SOUTH AFRICA: Tootabi Hunting Safaris Ugly Hunting Report

brushmore

AH fanatic
Joined
Aug 19, 2014
Messages
505
Reaction score
782
Location
USA
Hunting reports
Africa
3
Hunted
South Africa
This is the first installment of my hunt report for my time at Tootabi Hunting Safaris. I went with the “Ugly but Beautiful” package listed last year in the deals section here. This trip was a huge deal for me. I suffered from medical issues in the past that would have prevented me from taking a trip like this. But thankfully just recently they were able to treat my condition and I wasn’t going to squander my second chance at life so I decided to fulfill a dream I had since I was a young child and go on an African Safari! I took my oldest daughter Sarah with me who is now hooked on Africa and hunting maybe even worse than me!

Day 0:

airplane.jpg


The journey to Port Elizabeth had a few bumps. We were a bit delayed in our journey because of issues with the runway in JFK, which resulted in spending 16+ hours in the plane and missing our connecting flight. This was my daughter’s first time on an airplane and we discovered that my daughter is just like her mother and gets airsick. Luckily it was not so bad and she didn’t need to use the complimentary barf bags until we landed in Jo’berg. The only issue was that we were going to miss our connecting flight to Port Elizabeth because of the delays in JFK. Thankfully our representative from Henry Rifle Permits went above and beyond to make sure we got on the very next flight out. They certainly weren’t hired to do that and I can’t thank them enough for the help with that. They made a customer for life that day, that’s for sure.

The flight to Port Elizabeth was uneventful except that biltong and airsickness don’t mix and I’ll leave it at that. We met our PH Lammie and his tracker Atti and airport. Lammie is an ex-cop and a great PH. Lammie met Atti when he was still in the police when he used his tracking skills to crack a case. They made an excellent team.

First thing I noticed when we arrived at the main lodge was the big electric fence to keep out the monkeys and baboons. It reminded me of the movie Jurassic Park and I wondered if we would get overrun if the power went out. (Turns out the answer is no because of “load shedding” power outages in South Africa are a daily occurrence). We met finally Loodt in person and he showed us around. The lodge is even better looking in person compared to the pictures on Tootabi’s website.

After a short rest first on the agenda we would go and site in the rifle and then go on a mini game drive. I was a bit nervous since I wanted to make a good first impression. I took my first shoot off the top of the bakkie. High one inch and to the right by just a little bit. Lammie was happy with that but I felt that wasn’t my best. Next shot I felt was better but Lammie couldn’t see it on the paper through the binos. Lammie got to the target before me and turned around with a big smile on his face. The bullet hid dead on center. Lammie said, “We are done here. If you shoot like that on the hunt we will have no problems.” Next Sarah I took a few practice shots off the sticks. I was absolutely amazed that these plain old sticks held together with some rubber were way more stable than my expensive store bought Trigger Sticks!

After the time on the range we to a short drive to farm that raises animals for game preserves. This is where Africa really came alive for us. We saw giraffe blesbok, zebra, giraffe, eland, and several other plains game up close form the bakkie. All of this was just incredible but was just the beginning.

giraffe_zebra.jpg


Afterwards we went back to the lodge and watched some “African TV” (that’s a campfire for the neophyte) before dinner. Here we met Loodt’s parents. They are really wonderful people, as you will see. I was sitting around the fire relaxing after one of the longest days of my life when Lammie got up to get more firewood and he jumped and said something in Afrikaans and everyone jumped out of their chairs. At this point I knew zero Afrikaans but I knew that something was up and I followed along. Next thing I notice Loodt running off into the bush with a fire poker try to beat what I finally noticed appeared to be in the dim fire light a 1” fire hose wiggling around. Whatever it was made a quick exit and once the excitement died done my hosts let me know what just happened. Turns out that was no fire hose I saw but a big puff adder!

Thankfully things calmed down for dinner and we had some of Warbird782’s eland. It was fantastic! That night, even though I hadn’t slept for what seemed for a week it wasn’t easy to fall asleep because my excitement meter was pegged for what was in store for the next day!

