|Posted on Thursday, January 26, 2012 - 11:05 am: ||
It's official, I am going back to South Africa in June for another hunt!
I had to skip last year when I spent my Africa money buying back my FLHT.
Charl, my outfitter was here in Iowa last week for the annual Africa Night at Double Lung Archery. We booked 4 other hunters to go with me.
I am very excited about going back!
The only bad part is I am not going to be able to take Tammy with me this year. She doesn't have the vacation time built up yet(new job).
So, look out South Africa! Dave is coming back!
Life is good!
|Posted on Monday, June 11, 2012 - 04:45 pm: ||
We leave this Weds!
|Posted on Monday, June 11, 2012 - 04:57 pm: ||
Have fun and be careful!
|Posted on Wednesday, June 13, 2012 - 06:56 am: ||
Leaving in 1.5 hours
Be back on the 27th
|Posted on Wednesday, June 27, 2012 - 11:39 am: ||
Well, I made it back!
Here's a few pics to get started.
In total I shot
|Posted on Wednesday, June 27, 2012 - 11:55 am: ||
Group with most of the trophies.
|Posted on Friday, June 29, 2012 - 11:27 am: ||
more pics here
|Posted on Tuesday, July 10, 2012 - 07:26 pm: ||
i see a gopro mounted on your bow. how did you accomplish that? i was thinking about putting my gopro on mine this season...
|Posted on Tuesday, July 10, 2012 - 07:27 pm: ||
and does all the meat and everyting stay there? or are you able to ship anything back?
|Posted on Thursday, July 12, 2012 - 10:38 am: ||
No camera on my bow?
Yes, they sell mounts for most cameras that can be adapted to work.
You are not allowed to bring any meat out of Africa, hoof and mouth, mad cow, etc fears.
You are allowed to have the mounts shipped back after a quarantine period and thru a lic broker in the US.
The meat is eaten by hunters, employees, their families etc. Any left is sold.
|Posted on Thursday, July 12, 2012 - 11:14 am: ||
Better picture of my Kudu
|Posted on Thursday, July 12, 2012 - 01:21 pm: ||
hmm, ok. thought the piece right above his hind quarters was a camera. probably a sight im not used to seeing(which is most of them. lol)
did you ship that kadu rack back? thats a monster!
|Posted on Thursday, July 12, 2012 - 04:18 pm: ||
No, I can't afford to bring the trophies home. If I had to do that, I wouldn't be able to go.
I'd rather go!
The Kudu I shot isn't a trophy (horn size wise, he is a trophy to me) only 47" horns, 50" is kinda the benchmark for what you want for a trophy and over 60 is a really good one.
this Kudu went 52-53"
|Posted on Friday, July 20, 2012 - 11:07 am: ||
Hunting South Africa with Double Lung Archery/Infinito Safaris
Ever since my first trip to South Africa in 2010 I have dreamed of going back. I was not able to in 2011 but in January of 2012 during “Africa Night”, when my SA outfitter, Charl Van Rooyen gave a presentation about his outfitting company, Infinito Safaris to a group of hunters in attendance and 2 couples decided to sign up! I was going back to Africa! This trip with 4 clients instead of only 1 as in 2010.
So, for the next 5.5 months the 5 of us plotted, planned, made lists, booked flights, got our equipment ready etc all in preparation for the hunt.
My client hunters on this trip were,
Ron and Betty Steege
This would be their 3rd trip to Africa but Betty’s first time bowhunting. Both Ron and Betty are accomplished hunters and I knew they would have a great hunt.
Tyson and Laura Huling
Tyson and Laura, so young, so adventurous. This would be their first trip but both are good hunters with big whitetails on their walls.
Dave Stueve(me) Still a rookie only being my 2nd trip but I am really looking forward to hunting with this group. The age and experience difference is bound to make this an opportunity for all of us to become better hunters.
The day finally arrived! We are heading to South Africa! Here is the story of our 10 day hunt,
Day 1,2 and 3
What can I say? Sometimes, just getting to Africa can be an adventure! It is no surprise to me that most airlines are suffering!
We all flew out of Moline Il, Ron, Betty and myself on one flight. Tyson and Laura had booked a different flight after deciding to hunt for 10 days instead of the original 7 they planned.
Moline goes without a hitch, I didn’t even get pulled aside for a “random” security check. Cool, this is going to be a piece of cake! How wrong I was. We got to Chicago to find our flight to take us to Washington DC had been canceled. The best they could do was book us to Munich Germany, 8 hours later, then sit there for another 8 hours to finally get on a plane headed to Johannesburg! Wow, nothing like adding about 17 hours onto an already 23 hour trip! But hey, they did give us each 10.00 for lunch! I don’t think I have ever wanted to tell someone where to stick their 10.00 before in my life. But, I stayed cool, they do not like people that argue in an airport! Lol!
