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hunter25's picture
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Location: Colorado western slope
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That's the way I do it, Other

That's the way I do it,

Other than once copied just hitting control and v at the same time is the same as the paste thing.

woods1126's picture
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Location: Finger Lakes, Upstate New York
Joined: 12/08/2010
Posts: 167
First Day on Safari

Thanks Guys for the technical help. Here we go. This is my story about our trip to South Africa. It all started with dreaming that one day I could hunt where I’ve watched the guys on tv hunt. I’ve been on a few other hunting trips, Alaska, British Columbia, a few western states and a couple providences in Canada. It started to become clear a few years ago that I could actually “do” this trip with less money than a good guided elk hunt out west would cost. I did a lot of research and found Mankazana Safaris. I called the booking agent and we soon became good friends. I booked the trip for my wife and I at first. Then about 3 monthes later we decided to bless our 15 year old son Josh with the opportunity to join us. We also invited a lifelong friend and hunting buddy of mine Joe H. and his wife Roberta to come along. They jumped at the chance. The 18 months flew by and before we knew it, we were on our way to Africa. The flight was long but worth it. We were met by the owners wife and a PH at the Port Elizabeth airport and were driven to camp. We saw our first “African animals” on our way to the lodge. We saw Kudu, Zebras, Impalas, Ostriches, Springbok, Blesbok, and a Red Hartebeest. I think then it started to “sink in” that we were in Africa! We were met by the staff, Frans Busshian, (the owner) and a wonderful dinner. Dinner was awesome! Kudu pate, for appetizers, Black Wildebeest backstraps, assorted veggies and rolls baked on an open fire for the main course and wonderful homemade lemon meringue pie for dessert. Assorted wines, beers and soft drinks were served. We slept in the next morning and had a wonderful brunch. Warthog sausage, bacon, eggs done the way you want them, toast and assorted jellies and jams. Mango juice and orange juice plus tea and coffee for beverages. We then went to the range to check our rifles. I brought my Remington 300 ultra mag. With 200 gr., Accubond handloads. Joe brought his custom Sisk in 257 Weatherby mag. with 120 gr. Nosler Partition factories. We were both good at the bench but not so good off “the sticks”. I brought my Harris bi-pod and I was fine when sitting or prone. Joe tried the Caldwell DeadShot, I brought along and shot much better. We then went back to the lodge and planned the afternoon hunt. By the way, on our way to the range we saw a very big Kudu bull that was a shooter probably pushing that magic 50” number. The only problem was we didn’t know if our rifles were on or not, so we couldn’t take the chance of shooting at him. Joe’s PH Gram told us we would see many more during our stay, seeing it was the middle of the rut, but probably not as large as this guy was. Gram was right. That afternoon I went with Frans and our tracker Mongazi to look for Kudu, but if something else that was a trophy presented itself, I would consider it. We walked to a ridge and we watched a real good Gemsbok bull but unfortunately he was broken on one side. We had a Duiker walk within 20 yards and then we saw a Kudu cow. She was about 200 yards away and Frans said get ready if a bull should appear. Within a few minutes a very nice, mature bull appeared. He only showed himself for a moment and was gone. The decision was made to go after him. We picked up and started up the ridge towards the spot the bull went over the top. We made it about 100 yards and Mongazi held out his hand and set the sticks up. About 60 yards in front of us he pointed at a pair of ivory tipped horns above an Acacia bush. I looked at Frans and he whispered “he’s a shooter”. The wind was in our face and the bull had no idea we were there. I had the rifle on the sticks and he took two steps into a small clearing. The rifle spoke and a 200gr. Accubond traveling at 3050 fps. struck the center of the bulls front shoulder. He ran away with absolutely no reaction. I was in shock. Frans asked me how the shot felt and that’s when we could hear the bull crash. “He’s down” Frans said! We walked to the spot he was standing at the shot. There was no blood at all. Mogazi picked up his tracks and led us right to him about 100 yards away. I teared up and thanked God for this beautiful animal. A photo session ensued and then a crew of eight men were picked up and brought to the Kudu. They picked him up and placed him in the back of the truck. We then dropped him off at the skinning building and we went back to the lodge for a wonderful meal. Appetizer was butternut squash soup. Main course of roasted chicken and grilled veggies with homemade breads. Desert was ice cream and homemade lemon meringue pie. Assorted beers, wines, soft drinks were offered also. We then sat around the fire and shared the days events until our eyes got too heavy.My buddy Joe H. did not have any opportunities at game he was looking for. My wife and son stayed at the lodge all day, relaxing and getting over some jet lag. That was my first day on safari. I will try to add as time allows. Thanks for your patience. Kevin

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Joined: 05/30/2012
Posts: 61
awesome

You could not ask for a better start than that! Good looking kudu!