I will provide more details later. Next up – Day 1 Sarah’s Impala and Warthog #1
 
Last edited by a moderator:

tarbe

Bronze supporter
AH legend
Joined
Jan 26, 2014
Messages
4,265
Reaction score
7,240
Location
Cypress, TX and Romance, MO
Media
120
Articles
1
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Member of
NRA Life, Handloaders Anonymous
Hunted
USA, South Africa, Zimbabwe
Love your new avatar. The Hartebeest does not get enough love. I think they are really cool!
 

BRICKBURN

Super moderator
Contributor
Lifetime titanium benefactor
AH ambassador
Joined
Aug 5, 2010
Messages
22,970
Reaction score
17,445
Location
Canada
Media
412
Articles
23
Hunting reports
Africa
8
USA/Canada
2
Europe
1
Hunted
Namibia, South Africa, Botswana, Mozambique, Canada, USA, Mexico, England
Glad you made it and thanks for starting the long tale to come.

...............
First thing I noticed when we arrived at the main lodge was the big electric fence to keep out the monkeys and baboons. ............

It's all in the story. Me thinks that fence may be to control other types of mammals. :)
 

CAustin

Bronze supporter
AH ambassador
Joined
May 7, 2013
Messages
14,450
Reaction score
11,762
Media
258
Hunting reports
Africa
7
Member of
Courtney Hunting Club, NRA Life Member, SCI Kansas City Chapter
Hunted
South Africa, KwaZulu Natal, Kalahari, Northwest, Limpopo, Gauteng, APNR Kruger Area. USA Georgia, South Carolina, Arkansas, New Mexico, North Carolina and Texas
I'm liking the read so far! Keep it coming Brushmore. When did you get back?
 

Royal27

AH ambassador
Joined
May 27, 2012
Messages
9,468
Reaction score
13,414
Media
109
Articles
5
Hunting reports
Africa
6
Member of
DSC, NRA, SCI
Hunted
USA - TX, CO, GA, ID. Africa - Zimbabwe, Zambia, and South Africa (Limpopo and EC)
What a great start!!!!!

I'm so excited for you!!!! Always great to live a dream...
 

Warbird782

AH enthusiast
Joined
Mar 9, 2013
Messages
423
Reaction score
599
Media
12
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Member of
NRA, SCI
Hunted
EC and NW Province RSA, USA
Great start to what appears to be another great Tootabi adventure.
Dave

P.S. I am glad you liked the eland. He sure tasted wonderful!
 

billc

AH legend
Joined
Feb 10, 2011
Messages
3,647
Reaction score
4,152
Location
Pa.
Media
97
Hunting reports
Africa
8
USA/Canada
3
Hunted
united state- Co Nm Mt Wy Pa , canada ,mexico ,south africa- Northwest, Limpopo, freestste.Northern cape,East cape, namibia
Good so far but lets get a move on please. I need something to read after work. :) Its great to hear your daughter is now hooked to. I bet she has some great story's to share at school now.

Your story reminds me why I go in july or aug and not april and may. Those dam snakes scare the hell out of me.
 

dobber

AH enthusiast
Joined
Oct 15, 2013
Messages
451
Reaction score
735
Media
25
Hunting reports
Africa
3
USA/Canada
1
when i start to read this story to the wife to help bump up her excitement i may need to leave out the snake bit, good start to the report so far
 

brushmore

AH fanatic
Joined
Aug 19, 2014
Messages
505
Reaction score
782
Location
USA
Hunting reports
Africa
3
Hunted
South Africa
Day 1 - Morning:


This was the first official day of the hunt and it was unseasonably warm. I think it hit 90 F that day. This was the weather I was expecting all along but was the only time we had warm weather. We had a full breakfast with Loodt and his family, a visiting PH with his French clients, and Lammie. First up to hunt that day was hartebeest on the family farm. We drove around and glassed from the top of a few hills and saw plenty of impala, blesbok, eland, and even a lone zebra but no hartebeest were anywhere to be seen.