So, we finally land in Joburg to find that they have lost all our luggage! We go find Charl, who even though we were a day late and had not been in contact with me since Chicago, was waiting for us. He had picked Tyson and Laura up the afternoon before, drove them to camp, slept like 2 hours and then drove back to Joburg to get us. The airline tells us our bags should be on the next regular flight, after 4:30. It is 10am in the morning! We decide to go shopping for supplies for camp with Charl as that needs done before we leave town anyway. Where does he take us? To a WalMart! They are everywhere! They call them Marco or something like that but all signs also have the WalMart symbol and say WalMart.
Charl then takes us to lunch and also arranges for us to go a friend’s house so we can lay down for a nap. We have been on the go for about 50 hours at this point. At 5 we are back at the airport. They do have our bows! No clothes though, arrrrrrrggggggggggg!
So off we go, on the 4 hr trip to camp. As we leave the city I start feeling like I am in Africa again, it feels good. We arrive at camp at aprox 10:30 or so. We are BEAT! The decision is made that we are going to sleep in a little in the morning, then check our bows on the range, gather what clothes we have and then go hunt.
We head to our cabins. I stay up long enough to take a much needed shower and to wash my only pair of socks and underwear in the sink!
I awake at 5am, I do not want to miss any African sunrises while I am here! By 6 Ericka is up to get the lunches ready and prepare breakfast.
Tyson and Laura come to the fire, they are ready for their 2nd hunting day. Laura already shot a nice Nyala Bull yesterday! They head in to have breakfast as Don their PH arrives. As soon as they are done off they go.
Ron and Betty are up now also and after a great breakfast we all go to the range to make sure our bows are shooting straight. No problems there so we are ready to hunt.
Ryno(property manager and PH) comes to take us out. I request “my stand” the treestand I shot my Wildebeest and Warthog out of last time. They drop me off at the stand and drive off as I get settled in. I take a deep, deep breath! I am back! It is 11:10 am
View from “My stand”
Well, it didn’t take long for the animals to start showing up. It took about an hour or so and while I was writing in my journal, the first animal to show up is a nice Impala Ram. Sweet! I quietly put my journal and pen away and grab my bow. I hook my release up, draw, put the 20 yard pin just above the elbow and squeeze the trigger! My arrow flys, I lose sight of it and hear a loud CRACK! My arrow, hit the rock mineral basin behind the Impala. The Impala had kicked and then took off like lightning. I look at my arrow, laying there in the South Africa red dirt. I can’t see blood on it? Did I miss? WTH? I settle down a couple minutes and then call Ryno on the radio. I tell him I shot at an Impala but I am not certain I hit it. I tell him I can see the arrow but no blood on it? It is 12:20
I ask him if it’s alright if I just climb down, go look at the arrow and then get back to him. He says he does not want me to get out of the stand with the possibility of animals seeing me. He says he will be right there, stay put. It takes only minutes for Ryno to arrive. He walks out to my arrow, turns to me, gives me a thumbs up and makes a slashing motion across his neck. He is all smiles and so am I!
I stay in the stand while Ryno ,his 9 yr old son, who has a name I can’t pronounce so I call him Bob, and 12 year old Daughter I call Kate take off on the blood trail. They are only gone a couple minutes and they are back. I get down and we walk to my Impala. A nice, old ram with thick bases. He only went 40 yards. Bob actually did the trailing so I appoint him as my official tracker for the rest of the hunt!
QAD Exodus Broadhead
My arrow appeared to be dry from the stand because the red dirt had stuck on the blood like quick dry!
Ryno and I drag it out after the photos where I broke my camera! We load it onto the truck and off they go, I get back in the stand as it is only 1:30 and plenty of day left.
About 4pm a group of Warthogs came by, there was a real nice one in the bunch but never offered me a shot. We need to do some trimming since 2010! About 5 a single Wildebeest cow, followed by 7 more came in. Not going to make that mistake again, they all get a free pass. Sooner than I wanted, the sun was going down over the bushveld and I could hear the truck coming to get me. My 1st day is over, with a nice Impala Ram to show for it. Very good day!
I get back to camp to find that Laura shot a Zebra and Ron shot a big Wildebeest Bull! Awesome day, 3 of the 5 hunters score!
That is hunting in South Africa!
That evening Ericka cooked chicken on the grill. It and everything else on the table was delicious!
After dinner we all sat around the fire to plan tomorrow’s hunt and just enjoy the company and the African night. The plan for tomorrow is Charl, Betty and Laura will be together, Ron and Philimon (PH) will hunt together and Don (PH) will take Tyson and myself over to Francois place where he and Tyson will hunt together and I will be on my own again. Awesome! Tyson is after Kudu and/or Gemsbok. I am after Impala, Wildebeest and Warthogs. Should be another great day.
|Posted on Friday, July 20, 2012 - 11:08 am: ||
I awake early again to have a Monster Energy drink, get the fire going and enjoy the sunrise. We already have a plan for today so I gather all my gear and am ready an hour before it’s time to go. Don, Tyson and myself head out to Francois place, aprox 20,000 acres just a few minutes down the road. We introduce Tyson to Francois and head out, there will be time for Francois and I to catch up later. It is time to hunt. We take Tyson and Don to a fabric blind, freshen the mineral and hay and off we go to put me in a pit blind where a bachelor group of Wildebeest Bulls is frequenting. I get all set up and for the first hour all I see is a couple of Duikers and a Wildebeest that did not come in for a shot.
