SOUTH AFRICA: Tootabi Hunting Safaris Ugly Hunting Report

Jfet

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Good Stuff:A Big Hello::A Big Hello:
 

brushmore

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Day 2 - Afternoon:


After a great lunch made by Loodt’s mother and quick siesta we here back on the hunt for the hartebeest or a warthog. Again, no luck on the hartebeest and this time no warthogs either. Those dang termite messed me up a few times. I kept getting excited telling Lammie “I see a warthog!” but I was wrong, just a mound of dirt. But Lammie made me feel better as he told me a funny story how he led a client on a stalk to one of those mounds once. One thing is for sure, Lammie will always keep you entertained in breaks in the action.


As the sun got low in the sky, Lammie had another place in mind across the highway for warthogs. There is a field that you can see from the lodge that’s about a mile away. He had seen some warthogs there earlier in the day while glassing from the porch. We got there at the right time because it seemed like everything came out to feed. From one vantage point we saw warthog, kudu, and gemsbok all out in the open feeding. The warthog were in a bad location for a stalk so we continued on. We crested a small hill and saw a sounder of warthog about 150 yards away near an old corral. But a little further to the right there was an absolute monster warthog. But as luck would have it there was no way to get a shot at him since he drifted off near some cattle and then out of site down a hill. I don’t remember seeing cattle on Loodt’s trophy price list so rather than risk it we had to let him get away.


Well there was still that same sounder of warthog right in front of us still oblivious to our hunting party. I had a perfect shot on one and I asked Lammie if that was a good shooter. He asked if I was going to have it mounted but I told him no, I just wanted something with tusks big enough to make bottle openers. He said this one was certainly good enough and if I wanted I could take it. I also figured that if you are a warthog and you hang around several minutes providing such as easy target then you’re just asking for it. I took the shot. It was a rear quartering shot at about 150 yards and it felt like it was on the money behind the shoulder. Warthogs were just running all over the place and I thought mine was amongst those. This was the first thing bigger than a pheasant I hunted so I wasn’t sure what to expect but I figured it wouldn’t have run around that much after getting hit. Lammie said it looked good but I doubted myself. We walked up to the old corral to look for blood signs but just two yards from where I shot was a dead warthog in the long grass! The shot was dead on and the Norma Oryx 180gr bullet did the job. It turns out there were more in the sounder than we thought. It may not set any records but I was happy to prove myself with this first kill.


pig.jpg



As the sunset we took the pig back to the skinning shed after a good first day. When we got back to the lodge we had another great dinner. You will never have a less than stellar meal at the Olifantskop Lodge with Loodt’s Mother in the kitchen. The visiting PH with his French clients got a nice nyala so there was plenty to celebrate at dinner that night. The Frenchman and wife hardly spoke any English so the conversations at dinner were sometimes challenging. Having said that, the Frenchman’s wife and my daughter devised a prank on the visiting PH without speaking a word to each other with his cupcake when he wasn’t looking. It’s funny how you can make friends with people without saying a word to them.


Lammie told us to pack a bag for an overnight trip. The next day he had a special treat in store. We would be headed to the Karoo to hunt a blue and black wildebeest. All about that in my next installment.
 

Powdermaker

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This was the first thing bigger than a pheasant I hunted so I wasn’t sure what to expect
Congratulations to both you and your daughter! I look forward to reading about the rest of your adventure.
 

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...Those dang termite messed me up a few times. I kept getting excited telling Lammie “I see a warthog!” but I was wrong, just a mound of dirt...

LOL, that reminded me of my first safari. My wife kept seeing "duiker", "No that's an Impala" Chris would say, "No that's a Hartebeest" "No that's another Impala" LOL priceless. To her credit these animals were seen through thick brush at great distance while moving though. Finally Chris said "Good spotting but Duiker are very small and hard to see in the grass right under your feet let alone 500yds away" then she didn't see any more Duiker. :)
 

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Glad to see your dream coming true. There is no safari like the first. Looking forward to more!
 

