The Adventure Begins!!!!

Rare Breed

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My two week adventure begins!!! Targeting Rhino, Buff, assorted PG and finally a Trophy Bull Elephant!!! I will be providing parts to this trip in pieces by day hoping that is okay. Have you ever had a travel trip that went perfect? Well this was it. 14.5 hour trip from Atlanta to JNB went perfect…on time flight, TSA very friendly wishing me success. Recently a poster asked the value of using a company to help get through customs to your hotel…I always use henry@rifle permits. Marius is nothing short of incredible!!! As soon as I came out of the gate there was the sign with my name. There were already over 200 people standing in the custom line…I got taken up to the very front of everyone and processed through. They had a cart for me, collected my bag then took me to collect my rifles. They had the police waiting with my rifle checked my numbers then handed me my completed rifle license. They then took me to the City Lodge. In 35 minutes from deplane to hotel…there were people still waiting in the custom line!!!! $200 worth every penny!!!! To be continued
 
Looking forward to the rest of the story. I will be hoping to trace your exact steps to City Lodge in late June on my way to Mozambique.
 
Keep us posted and have a great adventure Gauteng is very wet at the moment.
 
And so it begins...
good luck and do not forget to share some updates before you post the full blow by blow :)
Can't wait to see that Rigby propped up against something big ;)
 
My two week adventure begins!!! Targeting Rhino, Buff, assorted PG and finally a Trophy Bull Elephant!!! I will be providing parts to this trip in pieces by day hoping that is okay. Have you ever had a travel trip that went perfect? Well this was it. 14.5 hour trip from Atlanta to JNB went perfect…on time flight, TSA very friendly wishing me success. Recently a poster asked the value of using a company to help get through customs to your hotel…I always use henry@rifle permits. Marius is nothing short of incredible!!! As soon as I came out of the gate there was the sign with my name. There were already over 200 people standing in the custom line…I got taken up to the very front of everyone and processed through. They had a cart for me, collected my bag then took me to collect my rifles. They had the police waiting with my rifle checked my numbers then handed me my completed rifle license. They then took me to the City Lodge. In 35 minutes from deplane to hotel…there were people still waiting in the custom line!!!! $200 worth every penny!!!! To be continued
Rifles and Ammo taken: Montana 404 J 400 grain Hornady DGX. 470 NE DR 500 grain CEB solids

First, Windshoek is absolutely incredible!!! The history is amazing dating back to 1892. I will be posting pictures of everything when I get back. The rooms are amazing immaculate!!!! When I arrived they had a wonderful drink for me with a sign that said welcome Craig Hodnett which is me! My room also had my name on the front door bidding me welcome! They have a wonderful wine room, large dining area with beautiful pool in the back. Each room has its own veranda. Completing the atmosphere is a wonderful fire area with surrounding rock walls.

For anyone thinking of bringing a spous or partner this is the place…my wife is a germaphobe and this place would pass her inspection!

The food is simply excellent! Of course SA wines are wonderful!
But it is the people that truly make this place just wonderful. I will be introducing you to them shortly given I want to spell their names correctly. I will tell you this, my PH is nothing short of fantastic! His favorite sport is shooting targets from 300-1000 yards in the prone position with open sights and a sling no bipod!!! His can do attitude his eagle eyes have thus far given us two animals…I just cannot say enough good things about him

Windshoek is 300,000 acres of beautiful country. On this hunt, my Rhino to help me with my big 5 vision is the main animal. I am hunting cull PGs to enjoy the experience for whatever Africa offers.
First Afternoon
We saw a wide variety of game with list too long to name them all! I saw my first Rhino on the 300,000 acres running with its calf…incredible!!! I wanted a Sable so off we went looking. Late in the afternoon we suddenly saw a lone broken horn old bull that had just crossed the road and off we went. We drove about 300 more yards to get the wind right and off we went. While you think the terrain is open the tall grass in April deceives you…it was quite thick in areas. We tracked him a long way only to see a large Sable bull chasing our targeted one the opposite way from where we had just walked!!! Back we went the other way after them! Did I tell you my PH had Eagle eyes? Suddenly he stops, glasses and says your bull is right under those trees hidden about 300 yards out…we stalk to about 110 yards and up go the sticks. My 404J roars and the bull drops right there. Oh what an afternoon! My bull, pictures to follow, was 13 years old with his teeth to his gum line. My PH said he would not have lasted another winter. When we pulled up to the lodge wonderful Marie was there to greet us with warm towels and glasses of sherry…talk about getting spoiled!!!! A wonderful dinner followed with a nice glass of scotch by the fire and off to bed with a smile on my face for day 1!!!
 