Now, the problem with pit blinds is, they are way too cool,roomy and easy to nap in! I layed down, to “rest my eyes” and was out in a flash. I only slept for about ½ hr and awoke to the sounds of Kudu eating hay! They were right outside! Kudu isn’t on my list and none are shooters anyway. I look out the side window and there they are, the group of Wildebeest Bulls and there’s a couple nice ones! I get ready, the biggest bull stays out of range on the other side of the water hole. It’s too thick for a shot, I wait and wait, other bulls are only 8 yards away but I want the big one. After about a ½ hour he finally comes in, offering an 8 yard, broadside shot. I draw, I settle the pin just above his elbow and let it fly. The shot is good and off they go! I lose sight of him as he enters the bushveld. The shot is about 4” back from where I wanted it but it is very hard to break yourself of shooting behind the shoulder after so many years of whitetail hunting. I am confident that he will not go far. I call on the radio. ½ hour later Francois, Vimpy, 3 trackers and dog show up. They come get me out of the blind and I take them to where I lost sight of my bull, there is blood everywhere, this is going to be easy. The dog takes off and we find my beest only about 60 yards away. The QAD Exodus broadhead performed and provided a quick kill. I can hardly believe it, I finally have a trophy Wildebeest Bull, after shooting a cow by mistake in 2010, a fact they do not let me live down lol. They estimate him at 580-600 lbs with a 23” spread. A nice Bull.
We load him on the cart after the photos
Francois decides to move me to a different hide for the afternoon. So, off we go! I get settled in to my new blind and what an afternoon I had! I saw 20-30 Wildebeest, all cows and small bulls, 10 warthogs all female, 4 Kudu and several Impala that did not come in for a shot. Then at about 2pm a group of 5 Impala Rams starts working their way towards me. The largest and only mature Ram offers me a 12 yard broadside shot and I squeeze it off. The arrow hits perfect! Forward and low, right where the heart is. Off he runs, but only makes it about 35 yards and falls. I am JACKED! You hardly ever get to see Impala go down, they are just too fast!
I call Vimpy and tell him we will not be needing the trackers,dog or back up rifle on this one. He says “pretty sure huh”? I then tell him I can see the Ram laying there dead! They come and do the photos and we load my 2nd Impala on the truck. What a day!
Back at Francois base, I do some work on his bow for him and then he offers to drive me back over to Ryno’s. I take him up on the offer. Back at Ryno’s, our main camp, I ask Ericka if she can round me up some clothes to wear while we wash the only set of clothes I have since the airline still hasn’t located our bags with our clothes in them. She goes and gets me a pair of Charl’s shorts and a T shirt. Now, those of you that know both Charl and I, know there is quite a bit of size difference between us. But, I need my clothes washed! 1st thing though is one of the Landcruisers hasn’t been starting in the mornings and they told me the belt was squealing. I have Sully round me up a tool box and I pop the hood to have a look. The alternator belts are a little loose so I fix that and also cleaned up the battery terminals. We ended up putting a new battery in it but at least the belt doesn’t squeal anymore! I then head in to take a shower, I give Ericka my dirty clothes and now I am a miniature Charl Van Rooyen! Hahaha
As the hunters come back to camp I greet them by extending my hand and in my biggest “Charl” voice I say “welcome to Infinito Safaris, I am CHARL VAN ROOYEN, I am only half the man I used to be! The funniest reaction by far was when I greeted Charl himself that way!
Dinner was Nyala and Zebra, both very good eating! We only stay at the fire for a short time tonight as everyone is tired. Tomorrow we need to get Betty and Tyson on some animals!
I start early by drying my clothes by the fire. They were only about ½ dry from hanging overnight. Another beautiful morning in South Africa! So many stars, many more than you see in North America. I sit there enjoying the howls of jackals in the darkness. As the sun rises so do the others. We have a light breakfast and then hunting we go! Charl is taking Laura and me to Francois’ place while the others hunt at Ryno’s. We get Charl and Laura to their hide and then I am dropped off at mine. The one I shot the Impala out of yesterday. I am hunting for a Wildebeest and a Warthog. Laura is after Eland. About 9:30, here come the Wildebeest, about 25 of them! There are a couple that will be trophies in a couple years but no shooters today. While the Wildebeests are hanging around a group of small warthogs come in. Then about 15 min later, there he is, a nice boar, 23 yards away, slightly quartering away. I draw, settle the pin and shoot. Complete passthru! The hog jumps into the water and then out and off he goes. I lose track of him in the melee that 25 Wildebeest and a bunch of pigs make when they are all “getting out of Dodge” at the same time. I sit down and take a few deep breaths. I then call on the radio. I tell Vimpy, we have pork! He comes in a bit with 2 trackers, dog and rifle. I tell him he just has no faith in me! Hahahaha
The blood trail is short, maybe 50 yards and there he is! A nice boar with aprox 7-8” tusks. I forgot my camera in the hide so Vimpy has all the pics of my Warthog. Hopefully I will have them before this goes to print.
