First ever guided hunt - South Africa

npaden

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 3, 2011
Messages
4,157
Location
Lubbock, Texas
Day 8. Looking for kudu on the river property.

We head out about 15 minutes earlier than we had been and it still isn't quite light yet. We see Jewel already parked where we quit the sable tracking the previous evening and chat with him a bit then start out. We haven't gone a couple hundred yards when the truck stops and Pieter pulls over and turns the engine off. This isn't the river property?

This has happened to us every time we've headed to the river property in the past as well. We are right where we had gone after the kudu a couple days earlier when the guinea fowl messed us up. Pieter is pretty sure these are the same kudu and at least one of them is a big bull. The wind isn't really great, the front from a few days ago is long gone and we are back to our light and variable winds again. That said the wind isn't bad either. We decide to go after them following the tracks. As we leave the road some impala cross the road heading right toward where the kudu were going based on their tracks. Okay, not what we are looking for but hopefully they won't be a problem. We've gone maybe 400 or 500 yards and this time we hear zebra coming from the other direction. They are calling and you can hear them running a couple different times. Jewel must have spooked them as he isn't that far away and was in that general direction. Still not a reason to stop going after the kudu but another wrinkle in what started out looking like a pretty straightforward approach. Worst case scenario, Eli might get an opportunity at a zebra. We skirt back around trying not to mess up the zebra and still trying not to blow out the impala as well. We end up all the way back at the road, move down the road a bit and then head back in the general direction the kudu were headed. We end up covering probably a mile or a little more and things just aren't working out. Wind isn't consistent, impalas went one direction and the zebra went the other. We finally get back on the kudu tracks but now the wind is bad and the kudu are back into the super thick stuff. We work toward them a little more and not sure exactly what tipped the balance in Pieter's decision making process but we end up walking out to a different road and radio for the truck to pick us up.

Back on the truck and we are again headed to the river property. We exit the main gate and cross the road and now we are officially on the river property. I hadn't realized that it was just across the road. The property is really all connected but because the main road goes through it there are 2 high fences, one on each side of the road so the river property is completely separate from the main property. I ask if there are different animals and there are not any giraffe, gemsbok or zebra on the river property. That is one of the reasons we hadn't been on it since gemsbok and zebra were on both of our lists and there aren't any of those on the river property. We start driving and right off the bat we spot some kudu. This part of the property is a lot more open than the main property seemed to be and we can see them from 200 or 300 yards away. We actually use our binoculars and see that they are cows and a young bull. Not a tiny one, this one is actually pretty respectable I think but Pieter says he is young and that we can do better.

We drive around some more and are seeing quite a few animals. Some very nice impala (at least I thought they were really good) and we spot several more groups of cow kudu. We drive down to the river and it is completely dry and looks a little sketchy to get in and out of it. The road goes that direction but there is some pretty good wash out sections in it. Riding around in the bench chair in the back of the truck on flat ground has been fairly pleasant, but riding on it as the truck leans to and fro and your feet are up against the back of the cab dropping down into the river at such a steep angle really isn't the most pleasant experience. Cathy is really struggling as we drop down into the river bed. The other side looks even more sketchy but instead of going up the other side we turn and start driving right down the dry river bed. We see several waterbuck and one of them is very impressive. I had talked about adding a waterbuck to the list and they are beautiful but some of the people I had talked to said they are too easy and at least looking at them watching us from 50 yards away while we drove by it seemed like their opinion was pretty spot on.
E601D4C2-D120-4239-A4E9-7B290A5E9BE4.jpeg
AAD94CDB-B516-4A1E-A8E9-63879ECF0EC8.jpeg
We continued on a off road adventure tour and when the riverbed turned into rock slabs that would be small waterfalls if the water was flowing we exited the riverbed, up one of the banks and went around and dropped back in. Not much in the way of even a two track anymore, but you did get a sense that Pieter had at least done this a few times. We end up finally going over to the other side of the river and back onto that part of the property. Again we see several small groups of kudu cows and young bulls, it seems that the bulls are separate from the cows at this time of the year. We also see quite a few more duiker and steenbuck over on this property. Not sure if the leopards are as thick here or what the difference is but there are noticeably more of them. We make our way in a big loop of the property and end up all the way to the back of the property as far from the river as you can get. We see some more waterbuck in here, both females and males and see another very impressive one. Eli is talking about adding waterbuck to his list instead of a second zebra but we find out the price is more than double the price of a zebra and I tell him I'll spring for the extra zebra but he will have to put the waterbuck on his list some other time. F4BA363C-E6CC-49A6-8926-30C2DCC045D4.jpeg

