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  #16  
Old 07-30-2006, 11:24 AM
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Thanks fabsroman

True, my Taxidermist is glad to know me right now I've known Foster since the early 1970s when I was in the business. He's well known in my part of the country but several outdoor celebrities use him as well. He's top rate on big game; American and foreign. He just finished doing an Elephant head for a friend along with his other 36 African trophies. His work is excellent. Also, his shop is only two miles from my home. I'll be able to discuss each mount as he progresses. Probably won't receive our shipment until winter but that gives me time to think about how I want each mount to look. He takes about six months to return work so by the time I start receiving my mounts, it will be time to return to SA. Good hunting, grayghost
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  #17  
Old 07-30-2006, 12:06 PM
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Day 8

July 20th. We started our day after first light, again searching for Kudu. We spotted a good Gray Duiker but those little speed demons would cut me no slack. Off into the bush, not to be seen again. We glassed the deep kloofs and ridges all morning but didn't see but one large bull Kudu and he was a long way off and heading into the bush. Too far to follow. I saw a number of Impala, young Warthog's, Ostrich, Zebra, Hartebeast and the like, but no large Cape Kudu bulls. We decided to go look for Blesbok out on the plains and maybe come back that afternoon if we found any worth pursuing. We saw several herds of Blesbok, Springbok and Wildebeast. One lone Blesbok ram looked very good, but he didn't give me much time to study him before he ran off across the plains. We found a suitable area that had some sparse cover, so we decided we would come back after lunch and set up a possible ambush point. We found a nice shady area on top of a ridge and ate our lunch in the noon time breeze. It can get fairly windy during this time of year so take that into consideration when sighting in your guns for longer ranges. You may need to estimate windage from time to time. After eating our lunch, we discussed our plans for the afternoon and my PH really wanted to take a little time and search for a good Warthog. Boars had been scarce all week, but with the Sun warming up the ridges, Meyrick told me this would be a great time to look for them. We headed out driving the top of a long high ridge and found a place to scan the surrounding area. It didn't take him but a minute to find a BIG hog. I took a look through his spotting scope and it looked like a hog with two cavalry sabers sticking out of his mouth. This hog was grazing on top of a ridge in a clearing, all by himself. We decided to approach the area on foot, not wanting to spook other game by vehicle, so we left Jackson (my tracker) with the truck and off we went. We closed what I guess was several thousand yards without incident. Stopping on occasion to glass the flat to insure the hog was still there. When we got to within 250 yards, a lone Hartebeast that had been hidden by the bush, trotted out onto the flat and spooked the Warthog. He wasted no time in running off into the bush. With all hope of getting a shot gone, my PH yelled for Jackson to bring the truck. He called out several times and waived his arms, feeling sure that Jackson would be observing us through his binoculars. When Jackson didn't come, Meyrick started back up the ridge for him. About this time I spotted another hog entering the flat from our left. I turned to tell Meyrick and saw Jackson walking towards us, pointing. He had already seen several hogs making their way onto the flat. Evidently, the big hog didn't like company. And with his exit, the other hogs grabbed their opportunity to feed. Meyrick found one nice boar so we began our stalk. We made our way to within 110 yards of the boar and set up the shooting sticks. I was pondering in my mind where to hold on the hog as previously mentioning; my point of impact with my .280 was 200 yards, and I had already missed two Kudu at longer ranges. The hog turned broadside and raised his head in suspicion. I lined up a little low behind his shoulder and fired. "You shot over his back" Meyrick said with disappointment on his face. As the hog spun around and took off running like a Greyhound, I racked another round into the chamber and said; "Let me..." Meyrick cut off my sentence with: "If you think you can hit him..." Bam! At the recoil of my .280 the hog rolled in the dust. I caught him behind the right shoulder. The Accubond gave complete penetration and exited behind the left shoulder, killing him instantly. Not even a squeal out of the pig. "Nice shot" Meyrick said. "I'm going to have you shoot everything running from now on." He was kidding of course but I generally do better on running game if I shoot by instinct as opposed to studying the shot. Range was 125 yards. No feat by any means, just my lucky day. For some reason, I was very proud of taking that hog. Years ago I had been a guide for wild boar hunts. I had 300 clients take a pig with me and I have never killed any type of hog. This was my first pig; and I was thrilled! Nice tusks, with a little brooming on one side. Character, I think they call it on TV nowadays. Just a cool looking critter to me! Continued.....
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  #18  
Old 07-30-2006, 12:24 PM
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Day 8 continues....