The Grim Reaper Hades broadhead devastated his lungs!
They then take me back to what I call the Ant Hill blind as it looks like a big ant hill. Maybe the Wildebeest Bulls will come back and I can get my 2nd one.
I see plenty of animals but nothing I am hunting. At dark, they come to pick me up and tell me the great news! Laura has shot a HUGE Eland! Her 50 lb Mathews Jewell has done the job once more. The Eland is the largest Antelope on the planet and can weigh upwards of 2000 lbs. They estimate Laura’s at 2200 lbs.
She is “off the wall” excited! In 4 days she has taken 3 very hard to hunt animals! The hunt of a lifetime, for sure.
Back at main camp we find out that Betty has her first African bow kill as well, a nice Blue Wildebeest Bull! Betty shoots a 40 lb HOYT. Tally for today, Warthog, Eland and Wildebeest.
We also get the good news that our bags arrived in camp that afternoon! Yaaaaayyyyyyyy! Now I will have clean clothes for the first time in almost a week! It will now feel like a proper hunt, wearing camo, carrying a knife, my recurve is here now! Life is getting better!
We sit down to yet another fine meal that Ericka has prepared and then head to the fire. I only stay a bit as I am tired and have writing to catch up on. I am excited about tomorrow and the possibility of my first African kill with a recurve.
This morning I slept right thru my alarm! Good thing all my gear is here and I had sorted it the night before. I am still the first one up. I get the fire smoldering so I can smoke myself up real good to try to fool the noses of the animals I hunt. Soon we, Betty, Don and I are on our way back to Francois place. Betty is going to hunt a tree stand ½ way up the mountain for Mountain Reedbuck while I am taken back to the Ant Hill blind. The morning is active with plenty of animals. At 11:15 I see the wounded Wildebeest Bull that Francois wants me to shoot. He has an infection we are afraid will eventually move into his spine and cripple him. He does not come in for a shot. There is also a heard of Kudu and 1 of the Bulls has a badly broken ankle. You can see him wince in pain every time he steps down on it as it folds 90 degrees to the side under his weight. Poor guy! I am thinking he will end up as Leopard food as the weak do not survive in Africa. I am hunting with both bows in the blind and am hoping for a 10-15 yard shot with my recurve. More animals come and go and then at 1:00pm the group of Kudu are coming back! The Bull with the broken ankle is with them. I decide right then that if he offers me a shot I am going to put him down. I cannot stand to see animals suffer.No time to call Francois on the radio, here they come. At 1:18 he offers me a 12 yard, quartering away shot. I grab the compound as I want to put him down quickly. Kudu is a big, tough animal and I want to make sure the shot is perfect. I draw, settle the pin so that the arrow will enter thru the ribs and exit above the far elbow. I touch the shot off! In my mind I know this is going to end my hunt with several days to go, since Kudu was not on my list or in my wallet. The arrow easily passes right thru him with a Grim Reaper Hades broadhead on the front. They all run off! I feel good. I have done the right thing. He will suffer no more.
I can see my arrow laying in the red dirt of Africa. No doubt on this one, the hit was good. I summon Vimpy on the radio and briefly tell him what just happened. About 30 min later the crew is there. They retrieve me from the hide and we go look for blood. It is an easy trail to follow and only about 60-70 yards before we find my Kudu. It is bittersweet since I know my hunt is probably over but he is a nice Bull but only 47” horns. 50” is kinda the bench mark for Kudu. We do the photos and then have to break out the big brush cutter and a chainsaw to cut a path for the game cart. It’s pretty thick in the bushveld.
We get him on the cart and out to the truck. Francois asks me if I am done for the day? I tell him I am done for the hunt, unless he still wants me to shoot the wounded Wildebeest. He does want me to hunt him so I am still hunting! I decide to take the rest of the day off though and head back to his camp. While we talked on the ride back to the compound I learn that he has internet! Imagine the worlds slowest dial up, now, slow it down a bunch more! That’s the internet in the bushveld country. But, slow internet is better than no internet. Eventually, I am able to send a short email to Tammy, my girlfriend, who is at home taking care of everything while I am gone. So I let her know that I have not been eaten by a leopard or stomped by a cape buffalo and that I will contact her again when I am back on US soil, in about 5 days! Tammy will be going on the next hunt, for sure. I know she will love it as much as I do. The land, the people and the hunting are something I want her to experience.