Back across the river and drive around some more. Some pretty rough going, the land cruiser is impressive but being so high up is about to make my wife sea sick. We stop and offload and we sneak up on a spot in the river that holds a good bit of water. As we are sneaking up Pieter gives us the stop signal and we all freeze. It ends up being a huge group of impala, Pieter says it was probably close to 100 of them. We stay frozen but something happens and they all run off. This happened quite a few times during the week, animals would run off with us hiding frozen still, the wind in our favor and nothing that we could figure out exactly how we got busted. About the time a deer or elk would get nervous and start trying to check you out and figure out what you are is about the time you see the back end of these animals as they run off. They just don't mess around trying to figure out what you are, they just take off.
 
Last edited:

OntarioHunter

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 11, 2020
Messages
4,293
Everyone needs to keep in mind that the trophy fee for one sable is worth about three kudu. I can understand the unwillingness to give up on it. He drew blood so he pays for it either way, in the salt or not.
 
Last edited:

OntarioHunter

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 11, 2020
Messages
4,293
Yes, waterbuck aren't terribly challenging to hunt. They act like mule deer with a lot of stand and look when pushed up.
 

npaden

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 3, 2011
Messages
4,157
Location
Lubbock, Texas
Just had my first glitch posting from my computer using the personal hotspot on my phone in the St. Louis airport. Lost the rest of the morning with some real poetic and deep thoughts about a teenage boy working on finding out who he is. ;):cool: Hopefully I can replicate it again.

Over 2 hours flying from here to Boston so hope to get through day 8 at least.
 

npaden

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 3, 2011
Messages
4,157
Location
Lubbock, Texas
i usually would write my long ones in Word with autosave and copy paste to the thread.
Yeah, whenever I decide to write a long one I would probably do the same! :cool:

I actually did type in word on the flight and am now on day 9. We just landed about an hour late and are going to be rushing to the Yankees v. Red Sox tonight so not going to get it posted this evening probably. Will try to get it posted as quickly as I can though. Maybe very late tonight, maybe tomorrow morning.

Sorry for dragging it out. Will be my first time at Fenway Park so didn’t want to miss my chance.
 

noharleyyet

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 15, 2004
Messages
34,197
Location
TEXAS
Nathan, your son will be telling your grandchildren about this hunt. You should print this thread for your Africa album.
 
Last edited:

npaden

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 3, 2011
Messages
4,157
Location
Lubbock, Texas
Day 8 continued…

We are driving back toward the river and spot 2 kudu bulls ahead of us. One is a nice one. There really isn’t a way to drive past them without sending them into the next zip code so we start backing up. And backing up, and backing up. I really think we ended up backing up for ½ mile. We offload and check the wind and it is okay for now and Pieter asks who will be on the trigger (this is another tough hand gesture to follow, he just holds his hand out and pulls his index finger back a few times like he his pulling a trigger and then points and me and then Eli and then back at me). I’m not sure why, as so far I had allowed Eli to take every opportunity at any animal that was on both of our lists that he hadn’t already taken, but for some reason I decided I was going to be on the trigger this time. I said that I was going to be on the trigger and Eli looked like I had just punched him in the gut. I asked if he wanted to come with us as I had been going with them every time he was on the trigger and he said what’s the point, I’ll just wait at the truck. Not exactly the reaction I would have hoped from him.

Pieter and I go off after the kudu and it seems like we should be getting close. We are working the wind as much as possible and ahead of us we see a few glimpses of black through the brush. We figure out that there is a group of buffalo ahead of us and a few are bulls. We are about 50 yards away when we figure it out and that is about the same time the buffalo figure it out too. They are gone. The sound of a herd of buffalo crashing through the brush ahead of you can be pretty exhilarating. We move to skirt around and still have hope for the kudu but the wind has shifted and we find their track not far ahead of us and Pieter can tell that they are running. 100% pointless to go after a running kudu so we head back to the truck.

