SOUTH AFRICA: Wonderful Eastern Cape, A Real Wild & Free Range Hunt With KMG Hunting Safaris

Ferruccio

AH senior member
Joined
Feb 13, 2019
Messages
72
Reaction score
286
Media
255
Hunting reports
Africa
2
Member of
Safari Club International
Hunted
South Africa, Tanzania, Namibia, Italy, Spain, Croatia, Russia, Turkey
I just want to start this hunting report with a big thank you to Marius Goosen, owner of the company KMG Hunting Safaris, who organized the safari in a perfect and professional way. Everything was beyond all expectations and the hunt was a completely success harvesting stupendous trophies of several plains game species. The most amazing issue was that all the hunts took place free range in breathtaking landscapes and every animal was shot exclusively from the stick or lying on the ground. Also this aspect of long shot distances surprised me a lot: it was like an alpine hunting in the dark continent, a very nice combination. I can say that me and my dad have experienced some of our top hunting moments in all our lives.

Day 1

We began the safari with the barbary sheep (or aoudad) in a majestic landscape over 1800 meters of altitude with an unusual environment that it looks like to be in Mars. We had to walk enough in order to spot the barbary sheep which leave close to the pinnacles and the coloration of their fur is similar to the one of these mountains, so they are not easy to spot. We spotted a big herd with two nice rams, so at the beginning we planned to approach them. But with the spotting scope we noticed an other herd on the opposite mountain with a bigger and older ram. That was the perfect target. The barbary sheep were more than 700 meters far from us. The aoudads were lying down because it was near to midday and we started to think about the hunting strategy. It was decided that a tracker would stay there in order to communicate by radio to the PH if the herd moved or not during our approach. We had to descend from our mountain along the side where we could not be seen by the barbary sheep herd. The ground was not easy with all those stones that moved on our steps. When we arrived at the bottom, we had to pass across a creek with water to arrive unseen as close as possible. After more or less 30 minutes of walking we were under the mountain of the aoudad herd and the tracker told us they were still there. The barbary sheep were on a terracing so we were able to arrive at 130 meters from them behind an haggard bush. The wind was good and the bush was thick enough to hide us from their sight. There was also an other good ram in this herd, but it was younger with less thick horns. The PH showed me which was the good ram and he opened the stick. Slowly I put the rifle on it. The shot distance was very close for a mountain hunting but the big problem was that females and young ones were continuosly in front or back to him. So I had to wait the right moment. The ram moved on the left and I still waited when he was alone. But some aoudads spotted us with their acute eyesight and they were looking to us including the big ram. It was a frontal shot, but the PH told me to shoot because they would ran away soon. For the rush, I missed it. The herd started to run at the top of the mountain. I put down the bipod and there was a little rock near by where I could position myself. I followed the herd in the scope and from the back I noticed immediately which was the big ram with his huge body comparing with the other barbary sheep running. They started to move on the right side always running and stopping for few seconds. The PH measured the distance: 270 meters inclined up. I never stopped to follow the big ram, but you could imagine how much more difficult was now with other sheep on the shot direction plus the movement of the animals. At a certain point the big ram stopped and he was free from other sheep. I was following him and when there was this opportunity, which could be last 1-2 seconds, I shot when the cross was on the shoulder. After the shot we immediately noticed that the ram started to run struggling with his head down and after a short run he dropped down. I was really happy for this hunting action and the barbary sheep was stupendous: very old with a long nice mane.

DSCN7764.JPG
 
Last edited by a moderator:

VertigoBE

Silver supporter
AH legend
Joined
Jan 17, 2021
Messages
2,112
Reaction score
4,534
Location
Brussels
Media
43
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Europe
3
Hunted
Belgium, Scotland, Slovenia, South Africa
Thanks for writing this first part! Looking forward to the next instalment :)
Well done!
 

cpr0312

AH ambassador
Joined
Jul 21, 2011
Messages
11,992
Reaction score
23,932
Location
North Carolina
Media
431
Articles
1
Hunting reports
Africa
8
USA/Canada
1
Australia/NZ
1
Member of
NRA Life Member
Hunted
US (All over), New Zealand, South Africa(Northern Cape, Eastern Cape, Free State, Northwest), Zimbabwe, Zambia, Tanzania
Congrats on a nice ram and thanks for sharing! Look forward to the rest of the hunt report.
 

