SOUTH AFRICA: What Side Of The Fence Are You On??


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Jan 23, 2013
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Upstate NY
Hunting reports
Where do you even begin? The hunt of a life time, the experience you will never have unless you visit and hunt South Africa. Well for me this journey started about 40 years ago. Young snot nosed kid looking at some magazine and seeing someone standing over an elephant. I knew then I would be one of those people or close to it. So for the next 40 years I became what I would like to call a dreamer. I would dream of hunting Africa but then life happened, you grow up, you join the Army, you get married you have kids, buy a house and life begins and that dream always stays in the back of your mind. At times there will be months you do not even think about it but other times you may be watching the lion king with your daughter and it all comes flooding back to you. I finally made the decision that by the time I was 50 if I did not go I would never go. Well it happened I turned 50. Still no solid plan, I then knew it was a do it or live to regret it.
I took my first step I put out a request on it was very simple please send me your list of animals and your price list. Nothing special just a simple request. I got plenty of hits I did this for two reasons. One first and foremost unless you are Warren Buffet was to make sure that I could stay within my budget that my wife and I both agreed on. So as said I got plenty of hits. Some were just plain links to their hunting websites. As I responded back to some I did get some responses. I would list the animals that I would like to take they would come back with their price list, their daily rates, their weapons rate, their ammo rates and what I should tip rate. Why do I put all this in there, well if you are going to stay on budget you need to make sure you understand each piece of this and where it will play into your budget at. After all this is done then you have dip & pack and import and export fees. So as I was receiving all this information I had other questions. 1. do you own your own lodge? 2. How many vehicles do you have readily available? 3. What is the total amount of land you own or have leased? 4. What types of weapons do you rent out and the type of glass on them? All basic questions that you should ask to make sure your trip is going to be a vacation trip or what the hell did I get myself into trip.

Question number 1 do you own your own lodge? Some answers I got back - A simple yes with no name to their lodge, a yes I own 7 lodges we will jump all over stay one night here and then drive four hours and spend time here etc etc. UMMMMMM NO, I don't think anyone over there owns 8 lodges so I knew from previous research he was a renter meaning he rents a room from a lodge for a day or two and then jumps to the next one. But I did get a nice response from Game4Africa. Yes we own our lodge you stay in the same room each day we will travel but we always return each night.

Question number 2 vehicles . This may sound very selfish of me but it was my trip and I know from being all over the world in all types of vehicles on all types of terrain, shit happens if a vehicle breaks down your day just went from filling a tag or two to sitting there waiting for repairs to be completed, if they can be completed at all. I got a lot of answers, One, One but I have other vehicles I can get to. Game4Africa - Yes we own 5 vehicles all for different types of terrain and to accommodate any type of hunter.

Question number 3- Why is this one so important?? I know South Africa every piece of land is high fenced I did not want to feel like I was hunting a fenced in area and I did not want to see another hunter I wanted this to be my vacation and mine alone. I got plenty of responses to this I own a million acres, I own 20,000 acres, I don’t own any land but I have a lot of land I can hunt. SO with that last statement I had another question, do you own the entire hunting rights to that land or did you buy an animal right? This is simply if you own the hunting rights to the entire land when I am hunting that piece of land no one else will be on that land, if I see an animal I want to take I can but if they only bought rights to an animal I may only be able to take a specific type of animal on that piece of property. I was informed by Game4Africa that they had roughly just around 250,000 acres all owned or complete rights leased to.

Question number 4 – Some of the answers I got – Yes I own a rifle very large caliber. Well WTF does that mean? Am I shooting an impala with a 416 rigby? I got different replies to this one I thought that was the best answer though. Game4Africa – We use Sako rifles we have Zeiss/Swaroski scopes on each one of them. Calibers will be from 375 to a 7mm to a 25-06 to a shotgun depending on what we will be hunting that day.