I took my Warthog at 1:20 PM. We loaded him up and headed back out on the plains: in search of Blesbok. We saw a number of them as we made our way back to the cover we had found before lunch, but there would be no way to slip within the 200 yard range I hoped to get, so we drove on. When we arrived at our ambush site, I took my .280 out of the case and Meyrick and I got situated in the shade. Jackson would drive off and find himself a shady spot and begin skinning my Warthog. Jackson carries his skinning kit along with a large plastic tub and salt, in case he needs to begin skinning on warm days. The meat is kept clean in large plastic sheets. He does an excellent job of taking care of your trophies. I have requested him to accompany me on my return next year; he's outstanding at his job. He hadn't been gone for two minutes when a herd of Wildebeast and Blesbok came over the ridge. As Jackson drove away down the ridge, they had been crossing in front of him and the crazy Black Wildebeast took off like bee's were stinging them; Blesbok in tow. Most of them skirted behind us but a small group of Blesbok headed straight for me. I had already set up my Bipod and when they stopped, Meyrick told me the last one was a good ram. The herd spotted us and turned to face us. Range: 137 yards. The ram took two steps and cleared from the others; I fired, he fell. A good frontal, angling shot gave an instant kill. Not as colorful as their cousin Bontebok, but a beautiful antelope nonetheless. My ram has blonde horns with black vertical striping. Very unusual, as most Blesbok I have mounted had an earth green tinted horn with blonde ridges. Continued.....
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  #19  
Old 07-30-2006, 12:57 PM
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Day 8 concludes

Evening: July 20th. It was 3pm when I took my Blesbok, so we decided to take my Warthog and Blesbok to the cooler and return for an evening Kudu hunt. It took us about an hour to get this done but by 4:15pm we were scanning the deep ravines for kudu bulls. We saw quite a few but nothing mature enough to stalk. We decided to go to another area, so we got back into the truck and headed off to check on last place. We were crossing a dry creek bed when Jackson tapped on the roof. He had been in the truck bed scanning the hills and ridges and had spotted a group of kudu, up the creek to our left. Meyrick stopped the truck and jumped up into the truck bed for a better look. "Let's go, quickly." is all he had to say to me. I didn't ask questions I just uncased my gun and we took off on foot. We covered about 150 yards before he stopped to glass. "There's a good bull up ahead feeding on those white flower tops" he said. I pulled up my bino's and took a look. Quartering away from me at about 350 yards was a nice bull. He was alone. We made our way only another 50 yards when to our left, several animals starting running through the bush. Fortunately, they didn't bark an alarm. Meyrick said they were kudu. The wind was in our favor and our intended target didn't pay any attention, he just kept on feeding. We slowly continued our sneak and finally Meyrick readied the shooting sticks, took a glance through the range finder and said: "He's 220 yards." I took a steady aim. He was quartering away, to my right. I placed the cross hairs a little low behind his right shoulder as he was slightly above us. Let out my breath and squeezed the trigger. At the shot I saw the bull leap into the air and "mule kick." A good sign. Meyrick asked me how I felt about the shot. "Good" I replied. We eased our way up to the spot where he had been standing. Light was beginning to fade. I went ahead and Meyrick scanned the ground. He found the bulls tracks and angled off to the left. I went ahead, steady and slow. "Here he is" Meyrick called. I turned around and saw Meyrick standing over my bull. He hadn't gone 35 yards. At last! My first Cape Kudu bull. I was elated! I was amazed at how well the 160gr Accubond had performed. I took out the heart and broke the left shoulder. We recovered the bullet and although I haven't weighed it yet, I guestimate it retained about 75% of its original weight. This bull has a tight curl with 48.5" horn length. I was very happy with my first Kudu. Continued....
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  #20  
Old 07-30-2006, 05:02 PM
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Day 9