They ask me if I want to be taken back to Ryno’s or just hang out until it’s time to pick Betty up off the mountain. I decide to just hang out so Vimpy and I go for a drive, checking trail cameras for about an hour. We get back just in time for me to go with Francois to pick up Betty. I love the mountain stand but have yet to ever hunt it. I will need to take care of that, next trip. Betty has not shot anything but had a great time with Kudu and Impala coming thru. Back in the compound we are about to head to Ryno’s when Charl, Laura and Tyson show up. It was finally Tyson’s day! He shot an Impala and a Kudu today! Whooooo Hooooooo! Tyson hunted hard for 5 days straight with nothing but a clean miss on an Impala.
All the while, his wife Laura was stacking up the trophies! Tyson now has 2 of his animals in 1 day. Now, 5 days of hunting and we all have left blood on the red dirt.
Hunting South Africa is, as Forrest Gump would say “like a box of chocolates” you do not know what will show up on any given day and you can modify your list of animals as the hunt progresses. There is such a variety and abundance of game, it is like no other place I know.
After dinner we all head for our cabins, we are all tired. Charl assures us he has a plan for tomorrow and bids us goodnight.
|Posted on Friday, July 20, 2012 - 11:10 am: ||
I awake right on time, 4:30 am, to get the fire going(I think this has become my job here) and to see the stars fade and the sun rise. As I sit there in the cool morning, drinking my Monster Energy drink(man, I love that stuff) I wonder what the day will bring for me? As everyone else emerges from their cabins and gathers by the fire, Charl tells us the “plan” for today.
The plan is that Don will hunt with Betty at Francois’ place, Ron, Laura and Tyson are staying here to hunt Ryno’s . Charl will be hunting with Ron and Tyson, trying to get on a Nyala for Ron or a Gemsbok for Tyson. Since the animals have been showing opposite of what we need. Nyala by Tyson and Gemsbok by Ron. We figure if we hunt them together maybe, just maybe at least one of them will have a shot. Maybe both as you never know in Africa.
As for me? Am I done hunting? Nope! Charl and Francois want to me to go hunt the injured Wildebeest, with my recurve. Of course Charl tells me if I see an Impala or Warthog I want, we’ll work it out! Lol. He says don’t worry, we will work out something on the Kudu too. They are so good to me!
So, off to Francois’ I go, with Don and Betty. I help get Betty and Don squared away in their hide and then Peter, one of Francois’ best trackers and I head to my Ant Hill. Ooooppps, we forgot a radio for me! Back to the compound we go. It’s good, gives Peter and I a chance to catch up. I met him on my trip in 2010.
Once I have a radio it’s to the hide we go.
I get all settled in for what could be a loooong day. Hunting a specific animal, not species, a specific animal. I am thrilled that I am still hunting! About 9:30 the Kudu start coming in, I hope the Wildebeest I am after is with them again today. There is a big Kudu bull, several smaller bulls and 6 females. I spot a Blue Wildebeest out of the side window of the hide! As he comes in it is clear he is not the bull I am after. A few minutes pass and 2 Zebra come in, 1 is a huge stallion, I wish Zebra was on my list! I have decided not to hunt Zebra until I can also afford to have a rug made and get it home. Maybe next time! I watch them, what a majestic animal they are. Intelligent with keen eyes, ears and nose. A true challenge for a bowhunter. By being very patient and quiet(I had about 20 sets of eyes and ears within feet of the hide) the stallion offers a 10 yard broadside shot. I am so tempted! I almost had to sit on my hands to keep from picking up my bow and going into auto pilot!
By 10:30 am I have seen Kudu, Wildebeest and Zebra, what a great start to my day. I hope everyone else is seeing as much as I am. Ron and Betty have their work cut out for them. They have a difficult list as this is their 3rd trip to Africa so they already have mounts of most of the more common animals. The rest of my day was unproductive. The Wildebeest I was hunting did not show up. They picked me up at dark. It was slow day all around. We all saw animals but not the ones we were hunting.
On the way back to camp, Charl tells me of a small dilemma, Laura, mostly by herself has filled the walk in cooler! Yeah, some of our other animals are taking space too but everything that girl has killed is HUGE! They need to make room. Charl is sending Philimon and Sully with a truck and trailer filled with meat to his home place, with an empty walk in cooler. It is a 9 hr round trip. That is going to leave us short handed for guides. We will need to hunt the 4 clients, in pairs. Well, I know that cuts down on our chances and offer to help out. I tell Charl, that if he’s ok with it, I can take someone, instead of hunting myself. I think he is a little shocked by my offer but quickly smiles and says “ok buddy” “thanks”.
So, tomorrow I am going to be a guide. Oh, boy, what did I get myself in to? We get back to camp, eat dinner and Charl tells the plan for tomorrow.
Ron and Betty will be hunting with Don, Betty will be quitting early to ready for the Jackal hunt tomorrow night. I will be guiding Tyson and Laura although Laura is only needing a Waterbuck and there probably won’t be one at this hide. Tyson is after Wildebeest and/or Gemsbok. Charl has some business to attend to so he will not be guiding tomorrow.