OK everyone I know this is a lot of info and kind of boring not a ton of lead going down range but if you are going to go on a hunt you need to ask these questions and make sure the answers are what you want not what you want to hear. So with going through and narrowing down the possibilities I was down to two candidates one was Game4Africa the other I will not mention But it was down to two, I was content to do some final research on both. Then I really started looking at the package presented by Game4Africa 7 day hunt / 2x1 meaning 2 hunters per one ph and you had to shoot at least ten animals and there would be no daily rates. I am thinking to myself how the heck can they do that, my original list of 7 animals is going to cost ex amount of money plus 350.00 a day for daily rates but if I increase my list to ten I will save 2450.00 for daily rates well shit that is a no brainer for 2450.00 I can shoot an impala, springbok, blesbok, gemsbok, porcupine, increase my animal list from 7 to 11 and still be under budget? So I made sure everything was outlined and detailed first and all things pointed to a YES I actually read everything correctly. Price list was established and then I knew then and there who I would be hunting with. I could at that time choose to hunt with a hunting buddy also if I did not want to take that many animals alone and split the ten animal requirement or I could keep that many animals on my list invite a friend and maybe they would have a smaller list and a smaller budget but it would apply for them if they simply went and shot 5 animals. So yes I contacted an old Army buddy and told him about the gem I found and if he was interested well little to me his list was bigger than mine. So we put his list together and got a quote. Both Happy both ready to hunt. Now comes the big part sending in the deposit and hoping it all goes well and that you did not just send someone in South Africa your money. Two days later confirmation deposit received these are your hunt dates!! Do you have any problems with your dates?? Me --- UMMM YES no way am I going to miss my nine year old turning ten so you need to shift dates before or after July 18th. Ok not an issue do these dates work for you. YES those dates work perfectly. Ok you are all locked in for those dates. Ok can you tell me how many other hunters will be in camp that week? No one the entire lodge and all assets are yours for the entire week, you and your hunting partner will have your own chalets and you will be exclusive. Now the next big thing is PLANE TICKETS!!! This will become a logistical nightmare to figure out how close you can get a ticket to your actual date and still stay within budget. NYC to Port Elizabeth – 2700.00 New Jersey to Port Elizabeth – 2800.00 Philadelphia to Port Elizabeth – 2400.00 Montreal Canada to Port Elizabeth 1347.00… Holy crap we have a winner!!!!!!! In other words look around. Between my partner and I we are going to save 2200.00 by driving a little bit well worth the research!!!!!! Ok you have taken the time to hopefully have read all my planning and now you are ready for the LTA effect. Oh what is LTA that is Lead to Animal effect!!!!! I will only write about my hunting experience and what I accomplished if my hunting partner at some time wishes to add to my story then so be it if not then I will not speak for him.

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DAY 1 we arrive at Port Elizabeth and are greeted well and then drove from Port Elizabeth to a little past Grahamstown South Africa to the lodge. Once at the lodge we were shown our Chalets, this is where we would spend the next week of our lives. We then went into main lodge had a very nice and comfortable lunch, nothing big just a nice lunch to take the hunger off. At this point is where we got to meet Amanda. For the next week we would see her each and every day directing the staff as to what she wanted done and how she wanted it done. A very strong woman that will make sure your stay is as pleasant as if you are family. During our lunch break we got to meet our PH. The person who would be responsible for the next 7 days to make my list go from 11 to 0. We did not chat much we simply ate lunch. After lunch we were told that we would sight rifles in. When we got down there we were informed that we would mainly be shooting the 7mm we were both assigned a weapon and a box of rounds were set on the bench. Was told to shoot from the bench until rifle was zeroed and then we would practice shooting from the sticks. Well after four rounds I was very comfortable with my zero so I moved to sticks. Whomever created these things, created a love hate relationship. Awesome to shoot from but total bullshit to get to used to shooting from. After ten rounds there I felt comfortable enough to shoot off of them. We then went inside to discuss our hunt for the next day and our expectations towards each others way of hunt. He informed me there would be walking, glassing, walking, riding in the back of truck, walking, waiting and a little more walking. I simply told him two things. I will walk until I walked enough and then I would walk no further. The second thing I told him was to never rush me on a shot. Do not stand over me and say shoot, don't say hurry up setup. Nothing in that fashion. I hunt the way I hunt, I take the shot when I feel comfortable not when people are telling me to hurry up. We then agreed, had a nice dinner and settled in for the night. Oh that day for dinner some very nice kudu meatballs, over some spaghetti. Quite tasty, hopefully will put one down tomorrow!!!!!
Good start, hope all goes well.
Good luck!
I think i am going to enjoy this report. Looking forward to it and good luck
............... Well after four rounds I was very comfortable with my zero so I moved to sticks. Whomever created these things, created a love hate relationship. Awesome to shoot from but total bullshit to get to used to shooting from. After ten rounds there I felt comfortable enough to shoot off of them. ................

Every first time hunter can take note of this one.

