Discussion in 'Hunting Reports Africa' started by gillettehunter, Sep 2, 2019.
Some ups and downs but sounds like a great time.
That is awesome. Loved the report. I really appreciate telling the failures along with the successes. I like to know that others are human too. Congrats...you earned it.....FW Bill
The Sunday Klipspringer
I still have 2 hunting days, but only 1 remaining animal that is important to me on this trip here in RSA. A Klippy. One of the tiny 10 and a cool looking critter. When we hunted them on day 2 Willie had told me of an old ram that was very nice for the area we were hunting. We hadn't seen him that first evening. Today Willie was hopeful that we could find him. A bit spooky and sly he had given Willie the slip in the past.
I woke up around 4AM to the wind blowing. Just what we don't really need. Nothing that anyone can do about it tho. Breakfast at 7 like normal and off about 8. We went into town for some fuel and coke to continue on with.
We stopped by the landowners place and showed them the pics of the Vaalie. Then off to look for the Klippy. We stopped a ways down the hill to glass to rocks above. After a few minutes Willie says I can see one. Following his line of sight I soon found it also. We grabbed the rifle and the spotting scope to see what we had. From the road it was 469 yards. Too far with a wind going from 6-12 mph. We hoped to gain at least 50-60 yards to the edge of the draw separating us from the Klippies.
Just as we got to the edge of the draw they spooked. Willie had told me some days they can be very spooky and some days you can get to 200 yds. They headed up the hill and we followed as best we could. They'd stop and we'd look till we found them and try to close in. 2 more times they spooked and stopped. Then they tried to hide with one laying down. We moved to a good shooting position. Willie ranged them at 269 yards. As I was settling in they moved a bit. Willie directed me to which one was the ram. I settled in to make the shot. All of a sudden I saw the female run behind the ram and I knew he would immediately follow. He stepped clear of a branch and stopped. I started to squeeze as he took off to follow the female. He was 1/2 second too late. I hit him way back but the 180 gr Berger had him down and dead very quickly.
This was a very old ram. He only had 3 teeth left. Even under good conditions he had very little time left. With the drought he was on borrowed time. He is well over 4 inches. For the area he is very respectable. He was done growing horn length for sure. I'm excited to have him. An old warrior in his own right. We brought him back to the car and back to the landowners to cape him out. We were done at around noon. Its Sunday so we're taking the rest of the day off. Perhaps a nap?
On the way back I missed a baboon at about 350 yds. Little off on my hold. We'll see how fast the internet is today. That will determine how many pics I load.
Congrats on the klippy! Makes it even better that he was a very old ram
Another fine trophy! What a successful hunt!
I’ve never seen that many different flowers blooming! I need to make a trip this time of the season I guess.
Thanks for the pictures!
I should probably take a moment and talk about some of the ancillary things to this hunt.
First the properties. I started off in the Western Cape and then on to the Northern cape. Not areas with high densities of game farms. Much of what we hunted are low fence. Used to keep sheep in. The game goes where it wants to. The eland were kept for the landowners hunting. These properties ranged from maybe 2500 acreas to upwards of 100,000 acres up where we hunted the Vaalies and Klippie. Outside of the springbuck I feel like its been fair chase. The Springbuck on foot in that area would of been challenging.
Second is lodging. I started off in a "bed and breakfast" that also provided the evening meal. Nice and clean. Only minor complaint would be you need your own soap and shampoo. Willie got me taken care of as soon as I mentioned it to him. It was a very nice place. The second is a farm with a game drive for visitors to see the animals. Stars at night and there must be a 4 wheeling area around here. They are full up on weekends and less so during the week. Breakfast and dinner included. Rooms are clean. First night a little cool, but good heavy quilt on the bed allowed me to sleep fine. Plenty of hot water in the shower. Full kitchen facility. Just need to be aware that the internet is only available in the eating hall. For me perhaps a 100 ft walk. No big deal to me.
Third is the food. At the first the breakfast was yogurt and granola and fruit. Works good for me. The evening meals were delicious. Plenty to eat and no complaints. The breakfast at the farm has been sausage, eggs, bacon and toast. Quite nice indeed. The dinners have been hearty and filling. I've felt the need to add some salt, but that is a personal thing.