At the truck Cathy and Eli have had a conversation about his reaction to me deciding to be the one on the trigger that time and he apologizes for his poor attitude about it. Not sure if he would have been as sincere if the stalk had been successful, but I’ll take it. This is something we talked about a bit over dinner a couple evenings is that a hunt like this can really help someone figure out exactly who they are. Plenty of opportunities to be able to display that as well. Pieter says they have been very blessed and actually pray for each new client that they will be good people but they have had a very few people that they were hoping might not be back. Hopefully with the adversity we faced on the trip and the way we handled it we were a good example to Eli on how to roll with the punches life throws your way. No point in getting upset about things that are out of your control.

We head back down to the river and make it up the other side with a little bit of effort and grunt out of the land cruiser. Once across we follow the semblance of a two track, maybe a truck had driven that way twice anyway and drop about halfway back down the river bank on the other side. We are puttering along and Pieter spots a small bull on the other side of the river in the shade. Then another, then a good one! We don’t stop and keep on going up to the top and on for another 500 or 600 yards. We stop the truck in some shade and offload. Somewhere in here we discussed the trigger man dilemma and decided that we would start rotating the trigger on every other stalking opportunity so it is Eli’s turn to be on the trigger.

We move off making a semi-circle around to where we want to be. The wind is actually in our favor but still pretty light. We get setup behind some thick brush and start trying to find the bulls from earlier. Pieter starts spotting them one by one. They are in the thick stuff and we are behind some think stuff so seeing them is no small feat. Pieter finds at least one good bull but there is no clear shooting lane to be found. We spend 4 or 5 minutes peering through the brush and trying to get a place sorted out where Eli can setup for a shot. Somewhere in there the bulls start to figure out something is wrong. They start to gather up and look like they are about to move out. Pieter moves about 20 yards to the side and Eli is right on his heels and Pieter throw the sticks up and Eli is on them. Eli is looking through the scope and Pieter is standing right behind him. This goes on for nearly a full minute before Pieter gets Eli to pick the gun up and they move over another 5 or 6 yards and set the sticks up again and Eli is on them again. That lasts for about 30 seconds and then it’s over. Eli pulls the gun and Pieter grabs the sticks and they come walking back over.

06DDA242-27A6-4B90-976E-8F9A5FDA2E24.jpeg
5E627E46-B0A5-4F54-A03B-D012512B2997.jpeg
I had stayed over behind the thick brush so I couldn’t mess anything up so I had no idea what just went down. Evidently there were 3 big bulls and 4 smaller bulls. As they gathered up and started to move out every time a bigger bull would move out of the brush a smaller bull would move in front of it. 2 or 3 times it looked like it was going to happen as the smaller bull moved out ahead and the bigger bull started behind it just for another smaller bull to move in front of the bigger bull. It was like they were secret service agents pulling blocking maneuvers. They moved to try to get a better angle but still ran into the same issue. Finally they were out over the top without a single shot opportunity. From my perspective I was afraid that Eli was just being slow on the trigger and not taking a shot that was there but Pieter said that there never was a clear opportunity. I was sad that he didn’t get a chance to shoot, but happy that he didn’t have a repeat of the waterhole where Pieter was telling him to shoot and he wasn’t able to.

It was now almost 2:00 so we decided to head back to the lodge for lunch. Lunch is great as usual and with it being so late we are all very hungry. We do decide to make it quick though and we are headed back out around 3:00. We get word that Jewel was on the track of the sable and had found 2 places where it had bedded and found blood both times. He accidentally bumped it and got eyes on it but it kept going and he hadn’t been able to catch back up to it.
 