Keep it coming.
Enjoyed you laying out your process, looking forward to the rest.
This is going to be good, I’m missing the lodge and times we had their as I read this.
Good start, let's hear more
Great introduction and I am looking forward to LTA
Sounds like a good plan coming together. P.S I loved your assessment of shooting sticks. Wait till you try them with a big bore.
Day 2, as we had talked the night before we were going to drive truck to a certain point on the ridge and then walk from there. It would be about a 5-6 mile walk nice and slow up and down and just glass and get me familiar with what to look for and how to spot animals in the bush. So about a half mile into it we come across some nice groups of impalas. We got to glass them for a bit and decide if I wanted one or not. At first we were looking at some decent bucks but not one that I was ready to cross off my list. As we got up and started to move we spotted two other nice bucks that were hanging back. The one in the far back I was ready to make mine and cross my first African animal off my list. Well we snuck into position and I was not 230 yards from it. I got set up on my love hate sticks and settled in. Colin my PH said they are not alarmed they are not spooked take your time it is the far one in the back. Well I can tell you the excitement was out of fricken control. My first African animal at 230 yards was going to be doing the DITD in about a half second. Oh DITD what does that mean well that simply put is Dick In The Dirt. Well I pull the trigger and all hell breaks loose shit is running everywhere. I am pretty excited but I know enough and have enough weapon training to jack another round and put it on safe. I look at my PH and he smiles and says hey good try your first time. WTF do you mean good try?? Well you missed it. What? Bullshit I hit that thing. Joe did you hear a whoop sound after you shot? Well no, ok then congratulations you missed it. Now lets move on and try and get another one. FU&*^(ING stupid sticks is my excuse!!!! So we proceed to walk some more and then we walked some more. We seen a lot of kudu but none that I wanted, we seen some water bucks, not on my list we seen a lot of other critters either not on my list or not what I wanted. And then we walked about 3/4 the way up this long ridge and Colin says Zebra. What Zebra? Holy shit that is on my list. Stealth mode here we come. Well as stealthy as a 50 yr old can make himself get into. Crawl on my hands and knees? WTF I will kick you dead in your asss, you may get a croutch out of me but you damn sure are not getting a hands and knees belly crawl. So we setup into position I am informed the one in the front is a huge stallion and I study it over and over again. I can see the old boy has quite a few fighting scars and in my mind I am already flashing if he will be a rug, a shoulder or a pedestal mount. Yes I am a taxidermist so I see things a little differently from another hunter. I envision big boy as a nice big fat rug laid out. So at 90 yards we wait and we wait He never fully steps out to give me a decent shot, so we let him walk over the hill and then plan on stalking him again. I have no idea how to white objects can simply disappear but they did. We searched for about an hour to get back on them and never seen them again. Getting a little discouraged now, but my PH looks over and says a simple thing to me that stayed with me. He simply said that was not meant for you. So we top another small ridge and more impala. Oh shit here we go again. Pick out a nice buck and put the stalk on him. I have him at 160 yards he is right there, I am right here I know exactly where he is. And he knows exactly where I am as he is staring straight at me. Colin says if you get a shot take it. Well ok trigger pulled and a a solid hit to the chest, flip him over on his ass. My PH then says I meant if he turned sideways. Oh well be more specific next time. We both start laughing and do the high five. Go over and get some nice pictures. We are now 5 miles from the truck and the greatest thing in the world happens. He calls the tracker on the radio and then says to me the truck will be here in about 20 minutes!!! Well shit I don't have to throw this on my back and walk all the way back? Nope we will just sit here wait for the truck and eat an orange. Truck arrives we load impala and start making our way back. We have a nice lunch and go out for an evening hunt. We park the truck and head down a ridge line to couple of open areas. We get to the first one and there are several warthogs in there. I had no desire to shoot a warthog so we bypassed them and made our way to the next field. Well low and behold Zebras again. This time four of them I looked them all over and the one on the left was simply gorgeous. I know he is the one that I want. Colin agrees with me, his words were I have never seen a stallion that size with no marks on it from fighting. Well it is go time. On the sticks we go. They are only about 100 yards from us. Downhill some. It is standing facing us but does not see us. Then I hear it, Joe if you get a shot take him. Oh ok trigger pulled dead perfect in the chest. It sits down and then falls over backward. My PH is like holy shit that was a hard hit. and then he says it again that day. I meant when it turned sideways. I simply said well be more specific!!! And then the pictures started!!!!!!!

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I really like zebras like that with stripes all down their legs!
OK, next episode! Very interesting perspective.
Interesting read. Game4Africa is very high on my short list.
Enjoying this report. Keep it coming and congrats on your zebra!
Nice start to the hunt! Congrats and look forward to more!
Congrats. Keep it coming
Nice report, keep it coming.
Great so far, keep it up !

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hunt 65 wrote on flyfishdoc's profile.
Hey Flyfish-
Have interest in the Chapuis. Would like to see more assembled pics if possible, i know its a beautiful firearm!
Also, could you use other ammo such as Barnes etc...
Thanks, Neil
hunt 65 wrote on DonPablo's profile.
Also, more pics of female #2(black ticked). Thanks, Neil
hunt 65 wrote on DonPablo's profile.
Could you send me some more pics of the Dam(weight?) and Sire, front rear and side pics., looking for a smaller female, with ticking. thanks Don
hunt 65 wrote on 500jeffery's profile.
Please let me know the status of the Sako 500J, thanks again
2 more jackal , one was a big male!