F8A4937B8D19.jpeg
 
Today actually began last night. Although it was supposed to be my fiancé’s hunt she said “why don’t you hunt a lion”. Reason being that thanks to the Mental Midgets at US Fish & Wildlife and their complete lack of conservation knowledge they banned the import of lion from South Africa back in 2016. That dramatically dropped the price of lion.

I WhatsApp’d my PH and the process to make it happen was underway.

First light this morning the trackers were driving the 17,000+ acres looking for fresh tracks while another truck was dragging a small tree behind them to wipe out all previous tracks.

At breakfast we got word that they had found some old tracks and were following those in hopes of them freshening.

After a great breakfast we headed out. My plan was that if Africa gave me a lion I’d take it with my double.

We spent maybe an hour on the lion’s track, it getting fresher and fresher.

All of a sudden, while everyone else is focused on the tracks in the road my fiancé nudges me and says “there he is”.

Sure enough not 15 yards from us is the lion in the grass under a tree. The two PH’s disembark, grab and load their rifles. The lion watches. My PH hands me my double, I drop two 475 No 2 rounds in it and disembark as well. The lion watches.

He is facing me straight on. I don’t want to shoot him in the head so I’m waiting for him to get up. The sights are on him and the second PH says something to me. I make the mistake of turning to face him and the lion is up and off.

Running away from me the second PH encourages me to shoot him in the arse. I decline. And he’s gone.

The three trackers get on him immediately and for the next two miles on foot we track the lion. Through knee high grass and lots of brush and trees it was amazing these trackers could stay on him.

It was now a very hot day. Eventually we spotted him in the shade of some small trees. 60+ yards and broadside. A shot I can make with the double.

But the lead PH is unaware of this and attempts to get me closer. The lion has had enough and is off. The tracking continues.

Eventually we need a pee break, stop for that, and I say to my fiancé “this should allow the lion to quit running from us” and it did. Another 15 minutes or so and we jumped him again. No time for a shot.

A while longer and we lost the track. We headed back to the hunting car and started driving the roads. We even pulled into the brush weaving our way through gaps while the three trackers spread out. We hoped we’d come across the tracks again.

After about an hour of this the hunting car sped up dashing its way through the brush no longer looking for aardvark holes.

The truck suddenly pulled up. The three trackers to our right on a hot track.

My fiancé nudges me and says “there he is” pointy to the brush encumbered tree directly in front of us not 20-25 yards away.

“Where” I say, “I can’t see him”. “Right there” she says while pointing. “I still can’t see him” say I. “Right at the base of the tree” she says.

Now I see him, well camouflaged. The trackers are less than 30 feet from him and don’t appear to have spotted him yet.

“I’m shooting” I say as the sights of my 1910 W.J. Jeffery 475 No 2 double line up right between his eyes. Boom! The 500 grain Woodleigh Soft Point hits him in the forehead and he is instantly dead.

You can imagine the shouts of joy from all of us, followed by hand shakes and hugs.

My Zambezi lady, my fiancé, was the first one to spot the lion both initially and at the conclusion of the hunt.

Amazing for a brand new hunter. I’m so proud.

What a team effort the hunt was, and what a fantastic fun hunt.

373F53B0-33D6-46AB-AC5B-FE5475C32FC5.jpeg
 
Congratulations on a tremendous adventure and glad you have someone special to share it with!
 
Rookie hunters have not learned bad habits yet. They make great spotters. Congratulations to you and your Lion guide.
 
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Nice Lion taken with a nice Double!!!!
 
Not judging, just trying to get a clear picture: Did you shoot from the back of the truck? As you described it, the trackers were less than 30 feet (less than 10 yards) from the lion when you shot. You probably saved them, but also a less than desirable situation for taking a shot and the trackers are somewhat in the line of fire. Glad it had a happy ending. The lion does look stunning.
 
Having your better half as your hunting partner is a blessing. You have both had a great safari congratulations!
 
Congrats!!! A nice lion taken with a vintage double....... doesn't get much better in my book.
 
@375 Ruger Fan nope. And the trackers were to my right probably 40 feet or so. They were in front of me distance wise but not in the line of sight.

All I saw of the lion was his head as he was facing me. I was aware the trackers were too close and was told later that the lion was ready to come but I can’t confirm that.

I got to see the skull today and a big part of the cap and side were missing, shattered. The skin holding it together till it was caped.

And the bullet was inside. The amount of energy dumped must have been incredible.
 