Last edited:

npaden

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 3, 2011
Messages
4,157
Location
Lubbock, Texas
Pieter got a tip on a kudu bull on one of their other properties and asked if we were interested in going after it. Of course we were. This property was about a 20 or 30 minute drive so Pieter asked Cathy if she wanted to sit up front instead of in the back on the bench. She said she was fine and he asked if she was sure and she said yes. I will point out that she rode in the front on the way back! The portion of the drive that was on their road to get to the main gate was fine and we had been on it several times. The main road was a different story though. On the way in the first night we road in some mid size Toyota SUV and the driver was nice and all but he wasn’t exactly happy driving on the “gravel” road. It had some major washboards and plenty of other dips as well so we had come in pretty slow and easy. Pieter doesn’t know slow and easy so he was driving about 50mph on it. Shockingly the land cruiser soaked up most of the bumps and washboards surprisingly well, but I think I may have left one of my kidneys out there somewhere along the way.

We actually get to go about the last 5 miles on pavement and then we are at the other property finally. As we are pulling in we see a small and medium kudu bull right along the road along the river. According to the person who had called Pieter there was a big bull across a big open pasture in the shade along the river. We stop and glass then move a ways and stop and glass again. Nothing. We drive around a bit and for the most part this property is very open. Not sure exactly what they do with it but it is more of an agriculture type property than a game farm. We see a few steenbuck and 2 young eland off in the distance near the edge of the property. Some domestic goats as well. We make a big circle and start driving down a “road” along the river. Again this would be pretty hard to classify as a two track, more of a someone has driven it twice in the last year type deal.

We are moving along slowly and Pieter spots a kudu in front of us maybe 100 yards away. He backs up and leaves the truck running and we offload. It is technically my turn to be on the trigger but Pieter makes the trigger signal and then points directly at Eli. My interpretation is that this is going to be a golden opportunity and it would be best to let Eli have it.

Pieter moves behind some brush and finds an opening that he can set Eli up in. Eli is on the sticks, trying to find the kudu in the scope. I’m standing there and can’t see anything but Eli and Pieter and start videoing it. This goes on just like this for a full 5 minutes.

6787481A-72AE-4E09-8D51-85CD10E0EEDC.jpeg The kudu is in such thick brush that they can only see bits and pieces of it. There is one opening maybe 12” that they can see through. They can see the kudu and it is feeding but the waiting game is getting the kudu to put it’s vitals in that 12” hole so Eli can get a shot off. Finally it happens and Eli pulls the trigger. Pieter goes to high five Eli but Eli stays on the sticks looking through the scope. Pieter looks back through with his binoculars and the kudu isn’t down, it is standing there nearly completely obscured by brush. This goes on for another 45 seconds (I have the video so know how long it was) and then Eli pulls the trigger again and this time the kudu is down!

We didn’t realize it but Cathy was sitting in the truck and was able to see the entire thing go down. It was the number one highlight of her trip. The way the kudu was standing she couldn’t see it well but she could see parts of it off and on. She could also see Eli as he was lining up the shot. She said that might be the longest she’s ever sat without moving in her life. I was pretty much clueless the entire time as all I could see was Eli and Pieter on the sticks.

We go up to make sure the kudu is down for good and he is. He is a good bull and we have high fives all around. We examine him and there is just one hole which was perfect shot placement. We determine that the first shot must have hit a branch or tree and didn’t hit the kudu at all. As wary as all these other animals had been it was very surprising that it would stick around for Eli to have a chance at a second shot but we weren’t going to complain about it. Very happy to have a kudu on the ground finally!

5C7CF33B-6D0A-46AD-A47B-511DCD79AA4F.jpeg 443E8655-218A-4DF3-8EB1-232C59E1FAE7.jpeg
BE0D6A6E-BFF3-4115-8108-1D1C4E02BA3D.jpeg

After the shot I took some pictures to try to help show how thick the brush was. First picture is where he was setup on the sticks looking toward the kudu. Second picture is where the kudu was standing looking back to where he was shooting from.
52A2EBC0-CD17-4FD6-A5CF-167F3409FE4A.jpeg

15F84503-A386-48D9-834B-F88D48333193.jpeg

We got him loaded up and headed back to the main property. We got him dropped off at the skinning shed and it was already getting late but we headed back out to the river property.
 