375 Ruger Fan

Gold supporter
AH ambassador
Joined
Jun 14, 2015
Messages
5,126
Reaction score
10,034
Location
Shreveport, Louisiana
Media
255
Articles
5
Hunting reports
Africa
7
USA/Canada
8
Australia/NZ
1
Member of
NRA, DSC
Hunted
Namibia, Zimbabwe, South Africa (Eastern Cape & NW), Canada, New Zealand, Alaska, TX, LA, MO, OH, MT, ID, WA, WY
Excellent hunt and report. Thanks!
 

shootist~

AH elite
Joined
Jan 9, 2019
Messages
1,121
Reaction score
1,879
Location
Albuquerque, NM
Media
15
Member of
NRA Life Member, USPSA Certified Range Officer (inactive), NRA Certified Instructor (inactive)
Hunted
USA, Mexico, RSA
Great story - hoping for more.
What was the rifle and ammo used?
 

Pheroze

AH legend
Joined
Jul 6, 2013
Messages
4,686
Reaction score
6,782
Location
Ontario
Media
89
Articles
23
Hunting reports
Africa
1
USA/Canada
5
Member of
OFAH, DSC
Hunted
South Africa, Canada, USA
That's a great looking animal. Congratulations
 

AZDAVE

AH legend
Joined
Jul 26, 2013
Messages
2,818
Reaction score
5,319
Media
200
Hunting reports
Africa
6
Hunted
South Africa,Namibia, Alaska,lower 48
Nice looking sheep. The terrain looks like their kinda country. Marius runs a great outfit!
 

cls

AH legend
Joined
Jan 27, 2014
Messages
2,361
Reaction score
1,804
Location
Alberta, Canada
Media
67
Hunting reports
Africa
3
Member of
SCI, AHEIA
Hunted
Canada(AB, BC, SASK, NWT)), USA (WY, MN, TX), South Africa (Limpopo and Eastern Cape), Zambia
Nice ram
 

buck wild

Bronze supporter
AH elite
Joined
Oct 14, 2015
Messages
1,767
Reaction score
3,567
Location
Texas
Website
www.huntencino.com
Media
345
Articles
4
Hunting reports
Africa
5
USA/Canada
1
Member of
SCI Brush Country Chapter
Hunted
Kalahari; Limpopo; Omay, Zimbabwe; Mexico; Texas; New Mexico; Colorado
Great start
 

Uncle Sauce

Bronze supporter
AH elite
Joined
Sep 12, 2019
Messages
1,490
Reaction score
3,179
Location
N. Idaho
Media
44
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Member of
GOA, RMGO, FRGC, SCI, DSC
Hunted
SA: Eastern Cape, US: CO, ID, MT, NY, OR, VA, WA, WY
Beautiful ram!
 

Ferruccio

AH senior member
Joined
Feb 13, 2019
Messages
72
Reaction score
286
Media
255
Hunting reports
Africa
2
Member of
Safari Club International
Hunted
South Africa, Tanzania, Namibia, Italy, Spain, Croatia, Russia, Turkey

