Bowhunting Greater Kudu and Cape Eland
After completing formalities at Johannesburg International Airport and collecting the bows, we set out for a 5 hour drive to the Northern part of South Africa through some breathtaking country, arriving in the late afternoon. Starting a fire for the evenings meal, the bows were checked. After a fine meal at the fireside, it was time to rest and get ready for the days of hunting to come.
Wearing scent-lok suits, we kitted up and waited in the hide. As this was a second African safari, and having taken Blue Wildebeest, Impala, Warthog, the hunt was focussed on kudu and Cape Eland bulls. At times we were surrounded by herds of Wildebeests, Impala, warthogs came in to quench their thirst, and immature kudu bulls and cows. The elusive trophy kudu bulls stayed within their bush thickets.
On the third day after glassing a large 23 head eland herd, Dr. Ward took a magnificent 1500 pound, 31 Inch Cape Eland Bull, a magnificent trophy. Two days later we relished Eland fillets prepared over hot coals, with a good South African Cab Savignon, under the African starlit sky, "this is what hunting is all about".
It took another 4 days until finally one of the big kudu bulls finally emerged. He walked right underneath the hide, a tribute to the full scentlok suits we were wearing, a shot from less that 15 yards secured the bull. Later the next day, we spotted another large bull, the question arose, shall I take him as well.
We decided to rather pass him over until later, hoping for a waterbuck bull we had sighted earlier to come in. It was September 11 as our pickup came down the road, we were confronted with the terrible news.
Dr. Ward, being a medical doctor, and having family in Washington, decided to try and return as soon as possible and we terminated the hunt.
The hunt for a ticket to the US had begun. Three days later we were still trying to get aboard a flight, everytime the delays turned into cancellations. Finally on day 4, after three frantic days we got a ticket back to the US.
In Dr. Wards own words " I will never forget any detail of this trip, I will never forget you as long as I live... the terrorists failed to ruin my trip because of you, until we hunt again." And so ended a successful hunt in an unfortunate and terrifying time.