Last edited:

npaden

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 3, 2011
Messages
4,157
Location
Lubbock, Texas
One of the unique animals that they had on the property was some tseebees. Kind of like a hartebeest but not quite. We saw the same 3 animals nearly every time we drove by their spot. I didn’t ask but I assumed that they weren’t available to be hunted, not sure anyone would want to if they were as they are kind of ugly and don’t have very pretty horns. They can run fast though but they have an unusual running gait.

We dropped back into the river and up the other side and drove around a while. We saw some bat eared foxes which were very cool. I guess they thought if they stayed still enough we wouldn’t see them because we were probably 10 or 15 yards from them in the truck and they just laid there and looked at us. Finally they decided the game was up and ran off.

Again we were seeing quite a few cow kudu and more waterbuck. We spend quite a bit of time on the other side of the river but just not seeing much over there. We come back across to the other side and see some more cow kudu. We repeat our route from the morning and sure enough when we get to the same spot we had seen the bulls that morning we see some again in nearly exactly the same place! We drive on past a little further this time and make another semi-circle back to the top of the river so we can see across. They are gone. It is getting pretty dark by this time and we make our way back to the truck and head back to the lodge.

Quite a bit fewer miles walked this day, 5.8 miles according to my phone. Not 100% sure on that as some of the bumps and swaying back and forth riding the rougher roads around the river might have registered as steps. We did walk some that morning and I was on 3 stalks on the river property so maybe that was right.

I didn’t mention it the night before, but they were having rolling power outages to conserve electricity so the lodge did not have any power from 6 to 8 pm. They at least followed a schedule on the outages so they knew they were coming but it still put a little kink in things and dinner was later than normal. It was a long but exciting day and we got to bed a little late. Now that Eli had his kudu and zebra was the last thing on his list it didn’t make sense for him to go over to the river property where there weren’t any zebra. We hadn’t shot a kudu on the river property but we had seen plenty so I was wanting to go back over there if possible. They talked to Martin the farm manager and he was willing to take Eli out after zebra again so that became the plan. Cathy had enough of the bumpy ride on the river property so she was going to go with Eli after zebra and I was going to go with Pieter after kudu on the river property.

I’m not sure if I was getting used to the lions roaring during the night or I was just that tired but they weren’t bothering me anymore. Cathy and Eli were wearing earplugs but I think that might have been as much for my snoring as the lions. When I get really tired I snore pretty bad.
 

npaden

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 3, 2011
Messages
4,157
Location
Lubbock, Texas
Day 9 – Last day!

We head out about the same time as normal. It was very different to be the only one riding on the bench. Tefferi was riding in the back and Pieter was driving. Mornings were about 50 degrees but it still was a little chilly with the wind driving out in the mornings.

No distractions this morning on the way over to the river property. We get there and start driving around. It’s almost like a different property today. Everything seems quiet. Not seeing many animals. We drive around to pretty much all the spots we had been the previous day and do see a few cow kudu but that is about it. We do see a group of about 20 sable, a few look pretty good to me but Pieter says the bull that I shot was way bigger than any of them. Speaking of that, Jewel is still on the track. He saw the 2 places where it had bedded and the blood but after that no more blood but was able to keep on the track. It was moving away again and not acting very hurt. Based on the tracks Jewel said it looked like it was feeding so that seems like a good sign for it going to possibly make it and a bad sign that it probably isn’t going to sit around and let someone walk up and shoot it.

I can’t remember if I’ve talked about it yet or not but in addition to the hunting business Pieter grows potatoes. He says he actually makes money on the potatoes but generally just breaks about even on the hunting side of things. On the river property there is a couple of irrigated circles of potatoes and after driving around to pretty much all the spots we had the day before we drove through the potato fields (they are high fenced of course to keep the animals from eating them) over to the far side of the property. We drive around a bit over there and see some kudu cows and some impala and going back around to the very far side of the property we see a couple kudu bulls. One seems to be pretty big! The wind is about like it has been, light and variable but it isn’t bad right then. We make a quick plan and decide to get out and have Tefferi drive off around the corner. This is a time were I felt like we might be pushing the edge of fair chase. We were in the very corner of the property and the 2 fences were not more than a few hundred yards away in either direction. With us getting dropped off and then Tefferi driving around to the other side of them it seemed like they had no place to go. We had been hunting hard though and it was the last day so it’s not like I felt too badly to at least make the attempt. We had only driven off about 100 or 150 yards so once Tefferi left us we waited until he drove all the way around behind them and back on a way. Then we waited a bit longer. Then a bit longer. I’m trying to figure out what in the world we are waiting for. Finally Pieter starts walking to the left and I just start after him when we are busted. The kudu must have continued in our direction and we hadn’t taken 5 steps before they busted us. They didn’t stick around and they weren’t trapped in the corner. They were gone. So much for not being fair chase on that one.