I'm looking forward to reading more

Mike

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sounds like a great african

sounds like a great african hunt. congratulations on your good times there. thanks for the story and the pictures. just two more months and i will be back in namibia. Hammer

woods1126's picture
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Location: Finger Lakes, Upstate New York
Joined: 12/08/2010
Posts: 167
Thank you

Much thanks for all the very kind comments. I'm working on an abridged overview of the rest of our trip. I will post when complete. Good luck on your upcoming trip Kevin! Kevin

JSmitty's picture
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Location: Eunice, NM
Joined: 09/23/2008
Posts: 314
Thanks for shearing the

Thanks for shearing the stories, that may be the closest some of us ever get to the dark continent. But with the good stories it makes it seem a lot closer. Congratulations on the Kudu.

woods1126's picture
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Location: Finger Lakes, Upstate New York
Joined: 12/08/2010
Posts: 167
Day 2

Hello again, The second day started with me and my wife Sherry awakened by a soft knock at 5:15 am. We got our clothes on and met Frans (our PH) for coffee and toast in the kitchen at 5:45 and headed out by 6:00. We headed towards a valley about ten miles from the lodge. We parked the truck and had about a 20 minute walk to the top of a good size valley about 500 yards wide. We were about 150 yards above the bottom. The sun started to rise over our backs and reveal animals on the other side. We first spotted a couple Blesbok about a quarter mile away. We then spotted a pretty good Mountian Reedbuck on another ridge alittle father away and three Gemsbok beyond them. I glanced at my wife and could tell she was studying something. She was about 3 steps away, so I whispered and asked what she was looking at. She just pointed and right in front of us was a very nice Impala ram. Frans was about 15 yards to my right looking in a different direction and Mongazi (our tracker) was beyond Sherry somewhere. I made my way to Frans and told him about the Impala. We made our way back to give him “the once over”. He was a shooter but Frans said he wasn’t going anywhere and lets just keep looking while the Impala ram was feeding. About 30 minutes later I heard Sherry say “Kudu, Kudu, he’s right there”. I looked and there was a beautiful Kudu bull right below of us, about a150 yards out! He was feeding about 50 yards from the Impala. I told Frans “I want him”. We then started to look him over really, really well. Frans said he looked like a twin to the one I shot the previous day, (about 45” and narrow). He said if I were you I’d look for either a much bigger one or one with a different look, say wider or longer. He was right. So I said “I’ll take the Impala”. We set up for the shot and Frans then said “your not going to like what I’m gonna ask you”. I said “whats that” he said, “Lets pass on this Impala so Joe (my buddy) can come here tomorrow and try for this Kudu”. “If we shoot the Impala it will blow the Kudu out of here”. Frans was right again. We watched as the magnificent bull fed out of sight. We stayed alittle longer then backed out and walked back to the truck. We took a very scenic way back to the lodge and took many photos of the mountainous area. We arrived back to the lodge to the smell of bacon. I love that smell. After a great brunch we took a much needed nap. It seemed like only moments and we heard a soft knock on the door again. Time for the afternoon hunt. We headed only a few miles from the lodge and parked the truck. We walked for about 20 minutes very slowly. Mongazi followed by Frans and me in the rear. Sherry opted to stay back at the lodge. Mongazi lifted his hand and said Kudu. There where 6 Kudu cows. We watched with anticipation that a bull would appear, but nothing showed. We then walked a couple hundred more yards and spotted a Blesbok, but he wasn’t a shooter. We kept going and spotted a shooter Impala and I set up for the shot. Just as I got on the sticks he bolted. I felt the wind shift and hit the back of my neck. We proceeded to the top of a ridge and were met by a herd of Springbok. I counted 31. Only one was a ram and he was a “teenager” Frans said. The wind hit the back of our necks and the herd stampeded off. From this spot we were able to glass much of the area below us. After a few minutes Frans spotted a good Springbok ram bedded down in a meadow about 300 yards below. We made the stalk to 160 yards and ran out of cover. I put the crosshair on his shoulder as he stood up. He dropped at the shot. We made our way down to him. Frans said he was old and thought he probably got his butt kicked by that young ram, or he would be “servicing” all those females we saw. We took a bunch of photos and got out of there just as the sun fell. Back at the lodge we were met by my family, drinks and appetizers at the fire pit. We then went inside for a wonderful dinner. My buddy Joe passed on a nice Kudu bull looking for something near 50”. I hope he doesn’t regret that. That concludes Day 2. Enjoy Kevin

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JSmitty's picture
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Location: Eunice, NM
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Sounded like a good day

Sounded like a good day Thumbs up

elkkill06's picture
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Location: Fruita Colorado
Joined: 02/02/2009
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AWESOME

What an amazing story and pics ! Congrats on some amazing animals and thanks for sharing. Can't wait to read and see the rest.....