Day 2​

The next day we changed area looking for the vaal rhebok, a peculiar antelope which lives only in Eastern Cape. Marius told me that the vaal rhebok is a very changelling antelope and the shooting distance is, most of the time, more than 350 meters because he lives in open grounds and it carries a super eyesight. The area is also good for the mountain reedbuck and the lechwe. This new ground was different to the one of the barbary sheep characterized by big plateaus with several pinnacles surrounded by a kind of steppe. In those mountain peaks where the elevations could reach above 2000 meters vaal rhebok and mountain reedbuck have adapted to living. In the first plateau we encountered a nice solitary mountain reedbuck, but immediately he ran away when we stopped the pick-up. We also spotted a vaal rhebok herd but the male carried horns shorter of his ears. It was a nice surprise to observe in the same plateau also a meerkat colony and a cape fox, animal rarely seen during the day. We kept changing places during all the morning but we didn’t see good vaal rhebok trophies. We noticed an other nice mountain reedbuck but it was at more than 800 meters on a top of a pinnacle, impossible to attempt an approach. When it was almost midday, at the bottom of two peaks, three vaal rhebok started to move on the top of the left peak. They were two females and one male. We got out of the pick-up and the PH opened the spotting scope to judge the trophy. This time the male was a nice trophy with horns longer than ears. Without wasting time, I lay down on the ground opening the bipod. The three vaal rhebok continued to move increasingly up, so I had to correct up continuosly the trajectory. When they stopped the PH measured 370 meters. The ballistic turret was fixed, but I pulled the trigger when the cross was over the back of the male, because I didn’t feel much comfortable in that position with my very hunched back, so I missed it. They made a short run always up and they stopped again at the bottom of the little rocky wall of the peak. I reloaded immediately and I followed them. Now the shot distance was 420 meters. A new adjustment to the ballistic turret, considering also the wind, and I aimed it. Knowing it was the last chance before they would disappear behind the pinnacle, I stopped breathing for few seconds aiming it and this time the cross was precisly behind the shoulder. I squeezed the trigger and the vaal rhebok did some meters before falling down. It took quite a while to reach the antelope on the top of the peak. This was a special trophy considering it was no typical: the right horn was inclined upward like a reedbuck, instead the left horn was normal straight up. A nice addition to my enormous satisfaction considering, at the moment I am writing this report, it’s my longest shot made it even more difficult by the fact this antelope has the size of a roe deer female so the target was little.

After lunch on those mountains we directed to a marshy area, the good terrain for the lechwe. From a knoll we spotted 10-15 lechwe females with two bulls. One was adult but not mature instead the other was old. We understood which one was the dominant older bull of the herd by the fact he followed the females instead the other was lying down. The bull carried nice wide horns, I liked it so much. With the good wind we approached them, almost crawling on the ground and we got at around 150 meters from the lechwe. Again I lay down because if we tried up from the stick, the herd would spotted us for sure. As soon as the old lechwe was broadside I shot and he fell straight down on his shadow. This was one of my most desidered trophy of this safari, I love it’s horn shape and colouration comparing it with the waterbuck which belongs to the same genus Kobus.

Now the main target of this very extensive area was the mountain reedbuck. We spent the rest of the afternoon searching for a mature ram: there were many mountain reedbuck rams but we spotted only young ones. The sunset came and we were about to return to the lodge, but first the PH decided to observe a new mountainous conformation. We spotted a group of mountain reedbuck in the middle of these mountains at 240 meters. There were 9 specimens (females and young ones). The PH said that a male had to be there. It was almost dark when the male appeared from behind a bush higher than the herd. With the spotting scope the PH exclaimed he was a very old ram with a gold medal trophy 100%. I was lying down with the rifle, I could still see his shape in the optic. But I was not confident about the success of the shot due to the darkness advancing more and more with an easy chance to miss or worse to wound him. So I told to the PH that it was better to look for that specific male next morning and the PH approved completely my decision. The PH and the trackers were confident to find this mountain reedbuck group with that big male in the same place next morning after a night spending to feed. We left them calm, already with the idea to return straight there at the first light of dawn.
 

Ferruccio

AH senior member
Joined
Feb 13, 2019
Messages
72
Reaction score
286
Media
255
Hunting reports
Africa
2
Member of
Safari Club International
Hunted
South Africa, Tanzania, Namibia, Italy, Spain, Croatia, Russia, Turkey