Willie is a smaller operator. He is not set up for large groups. 1-2 people at a time is what works best for him at this time. He knows a huge number of people and has a variety of animals that he can hunt. His speciality tho is the Vaalies and Klippies. If either of those are on your must have list then he is a great one to consider.
Fourth is time of year. I chose this time because it worked with my Zambian hunt which was set up with another AH member to share camp with. This is a great time to be here because the flowers can be spectacular. I saw pics from 2 weeks before I got here and they were something special. I still saw a lot as you can see from the posts above. The other time Willie likes to hunt Vaalies is around April/May. They concentrate around water at that time and can be just a smidge easier.
Flying into Capetown was nice. I remember 3 yrs ago having to pay a fee to arrive and leave Kimberly. That makes Capetown an improvement.
Congratulations on a wonderful Safari. I too am heading to Zambia in October on Safari and am enjoying your story.
Great hunt! Hope you have a great time in Zambia too!
You are getting the job done on your tour.
I love that countryside.
So I have all of the animals that I really wanted. Now its just bonus animals. Looking for less expensive interesting options. Here in the area Willie has Black and Blue Wilderbeast as well as white Blesbuck. All priced under $500. I have good wilderbeast trophies so we elect to try Blesbuck. The landowner is interesting.... He doesn't get along well with some of the neighbors and wants paid before we hunt. Perhaps that should of been the warning signal all was not quite right. Willie had been told that there was a good trophy animal in this "camp". It was probably 4-5000 acres with a cattle type of fence around it.
We meet some of the landowners people at the edge of the property. Money is paid and we're left with a worker to hunt with. There are 2 Blesbuck near the road that the Farmers people said were 2 bulls off by themselves. We looked at them and Willie thought one was nice, but we decided to see if we could look at the others. A drive up the hill and a look around found a herd of 12 animals. One good bull in the group. Willie felt that the one down by the road may be slightly better. So back down the hill we go.
We made a couple a hundred yard stalk to find them bedded. They stood looked at us and started to take off. Willie said the one on the right hand side was the better one. We moved to some rocks and I set up to shoot. m They stopped, turned broadside and looked back at us. I knew they were under 200 yds so I pulled the trigger and down it went. I was high and back, but the Berger put it down in its tracks. When we walked up on the Blesbuck Willie started swearing.... It was a cow. Old cow. So old the teeth were worn clear down to the gums and much of the ridges gone from her horns.
Willie made a rookie mistake that it was a bull as the farmers workers had said without checking for himself. I will freely admit that I'm not really a Blesbuck fan. This is 2 I've killed and neither were quite what I expected. This is the last day of 6. I've had a great hunt with some exceptional trophies. Mistakes happen. So I choose to laugh about it. Willie still doesn't think its funny and right now he is swearing off hunting Blesbuck. Some would tell Willie thats not what they bargained for and not want to pay. I understand that, but I pulled the trigger and am ultimately responsible. What it boils down to is we are all human and make mistakes. I can afford the mistake more readily than what Willie can.
We will prepare to leave tonight for the airport. Willie wants to leave at 11 PM tonight to make sure I have plenty of time to make my 6 AM flight. I'll be in Zambia tomorrow. Been a great start to my hunt this year.
I'll see if I can get up some pics of the housing.
So we actually left early aftn for Cape Town and spent the night with another hunter just outside of town. Up early the next AM and off to the airport. Apparently some labor problems and unrest at airport. We literally found a fire set across the road to stop traffic. Willie picked a small gap drove right through it. Airport was fine. Rifle charges were a PITA. Close to $120 all said and done.
In Joberg I met up with my hunting companion @LivingTheDream waiting for our flight. Mike and his dad came to Wy. a couple of yrs ago and I helped them get a couple of antelope. Mike booked with Balla Balla in Zambia and when I asked if he wanted company he was gracious enough to invite me to be in camp together. So it worked out well for both of us.
We are going to write the Zambia segment together so we'll start a new thread. The title for that will be Balla Balla in Zambia. We'll try to get that started soon.
Awesome eland and cobra! Looking-forward to your Zambian adventure!
Me too! I’m guessing internet is worse in Zambia than in rural Wyoming. . .
I keep checking this thread hoping for more-
New thread started on the Zambia portion. Title is: Zambia with Balla Balla safaris.
Separate names with a comma.