Quinton

woods1126's picture
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Location: Finger Lakes, Upstate New York
Joined: 12/08/2010
Posts: 167
Day 3

First off thanks for all the nice comments. I wanted to shorten this up but it seems if I do, it loses the "feel" of the day and moment, if you know what I mean. I am basically copying my daily journal from the trip. Anyways here we go on day 3.
I woke up at 4:30 am this morning. I am very tired and almost want to cancel this morning's hunt and opt for an afternoon sit. My buddy Joe and his PH Gram left at exactly 5:15 am and I had a cup of coffee in the kitchen and waited for Frans to arrive. His home is about 20 minutes away and he goes home to be with his young family every night. I could see lights coming down the laneway, so I got my gear ready. I met him in the driveway and he said “no rush, let’s have a cup of tea”. Frans is great and there is no other way to put it. I had another cup of coffee and about 15 minutes later we were driving to a new area to hunt. We were met by two Kudu cows on the way in. We parked the truck and began a very long hike up a rough and kind of steep path. After about 45 minutes we were very high. I asked Frans and he said we were at about 5000 ft. The view was incredible. The sun was up and we started to glass the bottom. The first animal I spotted was a female Bushbuck that Frans said has occupied this same valley for the past 7 seasons. He said every year she just gets grayer and grayer. Just like us I guess. Then we spotted a group of young male Waterbucks about 500 yards across the valley. I was hoping for a nice Blesbok or Impala today. As luck would have it, or the Man Upstairs would have it, I believe the latter, these animals would soon be replaced. We spotted two very good Kudu bulls about 2/3 of a mile away or so. There was also a great Waterbuck that Frans said would go in the high 20’s or possibly 30”, about 400 yards to the right of the Kudu bulls. The Waterbuck was awesome but out of my price range ($2400). I told Frans I would like to get a better look at one of the Kudu bulls. He was very wide and had deep curls. Kudu are $1150, so I was comfortable with getting a second one if it was very different than the one I killed the first day, like this one was. We were making our way down to the bottom to get closer to the Kudu bulls when the Mongazi (our tracker) and Frans both stopped abruptly. Frans then leaned back and whispered in my ear that a good mature male Bushbuck was about 200 yards below us. He asked me if I would like to try for him and I responded “yes”. I remembered a member here told me to get a Cape Bushbuck if the opportunity presented itself. The Bushbuck disappeared for a couple minutes in the thick bush below. Frans had me sit and put my bipod down on my rifle. It would be a very steep downward shot if I had any shot at all. Then Frans spotted him. I was looking and looking and I could not spot him. Even with Frans pointing down my barrel I could not see him! Then he moved and I could see the horns and his head. Frans said 169 yards and I then could make out the Bushbuck’s shoulder. He was quartering towards me. I said “I got him” and put the crosshair on the front of his shoulder. I said “I am going to shoot”, I squeezed the trigger and the Bushbuck disappeared at the shot. Frans and Mongazi said I hit him, but I lost him in the recoil. I did hear the hit though. We waited about 20 minutes and we then descended to the bottom to look for my Bushbuck. I could not believe how thick it was down there once we got down. The underbrush was about 8 feet tall and I was totally lost down there, everything looked the same, but to my amazement Mongazi not only brought me right to the dead Bushbuck, but also brought me to the spot I hit him! He was a dandy too alittle over 14” and gray. A good, mature, animal. All I could ask for. Frans then came down and met us. We took a coupl of photos were he fell and the carried him out for more photos in the open.
We headed back to the lodge and spotted 2 really big Black Wildebeest about a mile and a half from the lodge. I really liked the look of them. We were greeted by a wonderful brunch and then a nap. I told Frans to go home and spend the day with his family. I opted to stay back at the lodge this afternoon and hang out at the pool with my wife and son. It was a great day all around. But on a bad note, my buddy Joe wounded a Gemsbok that was never found. That put a damper on the day. Here are a few photos of the day. Enjoy

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