Day 3​

At the first lights of the morning we were ready at the bottom of these mountains, but no mountain reedbucks were spotted. Knowing that the sun rose on the other side, the PH and the trackers agreed during the previous night that it would be more chance to find the mountain reedbucks on that mountain facade because they like to take the first warm of the sun after a cold night. It was the beginning of the winter and at those altitudes the temperature can go under zero during the night. So in general the animals prefer to stay where they are able to warm up when the morning begins. We kept moving on the top to get a view below us. It was also a way to warm up ourselves. When we were on the peak, the trackers noticed on our left in a hollow a group of mountain reedbucks. They were at 117 meters from us. The male was on the extreme left of the herd, not completely broadside but it was turning ¾ with his butt facing us. The mountain reedbucks looked us. When the stick was open, I put the rifle on it and the PH judged the male with the binocular. After few seconds he told me that it was the same male of yesterday late evening. Immediately I aimed behind the shoulder and the mountain reedbuck fell down on his shadow. The bullet exit was near the base of neck. The mountain reedbuck herd had chosen to stay in this hollow of the mountain in order to stay more sheltered from the night cold waiting for the first morning heat. The low night temperatures provoked their behavior to be less active, still a little numb. This mountain reedbuck was really a stupendous gold medal trophy. Very very old with the second regrowth of the horns significantly marked. I couldn’t ask for a better mountain reedbuck trophy.

From this hunting area to the main lodge, which would be our permanent stay, were two and half hours of driving and considering it was still early after the success on the mountain reedbuck we decided to look for a blesbok for my dad. There was a big herd of blesbok, more than one hundred, which loved to stay on a big plateau valley. We got there and very soon we noticed how much those blesbok were scared at the arrival of the jeep. They started to run and they stopped at minimum 400 meters from us. They were some nice rams but the mix of strong wind, very long shot distances and the fact they were continuosly overlapping made the shot very difficult. We tried some times but in the end we decided that it would be better to look for a more calm blesbok in an other situation. We passed trough the same two peaks where I shot the day before the vaal rhebok and we encountered also a floack of blue cranes, the National bird of South Africa. The tracker of the area brought us in a new plateau where he often saw many blesbok. There were many black wildebeest and also some springbok and blesbok but no good rams. On the way back a solitary blesbok ram appeared to us. It was a good specimen. My dad lay down and the distance was 260 meters. The blesbok was right broadside, but the strong wind from the left side did the bullet passed just few centemeters from his chest considering the height of the shot was precisly on the shoulder. The blesbok ran away, a very pit that the chance was missed just only for the wind. Now it was time to pack the luggages to move on the main lodge.

The operations were finished rather later in the afternoon, but we have still a little time for the last hunt of the day: more or less in the middle between this area and the one of the main lodge there was an other area where a population of springbok lives with some rams are carrying nice trophies above averange for the south african subspecies. I was really interested in one of those South Africa National animal. We arrived in this new area just about 30-40 minutes before sunset, so we had few time available. During the drive we met many springboks, but we had to go higher on the mountains, the place where the biggest springboks love to stay considering they have open grounds to spot better the threat at long ranges. When we arrived in the good spot it was just 10-15 minutes before sunset. We noticed a big springbok at more than 300 meters: already with the naked eye we coud see how much bigger was is body compared to the other springboks. The PH showed me that springbok on the spotting scope and I could admire how high were his horns with the tips curving a little backward. For sure a deserving ram. As soon as we started the approach, that springbok ran away over the top. We stalked him, but before we could see him again we came across an other springbok herd with an other nice ram bigger in body compared to the others. They were on a peak higher than us. This new ram carried more pronounced tips curving backward but considerably shorter in height compared with the first one. But also this was a deserving trophy. The herd looked us, I lay down and for the rush of the short time left I shot but the bullet passed over his back due the angle site. Before they disappeared behind a new mountain, I tried a new shot. Also this time I missed him, considering the bipod was not even because the ground was disconnected by stones. After this shot, we noticed the previous big springbok was moving in the mountain gorge. We followed him and I lay down again at a certain point. The ram stopped for few seconds and I shot. Also this time the bullet didn’t hit the target. Now it was dark and we had to return back to the main lodge. Although the success of the morning with the beautiful mountain reedbuck, we felt whipped for these wasted opportunities on these two very nice springboks. The PH told me that the next days we couldn’t return here because from the main lodge was a travel of about 90 minutes. We had to focus on other animal which lived nearby the main lodge like bushbuck, common reedbuck and blesbok. In my mind I couldn’t wait to clear this pending account with one of those two springboks.