July 21st. Today would be a laid back morning. We took our time and didn't arrive in the Fish River Valley until around 9am. From my previous hunt for Nyala, it appeared that very early and late evenings were the best times to hunt them. During the day they evidently like to bed up deep in the "jungle" of heavy bush in the steep ravines that rise up from the river valley. We began spotting the usual suspects, including several trophy size Bushbuck and Impala. Lots of ducks; Cape Teal and Yellowbills mostly, but a few Spur Winged Geese and Egyptians too. Ha-Dee-DA's were making their usual racket, along with too many birds to identify. Red-eyed Doves were cooing non stop. All I needed were bongo's and we'd have a new dance record. It began to cloud up in the late afternoon and then mist rain. I put on my rain suit and Meyrick and I started walking the perimeter roads of the pineapple fields. We were hoping to find the bull I had missed a couple of days earlier. We had only gone about 1/2 a mile when we started around a wooded point. Meyrick suddenly spun around and told me to get ready to shoot. I pulled my Bipod down and as he moved to my right side I saw a mature bull Nyala, head down, feeding at the edge of the pineapple field. I quickly got in the sitting position and found my cross hairs upon his chest, just inside the left shoulder. He was facing me, quartering to my left. Suddenly the bull raised his head and looked directly at us. Meyrick said "Take him" and I fired. Range was under 50 yards, and at the shot, the bull leaped into the air and spun to his left, bounding down into the deep ravine. We waited a few minutes and then quietly proceeded to where he was standing. Meyrick slipped into the bush and I paralleled him, staying in the grass. We didn't go far; maybe 35 yards when Meyrick called to me: "Here he is!" I went into the bush like a Bush Pig. Dodging thorns and vines with each step. When I reached my bull, I was surprised at his body weight. Larger than I had expected. Having only mounted Nyala heads before, they are larger than I expected, and one of the main reasons I was wanting one. They are beautiful animals! This one will be mounted life-size, as he has a very nice coat and mane. Nice horns and ivory tips. My dreams just kept coming true. Meyrick took one fast pic for me, right where my Nyala fell...in the bush. We went and got help and four of us picked him up and carried him out of the bush. This insured we wouldn't rub off any hair since I wanted him mounted life-size. The other pics came with my disposable camera as Meyrick's digital camera had a dead battery. Once again I chose my .280 with Federal Vital Shok 160gr Nosler Accubonds. Excellent performance. Continued...
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  #21  
Old 07-30-2006, 05:32 PM
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Day 10...our last day

July 22nd; our last day. It was cool and raining on the morning of our last day. Louis decided to hunt Mountain Reedbuck and I would pursue Duiker. We left around 7:30am and drove about 30 minutes away. It was good Duiker country (open grass areas with brushy draws and ravines nearby.) We saw several nice Mountain Reedbuck, Steenbok and Springbok. Finally, we jumped a good Gray Duiker, but as per usual, he took off in a flash and we never found him again. Meanwhile, Meyrick spotted a good Mountain Reedbuck, so we decided to pursue him. I took my .223 and we headed off. These animals are not big. Maybe half the size of a Springbok, but very wary. They were on to us every time we tried to pull a stalk. Finally, we found a small group with a nice buck. The range was 327 yards but he was in an area that we could see for a long way. I shot three times at him and he just scampered from one spot to another, offering a standing still, broadside shot each time. My .223 was shooting flatter than I anticipated, so each shot brought my point of impact lower. The fog and misting rain started up again but my next shot connected. I did not hear the shot, nor did I notice anything wrong with the buck when he ran down into a creek bottom, but Meyrick did. He calmly told me to get ready and wait; we'll see the buck again. I didn't take lens covers for my scope on this gun (don't leave home without them)! so I covered both ends with my gloves. Within 5-6 minutes, Meyrick caught movement in the bush; then I saw it. The diminutive buck was moving right to left and when he came into a clearing he stopped. I squeezed the trigger and he bolted forward. Again, I didn't hear anything other than the rifle, but Meyrick assured me is was a good hit. He went about 30 yards. Interesting animals. They remind me of Whitetail Deer and an Antelope cross. I'll hunt them again and maybe their larger cousin, the Common Reedbuck. This concluded my hunt. The time was 12:10pm and I was hunted out. I wanted to rest up before our flight out the next morning and spend some time getting to know the rest of the family. The Bowkers are some of the most friendly people you could meet anywhere. I guess years of dealing with hunters from all over the world will make you either very friendly or crazy My only regret is that I didn't start hunting in Africa a long time ago. But I'm going to make up for lost time. If I can help anyone pertaining to Taxidermy; rules/regulations on shipping trophies into the US, just send me an email. My direct addy is: dixiedetectors@aol.com/ Thanks to all of you for reading my posts. I know many of you have been and can laugh at my excitement, but you know where I'm coming from. Stay safe this fall and good hunting, grayghost
P.S.: My friend Louis took 12 animals: A huge Black Wildebeast, 38" Gemsbok, Impala, Black Springbok, Common Springbok (2), a big Waterbuck, Hartebeast, Blesbok, Kudu, Red Lecwhe, Bushbuck and Fallow Deer. He had a great hunt as well. We're going back next year and I'm looking forward to hunting waterfowl and upland birds in the eastern cape.
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  #22  
Old 07-31-2006, 01:23 AM
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Great post Grayghost, and Waidmannsheil !! It'll take me a couple days to read it all but wanted to say you wrote up a bunch of good stuff. Glad you enjoyed your dream and trip, I'm packing, in a week I'll be living my dream, Dom.