Part of the “ugly but beautiful” package was a bushpig that I traded for an impala for my daughter Sarah. I was shocked that she was interesting would have any interest in hunting. Since we were seeing some good impala I said to Lammie that I was ok if Sarah took the animal first. We spotted a group of bachelor male impala way off in the distance and the hunt was on! We drove around to setup a stalk on the impala. On the way over we spotted a huge loan male baboon. It looked like a mini gorilla to me. This was really getting exciting now! We parked the bakkie and began the stalk. We eventually got close enough and Lammie setup the sticks. However, because of the tall grass Sarah never had a good shot. This scenario played out a few more times until we lost the bachelors in some really think bush. After that Lammie sent Attie back for the bakkie while Lammie, Sarah, and I walked up a big hill to get a better few. We were at the top looking around when low and behold the impala came out of the brush 20 yards away! Unfortunately the gun bearer (that would be me) blew it and there was no time for a shot. Attie showed up and we took a short break to recover from the long stalk in the heat.


We tracked for a little more but those impala melted once again into the bush once they caught site of us. We got back in the bakkie and drove around some more and realized that the bachelors we were looking for met up with another group of impala that were interspersed with some cattle. The impala were moving along a ravine so Lammie got us set up for an ambush on the hill side 100 yards away. Sara was up on the sticks while we watched as the herd of impala jumped the cattle fence but the males were nowhere to been seen. They eluded us by sneaking through the bush right in front of us! We drove around a bit to see if we can pick up the trail again but no luck. Lammie suggested we call it a morning and go back for lunch. He kept apologizing but Sarah kept saying there was no need, she was having loads of fun.


Just a few minutes in the drive back to the lodge what runs right in front of us? The bachelor impala! With out much of anything being said the hunt was back on! The impala ended up in a field up on a hill that allowed for a perfect stalk down wind just about hundred yards from where we parked the bakkie. When we got close Attie and I held back while Lammie got Sarah up on the sticks.


sarah_on_sticks.jpg



Finally a big male impala walked right across the field about 130 yards away. Lammie told Sarah to take the shot and the first shot was a hit! It ran for about 20 yards and stopped. Lammie told to hit it again which she did but it went through the neck with out hitting anything vital. So she needed another shot but at this point she was nervous and the third shot was high. But now she was out of ammo, the impala was not down yet but stood there looking like a wobbling boxer about to go down. I had to hurry to get Lammie another round for Sarah to finish him. This gave her time to calm down because the final shot was exactly were the “Perfect Shot” book tells you to hit an impala. After this shoot he went down instantly and it was over.


Next up came the blooding rite, which Sarah handled much better than expected! Then we moved to a better location for the trophy shots.


trophy.jpg



After that it was back to the lodge for lunch. The problem now was that Sarah was rubbing it in my face that she had the first kill! Once back at lodge where we had Internet access she showed pictures to her friends. Evidently it went viral around her school and she became an instant celebrity that morning at school! At first she was a bit upset about that because she was worried she was going to get crap from the anti’s at her school but she got over it.


It’s time to finally go back to work so I can pay for the next trip to Africa. Next up will be the warthog story.
 

Royal27

AH ambassador
Joined
May 27, 2012
Messages
9,468
Reaction score
13,414
Media
109
Articles
5
Hunting reports
Africa
6
Member of
DSC, NRA, SCI
Hunted
USA - TX, CO, GA, ID. Africa - Zimbabwe, Zambia, and South Africa (Limpopo and EC)
Sara was up on the sticks while we watched as the herd of impala jumped the cattle fence but the males were nowhere to been seen.

You were hunting a fenced area???? :A Stirring::A Rock:

Sorry... couldn't resist.... :E Big Grin:
 

BRICKBURN

Super moderator
Contributor
Lifetime titanium benefactor
AH ambassador
Joined
Aug 5, 2010
Messages
22,970
Reaction score
17,445
Location
Canada
Media
412
Articles
23
Hunting reports
Africa
8
USA/Canada
2
Europe
1
Hunted
Namibia, South Africa, Botswana, Mozambique, Canada, USA, Mexico, England
.......................
The problem now was that Sarah was rubbing it in my face that she had the first kill!