My first day as a guide! Not only does Charl want me to help Tyson with trophy judging and shot placement, now he wants me to film too! Well, I figure with Tyson and Laura’s help I can figure out the camera and it would be cool to have some stuff on film so off we go! It feels strange, heading to a hide without my bow! They put us in Eland Hide and we settle in for a long day. The day is overcast and windy, not good. I have been looking forward to hunting with Tyson and Laura since I met them but it just never worked out with our schedules to hunt deer in Iowa together yet so I guess our first hunt together we had to go all the way to Africa!
The morning started out with some small Nyala , a Wildebeest cow and a small Kudu bull. There was also a lone Impala ewe hanging around. By 1:15 they had all come and gone and the afternoon was a long one. Then right before dark a lone Nyala bull comes in and he is a nice one! Too bad Ron isn’t here! If we had been hunting Nyala, he sure would’ve tested our patience. Always slightly quartering to us, he would drink, go about 25 yards away, then come back in, keeping the same angle to the hide. It wasn’t until he had been there for at least 15 minutes that he finally offered up a 23 yard, broadside, leg forward shot. Patience is key in Africa! Most are big, tough animals and with a bow you need to make the perfect shot, every time. The Nyala left and within minutes Ryno was there to pick us up. My first day of guiding was a bust. Still, a fun day for me as it was the first day I have not spent the day alone. It was kind of nice to have some company in the blind. We have 3 full days of hunting left! It’s crunch time! Back at camp, Ericka is cooking Shish Kabobs with Nyala, Eland and Zebra meat. Of course, she makes 2, just for me, all meat! Hahahah!
Ron and Betty had a slow day as well, today, the animals won!
We eat and go right to bed! We are all tired from day after day of hunting. As fun and exciting as it is, it wears you down after several days. The plan for tomorrow is to have Charl take Betty, Laura and myself to Francois’ place while Tyson and Ron hunt at Ryno’s. We all go off to our cabins and turn in.
I wake up at 3am and cannot get back to sleep. I go to the cooler and grab a Monster. I stack some wood on the campfire to bring it back to life. I am thinking the plan for today needs an “adjustment” . When Charl comes out of his cabin I tell him what I am thinking. We are running low on hunting days and we need to get as many opportunities as we can with the 3 days we have left. Betty, Ron and Tyson still have plenty of animals on their list! I volunteer to help out as a guide again today. So, change of plans, I am taking Ron and Tyson to Impala Hide for Nyala, Gemsbok and possibly a Wildebeest for Tyson. Charl will guide Laura and Don guide Betty. That way Betty and Laura can cover two blinds at Francois’ and Betty can go to the mountain stand for the afternoon and try for the Mountain Reedbuck. I feel good to be able to help out and feel that I am on my way to “earning my stripes” so to speak with my African partners.
Charl agrees with me new plan and heads off with Don, Laura and Betty.
I wait for Ryno to come get us to inform him of the change in plans. This is Africa and your plan needs to be flexible, ever evolving to have the best chance at success. Ryno pulls into camp and is surprised to see me there. He says, “let me guess, the plan has changed” we laugh and I tell him the new and improved plan for the day. He agrees this is the best plan also and off the 4 of us go. The day is overcast and windy again so we do not have high hopes of lots of animal traffic today, we soldier on anyway. You can’t shoot anything if you aren’t hunting! As the day went on the clouds and wind kept working against us. We did see a few animals and had an Impala ram put on quite a show of running around, chasing off all the smaller rams. Tyson would shoot another Impala but only one in excess of 25” and this little “tough guy” is only about 23”. He gets a free pass. We also saw warthogs, 1 a huge boar but they never came in. A group of small Waterbucks came and went a couple times as well. At 4:45 Tyson spots a herd of Wildebeest coming our way! I ask him if there is a nice bull in the group does he want to shoot it. He replies, YES! After the couple long days we have endured we are all ready for some action.
I go to get the camera ready and turn it on. It start to make noise like we are racing RC cars in the hide! LOUD! All the Wildebeest run away! I look at Tyson with a WTH look! Luck is with us though and the herd did not go far. They are milling around, trying to decide if they should return or not when a small Kudu bull walks right in. That’s all the reassurance the Wildebeest need and here they come again. They are almost in when the blasted camera decides, on it’s own, to go into power save mode. More loud noise! Arrrrrgggggggg! I turn to Tyson and say quietly, screw this filming, let’s kill a Wildebeest! He agrees and I turn off and move the camera out of our way. We are hunters, not cameramen! Lol! Now, Wildebeest are kind of my nemesis. They are so hard to tell bull from cow, and judge trophy quality(at least for me it seems)
I locate 1 that I think is a bull. He is big, mature and has the actions and attitude of a bull. Now I only need to get a glimpse of his “Bull parts” to confirm. I do not want to make a mistake. I can tell you now that guiding is 100 times more stressful than hunting. If I make a bad call on an animal I shoot, well, I’m a big boy, swallow my medicine and go on. Now I am guiding another hunter, a friend. I am spending his money, judging his trophy, helping make his memories of the hunt. That’s a lot of pressure! I do not want to make a mistake.
