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Equine connoisseur
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Day 2

One thing that we did not do was get up early. Suited me just fine. LOL Their argument was that the unusually cold weather made the animals stay back in the bush (brush). Around 10 was when we saw the most activity and then again right before dark.

Clinton had to go to the airport to pick up some clients from Dallas/Ft Worth, so Bryan and I loaded up with John Henry in his Toyota jeep. Typically, when we drove around, we would spot some animals, glass them, and then either drive on or get out and stalk them. John spotted some impala right off, and he and Bryan took off on a stalk. It was slightly small by their standards, so they hiked back. Similarly, we spotted a herd of wildebeest and John and I stalked them, but the bull was neither old enough nor wide enough. We drove around for a while with John giving us running commentary on the history and conditions of the ranch. It has been in their family for several generations and will be incorporated into the adjoining Marakele National Park within several years with the family being able to retain hunting rights.

John looked back at me and said, "Get ready, we have been seeing a very large blue wildebeest bull at the next water hole." Immediately my blood started pumping while thinking about shot placement. A shoulder shot is highly recommended and lower than you would shoot a whitetail. We rounded the corner and, "There he is! You must shoot him!" Dang, that's what I like to hear. LOL The bull was drinking and never saw us, and he turned and started walking away. There was a bush in my way, so John eased up another 15-20 feet and whistled. The bull stopped and turned broadside, so I let 'er rip. He jumped, spun around a couple of times and took off. Simon the tracker looked at me, smiled and gave me a thumbs up. We saw him run across the road holding one leg. John said to load another shell and come on. We piled out and went to the spot where we saw him last and started tracking. There was not much blood, so I started questioning my shot. It felt good, but maybe I pulled it? Bryan then spotted the bull lying down. John & I eased up and I dispatched him with another shot. We waited a few minutes and then started shaking hands. Mine were already shaking. LOL The first shot hit him right behind the shoulder and would have been fatal, but they don't take any chances. After a few pictures and measurements (28.5" wide, 78 SCI) we loaded him up and took him back to camp. They are sure funky looking critters, heck, everything over there is.

After lunch, we tried a game drive. Several of the natives started walking thru the brush at the wide end of a triangle-shaped pasture. They pushed game towards us and we waited at the narrow end. That had to come right to us because of the high all around. Doesn't always happen that way though. We had several young kudu bulls and a world class impala come out and then haul arse. No shots.

Later, we drove over to an adjoining ranch to hunt the rest of the day. We saw a white rhino with a baby and lots of impala. Game tracks were everywhere. After a couple of unsuccessful stalks we pulled up to a water hole and John told Bryan to shoot one of the impala rams that were there. Bryan ups and shoots him, and it runs off. We tracked it down and Bryan finished it off about 200 yds away. Beautiful and tough animal. We watched a bowhunting video where the archer shot over the impala. It ducked the arrow and jumped sideways about 25 feet! I kid you not, it was unbelievable.

As we were driving out, John spotted a warthog and told Bryan to take it. It turned right as he shot and it went through the middle. We started trailing it when John turns to us and gives us the best advice of the trip: "We are in black rhino country. When I tell you to run, I am not making a joke." I started looking left and right for a good tree. LOL Kinda made you feel like when you step out in the surf and you know sharks have been sighted. We found the warthog not very far off and loaded it up.

We drove back to the lodge, unloaded the animals and met the new hunters that flew in. The group of five were all repeat bowhunters with one of them taking over 60 animals and several top ten SCI trophies. These people were serious about their bowhunting. After a lot of smack talk and adult beverages, we called it a night.

1st pic-White rhino booking it for the brush. Let me tell you, these babies can MOVE!
2nd-Bryan & John after unsuccessful impala stalk.
3rd-Me and my wildebeest

I've got some more pics that are on a cd from a disposable camera, but can't upload because the picture files are too large. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Got some good pics on it too.

Day 3
We headed out to the ranch that we went to the first day to try and deplete the kudu population. Alas, it was not to be, the kudus won again. We split up with Clinton and I walking to the hills and Bryan and John stalking along the river.

We were walking along a dry creek bed when all of a sudden something woofed or barked at us and Clinton froze. He looked back and said that we had been spotted by a kudu bull. It was a real distinctive sound, not what I would imagine an antelope would sound like. We looked and glassed but it was well hidden. About 5 minutes of walking he looked up on the hillside to our right and there were 3 cows and a big kudu bull traveling up it. He said that it has to be one of biggest bulls he had seen in this area, around 60 inches...a real trophy class bull. He said,"Would you like to go up after it?" I told him to lead off and I would be right behind him. Well, I was behind him all right. After several breathers and skinned appendages, we made the top. There were lots of tracks up there, so we started easing around and looking. I glanced over at the next mountain and there they were. They had beat us over the hill and were even further away. We watched them for a while and then they left the scene. Dang, what a memory! Bryan and John jumped a bull but never got close to it either.

The rest of the morning was spent walking and then we went back to the home ranch the rest of the afternoon. We did a lot of looking but no shooting. It was alright though, great scenery.

We visited with the bow hunters and watched some videos at the lodge and then ate big ribeyes and t-bones that John Henry grilled in the fireplace. Mmmm, mmmm good.

We discussed the next day's strategy and kept hoping we would get to hunt a ranch that was going to become part of the Park. It was around 10,000 acres that had not been hunted in 9 years. Clinton had toured it and said the animals were awesome and we were drooling. Unfortunately, they never got the go ahead, as the ranch was owned by a corporation in Denmark and they couldn't give us a yes or a no. Rats.

TBC...

Pablo
 

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http://talesofhumor.blogspot.com/
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That's going to be a ton of meat to bring home! Wow! What a great trip you're having! Keep the stories coming!
 

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An Over 60 Victim Of Fate
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Man, before you know it Pablo, you'll be another Capstick with these stories. Hurry and get to the part where you rescue the blonde chick who had been abducted by mean pigmys and shot until your barrel got so hot it bent! :)

Keep them coming.

TH
 

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Barnacle Bill-

Unless the regulations have changed you can't bring any meat back. Kind of a bummer as Impala meat is about as good as it gets from what my Dad tells me. I know when he went several years ago you couldn't bring meat back, but you could bring hides and horns. Kind of strange to me and most other conservation oriented minds.
 
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