SOUTH AFRICA: Tsala Safari August 2014


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Jan 20, 2009
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Hunting reports
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Northeast Wisconsin SCI chapter, Lifetime member of NRA,RMEF
Namibia, South Africa (East Cape, Guateng and Limpopo)
Well I booked this hunt in April 2014. I had just signed up for summer college classes and found out there was going to be an open window of opportunity to hunt or do whatever I wanted for 4 weeks in August. So I scanned some of the great deals on AH and sent some emails out. At this point I was just looking. Rouan Nel of Tsala Safari sent me an offer I had a hard time turning down. So I was booked to be in South Africa from Aug. 12- Aug. 20th. Rouan and Neil Nel picked me up from the airport on August 12th. We drove up to hunting area in the Limpopo Province. Neil was my PH, he has very sharp eyes. He is also on the anti-rhino poaching team. Conditions in the Limpopo Province were dry, warm, windy and a full moon. Everything was some sort of brown or black shape, mixed in with a few green leaves that are acidic and the animals won't eat. It was a unfamiliar Africa for me because I usually like to go earlier in the year. It was definitely harder to spot animals for me, Niel and Rouan were A LOT better than me. I was looking to hunt sable, honey badger, caracal, bushbuck baboon, warthog, bushpig or any of the smaller antelopes. I probably would have shot a big kudu if the shot would have presented itself.

Day 1 on August 13, we went out to check my gun as the thugs of Delta decided my new gun case looked to nice and decided to run it over on the runway. My Winchester Model 70 Super Grade in 7mm Rem Mag was shooting 2 inches to the left, so we shifted the aim over. I have a Leupold VIII 3.5-10 40mm on the gun. I was shooting some old ammo I had, 160 grain Swift A Frame bullets. This gun has been a safe queen, it had not seen action in 10 years. So it was time to end that reign. It's a fine rifle, frankly I love that gun to pieces, it fits me well.

The first day we went hunting for sable. The brush is fairly thick on Tsala Safari's property. Neil said it could be tough finding the sable. So we just used the roads to look for signs of the sable. There is a lot of game on the property. I saw giraffe, eland, kudu, waterbuck, impala, blesbuck, steenbok, warthog, oryx, blue wildebeest, nyala, zebra, civet cat, African wildcat, and brown hyena. There were tracks of caracal and honeybadger. I saw tons of birds on their property!!! It was never quiet. Anyway we did see the sable two different times, but the second he saw him, he ran into the thick brush. I did catch a glimps of the horns and they looked really nice. I had jet lag in the afternoon and the hot sun didn't help out. Getting next to last light we come around the corner and the sable is standing on the side of the road up ahead. We back the truck up and get off and try to stalk up on him. He runs but then sticks his head out of the brush, kinda curious what is chasing him. I get on the sticks and he is facing me quartering to very hard and I know he is gonna run in hurry. I decide in my mind to take the shot, I'm really confident in that gun at 100 yards. I pull the trigger and he jumps straight in the air like 5 feet+ and runs off into the bush. I'm think "oh boy" this is not what I wanted. But the PH says the shot was excellent. We call for the dogs because it is getting dark quick and I don't want the animal staying out all night unattended. The dogs come and he isn't 100 yards into the brush, I spot him and put 2 more shells into him. He is a gorgeous animal. The left horn in 40 inches and the right is 40.5 inches. I could not be more happier!!!

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havnt even read it , but ive been waiting for it ,
I will be back in a minute , mate.
Here are more pictures.

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beautiful !!!! congrats
missed you by nine days , would've loved to buy you a heap of beers as a thankyou ,for all the great advice you have given me , eric .
so now it looks like your going to have anew picture thing is near your name hey bud ?
great start taking your sable on the first days , congratulations .
I sure hope you guys and gals appreciate this hunt report, because I'm dead tired, I have not even been on AH in the last week, I've been so busy with college and work.