Finally, we are convinced it is a bull and that we should try to take him. With literally minutes left and Wildebeest moving all around him, first others in front of him, then yet others behind him, now he is quartering toward us too much, on and on. Then, he finally turns, Tyson comes to full draw up in the hide. He steps away from the others in the herd and gives Tyson a 23 yard, broadside, leg forward shot. Tyson puts his arrow exactly where it needs to go. The bull runs off but I know he isn’t going far. He crashes thru the bushveld, out of our sight, then all is quiet. I believe he is down already. I congratulate Tyson on the excellent shot. Then, the 2nd guessing begins. Was it a bull? Was it a cow? Was I fooled again? Is Tyson going to hate me forever if I was wrong? I am sure it is a bull. Right? Oh boy!
I call Ryno on the radio and tell him Tyson just shot a nice Wildebeest. Of course, the first thing out of Ryno’s mouth is “is it a bull?” I tell him “I think so!” They are already enroute so are there in minutes. It is Ryno, Charl and Philimon in the truck. It this turns out to be a cow I am going to be catching grief from 3 sides and Tyson getting the 4th side! Man, I hope I was right! I am so nervous I do not even go on the blood trail. I stay by the hide and wait. They are barely gone when I hear, nice shot, excellent job Tyson! I know they have found the beest.
I see Ryno heading back so I walk towards him. I say, “I only have 1 question and please do not mess around with me, is it a bull?” Ryno did think about messing with me, I saw it in his eyes, but, he just smiled and said, “yes, a very nice bull, you did well!” I cannot begin to describe the relief I felt at that moment. We get the cart and when I approach the animal I just can’t help but to “check” for myself, yep, all bull here! Tyson is thrilled with his bull and I am one step closer in my long, long journey to becoming a knowledgeable African hunter.
|Posted on Friday, July 20, 2012 - 11:11 am: ||
We also learn that Laura has her Waterbuck!
Another fine dinner and time around the campfire. Only 2 hunting days remain. Betty goes with Charl and Don on a night Jackal hunt. They are not gone long, the wind is swirling and just not good for calling in wary jackals. Tomorrow I go back to hunting, with recurve only!
I wake up and do my now routine for the morning. Today will be my first recurve only hunting day in Africa. I have high hopes of an Impala, Wildebeest or Warthog to come within range. I go to the practice range at first light to shoot a few arrows. Good to go with 4-5” group at 15 yards. Charl, Laura and Tyson are going to Francois for Waterbuck for Laura. Ron and Betty are hunting together for Nyala and ??. On our way to the hide I was going to sit in, Kudu Hide, we see 3 Nyala bulls, so we decide it best to put Ron and Betty there and move to Eland Hide instead. So we drop Ron and Betty off and then drive to my hide for the day. It is 7:15 when I sit down after arranging my Hoyt Buffalo recurve, arrows,quiver etc for easy reach and quiet access!
It is a big change when you go to a bow twice as long as most compounds, you need a little more room. The pit blinds are perfect for this and the eye level, I feel will help with accurate shooting. I get my black fleece on and face painted, I do not want any mistakes today! The wait begins, Impala, Wildebeest and Warthog are on my hit list for today. I have my bow nocked with my special Africa arrow, Easton Legacy 2016 aluminum shaft, Zebra wrap, Chartreuse Barred and white barred 4” feathers and tipped with a 125 gr Magnus 2 blade. Deadly combo for sure.
I am hoping all the practice will pay off. 500 arrows per week for 2 months out of this bow in preparation for this hunt. The day is mostly cloudy but not much wind. Hope it stays that way!
It is 14 yards to the near edge of the water hole. Perfect range. Everyone in camp is rooting for me! They do not see many recurve hunters. It is going to be hard to wait and not just shoot the first animal that comes within my range! I am going to try to hold out for a mature animal, a Ram, a Bull or a boar.
A female Impala comes in first, she offers a 6 yard shot but I hold off. Then some small Nyala show up, not on the list and too young, I hold off. Then, the Cape Buffalo show up! Rats! I know as long as they are out there not much else will come in.
They hung out for about an hour and then finally left. The female Impala came back but I still held off. Then, here come the buffalo again! Double Rats! They hung out for about 4 HOURS! Finally, at just about last light a single Impala Ram comes in, he is about 23”, good enough! I draw back, anchor and release! The arrow sails right over his back! NO! How could I miss! Damn! The Impala doesn’t go far, thank God recurves are quiet! He works his way back in, I already have another arrow nocked up. He is 14 yards, quartering slightly away. I draw, anchor and release! The arrow strikes him but it is high. In the loin. He runs off in a flash! I do not know if I just hit high, he ducked me, or a combination of both? I do know that we will probably not track this one down as he isn’t going to be very hurt, let alone mortally wounded. I am devastated. I call Ryno and tell him what has happened. He and Philimon come to get me and we start on the trail. We have blood, but not much. They are tracking mostly by the animals “spoor” or tracks. This is amazing to watch and someday I want to be ½ as good at tracking as these guys are. I would never lose another deer! We follow the trail for a bit and decide to come back in the daylight in the morning. I am not in a very good mood but am thrilled to find out that Laura shot her Waterbuck and a dandy! Tyson also shot a warthog but hit low and did not kill it. Tyson and I are both bumming!