Pieter says there is no point in trying to follow the track because they are going to be on high alert and checking behind them for several hours now.

We radio for Tefferi to come back and pick us up and we drive around a bit more. This part of the property is exceptionally thick and about the only place you can see more than 20 or 30 yards is down the road. The roads are pretty close together on this part of the property also, but even then it is hard to spot much from the road.

We drive around and end up back toward the front of the property and Pieter changes his mind and decides we are going to go back and try to track them. We find the track and start following it and end up running smack into a large herd of wildebeest. They end up blowing out and sure enough looking at the tracks we are following a bit later it looks like the kudu blew out with them. We radio again for the truck and Pieter tells me to wait and does a short walkabout. He comes back and says he saw the kudu go into a big patch of brush and we hurry to get out in front of them. I’m quickly on the sticks and waiting for them to cross the road in front of me. And waiting, and waiting and waiting. After about 15 minutes it isn’t looking like they are going to cross and so we radio for the truck again and this time we load up and start driving. We haven’t gone but about 100 yards and see the bulls back in the thick brush. The biggest one has his nose almost to the ground looking out under the brush at us. Pieter keeps driving to the end of the road and we jump out and have Tefferi keep driving over to the road on the other side of the brush and have him stop. His radio is turned up so loud we can hear it from where we are standing maybe 200 yards away.

A nice wildebeest bull that stuck around for a picture from the truck earlier in the morning.
09074A67-BD7D-42CE-8BB1-2808D581B99A.jpeg

So we are standing where we can see down one road and the other road is to our right. Tefferi is in the truck on the other side, the only thing we don’t have covered is the road at the end. We can hear the bulls moving around in the brush less than 100 yards from us.

Two of my least favorite things are standing (I can run a marathon but I have a hard standing more than 10 or 15 minutes) and being in the sun. I am on the sticks looking down the road waiting for them to cross in the full sun for over an hour. Nothing happens. After an hour a duiker runs out about 20 yards in front of me that gets my heart going for a second. Pieter goes back and walks around a bit and finally we call for the truck. We actually walk through the thick brush and the kudu are long gone. There may actually be a reason that their nickname is the grey ghost.
 
Last edited:

BrentD

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 3, 2018
Messages
4,689
Location
In the middle
Awesome!

If I ever go back to Africa, I will hunt kudu. It is the one animal i regret not hunting when I was there.
 

npaden

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 3, 2011
Messages
4,157
Location
Lubbock, Texas
Unbelievable baseball game at Fenway last night. I’m not a fan of either team but it was neat to see the home team win in extra innings. Loudest wildest baseball crowd I’ve ever seen by a long shot.
FE155A25-7359-40C0-B2D9-B71F8C05DEAE.jpeg
C20A7320-3922-4DE6-A19D-DD01305A1B5F.jpeg

I’m caught up to where I got to on the plane now so it’s going to be a while before I update again. Possibly this evening depending on how today goes. We are making a tour of some of the Northeastern states on our way to Maine for my conference that starts Sunday afternoon.
 

Salmonchaser

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 12, 2019
Messages
1,229
Pieter got a tip on a kudu bull on one of their other properties and asked if we were interested in going after it. Of course we were. This property was about a 20 or 30 minute drive so Pieter asked Cathy if she wanted to sit up front instead of in the back on the bench. She said she was fine and he asked if she was sure and she said yes. I will point out that she rode in the front on the way back! The portion of the drive that was on their road to get to the main gate was fine and we had been on it several times. The main road was a different story though. On the way in the first night we road in some mid size Toyota SUV and the driver was nice and all but he wasn’t exactly happy driving on the “gravel” road. It had some major washboards and plenty of other dips as well so we had come in pretty slow and easy. Pieter doesn’t know slow and easy so he was driving about 50mph on it. Shockingly the land cruiser soaked up most of the bumps and washboards surprisingly well, but I think I may have left one of my kidneys out there somewhere along the way.