Day two:
Great breakfast and we are off. For those coming to SA in April the mornings and evenings get cold. Mid days warm. I want to say despite monthly practice on my farm shooting range I am an average shot. However I know using ballistic tables and my own diligent practice out to 300 yards what my new 404J will do. This is so critical to understand. In the morning we spotted some Gemsbok one with a broken horn so out we went. The problem quickly became upon our stalk we were quickly running out of cover. My PH said Craig your bull is at 305 yards and does not know we are here. We cannot get any closer can you make this shot? My mind said 24 inch drop at 300 yards with my 404J…I had a great rest on sticks with no rush. My shot took him low in the shoulder and he was down!!! Have I told you I am just an average shot? The rifle is so much better than me! The 404J with Hornady DGX ammo impressed me greatly!!! After a great lunch and nap we were off for our afternoon hunt. Eland is my absolute favorite animal to eat and I wanted one. We worked hard all afternoon trying to find and close into one. Finally late in the day my eagle eye PH spotted a small group so with the wind in our favor away we went. The skill of my PH using every bush to stay hidden cannot be over stated!!! Finally at 150 yards I made the shot putting the Eland down…what an incredible day!!!! Upon arrival I was met with warm towels and a drink as I got off the truck…did I tell you they are spoiling me!!! Dinner was fantastic with the very best ox tail I have ever had!!!!

Tomorrow is the big day for my Rhino!!!! Stay tuned !!!!
 
Good luck with your Rhino.
 
Sounds like a great adventure!
 
Off to a great start. Keep it up! Congratulations
Bruce
 
Day two:
Great breakfast and we are off. For those coming to SA in April the mornings and evenings get cold. Mid days warm. I want to say despite monthly practice on my farm shooting range I am an average shot. However I know using ballistic tables and my own diligent practice out to 300 yards what my new 404J will do. This is so critical to understand. In the morning we spotted some Gemsbok one with a broken horn so out we went. The problem quickly became upon our stalk we were quickly running out of cover. My PH said Craig your bull is at 305 yards and does not know we are here. We cannot get any closer can you make this shot? My mind said 24 inch drop at 300 yards with my 404J…I had a great rest on sticks with no rush. My shot took him low in the shoulder and he was down!!! Have I told you I am just an average shot? The rifle is so much better than me! The 404J with Hornady DGX ammo impressed me greatly!!! After a great lunch and nap we were off for our afternoon hunt. Eland is my absolute favorite animal to eat and I wanted one. We worked hard all afternoon trying to find and close into one. Finally late in the day my eagle eye PH spotted a small group so with the wind in our favor away we went. The skill of my PH using every bush to stay hidden cannot be over stated!!! Finally at 150 yards I made the shot putting the Eland down…what an incredible day!!!! Upon arrival I was met with warm towels and a drink as I got off the truck…did I tell you they are spoiling me!!! Dinner was fantastic with the very best ox tail I have ever had!!!!

Tomorrow is the big day for my Rhino!!!! Stay tuned !!!!
Let me introduce you to the great people at Windshoek. The overall manager is Gideon, the lodge manager is Marie, Another great lady is Gideon’s wife Liza’s, chef is Douglas. My incredible PH is JohanMaritz…did I mention he is SA’s national champion for the before mentioned open sights long distant shooting? THREE times!!! Our trusty driver and tracker is Richard who is just awesome!
 