Day 4​

We were in a area which was inhabited by a big cape bushbuck population. Also the common reedbuck population was good here. This was made possible by the kind of environment: there were open fields were bushbucks and common reedbucks could feed surrounded by little forests or big quantity of bushes where they could hide easily in a short time. Moreover in many spots the grass was very high: the perfect environment for the common reedbuck which loves to lie down unseen during the day being a nocturnal antelope. The only times you can be lucky to see a common reedbuck is early morning till sunrise and late afternoon when he starts to feed in the fields. Here the bushbuck had a strange behavior for the species, prefering to feed in late morning till almost lunch time and starting again again to come out almost two hours before sunset. Probably this is due to the scarce human pressure.

We stopped the pick-up and we walked trough some open areas with tall grass bordering woody areas. In 15 minutes of walking we met three bushbuck rams, the last one was estimated almost 13 inches. But it was the first morning we dedicated to the bushbuck, we had other 6 full hunting days: we had time to try to meet a bigger and older ram. We continued the rest of the day searching for the bushbuck, we saw many rams but not a right one. We tried also an approach to a small group of blesbok where there was a good dominant male, but they kept a long distance immediately after they spotted us. After sunset we met five common reedbucks , but the two males were not fully mature.

Day 5​

We continued our search in the morning for a nice and old bushbuck without results. After lunch we left the main lodge earlier compared to the day before in order to try for the blesbok without wasting time for bushbuck and common reedbuck. We noticed a solitary blesbok near to an haggard bush on the plains. For sure it was a male with an high probabilty to be old. Infact it was and my dad got closer to him. The blesbok was looking to my dad and the PH and it was almost a frontal shot. At 160 meters the PH opened the stick and my dad shot it. I was observing the hunting action with the binocular and I noticed the blesbok started to run with his right front leg broken but keeping his head down and not so fast for just a broken leg. The blesbok went under an other hagging bush. On the anschuss we found almost no blood, but some more brownish and greenish spots: a sign that it was hit also in the stomach. The two little terrier dogs of the PH were put on his tracks and in few seconds they started to bark behind the bush we saw it going. The two dogs turned around the blesbok, but when it saw us getting closer he ran with the two dogs following him. They were able to stop him again after a short run. For the mortal wounds, the blesbok lay down. My dad couldn’t shoot to finish him with the dogs around the antelope. The PH called the dogs to him and they left enough free space for the resolutive shot. We had the proof that the bullet first broke the frontal leg and then hit the stomach. The blesbok was old with very thick bases. We passed the remaining time always looking for the bushbuck and the common reedbuck in the late evening. During the wayback to the main lodge, the PH told me that the next day we could go to the springbok area for a new and perhaps last chance, hoping to conclude the hunt in the early morning and to return to the main lodge at luch time considering the almost three hours of travelling in total. I couldn’t sleep very well thinking that it could be the only chance to get my cursed springbok.
 

Mike B.

Gold supporter
AH veteran
Joined
Jul 6, 2015
Messages
167
Reaction score
392
Location
Utah
Deals & offers
1
Media
37
Hunting reports
Africa
2
USA/Canada
1
Hunted
Zimbabwe, South Africa, Namibia, British Columbia, Western US
This is great, thank you for sharing! You've done well. I can't wait to get back there next year.
 

Forum statistics

Threads
45,077
Messages
910,202
Members
78,908
Latest member
DelmarKIP
 

 

 

Latest profile posts

Wayne Johnson wrote on Angelo_orygun's profile.
I already have a die.My shipping address is; and your email is for F&F, Thanks
[redacted]
timfts wrote on Esoteric Junkie's profile.
is Randall still avail.
Roberto Mervicini wrote on krish's profile.
Hello Krish, a member told me that maybe you could help. I am making a 470 Capsticklooking to buy a chamber reamer, reloading die and need some info in regard to loading a 500 grain bullet .475 hard cast gas check to start, have : IMR 4350, 4831, 3031, h1000, RETUMBO and N150.
If you could help i appreciate,
Best Regards, Thanks Roberto
Got this old guy this year in Mafikeng on the plains with a long shot at 300ms he measured just over 19.5 inch
blesbuck.jpg
 
Top