BTW, excellent Impala !!
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  #23  
Old 07-31-2006, 01:55 PM
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Thanks Dom, and I appreciate you taking the time to reply. I take it your about to leave for the dark continent? What are you hunting if I may ask? Good hunting, grayghost
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  #24  
Old 07-31-2006, 02:27 PM
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I loved the write up & photos... Like just about every hunter, Africa is a dream for me.... maybe one day!
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  #25  
Old 07-31-2006, 03:32 PM
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Thanks toxic111. Africa is an outstanding bargin for those of us that hunt. Prices will vary from country to country, but most of us can afford to hunt over there. One thing for sure; the price won't go down, neither will airfare. If you plan ahead, you can time your deposit, airline tickets and trophy fee money well in advance. Nothing has to be one big payment. Package deals like 7 days with 3 trophies can cost less than hoping to take a whitetail deer for $2,500. I like the trophy fee scenario; no animal, no pay. You pay for what you take. I've been on enough hunts in the US & Canada where we didn't see any intended game. In Africa, you see plenty of game; at least where we were. Hope you can make it, you'll be amazed at what you see. Everyone told me I would want to go back; and I am. Good hunting, grayghost
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  #26  
Old 07-31-2006, 10:14 PM
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Grayghost, that was a very impressive series of posts and made me wish I had been with you. I shot my animals from the top of a 76yr. model Ford f100 pickup roof using a bipod. The only one that I shot offhand was my Kudu bull. It was hiding with two cows under a tree. One of the trackers saw them or we would have passed them by. They were off to my right, slightly in front of the truck when they spooked and ran. The bull ran to my right and away so that I had to lift my rifle to clear the bipod over the truck railings and fire offhand. I had no time to aim so it was a reaction shot using 3X power. I shot just in front of his shoulder and hit him dead center on the 3rd stripe. The shot of a lifetime. He ran maybe 25 yards. The bull was about 75 yards and moving fast when the 280rem. 162 gr. Hornady struck him. The PH was amazed as were my hunting buddies. There was a lot of whooping and hollering. He measured 52 inches. Continued...
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  #27  
Old 07-31-2006, 10:42 PM
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The Gemsbok I took was a really exciting hunt. We followed a rather large herd in the old ford pickup and finally cut them off. When hunting the Kalahari you can use the vehicle by hiding behind or cutting off a herd on the near side of a sand dune knowing they will probably be heading in a certain direction. That plan worked beautifully and we stopped on top of the dune and watched them pass about 150 yards in front. They stopped and looked at us. The PH said to take the big one that was broadside to us and was cooperating very well for me to get the easy shot. I squeezed off my 338-06 and "click". The firing pin did not even mark the primer. The herd moved off at a fast run. I had left my 280 at the camp so I had to borrow a 300 win mag from the PH. We found the herd again and with manuevering we got into position to shoot again at the same Gemsbok. The problem was that it was facing directly away from me. The PH told me to take a "Texas heart shot" but I told him I had never shot an animal in the butt and did not want to do it. He said we might not get another chance. I waited for it to turn as the herd began to move out.. The Gemsbok ran about 35 yds or so after I shot and was laying in the deep grass. The shot angle was perfect for the animal's position. The bullet entered just back of the rib cage and into the heart/lung area. They are magnificent animals.
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  #28  
Old 07-31-2006, 11:51 PM
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Thanks Bob. Very nice Kudu and Gemsbuck! What did your Gemsbuck's horns measure? They look good. We need to try and reduce the image size of your pics so they can be viewed without scrolling. I'll see if I can get one of the moderators to do this for us. Good hunting, grayghost
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  #29  
Old 08-01-2006, 01:42 AM
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Yes Grayghost, I'm heading to the Dark Continent 7 Aug, about an hour East of Windhoek, Namibia. As I'm in Europe, it's a no brainer to hunt Africa vs. Elk or Muley's out west in NA. I'll be after normal Plains Game, Kudu, Oryx, Zebra, Impala, Warthog & maybe run across something else! At first I wasn't keen on Zebra, but once the hide is tanned and laying in your Hunting Room, there's no mistaking where that came from.

You had a great hunt and wrote up a detailed report, thanks again for sharing, great pics too!!
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  #30  
Old 08-01-2006, 11:40 AM
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Gemsbok was 41". I have reduced the size to enable the posting of my jpeg files but now I must figure out how to cut them to size. Any help would be appreciated. My jpg files are 627 mb in size and this forum only allows 500 mb maximum.
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