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Yesterday was about seeing a 10,000 acre property in the Kalahari that’s for sale.A beautiful piece of land, lodge and chalets are of good quality. And in the budget. A contender for sure.

Today we move to a tented camp near Kimberly.
 
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Enjoy it you are seeing quite a bit os SA on your trip.
 
It seems these days when one thing goes wrong it goes downhill from there. The airlines can't get anyone to work the basic low wage jobs since the govt decided to pay everyone to stay home for two years. The biggest issue here is the moving target of the new departure. This is unacceptable.
I think everyone here appreciates your endurance of this travel nightmare. I hope it all gets better soon. You do have the lie flats to look forward to!
Philip
For sure. I'm hoping it gets better soon.

We're wheels up April 10th. We're flying KLM.
 
We are flying! Flat bed is certainly nice. Not as nice as British Airways. Nor is the food. But…. British Airways has Eco Terrorists in the ranks of baggage handlers who sometimes destroy hunters guns

I’ll give the flat bed a serious workout in about an hour after taking a sleeping pill. Hopefully I’ll wake up in Joberg around 6am.

I’ll continue posting about this trip. Part of it will be hunting. Part of it will be looking at hunting farms with an eye on probably buying one sometime soon. Part of it will be sight seeing. Part of it will be talking to accountants, bankers, lawyers, importers. Looking at bakkies and vans. Solar and generator suppliers. Etc.
You're braver than I .

I'm too cautious to buy property in the RSA. It could go south anytime.
 
We are feet dry. An hour and a half to go. A $2,500 voucher from Delta for each of us came to our emails. Just dumped a cup of coffee all over myself, my seat and my cubicle. And seconds later while I was trying to clean up I knocked over the cup again dumping the remainder. I’m blaming it on sleep deprivation.
Just dumped a cup of coffee all over myself, my seat and my cubicle. And seconds later while I was trying to clean up I knocked over the cup again dumping the remainder. I’m blaming it on sleep deprivation.
Blaming it on sleep deprivation. How about blaming on the fcat you might be a mental midget.
 
Day 3. Today. Here comes the good one. Buckle up boys and girls.

It’s 2:45am. We are sound asleep. All the windows are closed and locked (kind of) as are the security bars that are over all.

My fiancé is awakened by a flashlight being shined in through the window. Next she heads a voice calling out through a sliding door that apparently hadn’t been locked.

She gently wakes me so I don’t freak out. “There’s a guy trying to get in and asking to be let in .” She knows it’s too early for it to be our PH, it’s still a couple of hours till he arrives.

Im groggily getting my self together. She hollering at the intruder. The intruder is hollering back. I’m up and my fiancé says “he’s not leaving get your gun”.

So I grab my 375, which I kept right next to the bed for just such an occasion. I chamber a round, take it off safe, my finger on the outside of the trigger guard. I head to the living room where this guy is.

From just around the corner I holler “who are you and what do you want?” He responds but I can’t really make out what he is saying, one because he had an accent, and two because I don’t have my hearing aids in.

It sounds like he is saying he’s from a security company but I can’t be sure. And if he is why is he here at 2:45am.

I advance and round the corner with the 375 at low ready, prepared to “harvest my first species”. [please please please quit saying you are harvesting an animal, it makes us appear as ashamed of what we do]

As I get nearer the security grate I can now make out more of what the intruder is saying. But he is still shining is flashlight at me so I can’t see him. I tell him to turn the flashlight off which he does. I advance closer. He puts his hands in the air and says “my hands are nowhere near my weapon”. I can see he has a Glock on his belt. And I can see he is a white guy so my level of “orange” fades a bit.

He tells me he is from PPS, a private security response company. I can see the headlights of his car but can’t tell what kind it is. He goes on the explain that the alarm system has gone dead and he responded. I told him I knew nothing about that. He asked if he could come in a check the system. At 3am? Yea that’s not happening. I said no, but he could come back during the day. He said great and then asked if he could close and lock the sliding door. I told him we didn’t have the key (which may or may not have been true). He closed the door and while lifting it trying to see if he could get the lock to catch. I’m at low ready the entire time. He turns around and leaves. I take the round out of the chamber, push it into the magazine and transition back to my continuous alert state of yellow.
You got up out of bed and approached danger without your hearing aids. Mental Midget moment!
 
@migrabill wondered how long it would take for a mental midget to be offended. Congratulations.
 

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