She has that one on you forever. I'm sure you can live with it.

.. Once back at lodge where we had Internet access she showed pictures to her friends. Evidently it went viral around her school and she became an instant celebrity that morning at school! At first she was a bit upset about that because she was worried she was going to get crap from the anti’s at her school but she got over it.
...................

That double edge sword again. Glad she got past it.

I've been in her shoes with those shots and then getting nervous. Glad you helped her settle and finish the job properly.
Congratulations to her.
 

johnnyblues

AH ambassador
Joined
Jun 13, 2013
Messages
6,872
Reaction score
7,302
Location
Georgia
Media
193
Articles
1
Hunting reports
Africa
11
Mex/S.Amer
1
Hunted
USA, ALASKA Canada, New Zealand, Mexico Africa.
IMO not ugly about a Hartebeest...I hope to connect on one in Namibia this year..Look forward to hearing more.
 

CAustin

Bronze supporter
AH ambassador
Joined
May 7, 2013
Messages
14,450
Reaction score
11,762
Media
258
Hunting reports
Africa
7
Member of
Courtney Hunting Club, NRA Life Member, SCI Kansas City Chapter
Hunted
South Africa, KwaZulu Natal, Kalahari, Northwest, Limpopo, Gauteng, APNR Kruger Area. USA Georgia, South Carolina, Arkansas, New Mexico, North Carolina and Texas
The dad should always let the youngster take the first shot.! It makes for wonderful memories.
 

Diamondhitch

AH legend
Joined
May 2, 2011
Messages
3,050
Reaction score
781
Website
www.diamondhitch.webs.com
Media
77
Hunting reports
Africa
3
USA/Canada
3
Europe
1
Asia/M.East
1
Member of
SCI
Hunted
Canada (AB, SK, NWT, BC) USA (NM, TX) South Africa (Limpopo, KZN, Free State, Eastern Cape, Northen Cape), Kyrgyzstan, Czech Republic
Great start, cant wait to read more. Im glad you had a great time.
 

Wheels

AH ambassador
Joined
Dec 23, 2012
Messages
6,530
Reaction score
10,189
Media
115
Articles
1
Hunting reports
Africa
4
Hunted
Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Zimbabwe
Enjoying the read and all the detail.

Sounds like you had a great time with your daughter. Priceless!

Looking forward to more.
 

Forum statistics

Threads
37,283
Messages
710,550
Members
66,386
Latest member
PrincePlc
 

 

 

Latest profile posts

cal pappas wrote on Mnelson2's profile.
Nelson. Is this message a PM format. I want to send you my email, but don't know if this is the cirrect way to do it. I'm at <pappas@mtaonline.net> Send me an email with your phone and I will call you about a skull I have. I went to school in Boston and am from Bernardston in the west part of the state. Moved to Alaska in 1984 adn never looked back.
BeeMaa wrote on Justbryan's profile.
Sold a Blaser scope mount to him. He was a pleasure to do business with.
BeeMaa wrote on 375Fox's profile.
Sold a Blaser scope mount to him. Was a pleasure to do business with.
Tundra Tiger wrote on Alaska Luke's profile.
Hi Luke. Just saw your message. I am in Dillingham, and have been since 2002. I took an elementary teaching gig here, taught here five years, and then got a job with Togiak National Wildlife Refuge as their education and outreach specialist. Recently I just got a promotion and now I'm the Visitor Services Manager. Prior to DLG I spent 6 years teaching for Lake and Pen in Nondalton.
Serbian Hunter wrote on Tundra Tiger's profile.
Hi TT
I am glad you found some useful info in my posts. Hard cast WFN with GC will do the job fine. I trust Veral Smith (owner of LBT company) - I believe that he can provide you with some finest HC bullets. Many companies are coping his design. I can help you from here in developing max loads (40.000psi) just let me know which powder you are using (I use Quick Load software which turns to be very reliable).
 
Top