Greg Bossert

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It's fun to read someone else's post after you just got back from there. It's so easy to use your imagination and feel like you're right there beside you. I do have to agree with you about the shooting sticks. I used plastic ones first and when we switched to the bamboo, it was noticeably more stable.
 

tarbe

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I do have to agree with you about the shooting sticks. I used plastic ones first and when we switched to the bamboo, it was noticeably more stable.

Very interesting. Were you using two-legged or three-legged?
 

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Day 2: The Karoo – The Blue Wildebeest


After breakfast Lammie, Attie, Sarah, and myself headed out for a drive to the Karoo. This was going to be a much different hunt that the first place. First off we were way off the grid with no cell phone coverage, Internet, or even electricity. Anyone with a teenage daughter knows that they are permanently attached to their cell phones. Would Sarah survive? We would have to find out. To get this concession we drove for about 15 miles on a dirt road. This place was looked completely different that Loodt’s place near the coast. There had plenty of rain lately so everything was very green.


green_karoo.jpg


On the way in Lammie spotted a lone Black Wildebeest but that was all we saw besides some monkeys. After a long drive we arrived at the lodge which was a farmhouse built in 1820. It reminded me of a traditional deer camp from back here in the US. After a short break and it was off to hunt a blue wildebeest.


It was much cooler than the day before and windy, perfect for hunting. We drove around the valley quite some time but didn’t see a single wildebeest. We picked up their spoor so we knew they were close by. This place seemed liked Lammie’s home turf so he knew this place very well so I knew it was only a matter of time. At one point I saw something that looked like a fox and asked Lammie, “What is that?” It was a jackal and Lammie slammed on the breaks and said, “Let’s shoot it!” At this point it was over 300 yards away and moving. Lammie asks if I needed the sticks. I was a bit perplexed at the question I was like hell yeah if you want to make that kind of shot! I got setup to take the shot expecting the jackal to come out in a clearing near a boulder but he zigged when I expected a zag so he was long gone. Afterwards I asked Lammie if he was really expecting me to make a 300 yard shot offhand! He said not really, he just wanted me to scare him off to the next concession. Well if I had known that then I would have tried my luck then.


Since we weren’t having any luck with the wildebeest we headed to another part of the concession where there is a watering hole that was frequented by the blue wildebeests. We arrived there to find fresh spoor but no wildebeest. We continued in the bakkie down a valley when we spot two silhouettes on a ridgeline way off in the distance, wildebeest! Looking through the binos I saw them both looking right at us. So they literally saw us coming a mile away. There was a big one and a little one. We crept slowly in the bakkie while these two guys just stared at us the whole freaking time. Lammie asked if I was OK with shooting just outside the truck. I wasn’t real keen on the idea but he said we might not get another chance so I agreed. Lammie kept checking the range finder until we got within 160 yards. The two wildebeest looked as if they were going to bolt at any minute. Lammie and I slowly slinked out of the bakkie and I got setup on the sticks. I had been waiting for this moment for all of my life and I was doing my best to calm down, which wasn’t easy! Both of these wildebeest must have had way too much coffee that morning because they would not stand still. After what seemed like an eternity I stopped shaking and was breathing sort of normally and had the big wildebeest in the crosshairs but it was a front quartering shot. Lammie wasn’t comfortable with that so he hold off. Problem was that they figured out something was up and took off. Both Lammie and I were actually relived at this because now a real hunt was on!


Attie, the tracker, led the way as we stalked the wildebeest along the ridgeline. We played a cat and mouse game with these two for what seemed like forever. By now every time Lammie setup the sticks I started having a pavlovian response and would get excited. The problem was that wind wasn’t right so there was no way to make an approach that wasn’t giving us away. But eventually they made a mistake and made a 90 turn that allowed us to make the approach behind a ridge downwind. I got setup on the sticks at 180 yards and finally took the shot. To my absolute amazement the wildebeest dropped instantly! I ended up hitting him on the spine. He was still kicking on the ground so I shot again this time hitting him in the lungs. By the time we got to him he still wasn’t dead so a final shot though the chest was needed. They talk about ground shrinkage with the wildebeest but when I saw him up close he was much bigger than I thought.


blue_wildebeest.jpg



That was one wildebeest down with one to go. Next up will be the black wildebeest hunt that was probably the most exciting!
 

tarbe

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That Blue Beest is one tough critter! No wonder they call him the poor man's Buffalo.
 