Well the next day we went to a different property to look for bushbuck, klipspringer, warthog, kudu, and any thing else interesting. It was hot day and we glass a lot of beautiful country. It's the scenery that really catches my eye! I really miss Africa, it's been 5 years to long. And you appreciate all the good and the bad that has happen in that makes you sentimental for sure.

The area we are hunting has a lot of agriculture. They irrigate big wheat fields and were planting corn when I was there. We have permission to hunt one piece of land that has no fences for warthog, bushpigs, bushbucks, steenboks, and lots of porcupine. It's getting late and a big bushbuck heads onto the edge of the wheat field. It doesn't take me any effort to drop him in his tracks. I took a walking shot because the bushbuck was very nervous. There was fire going on near by, everyone was burning old grass off, but it made things smoky. I should mention Neil was excited, he said that bushbuck will go 17 inches...guess what, he was right!!!

hes a cracker , not a hunter on the planet that could ve walked away from that bruiser .
and we do appreciate your report ,mate .
its only sleep enysee, when your dead you get plenty of it ...................
that's why the wick on a candle runs all the way though ,mate so it can be burned at both ends .....ha h a ha ha .......
It's no secret I'm a huge bushbuck fan, absolutely love hunting them. They are just below kudu on animals that to me are sacred. I know sitting here writing this I still get goose bumps over hunting them. They get in your blood!

Well on DAY 3 we went out looking for a big klipspringer. I'm thinking they are gonna be hard to hunt with all this wind. Well I must of had that luck horseshoe in my pocket because while we are glassing baboons. Rouan spots a monster klipspringer on the top of the mountain. I can see him immediately and I'm getting super excited. I decide we should hike around the mountain and try to get on the backside of him and hope the baboons don't spot us and ruin the stock. We get the wind in our favor and start hiking. I'm still way out of shape physically because of college, but I manage to get up there. As we are nearing the top the klipspringer start moving towards our position. I get my glasses up and look the klipspringer over quick and fire a bullet. I see the klipspringer go down through my scope. When we get up to him I see the Swift A Frame put a huge hole throught him. Next time I'm hunting with Barnes!

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I want to mention how much I liked Rouan and Neil as PH's, they were really great. They asked me how I wanted to hunt, there was never any pressure to shoot anything and they made the hunt special by asking me what I wanted to do. If I was happy about the way things were going. I absolutely love that stuff. It was a really great hunt, it brought a lot of peace to my restless hunting soul. My last trip to Africa, was not that much fun. It felt more like a business trip.

Well that afternoon we went out looking for kudu and warthog. I saw a really nice kudu, but when they are not in the rut, they are pretty smart and quick to escape into the brush. They are a devil to spot in that brush too! We did not have the best of luck hunting warthogs or bushpig, I was looking for a mature animal and my luck for both species is terrible. It continued on this trip, I'm a little cursed for sure!

That night we went out and I got a porcupine by the planted corn fields. They come out in great numbers to eat on the left over corn and fresh corn sprouts. I wasn't sure I wanted one. But what the heck, I need to add a porcupine to the collection. Again, that Swift A Frame bullet nearing split that porcupine in two!

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Day 4, I mention that I would really love to get a honey badger this trip, so we put out extra baits and call around to find out if anyone had honey badger on bait somewhere. Neil mentions that there is a big warthog watering at this one spot so we head out to see if he'll come out in the middle of day to get a drink. Neil told me a huge bushbuck frequents this are too but usually winds any hunters and escapes. It's a hot day and the sun is beating down pretty good. Neil tells me if it's this warm now what will it be like in It's a lot warmer than I expected...damn I was getting sunburnt. We are there in a "ghost blind" waiting for the right animal to come in. I see a really nice mountain reedbuck come into the trigger was getting itchy but I told myself to let him go. I can always get one in the East Cape Province somewhere...some time. Neil tells me 3 bushbuck and coming into the water about an hour later. I only see a young one with the mother. Then a whole bunch of kudu come into the water, then some baboons...I'm getting pretty excited!!! All of a sudden Neil say "BIG BUSHBUCK"! I nearly jump out of my skin. My gun went up, I picked the first available shot before he spooked and pulled the trigger. I saw him fall through the scope! I was so excited, I could not even talk! It was a very good day hunting. You remember moments like this the rest of your life.