But, tomorrow is a new day! Our last day! Betty goes Jackal hunting after dinner and the rest of us turn in early. Tyson and Laura are done and are taking the last day off. Ron and Betty are still hunting as am I.
I just get out of the shower and I see headlights. They are back! I throw on some clothes and go out to the fire. Charl is there and tells me they called 3 in but Betty could not see the crosshairs in the low light so had no shot. One was only 40-50 yards away! Ouch! Back to my cabin and bed I go. I need to try and get some sleep. Tomorrow I hope to find my Impala!
Last day for hunting!
Betty and Don head over to Francois’ for one last chance for the Mountain Reedbuck and Ron is staying at Ryno’s for Nyala. We drop Ron off and then on the way to where Philimon is already tracking my Impala we see w big Nyala at one of the other hides. We turn around and go get Ron and Don and move them to the other hide.
We then go find Philimon, he has been following the spoor(tracks) for about 3 kilometers! Confirming he is on the right track by finding pin head size drops of blood on the underside of leaves. There just isn’t enough blood for it to be a wound that will bring the Impala down. After about another ½ kilometer we call it off.
So, off to KUDU Hide I go, it is also the next closest water hole to where I shot the Impala so maybe, just maybe I will get another chance at him. I settle in and begin the wait. Not long and 3 small Nyala and a big bull with a broken horn show up. They hang around forever! Then a herd of Zebra come, there are 7 or 8 of them, awesome animals! Long last day, I saw Nyala, Kudu, Warthog, Zebra and a cat that looked like a small mountain lion. Nothing on my list within range. Ryno comes to get me and tells me Ron shot one of the Nyalas we put him on, about 2 hours after we moved him. Our plan finally worked! I am so happy for Ron, he hunted very hard for his Nyala trophy.
So, the hunt is over for all of us. Back at camp we sit down for our final dinner. It’s all bitter sweet. 10 days ago it seemed we could hunt forever, now we are done. But, we have all had a great hunt! The 5 of us shot 18 animals total. Most make SCI record book. All are trophies to us, the hunters. As we sit around the campfire we are all in a great mood and the talk and jokes flow. We are ready to go home and hate to leave at the same time!
Charl and I talk about me squeezing in a couple hours of hunting in the morning but as I thought about during a mostly sleepless night and then gave it more thought in the morning there just isn’t going to be time. We need to get packed, pictures taken, accounts squared away and be ready to leave at 10-11am.
Our final morning we all eat breakfast together, a fine breakfast of homemade kind of crunchy deep fried buns with an meat mixture in it kind of like Impala maid rites. Very good stuff! Then Charl and I sit down with each client and figure their account. Once we have that done, it’s off to the salt shed for 1 last picture of most of the trophies.
From L to R
Philimon, Tyson, Laura(holding Bushman) Ron, Betty (holding Chukka) Me, Don, Sully
So, at about 10:30 we say our last goodbye to Ericka, Pilimon and Sulley. Charl, and Don are going to Joberg with us. Charl has new hunters to pick up and Don will help us get thru the airport before he heads to get on a train, headed to Mozambique where he will be guiding a hunt for another outfitter.
So, other than the flight home, which was slightly better than the flight there, you have the story of the “Hunt with Double Lung” Infinito Safari 2012 hunt!
Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed the story!
I will be going back as early as 2013 and for sure by 2014. I figure I only have 25 more years of hunting in me. I want to go back to Africa at least 12 more times. More if I can swing it.
How you can hunt South Africa
Hunting South Africa is more affordable than most people think. For the same price as just about any guided US or Canada big game hunt you can go to Africa and hunt 3 or 4 animals. And, you can go in May/June/Aug/Sept as to not interfere with the Whitetail season!
Taking a bow abroad is easy, they treat it like other sporting goods. No permits or paperwork required.
No extra bag fees to South Africa, so you can take your bow case, a suitcase and a carry on. No extra charge. Just do not exceed 50 lbs per bag.
Shots, the area we hunt is Malaria Free, no shots are needed.
Representative right here in the US. Double Lung Archery/Dave Stueve are official representatives for Infinito Safaris. All deposits and pre payments are made here. I handle the transfer of funds for you and provide you receipts of your payments.
You do not need specialized equipment. The same set up you use for deer will work on all plains game.
Book your own hunt, a hunt for you and your friends or join in on one of the Double Lung Archery hunts with me. We can plan the exact hunt you want.
If you are interested please contact me, Dave Stueve at Double Lung Archery in La Porte City Ia. 319-342-4550 or Dave@doublelungarcheryinc.com
I’ll be looking forward to sharing the camp in Africa with you in the future.