D

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if only I could write stories of my hunts half as well as you and others on here!
 

Warbird782

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Lammie will always keep you entertained in breaks in the action.

Lammie was not my PH but I had a great time getting know him. He is entertaining.
 

Warbird782

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if only I could write stories of my hunts half as well as you and others on here!

Keep a journal on your hunt. Update it as much as you can as the hunt takes place. This helped me with my timeline and hunt report.
 
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Great looking blue wildebeest sir. Keep the report coming.
 

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I look forward to the next installment.
 

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Day 2: The Karoo – The Black Wildebeest



So with the blue wildebeest bagged, it was time to go after a black wildebeest. Loodt met up with us for this hunt and acted as the official photographer. Lammie had a good idea where they were from our drive in that morning so we headed out that way. We didn’t see anything from the bakkie so we got out to do some scouting. So we headed off with Attie leading the way.


It was a bit colder than it was in morning and extremely windy. It was so bad I almost lost my cap twice. I was starting to be concerned I wouldn’t be able to make shot with this kind of wind. It wasn’t long before we started seeing fresh spoor of a herd of wildebeest. It was interesting to see the beds they make for themselves in the dirt. We headed up on top of a big hill for a better view. Even though the view was breath taking no sign of the wildebeest.


We continued on down the other side of the hill. At one point I heard a strange animal noise that kind of sounded like some kind of squeaking noise coming from over the next hill. Lammie turned around said, “Did you hear that? It’s black wildebeest!” We continued on and at the crest of the hill we spotted the herd.


We were setup behind a wild plum tree with a perfect vantage point to watch their antics. It looked just like a scene from Tootabi’s promotional video. Watching them was fun but we needed a plan to get into a good shooting position.


The wind was still fierce and it was obvious there wasn’t an easy way to approach them. So the plan was to send Loodt up the ridge and maybe they might run down the valley where I had a narrow window for a shot. While Loodt headed up the ridge Lammie was pointing out various behaviors of the black wildebeest. We even saw scratch a bed for himself in the dirt! I was surprised how different the black acted compared to the blue.


It was obvious when the herd sensed Loodt. But the problem was now that they went off up the other side of the valley and not towards us! But Lammie told me to be ready; they usually circle around and that is exactly what they did. They went along the opposite ridge line and came down right in front of us. I had a narrow firing lane down into the valley and as luck would have it the bull we wanted walked right into the trap. It was a rear quartering shot 125 yards away and I aimed right behind the shoulder. He took off running but dropped a short distance later. We were moving along the ridge to setup for a backup shot if need be but at this point the herd was in panic mode heading right towards us! Lammie got against a wild plum tree and called for Sarah to get close. It was sure a thrill to have around 20 wildebeest at full sprint right in front of you! Lammie and I proceeded to the now motionless bull.


The wildebeest was dead. A one shot kill on a wildebeest! Up close the black wildebeest or white-tailed gnu, is certainly and ugly but beautiful creature!


That night Lammie cooked us all a wonderful meal on the braai at camp. Loodt tried to scare Sarah with ghost stories about the old farm house but it didn’t work on her. I had a good night sleep except a jackal carrying on right outside my window. Now I really wished I had shot at that bugger earlier in the day!


It was only day two and I had only one animal left. Tomorrow we would head back to the lodge and try again for the red hartebeest.

green_karoo.jpg
lammie_and_attie.jpg
 

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Warbird782

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This place sounds like kudu camp. If that is true the ranch was awesome! The old colonial ranch house was fun to stay in.
 

Royal27

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This place sounds like kudu camp. If that is true the ranch was awesome! The old colonial ranch house was fun to stay in.

I can't wait to see that place! I was talking about it with Loodt today.

My wife has actually agreed to go there, even knowing that she won't have access to a hair dryer. That's a big step for her! Of course I don't know that she realizes there is no Internet. :A Banana Sad:
 

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.......... By now every time Lammie setup the sticks I started having a pavlovian response and would get excited. .........

Unknown.jpeg


Are you shaking or salivating after seeing this?

Awesome tale.
 

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