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Enysse.......what a such good trophies you got there.......great sable and no wards to say how good is your bushbuck........glad for the hunt you did and really enjoy reading your good report......well done....!!!!!
Well, to say the least the hunting has been going awesome! We go out the next day to check the baits and still no luck with finding a honey badger. Then we get a call that someone has one on a bait and we need to head over immediately. So we head over the property, the bait is basically the guts from animals that their clients are shooting. It's getting dark and the staff stock the bait pile. It smells "pretty" good around the bait. I get into the comfortable blind and am told his hunt could take 8-9 hours of sitting in the dark to get one.....but I game to try it. Well it didn't take to long and some warthogs come into to feed. I'm thinking this honey badger is not going to like them eating his meal and I was correct. Because in less than 30 minutes, Neil says honey badger!!!!!! I get my gun up, carefully aim behind the front leg and pull the trigger. I see him down through the scope. I'm speechless and so happy at the same time!!! It's time like this that you don't forget in your hunting career. I never though my dream of getting one would ever come true....but it did! And I will always remember it until I'm dead in the grave.

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Well with 2 days left, we could not get a caracal hunt lined up and my bad luck with warthogs and bushpig continued. I really enjoyed the hunting and this truly restored my faith that there are some really good people out there in this world. I have no idea when I will be back to Africa, which is sad in one way....but I left on a high note and that is always good. I used Swift Dip out of Thabazimbo, in the Limpopo Province. They should have it ready in 60 days time. I'm having it dipped and shipped to Matt Kapraun from Matt is from AH and lives 2.5 hours from me. I need a really good taxidermist and that is why it's being done in the USA. I can't wait to see how my animal heads are going to look.

I should mention, I fired a whole 8 rounds in preparation for this hunt. I simply sighted the gun in and when I started hunting all that inner hunting material that I have not been using lately surfaced to the top and I felt really good the whole trip. I packed up in less than 8 hours time. And am super happy I did not pack a second gun for it would have been ruined by Delta. BTW, Delta....has not made one phone call or email to me to pay for any damage to my gun case....only promises to get back to me. How is that for service??????

Again I want to thank Neil and Rouan Nel for their professionalism! They gave me everything I was looking for in a hunt! And I'm so happy for all the great people I have met on AH. I miss my AH family when I'm away working. Hopefully all this work and school doesn't keep me away. But I'm really tired and need sleep. I hope you enjoy the pictures and hunt report.
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Well worth the effort E. Thanks for your effort.

Holy crap those are amazing trophies.
That side view shot of the Bushbuck shows what he really is. WOW!
If that is what is coming into corn fields I'm finding a corn field!

Change those bullets on the next trip. Splitting critters is not the goal buddy. Ouch.

Good luck, bad luck and opportunities taken. That's hunting.

Glad you turned this trip around and are trying a new solution with the trophies this trip.
Look forward to seeing Matt's work on your trophies.

Study hard. It'll end soon enough.
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wow you got the goods this trip ,bloke .
thanks for a great report , sounds as tho tsala are a great friendly bunch of people to have a stress free , well catered trip with .
thanks enysee

that bushbuck and badger are the stuff that dreams are made of .
sleep well
Very well done Eric, glad too see you got some of the animals on your list. Impressive F**king animals also. Good job.
The sable and honey badger were really high on my list, now that they are gone. Roan, Cape buffalo, leopard, caracal, spotted hyena, warthog, bushpig, and any of the tiny antelope are still on the list. I still want to hunt nyala in KZN.

Every hunt is different and you take away little things from each adventure. BTW, US Fish and Wildlife brown hyena are not endangered! I had one lined up in my sights at 40 feet, it's like he knew he was safe. Put a bait out and you will see brown hyena in the area.
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Carpe diem!!! You seized the opportunity and had a great hunt! Fantastic! Thank you for the inspiring report.

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