We actually get to go about the last 5 miles on pavement and then we are at the other property finally. As we are pulling in we see a small and medium kudu bull right along the road along the river. According to the person who had called Pieter there was a big bull across a big open pasture in the shade along the river. We stop and glass then move a ways and stop and glass again. Nothing. We drive around a bit and for the most part this property is very open. Not sure exactly what they do with it but it is more of an agriculture type property than a game farm. We see a few steenbuck and 2 young eland off in the distance near the edge of the property. Some domestic goats as well. We make a big circle and start driving down a “road” along the river. Again this would be pretty hard to classify as a two track, more of a someone has driven it twice in the last year type deal.

We are moving along slowly and Pieter spots a kudu in front of us maybe 100 yards away. He backs up and leaves the truck running and we offload. It is technically my turn to be on the trigger but Pieter makes the trigger signal and then points directly at Eli. My interpretation is that this is going to be a golden opportunity and it would be best to let Eli have it.

Pieter moves behind some brush and finds an opening that he can set Eli up in. Eli is on the sticks, trying to find the kudu in the scope. I’m standing there and can’t see anything but Eli and Pieter and start videoing it. This goes on just like this for a full 5 minutes.

View attachment 233850 The kudu is in such thick brush that they can only see bits and pieces of it. There is one opening maybe 12” that they can see through. They can see the kudu and it is feeding but the waiting game is getting the kudu to put it’s vitals in that 12” hole so Eli can get a shot off. Finally it happens and Eli pulls the trigger. Pieter goes to high five Eli but Eli stays on the sticks looking through the scope. Pieter looks back through with his binoculars and the kudu isn’t down, it is standing there nearly completely obscured by brush. This goes on for another 45 seconds (I have the video so know how long it was) and then Eli pulls the trigger again and this time the kudu is down!

We didn’t realize it but Cathy was sitting in the truck and was able to see the entire thing go down. It was the number one highlight of her trip. The way the kudu was standing she couldn’t see it well but she could see parts of it off and on. She could also see Eli as he was lining up the shot. She said that might be the longest she’s ever sat without moving in her life. I was pretty much clueless the entire time as all I could see was Eli and Pieter on the sticks.

We go up to make sure the kudu is down for good and he is. He is a good bull and we have high fives all around. We examine him and there is just one hole which was perfect shot placement. We determine that the first shot must have hit a branch or tree and didn’t hit the kudu at all. As wary as all these other animals had been it was very surprising that it would stick around for Eli to have a chance at a second shot but we weren’t going to complain about it. Very happy to have a kudu on the ground finally!

View attachment 233851 View attachment 233852
View attachment 233853

After the shot I took some pictures to try to help show how thick the brush was. First picture is where he was setup on the sticks looking toward the kudu. Second picture is where the kudu was standing looking back to where he was shooting from.
View attachment 233857

View attachment 233854

We got him loaded up and headed back to the main property. We got him dropped off at the skinning shed and it was already getting late but we headed back out to the river property.
That is a really good bulll. Well done
 

OntarioHunter

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 11, 2020
Messages
4,293
Kudu are best hunted in hilly country (which they seem to prefer). At first light on winter mornings glass the openings in the brush. They stand in these to warm up in sunlight. Longer shots are available. Pushing them around at close range in thick flat country is indeed challenging. Very much like buffalo hunting (except kudu won't kill you). If it was up to me, I would spend the rest of my days hunting nothing but kudu and Cape buffalo. One must be careful. Hunting those two can easily become an addiction and wind up losing the house and life investments. Seriously.
 

Cheesehead

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 6, 2017
Messages
1,033
Father of the year award…congrats on the great trip and thanks for the detailed write ups
 
Use Promo Code Randy for 20% off OutdoorClass

Latest posts

Forum statistics

Threads
102,558
Messages
1,655,096
Members
32,036
Latest member
jackmathew
Top