My two week adventure begins!!! Targeting Rhino, Buff, assorted PG and finally a Trophy Bull Elephant!!! I will be providing parts to this trip in pieces by day hoping that is okay. Have you ever had a travel trip that went perfect? Well this was it. 14.5 hour trip from Atlanta to JNB went perfect…on time flight, TSA very friendly wishing me success. Recently a poster asked the value of using a company to help get through customs to your hotel…I always use henry@rifle permits. Marius is nothing short of incredible!!! As soon as I came out of the gate there was the sign with my name. There were already over 200 people standing in the custom line…I got taken up to the very front of everyone and processed through. They had a cart for me, collected my bag then took me to collect my rifles. They had the police waiting with my rifle checked my numbers then handed me my completed rifle license. They then took me to the City Lodge. In 35 minutes from deplane to hotel…there were people still waiting in the custom line!!!! $200 worth every penny!!!! To be continued
Good luck mate!
 
I know that you'll have a fantastic adventure. Do keep us posted.
 
The Day of The Rhino!!!!
First no question the greatest hunt I have ever been on as you will not believe what happened not once but twice!!! What is it about me??? Am I just a charge magnet??? What an incredible job The Wintershoek company do as an incredible team!!! 7 people were involved in this hunt all working together for me which is humbling to experience how hard they work. I felt honored the owner of Wintershoek is the head PH who does all the Rhino hunts guided me.

It starts with the anti poaching team locates a great bull. If you think that means it’s easy stay tuned because you are in for a rude awakening…we started at 10 and finished at 3 but wait until you hear the experience…I should stop here but love you people so will continue. You have to get within 20 yards of these wild animals for the shot which you will find is absolutely no easy task. Rhino may have poor eyesight but their hearing is second to none. They hear the slightest out of place sound. We started out only to find the huge bull looking for a place to bed down after feeding…8 miles later I am not kidding he finally slowed down enough for our stalk to 20 yards. Up went the sticks, wait, wait he is behind a bush feeding the wind is in our favor…the owner had told me to shoot for the neck or hump but stupid me has the kill shot so engrained in me I shoot on the shoulder. The dart bounces off without penetrating and he charges us I mean head on full tilt!!!!! Let the bleeding begin as I jump into my first thorn tree as he thunders past at two yards!!! I thought that was awe inspiring enough but oh no…the owner says you need to get the vida dart in him in the right place so off we go again after him. We pick up his tracks and away we go. An hour later we see him under a tree feeding. We stalk within 20 yards which is awe inspiring given their hearing. This time I hit him perfectly in the hump only to have him whirl and charge again!!!!I kid you not!!! This time I jump headlong into a thorn tree trying my best to get in the middle but first I almost ran to far around the tree and came within a couple of feet of running into the charging rhino!!!! Hope you are excited…my heart was coming out of my chest and literally they had to pry me out of the thorn tree(see pictures). The vet then puts him down and the pictures begin. He measured 24 5/8 inches. OMG the absolute experience of a lifetime!!!!

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Glad you had such a great experience with your rhino.
 
WOW!!!!!!! What an adventure, congratulations on your Rhino, what a beautiful animal! Yes, what's up with you and charges, first Lion, now Rhino. LOL!!!!!! Keep it coming, anxiously waiting for more. (y)
 
Some people have all the fun... :cool:
Patiently awaiting the less exaggerated reports of your demise! (kidding)
 
What an adventure! I had never even considered the fact that a rhino could charge after being shot by a vita dart!
Well done for accomplishing the first mission!

He is a stud, are you having a replica of the horn made?
 

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JG26Irish_2 wrote on WISafariHunter's profile.
About Lon's Elephant hunts w/Tokoloshe? I hear Lon is battling cancer? What is his long term prognosis? I am already booked to hunt Africa in 2024 2025. Might consider 2026 for another African hunt. I want to hunt a more wild open region devoid of civilization. Concern is the risk that I book f/2026 then find poor Lon has passed on? Does Lon have any assistance to carry on the business in his absence?
Life is Short live it how you want...
jgraco33 wrote on 85lc's profile.
Is your 22HP still available? If so have the original case?
tacklers wrote on ianevans's profile.
Hi Ian, I'm contemplating my first outing, leaving UK via Dubai to Africa, taking rifles as you did.

I presume it went okay for you, would you have done anything differently? Cheers, Richard East Sussex
A.A. wrote on Msprenger!'s profile.
Are you still looking for a 375 H&H?
 
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